How to look like you’ve had 8 hours sleep*

46149f3b499c7a6bf973859cebe98f15*even if you’ve been up all night/since an ungodly hour/have a toddler who insists on sleeping not only in your bed but on your head/are plagued by insomnia.

Let me start by saying I bloody love this woman. Grace Timothy is the beauty editor  behind MUMFACE – a hilarous (and informative) blog and YouTube channel. She’s written for Vogue, Glamour, Sunday Times Style, Red…so she knows her beauty onions. When I mentioned that we were doing a sleep special, but what the heck does one do to one’s face under the circumstances of almost-zero-sleep, Grace’s response was along the lines of ‘Trust me. I have your back on this.’ Pick up your pen – it’s time to make your beauty shopping list… (What’s more, you can watch Grace do her thing in her step-by-step guide via her video (below: scroll to the bottom of the post).


KNACKERED? Yep, me too. I got pregnant and didn’t sleep. I had our daughter and slept ok-ish for a few months thanks to the little trick I liked to call ‘feed her to sleep’, and then slept terribly for two years when said trick stopped working. Now she’s four years old, we have night terrors, sleep-talking and ‘my blanket’s fallen off’ to contend with, and so yes, I’m still knackered. I think it’s safe to say I no longer have a recognizable circadian rhythm. As well as the addled brain and slow limbs, I’ve really seen the difference in my skin after nearly 5 years of poor sleeping. Put simply, by not sleeping you’re missing out on the cell regeneration that would usually happen overnight, which leads to dryness and congestion, followed by excess oil to compensate for the dryness. Of course if like me it’s down to motherhood, you may also have less time to take care of your skin AND will be experiencing some pretty interesting hormonal spikes, too. So we’re looking at grey, dull skin; dark circles; blocked pores and potentially spots.

While sleep, water and good facials are the number one prescription (BORING), thankfully I know the tricks of the trade to cheating the system and faking sleep.


The fresh skin you have when you’re 18, that ‘glows’ with natural, youthful radiance. Absence of congestion, a really taut, plumped-up look. You can fake that with This Works Light Time Skin Plumper serum and the greatest foundation ever, Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint. It is a slightly stronger coverage than others, but the Hyaluronic Acid content makes it feel and work like a really juicy moisturizer. And personally I like that extra strength when my skin is somewhere between red, grey and white.


An extension of the fresh-faced appeal above, but with more light-reflecting properties which will distract from fine lines and dark circles. I love a hit of Smashbox LA Lights Lip & Cheek Hollywood Highlight across the cheekbones and brow bones.


A nice healthy glow, AKA a tan. I don’t put any store by sunbathing or sunbeds, but a spot of fake tan or even just a bronzer-blush combo does restore colour to the greyest of skin. And in darker skin, a beautiful pink or rose blush will really pep up your cheeks nicely. Clinique Sunkissed Face Gelee is a great shot of colour you literally rub in with your fingers, and I love MAC Powder Blush in Spellbinder.


I’m not a big eye cream devotee – now my routine has to fit the 5 minutes Hey Dugee affords me, that’s a step too far – but I like that Skinceuticals Mineral UV Eye Defense SPF30 because it both tints and protects the skin from UV. It also anchors you makeup well. I also have HD Brows done every 7 or 8 weeks which means I have a strong frame from those bad boys for about two weeks and then I just fill in any gaps with Benefit Gimme Brow – SO easy to use, just brush ‘em up, then back down again. I often use Clinique Skinny Stick Eye Pencil in Angel Hair (which is basically white) along the lower waterline. If you’ve got darker skin, gold shadows and pencils will similarly brighten and distract with their shiny loveliness. I love NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland. I then like a little bit of definition so my eyes don’t disappear behind the puffiness, but for speed’s sake I run Burberry Eye Pencil in Antique Gold along the lashline from the centre of my lid out, followed by lashings of L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Mascara, for more smoke ‘n mirrors style distraction.


Finally – if I’ve got time leftover – I like a rosy but subtle pink cream-textured lipstick to stop that washed-out feeling creeping up on me. For me, it’s Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Baby Pink because I can apply it and touch it up without a mirror.


Here’s the FAST morning routine I fall back on when I’m going to work straight from the school gate…







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