Some Thoughts on Makeup and Life

Published in: Just For Fun

rainbow of eye products

You guys. So, it occurred to me the other day when I did the same look for the umpteen millionth time with lashes, liner and a nude lip that I might be in a makeup rut.


Like a serious makeup rut!

And I think I need help.

So, where do you go when you need help? You ask your girlfriends, of course.

Here’s the deal. I just… Right before I had the baby, I was sooo tired all the time. I wasn’t wearing a lot of makeup at all. Then, after I had the baby, it got even worse, because then I didn’t have any energy or time to put on makeup.

But Connor is four months old now, and I’m ready to get back into my groove and my regular life again, but I’ve gotten used to only putting in the tiniest amount of effort, and things like doing a full-on smokey eye are very daunting.

I haven’t worn a lot of makeup in five or six months, which is a long time for me. I just really haven’t been taking care of myself in that way for a while.

I’m guessing that this is something a lot of women go through? I don’t know… I’ve talked to friends about it, about getting into certain habits with your look of like, I dunno, wearing your hair or doing your makeup the same way for weeks or months, and I’m definitely in that monkey house.

I’m trying though. The other day I laid out a whole bunch of eye products and took pictures of them, because not only am I kind of out of practice when it comes to putting on my makeup (I think I’ve lost a little bit of the muscle memory?), I also haven’t spent a lot of time in front of my camera.

So I was looking at all of these beautiful colors and finishes and the different formulas — the creams, powders and whatnot — on the table in front of me and started thinking, “What if I layer this shade with that one?” and “What if I blend these two things together?”

I thought it was a eureka moment!

I felt like I finally figured something out, but the next day when I sat down to do my makeup, I went right back to — you guessed it! — lashes, liner and a nude lip.

The thing is, I really do miss doing more with my makeup. I want to. I’m just stuck or something.

And maybe this is also a metaphor for my life in some ways. Not to sound too corny, but there are things I want to do and so many paths I want to explore, but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten accustomed to the patterns of my day and living those same patterns day in, day out. It’s gotten harder and harder to push myself in new directions.

I mean, yeah, things have definitely changed a lot since the baby came along, but still, it’s different from when I was in my teens, twenties and early thirties, when, seriously, it felt like something was always happening to get me out of my comfort zone. Now it’s been so long since I’ve pushed myself that way that I don’t know how it feels anymore.

Anywho…thank you for listening to this long, rambling, whining thing, friend. If you have any advice about makeup, life or whatever, I’d love to hear from you.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. musical says:

    <3 Such an open, frank post, Karen! I hope you'll soon find something fun to change the makeup flava'!

    When I want to change things up without having the luxury of time, I go for switchin' the lip color. I typically wear sheer mauvy and peachy nudes. But when I am not feeling it, I switch to matte berries/red, or those ultra sheer lip balm/chubby stick thingies :). Sometimes I switch my blush (again usually I do peach, but switch to mauve/terracotta etc etc), or my pencil eyeliner. Or maybe skip the blush and just swipe a bit of "Watts Up" on my cheekbones…


  2. yelena says:

    funny you say that, because I think I’m in the same shoes. I don’t have a newborn or anything, but I have been wearing the same makeup look for months now, I’ve been trying to add pops of color here and there but it wasn’t until I made a visit to Sephora for a free makeover (VIB ROUGE). They ask what makeup I owned (lots) and it didn’t match the little makeup I was wearing. That made me realize I have all this beautiful makeup to play with and it just sits there waiting to be used. so I told her, do your thing, and gave me a lovely but doable makeup look that I’ve been trying to recreate since. of course its not exactly the same look, but it has forced me to play with colors I usually would never use, but actually turned out great.

    if you don’t have 45 mins to spend at the store (and don’t have VIB ROUGE) maybe pop in for one of those mini make overs. there are lots of options to choose from and maybe someone will recommend something that is different (but also quick) for your new time restrictions without restricting your artistic makeup loving side! πŸ™‚

  3. Sarah says:

    I’ve been wearing the same makeup since I started wearing makeup – foundation, blush or bronze, mascara and a nude shadow. Makeovers are SUCH a good way or trying new things out.

  4. Agata says:

    Hi Karen, has it ever occurred to you that maybe being in a “rut” or following the same routine all over again just means that you are comfortable with it? Because sometimes I think this is the case. Life doesn’t always have to be full of new adventures and new things to be a good life. That’s what I think, at least.

    As far as makeup- is there any new product you are really excited about?Grab it and start playing with it and your creativity will come back, I am sure. When you do put on your full on makeup, take some photos to remind you of how good it feels to put more effort into making yourself look and feel good! Maybe watch some of your favorite YouTubbers too for some inspiration?
    Agata recently posted … My 4th of July Face Of The Day

    • Rachel says:

      I agree. I went on a little trip over the 4th and a lot of the time I was thinking about how I just wanted to get back home! I am still in the process of remodeling my recently purchased home so I think the trip made me realize that my time and money is best spent at home!
      As for makeup I have been wearing the same “5 minute face” to work Monday through Friday for about a year now but I don’t really care enough to change it. On the weekends I am a little more adventurous.
      I am contemplating getting a haircut, mine is past my shoulders and my ends look straggly, so I am thinking about a long bob.

  5. Niki says:

    I firmly believe that you can’t do your best at taking care of anyone else unless you are first taking care of yourself! Even if you can only find a few minutes a day, find a way to do something that’s just for you- a facial mask, a quick hand exfoliation followed by a lux lotion, eat a special snack you love, journal, read, watch garbage tv show you love, listen to a song that feeds your soul- anything that YOU want to do. And then, maybe sometimes you have a bit longer and you break out of your usual “me time” habits- a snack you’ve never tried, a different face mask, a book your friend loved but that isn’t your usual fare…or a brighter lipstick just for the hell of it. Small, seemingly insignificant shake ups, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Besides, girl, you’ve just had the biggest change if your life!! It’s ok to not push yourself too hard right now…your time to challenge yourself fully will come around again!!

  6. Shannon says:

    Hugs to you, Karen! I think we have to relearn how to do some things at certain points in our lives, be it with makeup or doing things outside our comfort zones πŸ™‚
    I’d start small, and remember you’re “re-learning” these things again… so maybe wear a bold lip one day. On another day, try a funky-colored liner, or something else you haven’t done recently. Take it in small chunks, and maybe don’t expect to don a full-blown 45-minute face when you’ve been keeping things simple.
    And you’ll get propelled out of your comfort zone soon enough, I’m sure! It just takes those same, small steps. And time, always. Looking up a local-ish destination… going somewhere new in your neighborhood… starting a new path (or starting again on an old path) doesn’t have to be revolutionary!

    But most of all, sending hugs and high fives. No matter what advice we may dispense your way, you’ll figure this out. We know you. You’ve got this. And we’re here in the meantime to give you e-hugs and encourage you as best we can.

  7. Jaclyn levy says:

    OK, deep question. What’s wrong with being in a “rut?” What’s wrong with habit and repetition? I think it can actually be a beautiful thing. Go borrow, rent or buy the movie “Hiro Dreams of Sushi.” It’s about a man who does the same thing day in and day out, perfecting his craft as a famous sushi master in Japan. It’s truly amazing. You will be inspired and maybe be better able to embrace and honor the routines in your own life. You might not be making $300 sushi dinners, but you are making a beautiful life.

  8. Tiffany says:

    I feel like I went through this too, but it took me 2.5 years after I had my baby to realize it! I just recently (March) realized I wasn’t really taking care of ME anymore… I joined a gym and started doing things I enjoy more (like makeup and face masks)… I really want to get back into reading. it’s hard to find time to do everything and take care of everyone, including ourselves. try to have patience with yourself and try to do something small everyday that makes you happy πŸ™‚ ruts can be okay too – it’s like having a signature look πŸ™‚

  9. Amy says:

    I think you just pushed yourself waaaaay out of your comfort zone with Miss Baby!! Pun sort of intended. Seriously, that’s major. I find that when huge changes come along – changes so big and fundamental I can hardly process them, at least not right away – sometimes I fall back on the small, predictable comfort of the same food, same makeup, same routine. So cut yourself some slack there, haha!! Priorities change, too. Maybe a different aspect of makeup or art, color, and life are more in sync with your new mom situation. Abailability and time change too!!! So I’d say look at all those great colors and textures and remember the fun you’ve had with them and ask, what’s my relationship with these like now? What stays the same, what changes? And know whatever the answer, it will be good.

  10. Ili says:

    I never, ever, comment on blog posts. However I so relate to what you are talking about that I HAD to this time!

    The only advice I can give you is this: Hang in there!!!! It will come back to you!!!! I’ve been there and, believe me, it will.

    All my life I was makeup crazy. Always! I remember going to my mom’s makeup drawer and slapping on everything I could find since I was 5-6 years old. I grew up and nothing changed… until I got pregnant.

    At 35 I was finally pregnant, after 2 years of trying! I felt so happy and blessed. And then morning sickness kicked in… only not just in the morning, but in the afternoon, evening, and middle of the night too!!!! To make matters worse, the offenders were not only food and perfumes (the usual stories you hear), but I got terrible nauseous when I got barely close to a bottle of makeup, mascara; a blush compact, an eye shadow palette; Lipsticks, lip balms, lip stains. They were all no-no-nos. It was horrible!!! I had to completely forsake all makeup for the duration of my pregnancy. I have never felt more horrible than when I was pregnant.

    BAby came. He filled me with such joy, realization, and amazement, that honestly I stopped caring about makeup. IT was just not there in my radar. I was so happily consumed by him, that I didn’t mind.
    Then I had to go back to work… and I sort of started caring, but looking my best was just so low my list of priorities, and I was so overwhelmed of all the things I needed to do each day, that I really did not care all that much.

    Then baby started growing, I got back in my zone, and slowly, little by little, small pieces of me started coming back. A little before my boy hit the year mark, the part of me that really cared about makeup came back. And it came back with a kick! My little boy is 19 months old now, and I can tell you two things: First, I had never, ever in my life, spent so much money in makeup as I have spent in the last 7-8 months. I am having much more fun than ever playing around with my makeup collection these days. Second, I finally feel the complete old me is back. But a version of me that is 10 times better than the old me. All the pieces that made me up are back, but now I also have a little person looking up to me that gives so much meaning to my life than I ever thought could be even possible.

    So, again, just hang in there, and roll with it. Enjoy these moments with your little girl, because believe me, this stage you are in goes by incredibly fast. Before you have time to realize how much she has grown, you’ll notice that your old creativity and excitement has come back to you!

  11. Eesha says:

    Hi Karen, such a frank and open post. I totally get what you are talking about. Whenever I am in this situation when I am not inspired at all, I take a step back and think what I like most and start switching things up a bit. And I follow this taking a step back in most of situations in life to see the larger picture, helps a lot.
    Eesha recently posted … Clean Glowing Dewy Skin with Matte Warm & Bright Pink Lip Look

  12. rtuko says:

    Give it time. When your baby is still really young, all your energy (rightfully) goes to her! Don’t worry, your energy will return, your interest in your hobbies will return. Just forgive yourself for the first year. I guarantee you that it will all come back after the first year or two….and will probably coincide with when the baby starts sleeping reliably through the night. LOL It certainly did for me! It’s also always harder with the first, because you’re still learning how to adjust to this upheaval in your former lifestyle and demands on your time….by the second (if you are having more) you will be back in your groove.

  13. Lulle says:

    Girl, a baby arriving in your life is definitely something that throws you out of your comfort zone. Way out! It basically redefined who you are. Maybe you’re just so focused on your new role as a mom that spending time on makeup feels impossible. Maybe you have so much to do throughout the day that when makeup time comes, you instinctively take the path of least resistance. Maybe becoming a mom altered your priorities in a way you haven’t wrapped your mind around yet. Give yourself time and don’t be so hard on yourself! Nude and no makeup is perfectly ok too if you feel good this way.
    If you still feel the excitement when you take your toys, I mean your makeup, out of your drawers, it means that the fascination is still there and eventually you’ll want to do a blended eye look with a gorgeous gradient that requires 8 eyeshadows! Maybe you can watch a few tutorials on Youtube to get back into the mood? Or re-start slowly with one eyeshadow as a wash, then add a second in the outer corner, and after a while you’ll feel like you need a crease color, a brow bone color…
    Anyways, I hope you find a way to be happy about you current makeup life! Hugs!
    Lulle recently posted … Makeup Duel – Radiance Primers: Becca vs. Guerlain!

  14. Syah says:

    So many people have written so many amazing things already. πŸ™‚ it’s helping me feel better about my own ‘rut’.

    For me, I find a lot of joy in classes to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one. I also recently switched up my skincare.

    thanks for being so honest and sharing with us your struggles. everyone goes through this at some point. you are not alone!
    Syah recently posted … Product Review: Living Proof Instant Texture Mist

  15. I have been there after having my daughter. I was in a rut with pretty much everything, makeup included, and felt as If my life was meant to be that way forever.
    The thing that helped me back then was taking a scary dream and making it my reality. For me that was starting a beauty blog. Now that is not an option for you for obvious reasons, but I am sure there is something similar for you. And once you pursue a dream of yours, you will find your way back to your old self.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … First Impressions: Pixi by petra makeup

  16. kellly says:

    I have a “rut” of standard makeup I wear every day. Sometimes I get an inspiration to change my eye shadow color but it’s usually just a natural skin tone color, shiny finish. This summer I went really wild (ha-ha.) and used a bronze color. No liner, lots of mascara and my favorite standby lipstick, Nars Banned Red.
    It looks good (to me, anyway) and if it’s not broke, why fix it? I work in an office so I don’t feel the need to go too extreme. For me, wild is khaki/gold eye shadow. Ha ha ha.

  17. Allison C says:

    I love the photo, Karen. I can only imagine how much your life has changed since little Connor Clare arrived. It’s an interesting question, can you be a beauty blogger if you stop wearing lots of makeup and the answer is certainly yes! I’m glad to hear that the ole muscle memory kicked in (not surprised for a minute about that!) and that you’re getting back in the groove. This summer, I haven’t been wearing a lot of makeup either although I fell in love with Mirabella’s bouncy, creamy eye shadows from their spring collection and I do take them out from time to time. Anyway, it’s your unique voice that I’m into. You can blog about whatever you want, and I’m interested. xoxo
    Allison C recently posted … Airbrushing with Luminess Air Makeup System

  18. Virginia says:

    It’s totally fine to feel like you’re in a rut! So much has changed for you! When I had my daughter I definitely felt like, dam. It’s like Groundhogs Day where it’s the same. Every. Dam. Day.

    What helped me is me making a deal with myself that today. ONE thing will be different. Whether it be my hair, eyes, lip, ..clothes. Whatever. One small change can lead to bigger ones. You’ll be fine ! You’re awesome. Just remember that.

  19. Pamela Haddad says:

    My dear, you always look fabulous! I think we come to a point where we know what looks best on us. And you’re rocking it, girl!

  20. denise S says:

    If we are blessed and lucky we get to live many lives in our short time on earth. The transitions can be tough. And sometimes we grieve the old life style. But eventually hopefully we adapt. Being a new Mom who has a precious life to care for 24 hours a day is a big adjustment. You’re body and way of doing things change a lot. You will learn what works for you as you go along. When you join Mommy/kid play groups , PTA and participate in kid activities , you’ll see a lot of “natural looking Moms” lol. A full face of makeup may take a back seat for a while. But you get other joys in it’s place. Luckily you are a natural beauty so it doesn’t take much to make you look pretty anyway!

  21. Ruchita says:

    So many great comments already! Having a baby is such a huge, life changing experience. Be kind to yourself and it’s okay if things change and the pace of life slows down a bit. <3

  22. Jenny says:

    Karen darling I know exactly how you feel. I’m a makeup loving exhausted mommy of 3, the little one being only 2 weeks younger than Connor. My secret weapon: Friday date nights! It gives me time to plan outfits and think about makeup looks. Hope that helps!

  23. Jessica says:

    Karen it takes a full entire YEAR for your body and hormones and junk to go back to “normal”…and normal is different than it was before getting pregnant.

    I don’t think you should worry about it too much. Don’t force it.
    Jessica recently posted … Tortie ACEO

  24. When I was pregnant with my second, somehow my morning sickness trickled over into being at my vanity. The thought of spending time doing my makeup made me queasy! Even after the actual morning sickness subsided, I felt really blah about makeup. Rather surprising since I’d otherwise do a full face every day. Might sound frivolous but buying some makeup sort of rekindled my enjoyment. Now with the two little ones, I’m almost always finding the time at some point to do my face. When I can do it alone, it’s some precious time to play around and experiment with finding the best base for my skin or doing a pretty eye look or bold lip. Other times it’s with a toddler hovering wanting to play with my makeup, but I still want to make the effort, it makes me feel pretty, put simply. No advice here, just my experience. Children make so many things different!
    Nicole – paleandfreckled recently posted … My No Fuss / No Brush Summer Look with Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in Fair

  25. kwmechelle says:

    For so many reasons, I feel ill-equipped to answer this question. I don’t have kids & thus, have no idea what life is like for a new mom. So many of the comments are outstanding, that I feel a bit out of my league. But I offer my humble thoughts, nonetheless. Life has changed dramatically for me in the past 7-8 years & I’m still going through a phase where I’m redefining myself & my new “normal”.
    1. Join a gym. Gyms can be mad expensive but they are great motivators, can help you target & meet goals for yourself, & can give you more energy. Bonus points if you have a gym partner to keep you motivated/accountable.
    2. Weekly date nights with the hubby- I babysit a lot & many of the families I sit for make date nights a regular occurrence. And it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. One couple even had a date night “in” with locked doors & Netflix- no kids allowed. Date night can also be a motivator for getting jazzed up or just having a long, hot bath. Library/ bookstore date nights, as well as walks on the beach are so relaxing. Sometimes, I sit for moms who just need a mom’s day out- they get massages or do whatever they want to kill the monotony & “find” themselves amidst the busyness of mom life.
    3. Free People- this website/magazine inspires me & gives me style direction. They’re pricey, of course, but I draw inspiration from their aesthetic.
    4. Journal- I have every journal since I was 14. Writing, as I’m sure you’re aware, is an outlet. But it also gets my creative juices flowing. I chronicle my life, feelings, & anything else I desire.
    5. Join a book club- like you need one more thing on your to-do list. Book clubs are awesome because they can foster & expand your community while enjoying a common interest with like-minded folk.
    6. Join a writing community- a bit different than a book club because this helps build professional connections & may give you new projects to pursue that can get you out of your comfort zone & challenge you.
    These are all that come to mind. Take these with a grain of salt from a single, childless woman- who’s redefining her own life. Much love from your east coast homie 😎

  26. Rachel R. says:

    Baby brain is real. Lack of sleep and hormones are probably still making it hard for you to focus. It’s perfectly normal, so don’t be too hard on yourself. I was the same way when I was having kids and when my kids were little. If I had time for makeup at all, it was usually an easy neutral eye, bareMinerals Rose Radiance for blush, black mascara, and lip balm (at home) or Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Lipgloss in a peachy-pink shade. I missed my more complex looks, but during those years, it was nice to have something fast, pretty, flattering, and inexpensive. I felt better and more human doing the same basic look everyday than I did not wearing makeup at all. I still do a similar look if I’m tired or overwhelmed. It’s a comfort and my brain can go on auto-pilot for one aspect of my life, at least!

    For me, it was overwhelming to try to go into pre-baby makeup right away. The first, easiest way out of that rut was to add a pop of blue, green, or purple eyeliner on the lower lashline, and to vary my lip color more. With all the colored mascaras out now, it would be easy to add bright lower lashes. Then I eased into colors on my lid.

  27. Amy says:

    Hi Karen – I just want to add to my comment above: after I had my baby and realized how demanding it all is and how much changes, for me, the underlying terror was that I wouldn’t have the time to both care for him well and return to my livelihood with the and passion, interest, and effectiveness. The economics of it were really, really importan to sort through. In your case, if your passion for makeup doesn’t come back right away and you have no time for it and everyone’s telling you how being a mom is the most important thing to focus on, how will you make a living?!? I totally had to work through this, and so do many, many other moms. For me, it took knowing how important my work was and carving out space to accomplish it on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis. Just not giving up. Getting the family and babysitting help I need; finding how to do that affordably; spending precious resources on a Housecleaner and prepared meals; reassessing constantly. Your voice and work are needed for you, your family, and a larger community.

  28. Isabel V says:

    Have you thought about starting out with one day a week of crazy makeup? I tend to do the same thing Monday-Friday (winged liner, mascara, coral-pink blush, and tinted balm) because it’s easy, it’s fast, and I don’t have to think too hard about it when I’m getting ready for work. If I change anything, I grab a different blush or a lipstick and I’m out the door! I take my time on the weekends though, and I make it a point to experiment with color and texture. It helps me feel like I’m making use of my big ol’ stash, and taking a little extra time to try different looks even gets me to change up my routine every once in a while! It’s like carving out an hour or two to practice any other hobby. All those blending skills will come back; your muscles just need a little reminder!

    If you’re feeling more ambitious, try giving yourself color assignments each week. Try purple one week, green the next, etc. and incorporate a product from that color family into your normal routine each day. You can do this with themes, too (e.g. the girls from thelipswatch on Instagram; they’re in the middle of a “Christmas in July” challenge, where they’re tying their lip looks in with the holiday).

  29. Aw, hun πŸ™ I think I know what you mean – despite not having kids myeself. I mean, I think it’s very normal that all these changes and this whole new lifestyle is making you stick to routines and patterns more. A day only has so many hours and a person only has so much energy. I don’t think I could do it, so kudos to all the new moms out there! I’m sure it’s just a phase though and that this will pass. And I believe doing make-up is like riding a bike, you don’t just ‘unlearn’.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Vlog | A Summer Forest Walk

  30. Shaf says:

    She is already 4 months.. before u know it she is going to be in school and then college and onwards.. and yes u will be wearing make up on all those occasions. The first baby is always the hardest and the bestest.. because everything is new.. come baby 2, 3 and so on.. u know what it takes and it gets a lot easier.. having said that i would also say enjoy these days.. they pass by so quick.. literally blink of an eye..
    What I did when my team was smaller, was choose 1 product per week which I would repeat the whole week everyday.. I did it for about a month with 4 products.. but then I have 3 kids and I forgot abt that..
    But I still wear make up.. regularly. It really does get easier πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Shaf. Good to know that it does get easier. You’re so right that about the time going by so fast! I feel like just yesterday was when she came home with us, and now she no longer fits into those teeny, tiny onesies. It’s bittersweet. How old are your kids?

  31. Erin says:

    If it really concerns you, start by mixing up one thing. Use a different color on the lips every day. Then after a few weeks start mixing up the liner color or so a pop liner on the bottom or waterline. There is also nothing wrong with a 5 minute face that you know makes you look and feel better.
    Erin recently posted … Rodney Strong 2014 Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc

  32. Prachi says:

    Appreciate your honesty! I have been through the exact same thing where I wanted to do things that I loved before baby but here was never enough time. It took me almost 10 months to get out of it. But every baby and every mom is different.
    Having said that, a few suggestions from my end:
    1. Once in 10 days (or whatever is comfortable, every week, every 15 days), schedule a dinner/ brunch or some outing with your girlfriends (they are the best for this πŸ˜€ ). Make an effort to dress up, try out different make up and go out. Let hubby or someone do baby sitting for a few hours.
    2. Get your hair done (a cut/ styling or any thing). If you are an expert, you can try something at home and then go out for a movie / date or a stroll.
    3. Spend a few hours every week of “me time”. You can challenge your creative self by creating a new look every week (or 15 days, whatever works).

    Just hang in there πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      This is great advice, Prachi. I have a girls’ date lined up with some friends for next weekend; it’s a great excuse to try a new liner or lip color.

      How many kids do you have? Connor is my first and only (not unless you count my cat Tabs, haha!).

      • Prachi says:

        I have a lil girl, she just turned 2 years πŸ™‚ and she is my only !
        Well you have a fun time with your lil girl and other girls πŸ™‚
        And really appreciate that with all this you still manage your blog…Way to go!

  33. I am in that same rut – not on makeup, but on work and life in general. My excuse had beem my unwell parents, but really, if I had wanted too, I can move along.

    I was interested in what others say so I read most of the comments above. But let me go slightly in a different scenario, one that I think had not been mentioned.

    Perhaps you just already found the balance for your own face. But you have a beauty blog, and you can not write about the same thing in every post. So, what about doing makeovers on others? Or…and this is rad, but going into a beauty business? I remember you cat cafe idea; that would totally work, Karen. Or how about working for one of the brands, maybe handling PR or outreach?

    Anyway, I hope the way reveals itself to you, and you find courage in moving toward new directions. Here, here!
    TravelingBlush recently posted … Mega Himalaya Herbals Face Wash Review: Neem, Exfoliating, Whitening, and Oil Control

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for the encouragement, and I hope that you, too, find courage in moving toward new directions. Perhaps we can motivate each other. πŸ™‚

  34. JCarbonel says:

    Karen! I love that you’re on Snapchat! I get so excited to see you active on social media and in your blog again πŸ™‚ As for makeup ruts, I know I am currently in one as I’ve been trying to finish up the same box of Coralista and pan my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer since January. However, I’ve always sought excitement in lip products. I’m not that adventurous when it comes to colorful eye looks, but I really love all kinds of lipstick shades. I force myself to wear a different lippy everyday, and it can’t just be nude lips. Start with one product you’d like to change up. Set it out front and center so you remember to use it, and hopefully the rest will follow!

    • Karen says:


      Thank you for the great advice. My goal for the weekend is to wear one new lip color on Saturday and another on Sunday. I think I can handle that. πŸ™‚

      Are you on Snapchat? What’s your handle so I can follow you?

  35. Gina B. says:

    You know Ms Karen, I get into ruts too with make up. There are lots of times that I skip my eyes (except to tightline the eye) completely. I have all this beautiful shadow – and I just don’t do it. I really have to “psych” myself up to do my eyes and have tons o time!!! I can only imagine what it would be with a little baby hon. Be gentle with yourself baby girl. You are swimming as fast as you can!!!!! It’s only make up!!!!! Have fun! That’s what I try and remember…..oh girl I have an ABH coming (my first) single shadow – Pink Champagne !!! It’s a stunner for the innermost part of the eye!!! I’m super excited!!!! Anyhoodles, just enjoy Ms. Karen, have fun with it, live in this precious moment fully, with love!!!! Gina and Gracie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gina and Gracie,

      Your new eyeshadow sounds delightful. I love a bright inner highlight. πŸ™‚ Have you had the chance to wear it yet?

      Thanks for all the good thoughts and good vibes!

      • Gina B. says:

        Hi Karen and Tabs, and Connie Claire!!! No hon, it’s not due until Tuesday but I cannot wait! I’ve seen it demoed and it’s beautiful! I’ll put it in my Z-pallette with my Make Up Geek ones. It’s my first Anastasia. It goes on with MAC fix Plus like cray-cray!!!!! I’m beyond excited!!!

        Your welcome for the vibes!!!

        Grace and Peace,
        Gina and Gracie.

  36. Aprillia says:

    Part of it is age, and neural pathways. Part is new baby, and energy. Emilynoel83 did a challenge where she separated her single eyeshadows. …blab la blah, the video is worth watching.
    Take a bunch of non nude items from all categories and put them in a bag. Pick one out of the bag to use. Just one. Then incorporate it into your look.
    Above all, do what makes you happy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Aprillia,

      Thanks for the heads up on Emily’s video. I’ll check it out.

      The advice to use just one thing also really helps, so thanks for that too.

      I hope that you had a nice Friday. What’s your plan for the weekend?

  37. Chris25 says:

    I think, perhaps, this is not a rut so much as a chance to think things out? πŸ™‚ Maybe a break is what you need to mull over your thoughts and think about what you want to do in the future.
    Chris25 recently posted … Charming Charlie Haul I

    • Karen says:

      Hey Chris,

      Maybe it is. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I guess we all need that space to breathe and contemplate where we’re going. Maybe this is the universe telling me to take a few breaths!

  38. Nora says:

    I haven’t seen anyone else comment on this, so I’ll throw out there that it’s *possible* your body and vitamins and hormones are still WAY out of whack. While I haven’t had kids (yet?) I know how affected I become when I don’t regularly take vitamin D. It truly makes a great difference in my low level anxiety and depression. And since most of the American population is vit D-deficient, I like to make people aware of how much it can affect you. Joining a gym or regular exercise are both fabulous suggestions and will assuredly help in some ways, but if your body and brain are running on “empty,” you may be pushing them too far.

    Maybe combine a health focus with a new hobby or skill, as others have suggested. Maybe a food challenge – pretend it’s Lent (if that’s your thing!) and remove one major food item or habit that you regularly use and see how you have to adjust your life without it for a short time!

    Or go do something with somebody you love and let their enthusiasm for that thing infect you over time. Ask them why they love what they’re doing and gain a new appreciation of that thing and the person you’re with. πŸ™‚

    Love from Louisville! You can do it and remember that you’re gorgeous without makeup in the first place, too!

  39. LeeLee B says:

    I loved your post. Thank you so much. You asked for advice: I think you should be easier on yourself. Four months old is so young for a baby: you are still in the really hard stage of parenting in terms of sleep deprivation and loss of your own identity. Plus, the lack of sleep is cumulative. For me, it was, geez, like 9 months to a year AFTER “baby sleeps through the night” to recover in terms of brain fog and feeling blah and/or cranky. So, my baby was finally sleeping a 6 hour stretch at 8 months old (our 1st child was the worst sleeper EVER). He was fine, terrific, great, all smiles; but me? I was a train wreck not just for those 8 months, but really until he was 14 months old!

    For makeup: try some fun things in terms of new delivery systems innovations that streamline. I am just coming out of my “mom makeup” stage (that baby is now 10, my youngest is 6). To me, mom makeup is not plain or blah or necessarily a more natural face: it is makeup you can do super quick, on the go, that lasts all day. It is above all stuff that makes you look less exhausted. My go to for those years was Mally’s shadow sticks: swipe swipe on my lid, 30 sec to blend with fingertip if needed (I never needed to) and done. I like the color “Twilight” best: it is a shimmer cool vanilla (idk, I am not good describing colors!). It is really pretty & made me look awake. It looks great with mascara. Fyi – some of her shadow sticks the last few years are a little too micro-glittery for me (I think “fun” glitter doesn’t really go with an exhausted face and an infant on the hip). I also love gel or cream blush (less tools, and the moisture works well on a tired face). Blush was my savior when my kids were babies: it made me look happy and rested, and seeing that in the mirror helped me get through it all. Tubing mascara is great (LOVE L’Oreal Double extend, and the new Too Cool For School’s Escalator mascara [super black]). I also really like Mally’s eyeliner in Lucky Penny: lasts all day, goof proof, and the coppery color added brightness to my eyes. Still love it now. To spoil yourself, go for something in upscale packaging. Amore Pacific cushion compact’s giant silver compact is so cool, it is super fun to use, you feel hip again, and the formula has a bit of glow that eliminates a tired look. The new YSL Volupte tint-in-oil is luxurious, smells special, is innovative. If you want color fun, I love kat Von D’s ink liner in Nerdrum. The bright blue makes it look like you are part of the makeup world again (the anti-“mom jeans” eye!), but it is quick to apply and lasts all day. With Nerdrum, I also lay brown liner super close to my lash line (NYX glossy liner in Perfect Brown) to tone it down a bit.

    It’s okay to have your makeup in a “routine” for this stage in your life. You are smart. You are streamlining because it’s not just about time to get ready, you just don’t have the mental or emotional reserves to delve into a complicated multi-step look. That part of your life will come back.

    Thank you again for writing such a thoughtful piece, I really enjoy your website.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leelee B,

      Thank you so much for these wonderful tips and for writing such a kind, sweet comment.

      You’ve got some great ideas here, and I think it’s time to break out some eyeshadow pencils. That bright blue Kat Von D blue liner also sounds like something special; I’ve been hoarding a gift card and I think it’s time to finally make use out of it. πŸ™‚

      Happy Saturday to you, and I hope that you’re having a nice weekend so far. What are you and your kids up to? I’m going to a nearby farm to get some organic produce, and then I’m going to putter around the house and clean for a bit.

  40. Sara Lumbreras says:

    Hi Karen! Somebody told me once that life was a sequence of rollercoasters and lazy beaches – we need the beach vacation to recover from the rollercoaster… enjoy yours!

  41. Kelsey says:

    It sounds like your nude lip routine is bumming you out, even though it’s quick and easy. Maybe try doing one-shadow looks with something a little more colorful. Or if you do have 10-15 minutes alone, follow a makeup tutorial for a look you wouldn’t normally do. It might at least give you some color or technique inspiration.

  42. brittany says:

    As I was seeking a new makeup routine, I started slowly eliminating what I wanted to get rid of and continue to use. For example, if you like the same foundation and mascara, keep it. Don’t bother getting rid of it for a new formula that would feel like a waste of time.

    Eyes- I got stuck with neutrals. I love them. I haven’t change this look that much, but to add more spice, I’ll pair a liquid liner with a bold color on the bottom. When I started changing the eyes, everything else (cheeks and lips) started falling into place. The cheeks and lips just kinda had more of a natural flow with the change of the eye makeup.

    I personally feel my makeup rut had something to do with me getting older, growing up and maturing on beauty, and not caring for specific looks. I am in my 20s but stayed in a rut for over 2 yrs and have enjoyed the benefits of leaving certain things behind. I felt better about myself and makeup became fun again. There are endless ways to change a makeup rut.

  43. Fran says:

    Karen, you’re still at the beginning of one of the biggest (if not the biggest) adventures you’ll ever have — Connor is only four months old!

    Babies thrive on routine, and we’re so relieved when we finally get them into one, so we’re not stumbling around in a daze — but that routine feels tedious to us.

    Your life is so different from what it was just a year ago…

    And you might not feel totally exhausted all the time now, but there probably isn’t a whole lot of time and energy left over for cultivating new things.

    So, cut yourself a break, lol!

    It could be fun to tweak hair and makeup looks in simple ways. Maybe look on youtube and find some funky braids and buns that would be cute and comfortable for summer and can be executed in five minutes once you get the hang of them. Practice a couple while Connor’s napping. Sometimes different hair can inspire different makeup.

    With makeup, realistically, it’s going to be hard to add more than a couple of minutes to your routine most days, although it might be fun to plan one day a week to spend an hour while Connor’s napping trying a look you’ve never tried before — maybe even something you wouldn’t wear out of the house, just to see how it looks and get a chance to play with your makeup again. Like pick a look from a Kevyn Aucoin book, or Lisa Eldridge’s web site, and just try it out!

    For everyday living, maybe try a wash of one color of eyeshadow instead of liner one morning for a softer look. Or take a couple of extra minutes to add a fail-safe cheek color that doesn’t require a lot of blending (MAC Pearl Blossom beauty powder works great for that on my cool, light complexion, and I think it works on a lot of skin tones and looks great in summer — but maybe something like one of the new Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powders, or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer, would work better on your complexion). For something playful, try a colored mascara, instead of black, maybe matching your eyeliner to it. Try wearing a different lip color every day for a few days, or change lip colors halfway through the day. Really, getting any makeup at all on your face when you have an infant to take care of is an accomplishment, setting your expectations too high could just result in frustration. But maybe try to give yourself a couple of minutes to try something new and different and playful.

    It might be really fun to get something like the Make Up For Ever Flash Color palette and some brightly colored eye and lip pencils and a face painting book, and paint crazy (but fun, not scary) faces on yourself for Connor’s amusement, while she watches Just keep an eye on her reactions and make sure she’s enjoying watching the transformation, since some kids get scared of faces that look outside the norm. Or try painting her toenails (unless she puts her feet in her mouth) and see if she seems interested in the process or the result.

    Just my thoughts. I myself would like to find a way to do much faster eye makeup. Eyeshadow seems to be the thing I give up on if I have to be out the door in a hurry, even though it’s the part of makeup I love the most. Just getting my complexion perfected, my eyes and brows defined a bit, a hint of color on my cheeks and a brighter swipe of color on my lips seems to be all I can manage most days. Eyeshadow won’t last on me without primer, and a one-color wash doesn’t do much for my hooded lids. I need a new, fast eye look myself πŸ™‚

  44. Katherine M says:

    I haven’t had a baby (and very unsure if that will be in my future with my given career in law enforcement), but I have had makeup ruts due to the lifestyle change of being in this career. I have to wear my hair above the collar and it has to be pretty neat. So that typically means a lot of buns and French tucks and you can’t get much more creative than that. As for makeup, it has to look pretty natural. I wear a lot of nudes and a lot of simple makeup.

    So what I do is I maximize things on my days off. I dress in cute clothes and try some different makeup looks. A good setting spray will make my makeup last for hours. It’s easy to get in a rut when you are in a time crunch and don’t have as much time for yourself as you used to. With a baby, your time is devoted completely to figuring out a schedule that works and making sure she is happy. With my career, I was just too tired in the academy to do anything more than study and try to plan something fun for my weekends off.

    I’d start out slow. Add a pop of color with the nude, easy look. Maybe a different liner on the lower lash line or a pop of teal in the outer corner with nude shadows.

  45. Kim says:

    You know I’m the worst one to give advice on this since I’m a huge fan of routine in makeup application! πŸ™‚ I feel like I could be challenged more professionally, too, but weigh that against the freedom it gives my personal life. Lots of vacation time, very livable wage and the flexibility to coach and/or attend all my boys’ sports and school events. You may feel differently as Connor gets older but, I have so much going on outside of work that it makes up for not pushing my profession boundaries. That said, I don’t have the same creative drive that you do, and I’m pretty content to be comfortable. I do think you’ll find a balance, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Having a baby is a HUGE life changer; there’s no shame in taking some time to adjust. πŸ™‚

  46. Christiane Span says:

    Hi Karen! by the way, this is my first time visiting your blog! I’m from Brazil. Anyway… I just wanted to say I loved your post and I definitely can understand (and relate to!) what you’re talking about and I think it doesn’t matter that much that you had a baby, I think all of us sometimes go through those periods in life and even though I quite not figured out yet what it the purpose of those moments I believe things do go back to normal at some point and then we feel more prepare to make some changes or try something new in life. Thanks for that though, it is good to feel I am not alone. πŸ™‚

  47. Lauren says:

    Love your honesty and posts like this. Big hugs to you, Karen. I’m also in a life rut which is effecting my make up and fashion! What I did was FORCE and I mean FORCE myself to get to the MAC counter simply for inspiration. Having the buzz of people around, lights, beautiful colors helped. I think you need to schedule a date with a girlfriend or yourself and treat it as a job interview. You can’t be late, must be polished and can’t cancel. And get out in the world! People are very inspirational even if you’re just people watching! You may see a beautiful girl with impecable makeup at a coffee shop. Ask where her lipstick is from! Small talk will make you smile which will recharge your creative side. You can do this, my friend!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Lauren. I’m about to force myself to get out in the world in about 20 minutes. Gonna do some window shopping and people watching, which will hopefully fill my metaphorical well up a little. πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for your sweet comment!

      • Lauren says:

        Good for you, Karen! I really hope that gettimg out helped! Trust me you are not alone and we are all here for you. Having a baby is in the top 5 of life’s major stressors.

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