Look Awake When You’re Really, Really Tired: 5 Favorite Beauty Products for Moms.


I could start this with some babble about eyes being windows to the soul, but in my case, they’re windows to the nine months I’ve gone without a full night of sleep. My dark circles are the custom tapestries. But it’s nothing a Sephora run can’t fix (or hide). Over the past few months of fine-tuning my beauty routine to meet the constraints imposed by less sleep and less time, I’m solidly hooked on a few eye products. 

1.  Petitfee Black Pearl & Gold Hydrogel Patches
I love slapping on a couple of patches early in the a.m. to give my tired eyes a little life. Coffee for your peepers, let’s call it. These sparkly gel pads aim to rejuvenate, de-puff, and smooth fine lines in 30 minutes. But I said “aim.” I’m not going to pretend you’ll peel these away and look Facetuned, but this Amazon beauty buy scores points in several areas. They do subtly brighten and hydrate, which is great for pre-concealer prep (see below). They tingle for a cooling sensation, which makes me feel awake even if I’ve only got one eye open. They are glittery (extra points for this). It’s part of the hip Korean beauty trend. Mostly, it’s $10 for a tub of 30 pairs. Available at Amazon, $10.

2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage
My kid’s not a great sleeper. I don’t want to walk around feeling like I have a dollop of paint under my eyes, but I need a concealer that can work some magic. (More magic than the Merlin Sleepsuit.) This bad boy covers dark circles with a small droplet and is so light you can’t feel it. It’s long lasting and buildable for more or less coverage, depending on the number of hours you’ve clocked. Available at Sephora, $31.

3. Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer
Contouring feels like the equivalent of wearing a triple-padded bra. (What happens when you take it off?) But highlighter. [Enter sparkles emoji.] That’s a trend wave I can’t stop riding. I proudly hit Whole Foods looking like a disco ball. (Is it highlighter or humidity? Who knows!) This pretty bottle pumps out a champagne-hued liquid with micro crystals for a sheer glow that’s not glittery. I like to tap it along my cheekbones, pump some into lotion for collarbones and shoulder tops, or just mix right in with foundation for all-over radiance and just enough glow to suggest I’m alive despite the sleep deprivation. As a skincare product, it also improves the skin with argan oil and brightening ingredients. Available at Sephora, $26.

4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
I like to do with my eyebrow hairs what I wish I could do with the rest of my life: organize. Cleaning up the brows is an easy way to put a little polish on an otherwise unkempt face. This brow gel in clear is foolproof. To borrow hairspray jargon, it has a soft, flexible hold. It works well over brows filled with pencil or solo and comes in colors, too. Available at Ulta, $22.

5. Eyelash Lift
While I love batting my lashes at everything that moves when I’m wearing eyelash extensions, I just don’t have the time for the hours of installation and maintenance anymore. An alternative: the keratin lift treatment at Pure & Couture. Eye gal Anastasiia Kuziak does all things brow and eyelash (including extensions) at the Destin salon and offers an hour-long treatment called CurlPerfect Lash Lift, which dramatically lifts your lashes and lasts six weeks. No lash maintenance. No limitations on which products you can use. No sad eyelash fallout effect. Also, you get to lie still for an hour doing nothing during broad daylight.

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After years of holding various editorial posts, including the shopping and beauty editor, at a magazine in Dallas, Raya found herself swept off her feet by her now military husband. Saying goodbye to family, friends, and her favorite shops, she decamped to Destin to pursue beachside married life, freelance writing and incorporating color into her mostly-black wardrobe. The sartorial transformation was not a success, but she did find joy in the freedom of working from home and even more in becoming a mom to their tiny guy, Finn. Though she left big city life behind, her arsenal of beauty products traveled with (Sorry, Charlie!). Now with a tot on her hip, Raya is navigating motherhood, working to cultivate style, beauty and substance in all corners of their messy new life. Her heart flutters for girl power, champagne, and a good, glowy makeup look. A trifecta, if you ask her.   Find her on Instagram at @myvioletheart.


  1. Love the great tips! I just ordered the eye patches and have been using the concealer for several months, so thanks for the validation! At 54 there is not much that needs illuminating with my skin but it does look fabulous on you. ??

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Sherry! Thanks so much for your response. That concealer is pretty amazing. And you’re never too old to illuminate! Go get ’em! ? xo

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