Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

These $6 Lipsticks Are Giving Me Life

I appreciate the power of makeup. When I'm on Youtube, I always end up in a tutorial K-hole. I can spend hours watching people expertly blend foundation over their blemishes, swipe on eyeliner and mascara without stray lines or clumps, and contour in such a way that makes it look like their faces are always under optimal lighting. I watch these makeup mavens meticulously pick out their beauty products, and secretly wish that I could do what they do. But I just don't have those skills.

In real life, I’ve never had the patience for makeup. It was just easier to let my friends do it for me. That way, I didn’t have to learn what color eye shadows go above or below the eye crease, or how to do the perfect cat’s eye. But that didn’t stop me from going to the nearest drug store and impulse buying whatever makeup I found attractive, just in case I decided to learn how to use makeup later.

Now that I'm a mom, having a collection of unused makeup just didn’t make sense anymore. I no longer have the time to use it, and I don't have the money to keep buying new products. I don’t even have time to take a shower until later in the day, much less make my face look presentable. The only way I avoid looking unkempt is applying a bit of hair product, running my fingers through my hair, and swiping lipstick on.

That’s where my obsession with Colourpop lip products comes in.

Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

Colourpop is a cruelty-free beauty brand based in Los Angeles. The company's lip products come in a wide range of colors, from pinks, reds, and nudes to darks, purples, and corals, so you can be sure you'll find at least one shade that looks good with your skin tone. Colourpop also frequently offers promotions like free shipping and free products if you spend a certain amount, so if you're a makeup hoarder like me, it's a godsend. And the most important thing of all? At $6 per lipstick, they are dirt. Freaking. Cheap.

I’m a busy mom, so I’m not inclined to spend more than five minutes on a makeup routine. I'm never going to make the effort to look like Kylie Jenner. And while I enjoy watching makeup tutorials and getting my face done by professionals, my personal beauty routine doesn't really involve many products, so it's important to me to find a few good, cheap products. Because these lipsticks are $6 a pop, it was easy for me to amass a huge collection, and all of them make me feel sexy and beautiful as hell.

Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

This is what my routine is like: Upon waking up, I check to see if my 14-month-old son is awake. If he is, I change him and breastfeed for a bit before serving him baby cereal and formula. If not, I take our dog out so he can pee and poop and feed him his food. After a super quick breakfast, I spend the entire morning making sure my son is entertained and my dog is not stressed and barking. Then I'll swipe on some lipstick.

I put lipstick on every morning, even if I don't have time to put on anything else. Any how-to guide will tell you that when you’re in a pinch and only have time to highlight one part of your face, you should highlight your best feature. For me, that's my full lips. Plus, lipstick is easy to touch up if needed, and convenience is important when you’re a mama on-the-go.

Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

I am happy I decided to build a Colourpop lipstick collection. It’s one of a handful of things that make me feel pretty and put together postpartum. I make sure I have one everywhere — in the diaper bag, in my stroller tear-away purse, even in my husband’s cargo shorts pocket. More importantly, as a mom who frequently finds herself needing that extra confidence boost, finding a beauty brand that you like that doesn’t require an even bigger beauty budget is pretty special.