"HOW long is your `prep time' before leaving for work in the morning?"

I curiously asked this question to several working moms and the range of answers I got was from 30 minutes to one hour. This included taking a shower, putting on makeup and blow-drying hair.

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On the other hand, there were some low maintenance mommies who skip the makeup and fixing the hair part and just dash off to the office barefaced and with wet hair. They remarked, "I just don't have the time" or "I'm clueless about makeup".

Personally, I feel better and more confident leaving the house with makeup on. It only takes me around 5 minutes. I stick to the basics such as face powder to lessen the shine; eyebrow pencil to softly frame the eyes; eyeliner to widen my chinita eyes; and light lipstick.

There are days though that I want to do something beyond my usual look and experiment with eye shadow, blush and mascara. What's stopping me? My problem is typical among fellow moms, "I don't know how!"

The Skin Care Makeup

Last week, I had a fun and enlightening experience talking about makeup with Judith Barran, President of True Scents and Minerals Inc., the exclusive Philippine distributor of Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics.

Described as the makeup for the new millennium, Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup is formulated with "pure micronized minerals and pigments". The makeup is all-natural and contains no oil to clog or enlarge pores and no talc, which can dry the skin. Each product is free of perfume, alcohol, chemical additives and artificial dyes.

Judith came to know about Jane Iredale products in Canada where she has been based for over two decades with her husband Lloyd, a pharmacist.

"I was having problems with skin pigmentation so I visited my dermatologist. During my consultation, I got intrigued with the Jane Iredale brochures in the clinic which was touted as the Skin Care Makeup. I read that it was nourishing and soothing and highly recommended by plastic surgeons and dermatologists for those with rosacea, acne and other sensitive skin conditions", says Judith.

After trying the products herself, Judith became hooked. While concealing her minor flaws, the mineral cosmetics actually improved her skin as she continued to wear them.

"It's so pure you can even sleep with makeup on. Your skin can breathe,"

Judith attests.

Mommy ‘mineral makeover'

Jane Iredale has an extensive collection of cosmetics including mineral foundations, concealers, blushes, bronzers, shadows, eyebrow gels, mascara, lip color and application tools.

During my chat with Judith, these products were put to the test by premier makeup artist Otoi Mercado with young mommy models Jackie Cutler-Gallego and Ola Villa Abrille-Obsines.

After less than twenty minutes, I was definitely impressed. I must say the results were absolutely stunning and natural. Jackie, who is a mother of three, looked radiant and fresh in her day makeup while Ola, mother of one and who is pregnant with her 2nd baby, was glowing and ready to party in her night makeup.

Otoi shares that "good makeup is like wearing no makeup. It should enhance and polish your features so you look put-together effortlessly."

Here are some useful tips I learned from the Mommy ‘Mineral Makeover':

*Start with a clean face. Moisturize and use sun block.

*To achieve the appearance of smooth and flawless skin, use foundation. Put concealer only if you need to: under the eye and on blemishes, redness or dark spots. Apply pressed powder to contour the face. (Must-try: Jane Iredale's (J.I.) Liquid Mineral Foundation, Active Light Under-Eye Concealer and Pressed Powder)

*Brush your eyebrows into shape, and use an eyebrow powder or soft eyebrow pencil to define them.

*Have a set of 2 or 3 eye shadows: one very light to highlight the area of the eyes. The other two shadows should be of a color that you like. Both colors should be coordinated, one lighter than the other. You can do two tones of the same color.ÿ(Must-try: J.I.'s Pure Pressed Eye Shadow)

*Apply the lighter shadow all over the eye area. Use the medium shade over the eyelid and the darker shade over the eye crease and outer half of the eyelid.

*Curl your eyelashes.

*Line your upper eye as close to the lashline as possible with the eyeliner. Smudge it into the lashline to soften the look.

*Apply a coat of mascara.

*Apply blush lightly to the apples of your cheeks. To find the apples of your cheek, smile widely - that fleshy part of your cheek is the apple. (Must-try: Jane Iredale's Pure Pressed Blush and Bronzer)

* Apply a coat of colored lip gloss. (Must-try: Jane Iredale's Pure Gloss for Lips)

Day to night makeup magic

Want to turn your day makeup to night? Check out these quick makeup magic tricks from http://make-up-application.suite101.com:

"*Take out the shine. Retouch your powder but be careful about piling on too much.

*To add some sexy oomph to your eyes, line your upper eye with your dark pencil or eye shadow powder. Lining with eye shadow powder will have a softer effect than pencil eyeliner and it can easily be built up if necessary.

*Blend the eyeliner into your lashline and up onto your lid slightly for an effortlessly smoky sexy look. You may also wish to blend the dark shade up into your crease for even more definition and/or along your bottom lashline for an extra smoky eye.

*Apply lip gloss. Remember to choose a neutral shade if you want to really play up your eyes and a brighter shade if you want to play up your lips (keeping your eyes as the secondary focus)."

And, what's one of Otoi's most important beauty secrets? "Having a happy outlook will make your face glow naturally. Polish everything with a smile!"

With these easy-to-follow tips, applying makeup is something you can squeeze in your everyday routine. No more excuses...you can look fab in under twenty minutes!

The Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup is available at True Scents and Minerals Inc. located at Unit 17, Paseo de Legaspi Compound, J.P. Rizal-Legaspi Streets.

Join the Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup Workshop (maximum of 6 persons) every other Saturday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at the True Scents and Minerals Inc. The workshop will teach makeup basics on how to look gorgeous naturally. For a change, make the beauty workshop as your bonding time with your girlfriends! For registration, please contact tel. 282-1751.

Special thanks to Karloz Alba for the photos.

E-mail mom.about.town.dvo@gmail.com. Visit www.momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com.