Mary Katherine Backstrom, editor of Mom Babble, is here to tell us what a mom’s beauty routine really looks like in the morning. She’s not holding back, and we are here for it.
In a video released today that’s swiftly going viral, Backstrom walks us through the steps of “getting ready” while the kids alternately watch Mickey Mouse and try to kill each other downstairs. This would be depressingly familiar if it weren’t so utterly relatable and hilarious.
She starts with the toothbrush. She’d brush her teeth on camera for us, she explains, but there’s a hair in the brush and that’s just nasty. She also shields us from the deodorant application, which is important because she says that, “No one is looking at your beautiful face if you smell like a sock.”
Other unconventional beauty techniques follow. Backstrom gets in a mirror and “looks real close” for the hairs that should not be: chin hairs, nose hairs. Most people would pluck them out with tweezers, a more long-lasting solution that takes a shit ton of effort. Backstrom metaphorically says fuck that (metaphorically because her Southern mouth would never deign to form the F-word, bless her heart). Instead, she uses her husband’s razor to shave her chin.
A much more practical solution when you’ve got one episode of Mickey to make this shit happen. Also something more of us have done than we would care to admit on the internet. “Who needs tweezers,” she demands, “when you can shave like a man?!”
Something busted open in her makeup bag and her powder is over four years old with a big hole in the middle. Powder, according to Byrdie, is supposed to last 3–6 months, but motherkind looked at that expiration date and collectively said “screw that.” Backstrom rubs it all over her face with a sponge that probably dates from the early Obama administration.
Blush? She (and you) are almost out, but ain’t nobody got time to buy more. So you use the little bit on the edge and then rub some more powder over it “so you don’t look like a harlot.”
And because she’s such a giver, she’s also got some makeup recommendations for us:
You find the one eyeliner in her case (and probably yours): Wet n Wild!,* which doesn’t have a cap because 1) quick access, and 2) your baby probably ate it. Backstrom applies it to her lower-eye area, then realizes Mickey still has more time and does the top of her eyes as well. This is decadent. “I have eyeliner on both my eyes now which is way more than I usually do on a regular basis,” she says.
She also recommends Maybelline eyeshadow,* which, she says, you can pick up for $3 at the drugstore when you remember to get tampons. She also semi-recommends — or at least uses — ouchless rubber bands* which she uses to tie her hair back while she applies Maybelline eyeshadow to her gray roots. Life hack.
By now she’s yelling at the kids downstairs not to hit each other and to make sure no one’s choking on a waffle. I want to jump through the computer screen and hug her or high-five her because we have all been there.
Her husband even surprises her by (literally) popping in for a cameo.
And that’s the point of the whole video: We’ve all been there, desperately trying to get ready and look decent, knowing we probably look exactly the same at the beginning as we do at the end, and all the while praying our kids aren’t killing each other or destroying personal property. Backstrom captures the feelings of getting ready for drop-off — or just for a trip to Target — pitch-perfectly. She’s funny, she’s feisty, and she’s dropping truth bombs. I’m gonna use that razor trick sometime.
*All makeup recommendations are approximations, not the exact product.