fresh sugar lip treatmentIf there’s someone who knows about beauty products for moms, it’s Amy Keller Laird. As the beauty director of beauty and style bible Allure, she gets her hands on practically every product on the market (I know! We’re jealous too!) and helps decide which ones receive Allure‘s prestigious Best of Beauty award.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to her about her mommy must-haves, since Amy’s a mom to a 21-month-old son herself. Here’s all the scoop on which products she thinks are not to be missed.

[don’t miss a ton of great products and ideas after the jump!]

CMP: So first of all, what are your diaper bag essentials?
AKL: I always have lip balm. I love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.
It has SPF 15 and is in a tube. I don’t like anything in a pot that I’d
have to apply with my fingers–I’m a germaphobe! I also have black
eyeliner in my bag. It’s one of those things that make it look like you
put in a lot of effort. I line the rims, it’s an instant perk up and so
much easier than lining the top lashes

CMP: After lots of diaper changing, I find hand cream is an essential. What are your favorites?
AKL: I love Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream, it’s not too heavy and once you put it on you can totally see a difference. I also use Cortaid Cream.
It has 1% hydrocortisone in it, which can really thin the skin, so I
don’t use it on a regular basis–only when my hands are really rough and

la roche posey anthelios 45CMP: We’re big believers in sunscreen. Any brands you love that we might not be aware of?
AKL: My new favorite is La Roche Posey Anthelios 45 Ultra-Light Fluid for Face, it’s light enough so you can put makeup on top of it and it has great protection. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch on my body and Blue Lizard Sensitive for my son.

CMP: For those times you find yourself in a department store, what are your favorite splurge items?
AKL: I love all lipstick from YSL–they
make the best bright colors, I especially love the #19 Fuschia, it’s so
beautiful. You can actually use the gold tubes themselves as a mirror.
If I was ever going to spend $500 on a face cream it would be Cle de Peau La Creme, it’s so velvety and luxurious. I also love the White Mulberry Liquid Hand Wash from Molton Brown, it smells great and looks so beautiful in the bathroom.

CMP: Here’s one that every mom probably wants to know: The best products to tackle under-eye bags and dark circles.
I like to use concealer from a tub because I find it to be more opaque
than the wands. I put it on and let it sink in for a minute to let the
texture soften and melt into the skin, then I pat it back in and blend. I
also love the Olay Definity Eye Illuminator Treatment
for dark circles. It contains mica so it immediately brightens. It’s
won an Allure Best of Beauty award and a Breakthrough award. Beige
eyeliner at the lower lashes, which we saw a lot of backstage at the
shows, neutralizes the redness of the inner rims and can make you look
more awake.

CMP: Any tips on doing a 5 minute face? It’s always so hard to get the kids ready in the morning and not walk out the door looking terrible.
I start with tinted moisturizer, then do cream blush and a little
translucent powder. I apply mascara to upper and lower lashes and lastly
a tinted lip balm. The key is using products you can apply with your

CMP: What do you believe moms should skimp on, and what is worth spending the money on?
truly believe you can find great products at every price point. There
is so much great research and development at every level–even the
drugstore level.

colormark root touch up wandCMP: Is there a product you relied on throughout your pregnancy?
The ColorMark Root Touch Up Wand.
I have gray roots along my hair line, but didn’t want to dye my hair
every three weeks like I usually do. The wand is genius because it
deposits liquid color that doesn’t turn crunchy or look obvious.

CMP: What are your top beauty tips for new moms?

Get a good haircut, it really pays off. Tell your stylist that you want
to be able to let your hair air dry, so you don’t have to spend the
time sculpting and styling it every day. If you only have time to apply a
couple products, choose mascara and blush, they are going to have the
most impact. I would also look for multitasking products. Make things
easy for yourself and get products that do double duty.