29/08/2013 07:55 BST | Updated 29/08/2013 07:55 BST

How To Do The School Run Without Looking Like You've Just Been Dug Up

'School Run Style' guides usually revolve around monumental grooming efforts combined with 'easy' ways to emulate celebrities chic 'School Run looks' that, in reality, reek of being laid out the night before - by their stylist.

I've been partaking in this potential 'Bushtucker Trial' for nearly a year now, and I therefore (sort of) feel qualified to chip in with a few 'handy' tips.

If, like me, you are neither use nor ornament in the morning, and simply hit snooze and roll over when the alarm goes off, leaving little time for blow drying hair and applying 'no make up' make up (which rather laughably takes far longer than just putting some visible make up on). And, if, instead of dressing in that classic, well put together (I repeat, edited by a stylist) minimal, chic way, you tend to hurriedly select something from your floordrobe, here is my bluffer's guide:

Make Up

Remember Rod Stewart's (rather harsh, but true) advice to his lover in 'Maggie May'. 'The Morning Sun When It's In Your Face Really Shows Your Age.' Therefore:

1.Get an eyelash tint.

2.Wear lip balm. Do not spend a fortune on this, they all look the same once applied.

3. Wear a good eye cream to wake up, calm and give a glow to morning eyes. For this I love Aromatherapy Associates Firming Eye Serum.

4. Wear a tiny bit of blusher. A cream one is fresher on morning skin, but when I don't have time (can't be bothered) I have found that one can achieve a similar effect by simply turning the car heater up full blast.

5. Bronzer. Don't bother. You will always, only ever, look orange.


I cannot manage groomed hair. So I work a wonky ponytail. I detract from this shoddiness by fastening it with a Hillier Bunny Hair bobble. I'm sure everyone is far too busy admiring that to notice that I cannot remember when I last had a trim.


'The right or wrong look for the school run can make or break parent friendships'.

It's tricky. I have fallen into the trap of buying things with the school run in mind that I would never have dreamed of wearing before. But, after catching sight of myself in a shop window wearing the most ghastly blouse, I vowed to simply dress as myself.

Yes, I'm pretty sure I've been blanked at the school gates more than once for not wearing a maxi dress and my Balenciaga sweatshirt has received many a withering look, but would you really want to be friends with someone who is vacuous enough to judge others solely on what they are wearing?

If one doesn't have time (simply can't be bothered) to get dressed as oneself, there are 2 options I've noticed over and over again that work perfectly well.

Work out gear. This says 'I'm straight off to the gym / meeting my personal trainer at the school gates'. The sweet baby Jesus knows you're not love, but let's humour you anyway.

Ditto jodhpurs. But insert 'Pony' instead of 'gym'.

And, lastly, let's just take a moment to talk about that ultimate school run style crime. The Gilet. Almost ubiquitous in Winter - usually combined with standing around shivering and moaning that one is cold... Um why not just wear something with arms then?