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Most of what we see from fashion weeks around the world is kind of inaccessible. No one is writing about us when we bleach our hair, we’re not likely to wear the clothes of the uber-rich seen on the runway, and who has time to stand around looking important on a cell phone in hopes that a street style photographer will take our picture? Fashion people eat artifice, and appetizers.

We have lives. We raise kids, we work two jobs, we’re doing the best we can. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose and sometimes we just want to lay around in sweats while we do literally nothing. But through the subterfuge and hustle that is Toronto Fashion Week, there are women who not only look put together and, um, hot, but they’re working their butts off (and wiping their kids’ butts in the morning, afternoon and night). And they’re not only ensuring Fashion Week happens, they’re moms. They’re recent moms, older moms, red, white and green moms. Their entire lives are about getting things done.

So, why and how have they not given up? Why aren’t they working in the same pants they’ve been wearing for three months, covered in baby vomit and dried oatmeal? ‘Cause they have secrets, and they’ve shared them with us:

Who is she?

Delphine Nicholls

What does she do?

Executive Director at PR firm ROI Relations and mother of a 17-month-old boy

Her fashion tips

“Shop as close to home as possible. I know which stores have big change rooms, and which don’t. Because your shopping time is limited, I’m way more into quality over quantity. I’m not looking at trends so much, I’m looking at investment pieces.”

Her makeup tips

“I focus more on my skin — Having a nice canvas and maybe doing a super light mascara. But I’m obsessed with any fixing sprays. Obsessed with charged waters.”

delphine

Who is she?

Chantal Nadeau, 45 (in two weeks)

What does she do?

Modelling agent, mother of a 10-year-old son

Her fashion tips

“I would stick to the classics. I invest in one great piece every season — like, let’s say I’m wearing this coat and everyone is saying I look fabulous but I have had this coat for 10 years. I pull it out every once in a while, and then put it away for a while. It’s like a new piece every time I pull it out. And for the rest of the year I wear jeans and classic pieces.”

Her makeup tips

“I always draw my eyebrows very well. A little cover-up and a little lipstick. Never leave the house without lipstick. And then you’re out the door.”

chantal

Who is she?

Grace Lee

What does she do?

Official Maybelline New York makeup artist, mother

Her makeup tips

What tips doesn’t she have? You can watch her quick-and-easy day-to-night look here or maybe you want a super simple smoky eye? She’s got you covered there, too. Basically Grace tailors a lot of her looks to a 4-step process, which is how she stays looking flawless while being a cool mom. Time is precious, so keep your routine to the bare essentials.

grace-lee-

Who is she?

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, 41

What does she do?

Founder of Rockit Promotions, mother of a 6-year-old girl and a 19-month-old boy

Fashion Tips

“Luckily, we’ve had a lot of fast fashion over the years. Sometimes it’s great to find transitional pieces at an H&M or a Joe Fresh.”
“Don’t wear things that are big. It will make you feel worse. People know that you are pregnant or were pregnant, so wear something that fits and shows it off. Hatch is a really great collection for both. And buying maternity pieces like jeans allows you to still feel like you’re getting dressed in the morning and not just wearing sweats.”

Makeup Tips

“The good part about having a baby is that sometimes your hair can get nice and full and your skin is glowing. For my first, this was true. For the second, I started losing my hair. But thankfully I found a really great hair stylist who helped me get a cut that made it work.”

If you only have time for one thing, Deb recommends a red lipstick. “People will tell you that you look fresh and beautiful and all you did was put colour on your lips,” she says.

 

deb-gee-

Who is she?

Malicha, “I’m older than you think”

What does she do?

Works in a consignment shop, mother to an almost-24-year-old boy (“I should be a grandmother”)

Her fashion tips

“The best option is a treasure hunt. I’d say consignment if you’re looking to buy a designer piece for a big discount. I know new mothers are on a tight budget, so if you’re looking for something boutique, then it’s a good way to go.”

Her makeup tips

Foundation, powder, lipstick and mascara in 10 to 15 minutes.

mom-2