Recently I was talking to my friend Janice, also a new mom, about how unattractive I have been feeling post-baby. I don’t have time to shower much less put on makeup, but Janice always looks fabulous and put-together. So I asked Janice how she manages to put on her face and do her hair ever day. The answer – she doesn’t! She invested in some easy (lazy) beauty treats that last and make her feel good. In this latest guest blog post, Janice shares her beauty secrets with us.
How to Look Good Without Trying (Or Not Trying That Hard)
Let me preface this by saying that even pre-baby, I’ve always been exceptionally low-maintenance when it comes to my beauty regimen. I put on makeup an average of 3 times a month (and then my husband tells me I look “weird”). I don’t own a hairdryer. I have one bottle of nail polish that I received as a gift. It’s not that I don’t care about my appearance; who doesn’t want to look good? The problem is that while I like the idea of looking put together, it just isn’t worth the effort.
Fast forward to the present. I have an amazing 4-month-old daughter who is worth the effort. Spending time with Maddie beats out pretty much anything, so I am definitely not willing to invest more time in my appearance. Luckily, my years of experience in lazy beauty are paying off, and I have found myself ahead of the curve of new moms (instead of being woefully behind as usual). Here are some tips for easy mommy beauty:
1. Upgrade your shower experience. In the first month of new motherhood, shower time is a luxury. Invest in indulgent bath supplies – body scrubs, yummy-smelling body wash, rich conditioners and lotions – none of these items will add much more time to your shower but they will make that time that much more relaxing.
2. Pick up some cute nursing clothes. It’s so tempting to wear beat up clothes all the time, thinking that you’ll get milk and spit-up all over anything you wear. The thing is, while this is true, neither stains clothes. It’s just as easy to wash cute clothes as it is to wash your old college t-shirt. I wouldn’t pick dry-clean-only clothes, but there are plenty of options out there. And not necessarily “nursing-specific” clothes. As long as your boobs are accessible, you can wear almost anything. My favorites: Cosabella nightgowns, lululemon everything, wrap dresses, nursing tanks by Ripe. If you’re like me and have cleavage for the first time, it’s pretty fun to rock some plunging necklines too.
3. Get your hair done. Make sure it’s low-maintenance. No blow-drying or products necessary. Like most women, my hair grew long and thick during my pregnancy, and like most women, my long hair is now starting to fall out. After realizing that I had it in a ponytail all the time, I decided I had to do something. I was going to just get a haircut, but my very in-the-know mom suggested I get a new kind of perm that puts loose waves in your hair permanently. Three hours later, I had hair that looked like I spent actual time on it and hid the thinning that was just starting to happen.
4. Work out. In the first month or two, I was nursing every 2-3 hours, and my daughter hated the bottle, so I had limited options for working out. As early as 2 weeks post-partum, I started taking Maddie out in a carrier for hikes. She slept happily, and I was able to get some fresh air and exercise. It turns out that hiking with a baby in a carrier (even now with Maddie at 14.5 lbs) is so much easier than hiking pregnant. I did all the Bar Method DVDs (and snuck in the occasional class) and played some Just Dance 4 on the Wii. You’ll snap back into pre-pregnancy shape quickly and get some endorphins as an added bonus.
5. Visit your local nail salon. That one hour mani/pedi will do wonders for your soul. It’s a small amount of time and money for an hour that is truly for yourself. I never appreciated them quite as much as after pregnancy. Plus, your hands are going to be all over those baby photos, so you might as well make them look pretty!
6. Consider lash extensions. This is my favorite beauty development in the past decade. They last for 6-8 weeks (though you will want to get them touched up every 3 weeks for maintenance), take about 1-1.5 hours to install, and voila – bye, bye mascara. They are wonderful, and I can’t recommend them enough.
It’s funny to me that I’m writing this blog post because I think I’m the last person to write about beauty products. But lazy beauty? I can do that. And if I can do it, anyone can.
Janice lives in San Francisco with her husband, their 4-month-old daughter Maddie, and their dog. She works in private equity and is lucky to have her daycare facility next door to her office.
On weekends, you can find the whole family enjoying wine country living in Sonoma County. Maddie’s favorite wine country blends are oaky, fruity-nosed and have milky tones.