As many of you know, I get a bit tetchy when I hear other moms playing the martyr card. "I can't even shower, much less put on make-up!" "I have spit up on my shoulder and it has been there for two days!" "I wear yoga pants all the time because I'm a good mom and don't have time for fasteners on my clothing!" "WOE IS MOM."
Yet, it is usually these moms who update Facebook 3-4 times a day, posting pictures of their offspring doing something "adorable." Priorities, folks, it's all about 'em. And if looking your best is not your priority, fine. Photography is not mine. But please don't assume that those of us who choose to actually give a damn about how we look are selfish and/or not being a good parent.
Anyway, when you are a mom, or rather, when you are a sentient, active being in this crazy, 24/7 mobile world of ours, children or no children, you definitely do not have time for make-up and hair routines like, say, you did when you were 13 and could spend an entire day putting perfect blue streaks in your hair and lining your unlined, bag-free eyes with glittery Hard Candy eyeliner. You need a few quick tricks to get you in and out of your bathroom in a hurry so you can prevent your child from spreading toothpaste all over the ottoman you lovingly have moved across the damn country twice because you like the thing, or, rather, getting there 30 seconds after the kid has done just that so you can admire her handy work. This is a list for that. And I would be oh so greatful if you could leave your tips in the comments--I know I could always use something new in the arsenal, and imagine others could as well.
1. Know what works for you. 7:30 on Wednesday morning is not time to try out the new glittery eye trend or bright red lipstick. Get a few basics and keep them. I am the world's worst for trying out every new marketing gimmick or product that passes through a magazine's hallowed pages, however, if I'm in a hurry, even I know better. Keep some of what works around at all times, just in case you having an inspiration-free day, or have to put your make-up on at your desk or while sitting on the couch, holding a baby and watching Max and Ruby. Here are my go to's:
Foundation: L'Oreal True Match
Blush: Nars Orgasm
Mascara: L'Oreal Voluminous (I always have a bit of DiorShow on hand for night time, but in a pinch, I love Voluminous, especially the new Carbon Black.)
Lipstick: Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
Little sumthin' sumthin': Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
2. Hot FUCKING Rollers. (And I'm serious, whenever I say the word "roller," I think of nothing but The Oatmeal's hilariously apt Gay Roller, and I'm just sorry, but I can't keep a straight face. Heh. Straight face.) I used hot rollers in high school. Like a lot. I had this steam operated one, with little pink rollers, and you put the roller on top of this steam spurter and it made it...hot and steamy (that's what she said) and then you rolled it up and clamped it on. Anyone else have one of these? It was the SHIT. And when my hair was all nice and rolled, I let the little curls down, put my head between my knees and threw on an accordion headband and then threw my head back, stripper style and sprayed the shit out of that stuff with LA Looks aerosol spray. This made for a very, um, full look. Hey, it was the South, ya'll. I didn't know no better. But, folks, I'm here to tell you, hot rollers have changed. And I think lots of people use them. And not just in the lower South. And not just for beauty pageants, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Or, at least, that's what the ladies at Ulta told me when they sold me my set. Basically, these things give you Cosmo-model hair, but without having to use a curling iron, which, let's face it, sucks balls. And the volume lasts. Like 12 hour work day lasts. Like I-had-to-take-my-heels-off-but-my-hair-is-still-PADOW! lasts. Still not convinced? This set in particular heats up in about 85 seconds. So basically, you can plug it in, brush your hair a bit, maybe squeeze a zit, and you're ready to rock.
I have started washing my hair every other day, and using this on the day when it is unwashed. I do a blow-out the other day, but truthfully, it looks better on the day that I use the rollers, even though the blow-out takes about 3x longer for me to do, what with all the clips and the round brush and yada yada yada. With the rollers, I just put it up, do my 5 minute make-up, make the kid's breakfasts and lunches, convince Sam that no, his legs are not frozen, and yes, he can, in fact, walk, and then pull it down. And I get compliments on my "lovely hair." And people, my hair is not lovely. It is fucking blah. But with this stuff, I can definitely fake it.
3. Carry stuff with you. No one looks perfectly pulled together all damn day with no upkeep. This is where it is important to keep your tools at the ready. If you drive or have a commute, trick your car out. I personally keep two pairs of shoes in my car at all times--a pair of stilletto heels, and a pair of low-profile running shoes. That way I can change if need be and I don't look like a tool being the mom at the baseball field in heels. I also keep duplicates of my favorite make-up in a free bag I got from Clinique a couple of beauty bonus times ago. That way it is ready when I am--and I don't have to worry about leaving my favorite make-up in the car/at home when I need it. Also important--babies like to play with make-up. Not like put it on. They like to look at it, carry it around, chew on the end of a mascara tube. So multipurpose. Hellz yeah.
4. Dresses ya'll. Lots and lots of dresses. I am a very, VERY firm believer that you should get dressed everyday in something you would allow someone else to see you in, no matter your vocation. I know people disagree with me on this, and that's fine. But I personally do not know anyone's mental health that was helped by a wardrobe of yoga pants and stained t-shirts from college. Let's face it--you take a shower and get dressed, some little part of you feels better. And it is so so worth it. I've had three kids, ya'll, and I can only think of one day that I went without a shower and fresh change of clothes, and it was when Sam was in the Pediatric ICU and there was no shower attached to the room. But I totally get how putting on a pair of jeans can make you feel uncomfortable. Jeans, no matter how well they fit, are not the best things for laying around the house, especially if they are rigid or if you are doing a lot of bending and sitting (which all of us do around the house). But dresses are another thing all together. There are some amazing day dresses out there, a lot of which can be paired with leggings for a very cute sitting-around-the-house-waiting-on-something-awesome-to-happen look. Even better is the fact that you can find a lot of wrap styles that are convenient for nursing. The best part? If you are on a budget, buying one dress is cheaper than buying a shirt AND a pair of pants. When my husband figured this out one day, he gave very real thought about picking up a lovely frock at TJ Maxx under the guise of "If it worked for J. Edgar Hoover...."
5. "I guess the key is that it doesn't matter if you look like the 'before' picture, just act like you're the 'after' one." --Mindy Kaling via Twitter. Could never say it better, not in a million years.