Everyone always warns you when you’re pregnant that once the baby comes, “everything is going to change!” and it’s true. The relationship with our spouses and friends change, our bodies are different, our outlook on life is transformed…One thing that was unexpected, at least for me, was how my beauty routine would change as well. Looking back, my rituals pre-kids seem luxurious and pampering. Now, they’re pretty much nonexistent. Here are five ways my beauty routine has changed since having kids:
Before: It was easy to take time in the shower (oh long, hot, uninterrupted showers … how I miss thee!), blow dry, and then straighten my corkscrew curly hair. I occasionally then re-curled my hair with an iron for loose, beachy curls. And this was all before work!
After: I have no less than four cans of dry shampoo on hand at any given time, and I’m lucky if I can wash my hair twice a week. God bless the person that invented French braids, ponytails, and hats for those truly desperate days.
Before: Remember when you used to go to the mall to try on dresses or buy a new pair of pumps, and when you were in the department store, just waltz right by the moisturizers and head straight for that cool new shade of eyeshadow?
After: Between getting the kids pretzels and wrangling them up from the play area at the mall, I make a beeline to the “middle-aged” make up counter, buy two new moisturizers, one eye cream, and get samples of three more. I have more serums and creams than Kim Kardashian's butt oil person (who can forget that magazine cover?!)!
3) Body Hair
Before: Remember that feeling of freshly shaved legs, soft from your favorite shaving cream and 5-blade razor? I loved the way it felt when I’d slide a tight pencil skirt over those legs, so silky and feminine.
After: The blade goes dull about halfway in, since shaving is so irregular it’s like Encino Man in the tub. Recently, when my husband was out of town, one of the kids barged into the bathroom and I only had time to shave one leg. That night, I didn’t miss him as much, since it felt like I was sleeping with a man when my legs touched.
4) Make Up
Before: Most days before I became a mom, I swept a shimmery shadow over my lids and a darker shade in the crease, curled my lashes, lined my lips, and puckered at myself in the mirror, admiring my work.
After: I am so rushed in the morning, it’s like we’re a family of pigs that’s noticed the fence of the sty has been left open. We’re all scrambling to get out at once. My make up is the leftover blueberry juice from the half-blended smoothie, passed off as lipstick. At least I keep a tube of mascara in the mini van, to swipe on at red lights on the way to school.
5) Nighttime Rituals
Before: I never really cared about getting ready for bed after a long day. I’d wash the day’s make up off, and crawl into bed, eager to cuddle and catch up on shows with my hubby.
After: It now takes me longer to get ready at night than it ever has in the morning! I have several different exfoliating washes for my face. One is specific to my 5-piece facial rejuvenation system. It’s "gentle enough for everyday use." (That’s the line that got me.) I have two eye serums: one for overnight that is supposed to diminish crow’s feet and another that lightens the dark circles that are seemingly darker with each baby. I can forget about cuddling with my baby daddy, since by the time I’m done exfoliating, moisturizing, pore refining, flossing, and tweezing, he’s snoring!
Looking back, I certainly miss all the free time I had to devote to my hair and make up habits, but now I have the confidence in myself to know that I’m beautiful just as I am. Besides, I know that all the staff at the make up stores and counters (that know me on a first-name basis) have the confidence in me to show up a few times a month to restock, not just on samples. Who knew that my dark under-eye circles would help me make good friends with the Clinique lady?