I have a confession to make: I used to spend hours making sure every last hair was in place, expertly applying – and experimenting with – my makeup and ripping through my closet trying on outfit after outfit.
Those were the days.
That all changed with the birth of my first son. Suddenly, hours once spent primping and preening were devoted to nurturing and nourishing. And I’m not complaining. It’s a position women throughout time have not only found themselves in, but embraced, placing the health and wellness of their families first.
The thing is, a big part of feeling great about who we are inside involves looking in the mirror and seeing all of that inner fabulousity exuded on the outside. And we can’t abandon the kids to accomplish it.
The key of course is to get gorgeous fast, by finding ways to fit at least of portion of the pampering we once swore by into a schedule that may allow little more than 15 minutes of “me time.” The good news is, it can be done (without applying mascara while driving the carpool). Here’s how…
Step One: Good Hair, Great Skin
Some old-fashioned advice rings eternally true and when it comes to looking fabulous on the fly, good hair and great skin are tools one must have to start. If you do nothing else for yourself, consider getting an affordable hair gloss every four to six weeks, to impart shine and adjust hair tone, paired with a requisite trim.
For great skin, drink “8 x 8,” eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily consume a diet chock full of vegetables and fruits and commit to a daily four part skin care routine. Know what matters event more than which skin care line you select? How well you stick to at least a bare bones skin care program, think cleanser, moisturizer, SPF by day and eye cream.
I store my eye cream by the bedside; keeping it at arm’s reach assures that I never forget to dab some on before getting (very little) beauty sleep.
Step Two: 5 in Five
From makeup to clothes, looking — and feeling – stylish isn’t about variety. All you really need are a few go-to outfits that look incredible no matter the occasion. I’m here to tell you, it takes just as much time to don a simple sundress as it does to hide your personal style in sweats and tees.
When it comes to makeup, the same rules apply; you don’t have to be a makeup artist to have a staple look that you can achieve in five minutes or less. In a time crunch, I turn to the five products that I can apply flawlessly every time: powder, red lipstick and liner, plus mascara and Julie Hewitt’s Shimmy — a makeup multitasker that I swipe onto my lids in literally seconds.
Step three: Nail the look
Nothing says “I’m a frazzled Mom” like chipped polish and scraggly cuticles. Dollar for dollar, a regular manicure is one of the most affordable ways to get a dose of grooming with a pinch of pampering.
If you can’t get a weekly manicure, polish nails in a color that will keep them looking fresh and healthy, and hardly show a chip. In-between manicures, I keep my look “polished” with a couple of quick coats of Orly’s Bare Rose, a barely there pink that doesn’t divulge dents and dings.
And while I’d never apply polish, or any other cosmetic, while steering an automobile, I have been known to brush on a coat of Bare Rose just before pulling out of the garage to take my sons to school, leaving it to dry while I drive.
Because these days, every second counts.