Written by Morgan, the mama behind MotherhoodbyMorgan – someone way more fashionable and good looking than I will ever be.
If you’re like me, there are weeks where you go days without a shower. Your yoga pants have pea puree, or maybe poop, all over them. Your messy bun is just messy without any sense of style. We all have those days, those weeks, and those months.
Honestly, the first month or so after giving birth, I wasn’t concerned with this at all. I was a brand new mom, and those postpartum hormones didn’t necessarily work well for my mood, but my skin was absolutely glowing. Fast forward a few months and add going back to work with breastfeeding cravings that had me scarfing down six donuts in one sitting, and my appearance started to take a nosedive, as did my confidence.
After some trial and error, I think I’ve settled on a few key things that I do to keep myself not just looking better, but feeling better about the way I look. Now, I’m going to share those things with you!
1. The first is probably no big shock: Be healthy. You don’t have to be a size 2 or even a size 12 to be healthy and attractive. Hot mamas come in all shapes and sizes. You know your body, and you know how you feel. For me, fitting well into a size 12 skinny jean is my ideal. I know my shape and my body. Even when I was at my most fit in high school I wore a size 10. So, if my skinny jeans dig in just a little too much, I don’t feel comfortable or like “myself,” but I’m not shooting to lose a ton of weight either.
I also know that if those skinny jeans are fitting more snugly, then it means I’m not eating the greatest things and I’m not getting any exercise. If you’re not at least moderately healthy, you won’t feel good. Your energy will be down, you’ll notice more aches and pains, and you honestly won’t look as good. When you’re living a healthier lifestyle, your skin, hair, eyes, and pretty much every inch of you looks more luminous and fresh. Plus, we need all the energy we can get to chase after those crazy kids, right?
So just start small. Cut out soda or sugary drinks, eat more fruits and veggies, and do some kind of exercise a few times a week. You don’t have to pick up the phone and order Insanity or the 21-Day Fix. If that’s your thing then great! But for me, it’s just not doable. Instead, I just throw my kid in her carrier or the stroller and go for a walk around my neighborhood. It doesn’t get easier than that, and I saw big results from even just doing that small amount of exercise. Whether my waistline changed or not, I felt good. If you feel good, you’re going to look good too.
2. Get a basic skincare and makeup routine down. You don’t need to contour perfectly, or even put on a dab of foundation. Figure out a quick and easy routine that takes 5 minutes or less. Here is my routine, and it takes less than 5 minutes:
- Spritz some rosewater on my face
- Put on BB Cream
- Dab on some blush (I use a cream stick so I don’t need any extra tools)
- Put on mascara (sometimes I don’t even do this)
If I do this every day I just feel more put together and pretty. How do I even manage this small routine with a toddler? Easy. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Seriously, she loves it. So in the mornings while I’m getting ready I put it on and I know it will buy me a little time. You all know what will keep your kids entertained for a few minutes. Take advantage of that to do this small thing everyday – and it isn’t just about the makeup. I am a big advocate for basic skincare, which means at the very least, putting on some kind of SPF every day. It will protect your skin against cancer and prevent you from aging prematurely. I personally use a BB cream because it is a moisturizer, foundation and SPF all rolled into one! I only use moisturizer before BB cream because I like the dewy look it gives. So can we all agree we have the time each day to nail down a 5 minute skin care routine?
3. Simplify, then upgrade, your wardrobe. The more choices you have, the more stressful getting dressed is. I strongly recommend the book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Her process for simplifying your life is simple. Hold each item you own and decide if it sparks joy in you. This is what you need to do with your wardrobe.
How many of you are like me, and have shirts hanging in your closet that still have the tags on even though you bought them months ago? Why are still keeping those things around? They are doing us no good, and for me only make me feel guilty for having spent money without using the item. Time to get rid of them.
I recommend creating your own mommy capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing and accessories that are only the essentials, can mix and match with each other well, and consists of around 30-40 pieces. The first step is to do what Marie Kondo suggests, and be brutal about getting rid of any piece of clothing that doesn’t make you feel amazing. Then, take stock of what you have left. Chances are they will all have a similar style or feel to them. Now, your only task is to shop to fill in the blanks, and you don’t need to get fancy with where you shop. Half my clothes come from Target. (I’m going to provide a link at the end to an article that breaks down exactly how to build a capsule wardrobe).
The key is to really focus in on what you need. If you never wear skirts, and pretty much live in yoga pants, you don’t need to go buy three skirts and force yourself to wear them. Maybe instead, invest in a pair or two of high quality yoga pants that really flatter you. Love your UGGs? They are so comfy but not so trendy anymore. The good news is that UGG has a ton of styles of boots and shoes that are incredibly comfortable and a little more stylish. Find what works for you, what makes you feel good, and makes getting dressed in the morning fun and exciting.
Can you see a theme running through these tips? It’s about finding what is easy and makes you feel better. You don’t need to have all the latest trends. You don’t need to be super skinny. You don’t need to have a full face of makeup on every day. What you need to do is find a few simple things that make you look and feel better.
Here’s the truth, you could be wearing those yoga pants covered in baby puke with your hot mess bun, but if you feel good and are healthy then you will look gorgeous every day. It may be a bit of a cliche but beauty really comes from the inside. That’s why I want you to really find style and beauty techniques that aren’t necessarily trendy or complicated. We are way too busy for that. Just find what works for you and stick with it.
Morgan is a freelance writer and blogs at www.motherhoodbymorgan.com. She lives in the Philadelphia area, has a toddler named Carolyn and works full time! Morgan is a big breastfeeding advocate, but also wants to end the Mommy Wars. She believes we are all moms and go through similar struggles. We should support each other and cheer other women on instead of criticizing each other’s choices. Morgan wants to help other moms connect and provide tips from experts, her own experience and other moms to help women thrive in motherhood. You can also follow Morgan on twitter @motherbymorgan and download her 10 Beauty and Hair Tips for Busy Moms by going to www.motherhoodbymorgan.com/10beauty