As a new mom, the reality is that most days your go-to look will consist of throwing on the same ol’ pair of leggings and tossing your hair into a messy mom bun. No judgment — your priorities are way different now as you navigate motherhood (do not worry, it truly does get easier). But there will eventually be a day where you want to feel a little more put-together. Whether you are returning back to work after your maternity leave, having your first post-baby date night with your partner, or you simply miss having your “me time,” these beauty hacks will help you feel more confident in your skin. And since — real talk — your sleep-deprived mommy brain is not about to spend forever on a whole routine, these hacks are equally about saving time as they are about making you feel good!
Sleep in braids.
Braids not only keep your hair back from your baby’s grabby hands but sleeping in braids lets you wake up to easy, beachy waves without having to use any hot tools. Before creating your braid, prevent frizz by applying Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream evenly to damp hair. Then create a French braid (a single style works great, but two braided pigtails will get waves closer to your roots). In the morning, gently pull the braid apart and blast it with a quick spritz of Amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray to give your waves more definition.
Embrace air-dried hair.
If you are lucky enough to get a hot shower in and you do wash your hair, your baby will need you before you even think about picking up the blow-dryer. Find a styling product like OUAI Air Dry Foam that you work through damp hair and bring out the best of your natural texture.
Use gentle dry shampoo.
You will manage to cut down on your getting-ready time so you can soak in more baby snuggles. Hint: A gentle dry shampoo (like Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo) will be your best friend and give life to second- or third-day hair. Once a week, use Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub to remove any oil and buildup.
Get an Easy Haircut.
Any good hairstylist will consider your new lifestyle (in addition to your face shape and hair texture) when creating your cut. You do not have to resort to a boring “mom bob,” but get a style that is low maintenance (aka will not require trims every two weeks) and looks great when you wash-and-go.
Master Makeup on the Move.
Chances are your makeup will be applied on the go (read: during a stroller walk or sitting in your car while the baby’s sleeping in the back). You will want multi-use products that are easy to apply with your hands. Turn to tinted moisturizers that give you sheer coverage while hydrating your skin, lip stains that can also be applied onto your cheeks (we love Benefit Cosmetics Lovetint Lip & Cheek Stain), and a creamy highlighter like Lilah B. Glisten & Glow Skin Illuminator to perk up a dull complexion. Grab a baby wipe from the diaper bag to clean your hands afterwards.
Choose One Facial Feature.
When a whole makeup routine just is not in the cards, a single-step look can go a long way. This could look like a pop of color on your lips or a lengthening mascara to add definition to your eyes.
Invest in Lash Extensions.
If the idea of cradling a baby in one hand and applying a mascara with the other sounds downright impossible, see if you can sneak away for a couple of hours to get professional lash extensions done. They will give you the look of fuller, longer lashes for up to four weeks. Go the extra mile with an eyelash perm (it gives the appearance of just-curled lashes). Your wide-eyed look will really fool people into thinking your baby’s already sleeping through the night.
Try a brow tint.
Depending on how often you wash your face, a professional brow tint can last up to six weeks and will help your brows look fuller and more defined. When you are in a pinch to camouflage strays, dab on a little concealer onto stray hairs to temporarily mask them.
Wipe Away Makeup.
A proper face cleanse at the end of the day will always be best, but sometimes it is just not feasible, especially when you are holding a sleeping babe or feeding around the clock. You get a pass (or several), mama. Keep a pack of face wipes in key areas around the house—next to your rocking chair in the nursery, on your nightstand — so you can easily wipe off makeup (or, spit up).
Focus On Your Nighttime Skincare.
Your skin naturally repairs itself overnight, so it gives your nighttime skincare products extra superpowers. Stock up on single products that simultaneously tackle multiple skincare concerns — minimizes the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and redness all while plumping skin with hydration as you snooze. If you are breastfeeding, topical retinoids should be avoided (always check in with your dermatologist before starting a new skincare routine!).
Slather On Coconut Oil.
Newsflash: Stretch marks from pregnancy will not completely go away, but it is cool because it is a reminder of the amazing thing your body was able to do. If you want to smooth out their appearance, however, keep those areas of your body super moisturized. Our favorite hack is to use coconut oil that have right in your kitchen — a little goes a long way.
Treat Your Feet.
Soft, plush feet do not have to just belong to your baby. Give your feet some TLC with a Sephora Collection Foot Sheet Mask — they almost look like socks, but their inner lining contains a moisturizing, soothing formula that heals tired feet.
Do a Quick Dry Brush.
When you do not have time to slough off dead skin in the shower, use a dry brush to smooth out rough areas. Plus, it promotes lymphatic drainage which energizes skin. For five minutes each morning, use firm, small strokes upward, or work in a circular motion on dry patches.
Stash Bottles of Water Around the House.
This may not sound like a hack, but when you are taking care of a tiny human, you sometimes forget to take care of yourself. When you are stuck nursing on the couch or rocking your newborn to sleep, you want to make sure you have some water within arm’s reach. Hydrating from the inside out is key to keeping your skin healthy and balanced. And be sure to drink even more than your standard eight glasses a day if you are breastfeeding.
Wear Clear Nail Polish.
The rare occasion that you will get a chance to do your own mani and pedi (or, gasp, go to a salon), just file and shape your nails then top it off with a clear coat. That way you will not have to worry about your nails chipping, but you will still feel like they look presentable. If you really want to pamper yourself, see if your local nail salon will do an at-home visit, or check out apps like Glamsquad that will send a technician wherever you are.
Add a Pillow Spray.
A good night’s rest will be harder to come by. Get the most of your shorter sleep sessions with a pillow mist that contains lavender and chamomile, which have a natural calming effect to lull you more quickly into a restorative sleep.