I readily admit that becoming a mama has aged me beyond belief. In many ways. But primarily my face. I look back at photos of me pre-Q and it's as if 10 years have passed. Okay, slight exaggeration, but it sure looks like more than a couple of years ago. I mean, I still got carded occasionally before I was pregnant! Now a male checker will ask for my ID once in a great while as a sort of gift to me that day -- as in, yeah, I see you have a kid sitting in your cart and you're obviously over 30, but this should make you feel good, so here ya go. And it does. Before I used to worry about not appearing mature enough. HA! Oh, the ha. Cherish the ID checks, young'ins.
Anyway, back to mama aging. Crow's feet, dark circles under my eyes, dull skin, lackluster hair. What does this all boil down to? Lack of sleep. And I'm sure the stress of trying to do it all contributes. So, here are a few tips and tricks I've been employing to battle the beauty blahs.
1) Eye cream
I can't emphasize this necessity enough. And not just any eye cream. If you can afford the good stuff, it is so worth the investment. I know. So many of the reportedly effective eye creams are not in the typical mama's budget -- we're talking $50-$100 for a little jar or tube. But recently I've come across an amazing eye cream that isn't too pricey. It's Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment and at $38 it's not cheap, but it's not bank-breaking either. Plus, I had been using some cheapo eye cream before that I swear gave me an unsightly dry patch under one eye. Or maybe it was eczema -- who knows? But this Boscia stuff has essentially gotten rid of it in one week. Plus, it de-puffs and lightens dark circles and pretty much erases mama aging from your eyes. Okay, not completely, but I've only been using this cream for one week. We shall see what happens in a few months.
2) A good concealer
Another essential. If you don't have the time or energy to do full-on makeup, then some eye cream and a good concealer can work wonders (and an eyelash curler, but let's focus here). My favorite is Benefit Erase Paste. It's thick and creamy and truly hides everything from blemishes to under-eye darkness to random scratch marks from your toddler, but it melts into your skin after a few minutes, so there are no tell-tale signs of concealing. Love.
3) An awesome facial scrub
If only we could all get monthly facials. Well, since that's not in the (credit) cards, a nice weekly at-home scrub can do wonders. When I last indulged in a facial (over 6 months ago), the lovely esthetician recommended this product and it really has helped my skin look brighter and feel smoother. Not all dull and tired. Find one that works for your skin type -- maybe even one of those microdermobrasion brushes -- and look at least a little more rested.
4) Prenatal vitamins
I never stopped taking these, even when I was done breastfeeding Q. I swear they make my hair and nails healthier and have helped battle some colds that hit T really hard but hardly touched me.
5) A flat iron
Let's face it. We don't always have time to do our hair, let alone shower. But if you've got one of those speedy flat irons that heats up in seconds (I love my Croc -- a fabulous gift from my bff's a few years ago), you can tame those crazy fly-aways and smooth bent bangs into submission in mere minutes. Oh, and a bit of dry shampoo never hurt, either.
Mamas and other lovely ladies who are lacking in beauty sleep, how do you maintain your youthful glow? I could always add a few more tricks to my arsenal.