As a mom the first thing that went out of the window was the intense concentration I used to spend on my physical appearance. Pedicures now happen half as often (manicures never anymore), hair cut and color maybe 2 or 3 times a year (heck I’m lucky if I get to wash my hair twice a week!) and facials are a thing of the past… Sometimes I look in the mirror and cringe at my lack of upkeep and I know I need to carve out the time to focus more energy on myself. I know I’m not alone in this and that we, as mothers, spend so much time caring for everyone else we forget about taking care of ourselves… So, I wanted to do a post on beauty fixes – the various products and practices that will help cure our raggedy look. I’ve focused on anti-aging remedies previously, but I wanted to shift focus from the wrinkles and dark circles and turn my attention to all the other beauty fixes we mommas need. I’m talking about the grey hairs that are coming fast and furious, the hyper pigmentations (brown spots) that resulted from pregnancy, even a much needed teeth whitening… We all have our insecurities – so here are some great beauty fixes to get the year started on a more beautiful (perhaps even pedicured) foot!
One of the worst things about pregnancy was the hyperpigmentation that erupted all over my face. Hyperpigmentation are the dark spots and uneven skin tone that happens to many women during pregnancy but it can also be caused by sun exposure and acne scars… Its faded somewhat over time and I can cover them with makeup but I would be lying if I said they don’t bother me… I talked to a dermatologist about it and he said that some creams do help but you have to use it consistently every day and it does take time. The most effective method of eliminating them is a combination of creams and laser treatment by a dermatologist. I know that there is still the possibility of having another baby sometime in the future so I’ll wait to try the lasers until then, but in the meantime I will be investing in this SkinCeuticals cream which my research and Allure magazine claims to be the best.
And while you’re waiting for spots to fade – a great full coverage concealer is great for masking your pregnancy mask…
Ugh, nothing is worse than getting those pesky pimples… For me I get those deep set ones that hurt like crazy and stick around forever (or until I can get to the dermatologist). The hormonal upheaval that results from having a baby can seriously throw skin out of wack and there are times I feel like a spotty teenager again… I have found the Clarisonic system absolutely incredible at helping to deep clean my face which prevents them from happening in the first place! Furthermore, having a regular routine to target skin issues such as the Neutrogena acne therapy system will help your skin looking its best. For those breakouts that do occur the best product on the market is the Kate Sommerville Eradikate – put it on at night and by morning you’ll find spots significantly reduced!
I live in LA – the land of pearly whites but mine are more of a pearly off-white… I want to feel confident with my smile because I love to smile… So I think its time for some teeth whitening and there are so many great options that we can do right at home!
For a less expensive solution – good old fashion crest white strips are also great!
Yes, I’m going gray. I suppose it comes with the whole getting older territory but those little white hairs make me nuts! I also don’t like using harsh chemicals on my hair… L’Oreal has a line of permanent hair color called Inoa which not only delivers great color, but is free of harsh chemicals and inexpensive!
My hair grows very quickly so when I just want a quick root touch up I use this Clairol product which is quick and easy to apply (but only lasts a few weeks):
For an even more temporary fix – this spray on gray hair concealer works magic!
My insanely long hair gets very little attention and sits up in a pony tail or bun most of the time so that it doesn’t get in the way… As a result I often get intense tangles – dreadlocks tangle which are virtually impossible to get out without my handy Tangle Teezer. I have posted about this amazing brush several times – but I am seriously obsessed with it. I tell every hairdresser and mom to kids with long hair I meet about it because it quickly and painlessly gets out even the craziest tangles. It is my absolute must have!
During pregnancy strange things happen to you – one of the craziest things is what happens to your hair! Its thick and lustrous and you actually don’t shed it (as we all know we usually do). Then, about 3 months post delivery it happens – all the hair you didn’t lose during those 9 months starts to come out like crazy! I have a LOT of hair so you wouldn’t really notice (unless you shared a bathroom with me – sorry honey) but for a lot of women this hair loss can be incredibly traumatic and more noticeable – a great vitamin that’s specifically for hair and nails can be a great solution. I will note, that I actually lost a clump of hair – all at once – about half the diameter of a dime – my hair stylist told me about (it was at the back of my head) and told me to consult with a doctor – and sure enough losing a clump of hair like that can be the sign of a thyroid issue which can be common post partum (which I indeed had). So, keep an eye out for this sort of hair loss and talk to your doctor about getting that thyroid checked!
A lot of women complain about shaving – and often this goes neglected… I have to shave every day and I have to say, my shower time is often the only alone time I get and the time I come up with some of my best ideas so I don’t really mind it… But for a lot of women the thought of hairless legs would be a dream come true. Now there are at home laser hair removal devices that you can get which can help make the dream a reality… However – always follow instructions and make sure you are a good candidate for laser hair removal first!
Another tried and true alternative is waxing which can at least make your hair removal routine far less frequent… You could also use wax on your face but I think its best to leave eyebrows to the professionals…
As I said, eyebrows are best left to the professionals, but you could always clean them up a bit with my favorite beauty tool – the tweezerman tweezers – as a greek girl with a very thick dark brow I’ve had wax since I was 12 years old these tweezers are my greatest beauty companion.
One last tip for hair removal is to make sure to have a great ingrown hair solution. I have been using Tend Skin for year and swear by it!
Two of the biggest beauty issues that women are often left with post baby are stretch marks and cellulite. I was lucky enough to swerve the stretch marks thanks to my commitment to cocoa butter application but I definitely noticed and increase in cellulite… Unfortunately, these are the 2 things there really is no real cure for. Lasers have gotten better and can dramatically improve the look of both cellulite and stretch marks but its a more expensive solution. Improved diet and exercise can help with cellulite as can deep tissue massages but there isn’t really a miracle cure. Cellulite creams on the market can temporarily improve the look of skin texture and that might be the best non cosmetic procedure we’ve got. Bliss has a product that has been quite popular and highly reviewed that uses caffeine to diminish the look of skin dimpling and Clarins also has a product that seems to work for a lot of people which actually also helps to prevent cellulite in the fist place….
As for stretch markes – prevention is better than cure – so keeping the growing body moisturized is integral. You don’t need to spend a lot of money – Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is the best! Some even claim this can help reduce the look of stretch marks…
The sooner you combat existing stretch marks the better the results for sure! Stretch marks do fade with time but getting a jump start and applying some of these topical lotions as soon as stretch marks appear is definitely the most effective way to treat them.
Like many other mother’s out there I ended up having a c-section which has left me with a sizable scar… Nobody will ever see it but it does still bother me – Bio Oil is one of the great beauty fixes for diminishing the look for both scars and stretch marks.
One of my biggest beauty grievances is my pale pasty skin. I live in California and I look like a ghost! I simply don’t have the time to be lounging poolside and quite frankly, we all know that the only healthy tan is a fake tan! Sunless tanners can leave you streaky and stinky – but St. Tropez are the beauty leaders in the sunless tanning world and this is my go-to bottle tan! It’s a gradual tanner that you apply every day as your body moisturizers and it slowly and streaklessly builds a gorgeous tan without the fake tan smell!
One of my biggest complaints is the dryness of my hands… I wash my hands constantly, not because I’m OCD but because it comes with the territory of having 3 dogs and a toddler. I actually bought my Dad one of these paraffin baths awhile ago when he was doing physical therapy for a broken finger and I was slightly obsessed with it. Basically, its a hot wax bath for your hands and feet which locks in moisture and restores your skin to baby bottom soft!
Just like with our hair, our nails suffer post partum becoming brittle and unsightly. There are some great products out there for moisturizing and restrengthening nails and cuticles.
One of my biggest complaints about manicures is that they just don’t last very long… Gel manicures have become increasingly popular as they can last up to 3 weeks looking as fresh as the day they were done. Of course, it still doesn’t solve the problem of getting out to have them done.. Well, now OPI has an at home gel kit that will allow you to get the long lasting gel manicure without leaving the house! I should note that gel manicures are great but should not be done back to back as they can compromise the strength of your nails… But how amazing to have beautifully manicured nails for a change?!?
And of course, my beloved nail sticker appliqué sets which are fast, easy and with no dry time! They’re definitely non-traditional but lots of fun that your kids will get a kick out of too!