I always feel like I won the lottery when I stumble across a beauty secret because it is important to prioritize how you look and feel.
Looking and feeling your best can be as simple as a few changes to your daily skincare regime. It can also be finding ways to be less stressed or finding a new outfit or accessory you love.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I can tell you right now sleep deprivation, busy schedules and stress are not pretty to this beholder.
Gone are the days where I could roll out of bed after a late night and look like a million bucks. Honestly, I would be all over anything that would make me feel or look half as good as I did when I didn’t spend hours googling the best wrinkle creams.
So what can you do to feel good and look better? Here are my favorite beauty secrets that I live by and took me from drab to fab.
A retinol peel is an underrated beauty secret
While I rarely go to get something like this done, I am really glad I did this one. Because your skin is super sensitive afterwards to the sun, I don’t recommend doing it in summer. I did a retinol peel 3 years after my first was born. My skin was so dull, splotchy, and really starting to show wrinkles.
It was like a reset button. It literally took off years. If I had known such a quick fix existed, then I would have done it so much sooner. I now just maintain by using retinol in my daily regimen. I really like this one by Skinceuticals.
Lotion after every shower, but in the shower
The “in the shower” part is very important here. Lotion “hydrates” your skin by sealing in moisture. There must be moisture in order to lock it into your skin. After a shower, the high humidity plus the water on your skin can be sealed onto your skin using a lotion. Plus, your skin will feel amazingly soft.
Simply pat your skin dry and then lather on a lotion. I absolutely love CeraVe moisturizing cream. My skin is super sensitive. I have never reacted to it, plus it is also pretty inexpensive.
No matter what you pick you want to look for two key ingredients: Ceramides which will help restore your skin’s natural barrier and hyaluronic acid, a molecule that holds water and thus will keep it on the skin.
Try some new accessories
It always amazes me how much a belt or scarf can dress up a simple outfit. Another thing that I have been working on is to just dress up my look by using jewelry. It is such an easy simple way to look put together. This really helps me feel better about myself even if I don’t even leave the house that day.
I like to wear jewelry, but I don’t have the time to pick stuff out. Also, picking out gifts isn’t my hubby’s forte. However, he can certainly sign up for a subscription box for me. One of the newer gifts he got me was a subscription box for jewelry. I really love it. I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail?
My favorite boxes that I have found so far are:
- Penny and Grace: My favorite jewelry subscription box. Most of the jewelry is minimalist style so I feel I can wear it on “mom” day. It adds just enough to make me feel more put together. I also just love some of their designs.
- Cate + Chloe VIP: I found this box to be more dressy but classic jewelry. Most I wouldn’t wear this everyday but instead for special occasions.
Upgrading your haircut is an easy way to look better
The absolute best way to find a hairdresser you will like is to find someone with hair you like. Now, just ask them who their hairdresser is. You can even ask for their name if you feel brave enough and at your appointment with the hairdresser, explain that you like how they did that person’s hair.
A haircut can make you look 10 years younger or older. It can really be a big difference. Another thing I realized is that I looked my best when my hair would “style” itself. In other words, I needed a hair cut that would look good with minimal effort since I had no time for it.
Before getting a good haircut, I would wear my hair up every day. Now, I spend about 2 minutes on it in the morning and I can wear it down all day.
Sunblock every morning and grab that baseball hat and sunglasses
I chase my kids around applying sunblock and putting hats and sunglasses on them. While they hate it, someday they will thank me because protecting your skin from the sun is the best way to prevent aging. Dermatologists say 80-90% of skin aging is caused by the sun.
And this applies to you too! Think about it, if you started protecting your skin daily for a year from the sun, that would be 365 days less damage this time next year. While it won’t make you look better instantly, you will thank yourself that you started. And now they are saying that by protecting your skin, your skin can spend its resources fixing the damage already done instead of trying to deal with new damage.
Have someone clothing shop for you
Since becoming a mom, my wardrobe has become very sad. After the ever-changing size phase of pregnancy and postpartum, I have pretty much neglected my closet and it shows. Changing that was one of the most amazing feelings ever. I felt like me again.
Nowadays there seems to be a subscription box for everything but seriously take advantage of these. No one needs online shopping more than moms. I have so many items on amazon subscription.
I also really miss clothing shopping and buying clothing online just isn’t the same. Signing up for style boxes on the other hand I found to be really fun because of the surprise element. I also have found that the ones I have tried really nailed it on my style.
The ones I love are
Stitch Fix: I have used Stitch Fix on and off for many years. I love how you can just order it whenever. I always link to a Pinterest fashion board and have never been disappointed in what I get. I also am very happy with the prices. The styling fee of $20 isn’t bad and can be applied to your purchase. I wrote an honest Stitch Fix review with a bunch of pictures that you can check out to determine if it’s right for you.
Trunk Club: This is the subscription box of Nordstrom. If you have a Nordstrom credit card, there is no style fee. If you don’t have one, it is a $25 fee, which is credited toward your purchase. You also get to see the “trunk” before it ships and swap out what you don’t love. I live nowhere near a Nordstrom, so this is absolutely amazing to me. I also love their stylists.
If you are still having kids, then you have just found the best way to grab maternity and postpartum outfits. Most style boxes have great options, just be sure to tell them in the message that you want items specific for pregnancy or postpartum.
Invest in a great undereye concealer
I recently went and got my makeup done. My biggest takeaway was that I wasn’t using the correct makeup for my age. Your skin changes over time and so should your makeup.
For instance, as you age, your skin becomes less hydrated so you should use a creamy foundation. Additionally, you should only use foundations with yellow undertones. This looks best on everyone no matter what your skin tone is.
And you should also use a creamy hydrating undereye concealer. I was shocked at how much this helped my appearance. The one that I have switched over to is Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Concealer. I also now use their foundation.
Start using hyaluronic acid
Your absolute must to having great skin. Nothing can add moisture and hydrate like this ingredient. It will uptake so much water and keep it at your skin’s surface. I invested in an eye cream and a face cream. I couldn’t believe the difference it made in my lines the minute I put this on.
Also my skin has never felt so wonderful. I am so addicted. My favorite brand is the Skinceuticals hydrating B5 gel. It is expensive but really makes a huge difference on my skin. Another awesome brand that I have tried and really like also is The Ordinary. Their products are a fraction of the cost. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that the hyaluronic acid is only 2% in this product. A higher concentration does not mean it works better, according to dermatologists.
DIY Dip Nails
I just don’t feel good without my nails done. I do them simply because I love having my nails done. However, I just didn’t have the time to get them done with littles at home. We were also trying to save money. So I decided to give DIY a try.
I grabbed the Revel Starter Kit, nail polish remover clips and acetone off amazon. Now remember, there is a learning curve. The first manicure I gave myself was pretty sad. However, I learned a lot over the course of 10 nails. My second manicure was much better. I am now a pro and absolutely cannot see why I would go back to paying so much more when I can do it at a fraction of the cost. The learning curve was well worth it.
In addition to reading all the direction and tips that come with the set, watch plenty of youtube videos.
Find ways to lower stress
I’m sure we all know how important this is to feeling healthy and looking amazing. But really how many of us truly prioritize this?
Pick one or two things you can do that will really cut down on stress or allow you to get more sleep. A good first step is to sit down for a minute and make a list of everything that stresses you out. Now, pick a few that you want to work on or think you can improve. Now, try to come up with strategies to improve them.
For me these were the things that I added to really decrease stress.
- Using meal prep that would allow me to prep 2 weeks of dinners in about 2 hours. This by far was the biggest de-stressor for me. It saves me on average over an hour every day at dinnertime that I usually spent prepping and cleaning up.
- Changing up kids’ schedules so I was able to get at least two or three 15-minute kid free breaks in the day. If you have very little ones and naps don’t line up, then getting a minute to breathe is hard. I started changing up when quiet times happened and independent play so that I would get breaks.
- Going on a 10-minute run at the end of the day. Exercise just doesn’t really fit into my schedule right now. However, I know it does wonderful for my sanity and skin. Therefore, I do mini workouts such as a quick run down the block.
- Making and sticking to a cleaning schedule. I become overwhelmed when I know the house needs a deep clean. By tackling a different big chore every day, I feel we don’t reach that state.
- Trading babysitting with a friend to get errands done without kids. I also use this time to get a haircut and grab a coffee. Even when I am on babysitting duty, it’s still a great deal because to a certain degree, kids entertain each other.
- Since subscription boxes seem to be a theme of this article… another subscription box my husband got me was a plant subscription box, which is so perfect for me since our house can never have enough indoor plants. But the real benefit was how much it changed my SAD (seasonal affected depression) in the winter.
And get more sleep
The last thing I want to do after my kids finally go to bed is go to bed myself. But honestly, I need more sleep. I mean, what mom doesn’t? Sleep not only can ruin your mood all day but also can wreck your skin. One day a weekend, my husband wakes up with the kids and I sleep in as long as I can. I then trade him for the other morning.
This extra sleep can reset me for the next week and allow me to start working on my sleep. If you can go to bed earlier, awesome. If you can find a way to take a 20 minute nap, then do it, you’ll feel better. A 20 minute nap is more effective than coffee so when I can, I always take the nap.
Pursue looking and feeling better Today
It is hard to find the time to prioritize you but it is important. To be a good mom, you need to feel good. You need to have self-confidence. You need to be healthy. Find ways to add self care into your everyday and you will be surprised at how much of a difference it will make.
The first day I took a 10 minute run after not working out for over a year, I felt like a new person. I also can’t believe how much of a change there was from something so simple as swapping out my makeup or skin products.
Lastly, treat yourself to something such as a spa day if you can swing it. If not, grab a fun subscription box of either clothing or jewelry to upgrade your wardrobe. If you are like me and love having your nails done, then try a DIY solution. They have improved immensely in the last few years.