I would like to start by saying that looks have never been the most important thing to me. Their importance to me has ebbed and flowed throughout my life. There is a fine line between taking pride in our appearance and being overly concerned with trying to fit in. Our “flaws” are often times what make us different and unique. Mostly, I just think that when people feel good about themselves, it radiates from within, and that is the most attractive quality.
From the time I got pregnant, everything was pretty much the same for me as far as cosmetics and general grooming go. The only concern that I had was the idea of getting stretch marks. My mom has stretch marks and I have heard that it’s genetic, so I expected that I would be getting them myself. Fortunately, there has been a really cool movement recently with women embracing their stretch marks and I prepared to embrace my own “tiger stripes” with pride. However, I also did everything in my power to keep my stomach moisturized and made sure to NEVER scratch my belly.
I moisturized a minimum of twice a day, probably an average of three times a day, rotating between virgin coconut oil and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks. Much to my surprise, I did not get ONE stretch mark (this time anyway). While I completely respect every woman and her body exactly as it is, I wanted to at least share my experience in case it might help someone else. Above all, I want to be clear that it is imperative that we all love and accept ourselves and our bodies exactly as they are.
The real challenge in looking good came after my little man arrived. Getting ready became a luxury! I have gotten ready with at least full eye makeup since high school and I was going weeks at a time without a stitch of makeup (nowhere to go, no one to impress). By the time sleep deprivation started to set in, I knew I at least needed to start freshening up so I could feel more like myself and keep my sanity. Here is a list of items I would recommend using to get ready at a bare minimum so you can be feeling fresh and groomed:
- Eye drops – the best for redness are Rohto.
- Eyebrow gel – my favorite is Elf (clear eyebrow and eyelash gel in one).
- Dry shampoo – my old salon, Umberto, in Beverly Hills has the best one and you can get it at Target!
- pH feminine wipes – Summer’s Eve are the best… there will be times when you can’t shower and these will save your life.
- Calming essential oils – I am nervous about having a bunch of chemicals around my baby but still want to smell good. Wearing these makes me feel and smell good!
- Exfoliation and lotion – daily washing and moisturizing will combat the toll that lack of sleep takes on your skin.
- Preparation H – nothing better for the bags under your eyes… get a tube that is JUST for your face though.
These are the basics I would recommend for a well-groomed look and feel. Anything you can/have time for in addition to this is awesome. One more thing… drink TONS of water! Especially if you’re breastfeeding. That is always the best beauty secret under any circumstance!