Last Friday I felt like I had been run over by a herd of sweaty elephants. I was sore from too much exercise, frazzled from finagling feisty toddlers, and my morning makeup had long ago smudged and smeared off of my face, doing more harm than good.
If you are a mom of little ones, or if you are just in a busy season of life, I’m sure that you can identify with this feeling. And why is it that when the afternoon rolls around, more often than not, I’m feeling anything but beautiful?!?
I am one of those women who is happiest and most efficient if I feel pretty. Even if I am planning to go organize the attic or garden, I want to look cute. So having a daily afternoon beauty crisis just doesn’t synch up with my priorities.
I’ve figured out a few quick ways that I can refresh myself without having to commit to re-doing my entire beauty routine. Some days, I will just choose one, other days, I run through everything. It depends on how big of a boost I need, and the extra time that I have available.
1. Feel More Beautiful with a Quick Hygiene Refresh
A little bit of extra hygiene can go a long way towards feeling fresh and pretty again. Brush your teeth and hair, apply fresh deodorant, some hand cream, and even spray a light facial mist.
These basics will have you feeling so much better and ready to conquer what’s left of your day.
If you are like me, your eye makeup may smudge a bit by the afternoon. I take this time to use a damp q-tip and clean up any smudges. If I’m going out, I may go ahead and reapply a bit more eyeliner.
A light dusting of translucent powder and a sweep of blush will leave you looking picture perfect.
2. Feel More Beautiful by Applying Lipstick
It’s very difficult to feel defeated and overwhelmed if you are wearing the right shade of lipstick. Seriously!
If you’ve never thought to wear lipstick around the house before, today may be the day to give it a whirl. My mood gets an instant upgrade when I swipe on my favorite shade.
For daily life, I prefer an inexpensive all-day transfer resistant formulation. This particular type is inexpensive and kiss-proof, so you can still snuggle and smooch your babies without worrying about leaving lipstick all over their cheeks.
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If casual lipstick isn’t your thing, no problem. Apply your favorite lip balm instead. Moisturized lips are beautiful lips.
3. Feel More Beautiful with Perfume
Scent is one of those pick-me-ups that works like no other. It’s a powerful mood upgrade that you can use around your home, but you can also use it for yourself with fantastic results.
I’d strongly recommend finding your signature scent, and then buying different coordinating fragrance vehicles (like lotion, body wash, hand soap, etc.) so that you can apply a light pick-me-up, or you can go for something stronger.
I personally have my signature fragrance and I spray it on after my shower in the morning, regardless of whether I’m going anywhere or not.
My signature fragrance has peony as one of its top notes, so I buy soaps, body wash, and lotion in a peony scent to complement my perfume.
Because I wear eau de parfum (which is a stronger formulation than eau de toilette), I don’t necessarily want to spray on more in the afternoon, it would be too strong for my preferences.
But I can wash my hands with my peony hand soap and apply some lotion, and I feel (and smell) like a million bucks!
4. Feel More Beautiful with Earrings, Scarves, etc.
Accessories can give your look a dramatic, instant boost. I personally feel much more put together and feel more beautiful when I have my favorite pair of earrings in. They are small, sparkly, and perfect for every day, or going out. I wear them 90% of the time because I love how they make me feel.
If you don’t yet have an accessory like this, I really encourage you to find one! I bought my favorite earrings at Dressbarn four years ago for $12. So your accessories do NOT need to be expensive.
Find a few pieces that give you a lift and that fit in well with your life, so that you can wear them, no matter what you are doing.
I love wearing a scarf in the fall, winter, and early spring. Once the temperature gets too warm, I leave my scarves in the closet. I do not enjoy wearing necklaces on a daily basis, they get in the way with my little ones.
I don’t like wearing bracelets around the house because I am always washing my hands, and I hate the feeling of wet bracelets! But a cute pair of earrings and even a ring or two on my hands are perfect!
5. Feel More Beautiful with Manicured Fingernails
I have decided that having my nails in good shape is the number one beauty boost that I can do for myself. I carry myself differently when my fingernails are painted.
I’ve been painting my nails since I was around eight years old, so I have managed to gain enough skill to pull it off well. I know that some women struggle, especially when using your left hand to paint your right hand (or vice versa if you are left-handed).
But if you have the extra time (it only takes me about 30 minutes to get mine done with a quick-drying polish), or the extra money to go to a nail salon, I would REALLY encourage you to keep your nails looking great.
If you want to paint your nails yourself, but aren’t very steady with it, just use a clear polish, or a pale nude shade. This is my favorite pale nude, and I wear it often. The great thing about nude or clear nail polish is that it isn’t obvious when you have a chip! So you get a little more life out of your manicure.
Most of the time I have my nails painted bright red or nude, and it helps make me look pulled together.
I have started using a gel polish that doesn’t need a UV light to set. This polish is quick drying and doesn’t take over an hour to “cure” like a traditional polish.
So this means, no more painting your nails in the evening, and then getting those awful creases in your polish from sleeping overnight!
The gel polish is not very “nail-friendly” it does cause my nails to peel a bit. However, I keep my nails short, so this doesn’t bother me. I just make sure to file and buff my nails weekly after removing old polish, and I have a smooth surface to apply new polish.
I have used both of these polishes, and either great: this one or this one. Both polishes will give me 5-7 days wear with no chipping. You will also need to buy the gel topcoat to go over the colored polish.
If feeling pretty and pulled together gives you a mental boost, then there is no reason not to spend a little bit of time throughout your day attending to your looks!
Just because you are a busy Mama doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t take a few beauty breaks throughout the day to refresh yourself and feel more beautiful. These little beauty breaks are what keep me going and keep me smiling at my children instead of feeling defeated and overwhelmed.
Think of them as little moments of self-care sprinkled throughout your day.
Do you have any quick beauty fixes that you can share? I’m always on the lookout for new ways to give myself a boost!