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1: Be well-armed
We've all been there: You finally manage to get the kids out of the house and in the car when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the rear view mirror and think, "How did I leave the house like this?" For these moments, always keep a stash of makeup and a few accessories in your purse. It's amazing how even a quick swipe of lipstick or slipping on a cute headband can make you look and feel more pulled together. And since your kid is strapped in to his 5-point harness, he or she is physically unable to prevent you from taking this moment for yourself.
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2: Stock up on dry shampoo
THE. BEST. INVENTION. EVER. Ok, not better than the baby swing or portable changing pads, but still really, really fantastic. Dont have time to shower? No problem. Spray in some of this magic potion to absorb oil, add texture, and smell, um better. These sprays contain oil-zapping ingredients like oat or rice powder, and they really do work. If your hair is very oily, you will want to bring a travel size along in case you need refreshing. As a bonus, shampooing less helps preserve haircolor and saves your locks from daily heat styling.
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3: Get that "I've actually slept" look — even when you haven't
I dont know many moms who are able to get anything close to adequate rest. If you suffer from dark circles and eye bags, try applying ice — in the form of a gel eye mask, frozen spoons, your kid's boo-boo cold pack, whatever — for 10 minutes. If you dont have that kind of time, use a cooling eye gel like Origins No Puffery. Leave it in the fridge, glob it on your bags first thing in the morning, and remove after 5 minutes. Follow up with a light-reflecting concealer.
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4: Get a great haircut
Talk to your stylist and tell them that you dont have time to style your hair every day. This will mean that you have to embrace your natural texture no matter what it is. It also means you should opt for a more organic, less fussy style. Your days of Vidal Sassoon-inspired precision are — for now — over. Luckily loose, easy, almost undone texture is really hot right now. Trust me, with the right cut and the right products, you can rock it.
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When it comes to skincare, everyone knows they should moisturize and use sunscreen. However, you should also do your best to add exfoliation to your routine. Its essential to healthy, brighter, younger-looking skin. If you dont have a lot of time to do your makeup, Id reach for concealer, mascara, and blush first, as theyll have the biggest impact for most people. For hair, get regular trims to keep your ends healthy and your style fresh. Dont wash every day but when you do, use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner.
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6: Choose products that do double duty
Eliminating steps helps to make daily maintenance just a tiny bit more manageable. For example, a tinted moisturizer that contains SPF protection is three products in one and will really save you a lot of time. Be on the lookout for all sorts of ways to cut corners. These days you can self-tan while you moisturize, protect hair from heat styling while adding shine, and treat your face to a scrub and masque combo.
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7: Create a diversion
I have one of those high-maintenance kids who has a hard time playing on his own. This creates a big problem if I happen to have plans beyond the park or the library, and I really need look my best. When Im faced with that dilemma, I treat my son to a big bubble bath. He gets to play in the tub, and I get to spend an hour in the bathroom. As a bonus, he comes out all fresh and clean. Its a win-win. Just be sure not to leave your child unattended!
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8: Pre-book your beauty appointments
This is maybe the most important tip of all. Its so hard to find time for yourself when you are a mother. Its so easy to let things slide a bit. Then a bit more. All of sudden your ends are scraggly and broken, your roots are an inch and half long, you have a unibrow, and your feet look like youve been walking across a desert for a couple months. Get it on the books, ladies. Make sure its on the family calendar and resist the temptation to cancel.
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9: Keep your feet worthy of sandals
No one wants, dry, cracked, tired feet, especially in the summertime. More importantly, if you neglect your feet, you could end up with painful calluses, corns, or ingrown toenails. Throw a foot rasp in your shower and take an extra minute to scrub the rough patches while you bathe. This will also give you a tiny bit more time to practice your audition for The Voice. Dont forget to slather your tootsies with a heavy moisturizer after you dry off.
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10: Work on your technique
If you have long hair, its important to get a couple quick and easy updo techniques in your arsenal. There is nothing wrong with a ponytail on a bad hair day, but resorting to it too often can make you feel like youve adopted the stereotypical mom do for good. Try twisting your hair up into a loose side bun or wrapping a braid around itself to create styles that are almost as easy to accomplish but feel more sophisticated. If youve just washed your hair, the key is to add product before you play around. Nothing is harder to work with than super clean hair.
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11: Treat yourself better
Easier said than done, I know. But its so important to take care of yourself, both because you deserve it and because your children will learn from your example. Its NOT vain, and you do not need to feel guilty for it. Drink lots of water, eat your veggies, exercise, fight to get more (if not enough) sleep, protect yourself from the sun, and get serious about combating stress. And when you let a few things slide, dont worry. These tips are intended to help you find ways to feel better about yourself, so do what you can do and be proud of that.
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