The original thought going along with our Birth Week theme was that I would share my story of EJ’s birth. However, I told Kristen that I didn’t think I had the emotional capacity to document the event in the middle of our month of traveling filled with goodbyes. It’s a story that will require two of us to collaborate on, being as though I have many blank spots that Kevin is still filling in for me eight months later. Thank you, 60+ hour long induction/labor and mucho drugs and blood loss. We decided I will tell our story in January, to welcome in the birth of a new year and mark EJ’s first birthday. I just couldn’t give my all to that sort of post right now, and that’s one that deserves my best.
So instead I’ve compiled a list of my favorite non-makeup beauty(ish) items for mommas with new babies. I say, “non-makeup” because makeup was most definitely not a priority after we brought home our fresh little squish, but having a few items that I could use to spruce up did make me feel loads better at times.
My relationship with makeup and other beauty products has drastically changed since becoming a mother. I can even tell you the exact moment it happened. After being admitted on a Wednesday afternoon for an unexpected induction I woke up Thursday morning feeling positive, refreshed, and ready to have a baby. I took a shower, put on some makeup, did my hair, took in the gorgeous sunrise and thought, “This is the day. I’m ready to meet my baby.” Long story short…that was far from reality, but you can read about that in a few months. The day after though…waking up on Thursday morning with a baby still inside…I took one look at that sunrise, but this time thought, “Whatever,” and got back into that oh-so-comfortable bed (please, tell me you sensed my sarcasm there). I think it was at least two weeks before I opened up my makeup bag again.
I am in no way advocating that a woman needs any kind of beauty product in the days/weeks/months after giving birth, but I recognized that, personally, the following things lifted my spirits and made me feel better.
Here, in no particular order, are my favorites…
If I had to pick only one product that my hair life can’t live without, it would be dry shampoo. It’s perfect for mommas with new babies who aren’t quite able to stick to their normal shampoo routine. Before I had a baby I used to always (inwardly) roll my eyes at the moms who would complain that they never have time to take a shower. Listen, there are some days that if I remember to even brush my teeth by the end of the day, I consider it a win. If I wash my hair in the morning I might spray a little before I go to bed that night, or if not, then in the morning. Last week, I ended up with a good four days worth of dry shampoo in my hair. #fulldisclosure #movingweek. A few of my favorites are by Dove, Suave, and Salon Grafix .
In the last year or so I’ve become a big fan of The Body Shop. I have quite a few favorite items that I use and I’m sure I’ll share on the blog one day, but one in particular is the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil. Now, I’m not one to make the bold claims like cosmetic/beauty companies do. I know that what works for me might not work for another woman, and vice versa. However, after not having a full night’s sleep in over a year, something claiming to give my skin the appearance of a full eight hours of sleep I’ll give a go! I have pretty basic combination skin and this serum feels pretty yummy on my face. I put about 5-6 drops on my clean skin before my moisturizer. Even if it just makes me feel as though I look like I’ve had more sleep, I give it a 10.
Another product I love from The Body Shop is their body butter. They have a pretty broad range of scents, but my all-time number one is the Shea Butter. Mmmm. I even got Kristen turned on to it. I’m usually not a fan of majorly fruity or floral scents, so this is perfect. It’s just got this really fresh smell and I looooove it. The only downside, it’s got a slightly higher price than your average drugstore body moisturizer. However, TBS often has pretty good sales and their range of body butters is also carried at Ulta ($3 off coupon, anyone??) and they have decent sales, too.
This one is where the “ish” in “beauty-ish” comes in. Water…essential for hydration to keep that skin looking healthy, and for you breastfeeding mommas out there, a must for keeping that lactation nice and strong. In the months after EJ’s birth I was pretty obsessed with my water cup from the hospital. I think I connected it with being in the hospital (for seven days!) and Kevin so diligently keeping it filled with the ice chips that he shoveled into my mouth upon my constant request. I suppose it served as a reminder of how attentive he was to me in my
hour hoursdays of need. Well, the thing broke and I had the good sense to realize that it wasn’t the cup that was important and chucked it.
All that to say…this Contigo water bottle was quite a nice replacement. I have the 32 oz., but it comes in other sizes. The only thing I don’t like about the 32 oz. is that it doesn’t fit into our cup holders in the car. But, after Sept. 30 we won’t have a car any longer, so I guess that doesn’t matter. 🙂
For any of you mommas out there who like to have your fingernails prettied up I recommend Jamberry nail wraps. They’re fairly easy to apply and last from 2-3 weeks. Because who has time to sit down and paint their nails every 2 days? I know that’s how long it takes for my polish to chip, and that’s just if I manage to get it on and dried before a diaper needs changing, the dryer buzzes, or there’s a meal to prepare. They’re good on toes, too!
This next one might be a big no-no with the beauty gurus out there, but I can’t live without my face wipes. I’ve used some that broke my sensitive skin out something awful, but these Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are my go-to when I don’t have time, feel lazy, or just need a quick refresher. Sometimes I find the 2-pack at Target with an extra little mini wipe pack freebie attached.
Most of the time I still don’t wear lipstick because daily I rain down at least a hundred kisses on my little one’s face. And hands. And arms. And tummy. And toes. But to keep my lips hydrated I like to use Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm. If I’m wanting a little color, though, I’ve found a new lip love in Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in the color Red Dahlia.
The number one thing that made me feel beautiful after having a baby was just that…having a baby! I remember walking into the bathroom of my hospital room a day or two after EJ was born and looking into the mirror at my pale, colorless face and thinking that that was the most beautiful I had ever felt. I even remember feeling my squishy, empty feeling belly and being quite proud of what had happened in there just days before. I am much more comfortable and confident in my new mommy skin than ever before.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s eyes.” 1 Peter 3:3-4