As moms, we tend to forget ourselves and take care of everyone else in our families. Yet, as wives, we need to take care that we do not neglect our grooming and appearance, as these are important to our husbands, and even our children. (I’ll never forget my middle schooler saying to me one morning: “Mom, when are you going to put on some makeup?”!) Following are my tips for a simple beauty/grooming routine, with suggestions for some of my favorite products.
#1: Protect your skin from the sun! Especially your face, neck, and the back of your hands. Women show age the fastest here. A sunscreen I love for these areas is Neutrogena Age-Shield face. (8.99 at Target, look for the ones with an “extra” bundled with the product) One 3 oz. tube lasts me several months. Apply a.m. after cleansing; under moisturizer and makeup.
#2: Have a skin care program! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just use a cleanser and moisturizer made for your skin type. For best results, your cleanser and moisturizer should be the same brand. I love Mary Kay Timewise cleanser and moisturizer (It lasts about 6 months and is 40.00 for the set from your Mary Kay consultant… or ask her how you can get it free!) You can also purchase skin care sets by Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, etc. at your retail store. The important thing is to use a cleanser made for faces, and to hydrate (even oily skin needs hydration.) If your skin is really oily, a toner helps as well. This can be a retail brand, or just some witch hazel applied with a cotton ball.
#3: Rest! Younger moms, you may need to nap when your kids nap. It’s so tempting to get something done during that time. When I had a colicky baby, I took a nap in the afternoon, because that’s when she slept the best. My husband preferred coming home to a later dinner rather than a cranky wife. You will look better and feel better. My favorite products for rest? A free ipod app. called “Sleep Machine Lite” that produces white noise (“crickets” is my favorite) and a sleep mask to keep out the light (Bathery luxury sleep mask, 5.49 at Target).
#4: Exercise. It doesn’t have to be triathalon training. Or at a gym. Purchase some hand weights and spend 10 min. 3 times a week “strengthening your arms” as it says in Prov. 31:17. (Most women begin with 5# weights, available in the sporting goods sections at retail stores.) Put the toddlers in the double-stroller and walk around your neighborhood. Pop in a pilates CD. Find what works for you, and make it a routine. `
#5: Watch the sugar: This is one I have not mastered, so I’m talking to myself! I have learned the hard way that we cannot indulge in treats the way we did when we were teenagers. My trick (when I’m doing it right) is to not make desserts on a regular basis, and to have a bite of hubby’s dessert when we’re out or at a special event. I get to taste it without over-indulging. Your weight, as well as your skin, will thank you. If you know me, you know I struggle with this constantly, because I love to bake!
#6: Groom your nails: You can stop laughing now! I know your nails are in dishwater, changing diapers, or both all day long! I only mean to keep them filed (I definitely prefer mine short!) and cuticles at bay. Maybe even some clear polish for church or date night. Nothing fancy, just neat. I love white cotton gloves, found in the health and beauty section of your retail store. Massage Vaseline onto hands and cuticles at night, put gloves on, and have soft, smooth skin and cuticles in the morning.
#7: Soften feet: My absolute favorite foot-softening product is the Ped Egg, 9.99 at Target and some other retail stores. It works well to smooth away dead skin. I soak my feet first, use the ped egg (you could also use a pumice), rinse, apply vaseline followed by socks, and in the morning, have soft, smooth feet ready for sandal wear!
#8: Get a good haircut! This doesn’t have to be expensive. Perhaps you have a friend who cuts her own hair, and it looks great. You, on the other hand, bake great brownies. Offer to barter… one haircut for a batch of homemade brownies! Hair products differ for each hair type and color, but I’ll recommend that if you’re using the cheapest, you upgrade just one degree. Coupons cut from the Sunday paper combined with sales will often get you those products at the same price or less than the least expensive brands.
#9: Smile! Your true beauty comes from within. (Brushing and flossing daily helps, too!)
#10: Have a simple makeup routine. How surprised would your husband be if he came home and you were wearing makeup? Would he feel honored that you got “fixed up” just for him? Three little products can make a difference: mascara, blush, and lip gloss. Peaches and pinks soften your skin tone and create a more youthful look (and who doesn’t want that!) See your Mary Kay consultant, or purchase drug store items with coupons.
Lastly, remember that true beauty comes from within. When a woman knows who she is in Christ, her joy radiates outward to everyone around her, making them feel comfortable in her presence and happy to be around her.
Wife and homeschooling mother of three, Kim enjoys reading, writing, and watching old movies. A self-proclaimed chocoholic, she also loves to cook and bake. You can find more of her musings (and recipes) at thedaisymuse.com.