Whether you’re a brand-new mama who equates showering with insta-chic or a veteran parent who can’t so much as pee alone, it’s hard not to look at put-together moms like Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama and wonder how they find the time to look so amazing. Answer: an entourage of stylists and makeup artists. But even if your entourage only consists of little ones, these quick tips will help you look paparazzi-ready in a flash.
Set up a beauty station by the front door.
Ever dash out of the house only to catch your reflection later and wince? To the rescue: Set up a mommy beauty station by the door. Simply hang a mirror and fill a basket (ideally out of reach to your kiddos) with your get-ready-quick essentials. A few suggestions: a hairbrush and dry shampoo to instantly upgrade your locks, concealer to mask any under-eye circles, blush or bronzer for a sweep of color, mascara to open up your eyes, and a box of facial tissues for quick beauty touchups.
Add stylish accents to your go-to outfits.
Guess what? You can maintain a uniform of cotton shirts and jeans as long as you accessorize smartly. A colorful, patterned scarf can add interest to a V-neck and boyfriend jeans (not to mention mask any spit-up or food stains). Skinny jeans and a plain top are instantly date-night-ready with a touch of costume jewelry and glam heels or fun flats. Invest in easy statement pieces, like a bright blazer, you can throw on before a parent-teacher conference that will instantly elevate your ensemble.
Streamline your makeup routine.
Ah, if only you had the time to labor over creating the perfect cat eye. But you’d be surprised how far a minimal look -- with minimal products -- can go toward boosting your confidence. Opt for multitasking makeup, like a BB cream, an above-and-beyond tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF, antioxidants and other antiaging components. Instead of stressing out about perfectly applying lipstick, opt for a simple tinted lip gloss or stain. If you’re constantly on the go, an eyelash curler can do wonders to instantly give eyes a lift without the mess of mascara.
Borrow from Baby.
If your beauty budget has given way to a college fund, take note: There’s a treasure trove of goodies already in your nursery. Use your little one’s lotion for the eau de bébé that everyone absolutely loves. Your baby’s chemical-free shampoo will leave your hair super-soft without stripping it of essential oils. Can’t find time to shower? Even if you don’t use baby powder at the changing table, dabbing it on your scalp and the shiniest areas of your hair can hold you over in between washings.
Have a signature style. One of Gwynnie’s biggest chic secrets? This mama has confidence. But if the baby drool on your shoulder has you feeling not-so self-assured, here’s a quick trick: Add something to your look that’s only yours. Tie a fun kerchief to your purse that you rotate every so often, and never leave the house without swiftly applying a bright lip color. Crumbs all over your clothes? Check. Signature statement necklace? Hey, you’ve got something going for