First time mum, Susie Pavan discovers that a new bundle of joy often means a frazzled mum – unless you adopt these time saving tips.
I have a confession to make. Pre-baby I was asked to write timesaving beauty stories for stressed out mums. Multi-tasking products, 5-minute facials, speedy hair styling … The list goes on. But it’s only now that I truly understood the brief. Almost overnight I went from a pampered princess to zero make-up zombie. So between two hourly feeds I worked out a baby-proof beauty routine that you won’t read in any magazine.
By the end of week two I faced the harsh reality and had no choice but to de-clutter my bathroom drawer and pack away everything bar my cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser, serum, eyebrow pencil with tweezers, hair crème wax, comb, foundation and bronzer. My beauty drawer now contained my staples for the next six months.
The shower became my temple. I’d pump my cleanser and exfoliator in one hand and jump under the water and massage my face. This was a far cry from my fifteen-minute cleansing ritual but it worked. I’d even sprinkle a few drops of my baby’s lavender oil into the steaming water. My skin was super sensitive from breastfeeding so everything had to be gentle and soothing.
My goal was to glow. I had no times for trends. I mixed my moisturiser, serum and foundation in one hand and patted onto my face. I dotted over my bags with foundation (ran out of concealer) and used my liquid bronzer that acted like a highlighter on eyelids, cheekbones and lips (I was glossless too). I remember everyone saying I looked great. What I felt inside was another story.
By week eight the baby fog began to lift revealing bushy eyebrows, legs and bikini line, chipped nails…the lot. So out came the slow cooker. One-pot meals bought me-time for DIY treatments. Mani and pedi-wise I used quick-dry everything. When bathing bubs I applied a face masque and let the steam do the job. I even left in a hair masque while breastfeeding. Ready-made wax strips got rid of leg hair pronto and I plucked stray eyebrow hairs every few days, going over the shape with a brow pencil. Gradually I looked polished again! Remember, Rome was not built in a day!
Next was hair. After trying to blow-wave my thick Kate Middleton-like locks I almost had a Britney Spears shave-my-head moment. Instead I google-ed for sexy cropped celebrity mothers like Dannii Minogue (we have similar face shapes), Charlize Theron and Halle Berry. The next day my hubby looked after bubby and I briefed my local hairdresser to cut my hair short enough to slick back in seconds and blow-dry in minutes. He looked at my celeb pictures and gave me a long sweeping fringe with chic short sides (I wasn’t daring enough to go Charlize-short this time) to hide hair loss from breastfeeding. I haven’t looked back.
TOP 5 SUPER SAVERS
Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil revived my hormone ravaged skin early days.
When I could not calm bubs (or myself), I’d give our little bundle-of-joy to hubby and drop Jurlique Lavender Pure Essential Oil in a steaming shower. Bliss!
I used Natio Instant Bronzer on cheekbones, eyelids…everywhere even in my moisturiser. You gotta’ fake it to make it!
When hair was long and short S-Factor Creamy Molding Wax
slicked back all my crazy fuzzy hair from breastfeeding.
It was mission impossible to get to my beautician so I used Nad’s Hair Removal Body Wax Strips for Sensitive Skin on legs. Genius! Still trying to perfect the bikini line.
By Susie Pavan.Photography, Make-up & Hair: Fiona Corrigan