Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had. The hours are long, there are no sick days, I rarely have time to myself, and it feels like someone’s always yelling. But you know what? It’s also incredibly rewarding. Few things make me as happy as experiencing the world through my daughter’s eyes, and knowing a lot of her successes are a result of my hard work is extremely gratifying, but there are days I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the woman staring back at me.
My hair greasy hair is streaked with silver strands.
My puffy, sleep-deprived eyes are lined with wrinkles and crows feet.
My eyebrows are unruly.
And don’t even get me started on the state of my un-manicured nails.
The good news?
Life as a working mom has motivated me to try out tons of beauty hacks for busy moms over the years, and I’ve come up with some quick and dirty beauty tips to make myself look good in less time. Whether I stay up too late binge-watching my favorite shows on Netflix, press the snooze button one too many times, forget to pack my daughter’s lunch the night before, or some other disaster strikes, mornings are always hectic in our household, and these beauty hacks help me look and feel more put together than I really am.
How to Prolong a Hair Wash
A collection of beauty hacks for busy moms wouldn’t be complete without tips and tricks to combat greasy, dirty hair. Why? Because washing, blow drying, and styling your hair every single morning isn’t exactly conducive to having kids. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help make dirty hair look clean in record-breaking time. Here are 3 of my favorites!
- Use dry shampoo before bed: Most people use dry shampoo in the morning, and while that strategy definitely helps soak up hair oils, I’ve found it much more effective to spray dry shampoo throughout my hair before I hit the hay. This way, the dry shampoo can work its magic while I sleep, leaving me with gorgeous second day hair.
- Brush and blow dry: If you want to stretch your hair wash even further, you may need to apply a little extra dry shampoo when you wake up. To ensure it’s distributed evenly – and to give your hair that ‘just been styled’ look – make sure to brush your locks thoroughly and give it a bit of style with your blow dryer.
- Embrace the messy bun: I have friends who can go 3, 4, and sometimes 5 days in between shampoos, but I’m not that lucky. My hair is too light and shows grease like nobody’s business. The good news is that I’ve mastered the messy bun, which offers a fabulous (and stylish) alternative when dry shampoo just won’t cut it.
How to Hide Gray Hair
I recently celebrated my 40th birthday, and decided to treat myself to my first set of blonde highlights to hide all of the silver streaks that have taken up residence on my head. But prior to this momentous event, I had quite a few tricks I used to hide gray hair which were relatively successful. Here are the 3 hair hacks I swear by:
- Change your hair part: Sounds too easy to be true, I know, but parting your hair on the opposite side of your head, or embracing a messy part, can sometimes help hide gray hair. I find this strategy also goes a long way in prolonging a hair cut as it adds a bit of change and helps hide split ends!
- Touch up with eyeshadow: If you’re due to get your roots dyed but don’t have time to make it to the salon, apply a matte eyeshadow the same shade of your hair to your part using a makeup brush. Works wonders!
- Invest in a good touch-up product: If your gray strands and roots are unresponsive to a new hair part and/or a little eyeshadow, consider investing in a good touch-up product. There are heaps of great ones out there, but my hair stylist and I prefer COLOR WOW Root Cover Up because it adheres to the hair without feeling oily or sticky and it looks very natural.
How to Hide Puffy Eyes and Minimize Wrinkles
Chronic sleep deprivation and parental worry combined with tons of tickling and laughter mean one thing: puffy eyes with lots of wrinkles. Seems pretty unfair, I know, but there are lots of things you can do behind the scenes to make your blinkers look younger.
- Apply coconut oil before bed: We all know coconut oil is good for practically everything (right?), and it turns out it has anti-aging properties as well. Massage a small portion into the area around your eyes to help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, and dark under eye circles.
- Reduce puffiness with green tea ice cubes: The anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea can do wonders for hiding puffy eyes. Simply brew a batch of concentrated green tea and pour into ice cube trays, and then wrap a couple of frozen cubes with a tea towel and apply to tired, swollen eyes for instant relief.
- Moisturize before makeup: As an extra safeguard, invest in a good under eye moisturizer and apply it underneath your concealer to reduce swelling, smooth skin, and prevent you concealer from getting trapped in the fine lines around your eyes. I swear by La Roche Posay’s Hydraphase Hyaluronic Under Eye Puffiness Cream.
- Use a hydrating concealer: When it comes to hiding under eye circles and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, not all concealers are created the same. Find a moisture-rich formula like Estee Lauder’s Waterproof Extreme Concealer and gently pat it onto your under eye area using your ring finger for maximum coverage.
How to Get Beach Waves Fast
While beach waves look like a quick and easy hairstyle for lazy summer afternoons, learning how to get perfect waves is a process in and of itself. The good news is that there are tons of things you can do to get sexy beach waves without the fuss. Here are 3 simple things that have helped transformed my hair during the summer months:
- Invest in a good texturizing spray: Contrary to popular belief, the secret to sexy beach waves has nothing to do with technique. The best curling wand in the world won’t giving you perfectly imperfect tousled hair unless you prep your locks with one important product: texturizing spray. Perfect for creating volume and gorgeous waves that last, a product like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray is a game-changer when it comes to sexy summer hairstyles.
- Learn the headband technique: This no-heat technique results in gorgeous curls that look professionally done. All you have to do is place a headband on your head and twist strands of your hair around the headband. Leave it in for a few hours, or even better, sleep with it like that over night. Check out the Cosmos Stretchy Cotton Sport Headbands – they’re cheap and cheery and get the job done!
- Turn up the heat: Running late but still want gorgeous waves? Try braiding your hair and then pressing your flat iron overtop of the braid(s) to speed up the ‘curling’ process. It’s surprisingly effective!
Nail Hacks Every Girl Should Know
There’s nothing like going to the salon to get a mani. It’s relaxing, fun, and you get to be pampered and primped, but it’s also time-consuming and expensive, and lots of moms often skip this luxury altogether. The good news is that there are tons of great nail hacks you can use to get a perfect DIY polish application from the comfort of your own home.
- Prep nails with white distilled vinegar to make polish last: Before you apply your base coat, clean your nails with white distilled vinegar. Not only will it last longer, your polish will also go on smoother for flawless looking nails.
- Cover cuticles with Elmer’s Glue: Sounds crazy, I know, but if you apply non-toxic Elmer’s Glue to your cuticles before applying polish, you can remove all imperfections post-polish to ensure a precise application every single time.
- Prevent chips by applying an extra top coat: Before applying your top coat all over your nails, apply a layer just to the tips for added protection as that’s the part of your nails that tends to chip most. Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Chip-Resistant Top Coat always seems to last the longest with my nails.
- Dry polish instantly with cold water: You read that correctly. If you want your polish to dry super fast, dip your nails in freezing cold water post-polish. It really works!
How to Draw Perfect Eyebrows Every Single Time
Over the past few years, getting perfect eyebrows has become more and more of a beauty craze. The “in” shape may change, and one year they might be bushier and thicker than others, but one thing is for sure: perfectly shaped eyebrows can make a huge difference for your face, and everyone has taken notice. Check out these eyebrow hacks for perfectly defined brows!
- Get the perfect eyebrow arch using the spoon trick: If you struggle to draw natural-looking eyebrows, this eyebrow hack is for you. Place the spoon bowl-side down underneath your eyebrows with the tip of the spoon pointing towards your nose, and use the edge of the spoon as a guide to help draw your eyebrows with a defined eyebrow pencil like the ANASTASIA Beverly Hills Brow Whiz. Genius!
- Hide imperfections with concealer: If your brows didn’t turn out exactly the way you wanted them to, or you’re overdue for an eyebrow wax, you can hide imperfections with a little bit of concealer and a small makeup brush (I find the Sigma Beauty Flat Definer E15 brush works perfectly). I find this method gives a much more defined look, which is perfect for a night on the town with the girls.
- Make them pop with white liner: If you want to give your brows an extra lift, add a little white eyeliner above and below your brows and blend. Don’t have white liner, or find it too bright? BENEFIT COSMETICS offers an even better alternative with their High Brow Glow pencil.
- Smooth unruly eyebrows with Vaseline: if you’re really pressed for time and can’t draw in your brows, you can still give them a polished look with a dab of Vaseline followed by a good comb with your favorite eyebrow spoolie.
Make Your Eyes Pop with These Life-Changing Eyeshadow Hacks
While the daytime smokey eye is a look many of us would like to sport on the daily, few of us have that kind of time (or skill). The good news is that there are tons of eyeshadow hacks you can use to make your eyes pop with little to no effort. Here are 5 of my favorites:
- Prime your eyes: Before you apply eyeshadow or eyeliner to your lids, apply a decent eyeshadow primer (I swear by Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion) for a smoother application and all-day wear.
- Invest in the right brushes: If you struggle to replicate all of the eyeshadow looks you see on YouTube, it’s probably because you don’t have the right brushes. While drugstore brands get the job done, high end brushes allow better product application and blending for a flawless, professional-looking finish. The Sigma Beauty Basic Eyes Kit is a great place to start – it has all of the essentials at a decent price!
- Keep it simple: While it can be fun experimenting with different eyeshadow palettes and blending techniques, applying one simple shadow across your lids will still give you a put-together look when you’re short on time but still want to look presentable.
- Wake up your eyes with white eyeliner: Feeling extra tired and puffy? Applying a white or nude eyeliner to your lower waterline will make your eyes look bigger and more awake.
- Learn the eyelash curler trick for perfect eyeliner: If you struggle to apply eyeliner, Wayne Goss has you covered with his eyelash curler trick. It takes a bit of practice, but you’ll be happy once you master it!
At Meraki Lane, we’re big believers in the power of self-confidence, and recognize that when we’re not happy with ourselves, our feelings of inadequacy tend to spill over into other areas of our lives, which can be a recipe for disaster. And that’s why I’m sharing this collection of beauty hacks for busy moms to teach you how to look good in less time.
Because when you feel good about yourself?
Well, that’s when the magic happens…
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