Here’s the deal. I have two infants. I have no time. This is literally true now, as compared to when I used to be like “OMG, I have no time” before I had kids and what I actually meant was “I’ll really have to write this story lighting fast if I want to make it to my favorite Equinox class at noon.”
Nevertheless, three months postpartum, you won’t catch me with chipped nails or too many visible grey hairs (ugh, I just put that on the Internet). Postpartum beauty is a key self-esteem tool for me at a time in life when so much is new and scary. I may not have the magic touch that can make my baby stop crying instantly every time, but I can have amazing nails with a little advance planning and a couple hours a month of family/hubby willing to run interference. That much I can control. And I’ll tell you what: In my world, conversation-starting nail art is key to faking it til I make it.
So I’ve modified a couple of my key beauty routines to suit my life as a new twin mom. Here are the two new mom beauty go-tos that work for me…
New Mom Beauty Tips, No. 1: Negative space, Calgel or Biogel manicures
Calgel and Biogel is not like regular gel polish. It’s harder, stronger, and lasts forever. I can literally get a month-plus out of a manicure done skillfully with this type of color, and even then it’s only the grow-out (and not any chipping or breaking) that bothers me. I manage the grow-out issue and push it even a bit longer between salon visits by leaving some negative space near the bottom — as in some sort of tip or gradient design with natural nail showing through at the base. (See the pic above for a recent example.) Each manicure is not cheap at my go-to Marie Nails — as far as I’m concerned, the hands-down champs of the nail art scene in Los Angeles — but if I amortize that cost over a month, I am actually saving not only time but a fair amount of money over my pre-babies weekly mani.
New Mom Beauty Tips, No. 2: At-home hair color touchups
I have always been a low-maintenance color person by preference. I want my balyage highlights to last three months, saving salon time and money. But a couple of years ago, I started getting greys — a swath of them right in the darn front, making them impossible to ignore. And that upped the maintenance ante. Fortunately, a new salon, dpHUE, just opened in my area that can both do a low-maintenance highlight color, and also send me home with a perfectly matched at-home touch-up kit, just for my problem areas, to extend the time in between visits. And while I’m a DIYer in general, I don’t generally mess around with my hair, which I consider my signature feature (especially while, um, I continue to work on my postpartum bod — I need my hair to work double time looking cute). But this isn’t boxed color from the supermarket, and the dpHue folks give you a totally pro consult to make sure your at-home experience is idiot proof. (And on these sleepless nights, I need an idiot-proof scenario. I have pled sleep-deprivation-induced idiocy on many of these early days.)
So that’s how I still manage to feel like a lady as well as a mom. Now tell me your new mom beauty tips for staying sane and confident in these early months!