My husband, bless his heart, has a way of doing the perfect
thing at the wrong time. He dragged me out of work during my busiest time to
propose, asked if we could stop for pho on the way to Labor and Delivery, and
decided to become a professional photographer the week my son was born. The pictures he took of our son were beautiful, but I looked
tired, worn and frazzled. I knew I had to do something, because I knew I'd
never, ever have time to Photoshop all of those pictures.
Here are my favorite beauty hacks for new moms, most of which are quick, easy and cheap.
Wear Concealer (even to bed): The number one thing that bothered me was how tired I looked in all of our photos, all of which had two half-moon shaped holes perched right in the middle. Anemia and lack of sleep will do that to you. While browsing in a Korean beauty shop I found an amazing, moisturizing concealer in a salmon color that was easy to blend and plumped up the skin. Now I put it on every night before bed, so that even those early morning photos come out perfectly. Sadly, it's been discontinued but here are two great options available stateside:
Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers: Anemia doesn't just contribute to dark circles, but can also leave new moms looking pale. Add to that the dehydrated of the lips and skin that comes from being a 24/7 milk dispenser, and you start to look like you've walked through the desert. While normally I'm all about the natural lip balms, I quickly discovered that Lipsmackers had the perfect combination of gloss, color and easy-to-blendedness (in mommy-brain that's a word!) to quickly swipe on lips and cheeks, without risking any color disasters.
A Colorful Scarf: My scarf collection was finally put to good use after I had a baby. Not only did this instantly brighten my look and make even the dowdiest maternity jeans and tank combo look classy, but they also doubled as a nursing cover, and covered up spit up stains, food that fell when you took a micro nap while eating, and leaky nipples.
Earrings: Earrings are great both for brightening a face and for drawing attention away from messy hair, and my signature earrings–the bright blue and gold embroidered or the shiny red phoenix ones–always won me a ton of compliments, even if my hair hadn't been washed in a couple of days.
The Skirt-Saver: Here's yet another postpartum problem: you are too bloated
and sore to even consider wearing pants, but you don't want to flash anyone
when you're wearing a skirt and playing on the floor. The solution? Grab a
quarter, lay it on your skirt, and then wrap a rubber band around the two
layers of fabric for super-cute, makeshift shorts.
Facial: It's hard to find time to take care of yourself after baby,
but a simple facial can clean up blackheads and brighten your skin. Simply mix
olive oil, lemon juice and baking powder in a small dish and apply to your skin
in small, circular motions. The oil will help break up blackheads and
moisturize, while the AHA in the lemon juice brightens your skin and the baking
soda sloughs off dead skin cells. And if that doesn't work…
Laser Treatments: I've always had to be careful about my freckles ganging up
on me, but after my LO was born all the concealer in the world could not cover
up my pregnancy melasma, which covered my face like a thick, muddy veil. A
quick visit to a Korean skin doctor fixed that. $200 dollars and 5 days later
my melisma had flaked off and I no longer looked like I had taken a face dive
into a piece of chocolate cake.
Beauty Juice: Watermelon, cucumber and lime. That's all it takes.
Watermelon and cucumber are deeply hydrating and rich in anti-inflammatory
nutrients, and the lime packs a powerful punch of vitamin C that will
revitalize you from the inside out. Now only that, but the easy to drink fibers
in watermelon juice can help alleviate that dreaded post partum constipation and bloating.