Mom life got ya feeling grundgy? I know the feeling where you haven’t gotten out of sweats in days, couldn’t even locate your makeup bag if you tried, and your idea of a spa day is having a shower alone in peace without a child yelling “mamaaa” and poking his head through the side of the curtain…
I’ve been there – I still go there sometimes. But there is a wow factor that I feel when I take a little more time to do something special that makes me feel more done up or put together, a little glam, dare I say a little sexier?! Recently I’ve really been making more effort to do even a little bit everyday, not for anyone else, but simply because I know I do feel better when I take even small steps to put myself together in the morning and get “ready” for the day before the chaos begins. Some of the things in this post are a little more effort for when you’re feeling that that extra boost is needed, but some are veryyy quick fixes or even things you can do while juggling the eight other things you have going on. So let’s dive in.
One of the fastest ways for me to get that glowy feeling is quite literally by getting a glow to my skin. I’ve got naturally pale skin so unless I’m getting really consistent sun, I tend to have get that pasty white glow, especially during winter, and that’s not the look I’m going for. And while anyone who knew me during college knows I used to fake tan in the booth literally 5x a week (I know, it’s horrible, and I wish I could go back and be a little smarter…damn you, tanning membership!), I’m much more cautious with it now.
I’ve tried dozens of self tanners over the last ten years, and they all had at least one of these issues: they were super orange, streaky, and fake looking…or, they had nice deep natural color, but were sticky as hell and dark brown and got all over everything for eight hours until you could wash them off…or, they were gradual tanners that gave little to no color no matter how many times I re-applied.
Finally, I’ve found the holy grail (thank you Instagram for connecting me to this blogger) – Sivan Ayla’s Lux Unfiltered is a gradual self-tanner that applies just like a lotion, develops into a natural tan in just one application, and isn’t sticky/brown/orange/stinky at all. I use both the body tanner and the face tanning drops. Both are all-natural, paraben/sulfate/silicone/petroleum free, vegan, cruelty-free. It’s such an easy way to get the glow up and feel like you’ve been relaxing on the beach all day (even if you’ve been elbows deep in dirty diapers and dishes for hours).
I’ve got a big smile, with some big ol’ teeth to go along with it, and I drink coffee and red wine, and eat a boatload of berries. I used another brand of teeth whitener for years, and while it worked to get them whiter, it worked maybe a little too much by permanently (sad) bleaching out certain spots, I’m guessing by eating away so harshly at the enamel. They’d also leave me with super sensitive teeth after application, which is only helpful if you’re trying to avoid all hot and cold foods – not me.
This is a line of all-natural and non-toxic whitening products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and whitening strips. I saw an instant difference after just one box of the strips, with zero pain and sensitivity. They’re gentle enough to keep using as often as you want, so I like to just use them periodically to keep my pearly whites pearly and white! Oh, and cost…way cheaper than the ones I was previously buying in store.
This one takes slightly more effort, but can still be done in less than a half hour. A while back, I did gel polish on my nails consistently. I absolutely loved the look and feel, but literally haaated the maintenance and the actual process of it. I didn’t like that I couldn’t get them off myself, had to schedule in a big chunk of time to get them re-done, and the process of getting the done was super painful. Then I’d feel awful about it, because as this person was working so hard and pampering me, I’d be hating every minute of it, in pain, and wishing it would hurry up. So I’d end up just feeling crappy about the whole thing. Plus, expensive!
But I do love the look of freshly done nails sometimes. It just makes me feel more put together on a daily basis, without having to do anything on a daily basis. Know what I mean? My nails are soft and breakable, meaning regular polish will chip off literally by the end of the day, so that’s not an option. These Static pop-on nails (holy smokes fake nails have come a long way in the last 20 years) are super easy to apply, look natural, and last me around 2 1/2 weeks. If you only want them on for a special event, or just want them to last a couple days, you can use less glue and they’ll come off way quicker. It’s all done at home, I’m getting quicker and better at it so I can have them on and done in about 20 minutes, and they cost under $15 per set.
Kopari has been my go-to lip gloss for years now, and there’s just something about it! It’s shiny without being sticky, smells amazing and not overly strong, and doesn’t do that thing where your hair gets caught in it then drags goo all over your face. I’m obsessed with the clear gloss but also have the champagne shimmer when I want something with a slight color. I have no less than 3 tubes going at once in various parts of the house.
Also daily I use Jack Black’s SPF balm. My lips are sensitive especially to balms with SPF, and I always found myself getting waaay drier lips after using any other product than this one. It’s not shiny or sticky, but provides nice moisture and SPF 25 which I need because my lips burn really fast and it’s such a bummer when that happens, amiright?
This is one that isn’t a quick fix, so it’s kinda cheating to be on this list. But, by using this everyday, my lashes in their natural state are way fuller and longer. When I was younger I had super dark, thick lashes, but over time they’re gotten more sparse and way lighter. Nothing makes me look more awake than a little lash boost, so in addition to mascara (I use Thrive Causemetics), this serum has helped get a good foundation. It’s cheaper than other lash serums I’ve tried, and is also all natural so it’s safer to use. It took me consistent use for at least a month or so to see results, but now that I’m in the routine it’s easy to do and I’m definitely seeing it pay off! They also have a strong commitment to clean beauty and sustainability.