Look, I feel you. What is the point of spending an hour every morning to blow-dry your hair, primp your face, and style your OOTD just to stay cooped up inside all day chasing around crazy little monsters? We all know there is no point in wearing stylish clothes when they’re just going to be pooped on, puked on, and covered in sticky who-knows-what. I mean, this isn’t 1950 and we all know it isn’t our “womanly duty” to look sexy for our husbands before they get up in the morning until after they go to sleep.
When I was young and single I had a discussion with a friend about the controversial “getting ready every day” idea. She said, “Oh please tell me you are not going to be one of those moms who takes her kids to school in her pajamas! That is so embarrassing! Please tell me you will not do that to your future children!” I laughed it off at the time and said, “Yeah, I probably will. I don’t care what people think of me.”
If you know me, you have likely seen me in paint-stained yoga pants and a holey t-shirt with my hair smashed on one side from sleeping on it the night before and zero makeup, walking down the aisles at Walmart. I would give my old friend nightmares if she saw me now.
But let’s face it ladies, while we may not care what people think of us, we should care about how we feel about ourselves. The truth is, when I spend even 15 minutes to get ready and put on jeans instead of paint-stained yoga pants, I feel so much more confident, productive, and more like myself. We all have 15 minutes in a day to get a little bit ready. Everybody’s routine is going to be different but here is what I’ve found works.
7 Minute Hair
I tried, for an entire year, to like my hair long. I am obsessed with pictures and tutorials for long, beautiful hair. I tried really hard to take care of my hair and grow it out. Then I realized one day, I’m not meant to have long hair. Not only is my hair just too thin and long hair definitely does not flatter me, I was not willing to put in the work to style it everyday.
So, I found a cute short haircut, got it cut a few months ago, and am in love with it! It’s definitely a “mom cut” and I don’t even care. I can style my hair from soaking wet to done in less than 7 minutes and it looks like I spent an hour. I know this because my four-year-old son always tells me how nice my hair looks when I’m done, and we all know kids never lie about your looks. It has lots of layers and I use a round brush and hairdryer. If you have more hair than me, you can probably get away with not washing it as often and just use some dry shampoo to revive your hair from yesterday.
Whatever your style is, if you can’t make it look decent in 7 minutes, it may not be worth it.
Items of business:
1. Is your current hairstyle serving you? Can you make it look good in 7 minutes? Can you go a day or two without washing it and still fix it to look nice? If not, look for a new style. I would say that most of the time, shorter styles are so much easier. There is just less hair to deal with. If you’re super attached to long hair, learn some quick braids, easy up-dos, or hairstyles you can keep alive for several days. This is an amazing tutorial (hair starts around 5:45 minute mark) for long hair and if you can get away with it, go for it!
2. Keep your tools easily accessible. If you’re like me you might have curling irons, wands, flat irons, hair dryers with different attachments, and all manner of combs, picks, and brushes. Maybe you are a product hoarder and have 20 different bottles that you rarely use. Find what you will need on a daily basis and set it apart from the rest. Easily accessible means less fuss and less time.
5 Minute Makeup
I am known for being an all or nothing kind of girl. Some people may say that I either look like I’m dying or I’m going to the Prom. So it’s hard to prioritize my makeup routine sometimes. For a long time it was either my whole face or nothing at all. In the last year or so I have been better about trying to put on the essentials most days and I always feel so much better and even accomplished. I know it’s ridiculous to say that putting on makeup makes me feel accomplished but it does.
Again, everybody’s routine will be different but I have found that for me, only a couple of essentials changes my whole attitude about how I feel about myself. On regular days, when I don’t necessarily have anything to get dolled up for I wear a highlighting and contouring product (in lieu of foundation), blush, mascara, and lip gloss. Sometimes I quickly fill in my brows. I can easily do this in under 5 minutes. Now that I try a little harder on most days, my kids will sometimes notice and say, “Are we going to church?” Ummm…no honey, mommy just decided to stop being a slob.
Two things to figure out what your routine is:
1. Experiment with what products you feel like you need the most. What are your absolute essentials? What can you get on your face, to make you look the best, in five minutes flat? If you are really struggling, do a little research and you’re bound to come up with some excellent tutorials. I love this one from maskcara.
2. Keep those products separate from the rest of your makeup. Maybe in a small makeup bag or a clear makeup organizer. If you don’t have to dig through compacts and tubes to find those essentials, it will cut off a significant amount of time.
3 Minute Outfit
I realize paint-stained yoga pants are comfortable, really I do. Especially when you are on this upward climb in size and you don’t want to buy new clothes because, really, what a waste of money. You’re going to lose that weight and then you’ll buy a whole new wardrobe. But for now, the only pair of jeans you can get on are dirty and these paint-stained yoga pants are calling your name. Ok, maybe not everybody wears paint-stained yoga pants. You might just wear nice yoga pants. If you feel good in them, go ahead. But if you feel more put together in at least some jeans, try it for a while.
For Christmas my husband took me shopping. He lovingly told me that he appreciated how I always bought him and the kids clothes but that I never bought myself clothes. I started in with the, “when I lose some weight…” He cut me off and said, “But you need clothes now.” So he bought me four pairs of new jeans. They were knock-offs and super cheap but they feel so nice to wear. They actually fit and I feel so much better when I’m out in public and don’t have to worry if the checker at the store is wondering if I can afford clothes or not. Again, lovingly, my husband told me, “I swear, if I see you wear those paint-stained yoga pants again…” It was a loving warning I suppose 🙂
How to get there:
1. If you don’t already own enough clothes that fit for a week, get some. There is no shame in buying secondhand, as long as they actually fit. Or buy from a discount store where there are last season’s brand names. If all you own is yoga pants or basketball shorts, that is all you will wear. Try wearing some nice fitting jeans one day and see how you feel.
2. Set out your clothes the night before. It’s weird how the night before it will probably only take you 2 minutes, supposing you have clothes to choose from, to figure out what you can wear tomorrow. If you wait until morning, when you’re kind of groggy and disoriented, it could take a whole lot longer. Also, wear a cute apron when cooking and feeding kids, it keeps your clothes so much cleaner!
Have I convinced you that you can do this yet? Try setting a timer the first few times for each phase of your routine to push yourself to do it quickly. I promise, you’ll see. You’ll see how nobody can justify not using 15 minutes in the morning to looking and feeling 100X better for the rest of the day. Let me know how it goes, I’m excited to hear about it!
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Special thanks to my gorgeous sister Amie for being my model. Truth be told, she doesn’t even need 15 minutes to look this stunning!
So are you one of those people that is always put together? Or do you gravitate toward the “I don’t really care” side? What are your tips for getting ready quick?