Why have we accepted that when you have kids, your “me” time becomes nonexistent? We mean, when you become a mom, you kind of accept the fact that you’re no longer operating on your own schedule anymore—since, obviously, creating a freaking life is outrageously demanding and deserves a significant chunk of your time—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make time for yourself, too. And even though it’s necessary for your mental health to take a few minutes to do something self-indulgent at least a few times a week, it’s also probably the one thing that consistently gets shoved to the bottom of your priorities, right?
We get it. That’s why we talked to eight real moms to find out exactly what their non-negotiable beauty “luxuries” are, and why they’d never, ever give them up. No, we’re not talking about running away for a week-long cruise every month, but the little things that make you happy, like the dermatologist who never misses her ultra-relaxing, one-hour eyelash extension appointment, or the first-time mom who makes sure to give her face some T.L.C. as soon as her son goes to sleep at night. Basically, these small beauty routines play a major, almost-mandatory role in each mom’s life, and for good reason. So if you’re feeling like you’ve forgotten the definition of alone time recently, scroll down to get inspired by these real-mom beauty luxuries. And yes, you’re required to take notes and add at least one to the top of your to-do list, ASAP.
1. Let them come to you.
“Even though life is exponentially more busy when you have two young kids, I still have to make time for my hair. And since it’s usually a challenge to make it out to a salon for a blowout or color, I sometimes treat myself and have Glam Squad come to my apartment. It’s honestly the best of both worlds: I can get my hair done and not even leave the house. I think it’s important not to forget what makes you feel good about yourself, and little things like this give me a total lift without taking much time away from my family.” — Cori Zeichner, full-time mom of two (ages six and four) and beauty blogger of The Derm Wife
2. Make the most of nights.
“I try to remind myself that even though I’m a mom, at the end of the day I still need to take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the things I always look forward to after my son goes to sleep is pampering my skin, whether it’s slapping on a face mask, using a nice toner, or slathering on some oils. We all deserve a mental break sometimes, and this ritual allows me to totally unwind at the end of a long day.” —Claudia Felix Garay, fashion blogger of The Penny Closet and mother to an eight-month-old
3. Don’t compromise.
“My hair will always be a non-negotiable. It’s just become a part of our family routine now that every four-to-six weeks, Mom goes and gets her hair done. Especially as a vlogger, having good hair is really important to me. It’s something that I always do and could never give up.” —Amanda, vlogger at AmandaMuse and mother of two (ages five and three)
4. Focus on the eyes.
“I think eyes can really age you, so every quarter, I like to get eyelash extensions for a little rejuvenation. The process takes at least a full hour, which may not seem like that much of a time suck, but when you’re a mom, you typically don’t have an extra hour to dispose of. It’s become an incredibly relaxing ritual for me—you get to lie on a soft, heated bed and listen to music. I usually fall asleep and I wake up knowing that I look a little younger.” —Mona Gohara, Yale dermatologist and mother of two (ages ten and eight)
5. Take a time out.
“I love getting massages, so once a month, my girlfriends and I schedule a spa day together. We’re always so busy taking care of others that we forget about ourselves, so a super-relaxing massage is always worth the small investment. It’s a great way to socialize and have a bit of a time out for myself.” —Tiffany Brown, makeup artist, style blogger, and mother of two (ages six and three)
6. Get some air.
“Once every quarter, I get a 15-minute oxygen facial for a noticeable, all-over glow. It has all the perks of a typical facial, but it ends with an oxygen machine that blows air directly onto your face for a deep cleaning. It’s a really great anti-ager that isn’t abrasive, and I always leave with smaller pores and softer skin. ” —Samantha Wennerstrom, styler blogger of Could I Have That and mother to a two-year-old
7. Go toe to toe.
“It took me a long time to accept the fact that I deserve some ‘me’ time. And after having two little girls only one-and-a-half years apart, I barely had three months of not being pregnant, or nursing, or some other jazz. But I now gift myself a pedicure once every six weeks so I can have 45-minutes of pure alone time. No husband, no kids, no dog—just me and my technician, who I of course end up chatting with about my husband, kids, and dog.” —Samantha Robinson, beauty vlogger at Saaammage and mother of two (ages three and five)
8. Say “screw it.”
“Even though having kids means spending money on them, my Chanel beauty products are non-negotiable. Chanel makeup and skin-care products agree with my combination skin and never break me out. There’s just something about using an incredibly good mascara in the morning and washing my face with a product that smells and feels great at the end of a long day that I can’t do without. Although their products are expensive and can eat into other budgets, it’s the one thing that I try to treat myself to.” – Rachel Girsch, CFO of specialty contracting company and mother of two (ages three and two months)