I’ve always considered myself a pretty low maintenance girl. Except for a brief stint in my teens where I refused to leave the house without curling my bangs (the need for poof was real, folks), I’ve always been pretty comfortable with a minimalist beauty routine.
My skin was perfect as a teenage (much to the chagrin of some of my girlfriends). I used plain water or makeup wipe to wash my face in the evenings (if I remember to do anything at all).
A pat of Covergirl foundation, a swipe of mascara, and chapstick completed my regular makeup routine. I felt like a million bucks.
Fast forward about 15 years. The bangs are gone, thank goodness (best decision of my entire Senior year in high school).
But my minimalist beauty routine was failing me–mostly because puberty decided to catch up with me in my early 30s.
After my fourth baby was born at the end of 2014, my skin started freaking out: acne, dry patches, oily patches– my face didn’t know what to do. Thank you, postpartum hormones.
I also started noticing that my hair wasn’t as silky and smooth as it used to be.
So this is it, I sighed, looking at the small forest of gray hair sprouting from my temples. There were too many to pull out any more. I’m getting old.
I don’t know if it was my postpartum hormones speaking, but I started to feel ugly.
Fatigue probably had a lot to do with it too. Sleep deprivation is not kind to one’s face…or self esteem.
Are Moms supposed to be beautiful? I wondered. My husband assured me that I was. I felt mollified but not content. I didn’t know who I was when I looked in the mirror any more. I was doing what I had always done but it wasn’t working anymore.
By the time my baby reached a year old, I was tired of waiting for my “postpartum hormone” to calm down.
I had to realize the truth: my body was changing. Though I am far from “old,” I am getting older.
So, although my frugal ways and pattern of minimal beauty habits screamed against it, I decided to start spending more money on self-care.
I threw out my bottle of $14.95 face lotion (that seemed “too expensive” when I bought it) and, at age 31, I purchased a full skin care regimen–my first ever cleanser, serum, lotion, eye cream, and night cream.
It cost about six times what I had paid for that tube of drug store lotion, and I felt super guilty about the purchase. Am I just being frivolous? I wondered.
But in the days and weeks of consistently taking time to wash and moisturize my face, I saw a huge difference–the dry patches and uneven skin tone were soothed, and the adult acne settled down too.
Using a quality product for my changing skin was actually a good thing (Imagine that).
A few months later, I crossed another boundary and bought shampoo and conditioner for $10 a bottle–each. I KNOW! Talk about guilt! Especially when I normally spent $3-4 on hair care products.
I justified the purchase by telling myself, “It’s okay. You only wash your hair every other day.”
I am a busy mom of 4, after all.
And do you know what? The expensive stuff was amazing! My hair wasn’t losing it’s luster! I had just been using crappy shampoo for years.
I’ve slowly branched out a bit more. I bought makeup that cost more than $5.95.
I’ve decided to invest in clothes that I love and are well-made, instead of talking myself into liking a garment just because it was on sale.
All of these changes may seem kind of shallow.
But feeling bad about myself because my skin and hair were unhealthy just made me self-conscious, and ultimately made me feel shallow because I was thinking about looks all the time.
But when I decided to embrace that my 30s are going to require a bit more money and self-care, and started using products that help my body feel its best, I actually think about myself less because I’m not so self-conscious.
Beyond even the money issue though, I had to let go of my perceptions of what it means to get older, as well as what it means to be both a mom and a woman. I had to embrace these truths:
It’s okay to take care of your face and hair.
It’s okay to spend money on yourself.
It’s okay to want to feel beautiful.
You are a woman first, not “just a mom.”
Taking care of myself is important. I’m glad that I feel like “me” again–older yes, but when I started take the time and money to care for myself, I feel more vibrant, confident, and beautiful.
What about you?
Did your 30s get really expensive?
How has self-care changed your self-esteem?
Share your story below!
I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?
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