How to Look Put Together in 10 Minutes or Less (When in Reality, You Feel Like a Hot Mess)


I don’t know about you mamas, but I felt and looked like a hot mess 99.99% of the time during my maternity leave. And you best believe I had PLENTY of visitors, far more than I was expecting or was really interested in having. And by “I” had visitors…I mean Mason did! But even though everyone came to see the baby, I got tired of always looking like a wreck. It wasn’t even a vanity thing –it was more just not feeling like myself. I was always covered in spit up and leaked milk, wearing postpartum mom diapers. I had these super dark under-eye circles that I never had before in my life (like, they were INSANE) and my hair consistently resembled a bird’s nest. THEN, maternity leave ended and I actually needed to look like a functional human 5 days a week. I attempted to go back to my pre-baby getting-ready routine when I first went back to work, and it just wasn’t fully plausible with an infant if I valued my own sleep in any way.

Taking some hacks I learned while on maternity leave and some new tricks I discovered after going back to work, I finally came up with a super quick routine that got me feeling put together in 10 minutes or less! I’ve gotten so many co-workers and friends asking me how I always look like I have my face and hair done. This has also been a requested topic by my Instagram followers, so I’m going to share my hacks with you! Stop feeling like a hot mess and start feeling like the beautiful mama that you are by following these 4 simple tips:

1. Find a really great tinted moisturizer for your skin! (TIME: less than 2 minutes)

I can’t tell you how much time using a tinted moisturizer saves you! It is the most effortless product to help even skin tone and blur imperfections. I always choose one with SPF too! Hydration, coverage, and sun protection all in one! My two personal favorites:

  1. BeautyCounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. BeautyCounter is a non-toxic clean beauty brand that I love! The only drawback is that it is only available online on their website. When I need to replenish something, I personally want to be able to pick it up when it’s convenient in my busy schedule. But the product is fantastic and I really love knowing I’m putting a clean product on my skin, especially when Mason is always touching my face.
  2. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. Laura Mercier has been around for over 20 years, founded by a celebrity makeup artist of the same name. There are so many products from this line that I love, but the tinted moisturizer is AMAZING. Plus, her products can be found so easily –Nordstrom, Sephora, Macy’s, Ulta! That makes picking up a replenishment tube convenient for a busy mom.

2. Fill in your brows. (TIME: 2 minutes)

I don’t know what it is about having your brows filled in that makes you look like a rock star, but it does. Such a simple thing really transforms your face. If you’re one of those lucky moms who already has their brows micro bladed or something, then you’re good to go and can ignore this tip! But if you need a recommendation, my personal favorite products are from Anastasia Beverly Hills:

  1. Brow Powder Duo. I prefer a brow powder over a brow pencil because it’s more sheer and blendable.
  2. Dual-Sided Brow & Eyeliner Brush. This brush comes in a variety of sizes, so be sure to pick the one that works best for you! The dual-sided brush saves you time because it has the spoolie at one end to blend your brows! No need to use multiple tools.

3. Make your lashes pop. (TIME: option 1 - ZERO minutes, option 2 – 3 minutes)

OPTION 1: Okay – so I 100% cheat on this tip and, if you can swing it, I encourage you to cheat with me! I GET MY LASHES DONE. If there’s one beauty extravagance I have splurged on, it’s my monthly lash extensions. I do short, natural looking lash extensions. On its own, this makes me feel put together all the time and achieve that whole “I woke up like this” situation, even without the previous two tips I shared. This has cut my getting-ready time exponentially! I highly recommend it for a busy mama – if you’re local to San Diego, comment below or DM on Instagram, and I’ll give you a recommendation for where to get yours done!

OPTION 2: I totally get if getting your lashes done monthly is not plausible for you –it DOES make me feel like I’m being extra sometimes. In that case, invest in a really good eyelash curler and the right mascara for your lashes:

  1. Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler. I usually find this at Target, but they’re sold all over! It is so effective, you only need to curl once and you’re good to go. It also comes with 3 replacement pads, which is super convenient for a busy mom.
  2. Chanel Le Volume Mascara. I’ve tried a LOT of mascaras and this one remains my absolute favorite. I don’t need to use a million strokes of mascara to get good volume and length like I do with other mascaras!

4. Dry shampoo. (TIME: 2 minutes)

Having dry shampoo on hand is a MUST for me. Create volume and texture without the blow dryer, lessen the grease without the shower. This doesn’t REPLACE a good hair washing, but, in between washes, this is the best hack. My favorite is Tresseme Volumizing Dry Shampoo, which I usually find at Target! Just spray your roots, massage in with your fingers, and brush out!

Now just throw on an Ailana J. outfit and you’re ready to go! Rock the day feeling less hot-mess-like and more like your authentic, beautiful self. Any questions? Comment below!


P.S. Nothing in this post is a ad or paid partnership - these are products I truly believe in and use myself! 

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