I never would’ve imagined there would come a day when I’d wake up and think twice about whether I had enough time to shower or fill in my eyebrows with a pencil. But motherhood has had a funny way of humbling me.
Long before I started working in the world of fashion, my beauty routine was pretty simple — that’s not including the countless hours I spent during my childhood getting my hair plaited into box braids and cornrows. I’m talking about the occasional application of Fashion Fair cream-to-powder foundation, swipe of CoverGirl Queen collection lipstick and maybe a few coats of mascara.
Fast-forward to working my way up to the role of beauty director, and I’ve experimented with just about every lip color, nail art design, leave-in conditioner for curls and body hair removal treatment.
But as I started to delve deeper into how many of the cosmetics marketed towards Black women are formulated with potentially harmful chemicals, I gradually made smarter choices about what I was putting on my body.
Upon learning that I was pregnant, I made a serious commitment to say “no” to testing out every single product that landed on my desk. I also immediately stopped heat-styling my natural hair and using haircare products that masked their addition of unrecognizable “smoothing” ingredients (read: toxins) on labels. I still rocked a bold lipstick here and there, but tried to incorporate more organic tinted lip and cheek balms. I’d even walk into my go-to nail salon in Philadelphia with the best 5-free polishes in hand. The blessing of growing a human being also calmed my fears about stepping out with unwaxed legs.
It was quite freeing to not feel like I had to look pulled together at all times. Though my family, friends and coworkers would probably all say that I made pregnancy look pretty fabulous.
While I knew raising a child would greatly impact how much time I could dedicate for myself each day, the change was dramatically different when I became a mother. I went from spending an entire hour each morning making sure my twistout was popping, my foundation was blended all the way down to my neck, my rouge facial hairs were gone and my body was moisturized and glistening thanks to good old shea butter to… washing my face and brushing my teeth in 5 minutes flat, fluffing out my Afro in under 15 seconds and double-checking that I put on deodorant and, of course, sunscreen.
Showers are a luxury that I indulge in when my son is in non-REM sleep. I used to wear a different fragrance each day, but I skip scents altogether for the sake of breastfeeding. My regular visits to the hair salon are now weekly (or twice a month) shampoo and style right in my very own kitchen at home. My many, many makeup bags have collected dust, and it was over a year before I wore mascara again. And professional manicures and pedicures are a treat.
I have absolutely zero complaints about how becoming a mother has evolved my very complex beauty routine into one that is fit for a minimalist. Spending less time on my outward appearance has allowed me to focus my energy on my family. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit what a relief it is to go barefaced so that I can smother my sonshine in kisses without first having to remove a long-lasting matte lipstick.
Hey Beauties: Has a life-changing event impacted your beauty routine? I’d love to hear more! Share your thoughts in the comments section.