It Only Took Me 10 Years as a Mom To Start Wearing Make-Up

A funny thing happened this year: for the first time in my life as a parent, I have made a more dedicated effort to put on make-up

I know, I know, I'm just as surprised as you. But let's be real, this has been a long time coming. 10 years, to be more precise. 

I've always been the type of mom who assumed that I would start taking more time for my appearance “someday.” I always admired the other moms around me who looked so put together, who had cute outfits and styled hair, and (gasp) mascara on. But overall, taking that time just never felt worth it to me.

For the majority of my life as a parent, I was the mom of a busy brood of very young kids. At one point, I had four children six and under and putting on make-up every day was a laughable dream for me. It wasn't a priority with the little bit of time I did have during my day and, perhaps even more importantly, it just wasn't a priority to me. Whenever I did get a chance to throw on some make-up, it would only inevitably get rubbed off very shortly anyways. 

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Little baby hands, rubbing my eyes out of sheer exhaustion, or the occasional falling-asleep-while-putting-the-toddler-to-sleep all meant that eventually, I gave up the fight and resigned myself to a day in the future when putting on make-up would make more sense. And much to my surprise, that time has come. These days, I have all of my children in school at least three full days a week and I've fallen into a sort of schedule that involves me actually getting somewhat ready for the day. 

I know, right? It sounds absolutely unreal, especially if you're still in that baby stage yourself. But it does happen. For me, I usually drop my kids off at school, zip over to the gym for about an hour for a quick-workout, then head home to change. There, in my empty house, putting on a fresh pair of clothes and knowing I have a workday ahead of me, I started experimenting with doing my hair and throwing on a little bit of make-up. You know, just for the fun of it. 

And the habit has stuck. I've been shocked to discover that contrary to what I have always thought, I kind of like wearing make-up. It's fun to put on, it's fun to think about the different ways I could experiment with my look (not that I have, of course, but I could, that's the whole point), and it's fun to realize that for the first time in my adult life, I am actually taking a little time for myself. 

Image via Unsplash/ @freestocks

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I have to say it feels good to finally join the other side, but honestly, now that I am trying to make more of an effort to slap on some make-up, I think it's only fair that we go through some of the pros and cons of wearing make-up more regularly. Shall we?

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Pros

  • Keeping a rhythm to my day. This might sound silly, but now, putting on make-up signals a “start” to my day. Even if I've hit the gym first thing in the day and have come back home to get ready for the day, that small transition helps prime me for my workday. 
  • Giving me a boost of confidence. Listen, I'm not a spring chicken anymore. I'm a mom of four and I'm approaching my mid-30s. This body has been through some things and it's starting to show the signs of wear and tear. So if a little fancy mascara can help me look more awake, it definitely helps me not be so embarrassed to walk into school drop-off. 
  • Making me more ready to take on the world. This pro is also going to sound silly, but when I take a moment to get “ready” for the day, even in the middle of the day, it helps me to feel more prepared to tackle whatever pops up during the rest of the day. 

Cons

  • Um, expensive enough? I have to say, my new habit isn't exactly cheap. I've just barely dipped my toe into the world of make-up and so far I have learned that the good stuff is expensive. Now that my eyes have been opened to the fact that my grocery store make-up is definitely not the same as the good stuff, I feel like I just can't go back to my old ways. Which is unfortunate, because my old ways were a lot more affordable. 
  • Clean-up. I hate taking off my make-up at the end of the day, I really do. And yet I'm not one of those people who can go to sleep at night without taking my make-up off, so I'm forced to deal with it at the end of the day. Ugh, the horror, right? There are definitely some nights when I wish I could just crash without dealing with taking my make-up off and I miss the days of living fresh-faced. 
  • The example I'm setting for my daughters. I'm a mom of three daughters and when I look at their beautiful little faces, I could almost cry with how perfect they are. The thought of them putting make-up on makes me physically sad; I would hate for them to think that they would ever need anything to change their appearance or to ever think that they are anything but absolutely perfect and beautiful just the way they are. So what kind of example am I setting for my daughters when I slather my mask on for the day or apologize for my haggard experience at the gym sans make-up? Am I harming their self-image and confidence before they even hit their teen years? I'm honestly afraid to find out. 

Overall, now that I've finally kept my promise to myself to wear more make-up, 10 years later, I have to say that the pros and cons honestly do weigh themselves out. I'm the same mom I was before make-up and I'll be the same mom when even make-up won't help me anymore. It really comes down to what makes you feel good and more confident as a mom and right now, if a little bronzer and mascara can help me get through the day, then I'm all for it. 

No promises for how long it will last though. 

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Do you wear make-up every day or do you prefer the natural look? 

What do you think?

It Only Took Me 10 Years as a Mom To Start Wearing Make-Up

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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1 comment

  1. Jennifer says:

    I used to be “fresh faced” all the time too. And then I had my daughter. Like you, I have fun putting on makeup! I think that as long as your children know that it’s a “fun” thing, and not a “I have to wear makeup to look good” thing, then it’s a good example to set. My mom work makeup every day and she made it clear it was something she did for HER. So I never wore it because it wasn’t for “me”. Just some food for thought 🙂

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