Courtesy Megan Zander

My "Sexy Saturday" Self-Care Routine Was The Key To Getting My Postpartum Confidence Back

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Before I had my twins, I spent every morning getting fully made up for work. I worked in a courtroom, so the dress code required me to wear suits, dresses, heels, and pantyhose 5 days a week. As much as I loved my job, when I became a stay-at-home mom I was a little excited to let myself go. I spent a good six months living in sweatpants and refusing to wear anything on my face besides lip balm.

At first, I was so busy taking care of my twins that I didn't care what I looked like. But as my boys started to sleep through the night and I began to feel less like a zombie, I started to miss getting dressed up and doing my hair and makeup. I loved being a mom, but I started to believe that I would never feel good about my appearance again.

Then, almost by accident, I found a way to balance my desire to be comfy with my goal of looking fierce when I'm out in public. Saturday is the one day of the week when I'm usually out of the house for most of the day. We run errands, hit the library and sometimes end up getting a bite to eat. I realized I didn't need to do my hair and makeup every single day. Instead, I decided to focus my efforts on feeling fantastic about my look on the day that I'm out in public the most. I call it my "Sexy Saturday" routine, aka "Target Chic," and the best part is that my self-care routine only takes me 15 minutes to pull off.

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Courtesy Megan Zander

My Sexy Saturday routine involves grabbing whatever concealer I can find first, foundation, blush, some shimmery eyeshadow, mascara and a lip gloss and applying them while listening to old school boy band music (Note: This step is important. Mascara only applies evenly when you're singing N*Sync).

I know there are makeup trends like cut creases and feather brows out there to explore, but I prefer to stick with the products that make me feel great. There's nothing wrong with wearing makeup that makes you feel like the best version of yourself, even if it's not what's trending on Instagram at the moment.

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Some moms see their getting ready time as sacred time they use to recharge, so they prefer to do it all by themselves. But for me, it's actually easier to let my boys join me as I get ready, because my boys were born without the gene that allows them to sit still for longer than 10 minutes. When I do my makeup, I hand them damp old makeup brushes and let them paint the bathroom walls, or I give them lotion to smear on their faces. Sometimes they'll even experiment with my old palates and body glitter. This way, I don't feel rushed.

I like that my sons see me putting on makeup. Not only is it helping them form their own opinions about makeup outside the gender binary, but it also shows them that a woman can be smart and strong and still care about her appearance.
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Plus, I like that my sons see me putting on makeup. Not only is it helping them form their own opinions about makeup outside the gender binary, but it also shows them that a woman can be smart and strong and still care about her appearance. After all, wearing eyeliner and running the world are not mutually exclusive.

As for my hair, I have a thick, coarse mane of hair that looks amazing the one day a year I get it blown out after a haircut. But trying to manage it on my own requires a 30-minute routine of applying serum, a flat iron, and shouting at least 6 different swear words. But then I discovered a trick to doing my hair every morning that's super fast and easy: reverse French braids.

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It's really a look based on my own laziness.

I shower at night after the boys are asleep so I'm not interrupted by two tiny faces asking to join me. When I get out, I towel-dry my hair and braid it into two reverse French braids. They're just like regular French braids, but instead of pulling the strands over each other, I bring them underneath so the braid is closer to your scalp.

My hair dries overnight, and in the morning I'll pull on a soft headband to hide fly-aways and wear it in braids for the day. The day after I wear the braids, I'll finger-comb  the braids for bouncy waves, and I get a lot of compliments on my hair when it's wavy. It's really a look based on my own laziness: it takes about 10 minutes to braid my hair twice a week before I go to bed, and that's enough to make me feel confident every day.

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New moms face a ton of pressure. We're expected to raise perfect babies and look like supermodels while doing it. I adore Chrissy Teigen, but I don't need to mimic her look on a random Tuesday. Concentrating my efforts on one day a week is manageable for me at this point. It makes the weekend feel special, and it also reminds me that I don't have to completely sacrifice my love of beauty just because I'm a mom.

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