A Busy Mom’s Guide on How Not to Look Like the Hot Mess You Really Are

Fashion, makeup and hair, oh my!

These are three things I am NOT great at. I went to Catholic school for most of my primary and secondary education, never wore makeup, and my hair usually ended up in a ponytail. Fast forward to today. While I am by no means a fashionista, I do like to look put together and I do have to dress in a professional manner for work. If I could, I would wear yoga pants and over-sized t-shirts all the days of my life. But, such is life. I must get dressed, and I do like to look presentable when I go out in public (i.e. Target).

What’s a mom to do?

Since I can’t have a stylist and a glam team to dress me and make me look presentable every day, I work hard at not looking like a hot mess. Some days I succeed … and others, I fail miserably. How are we supposed to always look put together?! Some days it can be easy, and others I just don’t feel like putting in the energy to be presentable. And some days (weeks / months) it takes super human strength and a great pair of Spanx

Have a skincare routine.

Take care of your skin! This is the basis to everything else. Yours is the only skin you get in this life. Short of visiting a plastic surgeon, having a daily routine to take care of your skin is key! Follow the basics of skincare: Cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize & protect. When I say exfoliate – I don’t mean just your face. I mean your WHOLE BODY. My favorite product to use in the shower is Kismet’s Pumice Loofah Soap. Trust me on this. It exfoliates your skin and isn’t messy. You can also make your own body scrubs using items in your kitchen (think olive or coconut oil, sugar and vanilla or lemon). As for your face, there are plenty of skincare brands and systems that will fit any price point and skin type. If necessary, work with your dermatologist to find the best fit for you.

Find a great makeup artist.

It blows my mind that teenagers these days can contour and highlight like a Kardashian. I didn’t know how to apply eyeliner or that I should even wear eyeliner until I was 25. I didn’t start wearing lipstick on a regular basis until I was 33. And I had no idea how to “contour” or the best way to apply makeup until last year. Literally. I finally broke down and attended a class last November hosted by my go-to makeup artist. What she does to my face for special events is different from what she does for an every day look. My everyday makeup routine takes 10-15 minutes depending on how many times my toddler interrupts me. And (most days) I come out looking alive and ready to tackle my day.

The amount of beauty brands and products can be overwhelming and if you follow the advice of the random Sephora salesgirl, you could end up with a time-consuming routine that just won’t fit into your busy life. Find a great makeup artist you like and have them do your makeup for you. Ask them to show you how to do your makeup for every day and to keep it simple. If you are willing to go it alone, search YouTube for beauty tutorials from the likes of Jaclyn Hill and Courtney Kerr. Warning: these can be complete rabbit holes, so do this after the kids are in bed. Or at school. 

Most importantly, find products that work with your skin. My makeup bag is eclectic – Kismet lippies, Revlon foundation, Urban Decay Naked concealer, L’Oreal powder and blush, Ashley Sievert bronzing powder and highlighter, Tarte eye shadow palettes, Kat Von D Tatoo Eyeliner and L’Oreal mascara. It is trial and error, but you will eventually find products you can’t live without.

Find (and KEEP) a great hairstylist.

I’ve had many different hairstyles over the years. One memorable summer, while I was still in high school, I watched the movie City of Angels. I loved Meg Ryan’s hair so much, that I got out the kitchen scissors and attempted to cut my hair to look like Meg’s. It didn’t come out so great. I didn’t know about texture, shape and all that fun stuff. I just naively thought I could have her hairstyle too. While that was probably the only time I cut my own hair, I’ve had my stylist change the length and style hundreds of times over the years. Talk with your hair stylist about what color, length, shape and style is best for your lifestyle and what compliments your skin tone and the shape of your face.

Styling my hair for work so that it doesn’t look like a rat’s nest can take some work.

Again, I have a routine for my hair. Depending on how much time I have depends on my hairstyle for the day. Some mornings I have enough time to use my L’ange curling wand for when I want pretty waves. Other days, it’s straightened and half of it is pinned back to keep it out of my eyes. When it’s dirty and I don’t have time to wash and dry or I overslept, it goes into a top knot. Work with what ya got.

Fashion. Or Not.

If I had to describe my style, I would say its classic preppy. I’m not super fashion forward and not big into the latest trends. Over the last few years, I have had to find MY style. I pay close attention to how clothing fits, if it goes with multiple pieces in my closet, and if I can wear it next year. In the past, I have purchased pieces that look super cute on the model but just aren’t right for me because of height, weight and body proportions. Find what works for your body type and WERK IT!

I hate to shop. Seriously.

I’m not picky about where my clothes come from. I’ve found great pieces at Wal Mart and obviously, I shop at Target. I also have a Stitch Fix subscription, and I browse local online boutiques for other staples I may need. And of course, I online shop. I don’t buy something unless I love it and have a specific need for it. As for special occasions, Rent The Runway is my jam. I find great outfits and accessories for weddings, Christmas parties and Mardi Gras balls.

And when all else fails, I’m out of time or just don’t have the energy for anything else, my hair goes into a top knot bun, I rub a shimmery primer on my face, put on some mascara and lipstick and pull on black leggings, a Piko top, and my Keen sneaks. 

What are your go to’s to feel put together on a daily basis?

Amy Craft-Peltier
Amy was born and raised in Lafayette, LA. She attended UL Lafayette and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. Amy works remotely for a healthcare company based out of Lafayette, LA. She and her husband Toby have two children - a rambunctious, loving boy and a sweet baby girl - and one dog. When she isn't working or spending time with her family, Amy enjoys quiet trips to Target, good food and, depending on the time of the day, coffee or wine.


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