I’ve been in the beauty business for 15 years now, as the founder and CEO of my own company, Sara Happ Inc. But for the longest time, I put my appearance last, in the name of spending those “extra” moments with my daughter. I saw any time I spent in front of a mirror as vanity, unless I was headed to the office. On the playroom floor with a puzzle together? No time to shower. School drop off? Zero makeup. Just coffee for me, thanks. My favorite sweatshirt literally said, “Messy Bun: Getting It Done.”
Then I realized: part of setting an example for my child can and should include showing her the importance of self-care. I wanted her to see that it’s not selfish to take some time for me, perhaps especially in her presence, and that it was healthy to show myself love.
Time crunches are real, though. Our kindergarten class lines up at 8:10 a.m. and students are marked tardy at 8:15 a.m. I have a highly time-sensitive child who doesn’t like to be late, or to feel rushed. Her wardrobe changes are many before we leave the house at 7:50 a.m.
The juggle is real.
Efficiency on my part is necessary in exchange for letting my little girl be her truest 6-year-old self, fully expressed, no rush (usually).
Here are my tips for getting out the door in a way that makes me feel good, and shows my baby that I deserve the care and yes, some sparkle too. This routine hands me more energy to tackle my day because I can vouch that the cliche is valid: when we look better, we do indeed feel better.
So, here’s my toolkit to get out the door in 10 minutes, looking just chic enough to feel like I’ve got this:
In my next life, I’ll have the time for daily appointments at DryBar. In this life, however, washing and blowing out my hair every morning just isn’t realistic. So, a few sprays of this yumminess breathes new life into flat hair, or tides me over without falling back on a ponytail. Bonus? I get asked all the time what fragrance I’m wearing. Truth? This dry shampoo! I love a product that multitasks like working moms do ($23, ulta.com).
This mascara gives me lush, black/brown lashes, making me look simultaneously alert and doe-eyed. No small feat when you’re running on little sleep! ($10, target.com).
A lightweight gel blush that looks bubblegum pink in the tube, but goes on sweetly, and lighter than air. The apples of your cheeks get just enough flush to look alive ($18, glossier.com).
For nearly 15 years, I’ve heard, “Sara, my lips are SO dry.” I’ve devoted my career to all things lip-related, and can tell you your lips are empirically dry. The truth is, everyone’s lips are dry because they lack sweat glands. So I can promise you this: if you use Lip Scrub (top, left) every morning, and swipe on some of our hero, Lip Slip One Luxe Gloss, your dry, chapped lips become a thing of the past. Our Lip Scrubs are sugar-based, loaded with juicy essential oils that melt into your pout, sweeping away that dead skin while uncovering vibrantly colored, baby-smooth lips underneath ($24, sarahapp.com). And our Lip Slip-One (top, right) is a gloss like no other, as our clear blue-based pink formula goes on sheer, throws light around and … get this … won’t need to be reapplied all day. Toss it in your handbag, diaper bag, car … and absolutely keep one on your desk ($20, sarahapp.com).
Josie, a working mom of two herself, creates products around Argan Oil, which in my opinion is liquid gold. And, it’s edible! A few droplets of this spa-smelling, opalescent light oil goodness slathered on your arms and décolletage gives a lit-from-within dewiness. It makes me look like I’ve slept plenty, or perhaps as if I just worked out, or came from the spa even though it’s likely that none of those things happened ($48, sephora.com).
Office air can be drying. Airplane air is merciless on our faces. I’d love to say as a mom that I drink half my body weight in water daily (perhaps if you include coffee?). But I likely don’t. A few sprays of this J-beauty (aka Japanese beauty) goodness makes me feel instantly uplifted. It’s like I’m being given a fresh start. If I’m driving to school, my face feels hydrated. On yet another plane? I drench my face and neck in this before takeoff. It’s an elixir like no other ($48, sephora.com).
Cheers to all working moms out there. I wish you all the snuggles, all the juggles, and most certainly, some me-time to feel your best. You deserve it.