10 ways moms can look great!

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It’s tough to be a new mom. Maternity clothes are too big, your pre-baby clothes are too small, and it seems like styles completely changed in the mere nine months you were allowed to take a fashion siesta. To add insult to injury, you usually end the day with spit up, paste or some unidentifiable goo smeared across your shirt. So what do most moms do? They turn to Clorox commercials and preschool teachers for inspiration and wind up wearing… The Uniform.

It’s tough to be a new mom. Maternity clothes are too big, your pre-baby clothes are too small, and it seems like styles completely changed in the mere nine months you were allowed to take a fashion siesta. To add insult to injury, you usually end the day with spit up, paste or some unidentifiable goo smeared across your shirt. So what do most moms do? They turn to Clorox commercials and preschool teachers for inspiration and wind up wearing… The Uniform.

The Uniform comes in two dumpy iterations: khaki pants, t-shirt, denim shirt and tennis shoes or turtleneck, corduroy jumper, tights and frumpy flats. There are some good points to The Uniform: You can wear it five times a week and no one notices; it makes you feel clean, soft and maternal; you blend in perfectly with the other moms standing in line at Target or on the sidelines of the peewee soccer match. On the flip side, all those good points are very, very bad! The Uniform is so ubiquitous that not only will no one notice if you wear it five times a week, no one will notice you period. “Clean, soft and maternal” reminds men of their mothers. You’re also a wife. You used to be a girlfriend. Once upon a time you were a hot date. Get the picture?

Here’s something to ponder: Wearing kitten heels does not make you a bad mother. And your child doesn’t care whether you’re wearing beige matte lipstick or a hot coral gloss. Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror and shake things up a little bit. With some imagination and very little money you can liven up your look, feel better about yourself and maybe surprise Daddy too!

1- Take Five Minutes

There are dozens of ways to brighten up in a scant five minutes: paint your nails, curl your hair, iron a shirt, shave your legs, or apply self-tanning cream. As soon as you put Junior down for a nap, put the vacuuming, snack bag restocking and highchair hose-down on hold to take a few precious minutes for yourself.

2- Accessorize

It’s easy to liven up a plain outfit with accessories. Beaded jewelry is hot! It’s colorful and inexpensive too. The same goes for silver jewelry; it’s affordable, in style and fun to wear. If your munchkins use your earrings and necklaces for teething toys or pulling practice, try a colorful headband or tie a little silk scarf around your neck instead.

3- Get a Haircut!

Be honest with yourself. Have you had the same haircut for the last 10 years? That comfortable bob is easy to fix, but oh so boring. Try adding a few layers or angled ends to bring it up to date. If you’ve fallen into the ponytail trap, let it all hang out, mama! Hair is a woman’s crowing glory, so show ’em what you’ve got. (Of course, get any split ends trimmed first.) And what about color? If you’ve never tried coloring your hair, dip into the fabulous world of beauty by adding a few highlights. If you like the way you look… add more!

4- Strut Your Stuff

Your body was permanently changed by motherhood. If you’re a little rounder in the hips and sport a more voluptuous bosom, show it off! Instead of your tired old round neck collars, pick up a v-neck t-shirt or low cut sweater and revel in your sexy new cleavage. It’s all about attitude, so enjoy your new saucy self.

5- Learn the Art of Camouflage

While your bum might be perkier post bambino, your chest probably resembles two deflated balloons if you breastfed your little darling. Join the club, but invest in a good bra. There are enough padded, water filled, gel filled, under wired, and down right buttressed bras out there to have you looking like a supermodel in no time. If you’re on a budget, add a little oomph by wearing your nursing pads whether your need them or not!

It’s the dirty little secret of the stroller set -– hair loss. Just when you get over the postpartum weepies and think you’re starting to look pretty good again, it happens -– your hormones play one last trick on your body by causing your hair to fall out. Rumor has it that this quaint gift from Mother Nature only occurs with first children, but that’s no consolation if you’re sporting bald spots. The only option here is camouflage. If your patchy spots are up front, cut bangs. If they’re on top, try combing your hair back and securing it with a headband. Bald in the back? Ponytails work wonders, but please ditch that ancient scrunchie in favor of a natural colored elastic band or a leather tie.

6- Wake Up Your Make-Up

Brown eye shadow, rose blush, cocoa matte lipstick…zzzzzzz. It’s easy to fall into a make-up rut, but you don’t have to keep reaching for the same old shade of shadow. If you’re not sure where to begin, look at online pictures of women you admire or get a free makeover at a department store cosmetics counter.

7- Shop at a New Store

Ever notice how you seem to buy the same pieces of clothing over and over again? We all get stuck in fashion ruts, but one way to lift yourself out is to browse a store that you’d never think of entering. Although you wouldn’t be caught dead in the outfit on the mannequin, you may find inspiration among the racks of a boutique or trendier store. Then again, you might find the perfect pair of patterned capris or stylin’ little sandals that make you feel like a million bucks.

8- Scents Make Scents

Not looking so hot today? Divert attention from your outfit by stimulating another of the senses – smell. Perfume is a quick pick-me-up that sends clear messages to people around you. “I’m clean and fresh.” “I’m edgy.” “I’m soft and fuzzy.” “I’m sultry and sexual.” Pick the right scent and no one will notice what you’re wearing on the outside!

9- Make a Statement

Even if you don’t know a hemline from a panty line, you too can fake your way to fashionista status with a little help from your friends. Want an honest opinion of what looks good on you? Ask a friend. Your husband would rather dance in a tutu for his poker buddies than tell you which jeans make you look fat, so enlist a girlfriend to lay it on the line for you. Ply her with chardonnay, trick her into coming over or just beg her for the honest truth. The best way to go is to have her snoop through your closet and tell you what to keep and what to donate. Ditto for your make-up. It’s hard to tell someone that her lip liner is three shades darker than her lipstick or that green eye shadow went out with Bewitched, but that’s what friends are for.

10- Copy Cat

Love the way your sister cut her hair into a short shag? Copy it! When in doubt, look about. Take the great nail color from your next door neighbor, pair it with your sister’s cool haircut, add the big cuff cropped jeans you saw on the cover of Glamour and you’ve just come up with something fabulous.

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