You wouldn’t believe how many things I’ve taken right from the fridge and slapped on my face in the name of saving money and time on my beauty routine. (Or maybe just slapped my face — got to stay awake somehow with a newborn, after all!)
Being a mom is wonderful. It’s amazing, it’s tender. It’s an experience no one can describe until they’ve done it themselves. (I know, I’ve tried. I’m pretty sure I just came off as weird.)
The one thing it’s not, at times, is beautiful. Oh, the love and shared-time parts are, surely. But any mom who’s glanced in the mirror after three or four wakings during the night knows that it’s not exactly gentle or forgiving to the skin.
The woman at the left isn’t me…but she just as easily could be. I had that same expression — that “I love this little being so much it almost hurts, but wow, am I supposed to be this tired?” half-enraptured, half-puzzled look for nine months straight with a little one who just wouldn’t sleep.
But really…standing at the Lancome counter with Li’l Boy in his Maya wrap as some dolled-up sales person squirted perfume in my milk-leaking direction was always the last thing I wanted to do. So I got creative with things I had at home. And I did a little research. Here are two awesome recipes that I tweaked and tried — and found actually did work.
Cucumber and Tea Eye Circle Reliever
one bag of black tea
two cucumber slices
washcloth or compress
1. Boil a half-cup of water on the stove.
2. Add the tea bag and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the tea bag, squeezing it out into the water. (This portion can be done ahead of time — even the night before.)
4. Allow the tea water to come to a cool temperature in the refrigerator.
5. Wet the washcloth in COLD water. Wring out very thoroughly. Then place the washcloth in the cooled tea and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cut two thin slices of cucumber.
7. When you’re ready for your treatment (nap time has to come eventually!), wring the wash cloth thoroughly so it won’t drip. Lie back and close your eyes; place the cucumber slices over them. Place the washcloth over these. Sit for 15-20 minutes if you can, then remove the washcloth and cucumbers.
Cucumbers reduce puffiness, and the tannins in the tea are great skin-tighteners as well as a huge help in reducing the appearance of dark circles.
Potato Eye Mask
cold potato slices (white or red potatoes)
1. Place some ice in a small bowl. Add enough water to cover your washcloth.
2. Place the washcloth in the ice water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut two 1/4″ potato slices large enough to cover your eyes.
4. Wring out the washcloth so it won’t drip.
5. Close your eyes and place the potato slices over them. Fold the washcloth and place over the potato slices and your eyes. Lean back for 10 minutes.
Potatoes have a light bleaching effect (don’t worry — it’s far weaker than traditional skin bleaches) and produce a cooling effect that lessens eye bags.
Enjoy — and remember, you are beautiful…just like the lovely and very in-love mom in the pic above.