Ah, journey with me, if you will, through the fantastical odyssey of post-partum beauty — an enchanted land where under-eye bags are a couture accessory and sleep is a mythical entity, as elusive as a unicorn. Here I stand (read: totally laying down), one month (plus a few extra, sleep-deprived days) into the throes of motherhood, starkly realizing that the only routine I’ve mastered involves a mild, pulsating anxiety that crescendos just in time for my daughter’s morning walk.
My skincare routine? A once gloriously intricate 4-part symphony of Biologique Recherche has now been irresponsibly abandoned, replaced by frenzied midnight searches of “how to make baby burp faster, please help” on TikTok and haphazardly humming lullabies. My hair? An unsung tragedy, that, frankly, I scarcely paid attention to pre-babe era.
I doom scroll watching 10-part beauty routines on social media, wondering when I’ll return to the “old me” that knew (and did and loved) all the contour techniques and winged liner hacks. I open my bathroom mirror and stare into the abyss that is my makeup collection and wonder, will I ever use this again?
Short answer: 100%. I’ve cast a desperate S.O.S into the beauty ether, and lo, Jeanine Lobell, founder of NEEN beauty, answered the call. Because surely, if there’s a soul who can elevate this emotionally saturated, sleep-starved new mama from the depths of desolation to a semblance of her once glowing self, it’s the queen herself.
Jeanine, navigating through parenthood five times over, stands as an effervescent beacon of knowledge and a dab hand at managing the chaos, having founded the first makeup brand my youthful self was enchanted by (hello, Stila!), and currently NEEN. Whom better to seek counsel from? Here, the makeup maven reminisced about early parenthood, sharing, “I remember I didn’t want to wear perfume anymore because I wanted the baby to know my scent.”
She continues, “You eventually sync into being a caregiver, which, for most of us, involves a reluctant descent into self-neglect. I mean, a shower begins to assume the guise of a luxurious treat. It’s imperative to carve out a routine where self-abandonment isn’t the default setting.”
The wisdom from Jeanine was not an endless list of products or an intricate regimen as you may expect from a makeup artist and beauty brand founder. It was far more attainable. “Even allotting, like, five minutes to pause before the mirror, to really see yourself, and recollect the person you are amidst the chaos, can be a healing.” Her mantra for post-partum beauty? It just takes two. Two products, that’s the ticket.
The Power of a Cream Blush
“Most new parents are pretty sleepless, so puffiness and dark circles are a thing. Rather than combat those things with a concealer, try a cream blush,” she suggests. “You want to find products that are multi-use, long-wear, and distracting from any discoloration. A good cream blush instantly puts color back into your face and, since it’s a cream, adds a glowing effect,” says Jeanine.
My personal fave? Neen’s Going Rouge Cheek & Lip Cream in Shake, available at Nordstrom.
A Low-Maintenance/High Impact Mascara
“You’re going to want to find a mascara that has high impact, but is low maintenance.” So what does that mean? In layman’s terms, something you can put on, won’t smudge, flake, or have to be reapplied throughout your day. “Our Pretty Extra mascara is made within clean formula guidelines to avoid as many ingredients that we currently know to be potentially harmful, which is something to pay attention to when you’re a new mom.
Embracing the beautiful chaos of new motherhood, it’s natural to (even if only momentarily) say a gentle goodbye to meticulous beauty routines of the past, and hello to a simpler, cleaner approach. Jeanine’s advice nudges us not just towards a refreshed outer self but reflects the unfiltered beauty of motherhood itself. In the mirror, with just a cream blush and mascara, I have been able to find the perfect blend of who I was and who I am becoming.