I started to develop a new habit, and I’m pretty happy about it. I wake up between 5:30 and 6 almost every morning. I am still trying to get that down to an everyday thing, although it’s happening most days, so I’m pretty happy about that. I open the curtains so that sunrise can happen while I write. I write my pages in bed. I drink water and get my workout clothes on. I workout. I take a shower. I try to make my hair look presentable. And then… I put make-up on.
This may seem like a silly thing, me making a big deal about putting makeup on. But for a long time, I just didn’t see the point. I never wore makeup in high school or college unless I needed to dress up for some reason. I just never felt like I had the time, and to be honest, I didn’t care about it that much. I’ve been lucky enough to have great skin and long eyelashes, and for me, that was enough. But now I’ve had two kids, and I have dark circles under my eyes. My cheekbones stick out a little more than they used to and the shadows underneath them often look like bruises. And yet, for most of my adult life, I’ve worked from home. Why put makeup on if nobody will see me anyway?
Getting in the habit of putting on makeup (not a lot, just a touch of foundation in certain spots, some concealer, blush, and maybe some eyeshadow if I’m feeling it. Sometimes, I fill in my eyebrows a touch) makes me feel like I’m going to work outside the house. It makes me feel productive. It makes me feel like the person I want to be. And that’s the main goal. I put makeup on now, even though I only see my family and the receptionist at my daughter’s gymnastics and ballet classes, maybe the cashier at the grocery store. I put it on because I want to live the life of the high power, New York Times Best Selling Author, contributing writer at a fashion magazine, and highly sought after celebrity photographer who just so happens to be killing it at motherhood as well. I have lofty goals, and I won’t apologize for them.
Every piece of this morning ritual has been added a little at a time so as to allow me to get used to it and to ease into waking up earlier, working out before breakfast, taking the time to do some jade rolling, and add the foundation before I heat up my coffee, scarf down a pancake or egg or oatmeal and shove Sofie out the door for school.
And now, more than ever, I feel like I actually do get the work done with enough time to drive her to gymnastics later, to play with Henry on the floor, to cook dinner, and try to get in a post-dinner walk. My ritual makes the transitions easier because I know what’s coming next. And maybe, it’s also easier because when I walk past the mirror on my way to the next task, I’m appreciating that little moment of self-care and self-love that I took the time for earlier that day.
One more thing. Wearing makeup also reminds me to actually have a nightly ritual that includes washing my face again, adding eye cream, and feeling fresh before climbing into my white sheets.