Hip Mom: The Lazy Hip Mom’s Way to a New You
So, A New Year! A New You! Let’s all make resolutions to lose 20 pounds, join a Bible study, exercise at least nine times per week and sip only organic green kale smoothies before 10 a.m.
Or…let’s not. You’ve seen enough of these headlines, right? Let’s resolve to not pay any attention to that overly virtuous schlock. Why? Because being a mother, assuming you care at least a little about your children, is already an overly virtuous role, what with the whole handing over your ENTIRE EXISTENCE to these little people. To layer even MORE righteousness on is just a little too much. In fact, you will be in danger of becoming way too good and martyr-ly – and what wise person warned, “Deliver us, O Lord, from sour-faced saints”?
No, I’m sure if you go on a diet, or start reading self-improvement books or training for a marathon, your lips will start to purse in an uncomely fashion, and you will get instant crow’s feet from all the self-discipline. So I propose some decidedly lazy, self-indulgent means to start out the New Year.
How about letting the laundry go while you read an actual book? On my list: In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, and The Eye Has to Travel by Diana Vreeland – nary a parenting book in sight!
Why don’t you let the kids skip soccer practice or karate since they’re so happily playing in a pillow fort, and you can sit on the couch and do some online shopping? What? You still feel you need to do something slightly more ambitious? Well, grab a venti caramel macchiato – or something stronger (a Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps?) – and peruse these super-lazy means to look a bit more beautiful in 2013. Hardly any pesky virtue or willpower required.
The eyelash fill:
My friend Stephanie E. sports lush, black lashes that are simply mesmerizing to look at – it’s like a brunette Marilyn Monroe just sidled up to you. It turns out she gets them filled at Wink Eyelash Salon Brookside. Her lashes amp up her whole look. Stephanie gets her lashes filled every two weeks for $40; the full set initially cost her $200. Here’s what she says: “I love my eyelash extensions. I rarely wear mascara or any eye makeup, for that matter. The lashes are black, so there really is no need to wear mascara. But when I do wear full eye makeup, my lashes look so awesome.” Any caveats? “Every person has a different amount of lashes. Since each eyelash extension is added to your existing eyelash (with surgical glue), there are only so many that you can add. But you can choose the length of the extension and color…this is what makes the eyelashes stand out.” Surely batting lashes like these in the mirror will imbue an otherwise pedestrian day with a bit of intrigue and sultriness!
The infrared body wrap:
OK, so this newfangled wrap looked intriguing to me. I got a Living Social Deal for the Formostar Infrared Body Wrap at Beach City Tanning in Bixby – the wrap promises to burn calories, contour and slim, diminish the appearance of cellulite, smooth and rejuvenate skin, reduce stress and detoxify – all while you LIE DOWN! Sounds great – and a lot less painful than squats with a personal trainer. And all for just $39!
I speak to Dawn at Beach City Tanning about the wrap; the client is wrapped in large foam pads that contain the heating elements. Then – this is heaven – you get to go to sleep or just relax for 50 minutes while the heat does all the work. The infrared energy penetrates deep into the tissue, causing a detoxifying effect through sweat and increased lymphatic flow. The heat also causes the body’s temperature to increase – this is purportedly how you burn as many calories as running a marathon.
Is it too good to be true? My friend Pam H. swears the wrap jump-started her weight loss – she needed to lose eight more pounds and the wrap knocked three right off the top!
Alas, I end up chickening out – I’m still nursing, and since my doctor can’t for SURE tell me if it’s safe or not, I decide that I don’t need to do anything that will dehydrate me – or burn 1,400 calories for that matter. But when my current cupcake is weaned, I am definitely going to give the infrared body wrap a whirl.
I poo-pooed the ubiquitous Clarisonic cleanser at first; people have been washing their face for thousands of years without electronic aid and have had lush, teenage-like skin, right? But so many of my friends rave about it that I finally I deduce that a Clarisonic must be like my electronic toothbrush, which cleans so much better than a manual one.
The Clarisonic’s oscillating brush “gently micro-massages the skin at 300 movements per seconds, removing six times more makeup and two times more dirt than traditional methods,” per the website. So your face is that much more clean, which means less clogged pores. And a bonus: everything you use – from moisturizers to serums – is absorbed more effectively.
I started using my Clarisonic this summer, and I do see a subtle but distinct difference in the quality of my skin. It’s brighter, less dull and my pores are no longer the size of a large moon crater. The Clarisonic Mia is $149 – not cheap, but when you consider that professional microdermabrasion often starts at around $100 for a one-time session, it’s a good investment. And it’s eminently lazy, too. You just stand there while ruminating on topics such as Ryan Gosling’s abdomen. No trips to the salon!
Our darling children leave their legacies on our bodies in so many not-so-attractive ways: flabby tummies, C-section scars, dark puffy circles under our eyes – or even just a nice sheen of daily spit up. My friend Heather D. noticed that the melasma – the hyperpigmentation, or mask that so many women suffer during pregnancy – never went away.
Her dermatologist recommended Obagi, a prescription-strength, physician-dispensed skin care system. She knew she was done having children, so decided to give the regime a try. The process takes approximately 18 weeks, but for Heather it will be longer – she found her skin was extra sensitive.
Heather warns Obaji may not be for the super lazy after all. “You have to use the creams twice daily over numerous months,” she said. “And you may experience severe peeling. The system works by using numerous creams that penetrate the layers of skin to slough off dead skin cells and replace them with fresh cells. Once done, daily sunscreen is a must and there might be additional steps like using a vitamin C cream.”
Hmmm. A lot of work, but for those with melasma, Obaji can make a great difference – and I’d rather apply some creams than start doing crunches to attack my mushy abdomen.
So many of my friends have started using Botox. But I’m too chicken, and too lazy to get out of the house to go to a Botox party. So my friend Lisa K. recommends using this new skin care line available only through local brand “partners.” She gives me a HUGE sample of the night cream.
The discovery of this “cosmeceutical” came about by accident. During advanced research on the uses of the Nerium oleander plant – research originally done for skin cancer patients – it was discovered that this plant provided remarkable age-defying results when applied to the skin. This finding led to the creation of the NeriumAD skincare line. The cream prompts quicker cellular turnover, which helps with everything from wrinkles to acne and scar tissue.
Jenny G., a brand partner who uses the cream and happens to have gorgeous skin (she sells the cream at jg.nerium.com), was thrilled when her friends started asking if she had gotten Botox. She has noticed her crows’ feet and “eleven lines” – those squinty, frown-y lines between your brows – have all but disappeared after a few months’ use.
So I try my sample, and the cream has a very medical, non-retail smell to it – think of seaweed fermenting in a hospital lobby? It feels stiff when applied, like a mask. Jenny points out that it should be used on skin that has just been cleansed with a mild cleanser such as Dove, so that skin is still damp. Gah – I need to read the directions better! But after five days of use, my skin does look more refreshed and younger. Skip the Botox – which is often several hundred dollars a session – and try NeriumAD for a few months instead. No needles, no getting in the car!
There, some low-impact ways to self-improvement in 2013. Let that soggy diaper go while you listen to that new song on the radio. Ignore the chocolate milk ring while you just sit and stare into the near distance for a restorative minute. Let your phone ring and ring while you perfect your home pedicure. Or you can decide to forego any grand changes at all this year, and join me on the porch as we quaff something while children run amok and we congratulate ourselves on being good-enough, hot enough moms, just the way we are.