How to Look and Feel Cute as a Busy Mom

Need tips on how to look and feel cute as a busy mom? So did I.

I never knew the meaning of tired until I had kids. I thought I did, but I most certainly did not. And because I got 2 babies at once as a first-time mom, I was nothing short of a super hot mess as a new mom.

My ability to look and feel put-together went completely down the drain. And out to the ocean. I survived on Lean Cuisine, cold cups of coffee, and extremely little sleep. I’m pretty sure I actually thought I might die at one point.

Getting dressed and putting on makeup? I had no energy for that. I’m pretty sure I lived in 10 year old Hollister sweatpants for at least the first year of my twins’ lives.

Today, I’m here to share what I wish I would have done differently. I wish I would have taken a little more time to put myself together. When I look cute, I feel cute, I’m in a better mood, and I get more stuff one. I’m sharing lots of life-changing, busy mom hacks to help you get back on your feet and feel your best as a tired, busy mom!

how to look and feel cute as a busy mom

How to Look and Feel Cute as a Busy Mom: Life Hacks

Here are some pieces of advice I wish I had been more willing to take as a tired, busy, first-time mom.

Stress less.

Easier said than done, right? This task is especially difficult to accomplish as a first-time mom. You have so many thoughts and worries running through your mind, even while you sleep! Not to mention you really have no clue what to expect! When my girls were newborns, it really was a scary time for me.

I’d get up and watch them breathe in the night, worrying they were sleeping in the wrong position and feeling super stressed about all the little noises they made. This was a very, very dumb move. Instead of watching them breathe, I should have made sure I was breathing myself!! Stress like this can chip away at your health as a mom.

And don’t Google everything. It will scare the living sh*t out of you and cause unwarranted stress, which does not make you feel cute. In fact, it makes me feel like a loose cannon. Do yourself a favor. Close your laptop or Safari app and give the pediatrician a call. You’ll save yourself a ton of unnecessary headache and worry. There is no need to assume the worst because 7 weird diseases showed up when you Googled a rash. Get it straight from the doctor’s mouth!

Sit and stand up straight.

Unfortunately, I already struggle with this because I have borderline severe scoliosis. But after I had the girls, for some reason, my posture drooped.

I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t want anyone to see my un-put-together self, or because I was hiding from people asking if the girls were twins (I just didn’t feel like talking, and because I’m tall, it’s nearly impossible to hide.) Or maybe it was because holding two babies took away any energy I had to put towards good posture. But I also know that I’ve been afraid people would view me as conceited or stuck up just for having good posture, which is totally unjustified.

I am still working on improving my posture, both while sitting and standing. Why is it important? When you stand up straight, you instantly become and appear more confident!! You will feel so much more put-together! And if people view you as confident, they will react differently (most likely more positively) towards you. They don’t say “chin up” for no reason!

Side note: Bad posture can also cause back pain, neck pain… It needs to go.

Invest in a water bottle.

I am so busy catering to the kids’ needs that I often feel as though I don’t have time to even take a sip of water. Buy a huge water bottle, and fill it each morning, no excuses. If you have an extra minute, add some sliced lemons or cucumbers.

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Hydration plays in important role in your well-being. find out more in this article.

Shop cute water bottles:

Make time to watch a funny show you love.

For me, Friends was my lifeline as a new mom (and still is now that the girls are 7). Why? It makes me laugh sooo hard no matter how many times I’ve seen it!! And really, a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear! Happy girls are prettiest!

And yes, as a busy mom you’re allowed to watch TV! Plus, don’t forget the snacks and a glass of wine! You will wake up the next day feeling happier and more relaxed, and in turn, you’ll feel cuter.

Here’s a short list of TV shows to try if you like to laugh:

  • I Love Lucy
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • New Girl
  • Roseanne
  • The King of Queens
  • Happy Days
  • Modern Family
  • Three’s Company
  • The Jeffersons
  • Boy Meets World
  • Perfect Strangers

How to Look and Feel Cute as a Busy Mom: Beauty Hacks

Gone are the days when you can spend 30 minutes on your makeup, am I right?! Your kids need you in the mornings, and you’ve gotta captain the ship to get everyone out of the house on time. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip your beauty routine altogether! For me, a little beauty routine completely lifts my spirits. It’s a part of my self-care.

Here are some tips on how to speed up your beauty routine without tossing it out completely:

Invest in cute hair accessories.

I’m not a huge fan of doing my hair. In part, this is because my hair is difficult. It’s fine and can be limp, so I pull it back most days! (Here is a suuuuper easy 3-minute updo that will make you look like you spent hours on your hair!)

Photo by Fiona Murray on Unsplash

I ALWAYS have cute hair accessories on hand, including butterfly clips in different sizes, various headbands, and lots of scrunchies! If you’re new to hair accessorizing, check out the headbands in this post!

Why hair accessories? They allow you to effortlessly add some style and cuteness to your look. Plus, they keep unruly hairs in their places!

Try press-on nails.

If you like to have color on your nails but hate painting them or sitting at a salon for an hour, press-on nails are a game-changer! I started using them during the pandemic, and I don’t miss the nail salon at all! (Well, I miss my pedicures. You should never stop getting pedicures.)

You can read all about my favorite press-ons in this post, but here’s the short of it.

  • It takes me 10 minutes to apply a full set from start to finish.
  • There’s no drying time.
  • They last a full week.
  • Wearing press-ons is way more affordable than professional acrylic or dip nails.

If you can’t stand the thought of fake nails at all, I also love this fast-drying, long lasting nail polish.

Apply only essential makeup.

As a tired, busy mom, you want to look awake and polished. But you just lack the time. (And you’re really not that awake.)

Here are the 4 makeup essentials I apply each morning. Doing so instantly increases my confidence.

  • A foundation with sunscreen. I don’t have time for all the layers of moisturizer and SPF. I’ve been using this affordable SPF full-coverage foundation by Maybelline.
  • Mascara that is easy to apply. If you haven’t tried Maybelline Snapscara yet, you MUST.
  • Brow gel. Polishing your brows gives the illusion of more awake eyes with little effort. I love this one by NYX!
  • Lip balm. This could be tinted if you’d like. But don’t buy anything that requires a mirror to apply.

Once you have these 4 items on your face, I PROMISE you will look and feel cute. You could always add more makeup later if you have any extra time!

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Shop makeup essentials for busy moms:

Shower and do your full skincare routine at night.

Not only do you have more time and peace and quiet after the kids go to bed for self-care, showering at night saves you sooo much time in the morning!! It helps me a ton! I just let my hair air-dry while I watch a funny show and unwind with a glass of wine.

In the mornings, I can’t do it all. Ever. So if I leave my shower for the morning, there is no way I am drying my hair or putting on makeup. Showering and doing my skincare routine at night takes the morning stress-level down, for sure.

Tip: I use Rodan + Fields Lash Boost lash serum nightly, and it’s a total game-changer. I can easily skip mascara, but when I do apply it, it takes half the time it used to. My lashes have gotten so long and full!

busy mom hack: shower at night
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

How to Look and Feel Cute as a Busy Mom: Style Hacks

Please throw away or recycle your decades old sweatpants, socks, t-shirts… Please. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on cute clothes, nor do you have to be a fashionista to dress cute.

Follow these easy style tips, and you’ll feel so much better!

Invest in matching sets.

When you have matching sets in your wardrobe, you don’t have to put any thought into what to wear! Not only are they cute, matching sets allow you to get dressed in a pinch (the right way)! And they are really comfortable!

There are soooo many cute matching sets in the world. I’m sharing some of my favorites below!

Shop matching sets:

Tuck or knot your top.

Tucking or knotting your top instantly elevates your style game and accentuates your figure. Seriously. It takes you from frumpy to fashionable! Do you feel cute when you’re frumpy? I don’t!

If I’d have left this cap sleeve tee untucked, it would have hidden my waistline and left me shapeless. I’d have been a walking cylinder!

feel cute as a busy mom: tuck in your top

An exception to this rule is when you’re wearing biker shorts or leggings, which are already form-fitting. In that case, leaving your top or tee untucked works!

easy outfit for busy mom

Buy the right clothes for you.

This is one of the most important tips for feeling cute as a busy mom. Have you ever heard the saying, “I’m nicer when I like my outfit? I think there’s a ton of truth to that!

For goodness sake, please don’t buy something just because everyone else is doing it, or because it’s a bargain. If you don’t love it, you will probably never feel cute in it. And you might even be uncomfortable all day. That’s a definite mood-killer, right there!

How can you learn your style and avoid purchasing clothes that aren’t right for you? Read all about my POPS shopping method, and you’ll almost never buy what doesn’t suit your style again! You’ll be left with a closet full of easy grab-and-go pieces that you’ll feel great wearing.

Final Thoughts on How to Look and Feel Cute as a Busy Mom

These tips are sure to help you feel more put-together. You need to employ these life, beauty, and style hacks if you want to look and feel cute! Afterall, they say you have to put on your oxygen mask before you help others, and I firmly believe that these strategies are all connected to self-care.

Don’t forget about yourself during the crazy busy journey of motherhood! Try these busy mom hacks, and let me know how they help!


A fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog written by Jackie Mikkelson, Instinctively en Vogue is a source of inspiration for busy girls, especially moms like her, who want to be chic while staying comfortable.

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