My 30’s suddenly got very Expensive (and why that’s ok)

I’ve always considered myself a pretty low maintenance girl. Except for a brief stint in my teens where I refused to leave the house without curling my bangs (the need for poof was real, folks), I’ve always been pretty comfortable with a minimalist beauty routine.

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“The Bangs” (I think I was 15 here)

My skin was perfect as a teenager (much to the chagrin of some of my girlfriends). I used plain water or makeup wipe to wash my face in the evenings (if I remembered to do anything at all).

A pat of Covergirl foundation, a swipe of mascara, and chapstick completed my regular makeup routine. I felt like a million bucks.

Fast forward about 15 years. The bangs are gone, thank goodness (best decision of my entire Senior year in high school).

But my minimalist beauty routine was failing me–mostly because puberty decided to catch up with me in my early 30s.

After my fourth baby was born at the end of 2014, my skin started freaking out: acne, dry patches, oily patches– my face didn’t know what to do. Thank you, postpartum hormones.

I also started noticing that my hair wasn’t as silky and smooth as it used to be.

So this is it, I sighed, looking at the small forest of gray hair sprouting from my temples. There were too many to pull out anymore. I’m getting old.

I don’t know if it was my postpartum hormones speaking, but I started to feel ugly.
Fatigue probably had a lot to do with it too. Sleep deprivation is not kind to one’s face…or self-esteem.

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This is real life, folks.

Are Moms supposed to be beautiful? I wondered. My husband assured me that I was.  I felt mollified but not content. I didn’t know who I was when I looked in the mirror anymore. I was doing what I had always done but it wasn’t working anymore.

By the time my baby reached a year old, I was tired of waiting for my “postpartum hormones” to calm down.

I had to realize the truth: my body was changing. Though I am far from “old,” I am getting older.

So, although my frugal ways and pattern of minimal beauty habits screamed against it, I decided to start spending more money on self-care.

I threw out my bottle of $14.95 face lotion (that seemed “too expensive” when I bought it) and, at age 31, I purchased a full skin care regimen–my first ever cleanser, serum, lotion, eye cream, and night cream.

It cost about six times what I had paid for that tube of drug store lotion, and I felt super guilty about the purchase. Am I just being frivolous? I wondered.

But in the days and weeks of consistently taking the time to wash and moisturize my face, I saw a huge difference–the dry patches and uneven skin tone were soothed, and the adult acne settled down too.

Using a quality product for my changing skin was actually a good thing (Imagine that! ha!).

A few months later, I crossed another boundary and bought shampoo and conditioner for $10 a bottle–each. I KNOW! Talk about guilt! Especially when I normally spent $3-4 on hair care products.

I justified the purchase by telling myself, “It’s okay. You only wash your hair every other day.”
I am a busy  mom of 4, after all.

And do you know what? The expensive stuff was amazing!  My hair wasn’t losing its luster! I had just been using crappy shampoo for years.

I’ve slowly branched out a bit more. I bought makeup that cost more than $5.95.

I’ve decided to invest in clothes that I love and are well-made, instead of talking myself into liking a garment just because it was on sale.

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A new haircut always helps (my baby was 9 months old before I “splurged” for this chop). See my silver? I’m embracing it!

All of these changes may seem kind of shallow.

But feeling bad about myself because my skin and hair were unhealthy just made me self-conscious, and ultimately made me feel shallow because I was thinking about looks all the time.

But when I decided to embrace that my 30s are going to require a bit more money and self-care, and started using products that help my body feel its best, I actually think about myself less because I’m not so self-conscious.

Beyond even the money issue though, I had to let go of my perceptions of what it means to get older, as well as what it means to be both a mom and a woman. I had to embrace these truths:

It’s okay to take care of your face and hair.
It’s okay to spend money on yourself.
It’s okay to want to feel beautiful.
You matter.

You are a woman first, not “just a mom.”

Taking care of myself is important. I’m glad that I feel like “me” again–older yes, but when I began to take the time and money to care for myself, I feel more vibrant, confident, and beautiful.

What about you?
Did your 30s get really expensive?
How has self-care changed your self-esteem?
Share your story below!

I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?
If so, please share! Thank you! 🙂

13 Comments

  1. onehooliemama

    Oh, I am so glad you shared this today! I’ve been starting to consider a skin care routine that is (what I consider to be outrageously) expensive. I’m trying to teach myself that taking care of myself isn’t wasting money. It’s a learning curve for me!

    • It really was worth it to me. Plus, the line I bought lasted me like 9 months. When I did the math, it really wasn’t a lot “per month.” It just felt like this huge GULP expense at time time.
      You are worth it! Self-care is worth it.

  2. Your hair looks incredible with the grey “highlights” thru it! When I took the “splurge” and upgraded my products for my hair I decided it was a waste of money to buy anything but the very best. I was dead right. My shampoo brand is $42, and my conditioner is over $60. I also splurged on their styling products. The crazy thing though is that one small bottle lasts me well over a year. My hair has never looked better and I’m turning 40 this year. So worth it. As far as my skin care goes I’ve always splurged in that category. Your husband should count his lucky stars to be married to a woman that has saved him so much money this entire time on facial products. 😆

    • haha! yeah, my husband doesn’t know what is going to hit him in another 10 years. Thanks for sharing your Beauty TIps with me! And thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. I totally appreciated this post!! You look great! Love the gray highlights, and your skin looks amazing. I have never been into makeup (tomboy), but I can totally relate with the clothes. Within the past year or two I did start spending a little more for certain items that fit better and that I felt good in. Whenever my husband gives me heat about spending money, I tell him he has no idea how much he’s saved since I don’t buy makeup, and I can’t remember the last time I got my hair cut. It really does need a cut though, it’s been well over a year!

    I loved this in your post:
    It’s okay to take care of your face and hair.
    It’s okay to spend money on yourself.
    It’s okay to want to feel beautiful.
    You matter.
    You are a woman first, not “just a mom.”

    Thank you for speaking positive words for other struggling moms. 🙂

  4. Ashley Rhae

    I literally JUST had the same experience recently! At 31, I went to a Mary K consultant and bought a skin care regimine. I couldn’t believe the cost but after just as week of using it, I keep asking myself, “Why didn’t I start this years ago??!” My makeup glides on and my face feels so fresh and light. As for my hair, I will continue to covered up my ‘forest of gray’ at the salon. It’s money well spent!! I hadn’t thought about changing up my shampoo, but I think that may be my next step! Great article….and very true for this momma of 3!

  5. Im definitely feeling ypu. I had always been big on a skin care regime but after I had my second child in my 30s (my first was in my 20s) my skin basically dried up. Like a desert. It was so weird because I’d always been a really oily girl and all my products were targeted to that.
    For me, I invested in rosehip oil and it works a treat on my skin.
    And I don’t feel bad about investing some time and money in myself. We need to look after our families but we also need to look after ourselves. If we don’t, we can’t look after them. If looking after our akin and feeling good about Purcell’s makes us feel happier then that happiness should rub off on other areas of our life

    • brittanyameng@gmail.com

      Good for you! I love hearing about how others are taking care of themselves. It encourages me that I am doing the right thing! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. 🙂

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