My "beauty routine," if it can be called that, consists of occasionally remembering to pluck my eyebrows and applying tinted lip balms. One exception to this practice is my red, wavy, hair, which receives a disproportionate share of my primping time.
But when D arrived, that time disappeared along with all of that hair in the shower. Worse than the temporary (I hope!) physical changes to my hair was that, with a new baby, my hair, my until-then proudest feature, was trapped in either damp or greasy buns. I was proud but a little depressed that D caught onto the opposites "wet" and "dry" so early.
Two excellent tools have helped me get my hair game back on track. Remington's curling wands (both elliptical and tapered) require a bit of a learning curve if you haven't used clipless curling irons. They often come with two-fingered or full-hand black gloves that do very little to keep you from searing your fingers; my advice is to ditch the gloves (or give them to your kiddos for dress up!) and just practice more slowly until you feel confident.
Once you've mastered the basics, these wands can really be a one-stop shop for your hair. As a general rule, the more time you spend using it, the fancier the 'do. Five minutes with big chunks of hair is a great everyday style. Twenty minutes with small chunks of hair will have you ready for formalwear.
For nearly all of D's first two years, the only styling tool I used was the above elliptical wand, because it meant that I could let my hair air dry and catch up with it the next morning/next evening/next two days. A useful tool for moms with precious little time to shower. But now that kiddo's getting a bit more independent, I bought the Revlon Perfect Heat 2" Tourmaline Ceramic Hot Air Spin Brush. This tool has, without exaggeration, changed my life. I'm reasonably successful with the round brush and dryer routine, which takes me about 25 minutes on a good day. My best time on this dryer is 11 minutes, 16 seconds. The brush spins in both directions, so I can dry my hair from the front and the back without any contortions. Some Amazon reviewers have complained about the weight and bulk of this dryer, but if you're accustomed to lifting a toddler my guess is that your arms can handle it.
But the BEST part about my life-changing new toy is that I can use it while holding onto the kiddo (because the sure-fire way to make him pay attention to me is to start getting ready). I would never use my elliptical wand with the kiddo nearby because that thing heats to 410° and looks like a giant piece of candy. While the spin brush certainly gets hot, the brushes diffuse the heat, meaning that if kiddo needs a hug, I don't have to turn off the dryer, find a high shelf for it, and hope he'll calm down before the other half of my hair sets.
The dryer is much quieter than other similar models, and one time I swear he dozed off mid-dry. Individual results may vary, but if you're faced with a choice between vacuuming and drying your hair, opt for the latter.