No-holds-barred here's my honest-to-god beauty "routine":
At the very least I have to brush my teeth once a day, preferably in the morning. I'll brush them at night if I can. My hair gets brushed hopefully every day, if not I pull it into a messy topknot/ponytail and call it a "style". Bed hair is in, it's sexy, that's my excuse. Batiste is my new BFF.
I remove my make-up the morning after, unless I've a spare minute in the bathroom at night, when I swipe a cotton pad around my face to get a bit of the foundation off before I sleep.
About 3 days a week I'll be slobbing, ahem, relaxing around the house and I won't wear any make-up. Fortunately the area I live in is a very "grass-roots" area, there are no SUVs and nobody cares or comments what you look like, we just chat about our children and the weather. This is a blessed relief, as I could not cope with a constant pressure to look groomed. I think my subconscious chose this area knowing I'd be a frazzled mom someday.
Once, maybe twice a week I'll go all out and spend a half-hour dressing, primping, doing hair and make-up, and feel a million dollars. I'll make damn sure to get a photo of how good I look, as I don't want my efforts wasted or forgotten about! So that'll be the day the phone gets pulled out for a self-portrait, or a shot of me with a child or two. (My own children, I'm not Salma Hayek) The next day I'll remove the panda eyes, slap on some lippy and be good to go - maybe I should coin the phrase "two day make-up"!
The other days, the middling days, I'll be out and about a bit, maybe a playgroup, a playdate, a trip into town etc, and I'll do foundation, mascara and lipstick, maybe eyeshadow if I've time.
My nails get done once a week if I'm lucky, and I feel so gammy without them done nicely, i.e at least filed into shape.
Everyone has their limits, the "gammy factor", the "I feel a million dollars" state. You hit some of them some days, and reach others a few days later, varying in states of "groomed-ness" as time and energy allows. I'm fortunate to be fair-haired, in that I'm not dealing with any excess body hair that needs waxing / bleaching, only my eyebrows need plucking every week or so. If I was hirsute, I dread to think of the state I'd be in, as my grooming is way down the list of "essentials", after:
1. Feeding my children
2. Feeding myself
3. Keeping food in the house
4. Washing my children
5. Washing myself
6. Keeping dishes clean
7. Keeping dirty nappies in the bin
... you get the idea.
Keeping the house clean is way down the list. Ironing is not even on the list. If you call in unexpectedly, at least you'll know there'll be biscuits in the tin, but you may have to side-step a few nappies on your way to them.
Some moms get up earlier than their children to get a bit of "me time", which could mean a hot shower every day, a pilates session, a cup of tea in peace. I love the idea of this, but I'm just too lazy at the moment, I take my "me time" at night, and relish my later mornings.
What works for you? Where do you draw the "gammy line"?