If you’re on Instagram (and who isn’t really?), chances are you’ve gawked at quite a few pictures of gorgeous women who look worthy of a magazine cover. I know I have. But when I’m sitting on my couch in sweatpants or nursing a breakout, it can be depressing AF. Well, guess what; flawless makeup, perfectly styled hair and just the right filter have a knack for setting unreasonable beauty standards and making you feel less than. That’s why we could all use that friendly reminder telling us we don’t always have to be perfect, and new mommy Sameera Reddy’s Instagram feed does exactly that.

The actress who recently had her second baby, Nyra, says she’s “imperfectly perfect”, and proudly so. And when we stalk her posts, we’re all heart. From her candid no-makeup selfies to her unabashed bump-flaunting pregnancy shoot, Sameera loves herself and it shows! We caught up with her during baby Nyra’s nap time to find out her beauty routine as a new mom, how she manages to keep that glow while she copes with the mom life and her under-10-minute pamper ritual.

BB: What’s your skincare routine like as a new mom?
 

BB: What’s your skincare routine like as a new mom?

SR: I’d like to say I follow a fancy skincare regimen, but now that my baby girl’s arrived, my time dedicated to a beauty routine has been cut down by half! I don’t have the luxury of applying creams or masks onto my face because I don’t want any product coming on Nyra when I’m burping or feeding her. So my skincare is limited to the basics.

I start off with a soy cleanser, toner and moisturiser. I then go onto an under-eye cream and a prescription-based sunscreen. Lastly, I use a face mist or a translucent setting powder to set it all in place. This is more for protection than to look made up.

BB: Early mommyhood = sleep deprivation = dark circles. How do you catch up on those Zzzzs?

SR: I try to get my 40 winks whenever possible, in between feeding sessions. Sometimes Nyra and I will just dose off while I’m holding her in my arms on the sofa. I’m blessed to be able to fall off to sleep anywhere, anytime. That said, I do look tired, and I still have dark circles and under-eye bags. I talk about it quite openly on Instagram and my followers can totally relate.

BB: When you’re on the run what’s your go-to makeup look?
 

BB: When you’re on the run what’s your go-to makeup look?

SR: I like to keep it natural. I usually go with a moisturiser that has a little bit of shimmer for that glow, and a BB cream. (I’m the last one to use heaving foundations and concealer.) I add a little contour, blush and mascara. And I complete my look with a bright lippie. I’m a flashy kind of girl like that.

BB: As a busy momma, what’s your idea of a beauty pamper sesh?

SR: A spa or facial would be ideal, but there’s no time for that these days. My beauty ritual looks something like this: I step out of the shower and put on a charcoal face pack. Leave it on for around 7 to 10 minutes and wash it off. I sometimes couple this with a hair mask. But that’s about it. It helps me get my “me time” and does wonders for my skin and hair.

BB: You coped with post-partum depression due to alopecia areata and pregnancy weight gain. Tell us about that.
 

BB: You coped with post-partum depression due to alopecia areata and pregnancy weight gain. Tell us about that.

SR: The hair loss I faced (alopecia strata) wasn’t pregnancy-related. It was an auto-immune disease triggered by extreme stress. I had to take steroidal injections and a course of medication to get over it, but it was quite traumatic. It was also a tough pregnancy; that’s why this time around, I was determined not to let anything rob me of my joy. There were moments when I’d be down, but I’d quickly pick myself up.

BB: What would you tell new moms struggling to shed that pregnancy weight?
 

BB: What would you tell new moms struggling to shed that pregnancy weight?

SR: Accept your body. Yes, you’re out of shape at the moment, but this phase isn’t going to last. So embrace it and get active as soon as you possibly can.

I had a C-section, so I needed a longer rest period. But I’m determined to get fit. The exhaustion and hunger can sometimes lead me to binge-eat, so I watch out for that too. I eat smaller meals at regular intervals and avoid sugar, excess carbs and other tempting pick-me-ups.

BB: Tell us three beauty tips you swear by.
 

BB: Tell us three beauty tips you swear by.

SR: A besan and dahi face pack—it really works for my skin. Drinking tons of water and getting enough sleep. And lastly, never skipping sunscreen and under-eye cream. I learnt the last one from my sisters. They slapped sunscreen on me and waxed my upper lip from the age of 13!

BB: What beauty tip would you pass on to your baby girl?

SR: I think beauty is becoming more holistic these days. It’s all about accepting who you are and going organic and natural. I think that’s what I’d want Nyra to do.