To say Carrie Underwood is busy these days would be a huge understatement. Not only does the country superstar have a new album, Storyteller, dropping October 23—she’s also prepping for her eighth time(!!) as co-host of the Country Music Awards (CMAs), which take place November 4. And, oh yeah, she popped out a baby boy, Isaiah, with hockey player hubby Mike Fisher just seven months ago.
At a press event for cosmetics brand Almay (Carrie is a spokesperson—when does this woman sleep?!), the Oklahoma-born beauty gave us the low-down on being a first-time parent, the funny way her beauty routine has changed now that she’s a mom, and more.
On what it’s like to juggle mom duty and work: “I’m a problem-solver,” says Carrie. “Sometimes, I sit around and I think, ‘What can I do to just make it easier on all of us?’ I don’t know if there are any definitive answers. Nobody hands you a book and says, ‘Here’s how you go back to work,’ or ‘Here’s how everybody’s happy.'” Luckily, Carrie and Mike share parenting duties and take over for each other when the other one is swamped at work. “I’m lucky that I have a husband that I can give and take with,” she says. “If he has four [hockey] games this week, it’s like, ‘I’ve got this—you’re going to be sleeping through the night, and I’m going to be getting up [with the baby].'”
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On maintaining a positive body image: In a recent interview with People, Carrie said that she after she won American Idol, she took diet supplements to lose weight—but that she now takes a healthier approach to body image. That’s especially true for her post-pregnancy. “Bodies can do the most amazing things, and I feel like being a first-time mom, I gained a whole new respect for my body,” says Carrie. “It created another human, and it’s amazing, and he’s just the best thing ever.” Her message to other new mamas? “We place so much emphasis on looks and less on how you feel and how you’re engine’s running,” she says. “I think if we did more of that, more people would be more accepting and probably even treat their bodies better.”
On how her son has made her change her beauty routine: “A lot of mornings, I’ve got him on my hip while I’m putting my makeup on, [and] I’m trying to keep his hands from grabbing at stuff—it’s a little chaotic,” she says. Carrie considers a smoky eye her favorite makeup look (“I’m from the South, so I love me some eyeliner!”). But these days, she opts for Almay’s new gel liner (available January 2016 for $8 at drugstores) instead of liquid liner. “When I’ve got my kid on my hip and I’m trying to put my liner on, a liquid’s not going to work because I’m going to end up with it on the other side of my face.”
On getting ready for the CMAs: One of the reasons the show gets huge ratings (16 million people watched last year) is Carrie’s natural chemistry with co-host Brad Paisley. “I just got a first rough copy of some of the opening monologues and stuff like that,” she says. As far as her wardrobe goes, Carrie recently had a fitting but won’t know until right before the show goes on which outfits she’ll actually wear. “It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “I can technically have nine [wardrobe] changes.