Primping in the Prison Bathroom: How Teresa Giudice Gave Herself a Makeover Before She Headed Home to Her Family for Christmas

Giudice was released from prison after just under a year on Wednesday

Photo: AKM-GSI

Freedom was hers, but Teresa Giudice couldn’t leave prison without a little primping.

After serving nearly a year at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star was released in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

Giudice made a trip to the prison’s ladies room, however, before leaving the prison building and beginning the trek home to New Jersey.

“She took a little while to come out so it looked like she took some time to get herself together,” a source exclusively tells PEOPLE, adding that she was still inside the building at around 5:30 a.m., despite being released at 5:01 a.m.

The source says that Giudice got ready in the prison’s public bathroom, doing her hair and makeup before changing into clothes that her lawyer had brought her from home.

“She wanted to make sure she looked good when she came out,” the source says.

So what was the reality star’s first ensemble after months in prison-issued attire? All black, of course.

VIDEO: Joe Giudice Reveals Post-Prison Plans with Wife Teresa: ‘We’ll Be Spending a lot of Time in the Bedroom’

Guidice was all smiles as she excited the facility, where she was being held on fraud charges. She was initially sentenced to 15 months in jail in October of 2014.

Upon her arrival home at 7:30 a.m., Giudice was greeted by her husband Joe and daughters Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana, who had a special surprise for their mom: a brand new Lexus.

“Joe wanted to surprise her with the Lexus,” the source says. “He had a big red bow put on the top of it.”

It will certainly be a celebratory holiday for the family, as the source says her daughters “could hardly sleep last night because they were so excited that their mom was coming home.”

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