Ex Glamour magazine beauty editor and Vogue writer Grace Timothy gave birth to her beautiful daughter Noémie Rae 16 months ago. Since becoming a mother, she has launched her brilliant blog The Pregnant Beauty Guide and is working on an exciting new project with magazine stylist Marianne de Vries called Mother’s Collective, which we’ll be reporting on soon.
We caught up with her to find out more about her blog and to get her top pampering tips for new mums.
PAMPERING FOR NEW MOTHERS
By beauty expert Grace Timothy
One minute I was a beauty editor at Britain’s bestselling women’s magazine. The next, I was knocked up. Now, obviously it’s my business to know about skincare, haircare, makeup and feel-good treatments. But I was flummoxed during my pregnancy as to how to look after myself with all the rules imposed on pregnant women. So I investigated – are spray tans really a no-no? Can dyeing your hair really harm your unborn child? Isn’t there a massage that can soothe your aching back without squashing your bump?
I sought advice from all the experts I could get my hands on while I waddled around London on a mission to work out how I could look and feel better, and really enjoy my pregnancy in a safe, healthy way. I’m not suggesting for one moment you feel pressure to look amazing during pregnancy – you’ll be busy enough with the job at hand. But I hope I can help you tackle the ante and post natal problems your midwife didn’t warn you about, make the most of pregnancy’s good bits and furnish the nursery with the best baby products. Like Vogue with a Ventouse…
New mothers: you have next to no me-time factored into a day of caring for your new baby, and yet you’ve never needed it more. Here’s how to enjoy a little pampering that won’t interfere too much with the job in hand, focusing on relaxing, soothing and multi-tasking products that will make the most of the snatched moments alone!
No time for a bath or shower of an evening? Treat your legs to a blast of Bloom and Blossom Revitalising Leg and Foot Spray. A chemical-free tool to relieve water retention and refresh hot and itchy legs, it’s a total leg-saver during my pregnancy but you’ll continue using it post-partum – it’s great for frequent flyers; hot, dry weather and after exercise. Basically, it’s a soothing stalwart.
Whatever the season, there’s nothing like a good scrub to keep your skin smooth. You can pile on all the lotions and butters you like, but if you haven’t exfoliated, it’s hardly worth it. Mama Mio’s OMega Body Buff will do the trick, and you can also use it on your face – as we mothers know, multi-tasking is paramount. First, apply it onto dry skin – before you step in the shower – then massage it in, and rinse. Then apply to your face, but with a generous helping of warm water.
There’s actually no proof that using your usual polish has any discernible affect on you or your child – no appreciable amount of the toxins inside would penetrate your skin or access your blood stream. But it is easy to err on the side of caution these days – there are some really impressive new nail polishes available that are free from the 5 main polish toxins. If you only have five minutes to pamper your hands though, focus on conditioning the skin. Keep a moisturizing hand cream next to the skin and remember to apply it every time you wash your hands – yes, every time! Before bed, replace the moisture lost to hand sanitizers and nappy changes by massaging a nail oil into your cuticles and gently push them back from the nail, preferably after a bath or shower so the skin is soft and ready to roll.
I don’t often have the luxury of 10 minutes in the bath, waiting for my usual intensive hair masque to do its thing. But applying a leave-in conditioning spray through the ends has made my hair feel exceptionally soft without weighing it down. And what could be easier than a swift spritz?
If you don’t have the time nor inclination to set the scene for a lengthy dose of pampering, this will make snatched moments in bed feel a little more like a spa session. This Works Baby Sleep Pillow Spray is 100% natural and free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates, but no less gutsy in its relaxing prowess. And you can share it with your baby without risk of irritation – I’m not saying this is a fail-safe cure for every child who doesn’t sleep through. But it is lovely, and does seem to have an impact on relaxing our girl when we pop her in her cot. Jo Malone told me about using a tiny dot of cologne on her son’s pyjamas, so that he associated this smell with getting ready to sleep, and I think Emie has a similar association with this gorgeous lavender scent. I hope it will make future trips away easier, as we take the smell of home with us.