Clemmie’s TOP Mum Face Moisturiser

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.22.24Clemmie Hooper has had her babies! Beautiful Delilah Iris and Ottilie Pearl were born a couple of weeks ago, and everyone’s doing brilliantly – hurrah!

But while she was still pregnant I sent her By Terry Hydradiance Daily Care Hydra-Comfort Aqua Balm (£68) because its claims to erase signs of fatigue intrigued me – could it help us knackered pregnant women, or the mum-face that has gone without a proper night’s sleep in, oh I don’t know – 10 years?! Clemmie – both pregnant and mum of two gorgeous girls already – was the perfect guinea pig. GT

“I’ve used the Baume de Rose before – there’s something so lovely about the smell of roses, sort of comforting and very traditional. And I really love this cream – it’s actually amazing! I even used it when the morning sickness was really bad.

My skin tends to be a bit dry, more so when I’m tired and pregnant. This cream sits so nicely on the skin, I actually wear it in lieu of makeup. You can just feel your skin sucking this cream in! I just dab a little on in the morning and it feels really clean, not at all greasy. And at night after cleaning it’s like washing your face again with fresh rose water. I’ve never woken with that slight residue, it’s completely gone by morning. I don’t know if I looked less tired but it definitely made my skin look plumped up and smooth – I’ll definitely get some more now I’ve run out!”






An Ode To Lipstick

imageWhen I was a teenager, lipstick wasn’t really the thing – in fact, lipgloss reigned supreme right into my Uni years. So I spent a long time with my lips somewhere between shiny and dry-as-hell, spitting wisps of hair out of my mouth before kissing boys. I once burnt my foot quite badly because my lips were so slippery with gloss that a cigarette shot out of my mouth and fell onto my peep-toes.

But by the time I was officially a Grown Up,  lipstick was back. And I’ve been obsessed with the transformative effects ever since. Chalky pink, satin scarlet, poster paint poppy, glowy rose blush, silky nudes, punchy coral, matte fuchsia – they can suit EVERY skin colour, and are so easy to apply (more on that below), but they imbue your face with a sense of gutsy stylishness that’s all your own. When I see someone wearing lipstick I automatically assume they’re nailing it – work, motherhood, whatever.Even though I know how easy it is to purchase and apply, lipstick is just one of those things that makes you look pulled-together and a bit sassy. You’ve got chutzpah. Balls. You’re laughing.

It also does wondrous things for a tired person, detracting from dull skin and dark circles with a wide-awake pop of colour. It’s the fashion statement you can make regardless of shape, size or budget. OK, you do need cash, but as little as £4.49 for this Barry M lipstick I have on repeat purchase, and only £1 for MUA at Superdrug, another from my own makeup bag.

I don’t go in for the bullshit spun about it being a sexual fishing rod used to catch a mate. When I like a girl’s lipstick I don’t find my brain immediately swimming in the big red/fuchsia vaginas it’s supposed to summon by association. It’s just a bit of fun, something to make you feel good with a single swipe, if f like me you apply direct from the bullet. Yes you can make it last longer with primer, you can create a fuller lip with a liner, and you can buff and blot your way to a totally flawless, Insta-ready pout. But if you have 10 seconds between wrestling your toddler into his or her buggy and pulling a beanie down over a head of 3-day old dry shampoo, you can also look pretty fucking amazing by just slicking it on. The dream accessory for a time-poor mother.


Pestle & Mortar Hydrate Lightweight Moisturizer

Hydrate Moisturiser Pestle & Mortar copy(1)The forecast was always: dry with a chance of oil. My face during pregnancy, and indeed to a less extreme extent today 3 and a half years on, was a bit of a conundrum. Super oily, super dry, with spots and flaky patches in equal measures. So I was tempted to go without moisturizer altogether – I just couldn’t find something that covered both bases, soothed my PD and didn’t make me want to puke with a synthetic, shitty fragrance. I wish I had known about this little beauty, which launched just this month. Sonia Deasy – she of Pestle + Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum – created this lightweight moisturizer – Hydrate £38 – which softens your skin without adding to the oil slick, evening out the balance overall. And the scent is very subtle to my non-pregnant nose – kind of citrusy, definitely fresh. My skin is infinitely happier – despite the combo of central heating and freezing weather – with a smoother, softer texture.

For new mums there’s another perk – the dispenser is so mum-friendly. You press down on the top and out pops this awesome featherlight cream, just the amount you need. So you just slam and scoop – you can do it one-handedly whilst holding a baby. Or a glass of wine. And so, it’s shot to the top of my shopping list for pregnant women and new mums alike. The best moisturizer I have tried in ages.

HAUTE MAMA: Eimear Varian Barry

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Eimear was a well-known stylist long before she got pregnant, joined Instagram and gathered an army of followers – 46.6k at last count. Another baby is now on the way to join daughter, Saoirse. So, what does she use on her hair and skin during pregnancy? Read on for the scoop and then follow her beautiful Insta account at @eimearvarianbarry

marianilaMaria Nila Repair Shampoo £14.99 & Conditioner £15.95

“I use these whether I’m pregnant or not, but I’d say I use them differently – now I’m pregnant again I’m using more of the conditioner than usual. But just a little on the ends, as it is powerful stuff. It’s got the kind of smell you can close your eyes and really enjoy – I find myself going into a slow motion TV hair ad.”


mabel and megMabel & Meg Lumilixir Serum £27.99

“I put this on straight out of the shower and it sinks in so quickly. I’m always on the lookout for brands like this on Instagram but do not purchase lightly! The Vitamin C content is especially helpful as skin is sucked dry of nutrients during pregnancy – the more, the better. I also love that it’s not tested on animals and that it’s fragrance free – anything without a fragrance is automatically good for skin, it’s a no brainer to me.”

cleansing_balm_-_merumaya_melting_cleansing_balm_3__3Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm £15.50

“I can’t live without this. You’re talking to a girl who has been taking off her makeup with Imperial Leather for around 16 years now. Don’t kill me! The story is, I got a sample of Eve Lom at a press day a few months ago. I tried it and obviously it was a gamechanger, but too expensive for me. I did a lot of research and found this one. I definitely need to apply moisturiser afterwards, whereas with Eve Lom I didn’t – my skin wasn’t dry or anything, it just needed a little top up after cleansing. But as a cleanser it works just as well as an expensive balm for a fraction of the price. I wouldn’t use anything other than a cleansing balm again because of how quick it is to apply and wipe off. I am the mother of a toddler – everything needs to be as convenient as possible!”





Perineum Massage – It’s Midwife Recommended!

clemmieWhen I was pregnant, I sort of scan read something on Perineum massage and quickly skipped ahead to the bit about the cervix’s ability to stretch enough to allow a baby’s head out. “Maybe it won’t hurt that much, sounds pretty stretchy,” I thought to myself. Again, when the NCT tutor told us a tiny bit about PM, I thought, yeh not for me. A foot rub, maybe, but that sounds…No.

But were to get pregnant again, I would definitely consider a little pampering of the perineum, especially as the wonderful Clemmie Hooper – midwife, editor of GasandAirBlog, soon-to-be published author and even sooner-to-be mother of 4 (her new twins will be en route very soon) – recommends it. She is joining as a guest editor on PBG, and has been trying out a few beauty products for me during her pregnancy, but Weleda’s Perineum Massage Oil floated to the top of her must-have list.

“A lot of pregnant women worry about stretch marks and spend loads of money on products to prevent them,” Clemmie told me recently, “But don’t forget, a tear could be so much worse! Plus, getting to know your body again – even if you’re on baby no.4 or 5 – can’t hurt, can it?” Good point, and though I didn’t suffer tears, I can confirm an episiotomy (what felt like a forced tear) can definitely smart a bit and it can take months until you feel back to normal again, sometimes longer.

“We midwives always recommend a natural oil like olive oil, but it can be a bit too close to cooking to get your head around putting it THERE,” says Clemmie, “It’s nice to have something developed especially for using internally that’s naturally scented with sweet almond oil. It won’t disrupt the balance in your vagina like a perfumed oil might, and there’s so much of it – you can use it for baby massage after the birth.”


“I always think, if it feels nice during pregnancy, you’re more likely to use on babies. You do look at products differently when you use them on kids – you don’t want anythin

g perfumed or anything that isn’t natural.

Which is why Weleda is so good. I used the Weather Protection Balm on my first two daughters, and will definitely keep this oil in the nursery, too.”

So I’d say that’s a YES to Weleda’s Perineum Massage Oil £8.95




Look Alive! Perfect Mama Makeup Straight From The Catwalk

(c) Nars

Winter drags on, and so although I’m now writing about Spring Summer trends in my professional capacity, I’m actually interested in the AW15 looks I’m just catching up to at home in the 5 minutes grace a CBeebies show allows me in the morning. My favourite was definitely the dewy look – a shedload of highlighter can fake well moisturised, well rested skin. Also known as ‘strobing’, but basically strategically placed light to make you look more awake and wet with bloody youth.

Thankfully our resident makeup artist, Angela Deacon Davis (who wrote this) knows a think or two about how to nail this look, most beautifully exemplified at New York’s Rachel Comey show. Here’s how she suggests we time-poor mamas replicate it at home. It’s quick, understated and takes away that grey, ‘I haven’t slept in a year’ look instantly.

  • Start with Clinique’s Turnaround Revitalising Serum. This genius serum moisturises and exfoliates at the same time. Plus, it contains a little shimmer to brighten skin, so it smooths and brightens at once.
  • Apply a super sheer but smart base product like Per-fekt’s Skin Perfection Gel 
  • Conceal only where you need to.
  • Forget the foundation and powder. Instead highlight with NARS Illuminator in 413 BLKR or Hot Sand depending on your skin tone. These will give a warm glow with just the right amount of shimmer. Using your fingers, apply around temples and cheekbones in a C shape. Add a little down the centre of your nose and pat what’s left over your eyes and brow bones.
  • If you have time, smudge a little eye pencil around your lash line and curl lashes to give that instant eye opening effect.

How to cover spots

concealer polyvore
(C) Polyvore
Whether you suffer a total covering of acne like I did at times, or just the odd breakout on account of the raging hormones, spots may well be a big part of your pregnancy. Soz. And as we’ve previously discovered here at PBG, you can’t always battle those baby-growing hormones through the usual spot-busting channels open to non-pregnant faces. BUT, help is at hand. I asked makeup artist, Angela Deacon Davis to share her top tips for covering those pesky pustules. You’re welcome!
  • Moisturise! Skin with spots isn’t necessarily oily and spots which are healing can be dry so you should still moisturise. 
  • Use primer (something like DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat £17). This smooths the area, helps concealer adhere, keeps shine at bay and doesn’t add any weight to your base.
  • Use a sheer, oil free foundation. I like Benefit’s Hello Flawless, Oxygen Wow! Foundation £26.50. But don’t try to conceal with foundation – don’t use extra foundation to try to cover a spot! That’s what concealer is for. If you do, you’ll end up with a heavy, cakey-looking base. 
  • Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly otherwise you’re just highlighting the blemish. I like to use a minimal amount of a full coverage concealer. My favourite is MakeUp Forever’s Full Cover Concealer £21. You only need a small amount and most importantly, it doesn’t contain any irritating ingredients that could encourage more spots. The key is to use two brushes. One that is small, pointed and precise. Another that is soft and fluffy for blending. Simply, dot a little concealer directly on top of your spot with the small brush. Then, using soft circular motions, blend with your blending brush. Add a little more concealer and blend again. Continue until you have the desired coverage.
  • Add a little setting powder if you need to.

Pommade Divine

pommade I have to be honest – it was the mention of Sienna Miller’s name in the email that piqued my interest at first. Apparently she has a pot in her bathroom, and used it to help heal the wound on her head she famously suffered on stage in Cabaret not long ago. ANYWAY, it turns out to be rather lovely. It’s very rich – a hefty balm, in the true sense of the word – with quite a strong scent of cinnamon. Not for everyone, and not for slathering all over your face day in day out. But it’s definitely got healing properties. It does contain clove which some people would advise avoiding during pregnancy – it’s in such a small quantity within the blend so not worth worrying about – but as a new mother, you’ll often find yourself reaching for such a natural remedy for both you and your family.

Blisters, sunburn, bites, grazes, stings, even chicken pox, according to the legends surrounding Pommade Divine. I couldn’t test it out on all those events (thank goodness), but its lanolin and benzoin content would suggest it’s worth trying on cracked nipples, and I have found it to be outstanding for softening hard heels, healing spots (that’ll be the various anti-bacterial ingredients), as a handcream and on cradle cap. I’ve now got it in our makeshift first aid kit and it’s not going anywhere… See, Sienna and I have SO much in common. Pommade Divine £20

REVIEW: Votary Heal Your Skin Facial Oil

Facial Oil Bottle Rose Maroc I first met makeup artist, Arabella Preston when she was assisting Kay Montano, with whom I was creating some makeup videos for Tank Magazine. I was blown away when Arabella said she had a son and a daughter at home – she looked about 19, not a sign of sleeplessness on her gorgeous face. After a little digging, I established she used oils on her face, and so despite my own ick-feelings towards the majority of facial oils, I gave it a go, such was the persuading quality of her glowy skin. It didn’t have quite the same affect sadly, but all that has changed for me two months ago. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of her AMAZING Votary oils, blended to treat the skin as well as perfectly prime it for makeup. The Rose Maroc and Sandalwood blend is my favourite, and I wish I’d had it during pregnancy. The oils within are safe for pregnancy, FYI (see here for more info), and rose is known for its super-soothing properties, ideal if you’re suffering from PD or other hormone-related irritations. Best of all, it is beautifully light, not at all greasy and offers just the right amount of slip for a gentle, glow-boosting facial massage of an evening. Plus the dropper-top only allows a couple of drops at a time so that you don’t end up applying too much. Two drops really is enough. It’s like the ultimate expression of love for your face, and your nose will love it too. If you’re feeling a little teary (or a lot teary), rose can be incredibly uplifting and soothing.

Heal Your Skin Facial Oil £65 and at Liberty of London.

It has been a WHILE…

malta 18In the time I’ve been away and not posting on PBG, we could have got halfway through a pregnancy, for goodness’ sake. And maybe you have? My main excuse is that I was appointed as Contributing Beauty Editor at GLAMOUR (ironically to cover a maternity leave). In that time a whole host of new products have obviously launched, and I’ve discovered some classics along the way too. I am now wading through to find you the very best in skincare for you and for your baby. Thank you for your patience, and stick with it. xx