I’m over on NadineJolie.com this week talking about maintaining good hair amidst the tolls of motherhood. I’ll give you a hint: dirty hair is isn’t a bad thing.
Five Hair Rules for Moms
I don’t want to be dramatic, but motherhood is a doozy on your body and your beauty. Not a permanent doozy, mind you. Generally, what goes up goes back down (your belly), what expands eventually retracts (hips, belly buttons), what surfaces (zits, rashes) usually resolves—and months of strange cravings and unwieldy emotions usually lead to that one indelible moment (holding your new baby) that (almost) cancels out all that un-fun stuff.
Also, by the end, you have a full, lustrous head of hair.
There are many theories why pregnant women grow wondrous manes. Hormones. Prenatal vitamins. No one really knows for sure. The important thing to realize is that full head of hair is fleeting. A few weeks after giving birth you start to shed. Like, hundreds upon hundreds of strands a day. Your shower drain will clog. Your brush will look like Cousin It. While it will be a little scary, it will stop. I promise. And over the course of the year, you will grow baby bangs (remember Katie Holmes’ wedding photos?) and have an undergrowth of short fuzzy hair around your entire head.
In time, it will all settle…around the exact same time your baby turns into a toddler you can’t take your eyes off of because she has started climbing the furniture and you caught her thisclose to actually hanging from the chandelier. Or maybe that’s just me. More likely, your little one has dropped his morning nap and you’re wearing a ponytail every day because you either:
A: don’t have time to shower and wash your hair
B: you just can’t.
Hair. It’s complicated. If you’re reading this and you have children under the age of three, I feel for you. There is no harder time as a mom to look good. But it can be done. With two kids under my belt and a lot of trial and error, I’ve put together some guidelines that I hope might empower you to break out of that bun.
Head on over to the original beauty blogger NadineJolie to read my Hair Rules for Moms.
Take a walk through any big beauty or department store this month and your head will probably spin. Between the loud rock n’ roll holiday music, the pungent wintry scents and the glittery packaging of so many gift sets, even I, a champion shopper, cannot contend. That’s why I decided a while ago to only shop online this season. Shipping is fast, discounts are plenty and returns are easier than ever.
So without further ado, here are my favorite beauty buys this holiday season from many of my favorite brands. Be sure to snap something up for yourself, too.
Nails Inc The Holiday Edit, $19. This beautiful trio of chemical-free polishes are statement-making and simply beautiful.
AHAVA Wish Upon a Star Ornaments, $12. So clever, such a sweet gift.
Annick Goutal Holiday Candles, $60 each. Limited edition and fabulous.
Clarisonic Pedi Sonic Foot Transformation, $199 ($310 value). The same technology that transforms your pores now does miracles on feet. Clarisonic has so many good holiday deals, but I think this pedi set is the ultimate indulgence.
Bliss Handy Candy, $25 ($35 value). This is one of those tiny luxuries I feel like no woman would buy for herself but would be thrilled to have these little gems.
Miracle 10 Skin Rejuvination Collection, $160 (use code “BeautyMama” for 20% off). This remarkable set is the brand’s remarkable (easy) 3-step exfoliation system that really brings radiance and luster to dry, dehydrated skin. A perfect winter fix.
Emily and Tony Ménage À Trois Aromatherapy Massage Candle Trio $24—these amazing candles burn beeswax, soybean oil and coconut oil that you can use as massage or body oil as the candle burns!
June Jacobs Brightening Gift Set, $54. TSA friendly! I will be traveling with this no-fail regimen.
For Him: Anthony, The Perfect Shave Kit, $65 ($90 value). Not too fancy but a nice indulgence.
For Kids: So Cozy’s So Smooth gift set: Kid’s haircare legend, Cozy Friedman, has launched a new line of hair care for older kids who are beyond Burts Bees but not quite ready for grown-up shampoo and conditioner. The packaging and scents are amazing and the products are fabulous.
Shopping tip: I just learned about Raise, a site that offers discounted gift cards from major retailers, including many great sites for beauty like Sephora, Macys, Saks and Barneys. But what’s also cool about Raise is that you can sell your own gift cards or merchandise credits on the site, too. Pretty cool.
Charlotte Tilbury, the celebrated U.K. makeup artist known for her singular artistry—which has graced virtually every magazine cover, runway show and celebrity face—has a cult makeup line that (finally) came to the U.S. this fall.
I’ve been more than a little obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury for a while now. Check out her videos and you’ll see why. She makes makeup artistry a science we can all learn and embraces its ability to empower women in such a fun, healthy way. AND, she’s built her glowing empire while being a devoted mom to her four-year old son and new baby.
I had some fun yesterday playing with her entire makeup line at Bergdorf Goodman. I haven’t been this impressed with a makeup line since my beloved Tom Ford cosmetics launched a few years ago. I bought everything, eyebrows to lips. There is a magical quality to her products that make you look fresh and glowy, particularly when you use her famous Magic Cream, which moisturizes and contains skin-plumping hyularonic acid, followed by her inimitable Wonder Glow primer and Light Wonder foundation, (which is light but buildable). Tilbury’s easy-to-use face sculpting and highlighting kit adds depth and warmth and the most beautiful shimmer—that coveted twinkle on the cheeks of celebrities that, to me, always seemed so impossible to pull off. I’m equally obsessed with my new blush, aptly called Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop because it has a ring of a slightly shimmery color surrounding the deeper pop of color in the center. Lastly, I found my ideal nude-ish lip color with this Penelope lipstick and a bit of this Seduction gloss on top, which gives lips a gorgeous three dimensional shine.
Oh, and I really dig Tilbury’s rose gold, slightly disco packaging.
Can you tell I’m in love?
Check out the entire Charlotte Tilbury line on her website. This is one of the most exciting, anticipated cosmetic launches in years. Please report back and tell me what you get! xx.
P.S. Tilbury also really won my heart with her social campaign, #MakeupYourDestiny, which celebrates makeup and how it can impact self-confidence. You can participate by creating a split screen image of your younger self with a current photo and tagging it #MakeupYourDestiny.
As winter sets in, it might seem counter-intuitive to exfoliate, but it’s one of the best ways to keep turning over dry skin and maintain radiance. You just have to be gentle. I am in LOVE with this Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. It’s the kindest exfoliator I’ve ever met, with an extremely fine grit that combines fruit enzymes, clays and essential oils. It smells so subtly divine—but results are anything but subtle. I have combination skin and tend toward redness—when I use use this cleanser consistently, I definitely see an increase in radiance and a decrease in inflammation. My skin also seems more balanced.
Here’s how it works as a 4-in-1, according to Tata:
Apricot Seed Powder gently and effectively exfoliates the skin to reveal smooth and glowing new skin
Pomegranate Enzymes dissolves debris and blackheads, while reducing the look of pores
Willow Bark is a natural form of salicylic acid, helping to fight breakouts and reduce redness & inflammation
French Pink Clay detoxifies the skin, stimulates circulation and helps reduce pore size
(This cleanser is also free of all soaps, detergents and alcohols, suitable for all skin types, all year-round.)
Lena is very open about the great love and admiration she has for her artist mother, Laurie Simmons. In fact, Dunham’s first film, Tiny Furniture, the one that caught the eye of Judd Apatow and lead to her HBO Girls’ series, featured her mother and her highly regarded dollhouse photography. Simmons was one of the pioneers of “set-up” photography in the 1970s and is quite famous in her own right. I think it’s fair to say that to one generation, Lena Dunham is “Laurie Simmons’ daughter,” as much as Laurie Simmons is “Lena Dunham’s mother” to another. At the heart of Tiny Furniture, though, is really a story about mothers and daughters.
I went downtown to the Lower East Side to look at Laurie Simmons’ latest photography series, Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See. It is an exploration of a Japanese art form called Kigurumi and its sub-culture of performers called “dollers.” Dollers wear head-to-toe latex body suits to dress up as their doll-like characters and are known for wholly becoming their doller identities. Simmons became fascinated by Kigurumi and how the costumes, as tight and uncomfortable as they are, might actually be freeing. So she got some Kigurumi costumes made, brought a few girls together in the country in Connecticut, and staged them like dolls in an abandoned house.
What do you think?
My first thought was “creepy.” Those big eyes. (Which, by the way, are impossible to see through. Doller’s have to be led around by hand.) Then I thought, serenity. Beauty, even. Is there peace in hiding yet feeling the freedom to express yourself? I was struck by how a doller can feel so fragile—blind, constricted to move, yet also feel so bold. Yes, I can see how being so masked could be empowering.
I was curious about the exhibit as a writer because it explores beauty and self-image and the idea of “masking” oneself. These are themes I’m fascinated by and are surely relevant to BeautyMama—how women might feel about cosmetics, for sure. That putting on a “mask” can affect our personality.
But I was also interested in seeing the exhibit as a mother. I am in awe of Lena Dunham, by her talent and capacity and depth at such a young age. I am in awe of her self-confidence and her bravery. Her resilience in the face of criticism. I love her humor. And her ability to so deftly capture the nuance of relationships astounds me.
I wondered if I could learn anything about how a girl like Lena got made. What did she see growing up? What did her mother think about?
One aspect of How We See speaks to the heart of Simmons’ work: what is real and what is constructed? How do we see? Simmons’ dollers look like dolls in doll houses. The photos are double life-size. Are they people or are they dolls? Simmons’ art begs questions as much as it makes statements. Lena’s work aims to do this, too, but I think the similarities end there—while Lena’s work is so much about the flesh, her mother’s is all about plastic. As New York City artist Viviane Silvera, of VS On Art, points out, “Laurie Simmons’ work is actually more shocking but she doesn’t expose herself the way Lena does.”
It’s all so interesting to think about, isn’t it? I keep wondering how any of this applies to motherhood. Do you think Laurie Simmons taught Lena to see that life is full of illusions—of beauty, of ideals, of truth? Maybe she wanted her to understand that we all see differently and encouraged her daughter not to waste time trying to appeal to someone else’s vision—of her body, her face or her art.
I may not be an artist, but all this did make me think about the “statements” I’m making to my own girls. About the “masks” I take on and off. I’d love to know your thoughts.
P.S. Viviane Silvera takes small groups on art tours around the city, offering an unparalleled experience of discovering and understanding art.
The cold, dry weather is really gaining momentum here in NYC. Even though my legs are covered every day, I miss my self tanner. It’s just too drying to use during the winter on a regular basis. That’s why I put this cream back into rotation.
I love a good drugstore find. Jergens really beat all brands to the punch with this, the first BB cream for body in the U.S. And like a great facial BB cream, Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream does it all—and does it well. It hydrates, illuminates, firms and evens tone instantly. When used daily, it actually improves skin over time.
I have been using the formula for light skin tones on my arms and legs religiously. It goes on sheer and dries quickly. My favorite part is the lovely blurring effect it has on the skin that really diminishes imperfections. It also delivers a nice, subtle sheen. I’ve been a little lax on self-tanning my lily-white gams and this made me feel confident walking out the door in a pencil skirt. I plan to mix it with my beloved Jergens Natural Glow all summer. It’s really a no-brainer.