'Being pregnant was the best time of my life, because nothing could affect me. It was like a detox—I ate healthy, I slept a lot, and I didn’t drink. All of my hormones were at the perfect levels. I was super happy, and I really didn’t give a shit about work. Usually I’m so on top of work, but I was in a little cloud. But in August I thought, 'Okay, I need to go back to work and start making a living again.'
I wanted to find a way to merge my taste as an art and creative director with my new little obsessions: babies and motherhood and all of that. So I began working on my website, Romy and the Bunnies, which is named after my daughter, Romy. One of the categories on the website is “Interviews,” which feature moms and future moms because I wanted to get their beauty tips. I wanted to know what were they doing about stretch marks, what they were doing to get back in shape, and also how they managed their schedules with a baby, because most of them are working moms. I like to hear how they get the most out of being a mom.
So much of my body changed from being pregnant. My hair got so much longer from all of the multivitamins and pregnancy vitamins, like the New Chapter's Every Woman Vitamin I’ve been taking—it’s a lot of folic acid. I know a lot of moms cut their hair, but I just want to keep mine long. It’s impossible to blow-dry myself now, though, because it is so long and I don’t have the patience to get to the end. [Laughs] But there’s this little Japanese salon on 8th avenue and 21st street that will give me one for 40 dollars. My friend recommended it to me and it’s amazing. I go maybe once a week.
Blowouts, manicures, and massages are my little indulgences; I get them whenever I can. The chair massage during a manicure is a must, even if it’s only 10 minutes. The ones in the back, though, on the bed where you can get a proper massage, make all the difference. There’s one right down the street from me that’s really good. I like it because you don’t have to plan it or book in advance you can just walk in. It’s the same with the hairdresser.
I don’t really have a regular beauty routine now. For my face, the Clarisonic is one of the things I use that I know works. I love scrubbing my face and my body. My dad’s facialist in Paris told me to try Biologique Recherche’s exfoliator, P50. I don’t even know what it does, but I just follow whatever people tell me to do. I am also obsessed with the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. I especially love its scent. I’ve been meaning to try her Boosted Facial Steam Sauna that I got at Organic Avenue. It works like tea bags; you put them in hot water and then just steam your whole face.
If I have time, I will use the Eve Lom Rescue Mask. It’s supposed to re-moisturize your skin and give a little glow back. The Beauty Flash Balm from Clarins is amazing, too. It gives you a little lift. When I travel—and I try to travel the least amount possible—I use an SK-II Mask for the last hour of the flight to re-moisturize. That way, when I land, I can go right into a shoot and not look like shit.
For fine lines, I got the Palomar Lux 1540 laser. You plug it in, it becomes red, heats up, and you go over wrinkles... I really don’t know if it works. I’m so bad, sometimes I will just go on Sephora’s website and look at what’s new. [Laughs]
If I have any irritation, I alternate between La Mer’s The Concentrate and Lancôme’s Genefique serum. Actually, crazy story, but once I was making soup and I burned my chest and I put La Mer Concentrate on it and all of my scars went away. It was amazing, so I like that a lot. When I remember, after washing my face, I put on Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, which is Vitamin C. I used to use the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum, but I think it has self-tanner in it or something and I hate the smell of self-tanner.
To moisturize, I use Creme de la Mer on my face, and when I run out of that, I use Chanel Sublimage. Rebekah McCabe at Chanel told me that, though it’s a big indulgence, she will even use it on her feet as a foot cream. In the evening, if I don’t have much time, I'll just use the Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream. I love the smell of roses.
I forget to use eye cream all the time—I’m really bad at that. When I do, I like the Lancôme Genefique Yeux Light-Pearl. Giorgio Armani Crema Nera is really nice, too. It helps lift—a makeup artist told me to use it after a flight. It really brightens your whole face.
Moisturizer is the base for my makeup, because I like a glowy, dewy, shiny look—I’d never use powder—so I always start with cream. Then, I put on concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, or, if I have time and I’m going out, I’ll use Armani Maestro, a mixture of # 2 and # 6.5, and I only use one or two drops. When it comes to putting color on my face, like blush, I’m less experimental. As you grow up, you figure out what looks better on you, and as much as I love to play with color, it’s just so much easier to play it safe. For an everyday look, I use Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel as blush, or the Summer 2013 Bronzing Palette that a makeup artist from Armani gave to me—I love Armani makeup. It’s nice because it has another secret compartment underneath with an eye-shadow palette. Today, I used Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer in #11 as a blush because it gives a shine that I like.
For my eyes, I think an eyelash curler makes me look much more awake, even when I haven't gotten much sleep. It's a really important tool for a mom to have. The MAC one works for me. Then, I use tons of mascara—that’s my favorite thing. I’m so bad applying it, but I do it anyways. The Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascara in #1 is the one that I’ve been using a lot lately, but I also love Voluminous from L’Oréal. When I’m done with the mascara, and there is almost nothing left on the brush, I use the wand to brush my eyebrows, as well. They are already quite dark, but I don’t find them intense enough, so I like to push it. I sometimes apply eyeliner— Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in #1 Black—and smudge it with my fingers really quickly to give it a little lift, almost a cat eye. It’s all about giving a lift now. Sometimes if I'm going out, I 'll put on the Giorgio Armani Eye Shadow Palette with my fingers.
If I don’t have time for eye shadow, a great trick for a night out is to just do a red lip. I never use lip liner. Chanel used to make this amazing red called Rouge New York, but a makeup artist gave me this one by Max Factor called Ruby Tuesday. It’s kind of the perfect red—not too orange, not too blue, and not too shiny. It’s super hard to find a good red. Dior Addict Lipstick in #454is also nice.
For perfume, I’ve been obsessed with Comptoir sud Pacifique Aqua Motu. I’ve been wearing it for, like, fifteen years now. I wear the Bonpoint baby fragrance, too. It smells so good. I don’t spray it on Romy, though. I like Baby Johnson's on her— I actually use that to moisturize sometimes. If it’s good for her, it’s good for me. I find that all of the scents from the products I have are too strong right now, so I just use the Bonpoint or the Comptoir sud Pacifique. The bottles are so pretty, too, so I keep them out.
I love all of the Bonpoint products. I feel like their oils are more for adults than babies. I also love the Baby Johnson's Bedtime Bubble Bath. I used to use it even before being pregnant. That also smells amazing—I really go more for the scent than if a product works or not. I try to be back at home by five, so I can have time to give her dinner and a bath and put her to bed. I can go out later for dinner if I need to, but I always spend three hours with her in the evening and four hours in the morning.
What else do I share with Romy? Mustela’s Facial Cleansing Cloths are the best. They smell so nice, and when I travel, I only take a carry on, so I try to cut down on liquids, and these are a good substitute. Weleda’s Baby Calendula Face Cream is good for both of us, too. During the winter, her cheeks were kind of rough and it’s very hydrating. I get all of my Weleda products from Whole Foods. I used to use the Rodin Olio Lusso, but now I use her Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Oil and it makes us smell the same. I put it on after the shower or bath, when my skin isn’t completely dry yet.
When it’s just me in the shower, I exfoliate my body with Comptoir sud Pacifique Gentle Exfoliant. It smells kind of like the beach to me—I’m obsessed with it. And after I got pregnant, I started moisturizing with Natura Bisse Dermarepair Cream. It’s supposed to reconstruct your skin from stretching. I don’t really believe it—I don’t believe anything, but I’m a sucker for buying everything. I used a lot of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula when I was pregnant, too. I love the smell of it and now so does Romy...but I feel like a lot of men hate it because it's so sweet.
I've been thinking if you work out in a slow, normal way without being crazy, it should take nine months to get your body back [after giving birth], just like it took nine months for your body to stretch. Of course, my body is not what it used to be, but the change was not that dramatic. During the first four or five months, your body produces special hormones to help get your body back to normal, plus breastfeeding helps to shrink your uterus. My stomach is actually better now than when it was before I was pregnant, shockingly, because I have been working out more. I go to Equinox and I’m obsessed with Barre Burn. It’s balle-based, and you do a lot of squats and stuff like that. It’s graceful, so it elongates your muscles. I need to have fun during the class—I hate running and I hate being on the treadmill.
One thing that I should have done more of was wear this postpartum belt from A Pea in the Pod that puts everything back in place. You make it really tight, kind of like a corset, to seal everything up, because even your organs have stretched. I got lazy with the belt because it was summer, I was hot, and you can kind of see the belt through your clothes. I wish I had done it more, but I ended up trading it for one of those Victoria’s Secret shapers, which is like a thong, so you don’t have visible panty lines. It wasn’t as strong as the other one, but that’s what I used more often. Recently, I’ve been using another belt called the SlenderTone. I featured it on the site. It contracts your abs, and wearing it for fifteen minutes is the equivalent of doing, like, two hundred crunches I think. I do it twice a day, but I just started, so I can’t tell you if it works yet.”
—as told to ITG
Julia Restoin Roitfeld photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on March 30, 2013. Read Julia's first (pre-baby) Top Shelf here.