When I found out I was pregnant, I rubbed my hands in glee. I thought about that pregnancy glow and how I was going to have the nice skin, hair, and nails that you read and hear all about. Well, I am sure many lucky women have experienced that, but much to my disappointment, I certainly did not. I am having twins [ed note: Since writing this, Georgina's given birth—congrats Georgina!] and with a multiple-birth pregnancy, mamas-to-be often have double the symptoms—double the hormones, morning sickness, heartburn, and anything else. And without fail, no matter what weird shit happens to you during pregnancy, you freak out, look online, ask friends, midwives, doulas, or your doctor and they all unanimously say "Oh, that's totally normal during pregnancy."
For instance, my skin changed everywhere. On my face it was dry, but would break out like when I was a teenager, with zits so enormous they deserved to be named. I did name them—after music legends. (If you saw me on the street, you could have met Cher, Diana Ross, and Debbie Harry.) My body was also dry and covered in a rash that my doctor said will go after having the babies. My hair is both dry and greasy at the same time. It kind of looks like high fashion editorial hair: great in pictures, but a mega no-no in real life unless you are Lara Stone. At one point, my scalp got crazy itchy and flakey. My nails just peel and break all the time. If I were an actress, I would audition for The Walking Dead as I am giving those zombies a good run for their money.
Of course, I took this as an excuse to try all the new luxe hippy lines that are around for moms and kids alike. I should say before I continue: My approach was to use mostly natural or organic products because, in my head, it makes me feel that I am not passing too many unnecessary ingredients to the babies. Perhaps I am wrong and it doesn't affect them either way, but it made sense to and for me. Maybe it was my first maternal instinct! But it's by no means a rule for everyone.
As much as I used to love going through the beauty hall at a department store before I was pregnant, I will say that's less of an option now. My sense of smell has changed, so everything from shampoo to skincare smells like a musty handbag to me. So instead of where I used to shop, I've found a few new organic stores for the time being. My favorites are Live Live Bee Yummy in New York, Content in London, and Mademoiselle Bio in Paris.
Now, for the products that are turning out to be lifesavers during these nine months:
On the rash, I'm using Weleda Skin Food and Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm after having a really wonderful pregnancy massage there in my third trimester. In my hair, I'm sticking to John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo and Leave In Conditioner Mist. Sometimes I'll switch in Dr. Hauschka Renewing Night Conditioner for a deeper treatment. The rest of my shower routine consists of The Organic Pharmacy Neroli Shower Gel and Dr. Bronners Pure Castile Liquid Soap in Citrus—the smell doesn't seem to drive me crazy, luckily. The only real fragrance I could use without heaving is the Roll On Oil in Gardenia or Fig by Pacifica. Both smell heavenly.
My skin routine is a bit more built out. I wash my face with Dr. Jackson 07 Face Wash, or sometimes Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm. For serum, I use Dr. Barbara Sturm's Hyaluronic Serum, followed by Susanne Kaufmann's Nutrient Cream and Pai Echium 7 Argan Gentle Eye Cream in the morning. At night, I have the Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil for breakouts and Ren Skincare V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream for recovery. Occasionally I mask with the Tata Harper Honey Blossom Mask for a treatment.
Makeup for me right now is just about looking normal and like myself. The routine is simple: RMS Uncover-up, Ilia Mascara in Nightfall, any of the Burt's Bees tinted lip balms or Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Amaretto, and OCC Creme Colour Concentrate in John Doe for my eyes. To take it off, I love RMS' The Ultimate Remover Wipe.
One thing I haven't done is change my hair much. I was advised not to whilst pregnant as women are more emotional and if I got a bad hair cut it might feel like the Mayan apocalyptic end of the world prophesies were in progress. Instead, I just had a little trim at the wonderful salon of George Northwood, where they did a great job and made me feel happy and beautiful.
It hasn't all been doom and gloom there have been some great magical moments just none for me in the beauty department. My husband and friends tell me I look beautiful. My only complaint is that I didn't remotely channel Gisele who in all the paparazzi shots looked like the ultimate pregnant earth mother. But it's all been worth it and I am mostly floating around in blissful happiness. I can't wait to finally meet my little babies.
Photos courtesy of the author.