If you’re a person with a uterus who plans to have kids, do you ever think about what labor's like? Terror might come to mind. Maybe puddles of sweat. But for Nell Diamond (founder of Hill House Home and veteran ITG contributor), her birth-day featured two razor-sharp cat eyes that didn’t budge from start to finish. After she shared a photo from the hospital on Instagram, ITG needed the scoop on her liner. We’ll let Nell walk you through it:
“My twin babies were born on October 17, 2020. And in the weeks before the birth, all my preparation made me feel like I was going into battle.
I prepared a note on my iPhone full of cheesy inspirational quotes. I made a playlist called “TWINS, BABY” on Spotify and filled it with Cardi B, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé. (I may have listened to the live Homecoming album for an entire day, about 20 hours straight.) I packed my hospital bag weeks in advance. Clothing and makeup have both been such powerful tools for expression, and in this particular case, my plan was strategic: I needed to pump myself up for delivery.
The night before my induction, I took out my favorite Nap Dress with blue and white watercolor florals all over it and laid out my makeup like surgical tools. The next morning, I performed my usual rituals carefully. I brushed my hair and made two long braids. I put on Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and a shimmery eyeshadow from Charlotte Tilbury. I added Saie mascara. I lined my lips with a YSL pencil and added Kosas lipstick in Rosewater on top. But most importantly, I applied eyeliner—my signature. I used a black Givenchy Kohl Pencil to mark the beginnings of a cat eye, then carefully drew a longer line on top with Stila’s Stay-All-Day liquid liner. I misted Urban Decay setting spray over my face to set it.
On my way to the hospital, I started to think about practicality and wondered if my makeup would be all over my face in a few hours. I questioned if people would roll their eyes when they saw me arrive, so big I could barely walk, with a full face of makeup. But I’ve been made fun of a million times in my life for how I dress. In 6th grade, my gym teacher gave a speech to our entire class about how ‘feminists don’t wear glitter,’ and as she forced me to wash off my shimmery shadow I knew that I would be RSVP-ing “No” to that particular version of feminism. I knew I wanted to feel my absolute best on the day I gave birth. And more than that, it was important to feel like myself. For nine months I had been waiting for this day with my entire being, knowing that so much of it was going to be completely out of my control. I wanted to start the day on my own terms. I shut those thoughts down.
I didn’t think about my makeup for a single second after that. Once I got to the hospital, I was totally in the zone—the only thing that mattered was getting my babies out safely. The entire medical team was just incredible, and I felt so supported and safe the whole time. In a room with about 20 doctors and nurses, Willow was born first at 2:55PM. Five minutes later I pushed out Sebastian, feet first and facing up.
After my babies had both arrived, I was catatonic with relief. I had done it! Nothing in the world could bother me! In that moment, I realized just how much I had been holding inside of me for nine months—not only the weight of two babies (20 fingers, 20 toes, two brains, two hearts) but also the weight of worry. Muscling through a high-risk pregnancy in a global pandemic was like holding my breath, and there were so many moments I thought we weren’t going to make it. I felt so lucky, so grateful, so relieved.
By the way: through it all, my eyeliner didn’t budge an inch.”
—as told to ITG
Photo via Nell Diamond