Christian Dior

Only Skin Deep?

I have a confession: since I’ve had Max (a little over eight months ago), I’ve not been wearing sunscreen (or makeup, for that matter).  The reason?  I don’t want to expose my baby to harmful chemicals.  Of course, the chemicals in question aren’t harmful to me but with Max being so young, I don’t want to take any chances of his skin absorbing anything that could have adverse effects on his health.  And so my quest for more “natural” skincare begins…

Pregnancy Must-Haves

hautemama

It occurred to me last night that I should come up with a list of pregnancy must-haves to help those who might need some (fashion and beauty) tips.  Of course, every pregnancy (and woman) is different so bear in mind that these are things that have helped me through the third trimester (to get the best deals and selection, start shopping as soon as you start trying to get pregnant; but keep all tags/receipts until after you get pregnant):

(1)  Maternity clothes and shoes.  No need to go crazy here–just a few pieces to put into rotation are fine.  Suggestions include a couple pairs of leggings (great for every day and for all seasons), two to three wrap dresses (easy to wear and, again, for all seasons), hosiery (for fall and winter months), cocktail dress (nothing too fancy–just something to wear for more formal occasions [i.e., weddings, holiday parties, etc.]), rain jacket/windbreaker, winter coat (for fall and winter months), nursing tanks/camisoles (again, great for every day and for all seasons), and comfortable shoes (Nordstrom.com has an excellent selection of wide sizes).

(2)  Maternity underwear.  Bras (go without saying) are definite must-haves.  If you don’t want to stretch out your pre-pregnancy underwear, get maternity panties ASAP (you’ll need them before you realize you do).

(3)  New skincare routine.  Since the first trimester, my skin has gone into overdrive in terms of oil-production.  It’s high school all over, again.  Whether your skin  is changing for the better or worse (oilier or drier), it’s time to re-evaluate and change your skincare routine.  Basics include a cleanser fit for your skin type NOW (versus pre-pregnancy), toner, moisturizer (if you need it), and SPF protection.  My favorites include Dr. Weil’s Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cleanser, Christian Dior’s Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract, La Mer Moisturizing Cream (yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way; there’s something about that sea kelp formula that WORKS), and Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 (great for all seasons–if you have dry skin, you can use moisturizer underneath).  Also, your nails will likely grow quite fast so keep a good set of nail clippers on hand.

(4)  Prenatal Vitamins.  This one is self-explanatory.  Of course, use per your doctor’s instructions/directions.  Same goes for your diet.

(5)   Aromatherapy.  Have a scent and/or scents on hand to relax you (especially if you’re prone to pregnancy blues, anxiety, and/or depression).  Whether it’s candles, perfume, lotion, soaps, and/or shampoo, it’s nice to have something that smells pleasant around you.  My favorites include Origins Smoothing Souffle (body cream that smells like mint), pine cones, and  Nature’s Own Essence Peppermint Essential Oil.

(6)  The book, What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway).  Even if you already have other baby books, this is a great resource that offers some interesting perspectives.

(7)  Simple and/or streamlined makeup routine.  Even though I’m less of a makeup fiend than I was during pre-pregnancy, it still helps to have a set of go-to items for days when I want to glam it up a bit (but not take two hours to get ready).  The three main areas that need coverage are face, eyes, and lips.  Basics include a foundation, mascara or false lashes, and lipstick or gloss.  If you’re blessed with flawless skin, all you need on your face (in place of foundation and/or powder) is a good SPF (and maybe moisturizer).  My favorites include Christian Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation (pricey but a little goes a long way; wear a shower cap and apply with your fingers to get the most natural look; great if you want an air brushed and I-just-walked-out-of-a-magazine look [with every little effort]), Ardell’s Natural Lashes (Demi Wispies), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (favorite colors are Caviar, Espresso, and Ivy Shimmer), Estee Lauder’s Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, and Christian Dior’s lipstick and fluid stick (CD’s selection of color is amazing; this stuff glides on and has a subtle shimmer; there’s something for everyone).  If you need makeup brushes, nothing compares to Chanel’s brush line.  Nothing.

(8)  Jewelry and/or accessories.  At a time when you’re feeling nostalgic for your pre-pregnancy clothes (and shoes), I find that there’s nothing that some makeup, nail polish, and/or jewelry can’t fix (and, cake, too–but that’s another topic).  A simple but eye-catching piece of jewelry can do wonders for your outfit (and your mood).  If you’re shopping for jewelry, try to look for something that you would consider passing down to your child and/or children.  This makes wearing (and buying) jewelry all the more meaningful (not to mention fashionable).

Baby, It’s Cold Out There

18470lrg

As a pregnant Jewish woman, I do not feel bad about not fasting for Yom Kippur.  As a matter of fact, I have never fasted for any holiday (primarily due to my being anemic).  But don’t get me wrong–I’m not going to go out and grab a plate of bacon or pork ribs (I don’t  and have never kept kosher but I feel the need to be somewhat observant of the holidays–at least in my own way).  As I’ve said before, I’ve never believed that the path to salvation lied in what we ate.

The weather is finally starting to get nippy.  Thank goodness I got my raincoat/windbreaker and winter coat during the summer.  It sure feels good to have something I can just put on at a moment’s notice with the change in the weather.

Speaking of the change in weather, do you get cravings for certain things in cold weather?  I certainly do–pumpkin pie (Whole Foods has the BEST), hearty soups (Harris Teeter has a pot roast with veggie soup–perfect with rice), and pastas (Bolognese sauce and sausages, please).  D’s office is having a “chili fest” the week after next.  I have to admit that I’ve never made chili.  But I’m sure I can find a recipe online and tweak it.

So, I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately because of all the tech issues and my feeling bummed about my condition (placenta previa).  I’ve been using eLance, which is wonderful for start-up businesses and individuals who have projects but also strict budgets.  Web designers, IT consultants, ghost writers, editors, etc.  It’s quite the resource, actually (just pay close attention to the reviews of those you hire).  I believe in helping freelancers and mom-and-pops (of course, I’m biased) and think that eLance is a good way to go about it.

In other news, I’m in talks with Nordstrom about doing another beauty/fashion event for next month (featuring La Mer and Christian Dior).  On the one hand, I feel fatigued and out of it (due to the fact that I recently started the third trimester of my pregnancy).  But on the other hand, I miss doing events (especially ones that have to do with makeup :)).  Ah, the smell of the cosmetics in a department store…

Lipstick Jungle

cdlipstick

Even though it’s still mid-summer (and despite the fact that I’m pregnant), when it comes to fashion and beauty, I always make an effort to think ahead.  Since I’ve stopped painting my nails (due to the birth-defect-causing chemicals in my favorite brand of nail polish), I’ve started shopping for my fall and winter lipstick.  Right now, I’m wearing gloss.  And everyone (who wears lipstick and glosses regularly) knows that gloss is just not going to cut it during the dead of winter.  My favorite has always been CD’s lipstick collection–specifically, the Extreme Collection.  What I love about CD’s lipsticks is that they glide on and have a very subtle shimmer to them (and also include some of the best colors on the market).

 

Saving Face

makeup

Being on the east and west coasts has taught me few a things about my skin and skincare and makeup needs (which do change every now and then).  Since we’ve established that this is the first year I’ve started using serums and have changed my skincare line a bit, I figured I would investigate my current makeup regimen and explore some changes to that, as well.

When I’m in the east with the humidity, my skin is very sensitive and acne-prone.  Most liquid foundations worked well for me until grad school.  Then, my skin decided it had had enough of the liquid masks.  So, I tried mineral makeup and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

Now that I’ve been hanging out in the west, my skin is quite dry and, although I still get those pesky blackheads, acne (for the most part) has kept its distance.  The problem with my wearing mineral makeup out here is that, because my skin is so dry, it looks like a thick layer of powder covering my face.  I also feel it more for some reason (if that makes any sense).  So, here are a couple discoveries I’ve made that work wonders for dry skin and/or people with combination skin that tends to get drier in the winter and/or certain geographic regions:  Christian Dior’s AirFlash Foundation and Yves Saint Laurent’s Top Secrets BB Cream.

Although CD’s AirFlash foundation is a bit messy to put on (you are literally spray-painting your face), the effect is amazing.  The finish is soft and airbrushed (powder finish) and you feel absolutely nothing.  I have never had a foundation that felt this light.  Incredible.

YSL’s Top Secrets BB cream is, of course, creamier (as BB creams are meant to be versus other types of foundations).  If you want a dewy look, this is it.  This BB cream erases blemishes and oxidizes to your skin tone (there are only three color choices for this foundation and oxidation takes about 10 minutes).

Neither has given me any side effects (i.e., breakouts, etc.).  And, as a bonus, I’ve also been able to set both foundations with my mineral powder foundation.  But that’s only if I have a long day ahead and don’t plan on refreshing the base.  And that, my friends, is how I am “saving face” this winter  :).