Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Make-up 101: Beauty Care During Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy

Above: This was me at 5/6 months prego. My assistant manager, Chrissy, who is an amazing artist, painted my belly for our Spring make-up launch.

This post is dedicated to all my yummy-mummies and yummy-mummies-to-be make-up junkies! Ever since the birth of my son, I've had several people close to me give birth or announce they will be expecting. As you can imagine, I'm so excited to have people my age that I am close to have babies especially since my husband and I were the first ones to become parents out of our circle of friends.

As a new-mom-to-be you'll find as you go farther into your pregnancy the amazing changes your body will go through. It's so exciting to see week after week your belly get rounder, and then a few more weeks you start to see your belly move, and after that you're belly will be so big you won't be able to see your feet! Not only does your belly change, but your hair and skin change too. Every woman that has had a child will tell you that their hair was in the most amazing condition it has ever been in. My hair was so shiny and so full that my co-workers started to ask every week if I was going to the salon. During pregnancy your hair stops shedding which is why it looks so full and lush and all the vitamins and good food you eat contribute to the healthy shine.

If only pregnancy could co-operate with the skin like it does with the hair. When women are hormonal (like when our monthly friend pays a visit) we breakout, so you can just imagine the bad breakouts pregnant women get especially during the first trimester. The good news is that when your body starts to adjust to all the new changes, your hormones start to calm down and those pesky pimples start to disappear. I was probably one of the luckier pregnant women that only had a few zits here and there.

A week goes by and your skin is looking a lot better but then you start to notice dark patches on your face. At first you think you're seeing wrong, but as the days go by the patches get darker and darker. This is known as the "mask of pregnancy" or the medical term "chloasma". It usually is more noticeable in darker skinned women. When I was pregnant my blemishes got darker, my nose and around my nose got darker, upper lip and forehead and even my beauty marks got darker. I also noticed that my armpits got darker so I was always self conscious when I wore tank tops and lifted my arms to apply make-up. My skin not only started looking different it also started feeling different. My belly was itchy all the time and this was because my skin was stretching to accommodate my big belly (people thought I was having twins!). To pregnant women everywhere here are some skin tips that helped me through my pregnancy:

1. Don't scratch your belly no matter how itchy it is (trust me I had to slap my own hand from scratching the hell out of it)! As soon as I would feel itchy, I would apply Palmers' Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks. They have a variety of stretch mark creams and lotions to choose from which you can purchase from your local drugmart, maternity store, or Babies R' Us. I also carried The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter Body Stick in my purse (which they no longer carry! Boo!) which saved me from a lot of red scratch marks on my tummy. Palmers has a massage cream that comes in a convenient tube which can easily fit into your purse. Apply them religiously to prevent stretch marks.

2. Because your skin is more susceptible to skin damage during pregnancy, there is no better time than when you're pregnant to wear a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30. I think everyone should wear SPF products daily anyways to prevent skin cancer. Apply it even if it isn't sunny because the UV rays can still penetrate your skin. Try an inexpensive drugstore brand like Neurtrogena's Healthy Defense SPF 30 Daily Moisturizer.

3. Even out your skin tone with a lightweight concealer with SPF if the discoloration is light or a creamier version with an SPF if your discolouration is dark. I found although my skin became darker in certain areas I was able to get away with using MAC's Select Moisturecover. It's lightweight and blends really nicely into the skin. It gave me enough coverage and matched my natural skin colour. If you need something heavier I would suggest MAC's Studio Finish Concealer Palette SPF 35 because you can mix and match to your specific needs. If you're skin tone is pretty much even (damn you!) use a tinted moisturizer with an SPF.

4. Remember that although you may feel like your body is not yours or your growing belly is giving you the "I'm too fat to fit my old clothes" blues, your curviness is sexy and beautiful! I was always told that I looked glowy and radiant (it really was sweat that was making me glow!). Pamper yourself at least once a week even if it's just putting your feet up on some pillows. Get your man/woman to massage your legs, back, arms, shoulders and feet (pretty much everywhere!) with the most luxurious body lotion you own. Doll yourself up every now and then (when you're not busy peeing or eating!) Take pictures of your belly as it grows so you can look back on your progress. Be proud of your belly - after all you are carrying the most precious cargo!

Stay tuned for the continuation of Post-Pregnancy Beauty Care in my next post! Pass this on to any of your girlfriends who are pregnant or are new moms! :)


Yvonne said...

Thanks for the tips Make-up Junkie! I really appreciate that. It's nice to read something that applies to me!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Loved this blog Joy! Can't wait for the next one on what to do after pregnancy. I HATE my stretch marks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joy. I enjoyed this one! Can't wait for the post pregnancy one...I HATE my stretch marks!

Ali said...

Really beautiful belly art. Very cool. Great blog too!