Fashion and beauty writer Grace Timothy is a veritable Who’s Who on all things chic.
Most recently Acting Beauty Editor of Glamour, Grace, 29, has contributed to a variety of titles in the UK and US, including Vogue, VanityFair.com, WMagazine.com, Red, Company, Tank, Zest, Brides and Net-a-Porter.com and most recently, was Style.com’s London reporter during London Fashion Week.
Last September, Grace and husband Rich had their first baby, Emie Rae and now – she says – she juggles her former beauty editor lifestyle with ‘teething rings, damp muslins and a tower of nappies’.
Grace recently started her own blog – The Pregnant Beauty Guide, ‘myth busting tips and tricks for hot baby mamas.’ She is currently also writing her first book of the same name.
Here she gives MMM some brilliant beauty advice and spills the beans on her – and Emie’s – favourite products:
Your blog, The Pregnant Beauty Guide, manages to offer brilliantly practical advice with a healthy sense of humour. What was your starting point for it and why did you want to create your own site? Thank you! While I was pregnant, I really suffered – if I wasn’t hooked up to a drip á la Kate Middleton, I was lurching from one beauty launch to another, greasy hair stuck to my head, a face full of spots, feeling like somewhat of a fraud trying to tout my beauty ‘knowledge’. I was desperate to do all the things I’d usually do to perk up before I was pregnant – whether it was a massage, manicure or dyeing my hair – but kept getting mixed messages from all and sundry as to what was allowed. I’m now writing a book which will hopefully dispel some of those myths, give definitive answers to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and offer some top tips at coping with all that pregnancy throws at you with the pampering that IS allowed. The blog is a micro-version of the book, sharing all that I learn along the way.
As a Beauty Editor, you have worked with some of the industry’s top names. What was the best beauty advice you were offered when you were pregnant? Definitely Jo Malone’s – she told me to look for citrus scents to ease my morning sickness, and she was so right. Her Jo Loves Pomelo fragrance saved me from a number of tight spots on the commute to work.
Typically irritating conditions affecting pregnant women include dry skin, spots and stretch marks. Which are your miracle products for anyone currently suffering? When it comes to stretch marks, I’m a massive cynic. I’d love to see a topical product that can actually knit the dermis back together. But there are a few pregnancy products that I force on all my pregnant friends. NEOM Cocooning Bath Oil – it’s nice to know it’s safe to wallow, although I did dial down the temperature on my baths while pregnant. Bloom & Blossom Anti Stretch Mark Cream – I didn’t get it for its prowess with stretch marks, but rather because my skin got increasingly dry, but I couldn’t bear oiling up every night – my sheepskin slippers took a hit everytime I did it – and I knew I could trust it was safe for my baby. So I alternated with this cream. REN Skincare ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Serum and Clarifying Clay Cleanser – I suffered really badly from breakouts, and while the hormones were obviously to blame, these two products definitely helped get my skin back in shape, without any of the potentially harmful ingredients most acne products would contain.
Which baby skincare lines do you love? Any amazing products you have discovered? I love L’Occitane Mum & Baby Cleansing Gel – it’s the only thing I’ll wash Emie’s super delicate skin with. I tested it on my own face, which is amongst the most sensitive skin out there, so I knew it would be ok for her peachy little tush. I also swear by all the Weleda Calendula baby products, but especially the Nappy Change Cream and the Weather Protection Cream – they’re essentials for the nursery in my mind. Organic Babies Soothing Baby Oil is great for cradle cap – you rub it onto the scalp, brush the hair with a soft baby brush and it’s beautifully smooth again, without any irritation. I also love Organic Monkey Hello Mellow Organic Massage Oil for a pre-bed massage.
New mums are generally exhausted and time-poor. What are your go-to products for a fast 5-minute morning makeover? I have to focus my attention on my skin to feel remotely ready to face the outside world. I layer Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow – the ultimate glow-faker – and Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. A little Studio Fix Concealer from MAC goes under the eyes and around the nose (a top makeup artist tip from the amazing Lee Pycroft), a sweep of Bobbi Brown powder blush across the cheek bones up to the temples for an instant lift, and brighten up to the brow and along the top of the cheek bones with Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen. It’s so quick, but is like faking 8 hours of sleep. I then line the upper inner rim of my eyes with Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Plum and whack on some mascara – usually Topshop or Chanel – and I’m done. All the while trying to sing The Wheels on the Bus to a wriggly Emie, and realising for the hundredth time I don’t know any nursery rhymes.
Is there a product you couldn’t live without? Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow, definitely. It’s great with or without foundation on top, my favourite makeup-skincare hybrid.
How did you find your beauty regime changed after having your baby? It had to be brief! But actually I always find time – my husband’s great at entertaining Emie while I take a bath or do a quick facial massage. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, I feel like my old self. It’s also made me more determined to use natural, organic products wherever possible, whilst still addressing my new needs – for example, I’m trying out Aveda’s Invati range as I’m now shedding…
What is an easy hair and make-up update if you want something a bit more SS13? I think the red lip is the greatest tool for both pregnant women and new mums who want to perk themselves up after a sleepless night with colour. It’s easier and quicker to apply than pigmented eye colours, there’s a shade to suit everyone and you can carry it with you for touch-ups. For olive and warm skin tones, I love Tom Pecheaux’ tomato red lip for Moschino SS13 – you just need MAC Lipstick in Morange and you’re already rocking a trend. Or if you’re of a cooler tone, try Lady Danger instead – Val Garland’s MAC lipstick of choice for Vivienne Westwood Red Label. Either way, remember not to smother your baby in kisses for a bit.
How do you juggle your life as a beauty editor with being a mum? Have teething rings replaced the Juicy Tubes in your handbag? I’m writing like a mad thing as soon as she falls asleep, I’m scribbling in a notebook while feeding her, and I’m getting a pregnant writer I know to review the pregnancy products I missed for the site! My handbag is definitely full of fruit-shaped baby hats, dribble bibs, muslins and rattles rather than chic invites and giant sunglasses. But the dozen lipsticks remain – they’re not going anywhere come hell or high (gripe) water.