The beauty of birth: Hair, make up, delivery

We show you how to look and feel good, whichever way you choose, while giving birth

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  • Do labour your way...

    As your due date approaches, you are no doubt feeling excited to finally meet the newest member of your family. You’re probably feeling a little anxious, too. Will the birth go smoothly? How much will it hurt? And, you might feel a little embarrassed to admit it, but you’re worried about your appearance in the midst of all the contractions and pushing.

    Birth is generally a sweaty, exhausting business so it’s only natural to worry about how you will look in labour. Many women take pride in their personal grooming and, let’s face it; lots of us wouldn’t let the postman see us without mascara.  Therefore, the idea of letting go and allowing strangers see one of our most intimate yet natural moments can be terrifying.

    But whether you book in for a blow dry, wax and mani-pedi a few days before your due date, or decide to go fresh-faced and fancy-free, the most important thing is to feel as calm and confident as possible. We show you how to look and feel at your best, while still doing it your way… 

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    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • Divide and conquer

    Just because you are about to become a mum, it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your old self. For some women, applying make-up can act as a real confidence boost in their day-to-day life, so why shouldn’t you put on your war paint to give birth, too? Admitting that you would feel more comfortable with foundation and mascara isn’t vain, but it’s equally valid to opt for the fresh-faced look, too.

    Of course, it isn’t always possible to apply a neat black eyeliner between contractions, so make-up blogger Elizabeth Rose opted to pair down her normal routine for her hospital trip. “I thought about the very first pictures that would be taken of my baby and I, and decided that tinted mosituriser, waterproof mascara and Carmex lip balm would be my tools of choice,” she says. Simple, but just enough to give you a post-birth beauty boost. 

    When preparing your hospital bag, why not lay out your everyday products and see which ones will be practical plus have staying power? Multitasking products like BB cream are a handy space and timesaver.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • Rest up

    The last nine months will have been a rollercoaster of being poked and prodded by midwives not beauticians, not to mention all the physical changes you’ve been experiencing. So indulging in a little pamper pre-birth can have real benefits both inside and out. 

    Perhaps you could arrange a trip to the salon for a few treatments, a la celeb mums-to-be Jenna Dewan and Kim Kardashian? Or, if you don’t feel comfortable in such a public setting, why not enlist your partner to give you a well-deserved foot massage? Your feet are bound to be aching under the extra weight they have been carrying. Finishing it off with a pretty pedicure is sure to enhance that feeling of wellbeing and ensure that you feel confident about your body too. It’s highly unlikely that you will glance down in the throes of labour and flinch at your chipped nail polish, but it just means there is one less niggling thing to fret over beforehand.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • It's ok to fake it!

    Once those contractions begin, we are willing to bet you won’t feel like reaching for false eyelashes. But if you feel you can’t leave the house without your falsies, go for it! Anything that helps you feel more calm and collected has to be worth a try.

    Image consultant and fitness model, Rachel Evans, gave birth with her lashes in place. “If wearing a little make up makes you feel good then do it,” she says. “I'd advise using a fake tan and a lip stain or gloss.” But make sure you have the right tools: giving birth is a rather hot and sticky situation, so if you are going to reach for a mascara, pre-empt those sweats and invest in a waterproof version. An even more reliable option could be to opt for semi-permanent, salon-fitted lash extensions: a great way to get long-lasting volume and definition.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

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  • Stay safe

    If you do decide to indulge in some pre-labour beauty treatments, it’s important to consider safety. If you are self-conscious about your roots but worried about the chemicals in hair dye, Dr Sarah Jarvis recommends opting for a natural, henna or vegetable substitute. “Highlights are a good option as they don’t touch the scalp,” she adds.

    Maybe you fancy going for a tanned glow? The NHS states that the active ingredient in fake tan, DHA, is non-toxic, sits on the outer layer of skin and isn’t absorbed into the body. It does, however, recommend always doing a skin test before using tanning products.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • Strike a pose

    No matter how mussed up your hair or how sweaty your glow, you will treasure the first pictures taken of you and your newborn for the rest of your life. But if you are normally the camera-shy type, a simple knowledge of good positioning will ensure your partner captures your best side before he post a picture to Facebook.

    “Poses of mum holding baby close to face, with her baby nestled close are not only flattering but show a mother’s love, which is priceless,” advises photographer and founder of Newborn Posing forum, Sandra Henderson.

    Keep in mind that photographs taken from a low angle can have the nasty habit of adding a double chin, whereas if taken from above can help elongate the face. Also consider daylight over harsh hospital strip lighting and, if all else fails, we all know about the flattering qualities of adding a vintage Instagram effect to an unflattering snap!

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • Feel prepared

    The best advice for feeling confident about your body ahead of giving birth is to simply be prepared. So pack that hospital bag ahead of time and have your ‘must-haves’ laid out, whether that means a supply of hairbands and face wipes, or your full make-up bag. 

    But whatever your choice, just remember that carrying and giving birth to a new life is one of the most beautiful things you can do. Your partner will be in awe at your strength rather than your sweaty forehead and you can be sure that the moment you meet your baby, all embarrassment about your unwaxed bikini line will fade into insignificance. And as for your little one - well, he’ll think you’re the most beautiful women he’s ever seen.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

  • Hospital bag hotlist

    Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream, £7.99 for 30ml (superdrug.com): Calm red tones and cover imperfections without looking ‘made-up’

    Carmex lip balm, £2.69 (boots.com): Banish chapped lips and add a hint of shine

    Hairbands, from £1 for a set of 20 (primark.co.uk): Multitask by keeping your hair in a style and out of your face

    REN Active 7 Radiant Eye gel, £20 for 15ml (johnlewis.com): Instantly refresh and perk up your peepers 

    Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Waterproof Mascara, £16 for 10ml (bareminerals.co.uk): The easiest way to look wider-eyed and more awake

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

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  • Real mums say...

    We asked our Facebook fans how they looked good giving birth:

    “A beauty regime isn't really important. As long as you feel fresh and clean, it really doesn't matter how you look!” says Rebecca Howard.

    “I was conscious about the way I would look. I ended up having a planned C-section, so prepared with a manicure, pedicure and blow dry,” says Raleen Fernandes.

    “I’ll be packing a few hair bands, some tinted moisturiser and mascara for those all-important after photos when I have my baby,” says Isis Orion.

    “I took sample sizes of my favourite Clarins and Elemis products. The counters were very obliging, and it was nice to feel a little bit pampered,” says Julia Plant.

    Read more...

    Don't miss our roundups of all the best beauty mummy must-haves, the latest beauty news and lots of multi-tasking tips and tricks!

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