Saturday 9 April 2011

Beauty Secrets of a New Mum

Now it's not like I have prefect looks or skin (far from it!) or an expert when it came to beauty (definitely not!). I grew up an ugly duckling whom everyone does not point to when asked, "Who's prettier? Big Sister or Small Sister?" (FYI, Big Sister is referring to me. "Big Sister Big" directly translated into Chinese was my nickname).

But growing up with a sister who's all about the latest fashion, makeup must-haves, most popular diet fad and everything vain and pretty, you kind of get influenced over time. The moment I bought my first dress long time ago, I was hooked to shopping.

However, all that enthusiasm for looking good took a backseat when I went from pre-preggers to preggers:

Before and After

And that was the best photo of me pregnant there is! -_-" All my clothes didn't fit me, didn't feel like putting makeup on as the smell of the liquids and powders made me feel like puking, couldn't trot around in my heels for fear I will trip and hurt my baby and I looked so bloated that if you poked me I think I would actually pop! I envy those of you who enjoyed being pregnant as I sure as hell didn't. After having the baby was worse. I looked like I'm still having baby number 2.. (-_-")

So in the midst of one of my pity parties and crying my eyeballs out that I was fat and ugly (don't pretend like you didn't have one before!), I made a decision to make the most of my situation and take steps to make myself look prettier (even if I didn't feel like it). I managed to downsize myself and got back on my beauty regime I had abandoned.

Here are some of my must-haves if you are a new mother trying your hardest to look and feel better:

1) Stretch Marks Lotion
The jury is out as to whether these actually work or not but I have been using Palmers Stretch Marks Lotion since I was about 4 months pregnant (rubbed some on my tummy every night before I sleep) and am still using it now.

I don't know if it's good genes (apparently stretch marks is genetic so some people are more prone to it than others) or the lotion but I have very few stretch marks on my tummy. My mother has almost no stretch marks on hers too (after three kids, mind you) so I supposed I got lucky. Still, in case genes decided to play a punk on me, I thought I'd better be safe than sorry.

2) Face mask
These are much cheaper in Taiwan and Hongkong so grab them if you're there

Face masks must be applied at least once or twice a week. If you are a beauty fanatic you know the benefits of putting a face mask at night after cleansing your face and before you sleep. My bridal makeup artist told me to put a face mask on the day before you are required to put on heavy makeup so that your makeup would stay on better.

I stopped putting on face masks for the whole time that I was pregnant as I was afraid that the chemicals might affect my baby. When she's out, I resumed my regime of putting it on at least once a week in my aircon room and it really hydrates my skin, which got really dehydrated from all that breastfeeding going on.

You deserve to be pampered, so pamper yourself! One piece only costs just over a dollar so it will not be more than $10 a month! Do it!

3) Sunscreen

Never, never leave the house without wearing sunscreen on your face. Ever! In the past, the peak period of harmful sunshine was between 10am-2pm but with changing climates nowadays, the effects of the sun can still be felt long after the sun has gone down. That means you should be wearing your sunscreen whether there is direct sunlight or not.

Experts say the minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that you should have on your sunscreen should be SPF 15.

Personally I've been using Ettusais' medicated acne whitening UV EX as a makeup base for many years now. Not only does it shield my face from the harmful effects of the sun, it reduces the amount of acne on my face and lightens my skin tone. People have commented that I look fairer over the years.

You should definitely try this product especially if you have very oily and acne-fied skin like mine.

4) Concealer from Ettusais
Speaking of acne-fied skin, many people ask me how I tackle my skin problems. I tell you I tried many different products and all of it didn't really work for me till I stumbled upon Ettusais' skin care and makeup products. The best thing about their products is that they serve dual functions.

Their most successful product so far in my opinion is their concealer. The whole point of a concealer is to cover your spots, dots and other ugly stuff on your face right? But what if your concealer could heal your spots/acne while it is covering them? Kills two birds with one stone right?! That's what this concealer does!

5) Good Nursing Bra
Ok this is a bit embarassing to talk about but seriously, if you are nursing like I am, please get a good nursing bra. Get one that gives you the lift you need (and we know how ahem big they can get). You can get cheap ones like I did from CK at Chinatown but I suggest getting better quality ones as they give you better support and last longer. I got both and let's just say my CK ones are gone for good haha.

If you have a bigger budget, get those from Mothercare, which will probably set you back by more than S$50. They are nice and comfortable but I suggest not investing into them unless you are sure that you'll be breastfeeding your baby for at least 6 months or you'll find it a waste of your money.

I think the most important thing we as new mums need to know is that it's absolutely ok to take care of ourselves first before taking care of our baby! A happy mum means a happy baby!

So don't neglect your appearance, take time and some money to look good and feel good. As my favourite pastor always say, "It takes a lot of money to look this good!"

And spending that money to improve yourself is the best investment you can make =)
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