Believe it or not, the gorgeous Grace Timothy felt terrible in pregnancy with what she describes as greasy hair, eczema, stretch marks and gestational acne. Not content with believing some of the pregnancy and new Mum no-nos out there, she set up MUM FACE to set straight any beauty myths and give top tips to women (Mums or not) on all things beauty...
Tell us a bit about your family...
It's just me, my husband and our three year old daughter, Noémie Rae.
How did you start MUM FACE?
It began as The Pregnant Beauty Guide - I've been a beauty editor for years and when I was pregnant I encountered all kinds of issues that were totally new to me - gestational acne, hair loss, stretch marks etc - whilst also being warned off all my favourite pick-me-ups like aromatherapy and having my hair coloured. With the blog I wanted to bust those myths and share what had helped me feel better. Then years later I realised being a mum also throws up a whole new raft of concerns so I expanded it to cover everything from pregnancy to the school gate, and added in some quick tutorials with a YouTube channel.
It can be hard to juggle a career and family life. What, if anything, do you feel you've sacrificed by choosing your current lifestyle?
The blog and channel come last after being a mum and freelancing - it has to! But like most working Mums I think, I never feel like I'm nailing either role! The guilt is insane.
What's your top tip for mums on maternity leave?
Don't feel guilty for just being - there's nothing wrong with sleeping, watching TV, just sitting. Your body needs time to heal regardless of how you give birth and having a pristine house doesn't have to be your priority. Some of my favourite days were spent in bed with Noèmie, rounded off with a takeaway when my husband got home.
What's your must have beauty item for Mums?
It's a personal thing because it depends on your own bugbears - for me, it's foundation above all else because it can be hydrating and smooth out any signs of tiredness. But for someone else it might lipstick - the great distraction - or dry shampoo! But still, I always recommend Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint. And a good cleanser is key for all skin - Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm is still the best I've ever tried.
Make us feel better about ourselves. What's your biggest mum fail?
So many to choose from. I do recall my husband and I saying our kid would rarely if ever watch TV when I was pregnant and we went back on that fairly quickly. But how can it be a fail when it makes us all so happy?
Are there any other mums out there who inspire you?
My own mum, for sure. She worked, socialised and was an all round boss but still managed to be very present for me growing up. I don't know how she did it. She also did a lot of charity work relating to women and children - when I was born we were just being introduced to the famine in Ethiopia and she organised a huge gala and raised loads of money despite the fact I was a baby and probably never slept. I see a lot of women now doing the same - Anna Whitehouse, Donna of The Mama Squad, Kirsti Nicole Hadley, Selfish Mother - because when you have a child it's like your empathy levels go through the roof and you just have to do something. I really admire that tenacity.
Where do you hang out with the family in London?
We live in Sussex so when I bring Noémie to town it's either to see friends or go to the museums. We love the Natural History Museum above all as she's obsessed with both the human body and animals, and I like Benugo coffee. Easy.