Pamper yourself, they say! But when you’re carrying baby number two, carving out time for gel pedicures and facials is a pipe dream—so finding true indulgence in a tube or bottle is enough for me. It’s also an overwhelming time when you’re told to monitor every morsel you consume, or product that you swipe. Here’s what worked for me:
1. BeautyCounter Body Butter in Citrus Mimosa is one of those whipped but still just-thick-enough body creams that instantly imparts a bit of dewiness to skin but doesn’t take 20 years to dry. Instead, you’re left with just enough slip—that’s all thanks to the combination of shea and jojoba butter with mongongo and marula oils. The next morning, you’ll notice a new softness to your skin. (As I’ve gotten in the habit of lubing up my belly while I lie in bed at night catching up with Insecure and Suits because I’m too rushed to apply in the morning). It also happens to be gluten free and vegan, if that matters to you. And the fragrance? I’ll never turn my nose up at a lively citrus.
BeautyCounter Body Butter in Citrus Mimosa ($44), at beautycounter.com.
2. Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm was developed by the brand’s namesake, founder Tata Harper, for her pregnant best friend, which I think is such a lovely tribute (I mean, cards are nice and all but…). One thing about this that I must share: the texture is like a very dense lip balm that needs to be warmed up in your hands. And it doesn’t absorb quickly. At all. If you cannot tolerate feeling a little bit like you’re carrying around a greasy beach ball (which is fun in the right environment), you might not love it as much as I do. Palm extract and red algae help to firm skin while allowing it a little extra give; I used it on a day when I seriously thought a stretch mark was about to emerge—and nothing appeared to explode. Do miracles happen? Maybe.
Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm ($158), beautymark.ca.
3. Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream. Nearly every lotion I’ve slapped on my face in the last eight months has left my skin red and furious, a reaction I am so unfamiliar with I’m left dumbfounded as to what to calm it with. I used to have skin that I could use and abuse, that could tolerate whatever peel or scrub I threw at it. The Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream from Consonant ($54 for 50 mL, but also comes in two smaller sizes) is like that shirtless Charlie Hunnam high-res you drink in after you’ve sunken into a depression over the state of the world. I’m also in a deep relationship with the brand’s Ultra Firming Eye Cream ($36), which feels similar in terms of texture to the cream, but also contains zinc oxide to quell inflammation and reflect light (for those dark circles that have taken up permanent residency) as well as the brand’s famed HyrExtreme, a super star hydration ingredient. Something also worth noting: this is considered a 360-degree eye cream, which means you can apply it directly underneath the lash line and over the entire lid—not all eye creams are meant for this.
Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream ($21 for 15mL), at consonantskincare.com.
4. Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm satisfies the need for a seriously cleansing facial. It goes deep to remove all the sunscreen and pigment trapped within my pores, and the inky colour is a novelty that inspires me to go the extra mile and massage my skin. What is absolutely worth it? Yes. I’d recommend expanding on the experience tenfold and treating yourself to a facial at The Four Seasons, which incorporates the cleansing balm as well as a massage technique that can only be equated to a thousand tiny angels who are extremely strong pummelling your face in the most relaxing way.
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm ($135 for 1.7 oz), sephora.ca.
5. Graydon Skincare Germs Away Mist. While not technically skincare, with a lowered immune system and fear of contracting the virus/flu/whatever ebola-like treats your toddler brings home from daycare, when you are pregnant and sick, you are trapped in an infinite hell of fear. Because if you do get sick, you can’t take anything and then you’re miserable and then so is everyone around you. So you need something like this for all the in-between washing moments such as public transit, exchanging money, opening mail. This fragrant tincture spritz does exactly what it says it will: keeps germs out of your life. It’s infinitely chicer than a jelly hand sanitizer, with lower levels of alcohol and higher levels of essential oils such as cinnamon, orange peel, juniper and grapefruit. And I’m a huge proponent of putting one (or five?) beside the baby’s change table/in the diaper bag/car/etc.
Graydon Skincare Germs Away Mist ($15), at graydonskincare.ca.
6. Beautycounter No. 1 Brightening Facial Mist. I don’t know what it is about this summer, but my skin was more patchy and grey than the weather (I won’t even mention my mood). This lovely vitamin C and lime pearl-loaded mist manages to brighten my face and my mood simultaneously. And that’s saying a lot for a pregnant person.
Beautycounter No. 1 Brightening Facial Mist ($43), at beautycounter.com.
7. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm is so appropriately named because it’s the most low-effort cleanser I have every used in my life. If you are self-described as lazy and only use face wipes, I urge you to try this and tell me how much easier it is to use and how much more clean your skin is after you rinse (sorry, you have to rinse it off unlike a wipe). If you don’t love it, then give me the rest of your jar. Sunflower and ginger root oil get to work lifting debris from skin, but then papaya extract unexpectedly swoops in to exfoliate (though you won’t feel a thing, your skin will glow after you’ve finished cleansing).
Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy ($44), at sephora.com.
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