In case you haven't heard by now, the new royal prince is here! And now poor Kate Middleton is going to be forgotten. This is what always happens when babies arrive--the mother gets doting attention and breathless outfit-chronicling for nine straight months, and then once the baby comes, all the world becomes enraptured by how good that little baby's head smells and could not care less about her anymore. Poor new moms...
I know this because I had a baby. Two actually--boys--just like Kate herself and, of course, Princess Diana. (In fact, I'm afraid my younger one--he's eight--is headed in the same direction as Harry. He recently wanted me to dye his hair red, and I will be shocked if he gets out of his 20s without at least one embarrassing strip poker incident.) Anyway, this all makes me very qualified to give Kate Middleton advice on what to expect beauty-wise after the baby is born. There is a long and hallowed tradition of experienced mothers scaring the daylights out of new mothers, and I've elected myself as the one to let Kate in on the secret of what happens to you post-pregnancy and how she'll need to change her beauty routine. (I'm also happy to send her hand-me-downs from my boys if she wants.) Read on.
That glowy pregnancy skin? Kiss it goodbye, the same way you did all those memories of being a UK size 2. A combination of fluctuating hormones, sleep deprivation, and stress can throw your skin out of whack. It certainly did to mine (and also my sense of my own facial proportions, because those glasses looked hideous on me).
Anyway, hand the baby over to the Queen for a walk around the block in the pram, and give your face some love if necessary, Kate.
The fix: Spot treat, cleanse, and use a mask. • Indie Lee Blemish Lotion, $26: An amazing natural spot treatment.
• Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Mask, $23: I've said it before and I'll say it again--my fave pore-cleaning mask ever.
• Chanel Lait Confort Creamy Cleansing Milk, $45: Because Kate is royalty and so deserves to use Chanel to clean her face. Plus it's milk-themed.
This is Kate's signature, but if she is anything like every other new mother I've ever known, her everyday hair will look pretty much the way it did when she rolled out of bed at 3am to meet one of the never-ending needs of her new little dictator.
Retire the blow dryer for a few weeks, at least until the first official state event, grab that novelty baseball cap that you got from Royal Ascot or Will's last polo match, and keep that thing handy. Plus, it's a good disguise if you're going absolutely mental in the house and need to go for a walk.
Eye makeup woes:
Kate's other signature is a strong eye. I've never seen her in public without dark liner on both upper and lower lashes and a healthy helping of mascara. The worst thing you can possibly do when you're post-partum is to draw attention to your eyes. Two words: sleep deprivation. Because Kate is such a hands-on, grocery-shopping kind of gal, I'm pretty sure she's going to want to wake up in the middle of the night herself to tend to the baby. Some babies (ahem, mine) wake up pretty much every two hours for three months straight crying and wanting to eat. (I would not wish colic on my worst enemy.) Even if Kate has a normal, sleepy baby, she'll be up at least twice a night for the first few weeks. And trust me, she will look tired.
Eyeliner is just going to smudge (when she takes naps while her baby is napping, too), plus makeup artists have told me that lower lash liner can make your eyes look like they're droopy, and that's not what you want. Put a bit of liner on the top lid only, just at the lash line, to perk your eyes up a bit. Plus, make sure your mascara--which is a must for making you look awake--is waterproof. Because of the crying. Yes, the slightest thing--a paper towel commercial featuring a cute baby, looking at all those nice LK Bennetts that you can't fit in anymore because your feet grew a size (this happens)--will set you off on a crying jag. Thanks, hormones.
• Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil, $19: Choose a softer color that isn't harsh, and keep it just to the top lash line.
• Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, $16: Won't budge, so cry all you want.
• YSL Touche Eclat, $40: The creme de la creme of highlighter concealers. All new mothers should purchase them by the gross.
Losing your hair:
This is one problem I didn't have, but many of my friends did. Kate's hair has been looking particularly lush during her pregnancy, so she may experience her hair falling out by the handful. It happens because during pregnancy you don't lose as much hair as you normally do (usually you lose about 100 hairs a day when not pregnant, eww), resulting in more hair staying on your head. But once those pregnancy hormones go away, all the excess hair starts to fall out at an alarming rate (read about how it works here).
Keep a good brush handy, use some thickening products until things normalize, and tell that husband of yours not to holler about all the hair clogging up the drain.
• Mason Pearson Brush, $120: Every single hair dresser recommends this brush.
• Bumble and bumble Thickening Serum, $27: Will give limp locks a bit of lift.
The breast situation:
This one requires a post of its own, but I'll try to stick to the need-to-knows. During pregnancy your breasts grow, then they grow even more (enormously and painfully) again when your milk comes in, and then they subsequently deflate to sad little sacks afterwards. I no longer need a bra for what were once respectable and perky B-cups. Sigh.
But the immediate post-partum time is kind of horrifying. Your boobs become like rocks, and they leak. Yes, to the point where you need to wear bra maxi pads. Also, if you choose to breastfeed, it is not the easy, natural, earth mother thing you think it is. It takes work. Despite the fact that I regularly smear all sorts of chemicals on my face and consume Diet Coke by the liter, I was dead set on not giving my baby any formula. But he hated my gigantic leaking milk spigots, and just chose to scream instead, so I got a lactation consultant. She told me to put cabbage in my bra which supposedly helps to reduce the swelling. I was so freaking sleep-deprived that I actually did this without question.
Only use organic cabbage, obviously. You don't want to put any pesticides there. Also, now is not a good time to try on your wedding dress to see if it still fits.
• Lansinoh Lanolin for Breastfeeding Mothers, $7.99: Yes, you need a nipple cream. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.
• Medela Disposable Nursing Bra Pads, $8.99: Yes, you can see them through your shirt. Just don't leave the house, or else wait until fall when you can put on one of your many coats.
Do not read this if you're squeamish:
Speaking of maxi pads, hopefully they stocked up on Ye Olde Super Absorbents at the Palace, because it is shocking--SHOCKING--how many you will go through. I was not adequately prepared for all the gunk that comes out of you. First of all there's the placenta, and then it just keeps oozing for about the next four to five years weeks. Imagine your worst period ever, triple its severity, add two months, and insert giant clots.
No white pants.
• Always Maxi Overnight Pads, $6.99: Oh yeah, you need the night time ones during the day.