Once upon a time, there used to be, on my dresser, a bunch of cosmetics that included: a day cream, a night cream, a serum, an eye cream, a toner, a scrub, a hand cream and a foot cream. I even happened to use them all religiously. And then, all of a sudden, the only kind of cream I knew was diaper cream. Circumstances change. No matter how strict you were about your beauty routine, after becoming a mother, you feel triumphant if you get the chance to have a peaceful shower for 5 minutes without being rushed.
With the overwhelming nature of the first weeks, months, (maybe even years) of motherhood, taking care of yourself can become a distant memory. When dark circles replace your eyeliner, and ‘pale’ becomes your new look, you definitely wouldn’t feel your best. I lost count of the times I heard this vain statement, “You look so tired, you must be sick”. But ‘sick’ doesn’t have to be your new look. Today, the gorgeous Heba El Kaissy is going to share with us some of her beauty secrets. Heba is a certified make up artist, beauty blogger and the founder of ‘The Kit’.
Hi Heba, tell us a bit about yourself:
I am Heba El Kaissy, an Egyptian self-taught makeup artist and beauty blogger based in Egypt and Dubai. I have always been passionate about beauty and skincare since a very young age. My passion was strong enough that I made a sudden career shift and decided to run after what I love. I believe that was the best decision I have done. I have a beauty blog on which I share everything that I know, everyday with my fans and followers, and I am currently the Brand Representative of Revlon Middle East. In addition, I am a makeup instructor teaching professional and basic makeup courses.
We want to help all the gorgeous Mommies as much as possible. Let’s start with pregnancy. We know for example that chemicals like retinoids and salicylic acid that are used for treating acne should be avoided completely because they are linked to birth defects. If the mother-to-be wants to avoid chemicals on her skin. What kind of natural things would you recommend for skin care?
The issue with natural remedies is that, even though they are safe and will do what they promise, they take a long time to show results. Chemicals work faster. That’s why many people don’t go for natural remedies. They believe that they don’t work. If a mother is dealing with acne, she can always try a honey and cinnamon facial mask. All she needs to do is; mix two teaspoons of honey with two teaspoons of cinnamon and a drop of lemon juice. Apply all the mixture on skin and then rinse after 30 minutes. A great way to moisturize the skin afterwards is to use rose water toner and then a drop of Aloe Vera Gel.
Exposure to the sun during pregnancy can cause the development of dark spots in some people. How should the mom-to-be choose a sunscreen if she is going to spend a lot of time in the sun? Are there natural sunscreens?
Well, there are many ways to avoid the sun, like wearing hats, sunglasses, using umbrellas, staying in the shade and avoiding the harsh sun from 11-3pm. Also, applying a drop of any of these oils: coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, sunflower oil or sesame oil, will provide some protection to the skin. Tanning is not recommended in pregnancy.
What about make up, is there anyway to hide the bloating and weight gain?
Makeup will not hide any bloating or weight gain because this is primarily related to physical exercise and eating habits. However, contouring the face and bronzing the edges of the face plays a great trick in making the face look slimmer.
What about the nose? It can become very prominent near the end of pregnancy. Can make up play a role in this?
Nose contour is a lovely makeup trick to define the features and make the face look slimmer. However, nose contour is only for women who know how to contour well. If you don’t know the technique, then you are better off without it. Let a professional teach you first.
After labor, the mother would hardly ever have time for herself, are there things that could be done earlier to prepare for this phase?
Yes, just like the mother is preparing for her baby’s arrival, she has to also prepare for herself. Mothers need to shop for items that cut down the beauty routine at least in half. Stocking up on wax strips, one-minute dry nail polishes like the ones by Essence, long-lasting lipsticks, bb creams since they moisturize and cover up in one step, press-on fake nails like the ones by Impress that last up to two weeks. They can even consider fake lash extensions and hair extensions or even permanent makeup tattoos and microblading.
Would you recommend these permanent or semi-permanent solutions?
Yes, I do recommend them only for very busy working women or mothers because they really save time. However, if you are not that busy then do your own makeup with regular makeup products. I hate to be under the knife, but if it will serve the purpose why not?
During pregnancy, a woman’s hair would glow and grow thicker, after labor, usually hair would start to shed and appear weaker. What’s the best way to handle this ?
Well, if you are breastfeeding, you are already losing a lot of nutrients to the baby. In this case, the safest way to great hair is eating loads of leafy greens, and by loads I mean at least 6-7 bowls of salads a day. If you are not breast feeding, then biotin supplements are fantastic.
Stretch marks, cellulite and belly fat may last for a long while after pregnancy, are there non-surgical ways to eliminate them?
Well, before pregnancy you should be very consistent with sports. In addition, during pregnancy, you have to apply Bio-Oil on the areas with stretch marks from 2-3 times a day, until after you give birth for at least 3-4 months.
It takes months, if not years for a new mother to be able to have time to look after herself. Yet, a mother’s self esteem can affect greatly how positive she feels. And since babies absorb their mother’s emotions, it is very important that “Mommy” feels good about herself. What kind of a beauty routine can a busy mom integrate in her day?
I recommend wax strips or shaving during showers, Bb creams, mascara, eyebrow filling. Also, apply long-lasting lipsticks and baby cologne. As for the nails, try gel nail colors that last 2-3 weeks.
If a new mom would only use one multitasking beauty product, what would you suggest?
Bb cream by Garnier. It acts as a moisturiser, foundation and an SPF. So, it will basically hide your pale tired skin, protect you from the sun and provide the necessary hydration. Apply it with a sponge and a little goes a long way.
Facial masks require time to prepare, any ideas for quick or one-ingredient masks?
Honey. I just apply honey all over my face and leave it on for 30 minutes. The glow is real!
It is said that if you want to know someone’s age look at their hands not their face. A mother’s hands are always in use. Any idea how to take care of the hands in a way that wouldn’t require much time or attention?
Every night before you sleep, apply vaseline on your hands and put them in gloves. If you can sleep with them that’s better. If not, then keep the gloves on for at least 1-2 hours.
What about feet and cracked heels? They can resemble the feet of extinct reptiles, when they are not cared for. What’s the most effortless way to keep them maintained?
Soak them in half cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup Listerine (Mouth Wash). Magic happens here.
For the sleep-deprived moms with puffy eyes and tired skin, is there a way to look better in seconds?
Put a spoon in the freezer for 30 minutes and then put it on your eyes for 15 minutes.
There are loads of videos trending on the social media about using common household items for beauty purposes. Did you find any of these successful?
Yes, of course. Turmeric (korkom) is a fantastic ingredient to add to facial masks for a healthy glow and tighter pores.
Are there any baby products that can be used by mommy as well?
I am not a mother yet and I use a lot of baby products. You can use baby cologne, baby shower gel, baby bed time cream. I use these for their safety and their subtle clean smell too.
Tell us a bit about your beauty routines
I usually wake up, apply honey on my face first thing in the morning, wash it off, and then apply rose water and a drop of aloe vera gel. If I am running errands, bb cream, lipstick and mascara will be my everyday look. If I am going to meetings or outings, then I apply full makeup. Finally, if I am not going out, I use it as a great opportunity to let my face breathe.
What’s the last advice that you would like to give to mothers?
If you are happy, you are already half way through to looking absolutely beautiful. Makeup is only the cherry on top.