Am I the only pregnant women that seem to feel that looking incredible naked is the new pregnancy trend? I’m starting to feel it’s all the rage to ‘embrace your body and post in a sexy negligee’ because you should ‘still feel sexy’ and ‘confident’ because ‘pregnancy is beautiful’.
There are endless streams of ‘Hot Mammas’ plastered on my social media feed, pregnant women in lingerie looking sexy and embracing their bumps and all the lumps that come with it. Whereas when I am looking in the mirror naked, all I am seeing is a reflection of myself that resembles some form of human chicken.
(By the way, I am slightly mortified that I agreed to do the above, this was me doing the classic “love heart hands on baby” pose…..looks good yeah? COUGH)
Now don’t get me wrong, I think pregnancy is one god damn beautiful thing, I feel so gratefull that I am pregnant, especially after a misscarriage and I say my thank you’s every single day that i have a healthy baby inside of me. I love the feeling of actually growing a baby, keeping it safe and experiencing a life forming inside of me….But I am also 33 weeks pregnant, so I’m calling bulls#*t on anyone who thinks becoming a walking talking human incubator should make you feel sexy! My poor Alex gets secretly freaked out that he is poking the baby, sometimes I get secretly freaked out he is poking the baby.
Here’s the truth, pregnancy with your first child, is new, can be exciting, and you can make you feel sexy.
However, pregnancy in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time round is not hot. If you disagree feel free to imagine me laid like some kind of upturned turtle, with 10 day old hair, out of breath from trying to reach the Amazon Firestick whilst trying to type around the ever-growing collection of biscuit crumbs on my laptop. Beat that Demi.
Now please don’t think I hate being pregnant because I don’t, I mean I get to grow a little combination of Alex and me, in me! And god I feel so lucky to be able to do something as incredible as this, but the only ‘glow’ I’m getting is the headlights from the DHL delivery guy stocking me up on my nursing bras, breast pads, nappies and baby grows, that I’m now on first name terms with. Shout out to Steve if you’re reading this!
I am all for self-love, embracing your body and everything that comes along with it, but all I am seeing in magazines is this constant fixation that pregnant women should look/feel sexy?! I think I have seen 80% of celebrities naked, with a spray tan, a full face of make-up on, fabulous hair and airbrushed skin…THIS IS NOT THE EFFING REALITY OF PREGNANCY.
The focus is wrong, the emphasis on sexualising the pregnancy body is weird to me. Jesus, I used to enjoy sending races pictures to Alex, now, I cant get half an angle, never mind a good angle!
I don’t like how I feel, or how my body looks. I feel huge, my boobs are sore and jiggly, my ovaries feel like they are stretching and my high waisted jeans are high flying. This time last year I was a size 8 with a six pack, and now … well I’m like some kind of permanently uncomfortable seal.
I also feel that I have lost my identity whilst being pregnant, but that is a whole new conversation. I lack energy, I lack patience, and I seem to lack any form of good mood – all of which I didn’t lack only a mere 33 weeks ago.
I want to take away this pressure, sure, you may be absolutely loving pregnancy, but there are a hell of a lot of women who are not. I know that I cannot be the only one, and guess what….THAT IS A-O-KAY!
Let’s look at the facts, I am exhausted, all the time, and not in some cute kind of ‘oh I’ve only been to the gym 9 times this week, made a home cooked meal every night, packed healthy smoothies for all the kids and now I’m a bit too tired to solve world peace today’ kind of way.
I’m talking I walked upstairs to take a shower and had to sit down halfway for a time out while I got my breath back kind of exhausted. Oh and I ache, oh my god I ache, you know I don’t think I’d mind as much if i’d actually done something more than sleep, walk and talk! I want to make this clear, pregnancy does not have to make you feel beautiful or confident and you do not have to enjoy it, everyones journey is different.
For me, the magic of pregnancy is about the moments when you feel that little bundle of life move inside you? Isn’t that the beautiful bit? I mean yeah it does kinda look like there’s an alien squirming around in there, but honestly watching my girls and Alex get excited about the new baby gives me a feeling that just doesn’t compare. The beauty in pregnancy for me is all about the first times. The first flutter, the first time you hear a heart beat, the first time you see the baby at the scan not the first time i get a decent picture of me naked.
Yes, there’s days when the sun is shining and your heartburn subsides (for a few hours) and everything is all rainbows, puppies, adorable baby outfits and you kind of feel like you’ve got your shit together, but the next day you wake up to this insane back ache, accompanied by the fact you can no longer see your toes, shave your bikini line (God help the midwife), the kids need dressing, feeding, taking on the school run and the reality settles in.
I don’t want the added pressured to feel I have to look good, or embrace the way my bloody body looks or feel pressured to feel a certain way about pregnancy. I want to look exactly how I feel on that day, which is usually some combination of a ‘Ratty dragon” and ‘my hair hasn’t seen a hairbrush in days’. But this is bloody normal!
We are incredible women just growing a human, that is enough in itself. We don’t have to look hot off the catwalk, we don’t have to love pregnancy, it doesn’t mean we love our baby any less, or we are any less of a mother. It just means we look REAL and are HUMAN!
Lots of love
Right, today’s mum for Monday is celebrity makeup artist, an old school friend and now bump buddy – Erika Swinn!
If you, like me, are prisoned by the school run, doomed to pack lunches, consumed in endless piles of washing and busy working on your dreams then you will also more than likely be able to resonate with this statement whilst looking in a mirror:
“who the eff is that staring back at me?”
Motherhood and work, can sometimes take over, to the point where i stop fully making the effort to feel and look good. And may i add, there is nothing wrong in wantinng to look good, as anyone who has had a day where they felt like “yes i look nice today” will also know that you are more confident when you feel you look less like death!
So, I was invited to model at Erika’s master class yesterday where she teaches women the basics of make-up and some simply amazing beauty hacks. Basically, I have learned its all about the base to get that glowing look back that seemed so effortless in your 20’s”
BUT FIRST…. a little bit about Erika!
Erika, tell my readers about you
I’m in a position where nearly the last 8 years I adore going to work. I never dread a Monday and I can honestly say I have a great time when I’m working.
I’m also incredibly lucky that I get to spend so much time with my hubby and my two young children as I don’t work full-time hours. I am now pregnant with my third child, and at the start of this pregnancy I started thinking about what makes me the happiest work-wise, and how can I continue with it when I will have 3 children under 4!
I knew that I loved the industry side of being a makeup artist, but that often includes travel, short notice, often fast pace and it can feel unachievable when you have a new baby. Then it dawned on me, I adore the women that I’ve worked with, especially women on their wedding mornings and I love the fact that I pretty much always keep in touch with them.
That’s when I decided to run Masterclasses/ workshops for normal women wanting to make the most of their natural beauty. I like the variety in my job, so I can do this alongside everything else.
My personal style and work style is natural, I’m not a fan of the current heavy makeup trend and often brides tell me that’s why they’ve booked me. Anyone can watch youtube videos and learn a style, but what I think what is key is that has to be learnt on their own face.
Women come along to my masterclass where I set up makeup stations, so each woman has a mirror, mini kit and a set of brushes so they can follow my demonstrations and practice on their own faces!
I only take up to 10 women, as I want them to get the best out of the day. The day is a constant circle of me doing a demo on a model, and then each women trying it out on themselves. I’m there at those practical stages to help out, it’s one thing watching it, but actually doing it makes them remember each stage,m such as primer, highlighter and the brushes to use.
I take all of my products for the ladies to try, as I have tried soooo many and from so many different brands that I encourage everyone to try! Rarely would you get chance to try these products out or fully understand what each product is for!
I have had so many women telling me that they often feel insecure about chatting to the staff at cosmetics counters, so that is the main reason I take them, I make no money from this, I just want to give my years of experience as that is part of why women come to me!
The first course is a Basic Beauty course which covers:
- Makeup removal
- How to get a perfect base
- Simple eyes and lips
- How to naturally enhance and contour
My main aim is to make women feel confident in their own skin and I feel from the feedback I have, that is what I do.
Back to me now – Jess (Mother of Maniacs)
I went on the course on Sunday, and I took my mum with me to learn how to basically not look like shit. It is safe to say, it worked!
How to not look like shit
Prime, prime, and PRIME
If you get the base of your skin right sand primed, everything else becomes that much easier. I must admit, prior to going on the master class, I would just wack on a bot of moisturizer and hope for the best. Since Sunday, I have taken an extra minute (yes, it really does only take 1 extra minute) and primed my skin. Which has made my complexion glow and made me look actually AWAKE!!!
I used the products below for my base and concealer. Top tip, If you are using an under eye highlighter, put it in a V shape, as that doesn’t give you a white eyes panda look.
How to not look like shit
Now, I had my base on it was time to get my brows done, there are a basic structure and measurement in how to make your brows look rather snazzy, if t=you follow the below measurements and line everything up, you won’t go far wrong. I get my eyebrows microbladed so it is a lot easier to follow!
How to not look like shit
High lighter, Contour, and Blusher
This is one thing I didn’t quite realize and the way Erika taught how to apply is a lot easier than what I have been doing for the last few years! Always put your highlighter in a C shape (the right eye will be a C shape back to front) from the underneath of your brow to just underneath your eye socket bone. Keep your highlighter high, as this will make you look more youthful.
Contouring for many seems soooooo daunting, but actually, all it is is applying bronzer in the right places. Again, Erika taught this in a none scary way., it even got Joy my 60-year-old mother on to the contour trend. Erika said to do another C shape around the C shape of the high lighter, with the bottom of the C coming in just under your cheekbone (if you suck your cheeks in, you will see where I am talking about).
Again, with blusher, I had been slapping it on, in a strip, bright pink…WRONG!!! With your blusher, Erika said, keep it just on the Apples of your cheeks, and keep it high to make you appear more youthful. Which, actually,. it worked!
How to not look like shit
Eyes and Lips
I am going to do top tips for eyes and lips as a big long paragraph would not make sense
- Work with a mascara with a small brush, so you can get right into the lash line
- Use an eyeliner along the lash line
- Blend the eyeliner with a brush
- Use a nude colour eyeliner (Wonder brow NYX) on the corners of your eye, top of the top lash line and on the water lines of your eye. This brightens your eye. (You can also use the wonder brow under your eyebrow and on the bow of your lip)
- Use a soft lip liner, to stop that stuck on dried look which makes your lips look older
- Only draw on the lip line and not above or around the lip line – you don’t want clown features
- Choose a lip liner that is the same colour as your lipstick
- Blot your lips with a tissue
- Add a tad bit of bronzer under the middle of your bottom lip to make them look bigger and a bit of lip liner in the middle of your lips to make them look fuller
- Use concealer on the sides of the underneath of your lips to define and blend
And that is it! Voila!
All the products that Erika used on me are below!
You should definitely get in touch with Erika if you want to learn the basics of makeup and gain that little bit of confidence in using make-up.
You can follow her on Instagram or email her for course details
My mum for Monday (even though its Wednesday and I am two days late #Pregnantmotherofthree) has to go to the simply fabulous Mrs. Leanne Brown from RHOC. The reason I am dedicating a post to Leanne is that you all need to check her out and in this world of celebrity and glamour, very rarely do we meet genuinely lovely people who are using their celeb status for the better.
The first time I met Leanne was at The Protein Bakery launch, she had a warm and welcoming smile and was so easy to talk to. We got chatting and she told me about her passion, which is being a patron for a charity called ‘One Women at a time’
The aim of this small local charity is to identify and assist women of any age to achieve a helping hand in gaining education, training, and employment to change theirs and their families future.
One Woman At A Time is working in Ortum Kenya and Nigeria to sponsor girls to fulfill their dreams of getting an education, to gain financial independence and to have choices about their lives. Having three girls myself, like Leanne It dawned on me how I take our education and equality for granted and how my children don’t truly understand the importance of it.
Some of these young girls ONLY want to go to school to learn to better their lives. Children as young as my children, who are already so grown up know the importance of having an education. Then when I look at my three who are still so little and don’t really understand the importance of school it dawned on me how lucky we really are.
Leanne continued to tell me about her clothing collaboration with OBD Clothing where 30% of all their sales go directly to One Woman At A Time Now most celebrities that do collaborations with brands get 30% of profit so when she told me that I was happily surprised. Here is one of the few celebrities that is doing something for the greater good of others less fortunate.
So, not only woudl I like to recommend you give Mrs. Leanne Brown a follow I also suggest you check out her collection at OBD! As, if you, like me love a slogan t-shirt and jumpers, but also think the ones that other fashion brands do aren’t really suitable… For me especially, a 31-ear-old pregnant mother of three children with comments like “dick sand”, “Brains, Beauty, Booty” or “Girl Gang” just don’t seem to cut it!
If you would like to be one of my Mums for Monday, then please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of Love
I am a skincare fanatic. I love anything to do with pampering my skin and I am always up for trying new lotions and potions! So when I got the chance to receive and review Simply Argan I nearly bit their hand off for the chance as I had heard lots about the benefits of Argan oil –Which you can find here.
I told them what kind of skin I have, what I want to achieve with my skin and left the rest up to them….little did i know what I would receive…A ROLLER DEVICE WITH ABOUT 1000 5ML NEEDLES ON IT that I have to roll on my face!!!!!
Anyway, I thought I would feel the fear and do it anyway (you know how I like my self-help analogies) and also indulge in the other little freebies that I received!
The ‘Turn back time” gold spray hand sanitiser is ACTUALLY AMAZING and the three queens think its ‘magic money spray’, and every time i spray it on their hands I tell them that wealth and abundance is on its way- teaching them early about the powers of the universe!!!
Then we have the derma microneedle roller and the oil and moisturiser that goes with it! JESUSSSS! This one scared the bloody shit out of me!!!
- On a clean and dry face massage a pump (i like two pumps) of oil into the skin
- Put on a brave face and roller the sh!t out of your skin. This felt like torture to start with, especially around the smile and eye lines. HOWEVER….every day that I have used the roller (I use once every 2-3 days) someone has always commented on how fresh my skin looks!
- Massage a pump (or two) of the collagen facial moisturiser into the slightly reddened skin!
- Make a victory cup of tea, you did it!
- Compare selfie from weeks ago to now and voila! Your skin looks far more radiant than it once did!
On a serious note, I have actually been impressed by the oil, moisturiser and derma needle. I feel like I am doing my skin justice and it is safely holding off the botox for at least another 5 years! Which is always good!
I also received the violet infused shampoo and conditioner to try, coffee body scrub and perfume.
Now if you watched me on The Apprentice, you may of notice how thick and full my hair was – this was because I only washed it once every 2-3 weeks and I didn’t really need to style it! Then after CBB, I started styling my hair more and not protecting it….around 7inches of my hair just broke off! WTF!!!
Soooooo now as you can imagine going from a brunette Rapunzel to a Pixie – I look after my hair. So thank God that the first time I used the Argan shampoo and conditioner it left my hair feeling like actual silk and smelt amazing, or there would not have been a fifth, sixth and tenth time!
I also use it on the girl’s hair, as they love the idea of pamper night, washing their hair with posh shampoo and conditioner (they take after me)!
Then we have the coffee scrub! If you have been pregnant, you will know that not only do you get fatter but you also get added extra of more cellulite. GREAT! If you don’t already know, a coffee scrub helps to eliminate the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks and other skin conditions.
To be fair, I was quite sceptical about this, but iv used it around 7 times and my bum is looking smoother! I wish I would have done before and after pictures now, however, I think the before may have cracked a few smartphone screens!
So what is the verdict?
I actually really enjoyed reviewing the products, although I think that this must of been their plan from the start as now I am a confirmed future purchaser (purely because I like getting told I look fresh and young (all down to the derma roller)). The products aren’t badly priced either, they’re not at affordable as supermarket brands, but I personally like little treats of luxury and for a luxury skincare brand, they are pretty affordable, also when the box arrives with the product in, you will feel like the queen of England!
Happy shopping <3
Winner, great! You’ve found my blog! I now hope you can both find relative and enjoyable content, enticing you to…..
A) Become an avid and loyal fan, sharing its marvellous content across all of your wonderful social media platforms
Alternatively, it you’re reading this and thinking it’s utter crap, you can of course
B) Ignore it and me
(But come on peeps, why would you really want to do that )
Perhaps like me, sometimes you feel certain circumstances, relationships and children have made you forget who you are. You look at yourself in the mirror, at those all too familiar bags under your eyes and wonder where you’ve vacated too? Or find yourself asking: “would I of found it acceptable five years ago to walk out of the house with children’s snot smeared down one leg?” Hmmm, to beg the question.
Or maybe you feel like a jack of all trades but a master of none. One minute you master the art of getting the kids ready for school, creating Mary Berry style pack lunches, Cracking the homework tasks before 5pm, yet the next day, the time to get dressed in the morning before school/work vanishes before your eyes, (Thankfully your pajamas resemble bad leggings and an over washed t-shirt), you’re late rocking up to school with unbrushed teeth and forget any form of cash for the bun sale that has been mentioned every day that week. Yes, that sounds like a familiar occurrence.
I have been a working mother for as long as I have had children, and I have found it really bloody hard trying to juggle all elements of life. From quality time with the kids, cooking good food, finding love, searching for the time that doesn’t exist to fake tan or wash my hair, all whilst trying not to resemble a headless chicken and feeling the judgment of others.
I am on a mission to find and share stories, hacks, and tips from other mums, dads, carers and bring them to you daily. We are human, we wing it sometimes, excel occasionally, adapt when need to and always self-criticize. If you, like me, question and over analyse anything and everything and find comfort/dismay from google, then I feel we will get along.
Who am I?
I could start with: I was an Arab man with a Camel in a past life (according to a recent past life regression I participated in).
However, wanting to start with my best foot first, you may or may not know me from The Apprentice 2016 and/or Celebrity Big Brother 2017. Having experienced the highs and lows of mild ‘z’ list fame I have had an awakening following a year of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Aged a mere 30, I am a mother to three delightful maniacs (the three queens) , Co-own a fashion brand; prodigalfox.com, work hard, juggle life, believe in the magic of the Universe, practice ‘The Secret”, question everything, over analyse anything, coffee snob, art lover and an avid peak district walker.
A couple of months ago something tragic happened, my ex-partner and the father of my children took his own life, making me reflect on life, what I wanted and the realisation dawned that I had somewhat lost sight of who I was and who I wanted to be. I knew within seconds of this tragedy, that I wanted to spend my time being the best mum that I could, having fun with my children, work around quality time with them and just live and love life.
It made me realize that “reality stardom” is not for me, it has been fun and I met some interesting characters on the way, however, the lifestyle that comes with reality television isn’t the lifestyle I crave. Attending pointless events, travelling from Sheffield to London 2-3 times a week, getting back at 1am so I could do the morning school run, working on a train, not having quality time with friends or family and feeling even MORE exhausted (which I didn’t think was possible after having three children, FYI – it is possible) than I already did. My eyes were instantly opened at the realization that life is precious and we only have one chance at it.#Deep.
Although Success, fame (in the mildest form) and fortune may be great to experience; those things are not what life is about. Life is about happiness, health, inspiration, learning, laughter, and love. This understanding of life inspired me to start the Mother Of Maniacs #MOM blog. (which above anything else should be interesting, as I am a dyslexic trying to write a blog).
I am by no means an expert in any of the above, but I have learned some pretty epic life hacks, therefore, decreasing the headless chicken look by around 40% whilst at the same time upping my fashion game. Winning
#MOM is just me, sharing my views on the daily struggles of life, wanting to sprinkle inspiration to all with my words and letting you know. YOU ARE AMAZING. Whilst also saving money, looking good and oh yea, being a sh*t hot parent.
Enjoy and read on.