My regular readers will know that of late I have been rhapsodising about the virtues of bright lipstick and wake-up skin products and pops of bright blush on too-tired cheeks – these have been my vanity saviours since giving birth to my little girl in February. Yes having a baby has changed the way I think about beauty and about my own rituals of beautification, but in more ways than one. Next to the skin of a very young baby my own skin looks a trillion times older – of course! The first time I paid attention to this – my baby’s translucent milky pink skin next to my own fair but freckled, lightly lined skin – I was taken aback by how much older my skin suddenly appeared. But oddly enough did this not faze me. Instead, I have become enamoured by the idea of a purer, simpler kind of beauty, one that is akin to the beauty of a new baby. I still love my bright pink lipsticks and gel eyeliners but lately I find myself wanting to strip things back, to return to a state of unfettered, unassuming, natural beauty. It is a desire that strangely marries well with the enhanced awareness of my own ageing skin and body, because while it is ageing, it is also very much alive and active. After all, this body grew, protected then gave birth to a new person barely three months ago, and it continues to nurture and sustain this little person through breastfeeding, teaching and lots of cuddles. The world has felt crazy and intense and off-kilter since having a baby but only now I am tapping into something else – this sense of purity and instinctiveness. The natural order, thus natural beauty, of things. It may seem superficial to then write about this in reference to beauty and makeup et cetera but this sense is translating in a myriad of ways. I still want to look groomed, polished but I don’t want to look like I’ve slapped on a face and hair in an effort to look prettier or younger (well maybe just a tiny bit prettier). I don’t want to look perfect but I do want to remain connected to what natural beauty really is. It is not hard. It is not overly constructed or manipulated. It is gently enhanced and it is easy and it is instinctive. And it is inspired by spending the good (most) part of 24 hours with a tiny, fresh, new human who is undoubtedly (in the eyes of a mother) the most beautiful human I have ever come across.
*Image of Grace Kelly with baby Prince Albert II courtesy of Gamma-Keystone.