What to buy a new mum (who isn't actually Beyonce)
The glorious news engulfing the world that our Queen Beyonce has just birthed a pair of luminescent humans comes with many questions. Some of these questions may never be answered, such is the divine mystery of the house of Carter.
For those curious as to what to buy a new mother who is not Beyonce I must deliver shocking news. I know the temptation is to get a bit fancy, a bit luxe, (that's luxe with an "e" so you know it's high-level luxe).
But, the truth is that the period of ultra-newness, from birth through until the first six months, (when the mother finally exhales), is not really the fanciest in a woman's life.
Besides the bliss and the wonderment of the new creation, there is the relentless rude shock that stuff hitherto taken for granted, such as sleeping, eating, showering, toileting, personal space and time, are now all negotiable.
Then there's the admin. People need to see the baby. Family. Extended family. Friends want to drop by. Worse, his friends drop by. Social media begs for affirmation that your heart is now full, etc. Then, at some point, people do the work thing – you know, they show the baby off to their boss as if to say "Please take note: my uterus can build this, I'm capable of anything. Do not replace me."
For such administrative tasks you may wish to use beauty products. They need to get the job done quickly, with a minimum of fuss and they need to create an illusion that you are getting sleep.
It's a big call, so I've created the following list. Not all of it is glamorous. Glamour is for the Carters. Seriously, I think they own the copyright or something.
The new mother needs something she can literally slather all over her face and make it look instantly excellent. No blending. No dabbing. You don't want to look too made up or uncharitable people who are jealous of your radiance will silently accuse you of neglecting your baby, (unless you're on Instagram, in which case they'll assume it's a filter).
This is harsh, but hating the rules won't change them. My favourite that I used today – 16 months after the birth of my second kid – is Laura Mercier's Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser. It makes you look like a lamp is under your skin and/or sunshine has filled your pores. It's also easy as anything to slap on.
Other options include Shu Uemura Lightbulb Fluid Foundation, (it comes with its own cute little sponge), Nearly Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB cream and basically anything with a sheen, (if sweat works for you, go for it).
2. EYELASH CURLER
This one from Shu Uemura is a cult classic because it gives you wide eyes and pinging lashes. The new mother will be grateful when she puts mascara on first and then stands back to admire how one thing went right that day.
So the new mother hasn't showered in two weeks - so what? Hello, she just birthed a human and now she's probably feeding it from her own body. It's a miracle she's alive so tell her to skip the guilt and wipe whenever you can. Armpits, face, hands, groin.
I recommend WotNot organic Facial wipes for dry skin because hormonal changes usually leave your face parched. These also come with a travel case.
Because it's going to make any weary woman look "done" and it's the perfect little gift. Giorgio Armani have this new range called Lip Maestro which sounds glamorous because it is. WORK IT.
RED CARPET RADIANCE Meet the leading lipsticks starring in your beauty routine. Echoing the glamour of cinema, LIP MAESTRO NOTORIOUS comes in six shades of red each with its own role and emotion. More radiant than a classic matte lipstick, more sophisticated than a gloss. #ArmaniBeauty #BeNotorious #Makeup #Cinema #festival
Because Point 3 is a reality. Versace's Eros is the way to go because it suggests sexual relations and when you gift it you can both laugh and laugh until the new mother looks at you with dead eyes and tells you that right now, she never wants to be touched again.
6. A GLORIOUS FANCY PACKAGE INVOLVING CANDLES AND OTHER SWEET SCENTS.
I'm going to recommend Marshmallow by MOR because a marshmallow is so small and sweet and soft and edible, you get the idea.
And then, every time she smells it she'll think of the baby, and when the baby is 20, all the sleepless nights and pelvic floor pain will have faded from memory, and her eyes will fill with the tears because the association with the newborn will be just that strong, and so precious. Alternatively, if it's a crap time in the new mum's life, she can inhale it years from now and think, "Thank god that's over."