Astor Atlas Andén, 4 months old.
With the festive season upon us, all in the fashion industry have turned their thoughts to play and certainly not work (all main fashion images have been shot, all campaigns retouched and finalized), so I shall be joining my Harper’s girls for many a fashion event this month.
Not feeling quite as svelte as I would have hoped – 5 killer kilos remain – I have found a number of amazing options to wear to said fashion events.
This Lanvin velvet dress is possibly the most perfect of dresses for those with a little extra weight at this time of year due to the draping style and incredibly flattering cut.
Unfortunately with fashion, you cannot be seen in the same dress more than once in quite a few months – more’s the pity as I would gladly wear this particular one to every occasion possible right now!
LANVIN DRESS AT HARVEY NICHOLS
YSL SHOES AT HARVEY NICHOLS
This blog post can also be found along with others in the series on www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/blogs/
With all that new motherhood has in store for me, the trick is to inject a little humour with each pressing scenario, otherwise there is no doubt a breakdown of some description would make itself very known.
Training with postpartum specialist Tim Weeks has been something I was determined to stick with on a weekly basis. Without a nanny and relying on an occasional babysitter, the living room of my home becomes my workout studio once a week. With Astor looking on, I am guided through the stages that will ensure my core returns to it’s former strength, thus allowing me to return to the almost daily running sessions I so miss.
With Tim’s arrival this week, the babysitter was nowhere to be found (suspected late night debauchery), but with steely determination to press ahead, I donned my latest Work Out Life fitness attire and set about lunging with Tim’s encouraging words as my soundtrack. Astor was having none of this.
Lunging with an inane grin on my face while waving my hands like a borderline maniac did nothing to appease the small fellow, so Tim jumped in, scooped him up and we saw my training session recommence. Now, I have many great things to say about Tim Weeks as a professional, a former athlete and a women’s specialist, but this just took him to a whole new level.
Sleep deprivation, items that are scattered in every room except for the one they are intended for and a tiny person that requires all of your attention during their every waking moment means that it is certainly a challenge to find the time to work out when you are a new mother, but you need time for you, so finding the right trainer will ensure you are educated, trained and are left feeling as though you are getting closer to returning to your former self – just with a very welcome small companion by your side.
This week while training I have been wearing the beautifully designed fitness range by Work Out Life, an evolution of high fashion meets sports/active wear www.workoutlife.com
With winter very much upon us and new motherhood taking its toll on my skin (lack of sleep and breastfeeding isn’t exactly encouraging a healthy glow), I set about researching which products would have a genuine effect on my dehydrated skin.
Aesop had been recommended to me by many a new mother and having now experienced the products first hand, I can see why.
I booked an appointment to meet with Adam at the Notting Hill store as his knowledge in the beauty industry is close to legendary; having spent considerable years at both Clarins and Dior prior to joining Aesop, there is very little he doesn’t know about the care of any skin type.
Lotions were applied, an expert skincare tutorial was given and now that weeks have passed since the onset of trialing these products (of which the packaging is now making my bathroom shelves just that much chicer), my skin has indeed garnered a far healthier glow.
Along with Aesop, there was to be a serious purchase of a product that I had resisted from buying previously due to the somewhat generous price tag, but that now Astor was in my life and my skin needed some urgent help, I could justify bringing just one miracle cream home. This product was the SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream.
Prior to Astor’s arrival, funds were spent on the latest Givenchy bag or a staple Celine jacket, but three months into motherhood I am having to pay closer attention to my health and in particular my skin, so priorities when looking after my appearance have changed a little.
SK-II was the brand I always wistfully tested while in Harrods and had to pulled from the counter before handing over my card as this was seen as a pure luxury, now I see the products as both a luxury and a necessity.
The rich texture of the Ultimate Revival Cream was enough to sell me on the fact that I needed this product in my life and when hearing that this cream renewed the natural cell cycle of the skin’s surface, strengthened the moisture barrier structure and added vitality to the skin’s appearance, I was in no doubt that I was making the right decision to this time actually hand my card over – and one month on with visibly smoother, clearly revitalized skin, I am very pleased I did.
With the lighting in my closet, you are unable to see the exquisite beading on this Valentino dress, which unfortunately for me is on loan from the design house and I shall be returning this masterpiece in the coming days.
Worn to a ball this week, I can honestly say that although I am carrying extra weight following the birth of Astor (those tricky last kilos!), wearing such a piece made me forget my concerns over my slightly rounder self…how could it not?!
VALENTINO DRESS AT WWW.VALENTINO.COM
As you know, I write of my experiences with the skincare brands I use to enhance my post-pregnancy skin, my personal thoughts and often a little scientific information on the brand. When it comes to Radical Skincare, I shall let the genius sister’s who founded the brand do the talking and let you know, in their own words, just how remarkable Radical Skincare is. I have used many of the products personally, both pre and post-pregnancy and can honestly say that the sister’s mission to create a complete, consistent, effective skincare range has worked without a doubt – the products left my skin looking more refreshed and radiant that I could possibly have imagined…
MORE HONESTY, MORE POTENCY, MORE PERFORMANCE
The most powerful skincare available that is paraben free, clinically proven, designed for all skin types and works for sensitive skin. The best of the best in antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients that uses Trylacel™ Technology to keep it potent and powerful to deliver results.
THEIR STORY – MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
Our purpose and commitment is to make a difference in peoples lives. Delivering the most efficacious and potent products in the world that do what they promise is just a part of it. We are also creating a global conversation to empower and inspire people worldwide to be the best that they can be in hopes that they too can achieve their Radical dreams.
Liz and Rachel are the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery. Working in their father’s lab before the age of ten and at the University of Virginia Burn Unit, they were exposed to the science of skin rejuvenation and wound repair at extreme levels.
After having been in the skin care industry in Los Angeles for 15 years and creating over 100 products for celebrities and others, Liz and Rachel Edlich saw the signs of aging in the mirror for themselves and decided to do something about it.
Liz & Rachel called upon their chemists and scientists and challenged them to create the most powerful anti-aging solution regardless of costs and with no intention of selling this youth elixir to the larger public. They identified the prime defect in most anti-aging formulas which is that the potency diminishes when the ingredients are put into a cream. With a proprietary technology called Trylacel™ which suspends and preserves potency, they corrected it, perfected it and then clinically tested it. The results spoke for themselves. A USDA lab compared their formulas to numerous leading skincare brands* and the potency results were unbeatable.
Now Astor is three months old, I am having to find all manner of ways to entertain him and tricks to get him to sleep (I have been blessed with a son that is loathe to sleep during the day for fear of missing out on something!)
A product that came highly recommended to me by the mummies I work with in the fashion industry was the Aden + Anais Serenity Star. I had certainly heard of Aden + Anais due to their beautifully designed muslin squares and swaddles, but the star I was told was to be my saviour when it came to settling Astor.
With four sound settings, a feeding diary, a gentle glow and a room temperature all in one divine little design, this certainly seemed as though it would be the answer to by impending woes, and it was.
I was first startled by the bleak sound of ‘white noise’ which is one available sound setting, but this was in fact the sound that soothed Astor and sent him into a deep slumber without too much effort on my part (a huge relief considering my previous attempts sans Star!)
The gentle glow of the low light, which changes from a cool blue to deep red if the room reaches a temperature ill advised for that of a sleeping baby was the perfect accompaniment to the four sound settings and I for one cannot be thankful enough that this star found its way into my life!
ADEN + ANAIS SERENITY STAR IS AVAILABLE AT
Having not returned to my pre-pregnancy size just yet means that I am experimenting with various cuts and lengths when it comes to dresses. Previously I would have known which size, which designer and which cut would have suited my figure, but with my new curvier shape, all festive season purchases have had to be carefully considered.
This beautifully constructed Marc Jacobs dress certainly conceals the remainder of my pregnancy weight and shall have more than a few outings until I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight!
MARC JACOBS DRESS AT HARVEY NICHOLS
YSL SHOES AT HARVEY NICHOLS
With Astor now three months old, I have lost most of the 23 kilos I gained throughout my pregnancy (yes, 23, ahem) but the remaining inches are not playing ball and seem to be hanging around despite relatively focused efforts to rid myself of these last few kilos. I say ‘relatively’ as all good intentions for a daily workout are generally scuppered by my ‘new mother schedule’, which is certainly more demanding than any job I have experienced in my lifetime.
Wishing to accelerate the weight loss in order to fit into various new purchases during the festive season – namely a divine Lanvin floor length creation and a Chanel jacket I felt was justified having carried a baby for 9 months – while not reducing my food intake for the sake of Astor’s well being, I asked various fashion gals how they had regained their pre-baby shape so swiftly and was informed that the miracle I was searching for was to be found in a sportswear brand named Zaggora.
Bra’s created using fabric made from nano-sized coffee grounds, jackets that warm your upper body while avoiding the bust area (hello breastfeeding!) and ‘hotpants’ that increase your energy expenditure, are all found in the Zaggora range.
With a set of what I can only describe as sleek scuba separates laid out before me, I donned the potential saviour garments and set to work with women’s specialist trainer Tim Weeks. Aside from looking far more ‘dressed’ than in my usual workout attire, I felt more compact thanks to the fabric that naturally holds your form and actually felt more energised than I had in months (potentially spurred on by such attractive sportswear!)
It was something of a surprise to find myself so, shall we say, ‘worked out’ (which, for want of more discreet wording, means sweaty) when removing the Zaggora pieces, but with fellow fashion industry girls swearing by these as a post-pregnancy weight loss aid, I have high hopes for the coming weeks – and shall of course be wearing the kit at every opportunity.