A Different Kind Of Mom Bod

I’m supposed to say, I love my body. I made little humans. I really like the cellulite that showed up on my butt. Aren’t these the things I’m supposed to believe with all of the body positivity, motherhood vibes and girl power that I champion??

Postpartum feelings are confusing and after both of my pregnancies I haven’t felt how I thought I would. For the last three years or so I’ve given my body away in a pretty substantial way, by going through two pregnancies in a relatively short period of time. Truth be told, I still give my body away every single day. I nurse my almost three week old, I hoist my two year old into the car, I schlep the dog up the stairs, I wipe dirty little faces and I pick up an endless array of toys.

It might sound selfish (and it feels selfish) that I want my old body back. I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking, “Ashley, you’re not even three weeks postpartum. Let yourself heal. Give it time. It took months to make those beautiful babies, so allow yourself to take the time to get back to where you were.” I get it. I agree, but it’s not that easy.

Seeing your postpartum body for the first time can be a pretty big shock. It’s hard (and amazing) for any woman to see such a huge transformation. Being that I recently shared with all of you that I had history with an eating disorder, it feels even harder seeing this change in my body, especially for the second time.

The good thing is that I’ve been through this all once before and I know what my body is capable of. I know I will lose the baby weight, regain my strength and feel like some semblance of myself again. I just hate the waiting game. It’s uncomfortable, but life can be uncomfortable.

While I was pregnant with Gialina I worked out 5-6 days per week, ate a balanced diet and treated myself when it felt right. With Viviana I did the same routine. The only difference that I can think of is that with Gia I stuck with more cardio based workouts, and with Vivi I continued my weight training with my cardio.

I gained 43 pounds with Gia and 40 with Vivi. The only reason I tell you this is because I’m a firm believer that your body is programmed to gain a certain amount of weight while pregnant, regardless of what you do. I did everything “right” through both of my pregnancies, yet I still beat myself up for not gaining the recommended 25-35 pounds.

Obviously those numbers can’t apply to everyone. The woman who is 5’2″ will very likely gain differently than the woman who is 6’0″. We aren’t the same and neither are any of our pregnancies.

Trust the process. This is my own reminder to myself to do just that. Sometimes when you put things out in the universe (like sharing vulnerabilities) good things happen. Healing happens. Support is given. People feel less alone. That’s my intention here. I’m reminding myself that I will get where I want to be soon and if you’re in a similar season in your life, you will too.

I’m sure you may have heard the saying, “people only show their highlight reel” through social media outlets. A friend of mine reminded me of this the other day, and it’s so true. Of course we are all quick to share the great things in our lives, but I find it just as important to share our bumps in the road or messy moments. We are all so much more alike than we realize. The moment we stop pretending that we are better than one another or comparing our highlight reels, is the moment we will all feel more connected.

 This is about my entire self, about all the parts of me – more than just getting my body back. It’s about the parts that existed before two little people filled my arms and my heart, and the parts that will continue to exist long after those people have fully grown.

Share your experiences – good and maybe not so good. I having a sneaking suspicion that someone else will reach out in appreciation, creating a ripple effect. Pass on kindness, pay it forward and if comfortable, share your truth.

Xo

My Everyday Makeup and Beauty Must-Haves

I’ve always loved makeup, but over the years I’ve learned that less is more, especially for my lifestyle.

In high school I loved browsing the MAC counter and looking for new lip glosses and eyeshadows. I can’t even tell you how many makeup products I’ve gathered over the years – most of which I still have tucked away. (Don’t worry, I don’t use that old stuff!)

Through my college years and the years after, I stuck to the no makeup look, or a minimally done face. Being that I played softball in college, I didn’t really want to wear anything while at practice or during games.

Now that I’ve hit thirty I know the importance of taking care of my skin and not just worrying about what makeup products I use. If we take good care of our skin and use makeup that works well for us, we can slow down the aging process and look our best while we’re at it!

Today I want to share some of my favorite everyday beauty products that I use, including skincare and makeup.

Most days I go makeup free, but when I’m feeling motivated, or if I’m going somewhere that I’d like to look more polished, these are my go-to favorites of the moment:

  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer For Under Eyes – A little dab will do ya with this stuff. I apply a small amount of this creamy concealer with my finger by gently dabbing my under eye area. It conceals any darkness and under eye circles. I’m sure there is an appropriate brush to apply this with, but I go for fast and easy.

  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage – This stuff is great for if you have any spots of discoloration or blemishes on your face. Unlike the under eye concealer, I do use a brush to apply this. It comes with two colors in the palette, which I blend together and then apply if needed.

  • Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation PowderAnytime I wear makeup I wear this foundation powder. I apply it with my favorite foundation brush, not the sponge that comes with the powder. Do whatever works for you. Many days I skip the first two products I’ve listed and jump straight to this. It cuts down on time and often I don’t need the two concealers.

  • MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Bronzer – This bronzing powder is great and I use it for multiple things.  I do a very natural contour of the cheekbones with it, as well as other parts of my face.  When I’m really pressed for time I skip this step all together.  Another great use for this product that I learned from real beauty bloggers, is to apply the bronzer in the crease of your eyelid.  That’s right, it can act as an eyeshadow.  I love this idea because again, it’s quick and easy, and it gives you just a little bit of color while remaining very natural.  Genius!

  • MAC Cosmetics Sheer Tone Blush – I use different shades of blush, depending on my eye makeup or the time of year.  Lately I’ve been using the shade, “Breath of Plum.”  I would think it would work well for many different skin tones, as it’s a very pretty plum-pink color.  Blush always warms up my face nicely.

  • MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Highlight – Highlight is all the rage these days.  I know some ladies like to wear a lot of highlight….so much that they’d like to be seen from outer space.  More power to ya girl!  I like to just put a small amount on the highest points of my face.  This includes the upper cheekbone area, my temples, cupid’s bow, bridge of my nose and a touch on my chin.  If I don’t want to be glowy that day I just skip it.  My favorite shade is called, “Soft & Gentle.”

We cannot forget to talk about brows and mascara!  I’ve always been someone who likes to take care of my brows because I think they frame your face and really make the rest of your potential makeup look great.  Like many others, I love the Anastasia Beverly Hills line when it comes to my brows.  Here’s what I use and my go-to mascara choices:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – This little pencil works wonders!  Depending on your touch and how heavy handed you want to be, you can achieve whatever brow look you want.  I just like to keep my natural shape and fill in the areas that might be slightly sparse.  Natural, yet defined is the balance I always hope to achieve.

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo – I recently switched up my brow routine by trying a powder duo.  When I first started doing my brows I always reached for powder.  I thought I’d see how I like this product from Anastasia, and I really like it.  I feel like I can be a little bit more precise because it requires the use of a brush, which I’ve always been more comfortable with regarding my eyebrows.  I go back and forth between the powder duo and brow wiz – sometimes what I use depends on if I’ve run out of one or the other.

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Synthetic Duo Brush (#12) – This is the best brow brush!  The bristles are nice and tight and the angle is very sharp for easy use.  This is the brush that I use when applying the powder duo above.  I also love that it has a spoolie brush on the end opposite of the angle brush.

  • Lancome Definicils Mascara – I used this mascara for the longest time and I recently revisited it.  The application brush is not big and fat and makes it easy to apply your mascara with precision.  This particular formula really lengthens and separates lashes nicely.  No spider legs here!

  • Le Volume De Chanel – Another favorite of mine!  I’ve been using this mascara on and off for years.  The brush is much fatter and allows you to pump up the volume of your lashes for a little bit more drama – hence the name.  In fact, I’m due to get another tube of this magic stuff.

Last but not least when it comes to makeup, the lip.  I always put something on my lips, especially if that’s all I have time for.  You can always find some type of lip product on me so I don’t get dry or chapped.  Here’s the rundown on my everyday lippies:

  • Christian Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm – I view this little lip product as an amped up chapstick.  I wear it whether I’m bare faced or not.  It is super hydrating and gives me some warmth with a natural color.  If I remember correctly, it now comes quite a few shades.  I think I have them all too.

  • Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Lip Balm – This stuff can be hard to get your hands on.  It frequently sells out online and is a bit more of a splurge, priced at close to $40.  It’s a cleverly packaged, non-pigmented lip balm that is extremely moisturizing.  I feel like I’m indulging when I wear it.  It’s something that is very simple but makes you feel good when you have it on your lips.  Treat yourself!

  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine – My mom was the one who encouraged me to get a few of these little babies.  These are more like a lipstick, yet are very sheer and give you a bit of color and shine.  They come in so many different shades and if you layer more product on you will get a more exaggerated color.  After having Gia my mom said this is a nice lip product to wear when you don’t have the time or energy for other makeup.  It makes you feel a little bit more pulled together and still is very natural.  Great buy for busy ladies or women who like the sheer look.

Makeup does nothing if you don’t take good care of your skin.  You have to make sure your canvas is clean and clear so that your makeup products look their best, therefore making you feel your best with them on.  My skincare routine is pretty straight forward and I don’t foresee that it will be changing any time soon.  Here’s what I use everyday:

  • Rodan + Fields Redefine Regimen – I’m sure many of you have heard of R + F and have various opinions about it.  Many people are familiar with Proactiv, which was created by Rodan + Fields.  The products that I use are not as geared towards clearing acne as Proactiv.  (Although there are regimens that they make that are.) I use a regimen called Redefine, which is geared towards fighting signs of aging. You can never start too young when it comes to wrinkle prevention.  It’s a three step process that I do twice per day – once in the morning and once at night.  I start with a cleansing mask, followed by a toner, and finish with a moisturizer.  In addition to doing this daily, I use their microdermabrasion paste three times per week in lieu of the cleansing mask.  I swear by this paste!  The first time I used it my skin was beyond soft.  It scrubs away dead skin and really gives you a nice glow after using it.  I’m so much of a believer in these products that I’m also a consultant.

That’s the round up of my makeup and skincare!  I know there’s thousands of awesome products out there and I love trying new things.  Like I already said, I’m no beauty blogger, just a lover of quality beauty products.  I’m positive that there are better things out there than what I use, or better ways to apply these products, so please, be kind – these are just things that work for me and what I enjoy using.  It’s nice to share our favorite things with one another.

Comment with your favorite products or shoot me a message!  I’d love to see what everyone uses!

xo