Some people are so stylish they need more than one post. Deborah Brett is one of those people. Last week, Deborah talked us through her to-die-for wardrobe and style. If you haven’t already, read it here. Today, Deborah, Senior Contributing Fashion Editor to Red magazine and mother of 3-to-be (her third child is due in September) tells us how to navigate the tricky sartorial battle that is maternity dressing, gives us some great childrenswear shopping tips and spills the beans on her beautiful Ibiza home. And, if you get the chance and want to know more then check out Mini’s Fashion File, Deborah’s brilliant blog dedicated to her daughter’s equally covetable wardrobe.
Being pregnant with baby no 3, I’ve become a dab hand at maternity dressing. Firstly I know how my body is going to change and that it WILL change back, eventually. So I’m definitely less anxious about what to wear and what will fit and suit me this time round.
What I’ve learnt….
- Buy a few bits every few months. Your body changes can be slow one minute and then rapidly different the next. Pep up your wardrobe with something fresh every once in a while whilst also making sure to try on all your clothes you have at home again and again. What didn’t suit you in month 3 might actually look great in month 6.
- Invest in a few special items. If you love jeans, and wear them all the time when not pregnant then splurge on a great pair for your pregnancy, likewise if you live in dresses like me, buy a few really special ones from your favourite high street stores (I favour Gap and Cos) but in a size up. I also love the retro styles and simple shapes of InPig – my new favourite, vintage-inspired maternity range.
- Definitely buy a pair of pregnancy leggings/footless tights (I like Boden or M&S) and a pair of roll down jersey maternity pants for the last month (I like Isabella Oliver).
- Treat yourself. I always treat myself to a great pair of shoes (this time round it was a leopard pair of Celine espadrilles) and a great bag (a bright pink woven clutch by Sophie Anderson). I have worn these every day, they make me smile and I will wear them every day once my baby is here and for many more years to come.
- Grooming! Give yourself a blowdry, a manicure, wear some lipstick because all these things will make you look and feel way more glamourous when your changing body is out of your control.
I used to have a beauty column when I worked at The Times, and I tried every product under the sun. My skin didn’t love me so much for that, and now that I’m a little older I’ve become rather loyal to the few products that really work for me. Here are my favourites….
- I’m a big fan of the brand Skinceuticals. Their B5 gel moisturizer and the CE Ferulic acid are great.
- However, I’d been using them for ten years so I recently felt that I needed a change. My new faves are Essence 27 serum by M.E SkinLab (which contains hylauronic acid – a must for great hydration) which I use in the morning and then at night I’m loving Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. If my skin needs a little extra t.l.c I will layer it up like a mask and the next day my skin is plumped and vibrant again.
- In the winter I then use Baume 27’s thick cream over the serum. Its not scented and just acts as a great hydrating barrier.
- Another favourite is Cane and Austin’s re-texturizing treatment pads with 10% Glycolic acid. They just stop a burgeoning spot in its tracks and give my skin its weekly exfoliation.
- If there’s one product I couldn’t live without (and I had to when they briefly stopped production and I literally didn’t know what to do!) it’s Estee Lauder’s Daywear Sheer Tint Release. It has a light cucumber scent and comes out as grayish cream, but when rubbed between the palms and onto the face it changes to the colour of your skin tone, acting as a light tinted moisturizer with an added Spf of 15. I adore it. It gives my skin a real glow without being overly shiny and evens out my skin tone making me look fresh as a daisy, even if I don’t feel like one.
- As with my style, I change my make-up and hair to go with the look of the day. So, for example when I’m channeling a more minimalist modern look, I often leave my eyes make up free (no mascara, just a dab of Vaseline on the lid) and instead opt for a bold matte lip. My favourite brand is NARS. I adore their chubby Velvet Matt Lip Pencils especially in Red Square for a strong pop of colour. Although this winter I think I will be going bolder and darker (think Michelle Williams in the new Vuitton ads) with the Cruella and Damned colours.
- When I go for a more rock chick vibe, I will leave the lip quite natural and focus on the eyes. My favourite eyeliner for a smoky sexy look is Powersurge by MAC (a bronzed chocolate gold colour). I literally just rub it into the lower lash line, it’s as easy as that.
- If I want to add more depth I use Guerlain’s loose kohl, which I apply to the inner upper and bottom line of my eye by running the kohl stick along my eye from the inner corner to the outer edge but with my eye closed (this is how it covers the upper and lower eye simultaneously).
- Finally, if I’m going for a retro look, I often add a 50’s eyeliner flick with the help of a pot of MAC’s Fluidline gel eyeliner and Screen Face’s angled liner brush.
- For extra inspiration I’m loving all the on line videos available from top make-up artists. I often see how these looks are done on my cover shoots, but now Lisa Eldridge, Kay Montano and Charlotte Tilbury can show you at home too. These make-up tutorials are such fun to try out at home with your girlfriends.
- I’m always playing around with different hairstyles from beachy (I still love Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray) to 90’s gelled minimalist (I love SachaJuan’s hair paste) but until I found Babyliss’ Big Hair Curler I was unable to give myself my very own bouncy blow dry. Now I simply wash, rough dry and then partition my hair into sections and blowdry using the rotating big dry brush.
- My favourite hair care product is the range from Phyllia de M from Victoria Health (one of all time favourite health and beauty websites), its shampoo, conditioner and connect spray containing Fulvic acid has revitalized my hair since having children (when it fell out and fell out and continued to fall).
- I’m really fussy about my body moisturizer. Not only do I have to love the scent but it also needs to soak into the skin and not sit on top and then it needs to actually work. My all time favourite is Seven Wonders Miracle Lotion from Victoria Health. It smells divine and works wonders. Just ignore the packaging which is beyond uncool. But hey the product works so who cares!
Finally, when it comes to beauty, I’m a big fan of Get the Gloss, an amazing website set up by beauty journalists Susannah Taylor and Sarah Vine.
It’s amazing, in the five years since I started having children, kidswear has gone crazy. There is just so much to choose from and the prices have gone crazy too. I give almost daily style updates on my blog Mini’s Fashion File, an ode to my daughter Mini and her wardrobe.
- I do love a bit of designer for my kids but instead of buying them full price, I only shop from them in the sale and if there is something I really like I will buy it in a few sizes. My favourites include the French label Bonpoint and its more utilitarian sister label Bonton as well as Caramel Baby & Child (think Marni with its off beat colours and retro patterns).
- I’m always a fan of a Stella McCartney‘s kids sale. Being a similar age to Stella I love the 70’s retro summer dresses and cork wedges that remind me of my own childhood while her boyswear with its kooky scribbled t-shirts and dressing up style jackets makes an outfit really individual.
- I also love the website Little Fashion Gallery and am so excited that they have finally added their own range.
- I’m also a big fan of the high street for kids and adore Jules Oliver’s Little Bird range for Mothercare. For girls I love the floral sprig sun-dresses, broderie anglaise and glitter sandals found at The Gap and Mini Boden (too obvious with their colour palette and imagery for boys I’m afraid).
- Cos, Zara and J.Crew’s Crewcuts range are a hit for both sexes with good quality and great design to boot.
- But nothing beats H&M’s All for Children range. It’s a collection which not only benefits Unicef, but is both incredibly well priced and super cool. Everything they do, from the accessories (funky animal hats and shoes) to the best party dresses and brocade coats to grey flannel suits and striped braces. I want it all.
I’ve just finished renovating our holiday home in Ibiza and it’s been the best fun doing it up. Set on the coast it’s a real beach house, so I wanted to reflect not only the seascape but also the rugged landscape of Ibiza. It’s all blue and white, but the textures are faded and worn and the furniture has those elements too. We mixed leather, rope, seagrass and zinc to great effect.
- I’d thought we might find all those things right on the island but in fact it was tougher than we thought. Instead it was mix of things found in London as well as on the British coast and on Ebay.
- The fabrics were mainly sourced from my new favourite find – Fermoie (I’m obsessed!). Set up by the guys who founded Farrow and Ball, their beautifully printed fabrics are produced in Wiltshire and come in every colour way desired. I chose a range of their blue fabrics in an array of different prints, and not just for my bedroom, but also our cushions for our outside dining chairs.
- I found our collapsible dining tables and the zinc topped coffee table from my favourite antique shop Myriad in Holland Park West London, they really have the best eye.
- Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than drinking my tea from my striped Sue Binns mugs found at the Conran shop. Their non-uniform form and striped pattern are so comforting yet elegant.
- My favourite art shop/gallery is Wilson Stephens and Jones. They do some fantastic prints from Hugo Guinness and Massimo Daniellis to these gorgeous Cyanotype prints of ferns and trees by the artist Henrietta Molinaro.
Thanks Deborah! We not only want your style, we also want your house….