Why More and More People Are Wearing Makeup While Giving Birth
“In our social media culture, every milestone moment — even ones that are supposed to be a surprise — are now prepared for,” says Bobbi Brown, makeup artist and founder of Jones Road Beauty. Brown’s three sons are now adults and when she gave birth, her makeup prep was just moisturizer and lip balm to keep her skin comfortable. “My own first post-birth photos are more photo-journalistic than they are beauty spreads,” she says. That’s not to stay there was no aesthetic planning involved. Brown opted to prepare for the big event with the beauty services she knew she wouldn’t have time for once she had a newborn. This included getting her hair colored, a mani and pedi, and bikini wax.
It gives people power and control.
On a more psychological and emotional level, birthing makeup can be a form of self-care for some. Dr. Hack says that putting on makeup or even something as simple as taking a shower can lift someone’s spirits in those early hours of labor. “Giving birth is not the easiest experience, so the little bit that you can do for yourself before devoting 24/7 to your new baby can be the dose of positive energy that you need,” says Dr. Hack. “Birthing makeup makes you feel and look your best — or as best as you could.”
There is some research to support this. When used as a creative outlet and form of human connection, makeup can increase self-esteem and foster an environment of self-acceptance, according to some studies. “Wearing makeup is such a simple act that can really boost a [person’s] mental strength and confidence to carry through those tough labor hours,” says Teen.
Lead makeup artist on Euphoria and founder of Half Magic Beauty Donni Davy agrees, and adds that if makeup is a form of your own personal self-care, you should have no qualms about doing it whenever you want to lift your spirits. “Whether that means shaving your legs [or] putting on your power-shade of lipstick, doing anything that makes you feel lovely before you give birth it is a self-affirming act,” Davy says.
Davy said she considered doing a full face when she gave birth to her first child earlier this year, in order to feel like a “powerful version” of herself. In the end, though, she pivoted to styling her hair for a softer statement. “Instead of doing my makeup on the day, I decided to French braid my hair so that it would be out of my face, and so that I’d have mermaid waves when I took the braids out.” The only makeup she used: clear brow gel. “When my brows are lifted, my mood is lifted,” she says. Davy adds that if she decides to have another baby, she’ll consider some graphic glitter eyeliner at the hospital to make an even more meaningful first impression. “In retrospect, I wish I did one of my pink shampoos and wore something colorful on my eyes so my baby could have been greeted with more color when he looked up at me during those first couple of days,” she says. “Even if it would have been blurry to him.”