Being published in the likes of Vogue, American Vogue, Red, Glamour, Sunday Times Style (the list is endless) hasn't stopped this lady lending her fountain of beauty knowledge to a new project, aimed specifically at us Mamas - MUMFACE.
Being a Mama herself, Grace understands our common beauty issues and the fact that our time to address these issues is somewhat limited... So she uploads digestible videos to her YouTube channel (read five to ten minutes), focuses on one topic at a time, and freely shares her tips, tricks and cheats she has amassed over the years as a Beauty Editor.
Most importantly perhaps, she is frikkin' funny. So if you're looking for a dose of comedic one-liners alongside Mama-friendly advice on how to look, from the outside at least, like you've got this parenting malarky totally nailed; then this article basically introduces you to your new beauty guru.
Spotlight on MUMFACE:
Give us an insight into MUMFACE.
It started as The Pregnant Beauty Guide – I had a really shit pregnancy and tried EVERYTHING in the pursuit of former bliss, including some of the things you’re warned off when I discovered there’s actually no harm in them (like having highlights and a manicure, hurrah!) Then as I got further from pregnancy, new issues arose and so I switched to MUM-FACE.com. I wanted to reclaim the term, which the Daily Mail was wanging on about being grey, dark circles and sheer desperation. I thought, sod that – it’s the same face, I just have a kid now! I wanted to say, it’s ok to make time for yourself, and if you really can’t, here’s how to cheat that feeling in the seconds you do have. I'm not about adding to the pressure women are subjected to on a daily basis to look a certain version of perfect. But I am interested in sharing the products and tips I’m privy to as a beauty editor that might make you feel good - the easy pick-me-ups and ways to recapture your old self in the midst of sleepless nights etc.
What beauty product do you swear by now that you’re a Mama?
Brow mascara – I’m quite new to the power brow myself, but it’s the ultimate cheat to looking like you’ve got your shit together. No matter what your skin, hair or eyes are doing, if I’ve done my brows (i.e. slicked a bit of mascara or pencil on, which takes about 30 seconds) I feel a bit alright. Maybe on a subconscious level it’s a message to the world that I’m nailing life so spectacularly I’ve even got time to splurge on a brow treatment?! When in reality I’m picking toothpaste off my jeans and wringing snot out of my hair.
What is the most common beauty issue Mamas raise with you and what advice do you give them in response?
Tired eyes, definitely. I say, invest in some smoke-and-mirrors action, and smile. Wrinkles? Mine are thanks to smiling, drinking too much, being up too late and having a lovely time so I wouldn’t trade them. Dark circles? They’re your ticket to free coffee and sympathetic offers of babysitting, in my experience. But say you’ve got a day at work ahead after 3 hours sleep, take a super hydrating eye cream, a slick of highlighter and some well-placed eyeliner, and you can also look fresh as a daisy. Again, brows can give that frame that both defines the eye and distracts from the bits you’re not keen on.
Spotlight on Mamahood:
What do you know today about Mamahood that you didn't know a month ago?
That if your washing machine isn’t working properly you don’t actually die, but it is really shit. And French braiding is a bastard craft I will never master.
Do you have a Mama ‘truth’ you keep secret in case of being judged by other parents and if so, would you care to share it today?
I just say all the worst things up front as part of the making-friends process. The right women will either laugh or rub my arm in solidarity, the wrong’uns will reveal themselves and I need not book a second playdate. Pre-kids I did it by swearing in the worst way, but the shameful mother stories give more immediate results.
What about your little person makes them so easy to love?
There’s nothing that makes it tricky. But when she does things absent-mindedly it sends me cuckoo – like stroking my hair while she’s watching TV or patting me on the knee during dinner. You literally can’t imagine what a meltdown ever even felt like for that split second. Then she reminds you…
When was the last time you felt 'Mama Guilt' and how do you deal with it?
I feel it whenever I’m not with her and a lot of the time I’m with her. The most major one of recent times was when I was on a work trip – my first three-nighter away from her – and despite the fact that she’d called after half an hour to say she loved me being away because she got to wear my shoes, I cried for most of the 7-hour flight. My husband deals with it on my behalf – I voice every guilt-making moment and the saint of a man tells me I’m ridiculous and ‘ad-abart’ which I think is Northern for, ‘Pull yourself together and get on with it, you beautiful creature’.
What is your Mama Mantra?
‘I will never let another human being shit on me in the bath. Once is enough.’
Spotlight on Grace:
What is currently on your nightstand?
Man At The Helm by Nina Stibbe, This Works Hand Cream, Ouli’s Ointment, my phone and a smashed midgie because I am a ninja when it comes to insects.
When you manage to find that elusive 'me-time', what do you do with it?
Rather shamefully, Netflix. Like a lot of Netflix. I let my mouth hang open, my head lolls and it’s like a really messed up version of meditation. A better version, because it involves the Dothraki.
What are the last three items on your bank statement?
A gin and tonic, a bottle of prosecco and a box of Diorlyte. Wahey.
Who inspires you and why?
Cher. Obviously. But also my mum who did a lot of parenting while my dad was working away, but also managed to live a thousand lives while she was at it, had a wildly diverse working life and aced all of her professional personas from aromatherapist to artist, all whilst being the best mum. WHAT? HOW?! And insta mums who tell it like it is and give each other an emoji fist-bump when the chips are down.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I wanted to be an actress but it all came to a crashing end when I failed to get the part to play my own father’s daughter. And I thought, maybe I should try something else.