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With her third child on the way, makeup artist Gucci Westman reveals her morning and evening beauty rituals.
With more than 20 years of makeup artistry experience and two kids (her third is on schedule to arrive in September), Gucci Westman knows exactly what she wants from her pregnancy beauty regimen. Her recipe? Weekly lymphatic drainage massages to eliminate puffiness, her own custom take on maternity fashion (she prefers sticking elastic into her favorite Rag & Bone jeans), and products starring clean ingredients. “I get sent so many beauty products and I love trying them all,” says Westman. “But there are only a few I go back to.”
Just a month before giving birth, the ever-stylish makeup artist and mom spoke to The Violet Files about her morning and evening rituals and those choice formulas that have her hooked.
I wake up pretty naturally, usually when the kids do. But during the school year I set my alarm for 6:40.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS
The first thing I do in the morning is meditate for 20 minutes. It’s something I actually grew up doing. My parents have always been into Eastern philosophy, but over the past five years I’ve been meditating regularly with my husband. We sit in bed and do our transcendental meditation apps. Transcendental Meditation Timer is our favorite. It’s a nice start to the day.
“I can’t wait to get my roots done.”
After meditating I cleanse with the the Drunk Elephant Juju Cleansing Bar, or I’ll use the Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, which has lactic acid and is a really gentle powder-based scrub. I do that on my face, chest, neck, and hands because it’s so granular and it removes any pollution from living in New York City.
During my pregnancy I’ve been really trying to avoid chemicals or any strong fragrances, parabens, or silicones. I tend to reach for products that have fewer ingredients and look for names that I actually recognize and understand. I also abstain from ingredients that are stimulants, including oils like cinnamon, basil, clove, rosemary, and clary sage. My masseuse, Cynthia King—who I see for hot oil massages weekly—believes that pregnancy is a time for preserving energy for the mother and the baby, and knows to apply only diluted calming oils like lavender, rose, and chamomile.
I’ve been using a lot of In Fiore products, which aren’t overly fragrant. After I cleanse, I apply the In Fiore Crème de Fleur Complexe Rejuvené. It has a very light, lotion-y type finish and it awakens my skin and refines the texture. Over the past couple of months my skin has been very reactive and I’ve had some rosacea. It’s gotten better since using the In Fiore Calming Oil. I’m also a fan of the SK-II Facial Treatment Oil, which is blended with the signature ingredient Pitera. It’s great in the humidity because it’s so light. But if I don’t feel like an oil is hydrating enough, I’ll mix it with the Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I’m more interested in the prep because that makes for the perfect canvas. I really like using Sarah Chapman’s Skin Insurance SPF 30 while my skin has been super sensitive because the scent is gentle and the texture is not chalky or heavy. It has a little bit of coverage and makes my skin appear really even. Other foundations I use are RMS “Un” Cover-Up, Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer, or this French pharmacy brand called Plante System Tinted Moisturizing Fluid with Hibiscus. It’s organic and it gives a little bit of a tint. I also like to fill in my eyebrows with Hourglass Sculpting Brow Pencil to make them a little bit more groomed. Then I’ll either use the Tata Harper Contour or Guerlain Bronzing Powder for a little warmth. For my lips, I’ll apply a little bit of Burt’s Bees Sheer Lipstick. It doesn’t even look like I have color on; it just makes my lips appear a little fuller.
People are always surprised that my face isn’t puffy while I’m pregnant—that’s mostly because I get lymphatic drainage facial massages about every week. My go-to facialist is Georgia Louise. I can’t use all the gadgets she has, such as her microcurrent machine, but I always get a facial massage. When doing it yourself, it’s important to apply pressure where your neck finishes and goes into your collarbone.
BATH OR SHOWER?
I always shower in the morning. The bath makes me a little anxious that I need to be doing other things. I exfoliate pretty regularly and I have been using the Omorovicza Gold Sugar Body Scrub, which has fair-trade cane sugar and leaves a squeaky clean finish. When I’m in a rush I apply Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Scrub—I don’t need to moisturize afterward because it leaves a hydrating, luminous quality. But after every shower I try to give myself a belly massage with Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm in a clockwise motion. It’s beneficial for the baby’s general well-being and development, and it helps prevent stretch marks.
I’ve never bought anything from a maternity shop. I got elastic put into my jeans because I want to try and dress the way I do normally so I tend to go with what I have. I always prefer empire dresses or button-down shirts and jeans. I just feel less attractive immediately when I’m wearing something maternity. It’s just not as appealing.
Hands down, my favorite exercise in the world is The Class with Taryn Toomey. I love exercise and I feel like I don’t sleep well if I don’t work out. But while pregrant I have been taking Samantha Moriarty’s class at the studio. She does a combination of yoga and The Class for prenatal, and it’s amazing. I’ve tried a lot of different things, and The Class changes your body forever. I also go on bike rides or swim. My prenatal teacher explained that being in the pool is great because you create a sort of hammock with your belly and it feels really good for the baby.
With my first two kids I was way more neurotic about ingredients. I still don’t really drink caffeine, but if I’m super tired, I’ll do a shot of espresso and half decaf with almond milk (which I make myself twice a week). Sometimes I have herbal mint or ginger tea with lemon. Lately I’ve been mixing Sun Potion Tocos, which is derived from the bran of organically grown brown rice, with coconut oil and hot water. It tastes delicious and it’s full of vitamins D and E and helps drain any toxins from your system. I also always have a toasted Ezekiel English muffin with almond butter and a little honey and blueberries. I’m trying to get some more protein while pregnant, so I’m forcing myself to eat eggs too.
I think it’s really important to try to stay calm. Listening to your intuition is more important than ever.
NIGHTTIME BEAUTY RITUALS
At night I like to cleanse with Joelle Ciocco Perfecting Lotion, Environ C-Quence Cleanser, or the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser. My skin has been a little more reactive lately, so I love using the May Lindstrom Honey Mud Mask to help soothe my complexion. Other go-to masks include the SK-II Sheet Mask or the Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Mask. After using a mask, I apply Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, which I’m a big fan of, or I use the Omorovicza Gold Rescue Cream, which is really nourishing. Another moisturizer I like to use at night is the SK-lI LXP Ultimate Revival Cream because it’s super hydrating. I tend to alternate products because I feel like my skin plateaus and doesn’t respond to the same thing. I might use one oil for a week, and then I’ll switch the next.
I’m really into my Deesee Spectrum LED Mask. It’s definitely worth the investment [the gadget costs more than $2,000]. I get so much use out of it, and the results are pretty instantaneous. It has three different light settings and I do that two to three days a week for 20 minutes. Especially now that my skin has been inflamed, I see a big difference in the morning. My skin emerges calmer and less red, and my pores appear tighter. It’s a little anti-social, but I read or watch a movie while wearing it.
While I try to keep things natural, I have to admit, if I’m going to special event and I need my skin to look flawless I definitely will use the Cle de Peau Concealer with the Chanel Le Beige Foundation because I like the lightness of it. I don’t wear makeup very often, so I feel like it’s okay to use something that’s not all natural. On my eyes I use this Chanel brownish matte eyeshadow and then I apply W3LL People Mascara.
My husband and I go to bed between 10:30 and 11. Getting eight hours is ideal, and I feel really awesome if I have a good night’s sleep.
Once I get the kids to bed, my husband and I will watch a TV show that we like, but in the summer we read. Right now I’m loving Elena Ferrante’s The Brilliant Friend. It’s a quadruple set. After I’m done with those I’m planning on starting The Girls and Fates and Furies. I love reading in the summer. It’s so relaxing.
I always drink Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea at night, and that definitely helps my sleeping routine. The older I get, the more sensitive I am to caffeine. I used to eat one dark chocolate–covered almond, but now I feel like even that keeps me awake. So, if anything, I’ll have a cut-up apple during the summer and in the winter I’ll eat an orange.
I like the Zelens Eye Cream, but I haven’t been using it while I’m pregnant. Sometimes I use the SK-II Eye Patches, which are great because they de-puff. They make a pretty significant difference.
WHAT DO YOU DREAM ABOUT?
Because I’m seven-and-a-half months pregnant my sleep has been pretty dicey. I tend to get pretty uncomfortable. You have to get into a good position, and I always hope for a decent night’s sleep. But when I dream it’s a variety of things. It can be super vivid and bizarre or fictional. It’s not like I dream about what I’m going to do the next day or something that’s tangible. It’s pretty random.
I tend to opt for pajamas. Currently I’m loving Stella McCartney’s pajama set, which includes a top and shorts (I have three sets). I don’t like wearing T-shirts that are too loose because they get bunchy under my skin. But I love pajamas! Love!
meet gucci westman
Get to the know the New York–based makeup artist who has worked with everyone from Bruce Weber to Grace Coddington.