I’ll be honest with you. I am 7 months pregnant and I have yet to buy a single piece of maternity wear. While it’s been a little challenging, I have managed to get through the past wintery months wearing big sweaters and leggings practically (uh, literally) every day. It has been winter here since I started showing, and now that it’s finally getting really warm, I am just going to transition into flowy dresses (Zara, etc….) and sandals. Beyond clothes, I really haven’t needed to buy much either, but what I did purchase has saved me. From books to beauty to better sleep strategy, these are my mama-to-be necessities that have gotten me through months 0-7.

Compression Leggings 

Doctors in Switzerland can write you a prescription for two pairs of compression socks that are meant to last you through your entire pregnancy. Here is what goes down. I told my Dr. that I feel like my legs are retaining water, so he wrote me a prescription for these tight fitting medical leggings. I went the pharmacy, stripped down, and the pharmacists measured my legs (as if this is something they do every day). A few days later, my custom pair was ready for pickup. I opted for the thigh-high toeless version and MAN! they are tight. But surprisingly comfortable. I legit wear them from the moment I hop out of bed to when I take my evening half-bath. Why? Well, they help with just about everything from swelling to water retention to helping to prevent varicose veins.

Beauty oils

I’ve already done a whole post on this, but basically I have never been so into lathering, or I guess I should say lubing, my entire body in oils and creams until now. I swear by Pai, Tata Harper and Susanne Kaufmann.

Pregnancy Pillow

My husband bought this for me because he couldn’t help but notice that once I’d hit 20 weeks and was told to start sleeping on my side I had become a restless sleeper. The u-shaped pillow is everything and makes the uncomfortable process of going to sleep with a growing belly so much better.

Lulu Lemon Wunder Under Leggings / Belly Bandit Bump Support Leggings

I have lived in these two leggings for the past few months, so I had to get multiple pairs. Lulu’s don’t cover my whole belly, but they really suck everything in from the butt down. I use these for yoga and generally all day long. I actually ordered Lulu’s in a size larger than my normal size and they fit perfectly. Belly Bandit’s bump support pair are ultra-comfortable, smooth out my stomach and keep everything in its place. I wear these at night or when I am wearing something tighter on top. I wear both pairs on top of my compression leggings.

Wild Nutrition Plant Based Vitamins

Whether you are pregnant or not, vitamins are your friend. While I had to drop all the excess vitamins I was taking pre-pregnancy, I order exactly what I need on a monthly subscription so I never have to worry about running out. I love Wild Nutrition because they are completely natural, plant based and not filled with unknown chemical ingredients. The also have vitamins specifically for fertility (both for the man and the women) and for pregnancy. Not a lot of brands can say the same. This is what my monthly order looks like: 1 Food Grown Folic Acid, 1 Food Grown Pregnancy and 2 Omega 3 (Henry takes these two).

Vitamix

I wouldn’t say that my diet has changed that much since getting pregnant – I actually just eat even healthier. I am really psycho about what I put in my body, always thinking to myself first, “how will this effect the baby?” Not including the first 3 months, which was a weird time for me diet-wise (nothing appealed to me), I have observed the following food cravings: cottage cheese, smoothies, avocado, pureed soups, gluten-free bread, raw protein balls and chocolate. I’m making a lot more of my meals, so I end up using my Vitamix a few times a day. This helps me know exactly what is going into my food and in to my body.

Books I love

I have ordered and cruised through more books over the past six months than I have in as long as I can remember, covering a wide spectrum of topics, from pregnancy diets, natural childbirth, breast-feeding, postpartum nourishment, vaccines, managing stress and emotions…the list goes on and on. If someone I trusted recommended something, I bought it. These were my favorites: Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina, Pregnancy and Childbirth Magical Beginnings Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chapra, M.D., Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood – and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chidi Cohen, The First 40 Days by Heng Ou and lastly, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.

What were your favorite books? Please send me your mama-to-be recommendations.

Image, Emily Blunt photographed by Norman Jean Roy, Vogue, April 2014.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t into moisturizing my body until I got pregnant. Now, it’s part of my my nightly (and sometimes daily) ritual. I actually look forward to it. The best part? It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to actually make a difference. Anti-aging, stretch marks, cellulite – below are a few of my favorite products to help you achieve soft, supple, smooth, baby-like skin. All of them are organic and non-toxic, so you can feel good about using them, pregnant or not.

For mothers and moms-to-be

Pai Stretch Mark System

I have been using this lovely 2-part system for the past few months, and I have to say, it’s good. I use the pomegranate and pumpkin seed cream during the day, and the oil at night. (How delicious-sounding are those flavors?) Bursting with wonderful regenerating ingredients, the cream and oil work together to maximize skin elasticity. They allow skin to stretch and bounce back into shape without showing signs of damage. Bingo.

For a delicious smell and silky texture

Susanne Kaufmann Body Butter

There isn’t another body butter quite like this one. I just can’t get over how good the smell is and the texture of the cream. It’s light, yet thick and absorbs surprisingly quickly. It’s also made with super effective and luxurious ingredients that are totally safe for mamas to be. I have recommended this to so many friends and they always become hooked.

Because our hands should never be under-valued

Susanne Kaufmann Hand Serum

Our hands! You cant forget them, you just can’t. This rejuvenating hand serum helps repair and regenerate with a high concentration of active ingredients. It contains a three-dimensional herbal hyaluronic acid, which acts on the surface and skin deep. Antioxidants and the coenzyme Q10 strengthen the feeling of elasticity and aid in the collagen production, while diminishing the appearance of dark spots, so hands feel silky and look youthful. Get it girl.

For cellulite and stretch marks

Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm

I know, I know. I have been told that stretch marks are hereditary – but that doesn’t mean that I am just going to stop trying. Using this is like bringing out the big guns. The texture is really dense and almost grainy, but in a good way, because you can really feel it getting absorbed into the skin. This is a great solution if you already have stretch marks, cellulite or scars that you want to diminish. It delivers optimal, concentrated moisture for a soft, supple appearance. Plus, 100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. Win-win-win-win.

For eczema-prone skin and for mother & baby

Pai Apple and Mallow Blossom Face and Body Cream

So light and lovely and I love the dual-purpose aspect. I have really grown to love Pai Skincare. It’s such a great brand if you have any sort of skin sensitivity, yet still want anti-aging and botanical technology. This miracle cream can be used on you and your little baby, too. It’s certified organic, paraben and fragrance-free and is super hydrating. You can read more about it here.

For social consciousness and intense healing

Abhati Kanva Body Lotion

This all-natural, sustainable, fair trade line is my new obsession. Each product is packed with only the most effective and cleanest ingredients – like Himalayan wild cherry, Indian gooseberry, edelweiss and coconut oil. This particular body lotion is infused with nourishing essential oils, lipid-rich plant oils, antioxidants and powerful botanical extracts to hydrate, soften and protect your skin. Although it’s made in Switzerland, you can snag it in the US at Credo.

For anywhere and everywhere

8Faces

There is a lot to love about this grapefruit smelling solid oil. A little goes a long way, so I like to keep this by my bed to address whatever area might need a little extra TLC – elbows, feet, knees, chest, neck, you name it. It’s jam-packed with powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and a rich source of essential fatty acids, so you can guarantee intense hydration all over. It’s a nightstand essential.

Image, by Mario Testino, Vogue, December 2012.

Lately I have gotten really into dry skin brushing. Why? Well, I heard that you can dry-brush when pregnant. Now there are sooo many things that you can’t do when pregnant, aka basically everything, so I thought to myself, if this is something that is allowed, well then I’m going to do it! I’ve always been an obsessive exfoliator, and while I’ll always continue with that routine, I have made time, at least once a week, for this slightly more holistic treatment.

Important note for those who are expecting: get the OK from your doctor first before dry-brushing. Also make sure to be extra gentle, especially around the stomach. Use very light strokes or avoid the stomach area completely if it feels uncomfortable.

What is dry-brushing?

Dry skin brushing is one of the most natural, effective and inexpensive methods for reducing cellulite and promoting healthy, glowy skin. It buffs away dead skin, boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage and rids the body of toxins. Interested? Uh, who wouldn’t be.

I spoke with Joanna Vargas, New York City based esthetician, celeb facialist (clients like Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz, NBD) and skin care expert, for the low-down on dry brushing.

Why: “The main purpose of dry brushing is to stimulate collagen production, which will help thicken the skin and lessen the appearance of cellulite. It also increases blood flow to the skin, and helps the lymphatic system release toxins by aiding digestion and kidney function. It also dramatically increases elasticity, so it’s great for lifting and toning problem areas. Results usually appear within the first two weeks!”

How often: “Dry brushing every day on heels, elbows and knees considerably improves their texture. Dry brushing immediately increases circulation, so you will feel warmer when you are done—perfect for winter! Try it before you get into the shower in the morning and you will see a difference in your skin quality and cellulite in days. But you can also just attempt to do this once a week.”

Type of Brush: “Look for a course bristled brush. The bristles should be natural, not synthetic, and preferably vegetable-derived. Find a brush with an attached handle for hard to reach spots.”

Direction: “Start at the tops of the feet and brush upwards towards the heart, making long sweeps, avoiding an overly harsh back and forth motion. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don’t forget to include the backs of the arms and your back.”

Post brushing: I like to follow with a nice body butter containing Shea and Cocoa Butter, especially in the winter for ultimate softness and hydration.”

Thanks Joanna for your incredible insight! I recommend this brush from Cap Beauty and clean body butters by Tata Harper, Earth Tu Face and Susanne Kaufmann.

A few weeks ago I was challenged on Instagram by @rawandroasted to list 5 facts about myself. One of the facts was that I use a facemask everyday. Spoiler alert: this doesn’t mean that I sit in a bubble bath reading magazines, face-masking away for hours. No way. I usually apply it in the morning or night, right after I have to wash my face. I leave it on for 15 minutes or so while I am doing other things.

But I digress. Since revealing my daily masking ritual, I thought I’d follow up with the products I’m loving right now. Since I’m newly(ish) pregnant, I’m trying to overhaul my entire routine, focusing on organic and all-natural products that are safe for the baby. I don’t want any negative ingredients seeping into the baby even if I know that it will do wonders on my skin. Whether you’re also expecting or are just looking to up your masking game, here are my recommendations.

Where to Shop

When I lived in New York, I loved popping into Shen Beauty to see whatever masks Jessica, the founder of the Brooklyn-based shop, was using. Since moving to Europe, I discovered Oh My Cream! in Paris, which has a really great selection, as well as Context in London. As far as online shopping goes, I love Shen, Credo and Detox Market, which all provide lots of clean options.

The Masks to Look For

Not all masks are created equal, which is why you really need more than one. These are the best masks that are gentle enough for pregnancy, but strong enough to leave your skin tight, glowy and purified. Concerning everyday masks, I typically steer away from the sheet kind (with the exception of SK-II) because they are more restricting and you are forced to stay put, which I hate. Sheet masks do come in quite handy on airplanes which is why I always have one or two with me.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask – I had to start with this because it has been my go-to secret weapon for years. It really gives your skin a visible lift and leaves it soft and…glowing. Seriously, though. It’s also organic and filled with technologically evolved ingredients.

May Lindstrom The Honey Mud – This is a multi-tasker. It’s a mask and a cleanser in one. I prefer the former, because it feels a little indulgent to use daily as a cleanser, but hey, it works. I highly recommend it for sensitive skin, because it removes impurities without over drying. If my skin is really dry, I like to use it pre-shower. The heat of the shower really helps open my pores so the mask can work it’s magic.

Josh Rosenbrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask – This activating facial treatment detoxifies and rejuvenates the skin, thanks to some super powerful plant synergies. Cacao is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there and boosts circulation to liven dulled or stressed skin. It also helps elevate breakouts, which is clutch. It always gives my face a nice flush, which makes me feel like its really working. If you are on the sensitive side, be aware that you will pink up a little bit, so make sure to cool your skin after use. Ps – it smells like warm brownies. Need I say more?

Live Live Bee Yummy Skin Food – Let me run through the ingredients: Wildflower Honey, Honey Cappings, Bee Pollen, Propolis, St. John’s Wort Oil, Royal Jelly, Purified Water and Balsam Fir Needles as fragrance. Pretty heavenly, no? This organic and raw face cream and mask combo is insanely moisturizing and great for those who have sensitive skin. It’s super rejuvenating and perfect way to heal your skin after a day or sun or pollution. Oh, and you can get it on Amazon, which makes it super easy.

Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Eye Mask – It says it, right on the packaging, “Treatment for a lifted look.” I think all moms-to-be could use a little lift right? I can’t do any of the treatments that I love so much (chemical peels, lasers, acid, the list goes on), which is why I needed this eye mask in my life. Since using it, I became so addicted and started using it as an eye cream. It gives the eye area the appearance of being lifted and sculpted, while smoothing the look of crow’s feet and reducing the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and signs of fatigue. This is the ultimate eye mask and I highly recommend it.

One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub and Mask – I like to use this once a week as either a scrub or mask. Here’s the drill: As a scrub, mix 1/2–1 teaspoon of Brand New Day with warm water to form a creamy paste. Massage onto damp face and throat using gentle, circular motions. Remove with warm water. As a mask, mix 1 teaspoon of Brand New Day with 2 teaspoons of water for a luxurious, tightening masque. For an extra treat, mix with 2 teaspoons of plain Greek yogurt for a clarifying masque OR fresh, raw honey for a hydrating masque. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Remove with warm water. How cool is that?! I have to say girls, THIS really works and you feel like a chemist putting it together. (Psst. my favorite is adding honey.)

Image, Irina Shayk via Instagram.

When I found out I was pregnant, I started tossing all the products in my cabinet that weren’t totally clean. I really believe that, when possible, it’s smart to incorporate natural and organic beauty into your routine during pregnancy. Since this month marks the beginning of my 2nd trimester, I decided to get down to business and share my latest routine with all of you. Whether you’re also expecting or just looking for some ultra-clean substitutes to rotate into your regimen, scroll for major inspiration.bella hadid by ben rayner for wonderland september / october 2015

Spacemasks Self Heating Eye Mask – I am obsessed with these! Each single pouch contains a self-heating eye mask that basically transports you to another dimension. These babies relieve relieve eye strain and restore a restful glow. Pro tip: I love using these when I fly!

8 Faces – finally got my hands on this! 8 Faces is an all-in-one balm that is truly one of a kind. Made with Amla Berry, a super-fruit rich Vitamin C, this transformative solid oil boosts collagen, fights free radicals and brings a fresh glow to the skin. I absolutely adore the smell. The grapefruit, geranium and lavender blend is super calming. I use it right after masking to lock in the moisture.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – I am using this oil just about everywhere. Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty got me really into Rosehip and I’ve been addicted ever since. I add a few drops to my moisturizer and a few drops into my stretch mark oil. This beauty oil is totally clean and clinically proven to improve skin evenness, add brightness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Patyka Intensive Moisturizing Mask – I popped into the coolest French beauty store Oh My Cream! and asked them what the best facemask is. This was their answer. This French brand is totally new to me, but I have been super happy with the results of this intense mask. It’s the kind of mask that you can use bi-weekly to plump and firm the skin. Highly recommend.

David Mallett Hair Serum #DM027 – another recent Paris find. David himself recommended this product to me (right after he told me that I remind him of Jennifer Connelly!!!). The serum is great for girls with not-so-thick hair. Apply to wet hair post-shampoo and conditioner. It’s also a dream for taming flyaways.

Tata Harper Crème Riche – I honestly don’t think there is a better nighttime moisturizer out there. If you do, can you please let me know what it is? This super rich cream is formulated with sixteen sources of hydration and twelve sources of age-defying botanicals that lift and plump the skin. Hyaluronic and essential fatty acids help lock in moisture for an instantly soft, supple, youthful appearance. Pro tip: make sure to really massage the product in your fingers before applying it to the face. (You know, it’s the same with La Mer.)

RMS Beauty Myth Eye Polish – I just picked up this baby in Paris last weekend and how was I living without this for so long??? UGH it’s good. It’s flesh colored so it gives the lid a slightly darker, more dramatic look. It feels a little 90s in the best way ever and gives that wet look too. I use it without any liner both day and night.

The Nue Co. Plant Protein + Gut Food – I was devastated to learn that the Clean Program shakes were a no-no during pregnancy. I emailed them myself and they said that Vitamin A levels were too high. During my 1st trimester and pre-pregnancy, I was following a strict TCM diet and so I gave up smoothies. Starting this year I am back on them and NOTHING makes me happier to get out of bed in the morning. This pea/ hemp mix has been the perfect replacement.

Tata Concentrated Brightening Essence – Pre-pregnancy, I was addicted to the SK-II Facial Essence Treatment (who knows maybe I’d still be using it but I literally just ran out). I used it for years and I still swear by it. In place of the SK-II version, I starting using Tata’s. I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks and it too is incredible. The lightweight essence is infused with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy technology and gives the complexion a toned and refined look, helping minimize the appearance of dark spots for a more even, luminous glow. It also boosts the performance of whatever serum I’m using. Need I say more?

Anything by Dr. Barbara Sturm…ok, her Glow Drops – Ok, so I know that this isn’t technically clean, BUT, I did watch Dr. Sturm apply these products onto her very own child and she used all her own products on herself when pregnant. And if anyone knows what is in them and the effects of this, it’s Dr. Sturm. Im going to take her word and incorporate her Glow Drops into my routine for added dewiness. It’s something I could really use a little more of right about now (hello, pale me). The point of her newest product is to transform and revitalize tired, dull skin and restore its radiance. Light reflecting pigments instantly create a visible youthful radiance and even cut out irregularities in complexion. I am mixing a few drops in with my serum and applying all over my face, eye area and neck. Voila.

Images, Bella Badid by Ben Rayner for Wonderland September / October 2015.