by ANEEKA WARD
HOLLY BOWMAN, 29, MOM, LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
ON HER LOVE AFFAIR WITH MAKEUP
“I’ve always loved playing with makeup. My infatuation with beauty products began at a very young age. My mom, who is the ultimate natural beauty that hardly wears any makeup, had this pastel lilac and powder blue eyeliner in the 90’s that I was obsessed with. I remember putting it on while rocking the infamous mushroom cut and feeling so beautiful. There’s magic in makeup, I think.
ON THE PRESSURES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I prefer to read lifestyle and beauty blogs that are real and not pretentious. I like when the blogger is being transparent and I can relate, understand, and empathize with them. Sometimes it’s hard to read certain blogs because the posts feel self-indulgent and are full of humble brags. I get it; you own five kajillion Louis Vuitton bags and only wear YSL makeup. It’s just not realistic for normal people. As social media is everywhere these days, it is important to be vigilant and remember that those tiny squares on Instagram are simply the highlight reels of people’s lives. It is so incredibly easy to fall into the trap of feeling less than or not enough. I’ve been there and it sucks. Comparison is the thief of joy. It really is. Taking a social media break every once in awhile is necessary for me to gain back perspective, even though technically, it is my job. Life isn’t perfect, but that’s why it’s so lovely. I choose to use my lifestyle blog, Holly Bowman XO, to celebrate family, motherhood, and the simple pleasures of life. I hope to inspire my readers to celebrate the everyday. I feel so fortunate to be able to share my experiences and to inspire others. Ultimately, no matter the amount of likes, followers you have, or readers even, it is our responsibility to use our voices for good and to inspire. Even when you’re writing about being sleep-deprived and baby poop.
TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS
In the fall of 2014, I found out I was pregnant and my face broke out like crazy. At the time I wore a very heavy liquid foundation to give me the coverage I needed, but it was no longer co-operating with my skin. I was looking for a change. Ideally, something a little more natural that wasn’t going to make my pregnancy acne worse that it already was. Luckily, my friend recommended Cover FX Oil Free Finish Foundation to me. It is gluten-free, fragrance-free, mineral oil free, and talc-free! What I love the most about this foundation is how light it is considering I get great medium coverage of my face. Unfortunately, I do not have super clear skin all the time so I really enjoy being able to layer this foundation and build in areas that need a little extra coverage without having it looking super caked on. Another plus of Cover FX foundation is that it is water-based and doesn’t dry out my skin. It gives me a soft-finish, which is what I am looking to create on my face. I love that it is formulated without a lot of fillers. That is so important to me.
I use my Original Batiste Dry Shampoo at least twice a week. As a first-time mom to a very busy, but adorable, one year old, my opportunities to wash my hair are not as frequent as they used to be. I stumbled across it in a Shoppers Drug Mart and thought I would give it a try because I was in desperate need of a little help between hair washes. It’s so easy to use. I’ve used other powders and sprays in the past, but they always required constant fluffing of the hair and intense massaging of the roots in order to hide the powder. This spray is so quick and effective, the perfect product for a new mommy. When I use this dry shampoo I can go without washing my hair for about two to three days, tops. I don’t think it’s wise to leave any product in your hair for much longer than that; having product built-up on your scalp is no-good. But hallelujah for those 2-3 days!
Burt’s Bee’s Lipstick in Fuchsia Flood is my favourite. It goes on so perfectly matte. This lipstick comes in 14 shades and I think there is a shade for just about everyone. I’ve always loved Burt’s Bees products and I discovered this lipstick line through a partnership I did with my blog. I was thrilled to discover a 100% natural lipstick made of yummy ingredients like beeswax, moringa oil, raspberry seed oil and Vitamin E. It is so moisturizing and hydrating, without having any unnecessary fragrances that make your throat instantly sore – I know I can’t be the only one with those symptoms! Also, I kiss my son constantly and I feel even better knowing that the lipstick won’t cause a reaction on his chubby thighs. I have zero guilt when it comes to getting a little bit of it on my son’s sensitive skin before I wipe it off. To me, the great thing about lipstick is how easy it is to swipe some on and instantly elevate your overall look. I’m a sucker for pink lippies.
Non-Waterproof L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Blackest Black is definitely my most favourite beauty product. Personally, I always have a hard time getting waterproof mascara off my eyes. I think waterproof is useful for certain occasions. You better believe I wore waterproof mascara at my wedding and will most likely wear some for my son’s first birthday party, but it’s not something I would use often. I literally can’t deal with mascara residue on my lashes. I use my mascara pretty much every day unless I’m going completely makeup-free around the house. My lashes are never clumpy and the mascara glides on really smooth. I have tried a variety, like a lot, of different mascaras at a variety of price points. I love that this mascara doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg and gives me fuller, longer lashes. A little goes a long way. When I am loyal to a product, I will spend whatever is necessary to have it; I just budget it in, you know? But it is incredible to me that my mascara is under $20! I think it’s a fantastic value for the price—and it really shattered my old ideas that if something was more expensive, it was automatically better. Considering I use mascara every day, one tube of this usually lasts me 3-5 months. I do think it’s smart to replace your mascara closer to the 3-month mark, though.
The Honest Company Lip Balm is the most soothing lip balm I’ve ever used. There is nothing worse than chapped lips, and no matter the weather my lips are always parched. This lip balm handles that for me. The lavender mint is my number one and I always carry an extra one in my diaper bag. I make sure to hide it from my hubs too because I’m that obsessed with it. When I was pregnant, I was fixated with reading and learning how to replace harsh chemicals from my home with products that were natural but still effective. I decided to order an Honest Company bundle box, and as soon as it arrived on my doorstop I was hooked on them. I’m pretty much in love with everything the Honest Company produces and what they stand for. I use their household cleaners in my home and most of the baby products on my son. What we wear and what we use does affect our bodies. I have more peace of mind when I use my Honest Company products. Plus, they all smell amazing. You can buy Honest Company products at Bed Bath & Beyond, Indigo, Sobeys, and a few other retailers in Canada now. I order my lip balm from well.ca , I find they have the biggest selection of Honest Company products for Canadians to easily purchase.”