Jo Love, 34, is a beautiful, successful entrepreneur with an award-winning mother and baby gifting website Lobella Loves , a gorgeous three-year-old daughter Bella and lively Instagram following. But it’s not all rosy. Jo suffered from postnatal depression and still has ongoing counselling. Through her brutally honest stories of her own struggles, which she posts on @lobellalovesjo, she has found herself becoming an advocate for maternal mental health.
In Maternal Mental Health Week, Jo shares her favourite soul-affirming beauty buys - because doing your makeup can be a powerful act of self-care
Now in World Maternal Mental Health Week (which runs until 6th May, 2018) she’s asking people to share their lipstick selfies with the hashtag #DepressionWearsLippy to show that mental health issues don’t have to look a specific way. The idea came about after one troll accused her of fabricating her condition, saying she looked too groomed to suffer anxiety or depression.
"Depression wears lipstick, it also doesn't," she says on her Instagram. "It sometimes wears nice clothes, it also doesn't. Depression, as with other mental health issues, can be very hard to spot and what you see on the outside isn't always a true reflection of what lies beneath the surface. Mental health issues cross all social constructs, genders and ethnicities. They affect the rich, poor, old, and young. It's not a choice and it doesn't discriminate. Sometimes on my darkest days with postnatal depression, lippy and a smile would be my mask to the world and my only defence from slipping further into the fog."
Makeup, for Jo, is more than simply cosmetic - it's a powerful act of self-care. “For me, there is an incredibly strong connection between a good skincare and beauty routine and my mental health, " she tells Get The Gloss. "Those 15 minutes in the morning when I put on my makeup, are my me-time before taking on the day. My nightly skincare routine and Sunday face mask are my essential mini moments of self-care. These may not be ground-breaking tips but they ARE soothing, nourishing and soul-affirming. They may be little, but they're pretty darn mighty nonetheless!”
We asked her to share the self-care beauty products that she loves most. And if you have a beauty product or ritual that helps you to face the day, please let us know in the comments below.
1. Lumity Life: Day & Night Nutritional Supplementation, £90 - Buy Online , and Complete Nourishment Facial Oil, £60 - Buy Online
"I’m in front of the camera lot on social media, particularly on Instagram Stories, and I get asked daily what my skincare secrets are. It’s no secret as I shout about them from the rooftops but I’ve recently started using the Lumity supplements and facial oil and seen a dramatic improvement in my skin’s health and texture. I was a bit nervous about using oil on my combination skin, but it’s been wonderful and not greasy at all.
And the supplements contain curcumin that has been shown to have great mood-boosting qualities. As someone who suffers with their mental health this is music to my ears that my skin and my mind can be helped with one product."
2. Spacemasks, £3.50 each from Lobellaloves.com or £16.50 for 5 - Buy Online
"Sleep (or lack of) is a big trigger for my mental health. I need lots of it! The link between sleep and mood is well proven and so I will do anything to ensure a good night’s sleep. This is where these little pouches of heaven get involved. They are single-use, individually wrapped self-heating eye masks. Gently heating from the minute the packet is opened, send me off to the land of nod pronto."
3. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in 'Talk to Me' (Matte), £17.50 - Buy Online
"I’m known for my bright lipsticks, so much so I created a whole viral campaign around it called #DepressionWearsLippy highlighting that the ‘face’ of someone with a mental health issue doesn’t always look a certain way after an online troll said I was too glamorous to be speaking about mental health. My go-to lipsticks are anything by Mac or Smashbox as I find they are really long-wearing but don’t dry my lips. A firm favourite is Smashbox ‘Talk To Me’, which is matte but also hydrating and such a bright pop of long-lasting colour."
4. BalanceMe Instant Lift Primer, £22 - Buy Online
"I love anything natural, and Balance Me’s entire ethos and range centres around using alternative natural solutions that work just as well for your skin. I’m a huge fan of their “nature’s botox” aka their Instant Lift Primer which uses natural ingredient to relax facial muscle contractions making my skin appear smoother and lines less visible! Double win!"
5. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, £36 - Buy Online
"Every Sunday in my bid to create a bit of self-care me time, I run myself a bath and use this mask once the little one is asleep – and it is incredible. It really dries out spots and leaves your skin feeling like it's had a workout."
6. Garnier Micellar Water Sensitive Skin, £4.99 - Buy Online
"This is a relatively new find for me, but don’t let the low price point fool you in to thinking it doesn’t work – it packs a serious punch. As soon as I get home, I like to take my make up off straight away but as busy mum and business woman I don’t have time for lots of faffing, so this stuff is my go-to quick option. It’s as if it has mini-magnets hidden within it pulling every last bit of make up off your face effortlessly. Often I’ve thought I’ve washed my face thoroughly, only to then sweep a cotton pad with a dab of micellar water on it to realise for years I’ve been sleeping on a dirty face!"
7. The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% 30ml, £8 - Buy Online
"Retinol is a vitamin A-derived ingredient and is the closest thing to a skincare miracle you’ll find. I love the Ordinary for their no-nonsense, but still clinically proven products at super cheap price points. So who better to dip my toe in retinol ocean with. I’ve been using this every couple of days for the past few months and I’ve already seen great line-reducing, wrinkle smoothing results. For less than a tenner you can’t go wrong!"
8. VICHY Ideal Soleil Anti Blemish CC, £16.50 - Buy Online
"When I started using the Ordinary Advance Retinoid, I also started using a daily sunscreen as retinols can make your skin more sensitive to light. I haven’t found this to be the case, however I’ve heard 75% of fine lines and wrinkles are caused by sun-damage. So even in the depths of winter I start my beauty routine with this lovely BB cream, which has high SPF50 UVA/UVB protection but also slightly tinted so often it’s all I wear in terms of make up. I love it when my products multi-task, and as a busy working mum this is essential!"
9. Benefit Hoola Quickie Contour Stick, £24 - Buy Online
"I’ve long been a fan of all Benefit make up and their ever-so-popular Hoola Bronzer, Gimme Brow & Boi-ing concealer have been staples in my make-up bag for years. So recently I’ve been excited to discover a new firm favourite, which helps me effortlessly tackle the big Instagram craze of contouring. It transforms from cream application (basically you can’t go wrong) to a power once it hits the skin allowing you to easily blend so you don’t look stripey and can in seconds and with minimal skill achieve a naturally contoured look."
10. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £28 - Buy Online
"Surely this stuff is a strong contender in the beauty hall of fame. I use it for everything...as a moisturiser, overnight facemask, for cuticles, cracked heels, chapped lips, hair de-frizzer, dry elbows, eyeshadow primer… the list could go on and on. I mean, when a product hasn't been altered (much) for eighty years you've got to be pretty confident in it!"