Ashley Graham Talks Breastfeeding, Postpartum Hair Loss and Her Best Beauty Hack
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Certainly the supermodel Ashley Graham is stunning. But Ms. Graham, 32, is also keeping it real, varied and interesting, whether on her Instagram account, her YouTube workout series or her podcast “Pretty Big Deal,” which is back for Season 3 this week, where she hosts conversations with successful people she looks up to.
Here is a behind-the-scenes peek at how she does it all. Ms. Graham, who is also a Revlon ambassador, muses on her career, managing a 9-month-old baby and sticking to her Covid-adjusted beauty regimen.
Figuring Out Routines
It’s a weird time. I’m a new mom, but I’m also figuring out how to live life at home. We moved to Nebraska when the pandemic hit. That’s where I’m from. It was my mom, my husband, my baby and me, and on March 13 we drove for 20 hours straight. We were there for six months. And we were all staying in the house I grew up in. It was very nostalgic for me. And I was so grateful that my husband was so kind to bear with me through all of it.
We’ve been back in New York now for maybe a month and a half. It feels so good to be back. I have a new normal morning routine. I don’t set an alarm. I learned that from interviewing Arianna Huffington on my podcast. She said that the time from when you put your head down to when you wake up is your own. I don’t sleep with my phone next to me either. The baby monitor is my alarm, and I know Isaac will wake me up between six or seven. I feed him right away, and it’s morning snuggles time.
I’m ever-so-proudly breast-feeding. I put it on my social media all the time because I want it normalized in a way that is truly normal. We all eat in public, so why not breast-feeding? Once he’s close to a year old, I’ll probably stop. Isaac has four teeth now, so, buddy, if you’re going to bite me, we’re gonna have problems.
I’m a nighttime shower girl. My morning routine is really prepped by my evening routine. I use whatever shampoo I can get my hands on that doesn’t have sulfates. To stimulate my hair follicles, I’ve been doing an apple cider vinegar rinse about once a week. It smells! If you go to the gym the next day, you’re going to sweat and smell like vinegar.
I go to sleep with my hair wet. I part it down the middle and then douse my head with John Frieda Dream Curls. I’ve been using it since I was 15 years old. This is the only way I can get a full head of hair when I wake up in the morning.
In the morning, I have slightly frizzy waves. I have this finishing gel by Vientti. Four months postpartum my whole hairline fell out, and now I have a bunch of cowlicks from all the baby hair growing in. This gel isn’t too thick, and it tames my center part. It can be so heartbreaking when you’re looking at your child, and he’s so healthy and adorable, and then you look at yourself, and you’re, like, what is happening to me? These are things women go through!
Skin Care Devotee
My favorite deodorant is the Crystal spray deodorant. I feel like it doesn’t mess with my PH, and it’s aluminum free. I also love the Flamingo spray moisturizer. It’s my biggest beauty mommy hack. It’s so fast — you spray it on. I feel so moisturized, and it smells like a hotel!
I use SkinMedica face wash. It’s light, and it gets any residue off my face. I use it morning and night. Then I use the skin toner by Vivant. It burns really bad. That’s how I know it’s working. Ha!
I think I have early signs of rosacea, so I’ve been looking into LED lights. I have the Dennis Gross one — it’s the face mask with all the LEDs. It makes me feel like I’m doing something helpful for my face.
I like to use skin-care products that my skin idols use. Tracee Ellis Ross, her skin looks phenomenal. She’s on Skinceuticals right now, so I’m on Skinceuticals right now. I’ve been using the Phloretin CF serum. It’s stinky, but again because it stinks, I know it’s working, ha! I also use the vitamin C serum and the Triple Restore moisturizer. It’s ah-mazing. Sometimes I use the Restore lip stuff. It tastes disgusting, but I think it’s helping my lips.
Through quarantine, I’ve been eating whatever I want. That’s probably why I’ve been getting acne on my forehead. I use my Mario Badescu drying solution only after my Dr. Pimple Popper picking kit. If you’ve ever used a lancer on yourself, this is addictive! You have to be OK with poking a needle in your face, but I’m really good at it.
Doing Things for Yourself
Sometimes I wonder if I even have time for a skin-care regimen. If I have a second kid, there goes that! But I just went to Milan for work, and I left Isaac with his dad for the first time. It was amazing! It was like a mini-vacation!
My husband and I are big into prayers. We both grew up in the church, and it’s something we brought into our marriage. We treat it as a sacred date night sometimes. We’ll turn off the lights and turn on worship music and just pray together.
I’m shooting my podcast now. I’m getting some really good glam for that. I get my eyebrows dyed, so I don’t have to think about that. Otherwise, everything I wear for makeup is Revlon. If I need to be camera-ready, I wear the Candid Glow foundation in shade 270. I love that it’s coverage with a glow, and you don’t have to mix anything with it.
I usually use a concealer under my eyes and on my chin if I have acne — which, yes I do have right now! I like the SkinLights bronzer and the powder blush in Naughty Nude, but not too much. My eyelashes will stick straight out if I don’t do something about them. The So Fierce mascara pulls them up like Tammy Faye.
I don’t use eyeliner, but my favorite pro tip whether for Zoom or a run to the grocery store — actually that’s a lie, I don’t always do this for the grocery store!— is something I learned on set. You use an eyebrow pencil in a muted brown, and you draw just on the outside of your upper lip. It makes your upper lip look a little bigger, like you got lip filler but it was $4.99 instead of $4,099.
An eyebrow pencil is better than an eyeliner pencil because the pigment is more powdery and softer. You don’t want that hard ’90s lip liner situation again — unless that’s your look, then you go for it! I do that, then I put Brazilian Tan lipstick and Aquaphor over that. It looks so juicy!
I wasn’t wearing fragrance after Isaac was born, but when he was about seven months old, I figured he could handle it. My favorite is Byredo Mojave Ghost. I love clean scents. I’d smell fresh laundry all day if I could.
Diet and Fitness
Sometimes I think about diet, and other days I don’t. Today, for example, I had Levain Bakery delivered. The chocolate walnut cookies are so good!
I worked out so hard during my pregnancy. I started a series called Thank Bod in my second trimester. It’s on YouTube. Every episode is only 15 minutes. I wasn’t finding anybody that looked like me online, and I wanted to make a point that working out is for any age and any size. I don’t want to look at ripped abs and toned arms — I will never look like that. I started modeling when I was 12 years old, and I was already a Size 12. Now I’m a 32-year-old postpartum, Size 16 mom, and my body is ever-changing, and so is everybody else’s, so why not showcase that?
I supplement that with boxing at Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo. It’s really tough. It’s not about losing weight but staying healthy, and that can also benefit your mental health. Working out and being able to move my body has been crucial for me, especially through the pandemic. We all need to release tension somewhere.