You know those random ideas we have as mums? Like inventions and products that should be on the market? Well, instead of just talking about it, mum number four in my Twelve Mums Of Christmas series, Jennifer Gledhill, actually went out and did it. Along with friend Corinna Schaffer, Jenn launched Boo Boo skincare in 2008. Boo Boo’s baby products just won GOLD at the Mother & Baby Awards, voted for by mums. Since Jenn’s a beauty and skincare whizz, I grilled her for some tips…
Jennifer, tell me what inspired you to launch Boo Boo.
“Corinna (the other Boo Boo) and I were on maternity leave at the same time from our jobs as magazine editors. Corinna had come around for coffee and we were changing our babies’ nappies and moaning about the ugly grey tubs of nappy cream we used. Both being obsessed with skincare and natural products we vowed there and then to look into launching our own nappy cream, that was natural, affordable, effective and looked gorgeous! That was the beginning of Boo Boo!”
Has running a business and being a mum been a challenge?
“We were completely oblivious to the hard work and sleepless nights (on top of having babies) ahead of us… we launched with four baby products and by this time we had gone back to our jobs and had lots of fun juggling children, work and trying to work out how to launch a business! As magazine editors, we knew how to make things look gorgeous but it was a very steep learning curve working out how to run a business – we’re still learning!”
What was your own skincare regime like when you were pregnant and when you were a new mum?
“I’ve always been a product-aholic! If there’s something new out, I want to try it. I try and use natural products as much as possible, avoiding parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate. When I was pregnant, I was always anxious about what I could put on my skin and avoided anything with essential oils in as I’d heard they weren’t recommended. I found it all really stressful… that’s why, when we launched the Boo Boo Mummy range, we ensured that everything was suitable for use throughout pregnancy and during nursing so it was one less thing for mums to worry about.”
What are your top tips for feeling good about your appearance while pregnant?
“Everything you read assures you that you will feel glowing – nothing could be further from the truth for the first three months for most women! Aim to fake a glow so that people will say ‘Ooh, don’t you look well!’ – even if you’ve just been throwing up into the carrier bag you’ve started to carry on your daily commute! So, after a shower with Boo Boo’s Silky Soft Body Wash (which contains ginger to keep sickness at bay), cleanse your face (Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish can’t be beaten), add a little gradual tanner into your morning routine (Lancome’s self-tanning face gel is great and yes, it’s safe to use during pregnancy!) and add a splodge of cream blush to the apples of your cheeks (I love Paul and Joe’s Creamy Cheek Powder). Oh, and waterproof mascara as your eyes tend to water when you’re being sick – well mine did anyway!”
When you’re a new mum, you can feel (and look!) knackered, can’t you – any tips?
“It’s true – you can’t look anything but knackered! If there’s one piece of advice I wish I’d taken it was to sleep when Baby sleeps. But of course we don’t, do we? We run around sterilising bottles and tidying up! Fake tan and blusher works a treat at making us look semi-human and then, if you can get an hour to yourself at the weekend, I swear by getting lashes and brows dyed (try the Benito Brow Bar in Debenhams). Then, in the mornings, when you can’t even get out of your dressing gown then at least you won’t scare yourself by looking in the mirror!”
Did you simplify your make up routine when you had a young baby?
“Yes, rather than worrying about eyeshadow contouring or lip lining or anything too complicated, a morning make-up routine can literally take seconds – first, apply a tinted moisturiser (Clinique’s Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser is the best!) a mascara (Maybelline’s are fab) and a slick of peachy lipgloss (Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Watermelon suits everyone!)”
If a new mum manages to just do ONE thing, skincare wise, what should it be?
“Keep applying your stretch mark creams or oil after you’ve had the baby to help your skin tone up again. Our Boo Boo Miracle Oil contains Argan Oil which is fab for toning, keep using it every day, even after you’re back in your skinny jeans!”
Have you had feedback from any customers who were amazed by how good Boo Boo products are?
“Yes! Customers often say that their baby had sensitive skin so they thought they couldn’t use bubbles in the bath and then they have tried ours and it’s been fine. Customer feedback is what gets us through the tough times when we’ve thought about giving up! Our customers are loyal and brilliant at spreading the word, they leave amazing reviews on our website and always come and say hello when we appear at The Baby Show.”
Last question: what’s your favourite family Christmas tradition?
“There are so many! I love putting Christmas songs on and we all decorate the tree together. On Christmas morning I love my husband’s comedy ‘Has Father Christmas really been?’ routine of creeping down the stairs – we go first, peering around the lounge door slowly while my seven year old Maisie and nine year old Thomas are beside themselves with excitement behind us! I’m making the most of it this year as before long they’ll be teenagers and I’ll be dragging them out of bed!”