Women are creatures of beauty, and we want to look our best whether we're off to work, running an errand, sweating it out at the gym, and, these days, even while pushing our babies out of our bellies.
It's true. Not a few women now include a trip to the salon (or the waxing lounge, or a grooming place) in their childbirth preparations to make sure they get a decent photo with their newborn right after delivery.
Among celebrities, one of those who noticeably looked fresh out of a salon in her first photo with her new baby is Regine Angeles, who gave birth on October 2 to her first child, Viktor Alesso.
On Instagram, she posted a snap of their little family and thanked a beauty salon in Greenbelt, Makati, for her perfectly done eyebrows. "When #kilayislife habang nagla-labor," she added.
Just three days ago, actress Valerie 'Bangs' Garcia was also unusually glowing just hours after giving birth to daughter Amelia. Netizens commented on her photo that her eyebrows looked perfect and used the hashtag #KilayisLife.
"But they're celebrities, that's not surprising," you might say. Maybe, but we did find other moms — "regular" moms like the rest of us — whose preparation for childbirth involved more than packing delivery-day bags.
Pam Joaquin, 33, who works as a brand manager, says she gained some weight during pregnancy, so it was important for her to feel pretty.
One week before giving birth, she had a haircut at her favorite salon and a Brazilian wax session at a professional hair waxing lounge. "The waxing was for practical reasons — I didn't like the idea that strange hands would be shaving me down there, so I did it beforehand," adding that her ob-gyn recommended the waxing.
Pam says it was mandatory for her to look her best because she knew it was going to be photo documented heavily. So she did her makeup right before going to the hospital. However, after 14 hours in labor, she "had no trace of makeup after giving birth."
"But I would still prep the same way for the next baby!" she says.
For Claire Moran Jacob, who gave birth to her second child recently, it was important to look decent in her first mother-and-child photo. She prepared well for it and underwent a procedure to get eyelash extensions.
"In the hospital, the nurses will ask you to remove your makeup. [Even without it], I knew my eyes would look nice and bright [with the eyelash extensions]," she says. Claire also talks from experience: Three years ago when she gave birth to her first child, she was only allowed to wear lip balm and curl her lashes.
It was good Claire got her eyelash extensions for her second pregnancy. A week after she had the procedure done, she had an emergency Cesarean section due to a narrow pelvic bone (the baby's head couldn't get through).
When you're used to keeping your hands busy, and you suddenly find yourself with a lot of time to spare, what do you do? You do your own makeup, which is what Mei Brantzeg, 34, did to kill time when she spent 12 hours in the labor room.
She tells us, "I'm a marketing professional, but I'm also a certified makeup artist. I knew I had to do makeup artistry on myself during labor. Doing my own makeup soothes and calms me — just like painting on a canvass. I also didn't want to look ugly during child-birth!"
Mei says it was a good way to distract herself from the pain and the stress during the actual childbirth. "I did my make-up sporadically, every hour for the 12 hours I was in labor, in between chats with my husband, the doctor and the nurse. I had a makeup brush with me the whole time, and when they were wheeling me to the delivery room (from the labor room), I had to remind them to get my makeup suitcase.
On the 12th hour, Mei was fully dilated, and it didn't take five minutes to push baby Brandon out vaginally. "He didn't cry or breathe once he was out, but when they placed him on my stomach, he started to breathe. On that second, my life has changed for the better, forever."
If you're considering a makeup session before childbirth (or after, just in time for the first photo with baby), here is a list of salons located inside and within walking distance to hospitals:
Hospitals with salons
1.Makati Medical Center Salon: David’s Salon Call: 846-9148 Address: 2nd Floor, Tower 1, Makati Medical Center, #2 Amorsolo St., Makati City Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Makeup artist is available starting at 11:00 a.m.). Closed on Sundays. Advanced booking recommended. Rates: Full Makeup: P1,000 (30 minutes to an hour) Hair and Makeup: P1,400 Room Service: Double charge if room service
2.St. Lukes Medical Center Salon: Bellitudo Beauty Salon (c/o Jovy Curayag) Call: 7230101 local 6552 Address: Unit 528-B 5th floor Medical Arts Building, St. Lukes Medical Center, E. Rodriguez Sr. Boulevard, Quezon City Business Hours: 10:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Rates: Full Makeup: P600 (about an hour) Hair and Makeup: P800 Room Service: additional P200
3.The Medical City Salon: Angelo Franco Salon Call: 998-1000 local 3018 Address: Ground Level, Medical Arts Tower, The Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City Business Hours: Opens at 9:00 a.m. (Makeup artist is not available on Wednesdays) Rates: Full Makeup: P500 Hair and Makeup: P1,000 Room Service: Additional P75
4.University of Perpetual Help Medical Center Salon: Beauty Lounge Manila Call: 541-6834 Address: Wellness Complex, Perpetual Help Medical Center, Alabang-Zapote Road, Las Piñas City Business Hours: 10:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. Rates: Makeup: P350 (30 minutes to an hour) Hair and Makeup: P700 No room service
1.St. Clare’s Medical Center Salon: Linda Samson’s Parlor Call: 0927-753-3911 Address: 1835 Dian Street, Palanan, Makati Business Hours: 8:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. Rates: Makeup: P300 (Regular) P450 (Home service) P300 (Room service at St. Clare’s) Hair and Makeup: P500 (Regular) P900 (Home service) P500 (Room service at St. Clare’s)
2.United Doctors Hospital Salon: Mich and Co. Call: 0929-8144063/0998-8595480 Address: 7 Sto Tomas St., Sampaloc, Quezon City Business Hours: 9:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. Rates: Makeup: P350 Hair and Makeup: P500 Room Service: Make-up: P700 Hair and Make-up: P1000