My Essentials: Emma O’Byrne

One of the fashion world’s favourite make-up artists, and mother to toddler Tom and new baby Roddy, Emma O’Byrne reveals her busy mama must-haves.

Tell us a little bit about your two boys.

Tom is three and has just started at Miss Daisy’s Nursery at St Lukes in Chelsea. He loves it and is even learning French. He said “Bonjour, maman,” to me the other day! Roddy is six months old and the sweetest baby who only really cries when hungry or tired and smiles and giggles endlessly. It blows me away how different their personalities already are. Tom used to go straight to sleep, whereas Roddy needs a lot more cuddling and stroking.

How is life with a new baby and a toddler?

It’s a bit of a shock to the system. I have to spread myself out a lot thinner and have found that there is just so much more to organise. I like to try and spend quality time with both boys, and my husband, and friends, and like every other mum I often feel like there aren’t enough days in the week!

Could you tell us a little about your wellbeing pregnancy essentials? 

Coconut oil for the body, every day after showering. It’s amazing for helping to guard against stretch marks. Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask really perks up your complexion and I swear by reflexology at Reflexions in Chelsea. Plus kale and other ‘super greens’ to keep iron levels high – and plenty of sleep, of course. The Clean & Lean Pregnancy Guide book by James Duigan was my bible and I also worked out with Bodyism which helped a lot.

Emma-kidsDid you have any favourite maternity labels?

I was lucky in that I didn’t gain much weight so I found loose clothes from designers like Marithé and François Girbaud worked really well. I discovered the maternity jeans from Topshop when I was pregnant the second time around – they’re simply amazing. And Simone Perele maternity bras from Harrods were comfortable and actually looked attractive. I tried so many other maternity lingerie brands the first time round that weren’t nearly as pretty. For post- pregnancy bras and underwear I find the pieces from Cake Lingerie super comfy.

Which labels do you love for your sons?

I love everything from Bonpoint but for everyday gear you can’t beat Zara, especially for boys’ straight leg jeans and cords – that actually stay up during all those growth spurts. Sue Hill Hand Knits have the softest, cutest little cashmere cardigans, blankets and hats for cosy winter babes. Then in terms of practical basics it’s got to be John Lewis for those indispensible multi-packs of white babygros. You can’t beat the vests and pyjamas from Petit Bateau. They’re such lovely quality and never seem to get too tired looking from the endless washing.

Did you head to anywhere in particular for all those new baby essentials?

I used a company called Babylist for everything. They’re a one-stop shop for absolutely everything from cots, buggies, chairs and bags. And they deliver and assemble the lot. They even installed the car seat.

What style did you go for for the boys’ nursery?

I’d say the style is kind of contemporary cool with a bit of traditional thrown in. I got lots of lovely things from the online boutique Molly Meg, found a really cool train wall sticker by Bambizi from Harrods and also bought some beautiful pictures by the amazing artist Rob Ryan.

What items do you keep in your changing bag?

Very little compared to the first time. Bamford Baby Balm is a must. It’s so gentle and much better than Sudocrem or any of those other chemical-loaded versions. Aiden & Anais muslins and swaddles are so chic and cosy and SKIBZ are handy for teething babies, they’re like little cool-looking bandanas.

Could you tell us a bit about your current favourite hangouts?

These days, when I’m not working or at home, I tend to spend most of my time in the park, if the weather’s good, or Purple Dragon kids club in Chelsea. Battersea Park Zoo is also a big favourite. A rare coffee in one of the Daylesford Cafés is always a treat.

And, finally, what are your beauty must-haves?

Oh, I have a few: Erborian CC cream HD has SPF45 and gives an incredible glow over a light moisturiser, followed by Tom Ford concealing pen which is a total winner. It’s so easy to use, I could not live without it. I love Sisley Phyto Lip Twists and need my Chanel Inimitable Mascara to hand at all times. Laura Mercier do a cream blush that blends well when using a cheek brush – I favour Tom Ford’s – and Charlotte Tilbury have the best lip liners and fun eye shadows. That’s my ‘look fab in five minutes kit’ right there.


Find all this and much, much more in the Nov/Dec issue of Baby London: on sale 24 Oct. 

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