beauty

Megan Gale on juggling her fitness and beauty with a brand new baby.

Image: Same height! (via Instagram) 

In some ways, Megan Gale is completely different to most new mums you meet. For one, she’s a world-famous supermodel, who’s currently juggling parenthood with various public appearances, her swimwear business Isola by Megan Gale, and her duties as an ambassador for L’Oreal Paris. She also has 218,000 Instagram followers cooing over every one of the baby photos she shares, which is a few more than your average parent.

But in other ways, the 39-year-old is just like any woman navigating her way through the challenges of bringing up a new baby, especially when it comes to finding time to catch up with her loved ones. “I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth with my friends,” she admits. “I’m sort of doing more of a phone-email relationship at the moment.”

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Megan and her partner, AFL player Shaun Hampson, welcomed their first child together in May this year.

In the six months since, the seriously cute River Alan Thomas Hampson has been keeping his Melbourne-based mum and dad even busier than usual. But during her recent visit to Sydney for the launch of the L’Oreal 2015 campaign, Megan made some time to sit down with The Glow to discuss beauty, fitness and every busy mum’s secret hair weapon (spoiler: you probably have it in your bathroom drawer right now).

1. Say you have 5 minutes in the morning to get ready. What products do you reach for?

“Oh gosh. Let me think. I’m all about hydration, so I think if you’re going to apply makeup you need a good base. You’ve got to apply it on your skin when it’s hydrated and not too dry and not too oily, so I think finding a good moisturiser that’s good for you is key to get started. I’m getting good at doing things quickly, being a mum.”

“If I’m like, okay I have 10 mins and I’ve gotta go out, moisturiser, usually a little bit of mascara – actually, no, a lot of mascara because I’m obsessed with it. A gloss, or if I really need a pick me up or I’m tired I might do red lips. A hint of bronzer or blush, some powder, and that’s it. With my hair, usually it’s not washed – sometimes it is, but that’s usually when I’ve set aside more time – so a quick pony or a top knot.”

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2. How has motherhood altered your beauty routine?

“I’m still tending to lean towards the same products – I have just adjusted things in that it’s a day-to-day thing. You kind of prioritise a bit differently and think,’ okay – what do I really need to attack right now?’ So maybe it’s my nails and I need to file and put a bit of polish on them because it’s been a while and I need to go to a meeting or something for work and I want to look a bit more groomed. It might be that my skin has been a bit dry and I’ve been slack with that so I’ll concentrate on hydration. I might need some dry shampoo because it’s been a couple days since I washed my hair. It’ll depend on day to day – I won’t have as much time to do everything so it’s about prioritising what you need for the day and dealing with that when you’ve got time.

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The main thing I remember [my mum friends] told me about was dry shampoo.That’s the hardest thing to get done, because washing your hair, conditioning it, drying it – especially for me as I have so much hair – takes a good 45 minutes. That’s a lot of time to yourself. If you’ve got dry shampoo handy it’s a quick fix.”

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3. Summer’s nearly here – what’s your warm weather beauty essential?

“I think it goes without saying sunscreen should be in everyone’s beauty kit, bathroom, man and woman and children. Especially because our summers are so harsh and the sun’s so strong here in Australia. It is a beauty product within itself because it’s an anti-ageing product, when you think about it. It’s an essential. Even moreso for women, moisturisers or tinted moisturisers with SPF are really important. As for more fun ones – it’s such a vibrant time of year, and it’s great to play around with beautiful bright colours for lipstick and nails and experimenting with the pinks and reds and corals.”

4. Have you ever fallen for a beauty fad that makes you cringe in hindsight?

“I probably could have done without my perm. I had it done when I was 12. I don’t know what childhood I was in where girls were getting perms at 12 – it was just the thing that was happening, everyone was getting them. I remember I was leaving grade 7 and going into year 8 and high school, and I was just saying to my mum, ‘I want one’ and she said, ‘No, it damages your hair, not until you’re at least 16’. Eventually I wore her down. I think I can understand it, too – young girls want to try and grow up so quickly and experiment with beauty and fashion. That’s really lovely but I think it’s good to appreciate things at their purest. It looked really weird, now I look back on it – I looked like a little lamb with all these little curls.”

Megan Gale at the 2014 Melbourne Cup
Megan at the Melbourne Cup this year.
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5. What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?

"I wouldn't go back and advise myself on anything, even the perm, because I do believe that things happen to you in life for a reason and you follow your own path. If you go back and change anything, or wish to change anything, you haven't really learned anything. I think that's what it's all about, having all kinds of good and bad life experiences - it forms you and shapes you and makes you the person you are today. It's important to accept thing as they've happened and learn from them."

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6. What's your go-to, on-the-run quick meal?

"If I've got something like some wholegrain or multigrain toast, I'll usually toast a couple of slices of that, put avocado on it with a slice of tomato, some fresh basil, some goats cheese - that's pretty wholesome and filling and pretty quick and easy to do."

7. What's your favourite way to work out?

"I do love pilates. I haven't been able to do it lately and I really miss it. It's a great overall workout - it's great at getting you really fit and strong and flexible. It's fantastic, I love it. Reformer [pilates] I think is particularly thorough, it can put you through your paces!"

Megan Gale interview

8. Do you have a tip for fitting exercise into a busy schedule?

"I think if you can just try and set yourself a goal of doing 20 minutes of something, whether it's a walk with the pram or just a run, a swim, whatever you gravitate towards exercise-wise ... then you'll always feel better, you'll feel like you've done something, even though it might be less than you normally do. Quite often I'll say to myself, 'I'll just do 20 minutes, it's better than nothing', and by the time I do it I've kinda warmed up and think, 'Okay, I can actually do a little more'. If you've got time to that's great, but I think if you can just try and set aside that little piece of time you will feel better for it. It's always better to do a little bit than to do nothing at all."

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9. If I gave you 3 hours to yourself, how would you spend them?

"I'd probably go and get a massage, definitely - I get a bit achey and sore holding the big boy. I'd get that done and then I don't know, maybe even do a pilates class or something - that and then a massage. That'd be amazing."

10. What's the most useful makeup trick you've learned?

"The white pencil inside the eye [line] is a great one. You don't need eye drops - it just makes them look vibrant and awake, especially if you're a bit tired. Also, not overdoing it with makeup ... Sometimes I think it's very easy to get carried away and try to accentuate everything - one thing I've learned, especially with my job, is just to pick one thing and focus on it. Maybe you don't wear much of a makeup look and the hair's the focus. It's about making one thing the standout point and paring back on the other stuff."

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