Member Spotlight: Clean Skincare Pro Jessica Morse of Bare Beauty
Photos: Jessica Morse
Minding the ingredients that get rubbed onto our baby bumps is just as important as what we put into our bellies — and as many beauty-minded mamas can attest, the pregnancy skincare struggle is all too real. Mamahood certainly has a way of inspiring us to clean up our makeup acts, but for Bare Beauty founder Jessica Morse, this wakeup call came well before the arrival of her little ones.
The Charleston-based mother and former fashion industry professional created her website four years ago as a way to guide others toward better-for-you beauty alternatives. Here, we chat with the mama of two to learn more about what led to her beauty blogging path, what a typical day in her life looks like, her favorite social media hacks, and much more.
What do you do, and what has been your career journey thus far?
I've been writing my clean beauty and lifestyle blog, Bare Beauty, for four years, but I fell into it quite by accident after having some health issues five or six years ago. In a former life, I worked in the fashion industry for designers like Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Gabriela Hearst.
What are the names and ages of your little ones?
I'm mother to Annabel, 3.5 years, and Woody, 7 weeks.
What is a typical workday like for you, from the moment you wake up?
Well, when I don't have a newborn, my typical day goes something like this: the whole family wakes up at about 7am and we snuggle in bed for a few minutes before heading downstairs for breakfast. I make a family smoothie most mornings, and when my husband takes Annabel to school, I take a Pilates or yoga class or go for a run. Afterwards, I come home, shower, and get to work. My hours are mostly filled with testing product, shooting product, writing blog posts, scheduling social media posts, managing the back end of the blog, and email correspondence. I pick up Annabel around 4 and we spend a little time together winding down before cooking or going out to dinner as a family. Annabel goes down at 7:30, and then my husband and I binge-watch a few episodes of whatever our latest show is with a glass of wine. I head to bed around 11. However, with a newborn, most days lately are spent in my pajamas, nursing, barely holding it all together.
What are your best tips for raising a child in your city?
Raising a child in Charleston is easy (or should I say, easier) because the quality of life here is so good; the weather is mild and we can walk or bike to most destinations. On Saturdays, we head to the Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square, and on the second Sunday of each month, we stroll to King Street, (on that day is it open to pedestrian traffic only) to shop, eat, and listen to the live music. During the warmer months, we spend a lot of time at the beaches here, or exploring on our boat. Other fun destinations for the kids include The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, the South Carolina Aquarium, and Charlestowne Landing.
Favorite organizational tools/apps that help you balance work/mom life?
I'm an old-fashioned list maker, down to the pen and paper. I also like to have a desk calendar; it helps me plan out my editorial calendar so things don't sneak up on me. I'm always looking for any tricks that will save me time and enable me to be more present when I'm with my family. My favorite apps are IFTT, which connects all my social media accounts; Schedugram, for when I know I'll be too busy to post on social media; and Tailwind, to connect my blog to my Pinterest page. Shipt recently arrived in Charleston and it's changed my life. I now get our groceries from Whole Foods delivered to our door. It saves me almost two hours at least once a week.
Current favorite kids clothing brands?
I dress my children the way I dress myself: classic, but still fresh. My favorite kids' lines are Egg Baby, Stella McCartney, Bella Bliss, and Florence Eisman.
Current favorite grown-up clothing brands?
I'll buy anything Veronica Beard or ALC makes, and I love SUNO. I buy most of my basics from Rag & Bone and Theory. Classic clothes with a bit of an edge best suit my personality and my body type.
Beauty product you can't live without?
I absolutely cannot live without the CLEAR Collection by True Botanicals. It totally transformed my skin two-and-a-half years ago, and while it's my job to test skincare and makeup, I always come back to my True Botanicals regimen.
Best advice for women who want to succeed in your field?
If you want to succeed in being a clean beauty and lifestyle blogger, my advice would be this: be authentic. Be prepared to walk the walk, but be honest about indulgences like coloring your hair or drinking alcohol (I do both, unapologetically). Living a clean lifestyle is about educating yourself on the environmental toxins present in our world, and making choices about what works for you.
Also, don't buy followers or traffic. Everyone knows, it makes you look bad, and it will cost you partnerships in the long run; just be patient and keep plugging away at your work. Success will eventually follow if you are dedicated and honest.