Beauty / IN THE BAG

Steph Claire Smith on the products she loves and the best mental health advice she’s ever received

Steph Claire Smith says motherhood has changed the way she thinks about beauty. Her morning routine now starts later and makeup is far more minimal. A talent that rose to fame as a fitness guru and now the founder of app Keep it Cleaner, exercise is a key part of who she is. To Steph, embracing her love of movement is one ways she is learning to prioritise herself and her own mental wellbeing in her postpartum phase.

Ahead of RUSSH Weekend, where Steph will be running a Pilates class, we connected with her on all things beauty and wellness. Below, she shares with us her favourite products and why she knows the perfect 'balance' doesn't actually exist.


What is your morning beauty routine?

Ever since becoming a mum, my morning beauty routine is no longer the first thing I do in the morning. Usually I’ll kick this off around 11am, once Harvey has everything he needs. When it comes to my skincare, I’m definitely a less is more kinda person. After a splash of water, (or a wet wipe if there’s any leftover makeup) I’ll use my La Rouche Vitamin C serum. Then I’ll use my favourite moisturiser, Clinique Moisture Surge, which has been part of my skincare routine for over 10 years. I’ve been wearing a lot less makeup lately, so my go-to is some eyebrow gel, light mascara and a cream blush, to make it look like I’ve put effort in haha.


What is your night beauty routine?

My night time routine generally starts in the shower, where I wash my face with cleanser. I then use my Clinique Moisture Surge again, but I put on a little extra to act as an overnight mask. Since I started breastfeeding my lips are constantly cracked and dry, so I’ll pop on some lip balm overnight.


Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m the co-founder of health & wellness app, Keep it Cleaner, but my newest role is being a mum to my gorgeous little Harvey. It’s funny because as a mum, some days feel like groundhog day, but then every day feels so different. I spend most of my time having cuddles with Harvey, but I’ll squeeze in a KIC workout when he goes down for a nap. Now that we’re fortunately out of lockdown in Melbourne, I’ve been venturing into the office two days a week and it’s been so nice to reconnect with my team.

At the moment I’ve been working with our incredible trainers to create brand new content to drop in app, and focusing on the KIC Tour which I am SO excited about. I can’t wait to be reunited with our community after all this covid madness, Laura and I will be in Perth in August, Melbourne in September and Sydney in November, bring it on.

What is the chemist beauty product that you use and love?

You’ll probably have a laugh at this, but Brittney Spears Fantasy is still one of my favourite perfumes. Clinique Moisture Surge, which I can’t stop hyping on about, is also available at Chemist Warehouse.


How do you keep healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?

Since getting my 6-week clearance, I have been absolutely loving it. Exercising is a huge part of who I am as a person and I’m finally feeling like myself again. I’m taking things slow, focusing on the KICBUMP postnatal Pilates program, yoga and Pilates from the KIC app. I’ve recently reintroduced some strength masterclasses so that I can gradually build my strength back, but most importantly I love how exercise makes me feel, it makes such a difference to my mental health.


What procedures or professional treatments do you have as part of your beauty routine?

I love a good Dermasweep, so every eight weeks or so I’ll visit the amazing team at Liberty Belle in Toorak. And I’m a sucker for fresh hair, so again every eight weeks-ish I’ll get a trim and treatment by my hairdresser Rach at Joey Scandizzo.


What do you do when your body needs to recover?

Really hot baths are definitely my go-to. Now that Harvey’s here I love that I can dial the temp back up, I missed the heat when I was pregnant. Walking and yoga is always part of my routine, I’ll schedule this in between my active days knowing that my body will crave some recovery.


What does wellness mean to you?

Knowing that the perfect ‘balance’ doesn’t exist, but finding the self-care remedies that personally work for you. I have a holistic approach to wellness, it’s not just about yoga and meditation, it’s about prioritising your mental health and making time for the things that make you happy. Wellness to me is moving my body, spending quality time with my family and friends, fresh air, deep breaths and not taking life too seriously.


What are you reading/watching right now?

A little bit random but I’m really into action packed drama at the moment. I’ve just finished Yellowstone and now I’m watching Animal Kingdom.


You’re tired or rundown: what is your beauty hack?

Can’t beat an eye mask from James Cosmetics, such an effective way to reduce my bags and bring life back into my eyes! I’m a big fan of braving the cold weather in winter, nothing wakes me up more than stepping out in the fresh air.


What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?

It would definitely be moisturiser, especially at the moment during winter and breastfeeding Harvey.


Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?

I look to a few different people for beauty recommendations - but one in particular is my good mate Sammy Robinson. We have similar completions and I genuinely love all the same products she loves, so when I see her trying something new that she loves, I’m generally influenced.


What is the best advice on health and beauty you’ve received?

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You can never be another person, you can only be a better version of yourself.

And, after working with a lot of makeup artists over the years I’ve learnt the art of less is more.


What is the one product you can’t live without?

Hands down the Keep it Cleaner app.


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Imagery: Instagram