“Getting pregnant was the fun part, although we did try for two years and there were a few moments when we just thought it was never going to happen. We spent every month hoping we would get pregnant and then had to mitigate our disappointment when it didn’t happen. So sometimes we’d tell ourselves that we didn’t need kids to be happy but inside we really wanted them,” recalls Sydney-based Citizens Of The World co-founder Meghan Loneragan (she founded the lifestyle website with her husband five years ago). The good news? She’s now 34 weeks pregnant and expecting her baby boy to arrive in a matter of weeks...
She might have the pregnancy glow, but there’s more than good hormones at play. Since she fell pregnant, Loneragan has become even more focused on radiant skin. “I can’t talk enough about how investing in my skin care has helped my overall look and self-confidence since becoming pregnant, especially as fashion started taking more of a backseat (which was tough initially). Focusing on my skin gave me a (very beneficial) distraction whenever I felt twangs of anxiety about my body changing,” she says. “My skin is something I can indulge in and feeling good on the outside has had such wide-reaching benefits across my work with Citizens and my relationship with Dom. I started small, investing in good quality cleansers and then as my confidence grew I incorporated more technical products, such as the philosophy micro delivery vitamin c peel. I also love anything that ‘brightens’, such as the philosophy microdelivery triple-acid brightening peel mask, because it means that I don’t have to use as much makeup to cover imperfections.” (Over-the-counter salicylic and lactic acid products are safe for topical use during pregnancy).
We caught up with the beautiful mama-to-be to talk pregnancy, philosophy skin care and her deep love of travel.
“ I also love anything that ‘brightens’, such as the philosophy microdelivery triple-acid brightening peel mask, because it means that I don’t have to use as much makeup to cover imperfections ”
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Never not working.
Can you tell us about your pregnancy?
After I fell pregnant, things got a little bit wonky. It was bizarre, I was over the moon initially but I suddenly had this ‘trapped’ feeling. All of sudden, whenever I thought about birthing I would hyperventilate and start crying. It’s hard to put into words. It felt like I’d lost who I was. Which wasn’t accurate at all but the feelings were so heavy. Of course, I felt guilty for all this as well so there was that whole extra layer on top of it. Good times!
Luckily the midwife at my first hospital visit picked up on my energy and that started me on the journey of realising I was dealing with pre-natal depression (which is something people don’t discuss as much as post-natal). Getting that support changed my entire outlook and I don’t even recognise myself from the first trimester. Speaking up about it with other mothers has been so beneficial as well. There’s a lot of power in honesty and I’m eternally grateful to the women who have been open with me about their own struggles. I feel so different now. Much lighter and in tune with my baby, although I’m still nervous about the giving birth part. Your tips are welcome here!
How do you achieve radiance?
I’m a big fan of peels – nothing makes your skin feel fresher and I strongly believe they should feature in every woman’s skin care regime (you just need to do your research on which ones are safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding). philosophy’s micro delivery vitamin c peel is a favourite (and seems fitting given it’s all about ‘revealing a new you’). It’s a two-step, in-home peel that resurfaces and rejuvenates sun-damaged, hyper pigmented and ageing skin. Some of the benefits include: smoothes and resurfaces rough texture; helps minimise the look of fine lines; brightens and evens skin tone. philosophy’s microdelivery triple-acid brightening peel mask is another favourite. It’s a weekly peel created to deliver advanced skin-brightening benefits in one convenient step at home with zero downtime – ideal for women who don’t have time to get to a salon for a peel. The triple-acid formula dissolves dull skin, buffers the appearance of fine lines and enhances skin clarity.
Have you always looked after your skin?
I took my skin for granted in my 20s and definitely should’ve worn more sunscreen. However, I’m all over it now I’m in my early 30s. I visit The Dermal Diary once a month for facials and in between visits I use products that I can travel with and fit in with my schedule.
Talk us through your approach to dressing now you’re pregnant...
My style is very streamlined and tomboyish normally so I was able to get away with my regular clothes for a long time. It’s in the third trimester that I’ve looked towards larger sizes in regular brands and I’ve borrowed from Dominic’s wardrobe a lot lately. Sorry Dom! Recently I’ve also found a lot of joy in turning towards maternity brands because, let’s be honest, they know what they’re doing. I embrace it all so much more now.
How does travelling make you feel? What are your earliest memories of travelling?
A love of adventure is something we want to encourage in our children because we feel like part of being a good human is to foster empathy and understanding of cultures across the planet. On the other side of the coin it also makes you appreciate home a lot more. I grew up in Hong Kong and so I was very fortunate in that travel was just part of expat life over there. We would come back to Australia regularly and I always considered it ‘home’ rather than the bustling streets of Hong Kong. One of my most vivid travel memories is getting off the plane in Brisbane (where I spent a lot of my youth) and getting that first whiff of Australia. The fresh air is something I don’t ever take for granted after living in China.
What about health and wellbeing? Any food cravings?
So many food cravings and I’ve gotten super creative with my desserts. Butterscotch ice cream with crumbled up Lindt Salted Caramel chocolate is my crack right now but it’s hard to tell if that’s a genuine pregnancy craving or if I’m just using it as a great excuse to indulge (Dom has his suspicions). It’s safe to say that ‘health and wellbeing’ to me at this time of my life is all about being balanced and not putting too much emphasis on any one style of diet. Just being mindful… and not feeling too bad if I go overboard.
What excites you most about becoming a mother?
So many things excite me. From seeing the world for the first time through the eyes of this little human, to reading him books that I loved as a child. Even just those times watching him sleep and realising “oh wow I made this person” makes me smile.
Have you started prepping? What will be on your baby shower list?
Lots of second-hand wooden toys. I know, I know, the bright plastic ones always win out in the end (we’ve been told over and over) but we want to try and encourage wood for as long as possible. I’ve also asked for books that people loved when they were children. Also dress up clothes like dragon and tiger costumes. On the more ‘business’ side of things, the Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump, which isn’t sexy but I’ve heard great things about.
What are your top three time management tips?
Rise early, make a list, cross things off with a nice festive highlighter. (But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done in one day – move it to the next).
Take us through your Citizens Of The World journey...
I was working in digital publishing at a major travel magazine and Dom has been a photographer his whole life. We wanted an outlet to challenge ourselves and also show people what we could do. It was a different time five years ago (which is an eternity in the blog world). Instagram wasn’t that huge and we were shooting street style to start with. I know, very different to what we do now. Because we didn’t have a business plan beyond ‘let’s create what we love and do a lot of it’ it took us a while to settle into the niche that spoke to us both. Running a blog/digital platform with a partner is very different to doing it on your own because you have to take into account each person’s vision.
How did you attract an audience in the beginning?
Good old fashioned Facebook, business cards and word of mouth. We also were nominated for some awards (international Webby Awards and local Pedestrian awards), which helped get our name out there. We had very much a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality to blogging. We probably need to be more strategic. Again, this comes back to the business plan side of things. There’s no silver bullet though. We just focus on doing what we consider great quality work and try to not get distracted.
How do you tackle any challenges in your business?
I could list all of the superficial challenges that come with being an influencer (the hustle, the uncertainty, the anxiety of putting yourself out there so much). However the challenges we feel most strongly about at the moment is perception versus reality. We’re very grateful for Instagram Stories for giving us the ability to show our audience a lot of the reality behind what we do. For instance, our audience on Instagram might see us standing by a giant boulder in Joshua Tree but the Instagram Stories let us reveal that we consumed more than a respectable amount of spaghetti bolognese every night so we could afford to stay in America for so long. We’ve been slowly releasing a lot of behind-the-scenes footage we’ve shot while on the road. A lot of it is not glamorous.
What keeps you inspired/motivated?
Every influencer or creative goes through inevitable moments of lag. Those times when it all just feels like a job and not enough balance with your vision of why you started. We find the best cure for this is carve out an afternoon and shoot something that’s just for you. No agenda. No brand alignment. Just a cool piece of content that gets your blood pumping. However, the best times are when you get that marriage of a great brand and an awesome concept that resonates with people. Audiences are smart but they’re also very forgiving. If they like you, they want you to succeed. As long as the work is good, they will go on that journey with you.
How would you describe the style/interior of your home? How do you keep your home in order?
We feel like it’s eclectic and warm. We love revelling in home time because we’re on the road so much. We’re drawn to artefacts that have a bit of a story behind them, from the bronze giraffes my mother bought 40 years ago, to creepy masks and dolls from Mexico that we were told were antiques but who knows (we love them regardless). Because we have two cats and a dog we’re constantly battling fur, so we’re quite militant with the cleaning. Thank god we’re pregnant now so we don’t have that temptation to accumulate any more pets.
Talk us through your morning routine...
Up at 5am. I love being up early because I hate feeling of being rushed for any reason. Dom makes a coffee and we take Biscuit for a walk. This is the time Dom and I use to discuss what’s on the agenda and share what we’re each focusing on that day. We also use it as an opportunity to bounce new ideas. When I get home I always put a little bit of makeup on. Even if it’s a BB cream, a blush and mascara. Nobody but me might see it but for some reason it helps me feel more in control and business-minded.
As a mother-to-be, what are your go-to books, magazines and websites?
Apart from The Grace Tales? Which I feel very passionate about because in my moments when I felt like ‘my fun life was over’ now that I was a mum, the interviews on The Grace Tales showed me life could still be everything I still wanted it to be. So I thank you for that! I’ve been reading a lot of Supernanny books because I’ve never had to discipline a child before and I want to be really well prepared for that. I’m also showing my nerdier side here but Reddit has a great parenting forum and I often fall asleep reading tips from people across the world.