Candace Purdie Montgomery:

Candace Purdie Montgomery is a busy mom of three, Founder/Editor of ChicBusyMom and Event Marketing Director at ESSENCE. In our September COCOBlogger of the Month feature, Candace shares with us what drew her to blogging, how she balances work and family—and of course, her Ultimate Beauty Arsenal.

In 3-5 sentences tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I’m a daughter, sister, wife—and mother to a 10, 6, and almost 4 year old. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in NJ and now my family and I are BK (Brooklyn) all day. In terms of work I am the Event Marketing Director for a national women’s magazine.

What drew you to blogging?

When I started my blog in 2008 it was really meant to be more of a personal outlet--you know, to get my thoughts down. I had just had my second child and I think I was trying to carve a little piece of me. I just started writing. I didn’t really expect anyone to read it. When I got my first email from another mother thanking me for the blog and telling me how it helped her I thought: “Wow-this isn’t just for me anymore. People are actually reading it.” About two years ago, however, I started looking at my blog more strategically and managing it more as my brand.

What are 3 products in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal?

Can I have 5 please?

Facial moisturizer - I use Ambi Even and Clear Daily Moisturizer, MAC ‘Raizin’ blush

Lip gloss—I’m a big MAC/NARS/Bobbi Brown girl.

When I’m running out, a good swipe of gloss and swirl of blush goes a long way.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and L'Oreal Evercurl leave-in - I’m wearing my hair curly these days, so at night I wash it and pineapple it; then in the morning I run the product all through my hair, scrunch and literally go.

With 3 kids, I assume it must be difficult to find time to relax. What is your secret to relaxation?

Honestly, I’m a simple girl. I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram so I like to look at the photos or I like to sit down and watch a movie all together with my family. My steal away moments are just that time when everyone has gone to bed and it’s quiet. I get out my little vision notebook and jot down my “to do’s”, my goals, my vision for myself. I write my vision over and over so I don’t forget what I’m supposed to be doing. I'm always trying to be better than I was the day before.

Do you have an everyday skincare and beauty routine? If yes, please walk us through it.

I’m very particular about my face--I mean it’s the first thing everyone sees right? I never ever go to bed with makeup on. I always remove it with a sensitive skin wipe. I usually use Garnier. In the morning I use Garnier Ultimate Clean 3-Way Cleanser on my face or I often use Dove bar soap believe it or not. My children have sensitive skin and Dove is very mild and works well on my face. And as I mentioned, I never leave home without my moisturizer.

If you had 1 hour to pick out an outfit from head to toe, where would you shop and why?

Asos. They have a wide variety of on-trend but wearable clothing. They have a range of cuts and lengths so even if you aren’t 25 you can still find a great skirt that is appropriate for work. I’ve bought accessories from them as well. And I always sort for $150 and lower so I don’t even show myself things I can’t afford.

What is your one bit of advice to all women?

Take care of yourself first so you can take care of the others around you. My mother always tells me this. She always says your family needs you so you better take this medicine or drink this vegetable juice. Ultimately though, she’s right: you have to put yourself first so you can be the best for everyone who depends on you. I want to be around to see my children graduate and know my grandkids, so I am cognizant of my health more now at this stage in my life than I have ever been. I drink lots of water, eat my greens, and I even curbed my sugar addiction. I probably should work out more but…baby steps.

What is one thing you wish you knew as a new mom that you know now and want to share with other new moms?

I would like to tell new moms that not every mother is going to be good at breastfeeding and it’s so important that you don’t feel guilty about that. Every mother’s milk doesn’t ‘come down’ in abundance. I went through a very stressful time with my first son trying to breastfeed and I felt terrible. The nurses weren’t able to help me, nor was the lactation consultant that was brought in. But I look at my son 10 years later and he’s fine, and he still wants me to come up and kiss him goodnight. Ultimately, you should only focus on what you can do as a new mother because there are so many things happening with your mind and body already. If it comes naturally, then great; and if not that’s fine too. Your child can still grow up healthy and happy and attached…I promise. It took me 3 babies to figure that out.

How do you balance work and family life?

I really don’t believe there is a balance. If you give more of yourself to one thing, something else falls off. If I’m at work late I don’t get to see my husband or put my kids to bed or check their homework. If I take the morning off to take my kids to the doctor, I am often backed up for hours at the office and have to make up the time. I really just try to not completely blow it on either side. I hope I’m doing ok and I hope my children will understand any sacrifices I’ve made when they get older.

What is the most rewarding aspect of blogging?

Things like this (interview). I appreciate any rewards as I’ve worked hard and that hard work often has sacrifice as I mentioned. I try not to take my gifts for granted, like getting invited to exclusive events or being interviewed or having brands wanting to talk to me. It shows me the work is paying itself forward.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Right now I'm working with Essence and Wal-Mart on an 8-week content partnership. I think the best part about it is being able to feature mothers doing extraordinary things or what I'm calling ‘Motherhood Through a Different Lens’. There are some really special stories and I hope everyone takes a look.

There are some other big ideas I'm working on for the ChicBusyMom brand that I can't share just yet, but will soon :-).

More about Candace:
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