Emma Unckel

Name: Emma Unckel
Profession: Fashion and beauty editor at ELLE Sweden, host of the beauty podcast Beauty & Bubblor together with Frida Fahrman, and influencer on the Instagram accounts @emmaunckel and @unckelhouse
Background: Born and raised on Alnö outside Sundsvall. I thought I wanted to be a fashion photographer but ended up in the magazine industry, mostly working as an editor in fashion and beauty for magazines like Cosmopolitan, Damernas Värld, and ELLE. I have also worked as a freelance stylist, and right now there is a lot of beauty in my life through the podcast and my Instagram.
Living: In a 60s villa in Djursholm. A renovation project that we are slowly but surely renovating and restoring into our dream home.
Family: My husband Nils, sons Harry 9 years old and Frank 6 years old. And a little girl in the belly expected to arrive on September 2.
Currently: As a model for Boob autumn 2020, continuing with the podcast Beauty & Bubblor, and soon also a mother of three!
Instagram: @emmaunckel @unckelhouse


Hi Emma! Thank you so much for letting us come to your wonderful house and photograph you. Your third child is on the way soon. How has it been being heavily pregnant in the middle of a pandemic?

In my job at ELLE, I travel quite a lot around Europe, and I also attend many press views and events that often take place after work hours. So to be completely honest, this pandemic has personally meant a calmer work life where I have been working from home since March. I quickly realized that it was absolutely fantastic for my pregnant body to be able to work at its own pace, unmade-up, in a bathrobe with my legs up. But that being said, it has of course been a very special spring and I have had close friends and family who have been hard hit by this pandemic, and I sincerely hope that there will not be a strong “second wave” in the fall.

As the experienced stylist and fashion editor you are, what are your best clothing tips during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

To invest in a few good quality garments that are adapted for pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is nothing worse than clothes that chafe or pinch in the "wrong" places.
Two concrete tips: A nursing bra that is comfortable even at night. Stretchy black pants that are just as comfortable and stylish before as they are right after pregnancy (I live in my 24/7 bra and my Once-on-never-off flared pants from Boob). You also get a nice silhouette by wearing a dress over pants. Both trendy and comfortable.


What is your best life hack to make everyday life run smoothly?

To scale down and not be too ambitious. It's the small things that count, and I find that the children are the most content just being there, sitting on the sofa and being present, talking and asking about things that concern their world, everyday life, and interests.

You and your family live in a fantastic house, @unckelhouse, which you have been renovating for many years. What is most important to you to achieve in a home so that you and your family feel comfortable?

We love having dinners and visitors in general at home; at our house, people should feel welcome and comfortable, and the same applies to the children's friends. What I like best about our house is that the garden is close thanks to all the glass doors that run along the house with direct access to the grass. The children and we adults run in and out all spring and summer, there is grilling and playing football, which creates a wonderful feeling.

What do you find most challenging about being a mother?

Like for so many others – finding enough time. That is what I am most looking forward to in this last parental leave, the luxury of having even more time with the children. That they don’t have to be the last ones picked up from daycare, that I can join in on training sessions and not get stressed about homework being done too late. That everyday things can be done at a slower pace. We are also lucky that our boys play so well together and like the same things despite a three and a half year age difference. You can play and do things with them as a pair. Harry is the world's kindest big brother who lets Frank join in and play even when Harry has friends over, he teaches him everything he knows and as long as there is a football nearby, they are occupied for hours.

What is your best quick-fix beauty tip for mothers with little time?

Moisturize your face with a facial oil mixed with a liquid highlighter for instant maximum GLOW! Turn your lipstick into a multipurpose product by applying it to your lips, cheeks, and eyes for a rosy and fresh makeup look in minutes.


As a soon-to-be mother of three, what advice would you like to give to other new mothers?

To follow and understand your own child's needs and rhythm instead of trying to impose fixed routines at any cost. I remember struggling almost to death with Harry's sleep during the first six months nine years ago. We tried all possible and impossible methods for him to sleep through the night and felt generally unhappy. With Frank, I skipped all that and instead slowly but surely adjusted sleep and meal routines to what suited him. Life then became 1000 times easier, he ate with a great appetite and slept like a log as the icing on the cake. For me, "Gina Ford" is a swear word that makes many parents focus blindly on the clock and rules, which in turn leads them to forget to see, play, listen, and treat their baby as a unique individual. But of course, everyone is different, and there are certainly families who thrive on strict routines from morning to night, but it didn't work for us.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Trust your gut feeling. It never fails!

When do you feel most inspired?

When I can be completely alone, hahaha! I get so many impressions (in a positive way) in my job and with my family and friends that when I get a break and can retreat, I reflect and get inspiration. My greatest luxury is to sit completely alone and just stare into space. Or take a calm, long walk entirely by myself without any noise in my ears. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I enjoy it 100%.
Mom tip: If I have trouble finding time for myself, I lock myself in the bathroom, do my makeup, put on a mask, or take an unnecessarily long shower.

Besides your own podcast Beauty & Bubblor :) what do you prefer to listen to right now?

Audiobooks! I am so happy that I finally got back into the world of books after about nine years since I had Harry and then Frank. I just couldn’t find the peace to lie down and read. But now I’m back on track, and it’s thanks to the honor of being in a small book club with eight fantastic friends a year ago!
Right now, we are reading the trilogy "I Went Down to Brother" by Karin Smirnoff. SO good!!

How do you wish the world to look like for your children to grow up in?

I always try to see the positive in things, even when it comes to difficult matters and issues. I hope, for example, that we can learn from this pandemic to slow things down, spend more time with each other, and "just be." Go a little more back to basics, spend more time in nature, and stay more in our local areas. Find peace in that and not seek thrills and rush at a frantic pace all the time. But above all, I wish that my children experience a world that is inclusive and accepts all people.

Name 4 things you can’t live without?

Ok, so besides cozy hugs from my family and other life necessities like having a roof over my head and food on the table, it would be the following:

1. My face roller that gets rid of puffiness, boosts blood circulation, and gives a free face lift in a few minutes!

2. My iPhone. I admit that I love scrolling through and working on Instagram. I get joy from sharing beauty, fashion, and interior tips there and also being inspired by other people's feeds! There are so many fantastic people to follow out there in the cyber world.

3. My body brushing brush. Have you tried dry brushing your body before a shower or bath? If not, do it! Hello baby-soft skin, and it feels like you’ve worked out your whole body afterward. Kicks the lymphatic system into gear (unbeatable when pregnant!).

4. Retinol. After being pregnant and breastfeeding Frank, my skin looked like a dull dishcloth with lots of pigmentation spots. I bought a retinol serum that I used every night for a few months. The result was amazing, and since that day, I always max out with retinol on my face during the winter months.

Read more about other mothers in the Moms We Love series here!