The Beauty Edit: Sleeping Beauty

A Good Night’s Sleep – four little words that are the holy grail for most parents with small children. Personally, I can count on one hand the number of uninterrupted nights’ sleep I have had in the last decade. It is one of the greatest fallacies of parenthood that once your babies sleep through the night, they will carry on doing so until they grow up and leave home. Or at least that hasn’t been my experience. My eldest son finally started sleeping through most nights when he was six, at which point I decided it would be a really good idea to have another baby!

I’m lucky in that, as long as I go to bed before midnight and don’t drink more than two glasses of wine, a lack of shut eye doesn’t bother me too much (unlike my husband who is not, shall we say, at his most sparkling first thing in the morning). The effects the lack of sleep has on my skin is another matter though and I’m constantly on the look out for new products to boost my arsenal against the sleep thieves (a.k.a my children).

And it seems I’m not the only one who is searching for eight hours sleep in a bottle or a  jar. The beauty shelves are bursting with products which promise to help you get to sleep, pamper your skin or even your hair while you sleep and cover the damage caused by sleepless nights. Here are a few that I would like to try:

Sleep Collage

1. A relaxing soak in the bath is a nice way to unwind before bedtime. This indulgent Drift Away Milk Soak by Space NK contains ingredients which have a calming effect on busy minds.

2. The Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle by This Works has notes of Lavender and Camomile to soothe your senses.

3. Promising to ensure “a blissful night of slumber” this Deep Relax Balm by Aromatherapy Associates is the most luxurious sleeping pill I’ve ever seen.

4. Squirt This Work’s Deep Sleep Pillow Spray on your pillow and let its soothing scent of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile send you off to the land of nod.

5. You can actually improve your hair while you sleep with the Thickening Serum from Bumble & Bumble that works overnight to give you thicker, fuller hair.

6.The name alone was enough to draw me in: Dragon’s Blood Night Cream by Rodial promises a smoother, brighter, more even complexion by the time dawn breaks.

7. The Overnight Body Treatment by Sarah Chapman is packed with potent anti-ageing ingredients and relaxing essential oils.

8. If all else fails, hide the dark circles with Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer and take comfort in the knowledge that at least you look well-rested.

9. Or plump for By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer which promises to erase sleepless nights by reducing puffiness and lifting fine lines.

All products available at Space NK

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Beauty Edit: My Skincare Regime

Skincare 4

So, I know you’ve all been dying to know what was hiding in my Space NK bag the other week (apart from the Narsissist cheek palette of course..) 😉

Pretty much all my skincare products had run out so I desperately needed to restock on everything from cleansers to moisturizers. While I was happy with the Verso serum and day cream I was using before, I’m not exactly what you would call a loyal customer when it comes to beauty products. So I walked into the shop with a very open mind, ready to heed the advice the experts had to offer.

Skincare 3

One product that I did re-purchase was the Express Makeup Remover by Ren as it does such a thorough job of removing all traces of makeup (including my waterproof mascara) and saves time on using a separate eye makeup remover and cleanser. I also bought an exfoliator by the same brand which is gentle enough to use every day.

Skincare 1

Here’s a new brand for me: Darphin. As the name would suggest, it hails from France and the blurb says it is “a professional botanical Parisian skincare line based on a harmonious blend of plants and pure essential oils.” Sounds good to me so I bought the serum, night and day creams. The serum is very light but a little goes a long way. The creams both have a wonderful texture and are quickly absorbed by the skin – again you don’t need to use much, so while they weren’t exactly cheap the pots should last quite a while. I’ve only been using the products for a week and a half but already my skin looks brighter and maybe a little smoother.
Now, in case any of you were wondering where the eye cream is, I have to confess that I never use one. I know most skincare advisors would probably recommend a separate product for the skin around the eyes, but I’ve always been fine with just my regular face cream. You can read a bit about the pros and cons of using a separate eye cream here and here

Skincare 2

I have very pale skin which can look pasty in winter, matching the dull grey weather perhaps, but not exactly uplifting when looking in the mirror. I’m forever searching for a fake tan that will add a hint of colour without any orange undertones. The sales lady at Space NK suggested I try the Xen-Tan daily face tanner and it’s just what I wanted. In the winter I only use fake tan on my face, neck and decolletage but I plan to buy the body lotion as soon as the weather is warm enough for bare legs.

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream is a sample I received a while ago but it’s great at keeping chapped lips at bay. I also try to use a face mask once a week but I don’t stick to any particular brand. This Sanctuary Spa mask was another sample (from a Glossy Box last autumn I think) that I have yet to try but I’m intrigued by the fact that it heats up on your skin!

And that’s it – eight products in total to (hopefully) keep my skin looking its best. As I get older I’m finding that I would rather spend more on a few products that really make a difference than clutter up my bathroom cabinet with bottles and jars I rarely use.

By the way, I don’t know if any of you have had problems with WordPress today. It doesn’t seem to be working on my computer so I had to write this on the iPad which took over an hour… Hopefully it will be back to normal this evening.

Hope you’ve all had a great start to the week! X

Five on Friday

IMG_6229

I went on a spending spree at Space NK and used up the vouchers I got for Christmas and my birthday last autumn. Love that shop! I will do a separate post on the things I bought next week.

Kitchen file

I started putting together a kitchen inspiration folder ahead of our planned renovation later this year. Between that and my Pinterest board I don’t think I’ll be stuck for ideas.

Jewellery

This jewellery tree was on sale for only £10 in a local boutique. Having some of my favourite pieces on display on top of my dresser will hopefully encourage me to accessorize more.

Unisa boots

Honestly, I am not a shopaholic but I had forgotten about these Unisa boots that I bought just before Christmas. Now that I’ve found them, I can’t stop wearing them as they are so comfortable. They remind me of my favourite pair of boots that I had at school.

Star jumper

I’m also somewhat obsessed with my Star sweater from Hunky Dory (another Sale buy) – accessorized here with my ten-year-old son’s beanie, which I keep stealing – much to his embarrassment I should add (I just tell him it’s pay back for all those toddler tantrums he used to throw in the middle of the supermarket to embarrass me!)

Happy Friday everyone! I hope the weekend is all you want it to be – and more! X

This Week’s Favourites

This week's faves 6:10:13

Where has the time gone? It seems like it was only yesterday that I wrote my last ‘Favourites’ post and now it’s Sunday again. Looking back at the photos I can see that even though the week flew by, as usual we managed to squeeze quite a lot in.

1. Because of the building work going on at home, the house was covered in dust at the start of the week so Clemmie and I escaped to a nearby village for brunch. I had Eggs Benedict, one of my all-time favourites.

2. We have finally chosen the tiles to go around the sink in the new downstairs cloakroom. Fingers crossed, it should all be finished by the end of this week in time for my husband’s birthday party on Saturday. I will of course share pictures when it’s all done.

3. I also managed to plant some herbs in two of the pots I bought in Sweden this summer. They were a bargain at less than £10 for three and I love the chalkboard labels on them.

4. I went to two exercise classes this week and decided to reward myself (and my aching muscles) with some new workout clothes from Sweaty Betty.

5. I also bought an early birthday present for myself from Space NK – I just can’t go into that store without buying something!

6. The highlight of the week was without a doubt my birthday on Wednesday and a meal out at Jamie’s Italian to celebrate with my husband and kids.

7. Like mother like daughter. Clemmie seems to have inherited my love of magazines and pesters me to buy one every time we go shopping. This one certainly lives up to is name: I think it has got every shade of pink imaginable on the cover.

8. I made a very exciting discovery this week: they sell Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks in the UK! I don’t know how I could have missed it although in my defence the barista did say they’re new for this autumn. So yummy, especially with whipped cream on top!

9. My husband went away for a golf weekend on Friday so I’ve been on my own with the kids all weekend. I really take my hat off to all the single mums out there, it is bloody hard work! Saturday was spent ferrying them around to various activities (football, swimming, tutor) and then a friend whose husband was also away came over with her kids in the evening. The children had pizza and shared some of my birthday chocolates while watching a movie (although I think Clemmie managed to get more chocolate on her than in her!) and we had Thai takeaway and a glass of wine or two.

Now I’m just waiting for my other half to walk through the front door so I can take a hot bath and then curl up in front of the TV to watch the third series of Homeland. Unfortunately the week has not ended on a good note as someone close to me was admitted to hospital today. Hopefully, it won’t be for long and we’re all doing our best to stay positive.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. X

The Beauty Edit: Lighten up for summer

IMG_2348

Space NK is like a candy store for grown ups, full of expensive but oh-so-tempting treats. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into one of their shops and come out empty-handed, even if I wasn’t intending to buy anything. I don’t wear that much makeup and I would rather spend a bit more on a few choice products than clutter up my makeup bag with items I don’t need. That’s not to say that I don’t rate budget beauty brands – I love online beauty retailer E.l.f for instance, where you can pick up a new lipstick or eye shadow for a couple of pounds.

Lipgloss2

My number one desert island product that I don’t leave the house without is lipstick or gloss. In fact I would probably forgo mascara if it meant leaving my lips bare. In winter I like strong plums and reds but in summer it’s nice to keep things a bit lighter, especially when you’ve got a tan (fake or real). I’ve been searching for ages for the perfect lipgloss – not too pale and with a blue undertone rather than gold or brown. This week I found it, while out on a shopping trip with a couple of girlfriends. The Laque de Rose in Rose Romance from By Terry looks almost neon bright in the bottle but is the perfect skin-flattering shade of pink on the lips with just the right amount of shimmer.

Blush

I also bought a new cream blusher from Laura Mercier in Rosebud, a suit-all pink that again is perfect for summer, and a heat protecting styling spray by Percy & Reed. The latter is essential for a Ghd addict like myself and will hopefully stop my hair from becoming straw-like due to the constant straightening and curling I put it through.

Percy Reed

Finally, I popped into Boots to grab a bottle of Essie nailpolish in Ballet Slippers, my go-to polish for a glam yet understated manicure.

Essie