Monday, 9 February 2015

Beauty Editors with Babies: Eminé Ali Rushton

Émine with her eldest, Mia
When I last saw Eminé, we were sat at a beauty launch, both of us in our first few months of pregnancy (with our second babies) and both excited and anxious about how we would handle having a four-year-old and a baby. We knew lots of coffee might come into it (for me anyway). Since then, I have watched in AMAZEMENT as, whilst I have struggled with finding the time to change my name on my passport (I got married almost three years ago folks), Eminé has gone back to work (as the Beauty and Wellbeing Director at Psychologies) and written a BOOK! Yes, a whole, hold-it-in-your-hand-and-read-it book. The Body Balance Diet Plan (published by Watkins) focuses on the science of ayurveda and how you can use it to achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle and will be available this April. It looks brilliant. Eminé tells me it's the secret to how she keeps on top of it all - but a very hands-on husband and a few fab beauty products add to the mix.


1. Decléor Aromessence Marjolaine, £44 (decleor.co.uk)
'I have to pay close attention to my skin - it can go from settled to oily to flaky in a matter of days - usually due to a lack of sleep! This is a great new find – it's a truly amazing nourishing serum for when skin is sensitised, dry and flaky.' 
 
2. Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser, £29.95 (buy.cosmeticsnow.co.uk)
'I guess I've always enjoyed cleansing my skin because, for as long as I can remember, I've bought balms or pomades or creams that require massage, steam and buffing. As a working mum of two, I've become so appreciative of the little windows of 'me time' I get - and cleansing with this every evening, is just dreamy. Plus, the coconut scent makes me smile every time.'  Other favourite cleansers I always return to - particularly in winter, when skin needs cosseting - are The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, £39.95 (theorganicpharmacy.com), and the amazing Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser, £29 (spacenk.com). 

3. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil, £40 (aromatherapyassociates.com) 'Baths are a big thing for me and this is somnolence in a bottle. Honestly. I add a little drop to my childrens' baths too, and it not only helps them unwind every night, but also fills the upstairs of the house with its incredibly potent sleep-inducing waft that takes hours to dissipate - amazing!' 

4. Burt's Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment, £8.99, (burtsbees.co.uk)
'This comes in a HUGE tub which just lasts forever and it's brilliant for softening heels, elbows, chapped lips (me) ... and of course for the babies bottoms and wind-kissed cheeks too.' 

5. Antipodes Performance Plus Mineral Foundation, £27.99 (antipodesnature.com)
'Make-up-wise, I go through phases of loving tinted moisturisers (my all time favourite is Oxygenetix Breathable Foundation, £45 (effortlessskin.com) which is great when skin is feeling drier, but at present I'm back in mineral powder make-up mode. Antipodes (whose Grace Cleanser is also beautiful - and ideal if skin is more sensitive during or post-pregnancy) make an utterly gorgeous mineral foundation with some lovely 'bonus' antioxidant ingredients, such as grapeseed and kiwi extract. A light puff at weekends makes me look human, and a more thorough dusting on workdays dispels a tired and lacklustre tone.' 

6. BareMinerals Stroke of Light, £22 (bareminerals.co.uk)
'This is my hands-down favourite undereye concealer. It's level of (undetectable) coverage supersedes anything else I've tried and it actually leaves my eyes looking brighter too.'








Thursday, 22 January 2015

Don't buy her flowers

The Care Package. Love.
My first week at home after having Max (almost five years ago) was a bit of a blur to say the least. In those first few days you're just so exhausted, delirious and a little bit all over the place emotionally and physically that you're surprised you make it through week number one at all. However, in amongst it all a friend came to visit and brought the BEST basket of goodies; gossip magazines, some really good chocolate, a huge, ridiculously cosy scarf and a few beauty products that were so easy to wear, they practically applied themselves. It was such a lovely thought because she'd taken the time to handpick a few things she thought I might like and in all honestly, were much more bloody exciting than another bunch of flowers.
Which brings me to Don't Buy Her Flowers. I am so excited about this new venture by brilliant blogger and mum of two, Steph Douglas, (read her fab blog here) because it really does fill such a huge void when it comes to what's out there, gift-wise for new mums. The premise is pretty much exactly what I've described above but on another level. There are five gift sets to choose from, all beautifully wrapped and all containing the sorts of things you really do want in those first few days you're at home. I'm itching to buy my very pregnant friend The Care Package, £26 - which lovingly houses your choice of glossy magazine, triple chocolate brownie truffles, green and mint tea, a luxury flapjack AND a very gorgeous scarf. You can even add Cook food vouchers to your set too.
So really, don't buy her flowers. She has enough of those. Do this instead and make her smile.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Probably the best cleanser in the world

Genius in a bottle
It's at this time of the year that my skin starts to change a little; it's drier around my forehead and cheeks, a bit more sensitive and feels much 'tighter' after cleansing. So I've started mixing things up a bit - my lighter moisturisers have been replaced with creamier ones and I'm using facial oils every other night (if I feel my skin needs it). You get the idea. Anyway, I've also recently switched my usual cleanser (Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water) to the more moisturising variant, Bioderma Hydrabio H20, £10.20. I absolutely love the original formula (as does every beauty editor I know) but was dubious as to how, as a water, this could match that comforting feel you get from a cream cleanser. And actually, it does. In fact, it's brilliant. Hydrabio is just as efficacious at cleansing as the original but it's specifically for dehydrated, sensitive skin (so really, it's perfect for colder climates like these) - it contains ingredients that 'lock' moisture on the surface of the skin. After a few swipes of cotton wool this took all of my make-up off - yes, even those stubborn bits - left my skin really refreshed and genuinely, I didn't use a moisturiser that evening because I didn't need it. For a busy mum, it's genius: fast, easy, moisturising, gentle and it WORKS. I'm hooked.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

5 online shops for stylish kids stuff

Scout & Co's delightful JoJo's First Word Book, £12.99
Let's face it, when it comes to gorgeous, stylish, stand-out kids clothes, decor or even toys, we're not so good at getting it right here in the UK. Okay, Gap is pretty nifty at coming up with some clever collections and Mothercare finally got their act together by getting Jools Oliver on board but, aside from H&M (and their home department) and a few bits at M&S I struggle to find great things on the high street. So this post is basically dedicated to all those brilliant small companies who are doing fab flipping amazing stuff online. I go to all of these places when, in the midst of all those basics from H&M I really want just one incredible jumper/body/pair of leggings for Elsie. Or an amazing duvet cover for Max. They're not cheap, granted, but they truly do offer the kind of things that make me smile every time I see them. And that's worth every penny.
What about you guys? Any favourite online shops you love to splurge in? Let me know. 

The Apple Papple Poster, £28
1. Scout & Co
I could spend hours looking at Scout & Co's website (in fact, I probably have). I love absolutely everything these guys stock (and that's clothes, posters, toys, books, blankets and so on - we have the adorable Fine little Day Apple Papple Poster in Elsie's bedroom) - so much so, that, in my head I've often fantasized of opening my own little kid's shop, right here in East London, full to the rafters of everything they do. Anyway. Just go grab a coffee, sit down and take a look.



2. The Bright Company
The Bright Company's Slim Gyms, £16
Instagram is just brilliant at bringing amazing things to your attention that you never knew even existed. Like pyjamas. Such is the case with The Bright Company. They only stock kids pyjamas and bedding but they're the brightest, coolest pair of PJ's your kid will ever own. Max has the Short Jyms (on sale now for £12) but I'm bursting to buy him these. 

3. Little Titans
Since having Elsie I've become a teeny bit obsessed with finding the cutest, coolest tights. Those little chubster legs just demand to be shown off. And here they are. Little Titans are tights for girls and boys and they're the best designed tights ever. It's a fact. And they won't run in the wash like Elsie's old Next ones did.
Little Titan's Sunshine Stripe, £15.99

4. Magnificent Stanley
Elsie in her Magnificent Stanley T, £18
I've raved about Magnificent Stanley before (see here) but it's become a go-to for an original and beautiful gift for friends who've just had babies. Choose from bodies and T-shirts in navy or white and get your choice of an appliqued Liberty print letter or word sewn on the front. I have one of these for Max and Elsie and I love them. 

5. Velveteen Babies
Again, this is one I came across on Instagram, which is proving to be brilliant at seeking out neat little online stores like this one (especially as it's nestled in the mind boggling big handmade and vintage shopping site, Etsy). VelveteenBabies is small but adoringly so - check out the panda and penguin garlands and cloud mobiles. See?    
Velveteen Babies Penguin Garland, $37.35

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Back to the blog

Happy New Year everyone! I have to admit this little blog of mine has taken a backseat for a while. Our little boy, Max, started school last year and it's all been a bit of an eye opening experience. Things like uniforms, PE kits, packed lunches, weekly birthday parties and school fairs really do take up a lot of your time. I've even had to get the iron out. It's been that intense. So now it's all settled and we have a routine of sorts I can get back to this blog. And this year it's all about honing in on the amazing beauty products out there designed to make your life that bit easier, as well as some lovely things for your little ones and take-your-breath-away spas that work for you and your family. I'll also probably be nattering on about some other bits and pieces that aren't entirely beauty based (did you see the Kate Spade collection for Gap last year?!) but hopefully, those snippets will inspire and intrigue you too. Enjoy and thanks for following!


Friday, 17 October 2014

The BEST buy for amazing eyebrows

Source: Cara Delevingne for Burberry
I've been thinking recently about what my essential, can't-live-without-it, make-up item would be and, if I had to pick just one great thing, what would I choose? (Yes, this is the stuff that fills my mind in-between changing nappies and doing the school run. Epic, I know.) And actually, though I use a handful of make-up products every day, I've figured that the thing I love, without fail, is my eyebrow pencil.
Every beauty editor/make-up artist/facialist worth their salt will tell you how your eyebrows 'frame your face' and it's true. It really is. Without them your eyes lose their definition and your face loses its structure and yet some of us still pluck away at them until they're barely-there - only to 'draw' them back in again, as if we're penning birds wings onto our faces, not brows. It's weird, right?
I use mine daily purely for filling-in any patchy bits but also, to define their shape, as I was never blessed with the kind of bushy brows that have gained Cara Delevingne her supermodel status - though I envy them hugely. And when I apply mine, I go for light, little 'strokes' rather than 'drawing' anything on or trying to attempt a shape that is completely different to my own. I also add a little bit of length right at the ends. The result is a slight more groomed looking me - that, a little lip colour and sometimes, if I'm lucky, freshly washed and dried hair (okay, that's pushing it a little) and I can face the school run without worry.
Brilliant brow stuff
Please don't listen to people who tell you that you need to spend upwards of £10 to get a good one. A make-up artist once told me how a certain renowned brow pencil was a brilliant match for pretty much anyone and when I paid up my £17 or so and took it home, I was horrified at how scratchy and well, 'ginger' the colour of it was. Get one that matches your brow colour or is maybe one shade darker for sure but don't opt for black when your hair is light blonde or vice versa. L'Oreal Paris Brow Artiste Eyebrow Pencil, £5.49 is the best I have ever used and just so easy. The pencil is non-scratchy, there's a brush attached for tidying and there's also a wax nib at the other end to help keep stray strands in their place. It comes in three shades and is ridiculously affordable. Job done.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: Hydraluron Moisture Jelly

I don't think you're ready for this jelly...
It's been a long time. It seems as if the last few weeks have, quite literally, flown by and I really haven't had a moment to sit and think about my blog. Sorry. In my defense, things really have been super busy. My little boy, Max, started school last week and with it has come uniforms (and ironing!), packed lunches, gym kits, reading books and all that stuff that you have to somehow squeeze in each night. Really, this seemed ages off not so long ago and then, suddenly, it's all happening and your baby is off to school. Sob. And you've lost your iron. And you get a ton of work to do. H.E.C.T.I.C.
 So I'm only just getting round to trying some new products I've been sent recently and I've come across a few gems I thought I'd share with you. For now, Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly, £24.99, is rocking my insane world and sorting out my skin too, which is a great thing. Don't get me wrong, my skin isn't bad (and rarely is) but of late, it's been looking a tad dull and a few dry patches have consistently been cropping up that my usual moisturiser just hasn't been able to fix. So I've been looking for something new.
Hydraluron is an amalgamation of five different moisturising ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, hydrolite 5 and fucogel, which forms a protective film over your skin to prevent moisture loss. So it really is literally packed with moisture. However, the real sell for me comes from its unique texture. Let's talk about the jelly. Okay, so I was dubious at first that this would even hydrate my skin - when you think of moisturiser, it's creams, lotions and balms that usually come to mind. Yet this really does work. I used a teeny amount (you need about the size of a pea) and it softened all my dry spots and left my skin feeling super soft. And as an added bonus, the refreshing texture of the jelly feels amazing when you're up so early you can barely see. So it's a win-win.

(You can buy Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly here. )