You could say that since becoming a mummy, my beauty regime has fallen off a cliff taken a bit of a backseat. With a new baby in tow, there obviously had to be a significant shift in priorities as most of my morning is now occupied with Raffy’s feeds, nappy changes, laundry, housework, and disposing of rogue breast pads (see note. 1).
My newly edited beauty routine just about ensures that, should the opportunity arise that I get to leave the house, I don’t scare small children or animals. After Raffy’s feed and change I try to get him to settle in his bouncy chair or back in his cot for a nap which buys me just enough time before I have to get my household tasks underway to squeeze in the following:
- a quick soak in a hot bath
- a cleanse, tone and moisturise
- a speedy hair freshen up
- a whizzy minimal makeover
These just about take the edge off my electric shock effect bed head, baggy eyes and grey sallow skin. And with an edited routine, comes an edited list of beauty essentials I simply couldn’t live without. So in the interests of breaking the monotony of gushy baby photo posts, I thought I’d share my top life saver beauty products with you!
Bath time: I like to pour a few drops of essential oils blended first with a tablespoon of milk under steamy running bath water. Mixing them first with milk ensures the oils infuse the water rather than sitting like a film on top of it. I prefer reviving scents like lime, grapefruit, clary sage and mandarin or cleansing and healing ones like lavender and tea tree, and I often combine 2 or 3 at a time. Neals Yard Remedies has a great organic selection and pretty packaging to boot.
Face care: I love french skincare products and swear by Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs and their alcohol free Toning Lotion with Camomile, both of which cater for normal or dry skin. This cleanse and tone routine doesn’t leave my skin oily or irritated and is very effective at removing makeup in the evening or pepping up my skin in the morning. I follow up with Clinique Moisture Surge Gel which sinks in quickly, leaving my skin soft and nourished. It’s the perfect base for makeup. I can also highly recommend French brand Bioderma – their Crealine H20 Micellaire Solution is ace at removing heavy makeup. It is super effective whilst being gentle but tricky to come by – I stock up when holidaying in Europe.
Hair care: As a long suffering victim of naturally wavy frizzy locks, I have sampled my fair share of hair products over the years, most of which have been an utter disappointment. In my experience, hair is not something to be scrimped on as it can maketh or breaketh your overall look. I find cheap products clog my hair over time and make it dowdy, or simply don’t do what they promise to and are therefore a waste of time and money. I am a loyal devotee to the haircare brand Kérastase. A bottle of their their Bain Nutri-Thermique shampoo and Nectar Thermique conditioner lasts me ages as a little goes a long way. Not only does it smell divine, but it gives my hair a healthy bounce and enables me to blow dry straight and banish the frizz.
On a recent trip to the hair doctors to have my roots resolved I came across a revolutionary styling product in their range – Kérastase Elixir Ultimé. This magical hair oil blends together the rare Argan oil, Maize oil – rich in vits A, E and omega 6, anti-oxidant Pracaci oil and Camellia oil to smooth hair strands. It has won global awards for effectiveness which comes as no surprise to me. I can vouch this product smooths my hair frizz, giving me silky soft and glossy (not greasy) locks with just the right amount of volume.
I wash my hair every 2 or 3 days to avoid heat damage and due to a serious lack of time these days (see note 2 below)! So on non-wash days I tidy up the ends with my irons, spray John Freida Volume Refresher spray into my roots and brush through with my fingers. This is a fantastic new product in his line – it absorbs any excess hair oil and gives my roots a volume lift plus the bonus is it doesn’t smell cheap and horrid or make hair dull like most dry shampoos.
Makeover: Tinted moisturisers are great for achieving a light, fresh, youthful base. I love Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser spf 15 in no.3. If my skin is a little dull I dab some Mac Strobe cream into my cheek bones for a dewy look. To give my face a wash of colour I adore Nars ‘Laguna’ bronzer and for a little flush, their ‘deep throat’ blusher on the apples of my cheeks. A quick lick of Loréal false lash effect mascara and a smothering of Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector and we’re good to go!