September Beauty

Since embarking on the roller coaster whirlwind that is parenting I have really started to get into skincare. Before kids, I used to just slap on whatever products I could scrounge from the dressing room at the end of a show – nowt pricy, usually baby wipes and Simple moisturiser. I also used to wear a LOT more makeup. Since becoming a mum, I am constantly in search or that amazing glow you get during pregnancy. My skin has always been good when I have been pregnant. Skin is the only thing that I can rock when I’m up the duff. The rest of me is falling apart…varicose veins in my legs and foof, stretch marks all over, crazy hair colour, but my skin…yup my skin looks good.

It has only been in the last year that I have started to use retinol, glycolic and vitamin C. They are complete game changers and I am so sad they weren’t about in my spotty teenage years. Vitamin C serum is a product that is now a beauty staple for me. It is a holy grail because IT REALLY WORKS , really. I could clean my house all day for 24 hours and I would see less results than I do after a morning with a bit of vit c serum on my face!

  • Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum. £32.00.

Not only is this product recommended by the great Sali Hughes but it just won the award for best new ‘Skintellectual’ at the 2019 CEW Beauty Awards. This bottle of fab seems to be marketed at ‘mature’ skin. I think Vitamin C is generally great for mature skin which often needs a helping hand to create a glow and reduce sun spots. However, the Balance Me serum contains hyaluronic acid and it is definitely the most moisturising of the three serums in this review. I usually use my vitamin C serum before putting on a hyaluronic acid serum but with the Balance Me I just didn’t need to. My skin felt moisturised and looked plump. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue and smells lovely.

  • Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum. 21.00.

This is my fave product of the three! I just read a review by someone who basically hated the fact that it was in such a small bottle. “Hello? Mcfly?” That the USP dummy. The whole point of this product is that the brains at Vichy have given you a ten day shot of vitamin c power. They recommend you use this little vial of wonder about 3 times a year, for 10 days which will result in brighter skin. The best bit???? Because the light resistant bottle contains only 10ml, the product stays fresh and you will use it all up.

So what’s in the bottle:

15 % Ascorbic acid which is the pure form of vit c. If you have sensitive skin this percentage could be a little too much for you.

Alcohol Denat. Used to help the efficacy of the other ingredients and as a preservative. However it can be slightly drying. It didn’t affect my skin but if you are on the dry side make sure you use a good moisturiser.

Hyaluronic Acid. This basically acts as a magnet to draw in moisture. In this product the acid is hydrolysed which means the acid is broken down into smaller chunks which makes it a bit less effective.

As I said, I really loved this serum and saw a dramatic improvement in the brightness of my skin….which defo needs a bit of help in that department. I also didn’t find it drying as I use a hyaluronic acid serum afterwards anyway.

  • Glow Recipe Pineapple C Bright Serum.£46.00.

My husband says that I am an advertisers dream. The bottle for this serum is like a pineapple….a 🍍!!!! It’s utterly tremendous! I didn’t just get seduced by a pretty face however as this serum just won the Best Serum in the Instyle Readers Choice Awards.

This serum contains not one but three forms of vitamin C: Ascorbic Acid, 22% pineapple juice and 3-O-Ethyl Asorbic Acid (don’t be threatened by the chemistry lesson-it is basically just a more stable version of Vitamin C. This little bottle also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and extracts of camomile and aloe.

The consistency reminds me of calpol….sorry, I don’t mean this in a negative way….I mean calpol is the drug we can’t do without in our house – it truly is the drug of the gods. What I mean is that it’s slightly viscous. It feels slightly tacky on application but absorbs really quickly to leave what Glow Recipe calls ‘glass skin.’ By this, they mean luminous and pore less.

Ok, ok my skin defo isn’t pore less but after applying this baby it is pretty luminous even if I do say so myself!!!

Thanks for reading. X

It’s the little things…..

Today I woke up with a funny feeling….positivity. Sadly and worryingly this is something I rarely feel. Granted it’s a Saturday and the day didn’t begin with the mad rush of school uniform, arguments about hairstyles and temperature of porridge but today I honestly feel good.

Due to this mad feeling of euphoria, I think it’s important that I write down why it is that I feel good.

So……..

  • I went out for a drink last night after the show. Usually I can’t be arsed and I just want to go to my bed but the key here is that it was a spontaneous drink. I happened to see a friend on my way out of the theatre who suggested a drink and I thought ‘yup.’ I didn’t have time to talk myself out of it by mentally listing the reasons why it wasn’t a good idea. I just went and I laughed and I had fun with my friends.
  • My children let my sleep this morning. Due to my inconsistent working hours my children definitely lack routine. Each week is different and my kids definitely suffer as a result of it. Sometimes I can pick them up from school, sometimes not. Sometimes I have a day at home, sometimes not. As a result, the girls are MEGA clingy. When I am home they want me. It’s lovely and I know there will be a time when they are indifferent but at the moment when they are both under 5 and struggling with the concept of sharing, I literally feel pulled in all directions. Today, however they went downstairs with daddy with no tears and I slept!!!!
  • I went for a run. Yet again this word spontaneous is going to pop up. I didn’t have time to talk myself out of it. I went into the sunshine and just ran. Maybe that is the thing….as a parent who works full time, spontaneity is word that is never used. Mums have no time for spontaneity. I know parenting is something we signed up for and I love it, but having the freedom to be spontaneous is really important. I could have spent the morning cleaning my fridge and hoovering (which was on my to do list) but I did something for me and it felt freeing and invigorating.
  • I went to the charity shop and bought tons of lovely books.
  • Today I have a matinee and no evening show. This is a major thing. Tonight I will have a ‘normal’ Saturday night with my husband. We will get a takeaway and watch a movie. This is not something to be sniffed at. There is something slightly depressing coming into work on a Friday night. Going up the escalator at Charing Cross and watching all the other people with that ‘Friday Feeling’ heading down the escalator to go home for their weekend is strange. I love my job and I am very lucky but weekends aren’t weekends when you are going into work. You miss your family and friends.
  • I found an unused £20 off voucher in my ASOS account. WIN.

So as a result, occasionally being spontaneous is wonderful for my mental health. I will have to remember this but ironically I will have to remember that I can’t plan to be spontaneous.

Have a lovely weekend.

Just trying to keep up with life

Today is one of those days when I get on the tube and breathe a sigh of relief and then remember it is only Tuesday. How is it only Tuesday??? I feel like I have been running at 100mph so how can it only be Tuesday. Then I think ‘Come on Els. Don’t get too excited for the weekend. They aren’t how they used to be.’

Writing this, I now feel unbearably guilty that I have kids, a fab job, lovely family, husband, friends etc and still have low times. But this, I’m afraid is a low time. I can tell I’m low because the slightest thing added to my already full plate is enough to send me potty. This morning it was an email from Amazon reminding me to return an item. It is now all I can think about. I guess because the little things (like the amazon delivery) I feel I can control. It’s the Hamster Wheel of Life I feel that I have no control of and I just want to get off for 24 hours.

Every morning the same. Youngest child comes into our room and only wants me. This should be nice and I should love it but sometimes it’s just exhausting. Eldest child has the same strops I used to have as a child….my tights are uncomfortable, my hair has bumps. There is a scene in Sing (which we watch every day) when Rosita the knackered-mum-pig makes a recording of herself so she can leave the house and do something she wants to do. That’s what I feel like doing for the morning routine. I swear I say literally the same thing everyday at exactly the same time. 7:52 is the row about tights and 8:01 is the row about bumps in hair. Eventually they look presentable and we head downstairs to have a row about breakfast. “No you can’t have f&@£ing chocolate cake.” 10 minutes later….”f£&k it. Have chocolate cake but make sure you have a banana with it.” We leave the house. Youngest child is insistent on bringing a telephone on a string everywhere we go…consequently we are late. Have I mentioned that I still haven’t had a shower and I have last night’s dream dribble crusted around my mouth????

Finally I get on the tube to work and I start breathing again. Wow. Sometimes I feel like I’ve totally got it. Other times I feel like I am just pretending and I need someone to lock me in a room for 24 hours where I can just rock and hum random tunes to myself. The funny thing is, that this 100mph living becomes the norm. Almost a habit, so it becomes almost impossible to relax even when I have the time to.

I guess this is why blogging helps. For the last 15 minutes I have ranted at my 30 followers and I now feel better. So thanks guys and if any of the rest of you feel like exhausted hamsters, please know you are not alone and I feel your pain.

This Works!

Anyone who reads my blog will by now have worked out that I am no expert on any of the things I write about. All I know is what I like and what works for me. 

So this is the stuff I need to talk about. Espa Overnight Hydration Therapy. This product is totally wicked and I think it may be that holy grail product that until now has eluded me. This masque has now become a stalwart of my Sunday night pamper. Before having kids my pamper night was Friday to prepare me for the weekend of social gathering which awaited me. Since having kids my pamper is a Sunday to try and erase the ravages of war from my face which comes from a weekend with my children. 

I slather this stuff on my face after a bath and then I get into bed hoping I will get a full 7 hrs on non interrupted sleep. I wake up looking like a goddess. Honestly I do. Skin looks plumped and radiant. By about 8:15 as I’m leaving for the school run I look crap again but between 6:30 and 8:15 I look brilliant. So if you are looking for a full 1hr 45 mins of radiant beauty try this product and you will not be disappointed. I would like to add that if you don’t have 2 nightmare kids and look a lot better than me to begin with anyway, then I would fully expect you to see the results of this masque for longer than 1hr45. 

Jokes aside this really is a fab product.

Anyway thanks for reading!

BB Bloody Brilliant.

Firstly, a comment about my beauty posts. I am no beauty expert and I am not going to pretend to be. I have worked as an opera singer for the last sixteen years so I do know a thing or two about applying make-up, taking it off, putting your skin and hair through the wringer. I also have two kids, sleep with one eye open, seem to be up at least once every night and spend my life rushing around like a blue-arsed fly. Consequently, I look like a monster without skincare and make-up products that work. I have also recently had my hair cut short and now seem to wake up in the morning looking like Brienne of Tarth after a particularly violent battle. So, in a nutshell I need stuff that works -that makes me look like I have had more than 5 hours sleep, that I don’t drink endless cups of tea (and more than a few glasses of wine) and that I have the time and energy to look after myself. If you are a child free, clean eating, twenty something, these posts may not be for you…in fact they make may you think more seriously about contraception which I am all good with.

Anyway BB cream. I received a sample of the Beblesh cream in my beauty box and having tried a few other brands of BB cream with minimal results I had no idea that I was holding the Holy Grail of BB in my sweaty little hand. I honestly believe that this stuff is sent by the Gods, via Korea, specifically for me!

So what is BB cream? The brains at Wikipedia say it has the ‘perfection power of a foundation and the moisturising power of a skincare product. On top of that, it also provides a sunblock.’ This stuff is HUGE in Korea, indeed Skin 79 is a Korean brand which claims to ‘combine advanced technology with pure vegetable active ingredients for radiant results that have won the brand multiple awards.’

I mean look at this skin. I want to get me some of that. This woman laughs in the face of open pores, heavy nights and eye bags. YES PLEASE!

So, firstly, this stuff is thick. I am not someone who shies away from the word ‘thick.’ I need thick. I need coverage and the kind of coverage that clings to my skin all day. Amazingly the coverage is thick but it actually feels really light and it really does make your skin look luminous. You do actually glow….which is why I cover it with a little foundation. Don’t be put off by the word ‘whitening.’ I was slightly worried I would end up looking like Elizabeth I but I figured it was still worth a go because even Liz doesn’t look as bad as me without make-up.

I needn’t have worried as I use it as a primer and still cover it with foundation and a bronzer.

It comes in a bottle with a pump so you can control how much you use and you really don’t need much so a bottle will last ages.

As for the long-term benefits….hmmmmmm. Well my pores don’t look any worse and because it feels so moisturising I am convinced it is keeping the wrinkles at bay.

Anyway, give it a try. I think its brill!!!!!

Thanks for reading.

And relaxxxxx

Firstly, I would like to point out that I do not have trouble sleeping. I can sleep anywhere and I think my favourite time of day is about 8:30pm…the kids are properly asleep and it’s the time when I know I won’t be disturbed for at least 9 (ish) hours.

My kids sleep in that way that kids do. They are hideous and grumpy until about 30 minutes before bed and then they miraculously find a burst of energy which results in the usual ‘I’m not tired’ arguments until I wrestle them into bed.

I decided to buy the Lush Serendipity Soap and Sleepy Body Lotion to see if it would zen my girls out during that painful 30 minutes.  Let me tell you, this stuff works! Firstly my daughter loved the colour of the soap. I love the wax paper it comes in too. Unwrapping it feels like you are opening a pressie. The soap smells beautifully of lavender and lathers up into an abundance of foam which doesn’t feel drying at all.

The body lotion also smells amazing and the girls were yawning as soon as I smothered them in it. My youngest daughter struggles with eczema and I was a little apprehensive. I need not have worried. By morning the redness on the back of her legs had almost disappeared which must be due to the oatmeal it contains. It also keeps skin really moisturised.

People give this stuff a go….even for kids with sensitive skin. Buy some now before the bank holiday starts and just maybe you will feel more rested by Tuesday morning.