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Must Have Anti-Ageing Serums That Won’t Break The Bank

With winter now approaching one of my real concerns with the change in air is the condition of my skin. I have always suffered from skin problems. When I was a teenager I had severe acne and now I suffer from dry patches and eczema. But another problem has arisen that I never had to think about before – fine lines and uneven skin tone . I started noticing little lines on my face after I had my son. I blamed it on the hormones and lack of sleep. However reaching 30 definitely didn’t help. To make matters worse I started getting dark patches on my face around my mouth. I needed a solution and fast! So I set out to find a way to even out my skin tone and battle those lines  without having to spend a fortune. Here are my must have Anti-Ageing Serums That Actually Work & Won’t Break The Bank

Anti ageing serum

Boost Collagen With Vitamin C

Vitamin C Serums have been all the craze the last few years. Used by many a celebrity, including Victoria Secret Models. It is only normal that everyone wants has jumped on the bandwagon. But what are the real benefits of a Vitamin C Serum and do they actually work?

It is said that Vitamin C can help boost the production of collagen in the skin. Which is responsible for keeping your skin plump and youthful. However once you hit your late 20’s the collagen you produce starts to diminish. Leading to wrinkles and saggy skin in older age. So what do you do? You use a good Vitamin C Serum!

I scoured the internet looking at all the different serums available. There are a million and one, and to make it worse they all vary in prices. So after researching thoroughly I decided to try The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Supsension + Ha Spheres Face Serum.

The Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised. The texture of the serum is quite gritty and can feel quite rough on the skin. However I persisted and applied the serum underneath my moisturising cream every morning for a few weeks. At first it tingled as I applied it to my skin however this slowly stopped after time. In a few days I started to see a difference. My complexion appeared brighter and more glowy. The reviews I had read previously were all very positive and the plus side is that this serum is only £5!

 

Reduce Fine Lines With Retinol

I had read about the wonders of a retinol cream against the signs of aging years ago but never felt the need to actually use one..until now. Having suffered from severe acne as a teen, I had been prescribed the controversial Roaccutane drug at the age of 18. A strong acne treatment made from Vitamin A. It worked wonders and cleared my skin in just a few short months for good. So when i found out that retinol cream was also a derivative of Vitamin A my interest peaked.

Known to be one of the best treatments against ageing. Retinol creams work by stimulating cell turnover. Meaning it helps you to regenerate newer, younger looking skin. It is said to combat hyperpigmentation issues, large pores, wrinkles as well as brighten up your complexion. The Ordinary offer a range of different retinol serums at different percentages. Not knowing which one to try and having never tried one before. I opted for one with a lower strength.

The Verdict

It is said that you should avoid contact with the sun while using a retinol or you must wear a sunscreen. So I applied the retinol cream under my moisturiser at night to avoid any accidents. The liquid is smooth and lotion like and sunk into my skin nicely. I woke up with nice smooth skin. After a few weeks I feel like the small lines on my forehead are less visible. But whether that is because I am better rested or from other lifestyle factors I don’t know.

 

Given the reviews and scientific evidence backing up both Vitamin C Serums and Retinol Creams. I think I will continue to use them. At the moment I am using the Vitamin C Serum in the morning and the Retinol at night. I am seeing an improvement in my overall complexion though I may increase the dosage on the retinol to see if that makes any bigger changes. Whats even better is that both of these serums are under £10 from The Ordinary (some with a higher retinol percentage are slighter over).

The Ordinary is fast becoming a very popular brand because of its dedication to biochemistry, its no nonsense packaging and its affordable pricing. They have a huge range of products fit for all skin types. However beware the scientific jargon! Their products can be confusing so make sure you do your research elsewhere.

 

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I Tried The Listerine Foot Soak & Here’s What Happened

With this lush sunny weather taking over Scotland lately my feet have taken a battering. What with the endless wearing of slides, flip flops, sandals and heels, there is no wonder my heels are starting to resemble the Grand Canyon and my feet are so dry they have turned white! So with a quick google and some obsessive pinning on Pinterest I found the Listerine Foot Soak.

Apparently this foot soak is the miracle cure I have been looking for. It promises to smooth out my heels and leave my feet not only smelling great but transformed into that of a foot model. Aberdeen Modelling Agency here I come. So I thought, why not? Lets try it! The best thing about it is that it only needs 3 ingredients that are ready available in my cupboard so I don’t need to leave the house at all. YASSS.

What You Will Need

Listerine Foot Soak

 

  • 1 Cup of Listerine
  • 1 Cup of Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • Optional: Epsom Salts

Combine everything into a foot tub if you are fancy, or a sink bucket you found in the laundry if you are me, and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. FYI, the bath was used for photo purposes only! The recipe doesn’t say whether you should use cold or warm water. However I personally prefer a hot soak so I used warm water. Be careful on the colour of Listerine you use. I have seen some awful (funny) photos of people who used the blue one and ended up with blue feet! I am using the purple one so lets hope I don’t regret this!

The Verdict

So did this miracle cure turn my hard dry feet into magazine, OPI commercial ready? Or was this just another hype with no backbone that was invented by the marketing team at Johnson & Johnson to boost Listerine sales. ” Hey, If it doesn’t work for your teeth, then it is will definitely transform your feet”.

Though I will admit I found the soak to be therapeutic and relaxing, while also giving me an excuse to do nothing for 20 minutes. It was not the miracle cure that Pinterest articles claim. The dead skin did not miraculously drop off my feet. Unicorns did not start dancing around my living room in honour of this miracle. Even after sloughing away at my heels for what felt like an eternity nothing really happened out of the ordinary. So Is the Listerine Foot Soak the key to all our foot dreams? Maybe not. It might be good at keeping bad breath at bay, but it definitely is not the fountain of youth for your feet.

Though I will say that it DID leave my feet smelling of mouthwash and vinegar which I am sure will linger around for the next week. My lucky Husband! Maybe this is actually an improvement…….

So What Does Work?

According the Heathline.com, for the Listerine Foot Soak (Or any other soak) to work the magic it claims you need to do it everyday. Which in my case is never going to happen. I may muster it once a month, or maybe, just maybe once a week if you are lucky. But everyday is just too much work and time for us busy modern mums to handle.

So what now? Am I going to have to wear closed in shoes all summer ? Or adopt the sexy socks and flip flop look in the hope of preserving the delicate skin on my feet ? Nope. The best way to get your tootsies looking their best is to use a good foot balm or moisturising cream that contains Urea. Urea is a natural compound that softens hard skin while also nourishing it.

I am currently using Flexitol’s Moisturising Foot Cream which has 10% Urea, as well as vitamin E which you can find in Boots, Amazon and Superdrug. I apply it morning and night and have seen an improvement. Though I doubt I will be the next foot model for Sally Hansen’s new collection, it does the trick.

 

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At Home Face Masks For The Busy Mum

Just like most people, I enjoy a good pamper. One thing that is always on the top of my list is my skin. I can usually see straight away when my skin (and health) has been neglected. I woke with dark circles and dull lifeless skin tone. Which made me feel ugly in every single way. I am so caught up in my busy modern life that I forget to nurture myself which in the end affects only myself negatively. For a while now I have been making it a ritual to give myself a quick facial every week and the results have been fantastic. So at the request of some of you, i decided to share My At Home Facial For Fresh Glowing Skin.

In my teenage years I was plague with acne and when I say acne, I don’t mean a few spot here and there. My face was covered. What made things worse was the dark pigment in my skin would cause major hyper-pigmentation Meaning the spots would leave dark brown marks all over my face that took a long time to heal (You can see the hyper pigmentation on my leg in the below photo. This is from a batch of eczema I got a while back). It affected my self confidence drastically. I was called pizza face, spotty, all the names under the sun. Fortunately for me,  my skin started to clear up when I reached 18 with the help of Ro-accutane and some diet changes. Since then I learned to be heavily invested in my skin (and health) and research my products to make sure I use the best.

At Home Facial For Fresh Glowing Skin

So here is my weekly routine which I usually do on a Sunday. It is easy to do and maintain and I often get bits and bobs done in the house while I wait fro the masks to set. I have noticed a huge improvement in my complexion which has resulted in me using a lot less foundation when I go out.

STEP ONE : Exfoliate

I believe that exfoliating is key to a clear and glowing complexion. It gets rid of all the dead skin cells that can be the cause of dull looking skin and I just love the smooth feeling it gives afterwards. My favourite products are Kora Organics Exfoliating cream and Nip + Fab Glyceric Scrub. I usually spend a good few minutes gently scrubbing my face in circular motions with my hands.

STEP TWO : Dead Sea Mud Mask

Once I have finished exfoliating, I rinse off any residue and dry my face. The next step I apply a Dead Sea Mud Mask. Dead Sea Mud has been touted as containing a big array of minerals and is said to work miracles for skin. I use the one from Dead Sea Magik which is available at Holland & Barretts. I apply it to my face and leave it on for 10 – 15 Minutes and usually go downstairs and do some errands while i wait.

At Home Facial For Fresh Glowing Skin

 

STEP THREE : Hydrating Mask

Next is a hydrating mask and my favourite by far is by Kora Organics which you can get on netaporter.com. Most of you might already know that I am a devout lover of KORA. It is the best organic skincare around and i cannot recommend it enough. After washing away the remnants of the mud mask, i then apply the hydrating mask for 5-10 minutes. Depending on how dry or not my skin is.

Once the hydrating mask has set I rinse it off and then pop on some moisturising cream.

Voila, thats it! It may seem like a lot but it really isn’t. My skin always feels so fresh and smooth afterwards and I now look forward to every Sunday just for this little ritual. The timings are indicative but sometimes i will pop the masks on for just a few minutes if i don’t have time. It is better than not doing them at all.

 

If you wish to know more about Kora see my post here.

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Top Fashion Picks


Get Party Ready with John Lewis

When I was asked to attend an afternoon makeover with John Lewis, I was excited and surprised. John Lewis do makeovers? I was aware that you could get a quick tutorial or colour match from a product you were wanting to buy. But a total party makeover? Yup! This was the full package. A full face of make up and hair styled by none other than 2 of my top beauty brands. So of course I said yes, who doesn’t like a makeover?! So I headed into town to Get Party Ready with John Lewis and experience all they had to offer.

 

Bobbi Brown

Get Party Ready with John Lewis

My contact told me that a professional at Bobbi Brown was going to do my makeup and I was ecstatic. Bobbi Brown is one of my go to makeup brands and I was beyond excited to be able to get a makeup tutorial with their products. Some of which I already own. Check out my no makeup look using Bobbi Brown products

Leanne and Alex greeted me when I arrived and I told me that Leanne will be doing my makeup. Having got my everyday look down pat I wanted something a bit more glam. Something that made my eyes pop on a night out. “If you can think of a celebrity’s makeup that you would like to imitate, who would it be?” Leanne asked me as she examined colours that would suit my skintone. I cringed. I knew exactly who I wanted to imitate but was embarrassed to say it out loud. Looks like my Keeping up with the Kardashian obsession was about to be revealed. I squirmed in my seat hoping not to be judged as I said ” Kim Kardashian”.

 

Get Party Ready with John Lewis

Makeup Tips

To my relief she didn’t bat an eyelid at my request and went on to show me some colours to create a “Kim style” smokey eye and nude lip. We established some neutral colours with a hint of shimmer and she went to work starting with my eyes. This really surprised me. I always thought that foundation was the first step, especially under eye concealer. However according to Leanne the eyes should be done first as you are likely to get a lot of residue on your face. Which could then muck up your foundation or leave dark circles under your eyes.

 

Get Party Ready with John Lewis

 

After my eyes where done she proceeded with my skin. Giving me a natural dewy look with good coverage. Blusher, highlighter and lipstick were then applied and we were done! Meanwhile Alex listed all of the products and drew a picture of my makeup so that I can replicate it at home.

The girls were so friendly and approachable, and were happy to answer any questions I had about makeup and beauty. I must admit I am usually the “ask google” type but after speaking with Leanne. I realised that it is a lot more beneficial to actually go in store and ask for some advice. Plus they encourage it!

I walked away feeling very confident with my new makeup tips and had a huge list of products i am dying to buy. Especially their small mascara designed just for the under eye lashes! Maybe next month.

 

Get Party Ready with John Lewis

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Good Hair Day

Get Party Ready with John Lewis

 

Next up it was hair time, I was taken to the GHD stand where I met the lovely Jacqui who was going to style my hair. I was so surprised to see their little hair salon set up. I had no idea that there was even the possibility to get your hair styled in John Lewis. “I’m thinking a nice wave would suit you” she beamed as I came over. “Sure” I said. “I love a wave”.

She proceeded with my hair while I asked questions about the GHD services. All personnel are fully trained with GHD and every 3 months they attend classes to learn about new hair styles and how to use all of their products to suit customers needs.

 

Get Party Ready with John Lewis Get Party Ready with John Lewis

 

I watched as she effortlessly curled my hair into the most perfect waves i have ever seen. Considering the speed at which she curled my hair. She didn’t burn herself once which impressed me more than it should have. “Please give me some tips” I said. “Almost every time I curl my hair I burn my fingers or my head”. “Its the gloves” she said showing me her hands. I made note. I need a pair of those! She set my hair with some hairspray and viola my makeover was complete.

 

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Get Party Ready with John Lewis

The Result

I walked out of John Lewis looking a little more glamourous than I would usually on a wednesday afternoon and wondered what the Nursery staff at Gabriel’s Nursery were going to think when I walked in. My hair looked amazing and my makeup flawless. It seemed a shame that I didn’t have a night out or event to show off my amazing transformation. At least my son could admire their handiwork.

If you would like to get a makeover at John Lewis (and I highly recommend it). Book your appointment with Bobbi Brown to get the full “Party Makeover” for just £30. Bobbi Brown has a range of How To tutorials such as How to Do Your Brows & Get ready in 5 mins. Designed for the every day woman looking to up her makeup game.  For more information and to book an appointment Click here.

For a GHD hair makeover, just pop in to John Lewis and to test out their straighteners and curlers. You will not regret it.

 

 

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The No-Makeup Makeup Look

I love all things Fashion & Beauty. I love getting dressed up, doing my hair and having on point make up. For me when I look good, I feel good. Simple things like having neat hair and healthy looking skin can boost your confidence 100 times over compared to a day when you feel like a frump. With that said, I don’t like to wear a full face of make up every single day. Especially now that I am a stay at home / work from home mum. It just feels silly. If I am at home with my son then it makes no sense to me to have thick foundation all over my face. I want to look presentable but natural during the day. The last thing you want is to bump in to Karen from work looking like you have been beaten with the ugly stick one too may times. That is why I go down a simple route. I do the No-Makeup Makeup Look to look like a natural beauty. (even though I am totally cheating) #wokeuplikethis not!

One thing I love about this routine is that it is quick and easy. When you are getting up at 6:30 am every morning with your little one the last thing you want is to spend an hour getting yourself prepared.

So here is my “No Make Up” Make Up Routine that helps me to look fresh and natural during the day while keeping it simple and easy.

 

The “No Makeup” makeup look

 

My go to brand at the moment is Bobbi Brown. I used to be an exclusively Mac kinda gal but recently have been using a more products from Bobbi. I find that they are a really good quality and that the range of colours are prefect for my skin tone. Plus their packaging is really cute.

"No Make Up" Make Up Look "No Make Up" Make Up Look

 

NATURAL DEWY SKIN

 

My secret weapon to fresh dewy skin? Bobbi Browns Extra Moisturising tinted moisturiser. This product got me so in love!!!! I wanted something that would give me a semi decent coverage but would feel light on my face. I hate feeling like my skin cannot breath. What I found was that a lot of bb creams either dried out my skin or make it feel sticky and oily. However this moisturiser has been perfect. It evens out my skin tone while feeling like I am not wearing anything at all. The plus side is that it gives me a dewy look as opposed to my foundation which can be a bit matte.

 

"No Make Up" Make Up Look

 

PINK LIPS AND CHEEKS

 

Blush has always been very important to me. I would always add a bit of colour to my cheeks before leaving the house, even if I didn’t have any other make up on. I found it gave me an instant glow and livened up my skin when it looked a bit dull.

The only problem I had was that once I left the house, the powder blushes would fade very quickly. And carrying around a blush palette and brush was not ideal. This is why this Lip and Cheek pot was perfect for me.

 

"No Make Up" Make Up Look

 

This product is my all time favourite. I don’t know how I managed without it. It adds a soft flush to your cheeks and a natural colour to your lips. The texture is super easy to apply. It glides on like a thick moisturiser. Just rub a little on to the apples of your cheeks and dap on to your lips and you are good to go. You can add a bit of lip balm if you want a more glossy look.

The compact itself is small and easy to carry around with you in your bag or clutch. It is perfect for when you are traveling.

 

"No Make Up" Make Up Look

 

FINISHING TOUCHES

 

If I have time then I apply a quick bit of mascara and I brush and pencil in my brows depending on their state. I find the if I get HD brows regularly then I rarely need to do anything to them as they look neat and filled in automatically. As you can see though in these pictures, I haven’t had my brows done in ages.

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"No Make Up" Make Up Look

"No Make Up" Make Up Look

"No Make Up" Make Up Look

 

Now you have my secrets to looking fresh and presentable everyday while staying natural. It is important for us to always feel good about ourselves. Little things like this can make a huge difference in your self-esteem.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Check out how I get sleek neat hair in 10 minutes

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How To Get Smooth Hair Everyday For Under 10 Minutes

I have never been good at blow drying my hair. Whenever I tried to replicate the sleek look my hair stylist had done it always turned into a frizzy afro disaster. So I relied on my hair straighter. However the constant high temperature for long periods of time on my hair everyday was wreaking havoc on my locks, and the time it took to tame every strand was exhausting. So mum bun or the dreaded ponytail became my go to look.

It wasn’t until I was speaking to my hair stylist when she told me that the secret to great styling is the tools you use. Good quality blow dryers make all the difference. I was skeptical at first. It was true that I didn’t have the top of the range hair dryer but I didn’t have the cheapest either. So I did some research and after speaking to some of my friends who had everyday great hair, I found that blow drying was apparently the way to go.

 

So I bought a GHD Air Blow Dryer to see if I could get great everyday smooth hair without frying it. The first time I used it I was hooked. I had dry, shiny salon hair in 10 minutes. It left my hair feeling soft and silky with no fly aways. My hair wasn’t frizzy and I wasn’t sweating from being under the heat for so long.  I finally understood the secret to a good blow dry! Since then my hair dryer is my best friend and has saved me lots of time getting ready. I feel less like a yucky mummy and more of a yummy mummy when my hair is on point.

My Hair Routine

I start by spraying some heat protection spray over my wet hair. I am not sure how effective these sprays really are at protecting your hair. However I am not willing to risk it. Healthy hair means less hair cuts!

Using a medium heat, Iwave the blow dryer through my hair to get it about 50 to 75% dry. Then using a paddle brush I take sections and start drying turning the brush out. Always remember to keep the nozzle pointing down and away from my face.

The bits around my face are always the hardest to do because I always have a kink near my forehead. So I use my big round brush and roll the brush up from my scalp while drying. I repeat until I get the look I am looking for.

Once I am finished drying my hair I rub a few dollops of Moroccanoil in to my hands and then run my fingers through the ends of my hair. Moroccan oil is amazing for split ends and nourishing the ends of your hair. I have tried to use less expensive versions but none of them compare.

Viola!!! Smooth silky hair in less than 10 minutes! Great for busy mums like me!

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