I absolutely love being a mother to girls. I love that they have so much ahead of them, all the points in their life as a woman they’ll go through. All the things I remember so well. I love that I’ll guide them through the mishaps and heart breaks, mistakes and successes. And already I am thinking about the things I want to teach them as young women.

And with being a woman (and a man) comes looking after your body… teaching them the importance of a good skincare regime, sun protection, moisturising. And of the choices that come with it. My own first experience was locked in my family bathroom and sneakily using some awful smelling hair removal cream on my arm. Big mistake! Think I then followed it with a quick tester of another equally awful smelling fake tan. I so clearly remember having to explain the brown hairless blotch to my friends the next day at school – ‘oh yes some hair dye fell on my arm’?!!!? What was I thinking?

Well in my head – with my plans for the girls they won’t make the same mistakes. Here’s hoping right. But I want to ensure that they know they have choices and also make sure they choose the best product if they do choose to remove hair. The transition from little girls to independent young women can be difficult, but I want my girls to feel confident that they have the knowledge and the tools to figure out what works best for them, and hopefully their first foray into hair removal will be a little more successful than my own.

I have always used Venus razors and never knew they are actually the world’s number one female shaving brand, and a brand designed specifically for women. After shaving for many years, I have also begun to epilate with Braun tools – the worlds most trusted epilator brand. Both these brands expertise make me feel confident in their tools both in regards to getting the best result and their safety. For me these are the two ways I like to remove hair. The most efficient and time saving ways for me. I actually have never had a wax. Ever. Fun fact for the day.

I like speedy, at home, no harsh chemicals, and private, efficient hair removal.

Feeling good in my own skin is so important to me. And having smooth legs and under arms makes me feel good. That might not be the case for everyone, or even for my daughters as they grow up, but nevertheless I wanted my daughters to know the options they have and feel comfortable talking about hair removal.

The Venus ComfortGlide Spa Breeze is always a natural go-to product for me. It just lives in the shower and I don’t have to worry about irritation thanks to the flexible moisture bars which have a lovely rich body butter that keeps my skin feeling so silky and soft in one simple step

Venus ComfortGlide Spa Breeze is available at Boots 

Having the Braun Silk-epil 5 epilator gives me options. A longer lasting form of hair removal it means no fuss and no in-between days. You can use it in the shower or dry which more of less means you can use this anytime anywhere which is great! And actually – it is great value! It has a new beginner cap that shaves and epilates at the same time – it’s perfect for when girls first start out, getting them used to the sensation of epilation which understandably can be daunting.

Braun Silk-épil 5 is available at Amazon

I think giving our daughters choices is so important and we can help by teaching them to look after themselves by giving them the best tools. In every part of their life.

It might be a long way off until Vivienne and Margot start thinking about hair removal, and I have to admit the idea of them both growing up into little independent young ladies makes me all too aware of how quickly time passes. But with knowledge our daughters can be more confident, and for me that is so important.

Ashley

x

 

This post was created in collaboration with Braun and Gillette – all images and opinions are my own.

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As promised the second part of my Spring beauty edit. This blog covers all the beautiful new makeup bits I have discovered over the past few months. The makeup I have used for years and still love, and the bits that I now can’t be without.

Makeup

Mac – groundwork eyeshadow

For me this is the perfect day to night eyeshadow. I dab on with my finger in the day and rub a small amount under my lower lashes for definition too. For night you can layer it up to make it as dark as you like and as smokey as you want using a soft brush. I’ve used it for years and don’t use any other eyeshadow – ever!

Shu Uemura – eyelash curlers – the best on the market.

Nars Laguna – bronzer in matt. I love a matt bronzer more than a sparkly one. I prefer to add some highlighter to my cheekbones and around my eyes if I want a subtle sheen. I use this bronzer in two ways. Either all over with a big brush to give a tanned look. Or in the hollows of my cheeks for a lazy girls contour.

Glossier – boy brow. Only discovered this last year and love it so much. I use the brown and where before I had always used pencils this gives my brows a fuller more natural look as I don’t have much to play with.

Mac Liptensity – Ginger Rose. After my search for the perfect nude (thank you for all the recommendations – still yet to try them all) I found this. Not really a nude but the perfect subtle pink for my skin. Love it. In the day I pair it with a balm to make it a bit softer as its very matt.

Laura Mercier – secret camouflage concealer. I always seem to come back to this. I try other concealers and they don’t work as well… I love how you can shade match to the different areas on your face as it has two colours inside that you mix together. Also works all year round whether you’re tanned or not as you make it as light or as dark as you need it.

Bobbi Brown pot rouge – pale pink. Another product I have used for donkeys years. I have a few colours and although the ladies on the counter usually try and steer me away from this one I just love the youthful pop a pink on the cheeks gives.

By Terry – Touche Veloutee. Ok this is a new find and I cannot be without it! It goes with me everywhere!!! Daytime touch-ups, nights out. Its fantastic – if you can get yourself down to a Space NK and try it please do. Such a clever magic stick to always have with you, makes my skin look perfect in seconds.

By Terry – Baume de Rose lip. This is ideal if you like the gloss look but need moisture which is definitely me at the moment. I love the whole range to be honest but this is heaven to have in the handbag.

Suqqu – eyebrow pencil. Another favourite I have used for years – but not for my eyebrows! I use it to draw little freckles across my face. When I met Rich aged 19 all those years ago he used to tease me for doing it – think I used a Rimmel pencil back then. But in my thirties I am still doing it just with a very clever little pen that makes them look so natural.

Eyeko – skinny liquid eyeliner. This is brand new to my makeup bag courtesy of the lovely ladies at This Is Mothership and their amazing Birchbox (sadly sold out now). So I only have a small sample size of the eyeliner but I’ll definitely be buying a big one when it finishes.

Charlotte Tilbury – Full fat lashes mascara. Used since it launched and for me nothing beats it. No other mascara can give me the same fullness, blackness and lift. Love love love!!!

Eve Lom – Kiss Mix. I’ve used this for a few years now, I actually stocked up in the SpaceNK sale when their Christmas packaged ones went down to half price in January (worth keeping an eye out for limited edition packaging being reduced post seasons). Great little lip gloss that gives a gorgeous sheen and moisturises to perfection. I love it over lipsticks too.

Heliocare – gel cream light spf 50. This is brand new for me and if you only buy one thing from my recommendations make it this. Why?

One – wearing an spf 50 now will help stop further sun damage helping your skin look better for years to come. This magic gel cream, provides essential high-level UVA|UVB protection.

Two – it provides ant-oxidant skin protection (natural Fernblock® anti-oxidant) It helps to protect your skin from harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) and to prevent photo-damage and cell damage.

Three – its has a beautiful tint that hides blemishes and dark spots so you might not want to wear a foundation on top.

Four – its is very affordable.

Five – I use it on my hands too. Protects them from the sun and makes them look better because of the tint.

(It’s also very hydrating – sold it yet?)

Nars – natural radiant longer foundation. Brand new to my makeup bag too. This foundation is not too light but doesn’t look too makeup-y if that makes sense. I like to look like I am not really wearing makeup but at the same time need to cover blemishes and old spot marks etc. I use the smallest amount in the daytime and a little more at night. My new favourite!

Jurlique – rosewater balancing mist. Not really makeup but I like to use it over the top of my makeup. I’ve had this since I went into hospital to have Margot… so its lasted a year already. The scent instantly takes me back to holding my newborn. Such amazing memories. And it just gives your makeup that much needed freshen up whenever its needed. Such a gorgeous product.

Thank you so much for reading – hope you enjoyed it.

Ashley x

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I don’t dare say it… the word, the season, the weather we are all waiting for…. we get a glimpse of warmth and sunshine and then boom the cold and snow comes huffing back into the room. Well even the slightly warmer days my skin is thankful for at the moment. The constant central heating and icy chills outside have dried it up so much. That coupled with the fact I foolishly ploughed into a 1% retinol treatment without the recommended build up. Whoops.

So I thought now would be the perfect time to give you a bit of a beauty update. The products I am still addicted too – a few new ones I have discovered over the past months and anything else I think you simply need to know about beautification wise.

I started this as one post but there are so many new bits I want to tell you about I’ve had to split it into two. So I am starting with the basics, skincare and body. Part 2 will cover all the gorgeous new makeup finds I’ve discovered over the past few months, what works and what I now cannot be without!

 

Facial skincare

Peter Thomas Roth cleansers – glycolic acid and salicylic acid. I have used both of these for years now and always rave about them. The Salicylic acid I use at night to help stop spots and blemishes – its a BHA and unclogs pores and clears impurities. The Glycolic acid wash is a rapid exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells – I use it in the morning to exfoliate my skin ready for my serum and moisturiser.

Simple – eye makeup remover. I have used this forever and although I’ve tried others across all sorts of budgets – for me this is the best. Everything comes off with ease, no need to rub or be harsh around your eyes. Perfect. I buy it at Boots usually 3 for 2.

Elixseri – smooth player serum. This is new for me and I so far so (very) good. A really easy to apply, creamy serum that really delivers moisture into dry skin to help with those fine lines. It’s not the cheapest on the market but you don’t need much to get the results just continuous daily use.

Sisley eye contour mask. This is a real treat mask for me – when I have had a few disturbed sleepless nights with teething or sick children… I really notice it around my eyes. The lines get deeper and dryer and I just look a bit meh. This is instant. Feels incredible on and delivers results.

Sunday Riley – Good Genes. I have used this for a year or so now and still love it. I don’t use it every day or even every week now but when I do I wake up noticing a difference. It uses lactic acid to exfoliate and instantly brightens the skin. I would highly recommend!

Talika – Eye Dream. Another new product I love – this is a gorgeous nighttime eye mask that promotes skin regeneration for your eye contour. It also has soy protein to reduce dark circles. Addicted.

Paulas Choice – Skin perfecting 2% BHA liquid. This is another exfoliating salicylic acid product. Different from the cleanser you leave this on the skin so it really helps to help renew skin, minimise your pores, reduce any redness and help blemishes.

Glossier Solution. Similiar to the above I swap these up. I am have read different reviews on this product but I like what it does to my skin. Perhaps its the pairing with the cleansers. I personally don’t have any reactions but maybe patch test first. It contains a lot of the acids in the other products I use – Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid. So can be too much for some.

 

Medik8 Retinol. I am very new to this sort of retinol and after starting low I got impatient within a week – went full strength and regretted it instantly so have gone back down to this. 0.3%. I would do your research first and read all about it but this make is affordable, highly recommended by those in the industry and proven to work.

Sunday Riley – Luna. This was my first foray into retinoids. Very low, and mixed with tonnes of super moisturising ingredients. Its a gorgeous product I would always recommend and a great way to start using Vit A.

Sisley – Black Rose Cream mask. Pure luxury – at a cost. But if you can afford to treat yourself or ask as a gift its so worth it. Just bliss for the skin.

Tata Harper – resurfacing mask. I try and do this once a week – it offers deep cleansing and revitalisation, pulling impurities from pores and eliminating dull and blemished cells. Very natural, no dryness or tightness but an instant glow for the skin.

Tata Harper – regenerating cleanser. This is aimed at tired skin which is definitely me. Its very luxurious, skins left feeling clean but not tight at all. It encourages the regeneration of healthy new skin cells for a youthful glow getting rid of that top level of dead cells. I use this every now and then when I don’t want to use one of the harsher acidic cleansers.

Swiss Clinic – needle roller. Ok so I was going to start this last night but then realised I didn’t have a steriliser for afterwards so its been put on hold. So excited to try it though and I am going to write all about my experience and the before and after effects. If you’re going down this route then the serum you use afterwards is of upmost importance!

Sisley self tanning hydrating facial skin care. Always rave about this. Pricey but oh so good!

Elemis – Superfood day cream. I love the marine cream so when they launched this new range I was very excited. Its currently my everyday moisturiser I love it. Lightweight and packed full of goodness.

Tata Harper – Illuminating mousitriser and eye cream. These moisturisers are amazing. I am trying to use them slowly as love them. I have been mixing a bit in with my foundation too – they have actual diamond dust within! Your skin glimmers!! The eye one is amazing if you are worried about dark circles and dull tiredness. Great for tired mums!

 

By Terry – Baume de Rose face cream. Pure luxury in a tub. Perfect for when you need all the moisture asap.

Sunday Riley – CEO rapid flash brightening serum. Just finished my tube of this – I used it religiously. So easy to use, no greasiness and soaks right in. I think using a VIT C serum is very important before moisturer especially when using a retinol. I am trying two more brands in the next few months so will keep you updated. One is a much cheaper version and then other of the higher end of the market.

It – confidence in a cream. I was sent this as a gift and hadn’t heard of the brand before but a few people messaged me saying how much they loved it. Its gorgeous, quite thick but if I have had a night out this is my go-to in the morning.

For the hair…

Sachajuan – ocean mist volume shampoo and conditioner. Makes your hair look fuller, love love love!

Josh Wood colour – game changer – uplifting shampoo for blonde hair prone to frizz and the epic ‘Everything Mask’ – colour locks, slows fade, glosses hair and gives it a deep conditioning treatment. Boom!

See the range here

Hair by Sam McKnight. Lazy Girl and Cool Girl. These actually come in the most gorgeous packaging too (make a great gift), they smell insane and I love how they give my hair that rough slept in sort of texture. Gorgeous products! The pink bottle ‘Cool Girl’ is my favourite…

For the body…

REN – anti-fatigue body wash – love this stuff! Always in my shower I need it in the mornings to wake me and my skin up. Lathered with a big poof.

Connock – famous for their incredible scents they also created this incredible scrub. I am always in search of a good body scrub and this you use before the shower with this skin smoothing body mitt. So lovely and would make a gorgeous gift.

Vita Liberata 2-3 week luxury tan. The best tan I have ever used.

Thank you so much for reading – part two will be live tomorrow with all my makeup buys.

Ashley x

 

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When I told my own mother I was working with BABY Born she was very excited – she reminded me that the Zapf Creation dolls were my absolute favourite as a child. She would take me to Harrods in town to treat me and I remember them so well. I love the nostalgia one toy can bring, memories that come flooding back. I had a floppy bald baby (who still lives in my childhood bedroom at home) and ‘Kay’ who had the fullest head of hair and a big blunt fringe I used to comb everyday.

Vivienne’s BABY Born is a boy doll – she wasn’t too happy about that at first. Declared he a she and informed me that what was hidden inside his nappy was in fact just a ‘bottom’ and not the ‘willy’ I had told her it was. The clothes he came in were ripped off and a frilly pink dress put on. This was not influenced by me one bit, I find her gravitation to what have always been known traditionally as girls toys – so interesting. At a birthday party this weekend us mums stood round and commented that the boys ran straight to the construction area playing with diggers and anything that has wheels – the girls were dressing up and playing shops and princesses.

Well as always I want to make sure Vivienne (and Margot) always have a choice and if they choose pink and frilly so be it. At this age it’s all about learning through play. Making sense of the world around them, gaining confidence in everyday activities. Three year old Vivienne (like most children her age) bends and invents reality – I find it fascinating to watch. The little scenarios they come up with. The things they say – oh they have me in stitches I try to capture them on camera but it’s always out of nowhere.

All her previous experiences, things she hears us say, things she watches on TV and watches out and about – they’re all used to create this little imaginative world of hers. I love it so much – just watching from the side lines and listening to her play.

She’s been babysitting BABY born today and went off to Kingston with the car seat I don’t know how many times. Scolded the he/she baby for taking its nappy off, told it how much more dinner it must eat before pudding, and given it a lesson on using scissors (after its three apparently). She told me with Margot and her new baby she was very tired ‘it’s hard work mummy – I have two babies now’. Had me in stitches – too right Vivienne its hard work!

Vivienne has the BABY born interactive doll with nine different functions that make it more real for her… she literally feeds it in a highchair at the table, changes its nappy, dresses and undresses (continuously!) and bathes it. To say she is smitten would be an understatement.

BABY born

Ashley x

 

*This post was written in collaboration with BABY born. All photography, words and opinions are my own*

 

 

 

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Firstly I need to say this is by no means sponsored, I have never even received a gift 
from Levis - I just love them!

 

One of my most asked questions on Instagram is ‘what jeans are you wearing’ and usually, probably 99% of the time, it is my Levis 501 skinnies. I have them in black and blue and wear on repeat. I do also have some vintage pairs I snapped up in Urban Outfitters which have a wider leg and wear these for a more scruffy look.

Why do I love them so? They hold in my mum-tum, they show off my derriere and because of the quality of the denim they last. I remember back at school my best friend and I always complaining about our jeans getting knees in them – we would throw in the tumble dryer before a night-out to snap them back into shape (anyone else do that?!). It takes a very long time for that to happen to 501s. You’ll be washing them anyway before it gets to that point.

So here’s a few snaps of how I like to style mine. Followed by my edit of the different styles and shades and of course a plethora of inspiration for your viewing pleasure.

Enjoy, and please feel free to DM on Instagram or comment below with any queries.

Ax

 

ecx

 

 

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