I’ve said it before and it remains the same – I am most definitely more spit and polish than polished (unfortunately). Far too lazy to spend hours preening, even before children, so add the two girls and my evenings spent running up and down the stairs settling them whilst trying to cook a dinner, tidy the house, put away the washing and finally work my way through the emails I amass each day (you get the gist we all do it) – beauty treatments are right down the pecking order. So for me anything ‘beauty’ needs to work and work quickly.

Apart from a couple of year-round products I swear by I do like to swap what I use as the seasons change. And absolutely LOVE discovering new products that work. So finally I am going to share them with you – so sorry for the delay in this post – it would seem blog writing is also ending up right down on the evening to-do list these days.

The Hair

David Mallett – these products are a little pricier than my usual hair products but they’re gorgeous! The Australian sea salt spray works like a dream – highly recommend.

Hair Xpertise – always has been and (I think) always will be my absolute favourite hair serum. I have tried a lot of serums and for my hair texture (medium thickness, bleached, a lot of it and naturally very wavy) it works the best.

Serum £12.99 @Boots 

Josh Wood Atelier – I have been seeing Melanie for colours and Kat for cuts and these guys certainly know what they’re doing. I have been so SO pleased with the results, the colour is incredibly natural and Mel played around with shades especially around my face so its flattering on my skin tone. The cuts have left my hair in such better condition as well as slowly helping me grow out what Kat calls my mushroom hair – think it’s where I tie it up all the time and there is so much breakage.

Josh Wood Atelier 

Olaplex – another saviour for the mushroom hair – I was dubious about this as I’d been advised to use it before going to bed on a night I knew that I would wash my hair in the morning. It sounds ridiculous but I never know if I’ll even be able to shower before the school run (sorry to anyone that actually has to see me!) but it all depends on Margot and whether she’s slept well and then what time she wakes and juggling the two of them. So I have had one morning where I headed out with slightly greasy looking hair covered in this magic potion – but definitely worth it. It feels thicker – less damaged and the ends look chunkier. Also down to the cuts of course but they’re working hand in hand to give me the hair I really want.

Wearing the classic wrap towel from The Modesty Company

Philip Kingsley – Elasticizer – another weekly treatment I have been using to put the moisture back in. This more like a deep moisture mask so works differently to the Olaplex. Have had the same issue with using it over night so now I’ll try and pop it on early on a weekend morning and leave it on for atleast an hour before hopping in the shower.

Kiehls – Creme with silk groom – I am not a fan of putting product on my hair after I have styled it – I prefer being to touch it and run my fingers through it without that sticky or hard feeling. Just for it to look more natural. (Apart from dry shampoo – oh yes I use a lot of that as the week progresses). But I was introduced to this by Kat at Josh Wood and its fantastic for all those little flyaway hairs especially around the face.

The Face

Sunday Riley – still totally in love with pretty much everything she does. Current favourites are UFO for the day (great for my breakouts), LUNA for night (use it pretty much every night) and Good Genes (when I feel like treating myself).

Cloud 9 Skin Solutions – Good Night Deep Nourishing Sleep Mask – I have only used this twice but love it already. Anything that works whilst I am sleeping is good for me.

Sleep Mask £38

The Body

Liz Earle – Superskin dry oil – when I remember to put this on before falling into bed I curse myself for forgetting all the other nights. You wake up with the softest skin that looks healthier and brighter. I am sure if it was applied every night as you’re supposed to it would change skin completely over the course of a few months. Perfect Summer skin solution in a bottle.

Legology – two new discoveries for me – the cream and the exfoliating pouches. Both give instant results (and smell gorgeous) that I cannot wait to try for longer to see the long term results. My problem being remembering to use them again as you’re supposed to use the leg salts before jumping in the shower and I would often forget and start once the water was on my skin. I leave the used pouch in the bathroom for the day too as just love walking back in to that incredible scent! The leg cream is great for daily use or if forgetful like me – an instant lift when you’re wearing a little dress.

REN – one of my all time favourite beauty brands – they just launched their anti-fatigue range which as soon as I heard the name I knew I needed to try! Anything to help with my sleep deprived skin. Luckily I was not disappointed the range is fantastic as usual! The body scrub is my favourite – it leaves your skin feeling so incredibly soft and moisturised rather than just exfoliated – I kept touching my arms after using it – gorgeous!

This Works – Skin Deep dry leg oil – if you have even a hint of the scales then you need this bad-boy product.

NUXE – the dry body oil is still my favourite – just heaven. I try and buy the bigger bottles when I can as the spray makes it so much easier to apply. Desperate to try their sun cream too – heard great things and this little set has both.

Jo Malone – one of Jo’s biggest fans I love pretty much everything they do – those scents! Just douse me in them (and my house). Lime Basil and Mandarin in my absolute favourite and I have just discovered another Summer essential – their exfoliating shower gel – and it comes in my favourite scent.

The Tan

Vita Liberata Luxury 2-3 week tan – still my favourite – partly because of the ease – no prep just straight out the shower and slap it all over with a giant mitt. Dries in seconds and left with a great tan that fades like a natural tan would. I can’t stand those tans that go all patchy as your own skin sheds no matter how much you exfoliate. This is not one of those. Plus it smells normal – huge plus for those sharing your bed.

St Tropez – new discoveries I am so excited to share with you! The tan face mask… this is amazing.

The Nails

Essie – totally and utterly fallen in love with an old favourite – Mademoiselle. Like bare nails – but better.

The Scent

Jo Malone – Basil & Neroli – veering away from my usual this is so fresh – my current Summer spritz.

The Makeup

Charlotte Tilbury – I am not a big makeup girl, when I wear it I prefer it to look like I am not wearing anything so am forever in search of the perfect foundation that covers everything yet looks like your own dewy bare skin. Charlottes products are the closest I have got. My favourites include this brand new ‘Healthy Glow’ tinted moisturiser. It totally threw me the first time I used it as it squeezes out as a white liquid cream and as you blend it onto your skin it turns a beautiful tan shade and gives an amazing glow. I’ve been wearing it every day since discovering it.

My other favourites…

Thank you for reading…

Ashley x

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How can you still feel like you when knee deep in nappies, nipple pads and having no sleep?

My blog was started as a means of making myself feel better… after a years maternity leave feeling less than glamorous and slowly falling into a bit of an elasticated waistband, dry shampoo, make-do hole I missed making an effort and feeling good about myself when I looked in the mirror. So I started taking photos of my outfits in a bid to force myself to make more of an effort again. Even if it was just to pop to the shops or out for a playdate. A Mothers Edit was always about ‘bringing style to the every day’. So taking every day life and making sure you feel good in it, stylish in it, that it makes you happy. Of course there will always be days you spend in trackies or don’t even get out your pjs but not so much that it effects your mood.

With little Margot well and truly here now, I have had two weeks of chaos. The first week in hospital, a few visitors but mostly just me, little MG and the doctors. I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make the stay a little more comfortable though. A silk pillowcase, lavender pillow spray, my favourite music and indulgent fashion magazines (when else do you ever get to read magazines?). There were some days I didn’t shower until the evening, I just sat in the hospital bed feeding and feeling sorry for myself. But as soon as I got myself up, cleaned, fresh and back in a good headspace everything was better.  So I wanted to share with you some of the little ways I’ve been holding onto my personal sense of style, then, and the past week at home in the newborn bubble. How to feel like you.. even when you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror.

Beauty

  • Keep it simple – when I was in hospital I didn’t wear makeup but I did use Dr Lipp lip balm and used the Jurlique rosewater balancing mist. The scent every time I sprayed the mist over my face was just the perfect amount of luxury. 
  • Toe nails – paint them. Get a pedi or do it yourself. When everything else is falling apart atleast when your chin drops you see a good set of talons. 
  • Showers – find time. This morning, my first alone getting both girls up and out the door, I set the alarm for 6am and jumped in for a quick wash before they woke. I’ve been using this gorgeous natural shower gel from Elemental Herbology too, it made even the hospital bathroom feel like a spa! So important its natural post-baby and well worth treating yourself to a little luxury that won’t irritate down below. 
  • Moisturise – when your skin feels good you feel good. The sprays are great when you’re down on time, I’ve been using a dry body oil from Liz Earle which I just slap on before bed. I think you’re supposed to massage on but I have been far too tired. Anything is better than nothing right now. 
  • Body – I am a huge fan of the Belly Bandit range. Mentioned before that I have been wearing the BFF. I am now just wearing at home rather than out and about but I swear by it in getting my stomach back to where it should be. 

Clothes

  • Buy yourself some new pjs. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in them at least treat yourself to a pair you wouldn’t mind being seen in. Just be aware you sweat a lot more after pregnancy – there is a lot of water your body is shedding so cotton pjs are best! 
  • Don’t do what I did and try on all your old jeans a week after birth. I cried. Just for a minute though, then realised I was being ridiculous as well as the fact it totally did not matter. But good to have a few items of clothing that aren’t maternity but are more forgiving so you feel a little more like the old you. Drawstring trousers, shirts, floaty dresses… if you can organise them before the baby comes too then all the better. You’ll be too tired (and emotional) to start organising your wardrobe when the baby is here.

Home

  • Clean sheets – nothing feels better.
  • Pillow spray – I love This Works and Blossom and Bloom. 
     
  • Cleaner – hired help or friends and family helping out. Makes such a difference and not something you want to be worrying about.
  • A special glass for your gin/wine/tipple – get out the special china, crystal or flutes – enjoy.every.last.sip.

Life

  • Music – turn the TV off and just listen to some music. Daydream. It’s good for the soul.
  • Online shopping – one of the only things to keep me sane during the night feeds. Shame most of it gets returned.
  • DO NOT COMPARE – easier said than done but social media is the devil for this. A few truths – that girl isn’t that thin, it was a good angle/lighting, her house is not really that tidy, the crap is hidden behind the lens, their children don’t always have perfect hair/clothes/smiles, they’re devils 50% of the time and remember Instagram is a show-reel of the best bits… not the full picture.

 

Ashley

x

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So the other week I had one of the most relaxing experiences of my life – EVER! I was pampered head to toe for an hour and a half. I drifted in and out of consciousness and finished feeling like I was walking on a cloud. I didn’t want it to end. And I will most definitely be back.

What was this amazing experience? A mum-to-be face and body treatment with Jurlique. In the unlikeliest of locations for relaxation sits a little sanctuary, a small and perfectly formed room of heaven within their flagship store on Oxford Street.

On my arrival I was greeted by the lovely Hollie Wray, Assistant Manager, and escorted to the treatment room (actually first it was to the loo then the treatment room) and after a few questions and pieces of paperwork she started working her magic.

Jurlique

I cannot recommend this treatment enough. The products are divine, Hollie was divine, and the whole package was just perfect. It would make the most gorgeous gift for an expectant mother.

And as we are so close to Mothers Day you may even be tempted to treat your own mother…? They are launching a special Mother & Daughter treatment – the ‘Hydrating Rose Ritual’. I have popped the details below…

This 60-minute experience is the perfect treat to share with your Mum/daughter.
 Upon arrival you’ll both enjoy a glass of Rose bubbly whilst our beauty
experts guide you through your skin consultation. You’ll then be
transported into a world of pure luxury in our Nature’s Spa.
 During your 30-minute spa treatment, you will each experience a
relaxing hydrating Rose facial and our luxurious Rose hand and foot
ritual, leaving you feeling restored, relaxed and radiant!
 Following your spa treatment our beauty experts will be on hand to
advise you on your personalised skin care ritual.
 £40 booking fee redeemable against purchases on the day.
Event dates: 20th – 26th March 

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Sometimes I have to ask myself why I still have my long hair. I wear it up most of the time… styling it just takes too much time day to day and to be honest with you – washing it takes too much time these days. Ten minutes in the shower is a luxury which only occurs if Vivienne is actually extracted from the house by my husband at the weekend. If she’s home there’s a bang on the door within two minutes – five at most. Hence why I am such a fan of the top knot and the hat!

But when I have made the effort I love it. And I can’t remember ever having anything other than long hair – loosing it would be like loosing another piece of my identity post-kids and this is one piece I want to keep. A comfort blanket in crowning glory form.

So I wanted to revisit an old post I wrote a year ago now and readers still message me about – especially as I know in a few weeks time I am going to have even less ‘me-time’ with the new arrival.

So without further ado – here are my top mum-hair styles and how to get them just so…

The Hair Tuck

Definitely one for the cooler months this works best with a big collar and/or a chunky jumper. Great with dry shampoo, and actually looks better when your hairs unbrushed. It gives instant cool and no need for styling!


The casual chignon

Can be done two ways – sleek with a bristle brush and messy at the nape, or using dry shampoo, messy from the roots and kept loose. Don’t be afraid to get right in with the dry shampoo and really work it into the roots with your fingers, it’ll last longer and create a lived-in look rather than ‘dirty mum-hair’ look. This is better with mid to long hair styles.

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The half top knot

For when most of your hair is still relatively clean but the roots need a bit of attention. Quite a youthful look, playful and looks great when you have some fab ear candy to show off. Grab that dry shampoo, wave the ends and pull up the front bits into a high topknot. This works really well with short hair too.

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The braids

Whether you braid the whole hair, half braid or even add a few small braids through the length these pretty features distract from the grime and actually work far better when you’re hair is a little dirtier. I love a few small braids worked through hair to break it up. Perfect for all hair lengths!

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The ‘Batiste’

When in doubt grab that dry hair spray and then working through section by section add lots of volume, finishing with the top of the head. If you have time, add a few waves with GHD’s or a curling iron to give a bit of definition.

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Ashley

xx

 

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Forever in search of the glow… I’ve touched on my constant battle with my skin so many times now but throw in pregnancy and its a whole new ball game. I really wanted to share with you some of the new beauty finds that have been working mini miracles on my skin these past few months – and how I have been using them to suit the pregnancy and beyond.

(If you want to read about pregnancy specific beauty I have documented those pesky hormonal spots here with my six tips for pregnancy skin)

 

Face

Sunday Riley – Artemis

I have been so close to purchasing Sunday Riley products for years and the price has always stopped me. But I have started to realise that my previous strategy of stock piling on half used bottles of mid-range product is probably far more expensive than just biting the bullet and buying the product that I really want. There are three Sunday Riley facial oils that I was choosing from – Juno, Artemis and Flora. Artemis is perfect for my hormonal skin – it clarifies, purifies and tones. Aimed at confused skin, its also anti-inflammatory, great for any breakouts and puffiness. It gives me that ‘glow’ that I am obsessed with it, and its this base you need to as close to perfect as possible –  calm happy skin that you can then build on with moisturiser and makeup. I have only been using it in the evening so far, wearing it under my moisturiser and I am so pleased with the results when I wake up. In the morning I have been focusing on my tan which I’ll come onto next….

 

Tan Luxe – The Face Anti-Age Tan Drops

I have spotted this little product on a few of my favourite IG ladies dressing tables and was intrigued. The packaging is divine but what about the product? Similar to a few more well-known brands on the market’s tanning products – these drops transform your own favourite moisturiser, serum or face oil into a self tanner. They are also anti-ageing as they have a tri-collagen booster which claims to restore dull and lack-lustre skin. This is pretty much exactly how I would describe my skin when I am not treating it, especially with the pregnancy – dull and lack-lustre. I have been using this every morning with my favourite Magic cream (Charlotte Tilbury) mixing it up in the palm of my hand and then rubbing it in to my face and neck. The results – a totally natural glow – so easy to apply, no breakouts, no strange patches from toning, no horrid smell. I love it! And yes – it does look great on the dressing table.

Elemental Herbology – Vital Glow
There is a definite theme with my choices – always in search of ‘the glow’. And this is no exception. I have been using this each night over the top of the Artemis. This claims to be the ‘next generation in intelligent, restorative skincare’ and helps skin that has  environmental damage and the early signs of ageing. My environmental damage is probably more down to all those years of wine and gin consumption – as well as all those sun-beds back at university (I worked in the local salon – free beds at 19 years old was dangerous). Well this cream feels so luxurious, its thick like a soufflé texture but just melts into my skin and I love the smell. It helps with skin turnover whilst you sleep so any pigmentation from pregnancy or the sun, blemishes, old scars from blemishes etc. A great product that you use the smallest amount of so it lasts. All of the products by Elemental Herbology are suitable for pregnancy making it a great brand to get to know. Plus its British, they make all the products here which I love.
Old favourites – Pixi Glow Tonic, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Charlotte Tilbury eye cream, Peter Thomas Roth acne wash (this is only available from the US now).

 

Body

Liz Earle – Superskin Treatment Oil for Body

In the winter I can get quite lazy with my skincare for the body. The old adage of what you can’t see can’t hurt you… but when you take the time to rub a cream or oil into your body it feels great not only because your skin is soft and void of scales – but also from a psychological point of view. You’re more accepting of what you have. Especially important as your body changes through pregnancy and after birth. Well this body oil is an absolute treat for the skin – it helps smooth and tone which helps with firming. Liz Earle recommend using it everywhere before going to sleep – I have been using it on my arms before bed, and on my legs after showering. My skin looks visibly more healthy and far happier.

 

Old favourite – Burts Bees Mama Bee belly cream.

 

 

Vitamins

Probably nothing new here for the pregnant ladies – Pregnacare. These vitamins contain the essentials needed and a few little extras such as the Omega 3 for healthy brain development.

 

Hair

This is down to nature rather than nurture right now – my hair is definitely fuller and thicker. I am not looking forward to it falling out again post-baby. With Vivienne I had the worst re-growth for months on end. I looked like an alien every time I pulled my hair back.

Old favourite – Hair Xpertise Argan oil

Sleep

This Works – Super Sleep Dual Pillow Spray

I am trying to get as much sleep as I can before the baby arrives – as everyone says with good reason – beauty sleep works! Sleep water and exercise. Key for the glow. I am missing the excercise right now (no excuses whoops) but the sleep and the water consumption are right up there.

This week I have been trying This Works pillow spray which combines two aromatherapeutic solutions for a good night’s sleep. The original pillow spray I have been using for a good year or so now and love it – it claims to inspire feelings of calm and prepare you for a deep and restful slumber and seems to work well for me. My husband does find it hilarious when I start spraying scent all over my pillows though. Then it also includes a Sleep plus pillow spray – this is to help with night-time wakings. A slower release that works as you move about in the night. Worth a try if you struggle with your sleep.

 

 

Ashley

x

 

 

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