Whenever I am asked what I would like for Christmas my instant thoughts are beauty related…. anything, something to help with this sleep deprived, wine soaked, ageing face. Not to mention the ageing body that gets put through a two week pasting at the gym and then doesn’t see exercise again for another five months… (must stick to those resolutions)…
But in all seriousness isn’t being given something that comes with the promise to make you feel and look better such a good gift?!
So without further ado here are my little beauty Christmas gifts I would recommend… for a best friend, your mother, grandmother, post-lady, daughter,in fact anyone that likes to take care of themselves with a little bottle of two of something special.
So every single product below I have personally tried and would personally recommend. These are all beauty items I would LOVE to receive…. some budget, some high-end, some expensive gift packages and some stocking filler smaller bottles.
The gift of sleep…
The gift of perfectly moisturised plump lips…
The gift of incredible legs…
The gift of Elemis…
The gift of better skin…
The gift of glow…
The gift of balance…
The gift of rested eyes…
And finally… an anti-fatigue bath oil in full size and stocking size…
I hope there’s something for you or your loved ones here… please don’t hesitate to message me with questions on any of the products they’re all favourites of mine.
Welcome back… I hope you’ve had a perfect end to the weekend. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to bring this weeks Successful Mother insight to you. Falling in love with her style when I was pregnant with Margot and she was just a few weeks ahead of me with her second pregnancy I took all the inspiration I could from her on how to style my bump. Not only is she insanely beautiful, stylish and chic but this woman has ambitions and is gearing up to take on the beauty industry with a big launch next year – and to top it off she is incredibly kind and actually really quite hilarious with an infectious dry sense of humour. You’ll see what I mean when she goes into her morning routine with the kids. Without further ado – introducing the talented entrepreneur that is Anouk Yve.
1. Do you plan your outfits in advance?
It really depends, believe me or not but I really make an effort every morning to look nice. I think if you look nice you feel nicer too. This indeed takes some planning in advance, usually either the night before but most of the time half an hour before everybody in the house wakes up. I not only plan my outfit but also the outfits of the kids. In this way when hub leaves the house to go to work, I’m dressed up and after I do the children. My son is 2 years old, my daughter 9 months.
2. What is the average morning routine for you?
Dress myself and the kids (I usually put the television on for my 2 year old son so he can watch while I can do all the work).
Afterwards we go down to the kitchen and I prepare food for the children while Teun plays with his Toys and Elin is watching me from her Trip trapp chair. I always make porridge (oatmeal and almond milk). After they have breaky, I will eat something quick. By that time the first baby made the first poo, so diaper changing can begin. I’m fully done with the morning routine at 9 oclock. About that time Elin is getting tired so I’ll put her to bed, while Teun is playing and I will clean the kitchen, check my mail etc. After an hour Elin wakes up again and I prepare her bottle, change diapers again and start making lunch. Yes everyday the same. Mornings are the most busy.
3. Do you have any quick makeup hacks that hide a sleepless night?
Hihi, yes, the obvious Touche Eclat, but also make up fixing spray from Urban Decay (skindinavia). This will leave my skin with a fresh radiant glow, some lipstick on my cheek and voila a healthy look is born.
4. Do you manage to style your hair everyday or do you have a tip for making second/third/fourth day hair last?
Haha I have curls so my hair is the best at day three and four. Because Elin pulls my hair all the time I usually have it in a low bun, I think it’s chic and minimalistic. I also – like you Ashley – love a good hairtuck, that’s my quick hair hack if I need to go to the supermarket.
5. Any sneaky ways to look better than you might be feeling?
Always dress nice, It’s my number one rule. It’s so easy to grab a track suit and just really be a mom mom, but I refuse. I want to look nice. Teun and I make a little play out if it. I will do my make up and Teun will watch and sometimes I draw something on his face with a eye pencil. The other day I made him a cat and he ‘Meowed’ at me the whole morning. It was so much fun.
6. Do you have to work a lot in the evenings too?
My time is very limited. My kids are so so young, the younger the more work you have. When they are in bed I can work two hours max, but I also have a boyfriend who wants attention so I try to do that too. It’s difficult. My boyfriend hates Instagram and everything that comes with it. He refuses to make photo’s of me so I really have to plan shooting days. I have friends who help me out, and I work with a photographer too. Usually I shoot one time each week. We do 4 looks, I cannot do more. It drains me out. I mean I’m 33yrs old. My goal is to succeed with my brand – I’m launching a special curl cream and spray next year – not to be instafamous for what I wear but for what I have accomplished as an entrepreneur. I always had businesses. That’s what drives me, not the amount of likes on a special pair of jeans I happen to wear.
For this time being it’s ok to earn money with my account, but the end goal is more complex and deep than just looking nice on instagram. I see it as a tool to reach my goals and to keep a close eye on influencer trends etc.
7. Do you have any tips for keeping the baby/kids entertained whilst you get ready?
Haha, eh Youtube? Yes my son does watch the television and yes sometimes more than an hour straight after each other. First I thought I was a bad mom, but it’s just the new era I guess. I know other moms do it too and I know our moms would have done it if they had the technique we have today. I have a few rules: No television during dinner – any dinner that is, I want them to really eat consciously. During the day time television is on only after 4 oclock, and we go out to play everyday for at least two hours. We live in the country side and the nature around our house is just so pretty. The only annoying thing is that it’s fall, Teun loves to jump in puddles. He’s always soaking wet haha. Yes this means again extra work for mommy.
8. Do you have any help with the kids in the morning from your husband or anyone else?
No I don’t I do everything myself. My boyfriend is gone two or three nights a week too and he works six times a week. Leaving 6.30am coming home 4pm. He’s almost done being a football player (we used to live in England by the way – he played for Southampton, Millwall, Norwich). It’s hard having two young babies and being alone a lot. I simply cannot go to events, or be on Instagram all day like the fulltime Insta-influencers do. I don’t have the time. My number one priority is my babies. Luckily sometimes I can ask my parents or Jos can ask his parents.
One side note: Every monday Teun goes to daycare, so I can do some extra work. And every friday we have a nanny. Friday is my day, I collect things I really want to do, put it on a list and make them happen on friday. Whether that is a stroll into town, quality time with friends or doing a yoga class. If I didn’t had one day ‘off’ from being a mom I literally will loose it haha!
9. Any style tips to make you feel and look better if you’ve not had time for makeup and hair?
Go outside for a walk, this will give you a fresh radiant look. 😉
If you don’t follow her already I would highly recommend getting on and following… her stories make me laugh, expect dancing and babies, fashion and family, life going by… and everything done with such style.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this week – let me know of any other mums you’re dying to know just ‘how do they do it?’
This Sunday evening I am so excited to have one of my absolute favourite women on Instagram giving us a little insight into how she makes it work. This woman is not only hilarious, but she is so supportive, kind and generous. Beautiful, real, raw at times – her social media helps me feel sane when I could otherwise be found crying in the bathroom. This lady is also a Sunday Times No. 1 Bestselling Author and currently pregnant with her third child. Introducing the lovely Sarah Turner – otherwise known as ‘The Unmumsy Mum’.
Do you plan your outfits in advance?
No. Well, not unless I have something fancy to go to and that’s very rare! I generally find I have a couple of pairs of jeans that are in favour at any one time, alongside several tops and a blazer of some description as if I’m off for a coffee or a meeting a blazer is an easy way to look like I have made an effort! On a normal home-working day, where I am writing between the school runs, my outfits are definitely on the casual side of smart/casual (and by ‘casual’ I mean I have been known to baby-wipe the toddler’s yoghurt off my trousers and Febreze yesterday’s jumper … not proud, but some days things are hectic!)
What is the average morning routine for you?
I do the school and/or the nursery run three days out of five so mornings are always a bit of a circus. I try to get up and shower before the boys wake up and after getting them fed and dressed (where do the bloody shoes go?!) I usually find myself with wet hair and half an outfit on just five minutes before it’s time to leave.
Do you have any quick makeup hacks that hide a sleepless night?
Anything refreshing I can spritz on my face to wake me up a bit is always a winner – the Body Shop’s Vitamin C face mist is a quick (and inexpensive) option. I don’t wear a lot of make-up, generally, and have never successfully managed to ‘contour’ anything but I am a fan of highlighters, such as Benefit’s High Beam, as I think a dewy glow helps to mask sad, tired skin.
Do you manage to style your hair every day or do you have a tip for making second/third/fourth day hair last?
Do you know there is one thing I swear by when it comes to my hair and that’s purple shampoo! As someone who has been getting highlights for about fifteen years, my hair has the tendency to go a brassy yellow colour and without exaggeration purple shampoo has changed my life! It definitely makes the colour more ashy and I find it looks so much brighter between washes – I couldn’t be without it. I also rely on dry shampoo and, for home-working days, I tend to opt for a messy bun because I am lazy and it does the job.
Any sneaky ways to look better than you might be feeling?
Even if I am running late, I refuse to leave the house without getting the eyebrow pencil out – my eyebrows have never recovered from being over-plucked in my teenage years and I feel completely naked if I head out sporting feeble patchy caterpillars. A quick sweep of tinted lip balm always makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together, too.
Do you have to work a lot in the evenings too?
I do LOADS of work in the evenings. In fact, I wrote almost all my first book outside of daylight hours. I think I actually work better at night.
Do you have any tips for keeping the baby/kids entertained whilst you get ready?
Netflix, Sky, iPads and Nintendos. I’m joking (well, sort of – TV is a saviour!) but my littlest, who’s three, actually likes ‘helping’ me to get ready. Though very cute, it can be quite stressful, particularly at the moment because he likes to point out all the growing areas of my pregnant body (“BIG boobies, Mummy! Wibbly wobbly bottom, Mummy!” Thanks buddy).
Do you get to shower/bath every day?
We don’t have a bath (sob) and this saddens me every day. In fact, we often have domestic disputes about it (I want to move to a house with a bath!). I do generally shower every day but sometimes life gets in the way (hello wet wipes and Febreze, again – I wish I was joking).
Do you have any help with the kids in the morning from your husband or anyone else?
It depends on what day it is, but there’s always an element of teamwork before the first person leaves the house. We have childcare help from family when we’re both working but we don’t have any family living on the doorstep (they’re all about an hour’s drive away) so we’re on our own in the mornings.
What time do you normally leave the house?
For the nursery run, 07:45. For the school run, 08:40. We live in Devon, so if I’m heading out for a day of meetings – which are predominately London-based – I’m usually up and out before 7am.
Any style tips to make you feel and look better if you’ve not had time for makeup and hair?
Tinted moisturiser with an SPF is a great time-saver. And a decent coat! Even if I’m looking a bit ropey I find that a nice mac makes me feel brighter. Plus perfume and a smile. Fake it ‘til you make it, and all that.
I hope you can use Sarah’s life hacks – totally with her on the baby wipes. I’ll be checking out the Vitamin C face mist tomorrow – and second a good coat especially this time of year. Go full-length and who knows what you’re wearing underneath. Sometimes the mornings are just too hectic its all about making life easier.
Thank you so much Sarah – may you continue to inspire and keep women’s sanity intact for many more years to come.
My skincare is pretty consistent, having tried so many things I know what works for me and what doesn’t. But having said that – as the seasons change so does my routine. The colder air means less water in the environment, and indoor heating changing temperatures suddenly from outside to inside – it can really play havoc with your skin leaving it dehydrated and prone to fine lines. Winter is usually the cue for my scaly skin returning oh and hello there rough elbows! Covering up with winter knits – who knows whether I shaved yesterday or last month. But it does make it trickier come the New Year when I am shocked into sorting myself out. So knowledge is power and all that – and the general beauty theme for Winter is hydration – skin, hair, body. This Winter I started early and pleased to be able to share with you my arsenal of Winter beauty products… the old, the new and the damn right impressive…
Pricey I am afraid but so darn good I am never going back… Sunday Riley! I use UFO when I need help with breakouts, Luna every single night (I am obsessed) and Good Genes as an occasional treat. If your skin is sensitive it might be too much – see if you can give it a patch test before buying it.
Nuxe creme fraiche de beaute – a perfectly priced, perfectly effective little moisturizer that’s just been reformulated and gives you 48 hour hydration. I carry one in my handbag now as I kept getting a little dry patch by my mouth and this has sorted it right out.
Balance Me Hyaluronic plumping mist – this is brand new and seriously clever!!! Another one I leave around the house downstairs and give myself a mist when I see it. So clever it even works over makeup so if you find your skin drying out during the day pop a bottle in your handbag. Winter essential!!!
Glamglow mask – I have to confess this has been sat in my bathroom cupboard for months now and I finally tried it a few weeks ago and now cannot get enough. When I wake up in the morning my skin feels incredible. And unlike some moisturising masks it hasn’t clogged up my skin. It’s also a great little bargain product which always helps.
Dermalogica daily microfoliant – this is a product I used years ago and forgot about, it’s quite pricey too but lasts a long time. When I was getting little bump spots on my cheeks I rushed out to buy it as the glycollic acid didn’t seem to be helping – I wanted a physical scrub to work on the rough patches. And it worked.
Peter Thomas Roth Acne face wash and glycollic acid face wash – these are year round favourites of mine and I cannot see myself changing my cleansers anytime soon. I use the acne wash which has 2% salicylic acid every night to wash the day away – all the makeup dirt and grime. Before I found it I had terrible hormonal acne all the time. Unfortunately they don’t sell it in the UK anymore so I have to buy in bulk and pay taxes from the USA. The one they do sell here (white bottle) just didn’t work as well for me – mine is a grey bottle and a very different formula. The glycollic wash I tend to use in the morning to freshen my skin up.
Vichy Mineral 89 – this is a new product for me and I would highly recommend it! It is an intense hydration product perfect for Winter. Helps with signs of tiredness too – you know I am sold on that! Feels like a watery gel and absorbs into your skin in an instant. I use it before I use a moisturiser and on days when I don’t use Sunday Riley. Really helps get the moisturiser to work hard. Great product and at a really great price.
Tea tree oil – anytime I feel one of those pesky hormonal spots rearing its ugly head I sleep with tea tree oil on. Nine times out of ten its gone by the morning. It does stink the bedroom out though!
Origins spot remover – another great little product in the spot battle! It contains salicylic acid and you can pop it over the spot and then wear makeup if you want to.
Elemis pro-collagen marine cream spf 30 – I have only ever used this when I got the teeny bottles from BA flights over the years and I finally got my hands on a tub and I am never going back. It is just so light and sinks straight into your skin. My absolute favourite moisturiser and having the added spf is fantastic as you really don’t want to forget spf in the Winter months.
Neutrogena hydro-boost gel cream – the best budget cream with hyaluronic acid – being a gel cream the consistency is lovely for Winter. This is always in my cupboard.
Rapid lash serum – another year round product I started using in my wedding-day prep all those years ago. When I actually remember to use it before I go to bed the results appear within about two weeks.
Charlotte Tilbury magic night cream – when my skin is looking really dehydrated this is my go-to night cream. It lasts a long time – very heavy formula so use just the smallest amount. It really works to get that moisture back in and makes for a great base for makeup when you wake the next morning.
Lano allover – such a good cult-classic all over body moisturiser for the colder months. I’ve been lathering it on before bed and works a treat.
Vita Liberata body blur – I usually don’t use any tan in the Winter months but this is great if you just want a bit of colour for an event or night out. Makes your skin look airbrushed!
Ren anti-fatigue body wash – still loving this so much, as I said before – anything that helps with my sleep deprivation I am trying it!
Lanolips – wow I love this stuff. I love the packaging, the little nostalgic tube, the fact you can use the smallest amount and lips are instantly softened and moisturised. Love!
Laura Mercier – secret camouflage concealer and invisible pressed setting powder. I have used the concealer before but rediscovered it. So good for blemishes! The setting powder works amazingly for me as I don’t normally use foundation so this just gives me some matt where I need it.
Laura Mercier foundation – in the photo above I was wearing their flawless finish foundation and it is amazing. It totally evens out your complexion, lasts and doesn’t look too ‘done’ if that even makes sense…I tend to just wear foundation for nights out so this will last me a long time.
Charlotte Tilbury – Healthy Glow, ‘Supermodel’ shade eyebrow pencil and their black mascara – all utterly fabulous and don’t buy anything else now!
Charlotte Tilbury – Pillow talk lipstick. This needed its own line as its taken me sooooooo long to get hold of one. Worth the wait though. And I am on waiting list for when they’re back in stock again… if you want to try you can sign up on their website.
Bobbi brown pot rouge in pale pink – I have used this for years now, I tend to swing between three shades but its been the pale pink for the past year. A few dabs on the cheek, bridge of your nose and the temples for a youthful sun kissed look.
Moroccanoil – I have been trying the range this month and my standout favourites are the glimmer shine that you use after its styled to give your hair a bit of shine – works so well on slightly frizzy hair like mine. And also the oil treatment in light. Makes my hair feel so silky!
Hair Xpertise – Argan Oil. This is my go-to budget hair oil. Have used it for years! Its sold in Boots in a little brown box.
72 Nourishing shampoo & Hydrating conditioner – this is really quite good. I don’t normally buy anything other than Aussie but was given this to trial and fell for it big time. Its the first time in about ten years that I have EVER not used the Aussie three-minute miracle that I am obsessed with. That’s saying something for me!
Elasticizer Philip Kingsley – addicted to this now. Just need to try to remember to use it more!
And as you all know how much I LOVE to wear a hat especially in Winter I wanted to let you in on my hat trick to not NOT get hat hair when you take it off!
Hair must be 100% dry before wearing said hat.
Traveling outside – loop and tuck into the hat to stop the frizz.
Before you put the hat on just flip your parting onto the opposite side you would normally wear it. When you take the hat off flip it back to your usual spot and you’ll still have the volume! Ta-da!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Essie – totally and utterly fallen in love with an old favourite – Mademoiselle. Like bare nails – but better.
Jo Malone – Basil & Neroli – veering away from my usual this is so fresh – my current Summer spritz.
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.