I bumped into a very old friend earlier this week, her son had just turned one and was fast asleep in his buggy, she updated me on how he was doing, how she was doing, where she was living, working etc and I listened, in a way I hoped looked like ‘intent’ but probably more ‘confused’ as really I was stood there regretting like crazy that I hadn’t bothered 1. not showering 2. not brushing my hair 3. grabbing yesterdays clothes from the floor and finally 4. not a shred of makeup on my face. Now I am a firm believer that a woman shouldn’t always be polished to the max, but all these four sins together did not a pretty sight make!!!!

So I ask myself, most mornings, why bother? Who is actually going to see me today apart from the toddler more interested in Mr Tumbles makeup than mine. Even the days I have play dates its far too easy to chuck on the mum uniform and make-do. Work days I am at home so even easier to sit in my jeans and a sweater and not care.

But every day I make that effort to wake-up a little earlier, jump in the shower before the monitor starts cry alerting me, blow dry my hair (or use my new fave Bumble and Bumble don’t blow it lotion woop!) and use the feel-good essentials that are a hydrating primer, foundation, concealer, blush, mascara and eyebrow pencil. It takes less than an hour and then for the rest of the day I genuinely feel better about myself. Catching myself in the mirror isn’t a horror show atleast! If I feel good I look after myself more in the day, making the right choices with my food instead of chowing down on dry bagels (mmmmm).

Tips for speedy polishing:

  1. Choose your outfit the night before.
  2. If you don’t have time in the morning shower at night and wrap your hair in one of those towel hats or a loose bun.
  3. Clean hair and skin is a must – the better condition your skin is in the better you look with and without makeup.
  4. Moisturise.
  5. Blow-dry rough for speed until its part dried and then either wrap up into a bun which will create loose waves as it dries – or using a paddle brush finish the blow-dry straight.
  6. A good base and a good concealer are quick and easy to apply.
  7. Add a stain to your lips and cheeks like  Benetint for a speedy flushed and wide awake look.
  8. Mascara will finish your perfect look.

And here are some of my absolute favourite beauty inspo pictures which I hope might help you be inspired to pick up that lipstick and indulge in some beauty therapy – not for anyone else, just for you.

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I would absolutely LOVE to know your mum beauty tips and why you bother… comment below if you have time thank you xx

Vx

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For anyone that was a little frightened of contouring (thats me) the latest beauty trend is a softer and easier way of getting on the bandwagon. Strobing is contourings au naturel sister…  swapping bronzer for illuminator you can create beautiful dewy skin, the sort of skin only eight hours sleep, every night creates. In face this really is the perfect trick for us sleep deprived, run ragged, tired mums!

Here’s how to fake your perfect skin…

  1. Preparation is key! Use a hydrating moisturiser or primer (I love the Laura Mercier hydrating primer) – having well prepped skin is even more important when strobing.
  2. Use a tinted moisturiser rather than a heavy foundation, this will give an all over glow. But just as you would with a foundation ensure if matches your skin and you have no marks around your hairline or jaw line.
  3. Choose your highlighter with the help of a professional, it needs to match your skin tone, then apply to your cheekbones, centre of your forehead, arch of your eyebrow, tip of your nose, cupids brow and the centre of your chin.
  4. Use a fan brush to blend the product into your skin so there are no obvious marks.
  5. if your skin is oily make sure you steer away from highlighting any breakouts – keep them matt.

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Good luck and let me know if you have any of your own beauty tips for faking that perfect skin I crave!

Love,

Vx

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Following my holiday dreaming, and now that my Italian tan has faded (sobs), I have turned to the bottle, the fake tan bottle! I remember my first dabble at fake tan, I must have been about ten and my own mother had an old bottle of Sainsburys something in the bathroom cupboard, I remember it smelt like cleaning fluid and was a dark red colour, mahogany almost. I wanted to see how it worked so smeared some on my forearm and the next morning I was left with an orange/red giant patch of skin. I had to tell everyone at school my mums hair dye had fallen on my arm as I was too embarrassed to say I had experimented with tan! Many things have changed since then, fake tan isn’t a filthy subject, it no longer smells filthy and it certainly looks a hell of a lot better!

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I have tried a lot of tanning products over the past five years but it was only this year I found my one true tanning love – Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan. This beauty is amazing!!! I use Medium and after two applications it is the perfect tan shade for me, looks just like the real thing, fades over time like the real thing, no smells, easy to apply and no streaks what so ever. It is not the cheapest on the market but I go on applications per month and this bottle lasts as you needn’t top-up as often. Price per wear for beauty! Also – look out for Boots deals on this as they often have it on offer and that’s when I tend to stock up.

Here are my top tips for application… if you get a chance to try it out don’t forget to let me know your thoughts!

  1. This tan is unusual in that they actually say not to use any moisturiser before tanning, exfoliating is essential though – elbows and knees – but then the skin should be completely dry and clean.
  2. Use your tanning mitt – it dries in an instant so don’t risk it with bare hands and any stray drops wash off straight away.
  3. Squirt two to three pumps onto the mitt and squish it around.
  4. Go in circular movements starting at your thigh then down to your calf.
  5. When the legs are done and it looks like there is no more on the mitt, squeeze it and more will come out, use this for your feet.
  6. Think beach feet – only put tan where the sun would naturally hit – the tops of your feet not the sides!
  7. Do your toes very lightly, dark toes are a massive giveaway – and just the tops, then go across on the back of the ankle, not up and down.
  8. Next is your arms, starting at the top and working down to your forearm, long circular movements.
  9. Then the hand – each finger lightly up and down but not the insides – again think beach hands.
  10. Then chest and stomach, long circular strokes.
  11. Finally its the face – apply in the middle, t-zone, hairline and finally chin.
  12. Don’t forget a bit behind the ears for when your hair is up.
  13. Finishing touches make all the difference to the natural look – use a cloth to dab your nose creases, upper lip and eyebrows.
  14. Then a damp cloth on your elbows, knees and the back of your ankles.
  15. Final bit – damp cloth between each finger.
  16. Ta-da you are one hot bronze goddess mama!

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…and if you want to increase the colour wait 3-24 hours before showering and doing it again. A few faux freckles look super cute too – use an eyebrow pencil to dab them on where the sun would naturally fall on your face.

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Let me know if you have any other tanning favourites or tips I’d love to hear from you….

Thanks,

V x

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There is nothing better than finding that perfect lipgloss shade or that new scent that brings you happiness at every sniff – but there is also a comfort in having your own little armoury of beauty essentials, the key products that you can turn to day after day and know they will make all the difference. I wanted to share my personal armoury with you in the hope that some of these products might be just what you’re looking for to help with those joys of motherhood that like to sap the glow.

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Laura Mercier – foundation primer – hydrating: this little beauty of a product is something I use every day even when I am not wearing makeup. It sets your face up ready for foundation and / or powder but is amazingly hydrating for tired thirsty skin like mine. Pile it on and pat it into the skin.  buy here

Chanel – Vitalumiere foundation: describes itself as an anti-fatigue foundation,  my absolute go-to product for when my skin is looking grey. You don’t need to use a lot, I just smooth it into my skin it has a lovely texture too. buy here

Shu Uemura – eyelash curlers: the only eyelash curlers you will ever need. buy here

Chanel – Inmitable Intense mascara: I searched for years for the perfect mascara and I have been using this for about five years now. Also comes in a waterproof version for getaways! buy here

Eve Lom – Kiss Mix lipbalm: I bought this in Space NK as an impulse purchase, where they leave pretty looking trinket sized temptations by the till. Never without one in my handbag now. I dab a little on just the front of my lips and it gives a subtle sheen and smells amazing. buy here

Laura Mercier – secret camouflage concealer: this concealer has two colours inside matched to your skin so you can really be precise with matching it to the different areas of your face. Amazing piece of kit! buy here

MAC – Groundwork paint pot eyeshadow: this is the perfect day to night shade, a putty brownish colour that you can build on for evenings or just use a light smattering for the day. buy here

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Nuxe – Huile Prodigieuse – multi purpose dry oil spray: this is seriously amazing, you can use it on your body, face and hair and just a few spritzs (the smaller bottles don’t have the spray head) you can create the effect of gorgeous sexy long limbs! buy here

REN – Flash rinse one minute miracle: this is a super speedy one minute facial in a bottle and I notice the effect immediately. The morning after your skin just looks that little bit better and feels more supple. Thumbs up all round. buy here

Clarins – HydraQuench cream – mask: this is a moisturising mask you have on for about ten minutes but I actually love to treat my skin to a weekly night mask with it, just slather it on and head to bed. In the morning you cleanse as normal and the difference is obvious. buy here

Rapid Lash – eyelash enhancer serum: this is pricey for such a small bottle but every time I make the effort to use it each night the comments I get from friends and family – have I got fake eyelashes on, what new mascara am I using etc etc. Well worth remembering to use each night! buy here

Dermalogica – overnight clearing gel: if you suffer from the odd hormonal breakout like I unfortunately do then this is a life saver. I use a thin layer across my problem areas and it keeps the monsters away. buy here

I hope this has been of interest – I’d love to hear about any beauty essentials you have, it seems the best discoveries are always from recommendations, I know mine have been!

Thank you,

V x

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I remember, vaguely, the days I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without at-least a lick of mascara and the straighteners were on every morning without fail. My poor bleached locks!

But to be honest most ‘home’ days I won’t even pick up the BB cream. Days with the small are days I let my skin breath… soak in a good facial oil and then come ‘bedtime’ I finish with a wholesome clarisonic cleanse and estee lauder night mask.

So I wanted to explore hair…  I thought I’d impart my very limited knowledge of mum hair, what has worked well for me, what actually I wish I’d have had the advice on back in those early days….

Relax, put the straighteners back in the box, hairspray back on the shelf and your time back in your pocket for some well deserved ‘reclaim’ time.

Number 1

The Topknot

The topknot can look very good but its a fine line… aim for messy, not too messy but more ‘been like this for a few hours’ messy. From my experience this has been the perfect mum-do, I have (mostly) dirty hair so it stays put like a mo-fo… apart from those pesky baby hairs that grow post birth like alien antenna (serum is needed)… pick up your hair from the back, starting low and working up, scooping left to right, twist as you scoop and keep on scooping… as high as you like.. then copy these pictures which are far better than my rambles….

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Number 2

The half topknot

I have found this to be ideal when you have made an effort and washed and styled perhaps for a weekend do or weekday meeting… then the following day its looking less than lustre but time is limited so grab those front bits and scrape high to create a mess on the back. The trick is to use a lot of dry hair spray, if it looks too neat its doesn’t look right. Messy is key so put the dry hairspray right into the roots and wriggle around to create a sexy mess, leaving flowing loose messy waves or if your hair is straight.. more sultry messy locks…

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Number 3

The low pony

This looks great with less than clean hair, perfect stylish mum look, just pull it back and finish with a black ribbon or bow, or a statement pom-pom! Not something I have done myself but I have admired others from afar and it can look so chic.

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Number 4

‘The small did-it’ 

For this very intricate style I would suggest creating your usual look, giving the small a tight hug and letting them enjoy tweaking and styling the hair as they wish. Result – photo worthy with the small in shot. Unfortunately no inspiration shots available but you can imagine the result!

Please let me know if you have any questions or want product advice! Would love to help thank you!

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