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Leather and Glitter

Badass, with a bit of bling!

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How I helped my baby to sleep through the night

Before I begin this post, I’ll just point out that EVERY baby is different! Our little girl is an amazing sleeper and has always been quite independent; but there were a few things I did to help her along the way. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t sleep through every night – but as an adult, do you? Don’t tell me you’ve never woken up because you’re cold, afraid, or need to pee. But she does sleep well. And when I learned how to help her do that; I slept better. When I sleep better, my Postnatal depression is pretty much non-existent. Yes, I suffered. It was awful. And sleep deprivation in the first two weeks didn’t help. Once I went on medication for it I was able to cope with the sleepless nights, and had a clearer head to be able to deal with them; and help my daughter to sleep better.

This is not a sleep training post. We were thinking about sleep training but we don’t really need to as our daughter is a good sleeper; once we made a few changes to our routines.

Do: Eliminate Day/Night confusion

When a baby is first born, they have no idea about the time of day and they have no circadian rhythm. This means their sleep/wake cycles are all over the place. So, help them understand. Make it bright and loud during the day; and dark and peaceful at night. Have differences in day and night sleeps and they’ll eventually learn what those differences mean.

Do: Wake a Sleeping Baby

In the first few days I let my daughter sleep when she wanted. This usually ended up being during the day; which meant she was up all night. It also meant my milk supply was low because she was sleeping through her feed times and we had to resort to combi feeding to help her gain weight.

Eventually I started waking her every 2 hours during the day to feed her; and then let her sleep longer at night.

Do: Cluster feed in the evening

Cluster feeding in the evening (feeding closer together and longer / more substantial feeds) helps her to have a full stomach for longer so she’ll sleep for a longer stretch. It really made all the difference and we still practise this now.

Don’t: Put them in a sleeping bag during the day

We learned that our daughter slept well in her sleeping bag. It was a breakthrough. So we used it at night, and only gave her a blanket during the day. It helped her differentiate between night and day; and also helped her sleep better at night. And because sleeping bags are safer (as they can’t wriggle underneath them and suffocate); it was a no-brainer to put her in them at night so we weren’t as worried about the SIDS risk.

Don’t: put them to sleep awake.

It’s impossible to spoil a new-born. They need your help to do everything! That includes falling asleep. I nursed my baby to sleep and put her in her cot fully asleep right up until she turned 7 months old. Now she can self-soothe, I’ll put her to bed sleepy but not asleep; but until she learned to do this, there was no point in fighting with her and having to listen to the crying. It won’t be a bad sleep association – you don’t see 18 year olds still breastfeeding to get to sleep! Just do it and get some rest!

Do: Eliminate Colic and other tummy troubles.

Our daughter struggled terribly with silent reflux, and also constipation. We raised the head end of her Moses basket (not the mattress, but the whole basket); so she didn’t have such bad reflux. We gave her infacol every time she had a bottle as she struggled with wind. When she was old enough to have gripe water, we tried that and it seemed to help. We also had to give her lactulose (on prescription from the doctor!) to treat her constipation. And the absolute game changer was to keep her upright for 20 minutes after every feed. YouTube helped tremendously with this as I’d start a 20 minute video after she’d finish feeding so I knew how long to keep her upright for. This made such a huge difference as it brought her wind up, and helped her acid stay down. If you’re concerned about any tummy troubles, ALWAYS consult a healthcare professional.

Do: Be prepared for sleep to go backwards at some point.

Ever heard of a sleep regression? I hadn’t. They happen at major stages in baby’s brain development and cause babies to wake up more frequently and/or be harder to settle. It will pass. We’ve had 2 so far and they were awful but she’s back to sleeping well again and it is heaven. Enjoy the good sleep while it lasts.

Don’t: Brag about how much sleep you’re getting

When you get to the stage where you’re getting good sleep – be it at 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years – don’t brag to other mums! Chances are they’re tired. Every mum is at some point. Be empathetic and silently smug if you got a good night’s sleep. Talk to other mums about anything but sleep; and you’ll both be happier.

So, those are my tips. I’m totally winging this whole parenting thing though, so feel free to do your own thing. Don’t be afraid to follow your baby’s lead and your own instincts. Rejoice in the little victories and draw a line under the bad days (or nights). And if you’re ever unsure about anything regarding your baby’s health; ALWAYS consult a healthcare professional.

If you have any other tips, leave them in the comments below!

I’m a Selfish Mum – And That’s OK!

Hi Readers, I’m back again with a post that I’ve been wanting to write since the very beginning of my motherhood journey.

I’m a selfish mother.

Now, before you judge me (or mum shame me) hear me out. When I was pregnant, somebody I know made a comment that I wouldn’t be able to have nice things because all my money will be spent on my baby. Another comment was that I wouldn’t be able to wear full glam makeup because I wouldn’t have the time. I’d have to chop my hair off because baby would be too busy pulling it. I’d better get used to not sleeping because I’d never sleep again when baby arrives. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Well to that I said Pfft! I was not about to sacrifice the things that make me who I am just because I’m going to be a mum. I’m me, that doesn’t stop when I have a baby. I totally understood that I would be a different version of me; but I was determined not to lose myself entirely.

I went into hospital in labour with full glam nail extensions and a pedicure; and all the way through my 14 hour labour, I exchanged beauty tips with my midwives. But then I took my daughter home. For 2 weeks, I felt like I had completely lost my sense of self. I mourned the days where I slept, did my makeup and even left the house. But then I thought “what’s stopping me?” Just because I’m a mum, doesn’t mean I can’t do my makeup. So I did. Immediately I felt better. Then I went ahead and played “Jurassic World Evolution” (While I was Breastfeeding). I started to feel more like me – I can be a gaming mum if I want to be! I sorted through my wardrobe and got myself some gorgeous nursing friendly items. It. Felt. Great! I combi fed, so my baby girl slept longer at night. Best. Decision. Ever. (It turns out I had low milk supply, and she wasn’t sleeping because she was CONSTANTLY hungry! So making the decision to combi feed was discussed with my midwife, health visitor and husband who all agreed to help me on this path.) At 3 weeks, I went to baby group for the first time and it gave me a new lease of life. At 6 weeks I went to Slimming World and getting out of the house made so much difference to me. I felt like my old self again. When my baby girl was 8 weeks old I left her with daddy for an entire weekend to go to my Sister’s hen party. It was the best thing I ever did. My husband loved it and I was able to get a really restful weekend. I believe it was what helped me to overcome my very quick spate of postpartum depression – which was definitely more than just the “baby blues”.

Now, at 9 months, my daughter sleeps through the night, and I’ve had the time (and energy) to spend on myself. When I want to buy something for my daughter, I do, but I never feel bad about treating myself either. Once a week, I have a bath night where I have a whole hour to myself while my husband looks after our daughter (or more precisely, plays with our daughter. I can usually hear her shrieks of delight or laughter while I’m lying in a nice hot bath with a face pack on).

I work-out while she’s napping, and make my health and wellbeing a high priority. I’ve read countless times “Happy mum, Happy Baby.” So perhaps it should be more OK to put this into practise. My daughter doesn’t come first, I do. Because if I’m not healthy (both mentally and physically), then how can I expect my daughter to be?

Just so we’re clear, my daughter never goes without. She’s healthy, happy and has all the unconditional love from her mummy and daddy. I love being a mum; I just feel that it’s important not to feel guilty about practising a bit of self-care or having a bit of me-time. Losing your sense of self after having a baby is common, because there’s so much pressure to be the “perfect” parent. Parenting is hard! But being “Just a mum” is harder. Give yourself the break you need, and be a little “selfish”! You deserve it mama.

Speedy Makeup

Hello, Hello! Today I want to talk about Makeup again (I know!). Being a mum, I’ve learned that time is really of the essence! you barelyu have time to finish a cup of tea, let alone do a full face of makeup! So I’ve been practising. I have recently perfected a 15 minute makeup routine. It makes me look a little bit more presentable; and feel a whole lot more put-together. I’ll talk you through the products I use and the tricks I have up my sleeve to make you look more “hot”, and less “hot mess”! (Even if secretly you’re still a hot mess!). One thing I will say is that it took some practise and preparation. It helps if you have all your products and tools ready to go and easy to reach – be it in a makeup bag or on your dressing table.

After washing my face, I’ll apply a tinted moisturiser – this one from e.l.f. is my current fave – with my fingers, massaging as I go. Then I’ll apply a concealer to all the red spots, dark circles and uneven areas (basically my whole face, but who’s perfect, right?). I choose one with a fair amount of coverage – this Maybelline one is brilliant! I use my fingers to blend it in.

Speed is the name of the game here, so to set my face I use a powder foundation for a bit of extra coverage – NYX “stay matte but not flat” is fab! I usually use a big fluffy powder brush but sometimes if I really need to mattify (I’m an oily skin gal after all) I’ll use the sponge that comes with the powder. Then, I’ll grab a face palette that has bronzer, blush, and highlight – Primark have some great ones from time to time; I also love Rimmel’s palette as it’s perfect for travel. I apply a dusting of bronzer around my forehead, cheekbones and chin to warm my face up, then sweep blush on the apples of my cheeks, and highlight my cheekbones and T-Zone. I have 3 separate brushes for this that are job specific so I don’t ever get them mixed up and know exactly which ones to use for each powder – it saves a lot of time.

I’ll use a brow pencil to fill in my brows (I’ve tried several, but W7’s come up trumps at the moment), and an eyeliner pencil (NYX’s retractable pencil is beautifully smudgeable) to line my waterline, then I’ll grab a fluffy eyeshadow brush and dust a little bit of bronzer into the crease of my eyelid and underneath my eye, and a little highlighter on my inner corner and over my brow bone.

Spray on some setting spray (I love the BarryM Mist & Fixspray in the dewy finish) to hold it all in place. Fan it dry – this will save you time as you can go to the next step in your routine more quickly; and it also makes sure nothing smudges if it’s still wet.

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Then, a very important step, that only takes seconds, but makes me look so much more awake – I curl my eyelashes. 10 seconds on each eye is ample.

I add a mascara (Loving this one by L’oreal), a tinted brow gel (W7’s Majestic Brow Mascara comes up trumps again, but it’s now discontinued, so I’ll be looking for a replacement soon!), and chuck on a tinted lip balm like Vaseline “rosy lips”; and I’m good. To. Go!

I timed this look several times, and because I’ve got it all in a makeup bag – tools included – It takes me less than fifteen minutes each time. Despite my oily skin, this look stays on really well and gives enough coverage for my rosacea. I also think because I’m not faffing around with extra steps like using a beautyblender, adding colourful eyeshadow, or attempting winged eyeliner in a hurry (never a good idea!) it takes so much hassle out of the routine and therefore saves a LOT of time.

If you’re a busy mum, or just a busy person in general, I’d definitely recommend this look! If you’ve got any other time-saving beauty hacks, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

5 Things – The Pregnancy Edition

Hello, hello my lovely readers. It’s been a hot minute! In case you don’t follow my Instagram or twitter, or are new to my blog, there’s a good reason I’ve been away. In March, I became a first-time mum. I didn’t want to write about my journey in too much detail during my pregnancy because I was high risk; and felt like I’d be witching the whole thing if I wrote about her before she was born.

Back in July our lives took an unexpected turn, when I started craving olives. Don’t get me wrong, I like olives, but I’d never craved them like this before. I craved them so badly I was ready to make a 15 mile round trip just to buy a jar of them. I took a pregnancy test the next day, and it came up positive in a few seconds (much more quickly than the recommended 30 seconds you’re supposed to wait – I was impatient!). I was high risk because I fell pregnant with the copper coil still in place. And it was stuck. Once I’d had a couple of scans that confirmed my pregnancy was viable, we were away. I was at higher risk of miscarriage up to 6 months, and higher risk of pre-term labour in the third trimester. Despite this, our little fighter developed healthily and was perfect at every scan.

Now, my baby girl is approaching 8 months old! Time really moves so fast! So I figured I’d write about my pregnancy as my first blog post since I’ve been away. Let’s get down to it with 5 things I learned / would recommend during pregnancy.

  1. Sea Bands

Morning sickness in the first trimester (which for me happened all. Day.) was Hell. I was never actually sick, but the nausea drove me to distraction. I decided to give sea bands a try, and they worked amazingly! There’s no medication involved, they work on acupressure so I wasn’t adding anything to my body that could potentially harm my baby.

 

  1. The elastic Band Trick!

If you know, you know. Expand your jeans / trousers with an elastic band / hair tie to make room for your growing bump when you’re not quite ready for maternity clothes. I did this until I was about 22 weeks pregnant!

Image result for elastic band trick jeans

  1. Maternity AND nursing clothes.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, get maternity clothes (or clothes youll wear while pregnant) that are also nursing compatible. Think wrap tops, deep v-necklines, zippers and buttons. Anything with easy boob access. #IfInDoubtWhipItOut

I didn’t do this, and bought a few maternity items, then had to rethink my entire wardrobe once I’d had my baby and had very little nursing friendly clothes.

  1. Birthing Ball

The name might suggest this is an item for the birth, but actually, you can use this right through your third trimester. It’s so comfortable and I spent most of my time on this when I was at home. Bouncing on them helps to strengthen your pelvic floor, and there’s also some people who say it helps get the baby into position, ready for the big day. You can buy a gym ball as they do the same thing, just be sure to check the sizing before you buy as some gym balls can be a little small to use as birthing balls.

Purple - USA Pro - Yoga Exercise Ball

  1. The Emma’s Diary App

I had seen somebody else post their pregnancy updates from the Emma’s Diary website, so I thought I’d check it out. It turns out there’s an app, which allows you to track your progress week by week, gives you a picture of what the baby should look like at each week (it’s kinda weird at first!) and how big (or small) it is. It also prepares you for what you’ll be feeling in the days / weeks ahead which for me were exactly spot on. There’s links to helpful articles on the Emma’s diary website and voucher codes for some free samples. I absolutely loved the app and it helped me stay calm knowing that what I was feeling was normal – because when it’s your first pregnancy, there’s so much going on in your body that you’ve never experienced before that it’s understandable to want some reassurance.

Emma's Diary Baby App

So there you have it. My (very condensed) pregnancy blog post. I’ll be writing a few more motherhood blog posts soon but don’t be fooled, I’ll still be writing my usual stuff too!

Let me know what you thought! Drop me a comment!

My Face Base

Hello readers. Since my last post was a skincare post, I decided to go to the next level and share with you my favourite base makeup products and how I apply them to get a flawless finish to set me up for the rest of my makeup look. As I mentioned before, I have oily skin and rosacea; which means makeup is always a struggle for me. But yet again, as with my skincare, I’ve managed to get my makeup base application down to a great routine.

Now before I start, I will just say that this is the base for a full face of makeup. I don’t wear this every day, because there is no need for a full face unless you really need it; and also, who has time for a full face every day? I will probably share my fast, everyday makeup routine in another post. Some great ideas to look flawless on a time limit – I’ve been practising because I know when I’m a mum, my makeup time might be a little sparse. But without further ado, keep reading if you want to know how to get a flawless makeup base that will last all day, even with oily skin. I am sure that all of the products except the first one I mention have been previously talked about on my blog, both here; and here. There’s a reason I raved about them so much then, and why I’m still using them now. They’re just so good; however this is a slightly more in-depth post about the way I apply each product and why I love them.

Step 1 – Primer

primer2primer

I’m a firm believer that a primer can make or break your look. There’s a bit of a science to it. If your foundation is oil-based, you’ll need an oil-based primer. If your foundation is silicone-based, you’ll need a silicone-based primer. And if your foundation is water-based, you’ll need a water-based primer. My foundation is silicone based, so I opt for two different primers. The first primer is the No7 Airbrush Away Colour Balancing Primer in green. I apply it with a damp sponge using a dabbing motion (The AOA Wonder Blender from Shop Miss A is my Favourite sponge currently) to the areas that are in need of some redness neutralizing – usually my cheeks.

sponge

Then I go in with the Max Factor Facefinity Primer; which I apply with my (clean!) fingers, all over my face. It’s a really great mattifying primer that doesn’t feel too heavy on the silicone which means that the foundation doesn’t slide off. It also has some serious staying power; which is what I look for in most of my base makeup – because my oil usually makes it slide off within hours if it’s not a long-lasting product.

Step 2 – Foundation

foundation

I freaking LOVE this foundation and have yet to find anything better. You should have guessed it by now, but in case you haven’t, it’s the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. For oily skin types this is so good. It’s not full coverage but a couple of coats nicely covers everything I need it to; and if you’re using concealer anyway (Which I do) then it won’t matter. I apply a few drops to the back of my hand (usually 2-3 pumps) and dab it on with a damp sponge (the one I’ve used for the primer is totally fine to use).

For info, I use the shade 2C3 – Fresco

Step 3 – Concealer

Concealer

When I’m done with the foundation and happy with the coverage, I go in with the concealer. My all-time favourite concealer to date has to be the Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer. It’s supposedly a dupe for Tarte Shape Tape – but since I haven’t tried it yet I can’t say how it measures up. This has a doe-foot style applicator, so I paint it onto my face in the areas that need extra coverage – usually my forehead, under my eyes, my nose, lower cheeks and chin; plus any blemishes. I then blend it out using the same damp sponge in dabbing motions. The dabbing is important because if you wipe or sweep the sponge, all you’ll end up doing is pushing product around your face and wiping off what’s underneath; making you look streaky. This concealer is such a good, full-coverage concealer that by this stage I usually look like I’ve had all my features erased. When I paint them back on, my “second skin” looks so flawless.

For info, my shade is C3 (I used to use C5, but found I looked a little too tanned)

Step 4 – Powder

Powder2Powder

Now, I love having flawless, matte skin; but I don’t want to look flat. It needs to have a little bit of dewiness to it in order to look like actual skin. So the setting powder needs to be the product that does that. And a trick I like to use is to mix a very small amount of loose highlighter pigment into my loose setting powder to give that gorgeous healthy glow.

The base powder that I use is the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder. It’s not yet available in the UK directly from Maybelline (despite so many beauty influencers begging them); but you can get it on eBay at a reasonable price. For info, I use the shade 05 Fair (I used to use the shade 10 Fair / Light, but it was a bit too yellow for my skin)

The powder highlight I mix with the setting powder (in a ratio of approx. 1:5) is the Makeup Revolution Pearl Lights Loose Highlighter in the shade “True Gold”. When I’ve mixed the two together I use that same damp sponge (I know, it gets a LOT of use) to pick it up and press it into my skin. Dabbing again; I pack it all in, all over my face. A lot of people bake at this stage, pressing it into the oily areas and under eyes then gently and dusting off any excess, adding a sheer dusting to any areas that haven’t been covered; but I tend to just push it right into every part of my face; because I have such bad oil that the powder helps to keep it under control.

Once I’m done with the powder, then I’m ready to go on with the other parts of my makeup routine, including the bronzer, blusher, highlighter, eyes, brows and lips.

Step 5 – Setting Spray

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The final part to a good base is actually the last step in the routine, but it takes all that powderiness and turns it back into flawless-looking skin. Normally I use two setting sprays. One to give me a little bit of extra glow; and one to seal everything in and make sure it all stays locked in place. The first spray I use is the BarryM Mist & Fix Dewy Finish Setting Spray which I shake vigorously to release all the shimmery particles; then spritz on. Before it dries I use my sponge (again!) to dab at any chunky spots of shimmer so it doesn’t look like I have sparkly freckles. Then I use a fan to dry it.

The second spray is the famous All Nighter setting spray from Urban Decay. I spritz it on once my face is dry and then fan again.

And there you have it. My steps to a flawless base for creating looks that will stay in place all day long, even with oily skin; that looks smooth and matte, without looking cakey.

Do you have any other steps? Any products you would recommend? Would you use these products / techniques? Drop me a comment below. And don’t forget to follow me if you want to see more of these posts. Your following really makes me happy!

My Skincare Regime

Hi Guys! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I have to admit that since going on maternity leave, the nesting instinct kicked in, and I have been so busy with preparing the house for our little arrival! Now It’s March! Where has that time gone? Little one could arrive at any moment now as I’ve reached early term. February was also a really busy month because it was my birthday, and I literally had people visiting all the time. I’ve never felt so popular or so loved.

So anyway, I thought I’d share with you my skincare regime with you guys because after a lifetime of trying products and not quite getting in quite right, I feel like now, I have my routine perfected. I have found products that are perfect for my skin type and the order in which I put them on has made such a huge difference to my skin that I feel totally confident going makeup free most days now. In all fairness, it’s probably just as well, since I probably won’t have much time to do my makeup when baby girl arrives.

Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about my skin type, so you’ll have some idea why I use the products I do, in the order that I do. I have a very oily skin type with fairly visible, sunken pores; and rosacea. I also have dark circles occasionally too. I very rarely breakout, but when I do, the blemishes are usually hormone related and appear in clusters of huge, nasty spots. So, here’s how I manage my skin and make sure it stays radiant and (ideally) blemish free:


Morning Routine:

Cleansing:

herbalism

I love to exfoliate; but unfortunately, due to my rosacea, I used to find that exfoliation left my skin very red and sore. The granules in most facial scrubs were far too abrasive and gritty, meaning that I was only exfoliating maybe once a week; when really, because of my oil, I should have been scrubbing much more regularly. That was until I found the holy grail of facial scrubs. Over a year ago, I went into a lush shop, and as usual, the friendly staff were more than helpful when I griped about abrasive cleansers and my awful, aggravated red face. They let me try their “Herbalism” Cleanser. Made with almonds (the nuts, not the shells), and chloroform water (which gives it that funky green colour) it was a match made in heaven. You take a pea sized blob of the powdery substance, mix it with a couple of drops of warm water to make a paste, the slather over your face and rub in circular motions until you feel thoroughly buffed. The almond is so gentle – because it’s the softer part of the nut that’s used as opposed to the hard, abrasive shells – that it works on sensitive skin, and the green pigment really helps with redness. It also contains a lot of other skin friendly ingredients that help with oiliness too. I’ve been buying pots of this stuff for, like I say, over a year now and really believe this was the first step in being confident in my skin.

Toning:

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Now, toners were something I used to use to suck the oil right out of my skin before I put on a moisturiser. I now know that this was where I was going wrong. If you suck out too much oil, your skin is going to overcompensate, and by the end of the day, it will be slick with lots of shine. Not. Good. I went to a beauty masterclass one evening with Arbonne, and learned a few things about humectant spray toners. Best invention ever. Up until recently, I used this rose water as a toner in a spray bottle; but then about a year ago I was reading up on some good skincare ingredients, and found out about the wonders of hyaluronic acid. It hydrates your skin deep down, penetrating the epidermis (outer skin layer) and moisturising the dermis (second skin layer); which in turn, prevents excess sebum production (makes you less oily). So now, I use the B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz. Not only do I use it as a toner (about 7 sprays each morning usually works for my whole face), but I also spray it over makeup to keep me feeling refreshed throughout the day – especially in the summer. I used it on my wedding day to stop my makeup from feeling too heavy; and it make me look and feel radiant right up until I went to bed!

Moisturising:

elf-Beauty-Shield-Moisturiser-SPF50-50ml-75627829efc09a9913dfef75448b3ce21afa5cfabpore

Now, dependant on my plans for the day, I have 2 different approaches to moisturiser. If I know I’m going to be indoors all day, or if I plan on wearing makeup, I’ll use the Garnier Skin Active 3 in 1 Hydrating Aloe Water Jelly – which is made from ingredients that are 96% natural origins, contains soothing Aloe Vera for my rosacea and is silicone free – which stops my makeup from sliding off.

Afterwards I go in with my favourite oil reducing serum – Soap and Glory The Fab Pore Oil Control Serum. As you know, I’ve raved about this in the past and I still to this day have not found anything better! So I apply sparingly to my oily areas and the shine stays under control all day.

My other approach is for no makeup days, when I plan on being outside, or if I want a little bit of a glow. I’ll start with the serum, instead of the moisturiser; and then I’ll go in with E.L.F. Beauty Shield Tinted Moisturiser. It is the best tinted moisturiser I have ever tried. It doesn’t leave you orange, and gives a lovely, radiant glow. It also has an SPF in it, so if I plan on going out on a non-makeup day, I know I’ll be protected. On the days I do wear makeup, I always make sure my foundation has an SPF in it too.


Evening Routine:

Makeup Removal:

Simple-Micellar-Water-200mLRelated image

So in the evening, I always take off my makeup if I’ve been wearing any. I like to use good old fashioned coconut oil for slightly thicker, more stubborn makeup; and for less stubborn everyday makeup, I’ll use Micellar Water. Personally I favour Simple’s Micellar water because it’s nicer on my sensitive skin. I’ll use these products on a soft microfiber flannel or a bamboo fibre washcloth as it’s much more environmentally friendly than using cotton pads and the fibres actually get more makeup off per swoop.

Cleansing:

micellargeldove

I cleanse my face after makeup removal, just to make sure I got every last trace of makeup; because moisturising right after could mean pushing any makeup left on the skin into the pores and that’s not really going to help with breakouts. Also, if I’ve used coconut oil, it will eliminate that too. Coconut oil is good for some skin types (hello dry skinned ladies) but not for us oily gals. I like to use Garnier Skin Active Micellar Gel Wash for Combination & Sensitive Skin. I foam it up on a flannel with warm water and cleanse away any traces of makeup & dirt that’s left. It’s amazing that when you think you’ve got it all, there’s still makeup on the cloth after cleansing. A runner up product which I also like to use if I don’t have any of the gel cleanser is the good old fashioned dove crème bar. It’s great value for money and since they can be bought in multipacks, they’re great to have in the cupboard as a backup in case you run out of cleanser.

Toning:

B-Essence-Lotion-605300

Now, I feel like when you’re winding down in the evening, spraying an invigorating spritz on your face is only going to wake you up. It’s fabulous for a morning routing but for the evening I prefer to put the toner on with my hands. I also like something super hydrating, so I opt for B. Refreshed Essence Lotion. It’s got more of that lovely Hyaluronic Acid in it and it feels silky smooth. It’s a liquid, so I just pour a few drops onto my fingertips, then massage into my freshly cleansed face.

Facial Oil:

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Yes, oil for oily skin sounds crazy right? But it really does work and since I started using oil on my skin at night, my skin condition has never been better. There is a catch though. Some facial oils are no good for oily skin as they are made of a different composition and are better suited to dry or combination skin types. The better oils for oily skin types are jojoba oil – which is very close to natural sebum – Argan oil and Rosehip Oil. These are antibacterial, and very lightweight, so perfect for those of us with oily skin. Personally, I use Boots Botanics Organic Nourishing Facial Oil with Rosehip. It also contains sweet almond oil which has sebum dissolving properties; and Argan Oil. I massage it into my face until it’s almost absorbed and leaving me looking a little bit greasy. But as I’m going to bed, it doesn’t matter, right?

Moisturising:

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The last step in my evening routine is to put on a deeply nourishing moisturiser. My personal favourite is Lush’s Vanishing Cream. It sinks beautifully into the skin, and contains antibacterial Lavender – which means you also get a really great mini aromatherapy session before bed, and gets you all nice and relaxed.

Masks:

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Once a week I like to give myself two different types of mask. A clay mask, and a deeply moisturising mask. I do the clay mask after cleansing and before toner. Usually I do this of an evening because in the morning my skin looks even more radiant, but also because I have more time in the evenings to relax with a face mask on. Currently I’m favouring the B. Detox Clay Mask; however my other favourites include the L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask, and Lush’s Rosy Cheeks Mask (which is also great for rosacea and smells a-maz-ing!). The best way to apply these masks is with a brush, as it’s so much easier and less messy than applying with your fingers. I use an old foundation brush which I wash after every use; but you can buy specific brushes for face masks.

The deeply moisturising mask is just a thick layer of my moisturiser, left on for 10 minutes or so before wiping of the excess with a dry flannel. I tend to do this mask as the last step in my routine; and again, it works better for me if I do it in the evening as I have more time to relax.


So there you have it. My fairly simple skincare regime for oily, sensitive skin. Do you have oily skin and have any product recommendations I could try? Do you have a simpler or more complex regime? Drop me a comment below! And don’t forget to follow my blog if you liked this post!

5 Things – The Pet Peeve Edition

Hi Guys! I’m well into my third trimester now (32 weeks! EEK!). I’ve also left work for Maternity leave, which means I have a bit of free time I didn’t have before. I’m going to enjoy it before all my time is taken up with nappy changes and feeding.

These last few weeks, my hormones have been playing with my moods (not much change there!). I’ve been decidedly more irritable and the pregnancy rage is real. Very real. Anyway; I’ve always had a few pet peeves, but figured since I’m a bit grumpy right now, it’s the perfect time to have a good old rant; and where better to vent my frustration than my own personal slice of the internet? So, here come my top five pet peeves. Be prepared for some very grumpy writing; which I don’t tend to do very much of here on my blog; so this is new. If you’re offended by any of this; I’m not even sorry. There, I said it.

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1. Leggings as Trousers

They are NOT trousers! They are footless tights, designed to keep you slightly warmer on those in between days; whilst allowing you to wear ballerina shoes without looking like a granny; or sandals without looking like a tourist. They are also more versatile than tights in the pattern department; so you can wear leopard print or florals on your legs (provided you do it correctly). The only time it is socially acceptable to wear leggings in public without a dress that completely covers your arse is when you are working out. Even then; you should be wearing sports leggings which are made of a much less see-through fabric. Nobody wants to see your VPL. Nobody wants to see your camel toe. At the very least, put on a longer top so you’ve concealed everything nicely. If you want to wear something with a skinny fit that’s not jeans, look for the word TROUSERS on the label. If it doesn’t say Trousers, then they’re likely to be leggings. Stay classy, ladies. Wear leggings as they were meant to be worn. As footless tights.

2. Indicators!

When you approach a turning, and the driver in front of you suddenly turns into it with no warning and you have to slam your brakes on to accommodate for their stupidity. When you’re waiting at a roundabout, thinking the driver to your right is going straight across in front of you when, in fact, they turn left and you could have gone. F*cking indicate! I mean, it’s a little stick on the steering wheel, that moves the same direction as the one you’re turning. How hard is it? Usually when I see people do this you could hear me about three miles away, yelling at them. I may actually over-use my indicators; because when my husband is in the car with me, He quite often says: “Why are you indicating? There’s nobody behind you.” To which my reply is “just in case”. If everybody had that mentality there might be less road rage, fewer prangs and a lot less anxious drivers – myself included.

3. Poor Table Manners

Where did etiquette go since I became an adult? Am I the only one who eats with their mouth closed now? When you eat, you should NOT open your mouth. If you can’t breathe, you should take smaller mouthfuls so you can swallow them before opening your mouth again; not sit there chomping a huge mouthful with your mouth wide open making the most disgusting noises imaginable; and letting everyone see your half chewed food going around as if it were in a cement mixer. This one has REALLY got me riled up whilst being pregnant. So much so that if there’s someone eating with their mouth open, I’ll likely leave the room so I don’t end up smacking them. Not. Even. Sorry.

4. Being underestimated

I am female. And proud. But I hate to be underestimated because of my gender. I don’t consider myself a feminist, because of the bad connotations that go with it; but I do agree that women should be equal to men on at least some things – their knowledge base and understanding of the world being one of them.

When you’re talking to a man who doesn’t like what you have to say; but then your husband/ male boss/ father/ other significant male in your life; makes the same point, and said man agrees with him over you? Well it makes your blood boil.

When you go into a shop that is considered “Manly” by society (Hardware shops, computer shops etc.) and the male sales assistants assume you have no idea what you’re looking for. This is a favourite pastime of mine; because I love to see their faces when I reel off a list of item specifics that often leave them dumbstruck. You can see the cogs start turning. It’s a woman? Who knows what she wants? Good Lord No! It works even better when you look extra “feminine” (Heels, pretty dress, lipstick etc.)

So yes; I am female. And yes, I know some sh*t. Deal with it.

5. Then & Than

So, I don’t know when or why this started. I started noticing it about three years ago. At first I thought it was just a couple of insignificant, possibly innocent, grammatical mistakes. No big deal. But then it became more “popular” if that’s the right word. People using the word “than” instead of “then”; and the word “then” instead of “than”. Can somebody explain to me why? I mean, it’s not like anything extra needs to be typed. It’s just plain idiocy at its finest. In case you need re-educating because you didn’t pay attention in Basic English classes in primary school or you have just lost the ability to be grammatically correct in the age of social media; let me give you a little reminder:

  • Then – adverb – commonly used to detail a specific time; usually after another event.

“There was lightening flashing all around; and then came the thunder.”

  • Than – preposition – commonly used for the sake of comparison.

“The thunder was much louder than a jet engine.”

Get it right people! Or I may have to start correcting your grammar!


So there you have it. A totally new side to my blog – having a good old rant about stuff. Don’t forget to comment your pet peeves and let me know if you agree with mine. I promise I’ll write a less grumpy post next time.

Happy 2019!

What a year 2018 has been! Looking back, I have to admit it was certainly a better year than quite a few in my adult life. While 2018 was not without loss, I feel like I gained so much from the year that the good outweighed the bad.

In January, since waiting for six previous months, we got an offer on our house, which we accepted. We started dolling out our wedding invitations, and used this as an excuse to build some bridges, and encourage connections with family and friends. It felt so good to start the year with a clean slate, so to speak.

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February through to April were spent wedding planning and getting all the necessaries sorted for the move. We had a lot of fun choosing our wedding playlist, and not so much fun with the packing.

Not forgetting the two rounds of snow we had in March which broke up the craziness for a while. It was so much fun to take the dog out, take some photos and play around like kids.

 

At the end of April we moved house, and had a bloody brilliant housewarming party. It was really where our year truly began. Finally we were in a place we could call home.

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The fun didn’t stop there. My hen party was a week after we moved; which meant my friends and family got to fill the house and I tuned it into a pink palace for the weekend. I will never forget the hen party, which I did on a budget so my hens didn’t have to spend much. The first thing was a day trip to a wildlife and dinosaur park. I think the girls were a little dubious at first but they seemed to absorb my enthusiasm and the day was incredible. The girls even surprised me with a meet and greet with a sea-lion! The evening was a girly night in with DIY pizza, party games, plenty of chocolate and some cheesy pop songs. We did the cha-cha slide in the new dining room at midnight. The Sunday was a chilled out morning, with pancakes for breakfast in the garden (the weather was beautiful basically from the moment we moved in); then afternoon tea at a local hotel, where we all dressed up like it was ladies day at Ascot.

Of course the next big event in May was a wedding (and not Meghan and Harry’s)! I’ve written about it a lot but since I’d been waiting for it to happen for 9 years, it was an event that made my year. The fact that it went without a hitch (aside from getting hitched) was fantastic.

Unfortunately, my wedding was the last day that I saw my granddad. In early June, less than two weeks after my wedding, he passed away. Despite this, we still managed to make the most of the glorious weather, with regular BBQs and al fresco dining. Our new garden was something we were really starting to enjoy, with a rocking bench, some fun signage and a paddling pool.

July was much the same, and as the grass turned brown, my skin went a little red.

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In late July, just before our honeymoon, I started to feel weird. Exhaustion crept up on me for no reason and I had a craving for olives one Friday night that drove me slightly insane. Took a pregnancy test the next day and boom! Baby on the way! The honeymoon wasn’t quite what we expected, what with me not being able to eat certain foods, or drink alcohol. And I was starting to get nauseous. Still, we went to Italy and I ate real Italian food – a bucket list item.

The rest of the year was baby, baby, baby. It’s been quite a ride through this thing they call pregnancy so far, but it was news I was so happy about; despite the timing and the fact she was not at all planned!

Christmas this year was awesome; despite me missing baileys, brie and paté (no, not all at the same time). I was waited on hand and foot, and a plate full of food was never far away. I wasnt judged for eating all the mince pies or napping whenever I felt like it. There’s something to be said for being pregnant at Christmas time.

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So, for 2019, I’m a little nervous, as I’ll be a mama before long! The first quarter of the year (the third trimester) will be as much about me as possible before my baby girl arrives in March. I’m booked in for a mani/pedi at my local salon; and plan on sleeping in as much as possible when my maternity leave starts.

So, what does the future of my blog hold? Well, you can expect more posts between my maternity leave starting and baby’s arrival; and then, who knows? Maybe more content when I’m awake at 3 in the morning because baby is hungry. Maybe less, because I’ll have no time to sit and type. One thing is for sure though; when I do have the time, I’ll be writing about being a new mum as much as I can, because I want to share my experiences with you.

So anyway, that’s the end of a personal post; get ready for some fun posts to come in the next few weeks!

Wishing all of my readers a healthy, happy 2019!

What was your 2018 like? Did you achieve goals? Reach targets? Have fun? What are your plans for the new year? Any resolutions?

Drop me a comment below.

5 Things – The Christmas Edition

First of all, let me apologise to any of you reading this that have seen my Instagram and were expecting a makeup related post. December has become increasingly exhausting for me as I approach the third trimester – who knew growing a human was so tiring? I naively thought the tiredness didn’t start until after the baby was born! Anyway, I digress. I felt like a festive post was necessary, and I wanted to write about the festive makeup looks I’ve been creating of late. They’ve been really fun, and it’s something I can do to relax; but having to write about them afterwards was mentally draining and I simply couldn’t be arsed to do so. Forgive me? Good. Let’s continue with five things I love the most about Christmas. (P.S. Number 5 will include some of my makeup looks, because I couldn’t just leave them out completely.)

1. Christmas Food

I mean, I’m living for food right now. And so is my growing girl – she goes nuts about half an hour after I’ve eaten, and I can see her movements. So exciting – I had to throw that in. But Christmas is particularly special because the flavours that explode from everything at this time of year are so much more delicious. There are the festive coffees (decaf for me, of course) like gingerbread and cinnamon. Christmas menus at all our favourite cafes and restaurants – usually involving some kind of twist on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, which I am totally here for! Then if you walk into the supermarket, there’s all the festive favourites – mince pies, I see you. Unusual crisp flavours, and more often than not, a whole aisle of festive party food that you just don’t get any other time of the year. Not to mention that most years, I love to cook some amazing festive recipes. Last year I made the most awesome mint chocolate cake which I decorated with mint humbugs and peppermint candy canes. This year I made some chocolate orange cupcakes, which were so amazing; and we’ve just now eaten our fourth roast turkey dinner this month (I’m having a bit of a gravy craving phase at the moment, so any excuse to get my gravy on is fine by me). The one thing I’m a little sad about is the cheeses and the cured meats (Smoked salmon and brie, I miss you!) Along with my usual baileys hot chocolate that I have every year; these are things I’m not really allowed, but next year I’ll be indulging in these like there’s no tomorrow!

2. Christmas Music

Let me get one thing straight here, I F*cking LOVE Christmas music. There’s something about having to wait a whole year before you can hear a song; so I, unfortunately, am one of those people who drives everyone else nuts by having a Christmas playlist on repeat throughout December. Christmas music is usually so damn cheery – even the depressing stuff has little jingly bells in it so it’s hard not to smile when you hear it. I also love carols. I used to wait all year to go to my local carol concert in the village hall just so I could sing descant in “O Come All Ye Faithful” when I was younger. I still sing; just not in the carol concerts like I used to. This year, my top 5 Christmas songs have been:

  1. Lady Gaga – White Christmas
  2. Shake Up Christmas – Train
  3. What’s This? – Nightmare before Christmas Soundtrack
  4. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
  5. Thank God it’s Christmas – Queen

3. Downtime & Family Time

It’s the one time of year when I have the time to do all the things I enjoy – crafting, writing, sleeping, eating, spending time with loved ones. Having time off work doesn’t happen for everyone, I know – I’ve done my fair share of festive work too; so I feel blessed that I have time to indulge over Christmas. I usually make a list of projects I want to start or finish over Christmas time; along with all the friends and family I want to see. I sometimes don’t get around to doing everything on my list, or seeing everyone I planned to; but I get a lot more done and spend a lot more time with my people than I would if I was working. Last year, all of my downtime was spent sewing and crafting for the wedding. I had so many needle punctures in the New Year after a Christmas spent finishing my dress.

4. Christmas Decorations and Lights

If there’s one thing that turns me into an excited child at Christmas time, it’s the lights. There’s something about them that instils excitement and wonder. I love going out in the car at night time over Christmas time. You never know what you’ll see – some people do some really crazy stuff to their houses and it makes me squeal with glee when I see a house lit up like Blackpool illuminations; giant inflatable light up Santa included. Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven’t been able to do this to our house. The last place we lived was a bit awkward to put lights up. And our first Christmas in the new place sees me unable (and also too lazy) to climb ladders to put up outdoor lights. I’ve put some in the window; and that will have to do until next year; when the neighbours will probably have quite the surprise come the 1st December – at least, it would be nice to have some pretty lights up. I also love decorating the house; but this year, as we are in a bigger house, I found the decorations were a bit sparse as I’d d tried to spread them across more space. But I will be getting some more decorations in the January sales (who actually pays full price for decorations anyway?) so that next year will not only see more lights, but more decorations too; especially as I want my baby girl to have some beautiful things to look at, so she too delights at all things sparkly and shiny.

5. Christmas Makeup

As promised. I mentioned earlier that I loved having downtime. This is one of the reasons why. I get to have a real play with makeup. Halloween is a time for experimenting with special effects and unusual colours; but as there’s no time off for it, I don’t get to play around as much as I do at Christmas. At Christmas, I will look like a glitter ball most of the time; usually with a bright, festive colour palette to boot. Part of my Christmas morning routine is doing my makeup – not that anyone but family sees it, it’s just nice to get my glam on. So, here’s four of my Christmas “looks” that I created for a Blog post that is sadly not going to happen now. If you do want to know how I did anything; or what products I used; don’t be afraid to drop me a line or tweet me.

 

So that’s it from me this year. I’ll be chilling out and eating my baby’s body weight in chocolate (and probably gravy too) for the next few days until the new year. To all my lovely readers, I just want to say Merry Christmas. Hope you all have an amazing time!

What are your favourite Christmas traditions and indulgences? Do you agree with my list? Comment below!

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