Beauty

Taking Care of my Skin with Biotulin

One of the knock-on effects of me being overweight is that I’ve made less effort in other ways with my appearance. I think it’s an issue with confidence and self-esteem, but because I’ve had a lot of self-loathing about my weight, it means that I feel like it’s just not worth making the effort to make myself look nice. On the flipside of this, now that I AM taking care of myself, it’s given me a little more of an interest in making myself look more presentable.

One thing that I am worried about with losing weight is loose skin, not just on my tummy (inevitable after two large pregnancies resulting in c-sections, as well as my weight) but also my face. I’ve seen SO many celebs who are large their whole lives, lose a bunch of weight but suddenly look ten years older because the chub had been giving them a bit of a “baby face” effect. Once the fat melts away, there’s nothing pushing the wrinkles out anymore!! Anyway, the crux of all this is that I’ve been researching skincare recently, trying to find something effective but affordable, and I think I’ve found it.

Biotulin Supreme Skin Gel is actually used by the Duchess Kate Middleton, and was also a recommendation that she shared with Michelle Obama, both of whom have incredible skin! The gel is basically like a non-injectable, organic botox which firms and tightens the face. It contains a natural local anesthetic extracted from the plant Acmella oleracea, which promises to reduce muscle contractions and relax the facial features around the eyes and between the eyebrows. This promises to reduce fine lines and make the skin noticeably smoother.

Michelle’s make-up artist, Carl Ray, says “Michelle Obama has been using this organic Botox gel regularly on the recommendation of Kate Middleton”, while Michelle herself said “It’s really pretty basic. I wash my face with a good cleanser, and I use a moisturizer with an SPF. Every now and then I’ll go to a dermatologist for microderm or a facial, but I don’t have time to do that all the time.”

The best thing about this miracle product is that it only costs £43 per bottle, making it affordable for even us mere mortals, unlike a lot of the other high-end products on the market – I’m going to make sure that this is well and truly at the top of my birthday list in June! Knowing that I’ll be able to use something to firm my face as the weight melts off is a real bonus because weight loss isn’t always as simple as being fat at the beginning and slim at the end, especially as you get older.

If it’s good enough for Michelle Obama, it’s definitely good for me!

Beauty

You Beauty!

Everyone wants to look their best, whether it’s just for day to day life, or you have a special occasion coming up like Valentine’s day. But along with all the stresses of being a mom,  it can be hard to find the time to devote to our beauty regimens. Does this sound familiar? Do you find yourself smothering on some lipstick in between burping the baby, and doing the hoovering? Then read on for some tips that will help you look great.

Take that makeup off

One of the best, small things you can do to look your best at all time is to take your makeup off. I know you probably thought that it’s better to put it on!

But actually, it’s great to have a day, or two where you don’t wear makeup so your skin can breathe. That will help it from getting blemished, and that grey pallor!

Of course, you have to make sure you remove your makeup at the end of the day too. Use micellar water for this is gentle and effective!

Get dressed in the morning

Something else that is going to help any busy mum look good, and feel better is to get dressed in the morning. I know that it is so tempting to stay in your comfies all day long. They are warm and cosy, and you hardly have a minute to yourself, but getting dressed can make all the difference.

It makes you feel like you are part of the real world, and that you have made an effort. It also makes going out anywhere a lot more likely so it can help you from living a hermit-like existence when the baby is small.

Your smile is golden

Another great tip for looking and feeling better is to smile more. The act of smiling actually produces endorphins, even if you don’t feel that happy! Plus smiling people always look better than grumpy ones!

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But is there something that is holding you back from smiling, like broken or uneven teeth? Then it can be useful to speak to a professional about treatments like invisible teeth straightening. Things like this can help you have a great smile all of the time, so you look happy and healthy, even if someone does catch you without your makeup on!

Mascara is your friend

Taking of makeup, if you are under the impression that its full face or nothing, you need to have a rethink. So often, if its choice of applying a full face of makeup and just not bothering, we go for the latter.

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But make it a little easier on yourself, especially if you only have limited time in which to do these things. Instead use a BB cream which is moisturising, evening and SPF protecting all in one. Finish this off with a little mascara to accentuate the eyes, and you will look like a fresh faced and natural version of your best self.

Treat yourself

Something else that is super important when you are living a hectic life is to find some time, to treat yourself to a spa treatment or facial, on occasion. This can help keep your skin in the best condition, so you look amazing. For a super skin boost, chose one with collagen included. This will help plump the skin, making it look younger and firmer.

Taking some time out to have a spa treatment or two, like a mud wrap or Swedish massage, will also provide a rare moment of ‘me time.’  Which can in itself be refreshing and revitalising. Making your look and feel much better.

Why not make a mini break of it and stay overnight? Then you can relax by the pool, chill in the hot tub, and treat yourself to a well-deserved meal in the evening. You could even take your other half if you were feeling super nice!

Contour Dejour

For those special occasions you may want to put a little effort in, so why not try contouring. I know you’ve probably been scared stiff by all of those long tutorials on the internet! Those ones where you have to put on different shades, and layers, and blend, and set them all individually! But it doesn’t actually need to be that complicated.

Instead invest in a contour stick, with a light colour on one side and shade on the other. Then simply draw in the contours and highlights following these simple patterns. Then blend and finish with your normal powder.

It’s easy, it makes you look amazing, and it doesn’t take five hours to get right! What more could you want?

Beauty

Beauty Fads I’m Not On Board With

I’ve been thinking lately that I need to start making a bit more effort with my appearance. My day-to-day look is very low-maintenance, usually because I’m just in and out of the car taking Sausage to school, doing the shopping and all of the other things that the average 30-something Mum of two does on a daily basis. I chuck a bit of make-up on but that’s about it, but lately I’ve been noticing that beauty has gone to a whole new level and suddenly we’re all obsessed with eyebrows and strobing! There are, however, several beauty trends that I WILL NOT get on-board with and I thought I’d share a few of them here:

Waist Training

waist-training-kardashians

When I first saw this, I genuinely thought it was a joke. For those of you not in the know, waist training involves wearing increasingly tight corsets in order to “train” your waist to be smaller, and is championed by the Kardashians, amongst others. The fact is, it’s absolute bollocks and simply doesn’t train anything, but it probably does have a terrible impact on your internal organs and ability to, you know, breathe or efficiently digest food.

Anal Bleaching

white starfish

I know, I’m a little shocked even at myself for mentioning anal bleaching, but it’s one of those things which has inexplicably gone from ‘weird, niche thing for porn stars’ to ‘thing that supposedly normal people are doing’. Never in my life have I seen a bumhole that I thought needed a coating of Domestos, but apparently it’s all the rage. Find out more with this anal bleaching guide

Pointy Nails

pointed nails

Let me say right here, I actually LOVE the look of a pointy manicure (not the scary, mega-long ones though!) and I’m insanely jealous of anyone who rocks this look, but I just cannot cope with long nails, no matter how hard I try. I’ve tried having regular fake nails, not even pointy ones and I find it impossible to type, use my phone, put tights on, wipe my arse and just about anything else that requires me to be tactile, and adding a point on the end would basically render me useless.

Are there any beauty trends that you find absolutely crazy? Or are you a huge fan of pointy nails and whitened bottoms? I’d love to hear your opinion on this so do leave me a comment below.

Beauty

In-Home Gadgets to Help with Beauty & Wellbeing

Baby, it’s cold outside, but being stuck indoors needn’t be a chore! Whatever the weather and whatever the season, there are now gadgets galore to help you feel better. When it comes to looking after ourselves in the home, we Brits are a little behind some of our European counterparts, many of whom have long relied on additional home installations to keep them at their peak. With this in mind, today we’re taking a little look at products you can purchase to enhance your wellbeing, all within your own four walls.

Helpful Humidifiers

Humidifiers are gadgets that make the air in your house or apartment a bit more people-friendly. Just to avoid confusion; they are not those contraptions that stop damp taking hold when you’re drying clothes indoors! The purpose of a humidifier is to restore the moisture balance in the air. Making the air in your home ‘‘wetter’ may seem like an odd mission when it’s pouring with rain outdoors most of the time. However, modern building techniques mean that our airways and skin face a bit of an obstacle course whenever we transition from outside, in.  

Small flats and apartments in particular can suffer ventilation and humidity issues. Moving from cold and wet to warm and dry areas therefore contributes to many common winter beauty complaints. Dry cracked lips, flaky skin and even nosebleeds are exacerbated by movement between the cold outdoors to our warm, centrally-heated homes. During the colder months, we – and our beauty and health – are at the mercy of this barrage of changes.

Beauty experts have long recommend switching up your skincare routine when the dark nights descend. It’s not uncommon for us girls to have preferred winter cleansers and moisturisers that are more hydrating than our favourite summer products. They are the tools that see us through the deep dark winter until spring arrives to brighten up our complexions. A humidifier is another weapon you may consider adding to your beauty arsenal. As an added bonus, humidifiers can in some cases help with snoring too. This is of course excellent news if your other half sounds like a growling bear when they sleep! Want to know where to start, here’s a helpful round up of the best humidifier models around.

Lovely Lights

Not all light therapy products meet the standards required to treat seasonal affective disorder nor do you need to have SAD to consider introducing a little light therapy into your home. Using light boxes with UV lights has been found to help those suffering with SAD, which is associated with the reduced amount of sunshine we are exposed to in winter. Special SAD busting light products can prove effective for some sufferers, particularly when used in the morning.

Light therapy can enhance your home in so many other ways too. You could consider purchasing a dawn simulator alarm clock to ease you into the day more gently. Use of different coloured lighting can also have a positive impact on your mood, helping you to relax or to feel more refreshed. With this in mind, could you use lights a little more creatively to set the scene for relaxation? Using LEDs to create a night sky is a popular bedroom DIY hack that can also be used in your bathroom. The sensory impact of light is also combined with water in sensory showers, though investing in this kind of home improvement will be a little harder on your wallet.

Heavenly Hot Tubs

Who doesn’t love sitting back in a hot tub and sipping a glass of fizz? There’s a reason the best day spas usually have a hot tub and that’s because they’re great at helping us to wind down and relax, which is an essential part of looking after ourselves. Hot tubs for the home have come down in price in recent years and there are now many temporary models that can be put up and down when not in use. If a hot tub is your ultimate home pamper product, you should be aware that they are not cheap things to run. Taking a regular time out after work in your own personal tub could amount to some serious hydrotherapy hours though. Along with helping you de-stress, time spent in the bubbles is associated with better circulation, which can cause problems in winter months. If you hit the gym or have an on-going muscle complaint a hot tub could help ease your pain, with water jets supplying soothing massage. Just remember that hot tubs are not recommended for use by pregnant women because they raise your temperature.

Do you have a beauty or wellbeing gadget you can’t live without? And would you consider indulging in some at home humidifying or light or hydro therapy to make the winter months more bearable?

Beauty · Kids · Review

Shopkins Beauty Treats (review)

If you’ve got kids, especially girls between the age of about 3 and goodness knows what, you’ve probably been acquainted with the craze that is Shopkins. These little collectables come in hundreds of shapes, from cakes to shoes to fridge freezers to lipstick, and each has a cute little name like “Lammy Lamington” and “Rhonda Ring”. Sausage, being a fairly typical 8 year old girl, is absolutely bonkers about them and has been collecting them for a while, and because BB is never one to let herself be left out, she’s even started her own little collection too. So when H&A got in touch and asked if we’d like to review the new Shopkins Beauty Treats, I knew I couldn’t say no.

Shopkins Beauty Treats

We were sent a set of stick-on earrings, a nail set, some Shopkins false nails, a set of lip glosses and a set of lip balms, all of which featured the usual distinctive Shopkins characters and branding. Because Sausage is at that in-betweeny age (still occasionally wants to play with toys but is developing an interest in make-up and other girly things) all of these bits felt like a really natural progression of her interests.

In terms of quality, I was actually really impressed. The lip gloss was a little gloopy but the colours were very  subtle, which meant she could wear them without getting that “child in a beauty pageant” effect that I hate. The lip balms were also really nice, with fruity scents and a very faint shimmer. Sausage already has her ears pierced so she didn’t have space on her lobes for the stick on earrings but, TOP TIP, they also make really cool nail stickers if your little one wants a Shopkins manicure!

The nail files were really cute and Sausage felt very grown up being able to do her own nails (and I didn’t feel like I was letting her be TOO grown up). The only minor downside was that the false nails didn’t stick very well, so although they were fun to apply there was no real lasting power. I suppose if you were really determined to get them to stay on you could try different nail stickers or even nail glue, but I wasn’t keen on putting that stuff on Sausage’s young hands.

I know it seems like a cardinal sin to mention the “C” word at this time of year, but I actually think all of the Shopkins Beauty Treats would make really excellent stocking fillers at Christmas; everything is priced below the £10-ish mark and there are other items in the range too, like eye masks and perfumes, which I just know Sausage would love.

Most of the range is available at Claire’s Accessories as well as LOADS of other Shopkins related stuff and we’d definitely recommend them for any Shopkins fan.