My Beauty Favourites I REALLY need to share with you.

Recently, there have been a few standout beauty items which I’ve been banging on about to friends and family in my usual “you have GOT to try this!” manner so I thought I’d extend that product love to you guys, as it’s good to share and all that. working on the basis that I’m one of those people who is studipdly influenced by word of mouth and would much rather hear about a new product from a friend than glaze over yet another TV ad. Plus,  I don’t read magazines anymore to find out whats hot and what’s not, (too busy and finally got over the lure of free magazine gifts) so word of mouth and Instagram it is. (I might revisit that one should I get to go on a holiday somewhere hot without kids one day, then its glossy mags all the way.)

So here goes; this is what I’ve been raving about lately……

Clinique 3 step skincare AND mascara.

I plodded over to the Clinique counter last November in desperation to find something to help with a reoccurring dry patch under my eyes. I had a sneaky feeling it was eczema brought on by something I was putting on my face. I also had quite visible pores, which despite having a good skincare routine, wasn’t addressing the problem. I was categorically told NOT to put anything around my eyes other than eye cream, shown which of their products would help and noticed a special offer on their famous 3 Step wash, tone and moisturising products. I also qualified for a special promotion as I’d bought 2 products and in there I found their utterly amazing mascara.

And that’s where my Clinique love affair began from which I’m yet to give up. I’m a total convert as I have not had a hint of the dry patch ( I think that all their products being fragrance-free helped. ) and my skin has never looked clearer. As for that mascara, wow. Now bear in mind I’ve been wearing it for 25 years so have tried quite a few, I think I qualify in being able to say it’s the best I’ve ever used.I’ve been through both the High Impact Mascara and just started using Lash Power.

It’s worth noting that if you’re tempted to buy some, check out the Clinique website as you get some amazing freebies thrown in with your order. I find it much better than buying in store, and it’s free delivery.

Oleo Bodycare Hand Cream

I hate the feel of dry hands and usually have a pot of hand cream by every sink, in my handbag and by my bed. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, I clearly remember my mum buying my Nanna hand cream as presents, but either way, hand cream features rather heavily in my life and I do have an opinion about it. The richer the better, just how I like my…….coffee. None of that watery rubbish.

And Oleo Bodycare Rich Moisturising Hand Cream is by far my favourite.I discovered this one purely by chance during an interview with a new social media client. It’s fragranced with pure geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils so you get a full sensory experience as well as the aromatherapy benefits. So wish we had progressed onto smelly-vision so you could understand where I’m coming from!

I'm sharing my 5 favourite beauty buys which I 've been raving about to everyone lately

Sheet Face Masks

Never one to miss a special offer, I saw these in my local supermarket one day and thought I’d give one a try. Now before I go any further, these things should come with an Only to be used when no one else is around, even the dog warning. They’re a face shaped sheet impregnated with serum, with cutouts to the eyes, nose and mouth which you place on your face for 20 or so minutes.

And those 20 minutes will be the tensest and longest of your life as you’re on edge praying that no one comes to the door.  I can only compare it to what I think I would look like if I was to have some sort of extreme facial surgery and this was the recovery process.

I have taken photos of myself masked up to send to my bestie then immediately deleted as I was genuinely worried about the response. But the results are simply amazing, you rub any excess serum into your skin and it feels super smooth, as well as fine lines (temporarily) looking less visible.

They’re not cheap for a single use product but shop around and stock up when they’re on offer, or just use when you’ve got a special occasion coming up. My favourite is the Skin Republic Collagen Infusion Sheet Mask followed closely by the Garnier Sheet Masks.

So there you go, my unbiased, purely personal recommendations, I’d love to know if you agree or have any to recommend back. Like I said, it’s good to share!

 

 

 

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Staying Stylish When It’s Freezing Out There!

So temperatures have plummeted this week and I’ve been scouring my wardrobe for ways to look stylish while not wrapping up like I’m on a ski holiday. Only yesterday I was swanning about in a leather biker jacket and dress, this morning, totally different story. The only problem was today, I had various chores to complete from walking the dog, dropping my youngest to preschool, heading over to a nearby town to get some Christmas presents, an important meeting and equally important mate date o coffee.

and I didn’t want to run back home to get changed in between.

So what does one wear when they want to make sure they look stylish mooching round the shops, but comfortable enough to dash around after a dog or 3 year old.

Firstly start with the accessories, here’s where you can lift a so-so outfit to an I’ve-made-an-effort. Think cashmere gloves ( Mine are from Woolovers if you’re wondering ) Sometimes simply knowing you’re wearing something luxurious helps you exude confidence. Clothes should not only make you good, you should feel good. Top this outfit off with a faux fur headband from Joules

Same goes for footwear, I’m a huge boots fan come the winter. Whether it’s with skinny jeans or a dress, I feel much better going about my day in sensible shoes. My go to’s are Fly London boots, they’re super comfy and the subtle wedge helps elongate the legs while still being easy enough to walk in.

And last but by no means least, choose a functional coat which looks just as good as you strut down the high street or if you’re walking the dog. I live in my Jack Wolfskin jacket it uses only natural down insulation for tons of warmth without the bulk. (and comes with a pocket to wrap it up and tuck it away if you get too hot while out sale shopping!) Having a hood and being water repellant, you’re covered if you get caught in a shower too.

How to stay stylish when the weather's freezing

So there you go, some simple capsule items which will see you through the cooler months, a go-to which takes the pressure out of choosing what to wear each day.

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Stepping out in luxury lingerie with Empress Mimi

Answer this honestly ladies, those days when you step out the door in matching undies are the ones when you feel like you’ve got your mojo. I’m working it, I can handle it and yes #ThisMumCan. Even if you’re not feeling fully on trend or classy on the outside, knowing that underneath it all, you’re killing it. I’ve been going by the mantra that there’s no need to save things til best anymore, seriously,  what’s the point of the beautiful things in your life staying locked away in a drawer, only to see the light of day on the odd special occasion? (Answer, there’s NO point.)

So I put on the nice jewellery, wear the posh perfume and most days, not just the good days, I make sure I’m wearing matching undies/lingerie/underclobber whatever you want to call it.

Need an example? Take this cute little set from Empress Mimi for example; what lady wouldn’t raise a smile to a new set like this being delivered to their door each month? This is hands down the most exciting thing to arrive on my doorstep last week, believe me!

Arriving beautifully packaged, opening it up and waiting to see what’s inside was all part of the fun. Almost like a little present to yourself, a well done for being awesome this month, now go get changed and feel fabulous.

Yeah, after a careful, well thought through head rummage, I’m totally sold on the idea of a surprise package of lingerie coming each month.

  • There’s no stress in finding time to go to the shop to buy it,
  • it’s indulgent, because let’s face it, people only buy new undies when they’re having an affair, newly single and ready to mingle or off on a girlie weekend where the pressure to give off the ‘yeah, I don’t own any grey holey numbers, I always make an effort whatever the occasion’  vibe.
  • And if left to a man to buy it, it’s only ever going to be red or black and probably the wrong size.

So here’s a thought. What if you decide you’re not going to be that person who saves the best for best.

What if, for example, you decide to throw away all you old faithful’s, and to step out every day as though you’re dressed for all eventualities because the only underwear you own is simply amazing? (Blokes who are still reading, that applies to you too, ditch the holey boxers. Do it, do it now!)

So here's a thought. What if you decide you're not going to be that person who saves the best lingerie for only best?

In the words of Empress Mimi themselves……

There is a misconception that lingerie is exclusively for the bedroom. What is worn underneath your clothes directly reflects how you feel and the energy you emit. A touch of sensual lingerie is the equivalent to a power suit, one that is delicious little secret that only you know about.

And I’m totally with it, as pretty lingerie makes it all better.

So here's a thought. What if you decide you're not going to be that person who saves the best lingerie for only best?

Fancy trying it out Empress Mimi for yourself?
You can get 15% off your first purchase using the code MUMINANUTSHELL15
 And what’s more, they’ll also donate 10% of the proceeds of the purchases made using the discount code to charities helping get more women into coding http://www.projectgirlcode.org
Why coding?
Because we believe that technology and the online world has lowered the barriers to entry for everyone to run their own business (whether as a side hustle or full time). Getting more women into tech will ensure more women at the top of what we hope will become the new world  leading businesses and will ensure that every woman has the skills and knowledge to thrive in the emerging tech economy. More women going online and building like-minded communities that support one another, and more fearless women with the right tools at their disposal to create anything they can imagine .
Empress Mimi

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This is a collaborative post. All words and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. 

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My Cool, Calm & Relaxing Bedroom Makeover

After months of waking up to badly hung curtains in a bed that was way too big for the room and tell tale signs of my terrible decorating skills, I bit the bullet and assigned my childfree weekend to give my bedroom a complete makeover. I’d spent months looking for inspiration, mainly on Pinterest and finally settled on a cool, calm and relaxing theme of whites, greys and a shot of yellow. The snippets of moments when I considered going all dark and hotel chic were always argued out of my head in favour of something where I could relax in, day or night, more of a de-stress / escape room than a boudoir.

Plus the furniture was already up cycled and time wasn’t on my side, I had a bed to build, a room to paint, more furniture to chalk paint and curtains to rehang (properly this time.) I considered installing blinds and dress curtains but after splashing out on Stylish blinds from VELUX for my teenage son’s room, so kept costs down by fixing black out lining to my existing grey curtains which my sewing machine savvy mum trimmed down to fit my window (they were huuuuge) and made throw cushions out of the left over material.

I gave the whole room a lick of white paint then finished the chimney breast with a grey and white forest print wallpaper. My new trundle-bed (topped off with an unbelievable comfy FUÜM memory foam mattress (read the review here if you’re looking for a new one and need some research) is perfect for hiding all the clutter which had previously lurked in corners on the room and made space for new bedside tables; a bargain find on eBay. I accessorised each one with small bedside lamps with grey shades from Next along with artificial roses in jam jars and yellow picture frames.


And finally, to warm up the whites and grey decor I added a cosy fur throw to my white bedding. That’s one area I can never bring myself to skimp on, once you’ve slept on quality sheets, there’s no going back!

I’ve got one last thing to find and complete my bedroom makeover and that’s a print to hang above the head, but my indecisiveness is still holding me back from finding ‘the one.’ If you’ve got any recommendations of the perfect print please share. I’m loosing sleep trying to find something which I’m not even sure exactly what I’m looking for.

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Quick Interior Updates To Refresh A Bedroom
I’m in the mood for a change, a change of the house type. But moving right now simply isn’t an option so my only way to fuel my urge for a change in scenery is to make a few little updates to what I’ve got. Which leads me onto my other quandary, any changes I make to my house need to be portable. I’m still in the throws of no-man’s land with regards to my house, the joys of divorce mean I’m still uncertain whether I’ll still be in my here post D-day so it’s all down to changing the accessories.
It’s actually quite refreshing having the decision making put on hold. Usually I’ve got a project in mind, but not at the mo. Plus a change in season is the perfect time to jazz up a room and put any urge to move to rest for a few months.
So where do I start?
Curtains. That’s where I’m kicking off. Something as simple as changing your curtains can give a whole new feel to a room. With a blank canvas on the walls, you can really go to town on bringing a whole new colour scheme in. I fully embraced the grey trend last year with gumption and still hanker after the fresh yet warm tones, it’s become more of a habit than anything. My default, safety blanket if you like.
Staying in the stunning boutique hotel,  The Gannet in Cornwall didn’t help much either. With it’s  brown leather, greys and fresh whites I’ve been hankering to copy that style in my home ever since. (Hotels are always a great inspiration starter, incase you didn’t know) To get the look think grey checks like theses from Julian Charles  and warm wool throws on crisp white bedding. If you need a little more inspiration they’ve also realised an ebook .
Once you’ve got the theme set, you can go to town with accessories, a quirky light fitting and wall art in one of your three chosen shades help give it some personality. I always try to stick to 3 main colours, so in this case it’s a grey, brown and white and that’s pretty much all I’ll be doing….
Hey presto! I’ve updated my bedroom and created a room to relax in, and put that nagging urge for pastures new to bed.
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This is a collaborative post
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