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Thursday, 23 October 2014

mama beauty: louise coughlan

The next installment of my Mama Beauty series comes from one half of one of my new-found favourite children's brands Pala MinoLouise Coughlan. A mum of two, she still keeps it stylish and her beauty routine is surprisingly fuss-free...

What is your daily beauty routine?
My daily beauty routine is a face wash with Dove soap and a face cloth and moisturise with Cetaphil moisturiser (I once read an interview with the eternally young Pharrell williams and he swore by it).
I use a tinted moisturiser, Dior BB under eye cream, bit of blush or cheek tint, black mascara tidy my eyebrows and a bit of red lipstick (i have a few) mixed with trilogy everything balm....ready to face the world.

What makes you feel beautiful?
That's a hard one. I'm the only female sharing my life with 3 boys/men they're good at making me feel beautiful.

Do you manage to squeeze in any pamper time in between the chaos of children?
I don't get time to pamper myself really other than general maintenance. I intend to make up for that when the kids are older.

What is your can’t-live-without product?
Soap and glory Supercat eyeliner....It actually stays on and doesn't end up all over your eyelid.

Do you have any beauty tips for fellow mamas?
It's been said a million times but I really think beauty comes from within so it's really important to maintain your happiness and mental well being...Failing that I once read Jerry Hall likes to cover her whole body in olive oil and stay in her dressing gown all day, guess you could try that, she looks quite good. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

favourite face masks

Who doesn’t love a good face mask?? Everyone loves a face mask (even my husband). Fact. Sales of prestige face masks in the US are actually up by a whopping 60% (+11% in the UK) - people are looking for that do-all wonder-fix and masks promise to breathe new life in to tired, lacklustre, dry or damaged skin. You name the concern, there’s sure to be a mask that promises to fix it.
I wanted to share my 3 favourite masks, which I have written before (from the archives) but I still adore them and repurchase even years later.

1.       For a quick fix, you just cannot beat Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask (£73). It’s so easy. Apply to a clean face and let the red clay do its magic. Plus, it has a wonderful chamomile extracts that will also calm angry skin – I have used it when I have had eczema on my face and it reduced the redness. The best thing is that you only need 3-5 minutes for this mask – it doesn’t dry cakey and leaves skin velvety soft. It’s pricey but worth the investment.
2.       For a moisture kick I LOVE Korres Yoghurt Moisturising Mask (€9.15). It smells heavenly, like sweet, rich honey blossom and thirsty skin will slurp up the luxuriously thick formula instantly. In the Mediterranean yoghurt has been used as a soothing and nourishing ingredient for the skin for generations  and in Russia, a certain version is used to soothe sunburn and enflamed skin. It’s a true bargain and an absolute staple.

3.       For cleansing I love and have been using Nude’s Deep Cleansing Mask (£38) for years. It is another clay-based (pink and white clay) mask but it doesn’t dry hard and chalky, which can leave the skin stripped of moisture. It’s actually full of omega oils and even shea butter, which is wonderful for a cleansing product. Plus, it has fine buriti seed shells to gently exfoliate at the same time. It’s a triple whammy.

What are your favourite masks? I love finding new products. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

i do all over again...

Although we had our wedding back in August in Russia, at the risk of rinsing it, we are having a small registry office wedding in London this weekend. Purely for legal reasons only, of course, ahem.
Whereas the wedding in August was summer time, I was able to get a little colour from the sweltering Russian sun in the lead up to the big day. This time, we are in the full swing of autumn: harsh white daylight, rain, grey clouds and wind. Despite the drab surroundings (what happened to crisp sunlight and coloured leaves on the floor?) I am going for radiant bride: here we go again.
  •        Before my makeup, I am going to apply Sisley’s Radiant Immediate Lift. It is a very light gel, which brightens and tightens the complexion. Without buoyant shimmer it does also add a glow due to the rosey pearls for radiance in a flash. Plus, a concoction of vitamins and herbal extracts protect the skin from the elements.
  •        Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector is my weapon number one. I have written about it before and it really is a wonder product. As a highlighter it is silky, not chalky, blendable and dries incredibly sheer due to the ultra-fine formula of mica particles (this is the ‘shimmer’). This time I will blend this directly with my moisturiser for an all-over-face glow. Without looking like a shiny spaceman, I promise.
  •     On the cheeks I want a creamy colour as in the harsh light of white clouds, powders can look cakey and unnatural. This one by Le Metier De Beaute is gorgeously thick but blends in like a moisturiser. Plus, it has no shimmer, so wont conflict with my highlighter. (Sadly you cannot get this blush any more, but Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge are quite similar).
  •        Going very light on the nails with Essie’s creamy Pillow Talk – a light ecru with a hint of pink.
  •        Finally, scent. This is really important to me and I spent months, no exaggeration, looking for a fragrance for the actual wedding. A lot of people thought I was weird and some thought I was mad. For the big day and for this weekend I settled on Evody’s Ambre Intense. It’s a very heady formula, reminiscent of Tom Ford’s Oud series. It is rich, warm, opulent. Its middle notes of sandalwood and patchouli make for an intriguing and lingering scent that is not too sweet or sickly. It dries to a wonderful incense/amber mixture. I have had countless comments about it and want to savour every drop.
Bottom line: trying to keep things low key this time.
PS: these are actual dried flowers from my original wedding, sob.

Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, £33
Evody’s Ambre Intense Eau de Parfum from £70 

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

mama beauty: emi ozmen

The next mama beauty interview is actually with one of my best friends. Luckily we found out we were pregnant within weeks of each other and I am not exaggerating when I say that she was my rock for those 9 months and continues to be an inspiring, hilarious and GORGEOUS friend. My little Valentina is obsessed with her daughter Silver - she finds videos of Silver on my phone and shouts "Do it!", which in baby language means: 'Press play.' Here is her take on mama beauty:

What is your daily beauty routine?
Well I'm ashamed to say I never take my make up off at night so first thing in the morning I cleanse and moisturise. My staples are Chanel foundation, highlighter on my cheekbones and nose. I hate blusher, eyeshadow and lipstick so my beauty regime is pretty quick. I love clumpy lashes and not much more for a sixties look. 

What makes you feel beautiful?
My husband 

Do you manage to squeeze in any pamper time in between the chaos of children?
A bath is my pamper time. The only time I visit a salon is for occasional eye lash extensions

What is your can’t-live-without product?
Paw paw on my lips

Do you have any beauty tips for fellow mamas?
Always make time to get ready. It makes the day so much nicer. Fresh make up clean hair means whatever kind of day you're having you're ready for anything.

Emi has just started a cool new company partner Kirsti called Mad Life, which stands for Mum and Dad Life: for all fun things for mamas, dads and kiddos. Follow them on instagram to keep up to date of forthcoming projects. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

autumn beauty essentials

It has suddenly turned very cold here in London, which means that not only have the coats and scarves suddenly surfaced, but I have also had to dig out the skincare big guns. And it’s not all about fancy, expensive potions to protect against these unpredictable elements. Two days ago we had sheets of rain, wind and then blazing sunshine in one day. Yikes.
So, first of all and perhaps most importantly, I have amped up my cleanser to Eve Lom’s Morning Time Cleanser. If you are put off by strong, herby smelling products – this is not for you. If you also don’t like a buttery, balmy cleanser – this is also not for you. But my god, I love this. The smell reminds me a little of Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream and consistency of Organic Pharmacy’s Carrot Butter Cleanser. It is a real wake-me-up for the skin and feels more than a little moisturising and toning for a cleanser thanks to a combination of Chamomile, Carrot Oil and Clove Oil. Purely indulgent.

Next: moisturiser. I think I have discovered my moisturiser soul mate. I am in love with Dr Organic’s Snail Gel Cream. Your first thought may be, erm WTF – snail gel???!! Yes, go with it. The power of snail’s slime has been proven to be a healer and is naturally high in collagen. The bottom line is: it feels ultra moisturising whilst not greasy. It tones. It is a grafter. A hard worker.
Finally, I love bareMinerals Primers, which act as a brilliant base for makeup. Even if it’s a little concealer over the top. And as a cherry on top, I am not usually one for fake tan as such, but this Faux Tan from bareMinerals adds a very subtle glow when mixed with moisturiser. I always get compliments when I wear this and my complexion looks more ‘healthy’. I wore it on my wedding day and how worn it looks is a testament to how much I love it. 
Autumn, I am ready. 

Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, £40
Dr Organic Snail Gel Cream, £19.99 from Holland and Barrett stores 
bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer, £23

bareMinerals Faux Tan Face Gradual Glow Sunless Tanner, £18

Thursday, 2 October 2014

mama beauty: eva jorgensen

In the next instalment of Insider interviews with inspirational and cool mamas, please meet Eva Jorgensen who is owner and co-founder of one of the most amazing, original and creative stationery companies I have ever come across: Sycamore Street Press. It started modestly with a vintage letterpress and the ethic to create beautiful, simple yet very hand-crafted products still remains at the heart. Eva lives what sounds like the most romantic life in the Utah mountains with two angelic children. The next time you need a greeting card/poster/gift wrap: look no further...

What is your daily beauty routine? 
It's very simple. In the morning, I get up and shower. I put on moisturizer/sunscreen, some simple make-up, comb out my hair and let it air dry, although sometimes I blow-dry my bangs. (And I don't wash my hair every day -- I use baby powder on the roots on the in-between days.)  In the evening before bed, I wash & moisturize my face with coconut oil. 

What makes you feel beautiful?
Walking in nature and the love of my husband and my kids. 

Do you manage to squeeze in any pamper time in between the chaos of children?
Not really! Well, my daily morning shower feels like pamper time, because my husband is usually wrangling the kids for breakfast, and I step away for a few minutes to take a quiet shower.

What is your can’t-live-without product?
bareMinerals foundation. (Original in Fairly Medium.) I suffer from rosacea, and have hereditary circles under my eyes, so without make-up to even out my skin tone, I look like someone who forgot to wear sunscreen while skiing with goggles (and people give me sympathetic remarks about my "horrible sunburn" -- it's true!). When I wear this foundation, people instead compliment me on my beautiful skin. It really makes a difference. (I've tried lots of other foundations, too, and this one is by far the best for my skin.) 

Do you have any beauty tips for fellow mamas?
Take it easy on yourselves. And get as much sleep as possible.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

best of the best teas

I am a bit of a tea lover. Especially anything herbal. As geeky as it sounds, it’s something I bonded with my now husband about on our first date. Our love of herbal tea and how big our stash was in our respective cupboards.
I have honed in on some of my favourites over the years, each for different occasions. Here is the shortlist:
  •          I LOVE Dragonfly teas anyway. Their Moroccan Mint is absolutely divine and so deliciously minty – but not synthetically so. This particular one, Vanilla Rooibos is my current ‘all-rounder’. It is quite strong, so you don’t need to leave the tea bag in for long – but as rooibos is already quite a sweet tea leaf, the vanilla makes the tea taste almost honey-laced. Lovely in the morning or before bed – it’s caffeine free. From £2.00
  • Darjeeling tea is known as the champagne of teas. This Pure Darjeeling from Dammann is light, aromatic and best served without milk. I do like it with lemon though. This is one for mid-morning or early afternoon. €15.00
  • Greenfield tea is a bit of a renegade as I only ever get it in Russia. It’s a really popular variety there and this Ceylon tea is bold, brash and flavoursome. This is great with lemon, (milk if you like it) and some honey. Perfect afternoon tea.  
  • As a family, we are partial to Pukka teas. They do some great mixtures – and this Revitalise variety with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger is lovely for autumn and winter. It is super warming and smells like pudding in a cup. Lovely for both first thing in the morning and post-dinner. From £2.00
  • I have recently discovered Rituals tea selection – what don’t they do well. This one is called Emperor’s Dream – its hero ingredients are Staranise and Licorice, however, it is also really minty and has a decent dose of fennel. This is perfect during a cleanse/detox. I find it calming post dinner or as a mid-morning hunger-pang treat. £4.50 per box

The tea cupboard needs an extra shelf I think…