Monday, 19 March 2018

Hello from the other side!

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all this time you’d like to see… what the F happened to me!?

I’ve wrote this post so many times in my head but never managed to put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. But there’s a very good reason for that… They say being a mum is a full time job. Nah, it’s more like 2!  Some Mums make it look so effortless and instaperfect. Me, I was like a rabbit in the headlights with one boob hanging out and hair so greasy dry shampoo couldn’t touch!

I used to think “I’ll blog loads during mat leave”. Romanticised ideas of me bashing away on the keyboard whilst my baby sleeps in her moses basket. Reality check – babies don’t sleep! At least mine didn’t, and especially not in her moses basket. It was 10 months before she started napping routinely and by then, BRAIN.WAS.MUCH (kinda still is) and my sleep backlog took priority over everything else.

Some people manage to get straight back on that horse – props to them. But If I’m honest, once she arrived, I ddin’t really want to. I didn’t care about anything else but her (insert eye rolling here). I surprised myself by how much I DID change and became ONE OF THOSE MOTHERS. Empty platitudes like “my life wont’ change that much”, “I’ll still wear make up every day and paint my nails” went out the window with relaxing baths and clean clothes.

I guess looking back I wasn’t exactly prepared for parenthood. I concentrated so much on conception and pregnancy that I didn’t think beyond the birth. Before I knew it I was catapulted into this alien world playing catch up with baby wearing, cows milk intolerance, sleep training and trying to decode all those acronyms AP, EBF, BLW blah blah blah blah. My life for that first year was all about survival. No room for product reviews and beauty trends here.

Anyway I could write lots about the crazy baby world I was catapulted into, sleep deprivation and gin drinking at 5pm, but that would be a whole other blog post. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. If the last year and half has taught me anything, it’s keep your expectations low ðŸ˜Š I just wanted to Hi! I’m still alive, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that. Thanks to everyone that every visited my blog. I’m not making any promises that I’ll get back to it, but I’d hate to think I’ll never blog again. Plus, I wear makeup most days now and paint my nails at least once a month so I’m totally qualified to blog all things beauty again, right?


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Pregnancy Update: 38 weeks and What I've Learnt So Far

The bun is still in the oven, although not for much longer. With under two weeks to go until my due date I thought I'd give you a little update and share what I've learnt about pregnancy so far. Quick confession, the picture above is actually a few weeks old (sorry I've not really mastered the bumpie) so imagine if you will, my bump is a couple centimetres bigger, but do me a favour - please don't add any more weight to my arm!

What I've learnt so far:

People touch! And I'm not just talking actual friends and family, but random strangers! Erm I don't know where your hands have been - get the F off! Or is that the hormones speaking?

Everyone has an opinion and they’re not afraid to tell you– you’re so big, you’re so small, oh I don’t like that name!

People judge! Oh you're having a water birth, what'd you mean you haven't bought isofix, I wouldn't buy THAT PRAM!

Supermarkets are dangerous places. I don't know why, but I can't push a trolley around tesco without encountering at least one of the above. One checkout lady told asked me if everything was ok with my baby's growth charts because my bump looked too small. Oh and there was the romany gypsy that pointed at my bump and screeched "BOY!!!!" That's what you get for going to Lidl.

Don’t watch one born every minute. Just don't.

You get hairy, EVERYWHERE! The elation of discovering my fine head hair was getting a whole lot thicker was short lived when I discovered it wasn't the only place. Basically new hairs grow, but the old ones don't shed, at least not until after the baby is born. So if you're already dark and hairy like me, be prepared to look like a Gallagher brother.

Getting off the sofa is a serious challenge. I'm at the roll over and slide stage. If you manage it unaided - pat on the back!

I’ll rub your feet every day when you’re pregnant” lasts about two weeks!

You have no control over your tear ducts. You know you're in trouble when you cry at Geordie Shore!

You will have to buy maternity pads and yes, they are HUGE!!

Money saved on nights out and bottles of wine can be better spend on makeup and shoes – the only two things that now fit.

BUT be prepared for mothers guilt. I now equate everything to how many nappies/baby growers/childcare vouchers I can buy with that.

Pregnancy/Life update

You'll have noticed posts have been a little thin on the ground lately. I am sorry about this, but between work and nesting aka erratic cleaning, unnecessary diy and ruthless sort outs, there hasn't been much time for beauty. Thanks for sticking with me and I promise I'm not about to give up on blogging. Still no cravings, other than eating oranges (sadly no gherkin McFlurry's), but I am hungry all.the.time! I rarely make it though the night without a 4am snack. Fortunately I broke up from work last week - in my mind I'm now a lady of leisure. I had a wonderful Clarins Luxury Pedicure yesterday (Dean tried bless him, but he's no nail technician) and I've been enjoying pregnancy reflexology - the mot relaxing experience ever. And I hate to brag but I have timed my mat leave brilliantly - Wimbledon starts next week and season 4 of Orange is the New Black has just been released on Netflix! I'm making the most of early nights and late mornings... whilst I still can.

Before I go, I wanted to share my Maternity Hero Products...

I couldn't have done with without the Dreamgenii Maternity Pillow, Bio Oil, Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion, Liz Earle Instant Tonic Spritz.

Judgemental/touchy people aside, I have had a fantastic pregnancy. It hasn't always been a walk in the park - sleepless nights, 4am hunger, fainting, but for the most part I've been really well. I've loved having my bump, feeling movements is an absolute miracle, stretchy-band maternity jeans are fashions best kept secret, my skin's glowing and in a couple of weeks I get to meet my baby. I'd do it all again in a heart beat... she says before THE LABOUR!

Good luck to all you pregnant ladies out there and best wishes to my yummy mummies, see you on the other side! Claire x


Friday, 17 June 2016

This Mascara is NOT for the Faint Hearted

When it comes to mascara I thought I'd seen it all, but the L'Oreal False Lash Sculpt Mascara  really is the strangest looking lash contraption yet! It's not the easiest mascara in the World to use, but you can NOT argue with those results!

So, as far as wands go, it's as fiddly as fiddly comes. There's probably a knack to it, I just haven't quite mastered it yet. You're supposed to gently press the brush against the waterline, before combing the lashes. In an effort to achieve this and get as close as humanly possible, I usually blink or flinch and end up with mascara in my eye! But practice makes perfect with this one and I'm getting better. Forget everything you know about applying mascara. I usually coat both sides, do horizontal and vertical stokes, wiggle it about... DON'T! This one works best if you open your eyes wide, place the wand at the root of the lashes - the closer the better, and slowly comb upwards whilst gently closing your eyes. The formula is pretty wet  so all you need is a couple of strokes and you're good to go.

Application challenges aside, this mascara is bloody good! Super dark, glossy black pigments coat the lashes generously. The lash sculptor brush really does sculpt, shape and fan the lashes perfectly. The results - longer, fuller, thicker sky-scraper lashes! And this is just one application, two would yield full-on falsies looking va va voom lashes.

See the difference!

Another great does-it-all mascara from L'Oreal! Buy Lash Sculpt Mascara £9.99 and currently 3 for 2 at Boots and Superdrug 


Monday, 6 June 2016

Finally, the Tan That Doesn't Stank!

YESSSSSS!!! They’ve finally cracked it! The holy grail of tanning has been achieved – self tan that doesn’t smell like tan!

During my pregnancy I’ve avoided self-tan. There’s no evidence that it’s in any way harmful to the baby (I ain’t talking sunbeds) but all those chemicals can’t be good, so I’ve embraced the naturalle. That was until the sun came out and I contemplated baring limbs that haven’t seen the light of day since last August. I decided a tinted moisturiser/gradual tanner, which contains less tanning agent would be the best option, just as St Tropez revamped their gradual tan.

So what’s changed?
The main headlines are, it’s now tinted so you can see where you’re putting it and there’s a newly formulated mood-enhancing fragrance that doesn’t smell like fake tan.

I wacked it on the other night, slept it in and completely forgot I was wearing it – no nasty biscuit smell and no dodgy brown residue on the bed sheets. Don’t be deterred by the bottle colour. It looks a little scary – quite dark and not all that natural looking, but as the picture above shows, it sheers out on application giving the tiniest hint of bronze - enough so you don't look dug up but not enough that you look instantly tango’d. It’s completely faff-free too – no need for a tanning mit, pop up tent, none of the usual tanning nonsense, just apply it like a normal body moisturiser. I love that it’s now tinted – none of the slap it on and see approach - you can see exactly where you have and haven't applied it. The texture’s pretty thick but it spreads easily enough and reveals a completely streak-free bronze. The colour develops gradually – it’s natural and subtle but packs a decent enough punch. Not like the in-shower tan that takes a good few applications before you see any hint of colour. I actually felt sufficiently tanned after one application. Sure I didn’t look like I’d been for a spray tan, but I did look like I had a day of two in the sun and really that’s all I wanted.

Bravo St Tropez!

Buy St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Lotion £12/200ml LookFantastic


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The One Where I met Charlotte Tilbury... and asked some cheeky questions

Look at those hands, there’s no one they haven’t touched – Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Kim K, she’s done em all. So getting a chance to meet the woman in person and ask some juicy questions for myself was a dream.. even pregnancy fainting couldn’t stop me! 

Surround by beautiful make up artists, exquisite roses, the aroma of Diptyque candles and all the gold encased Tilbury product you can imagine, including the not-yet-released hot lips (yes the Kim K W shade is to die for), myself and a small number of bloggers and press waited for the raven haired siren to enter the room.

When Charlotte enters the room,! She has that presence, that star quality, plus she shouts “Hello Darlings!” She walked the room, shaking everyone’s hands, asking names and staring deep into their makeup – thank gawd I’d donned the her signature Dolce Vita look. I swear she gave me a telepathic seal of approval – good job darling.

In Newcastle to officially launch her counter in Fenwick, the make up maven spent hours with us talking passionately about her entire product line, how she discovered the transformative power of make up and the American women that use her wonder cream on their lady areas (I’ll not repeat the word she used, but rhymes with Stussy). Charlotte’s passion is infectious. She clearly cares about women. She wants to empower them and make them feel like the best versions of themselves. Yes, her brand is expensive, but it’s expertly curated to make professional looking make up accessible - Runway to real way! Her make up wardrobes include everything you need to create your chosen look along with simple how-to videos and tips, she teaches you what blush goes with what lipstick and the best shadows for your eye colour.

Charlotte’s secrets spilled… 

  • The Kardashians are really lovely girls and a pleasure to work with!
  • Light Wonder Foundation is Kim K’s and Kylie J’s off duty make up of choice.
  • Charlotte’s top 3 can’t be withouts – Magic Cream, Full Fat lashes Mascara and Eyeliners.
  • The one person she hasn’t worked on but would love to – THE QUEEN
  • Her favourite client (and I really had to push for an answer because she LOVES everyone) Kate Moss!

Here's a little peak of the stunning hot lips collection - it took all the restraint I have not to accidentally let them drop in my bag...

Meeting Charlotte was an absolute pleasure. She did not disappoint and was everything I wanted her to be – hilarious, outrageous, open, honest, witty, wise, charming and super knowledgeable. I’m even more obsessed with the woman and came away with a wish list longer than my arm. Being gifted on of her amazing get the look boxes (Rock Chick) was the icing on the cake – I promise I’ll do the look and share soon.

Check out the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Fenwick. Tilbury transformations start at £35 and are fully redeemable against products. And watch out for Hot lips landing in July!


Monday, 16 May 2016

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Mask - Skin’s New BFF

Does.It.All! Three words I can’t get enough of right now. As my time continues to be squeezed I’m all about the multi-tasking products. Enter Dermalogica charcoal Rescue mask – a powerful treatment mask that delivers a cocktail of benefits. A little bit of science first then I'll tell you exactly how it rescued my skin...

The formula contains activated Binchotan Charcoal, which absorbs impurities and draws out excess sebum and toxins. It's basically a 7 minute detox for the skin. It exfoliates, both chemically and mechanically and ingredients including Volcanic Ash, Sea Silt, Bamboo Extract and Sulphur promotes cell turner for dramatically brighter skin. The mask also treats acne, calms rosacea and soothes eczema or sebaceous dermatitis, making it a fantastic treatment for a variety of skin woes. Niacinamide helps reduce congestion and calm the skin, while Chilean Wild Mint helps refine pores.

How to Use

Not only is it a clever-cloggs, does-it-all-mask, it’s also quick and easy to use with visible (and touchable) results after just 7 minutes. Whack a generous layer onto clean/cleansed skin. Unlike other clay masks it doesn’t dry and go chalky really quickly. There’s plenty time to smooth it on and it doesn’t end up crumbling off when you move your face. It takes just 7-10 minutes to do the biz. Wet your hands, give it al good old massage to enhance the exfoliating properties, then rinse. Heads up, it’s a bit messy, and extremely dark so don’t use your fluffy white face cloth.  


I used it for the first time. Looked in the mirror, thought um, my skin looks good. It’s had a good bloody clean out, skin’s brighter, pores are tighter. Then I touched it and oh my god – babies.bum! I swear my skin has never felt so soft. I decided not to go straight in with moisturiser, I wanted to give it some time to see how my skin reacted – no drying or tightening whatsoever. Then when I did apply my serum and moisturiser, they glided on smoothly giving me the most ridiculously even base, along with a kick-ass healthy glow

I can absolutely vouch for the fact it draws out impurities. You know when you go for a good facial and you’re “rewarded” with spots. Well after my first use of the Charcoal Mask I did get a few pimples, but better out than in, am I right? I’d highly recommend this if you’re preparing for a special event/night out and you want your skin brighter and tighter. Just make sure you don’t use it the day before, give some time for those nasty impurities to get out and stay out!

Charcoal Rescue Masque £38/$46 dermalogica | John Lewis | Ultra 

Have you tried it yet?

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