I have been horrified by my feet-despite my best efforts through the cold weather, they really were not sandal ready. A trip to the podiatrist was in order; nails cut, hard skin taken off with an actual scalpel (beat, THAT, foot filers!) and some Flexitol rubbed in-I left 25 minutes and £29 later, but with feet that will do my sandals proud. A summery pink polish (Rose Libertine by Rimmel-it did stain my nails last time I used it, so I actually used a base coat this time, and am sure it will do the job!) and I’m ready to go!
I’m an absolute sucker for a new beauty thing, so couldn’t resist picking up a tube of this primer in Boots.
What it says on the tube
A smoothing and perfecting primer with optical effect. Diffuses light in all directions to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, open pores and uneven skin tone
The texture of this primer is oddly fluffy (and doesn’t come out of the tube evenly when you squeeze-it kind of blurtles out, making small, slightly puffing noises as it comes out of the tube) but soaks into the skin amazingly quickly, leaving a lovely velvety surface. I actually did the test they show in the adverts-where you see a half and half face, with and without the primer, and it does genuinely make a difference. My face looked smoother, had virtually no shine, and smaller blemishes looked like they’d disappeared into the skin. So far, so good. I was a bit disappointed once I’d put my foundation on over the top-I gave it a good few minutes before applying make-up on, but ended up with a less smoothly blended finish than usual, which made me wonder if the primer hadn’t absorbed into my skin as well as I thought.
Will I be switching?
I’ll probably keep the tube and use it if I run out my Barbara Daily primer, or take it with me when I travel, but won’t be using this daily-despite the velvety feel, it felt like a step down from my usual product
The sun is out (for now) and the sky is blue, and it’s highlighted the many cobwebs and dusty areas of my house. Spring cleaning sounds old school, but it does actually make sense. After doing the rooms (top to bottom, left to right-if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly!) I like to have a proper bathroom sort out-toiletries and make-up need a good clean and tidy up too!
This takes a good hour or so, with some baby wipes, (for cleaning drippy bottles) at least one bin bag, (for lotions and potions that don’t make the cut) a notebook and pen so I can write down any products that I’m running low on. It works better if you can offload any small children while you’re doing your spring clean, or they’ll try to ‘help’/drink the shower gel, and it just won’t work.
I keep my toiletries and cosmetics in plastic baskets on shelves (not attractive, but functional). I do one basket at a time, and work top to bottom, left to right. Like products are stored with like (dental stuff, make-up, soaps/shower gels, moisturisers, baby toiletries, hair stuff-they all get separate baskets)-if you don’t have a system like this, it might take you a bit longer (and will be harder to see if you need to stock up on anything). Each basket gets emptied onto the floor, wiped or washed clean, and left to dry and air on the window sill. I check all of the products and decide if I like them, still use them, roughly how long they’ve been open (yes! make-up and toiletries have a shelf life too-look for a number in a circle, often on the bottom of the tub they’re in-a 6 means they should be disposed of six months after you first opened them) and keep or chuck accordingly. Anything being kept is cleaned thoroughly and put back in the clean dry basket. When I’m all done, I have a quick look and see if I’m short of anything (I like to have at least a couple of bottles/packs of shampoo, razors, soaps and moisturiser in reserve) and make a quick note on my shopping list. The basket goes back to its shelf, and I move on to the next one.
Makeup is slightly different-I like to move from using my winter foundation (latest favourite is Barbara Daly’s moisture foundation) to something with a bit more glow (I have just bought some Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, and have very high hopes for it!) so will swap them over in my basket. Benefit Dandelion blusher goes out, and Posietint cheek stain comes in instead, and neutral nail colours make way for something brighter.
It’s odd, but I genuinely feel lighter and happier once the spring clean is done, and I’m ready to enjoy the sunshine
while it lasts
I’ve not had the best few weeks (relentlessly ill small boy, too much stuff on at work, weight loss has slowed right down) but I’m trying to think positive. The baby is (finally) on the mend, the end is in sight with the work tough patch and I’ve probably lost less weight because a new cake shop has opened up just down the road. In other positive news-the garden is full of daffodils, the sun has come out, my gel polish lasted three full weeks, so I’ve had them redone (in clear this time) and my skin is looking pretty good at the moment. I think an increase in the amount of sleep I’m getting has helped, but I’ve also been really strict about thorough cleansing morning and night (double cleanse at night, after getting lazy with face wipes-really not ideal for regular use!) and using a rather lovely new moisturiser-Balance Me Daily Essentials Moisture-Rich Face Cream. Now, I know it’s hard to believe, but it was still snowing here in The Shire a couple of weeks ago. Actual snow, the sort you don’t want to be driving in, not just a few odd flakes here and there. And the extended cold weather had confused my skin-it was blotchy, tired and looking quite worn out, despite my tired and pathetic efforts to keep it happy as we moved from snow to overly hot central heating and back again. It needed a bit of TLC, and a moisture-rich face cream sounded good-I’m glad to say it delivered:
Balance Me Daily Essentials Moisture-Rich Face Cream
On the label: plumps and smooths for rejuvenated looking skin, 99% natural origin
This has a beautiful rose scent, and a lovely texture-smooth and very quickly absorbed. It left my skin looking fresh and plumped up, as promised, and the glow lasts all day. It contains rosehip and camellia oils, and shea butter, but doesn’t feel at all greasy, and leaves a nice surface for make up a couple of minutes after application. It comes in a squirty tube, and I generally find one squirt is fine for the mornings, when I’m in a rush, but I do two squirts in the evening and spend a bit longer massaging it into my face and neck.
The result-I have smooth, glowing skin, which managed to cope with the worst the snow and central heating could offer, and is coping equally well with the warmer weather. This is a real find!
I saw a brilliant coupon
in the Telegraph a few weeks ago for a Balance Me mini product trio, and you only had to pay postage. It arrived recently, and so far I’ve tried two out of the three products-an eye cream and a facial oil (the other one is a wrinkle cream, so addresses about the only skin concern I don’t have at the moment!) So, here’s the review…
Extra Care Wonder Eye Cream:
Containing camomile, lemon and lots of other lovely things (including rosehip oil-a big favourite of mine) this has been a real success. I’ve been using it for just over a week, and really like the texture-it’s quite light, but feels like a treat when I smooth it on (I smooth first, then pat-no idea why, maybe that’s what my mum does with eye creams?) The skin around my eyes looks brighter, and it really helps me wake up in the mornings.
Extra Care Radiance Facial Oil
I love a facial oil, I really do. And I gave this one a good shot, but it just doesn’t seem to be the one for me. This also contains camomile, as well as yarrow and buruti nut oil, and has a nice texture-quite a dry oil. I used it at night, instead of my usual rosehip oil, and was disappointed with the amount of moisture in my skin the next morning. Rosehip oil seems to leave my skin with a real glow, but this didn’t give me the lustre I was expecting (and hoping for!) and I had two dry patches which got progressively worse while I was using it.
I have tried a couple of other Balance Me products (their rose otto lip salve intensive lip salve is one of my favourites) and really like the ethos of the company-their slogan is ‘Beauty that works naturally’ and their products are very clean (no parabens, sulphates, mineral oils or other nasties) so I am delighted to be adding their eye cream to my morning routine, and putting my old cheapy eye gel to the back of the cupboard.
I have a giant cupboard in the bathroom. I’ve never tested it, but I know from looking at it that me, my husband, the baby and probably a small car could all fit inside comfortably. Okay, maybe the car would be pushing it at a bit, but it really is very big. If another doorway to Narnia were found at the back, it would truly not come as a surprise to me. It’s also full of stuff-multipacks of nappies, wipes, loo rolls and all other bathroomy things. I’ve got so much stuff in there, it took me about two hours on Sunday to sort it out. And it was like going shopping at a small branch of Boots, when I got everything laid out. So I’ve decided not to buy any more toiletries or cosmetics until I’ve used up quite a lot of the things from the cupboard. It will sometimes feel a bit like a punishment (Snow Fairy shower gel from Lush, with your vile pink smell and bloody glitter everywhere, I’m giving YOU a hard stare at the moment) but will have good moments too. I found an unopened tube of Jergens firming body lotion and used that after the (pink) shower this morning, and it was good stuff. Absorbed quickly, no scent that made me wrinkle my nose up, no actual firming seen so far, but I’m easily satisfied when I’m this knackered. Also felt like a freebie, as I have no memory of buying it, bringing it home or unpacking it. Perhaps a small Narnian creature deposited it there for me to find. Who knows-it did what I needed it to.
You can get a file and polish for £6. SIX POUNDS. And it only takes 15 minutes. And they basically do a mini manicure (file, trim cuticles, some kind of buffing/sandpapery thing) before they apply the polish and topcoat (which does make me wonder what you get for the extra £14 they charge for an actual manicure). It’s a bit crap looking, the nail bar, called something like American Nails Etc, and has some quite scary customers, but they do a bloody good job. Some half-hearted upselling from the Vietnamese man in charge (‘ONLY polish? Why not shellac?’ but nothing horrendous. And it’s about 200 yards from my house. So-£6, 15 minutes, nails now painted in Second Honeymoon by OPI (nice neutral) and the shiniest topcoat ever. I’m taking nail maintenance out of the weekly routine of stuff I need to do, and will just nip in there once a week instead. Sorted.