When it comes to this time of year, I start keeping a little M&S wishlist. Rather than popping those essential five packs of cotton undies, and Rosie for Autograph Insta Glow Matte Bronzer (literally the pretties matte bronzer, I’ve hit pan on two of these beauties now) into my online basket, I start to keep a note of what I’m after so I can take advantage of the frankly brilliant M&S Summer Beauty Box. What’s the big deal, you may ask? Well, the M&S Beauty Box lets you try all sorts of incredible new products, many of the sizes are absolutely perfect for travel too. And the best bit? You get the whole lot, worth £135, for just £15 when you spend £40 on clothing, beauty and home. The deal starts today and I’ve got a sneaky peek inside the box, especially for you.
I’ve never been particularly tiny or particularly big, so apart from the few occasions over the years when I’ve completely and unhealthily starved myself down to a ridiculous and completely unsustainable size 8, I’m generally around a healthy size 12. We eat quite well (we’re experimenting more with meat free, veggie-rich recipes at the moment and loving it) and try to be sensible with alcohol. Add that reasonably healthy lifestyle to the fact that, thanks to the NHS Couch to 5k programme I’m now running 5k three times a week and I’m kind of annoyed that I haven’t really toned up that much. Cue, then, the most exciting email I’ve had in ages from the fabulous S-Thetics Clinic in Beaconsfield, inviting me to come and try SculpSure body contouring: the first ever treatment to use gentle heat technology to eliminate stubborn body fat without going under the knife.
Do you do much to your brows? I actually don’t mind the shape of mine, but I do think that every time I go and get them threaded, they seem to take a tiny bit more away and I’ve started to notice recently that this means they’re a bit thinner than I’d like them. I mentioned this to Nat Lupton, owner of The Hair Secret in Berkhamsted (my favourite hair salon – I’m going there tomorrow for a mega-makeover – watch this space!), and she recommended that I book in for HD Brows at Bloom Beauty Bar, located just inside the salon, with their mega-talented make-up artist and HD Brow specialist Zoe Kennedy.
I don’t know about you but I feel a bit like I’m on a never ending search for good skincare products. Every time I find one I really like, by the end of the pot (or sometimes halfway through) I’m already thinking that it’s not quite right – generally it’s because I find everything a bit greasy. It will feel fine in the morning, but by lunchtime my forehead is shiny and I already know this one’s not for me. I think I mentioned a while ago that I’m a huge fan of Nadine Baggott’s #Thebeautyknowitall YouTube channel, and she’d recommended The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid – in fact she recommended quite a few products in the range. I was especially interested as, like me, Nadine really doesn’t like the feel of creams on her face and prefers to use more lightweight serum formulas, so after I’d ordered the Hyaluronic Acid, I decided to give a couple of the other things from The Ordinary skincare range a go, and so far, I’m really loving them.
So it’s now been a couple of weeks since I’ve had my Botox treatment at One Stop Doctors, and as promised, I’m coming back to you to let you know how I got on. I’ve also been back to have a microneedling treatment, which, as you’ll read below is quite strange, but wow, the results are really amazing. So let’s crack on, then. Here’s a Botox update and microneedling report – with pictures!
Okay, so I’m aware that I’m publishing my weekend wishlist on a Thursday, but there’s a good reason for this: I wanted to give you a heads up about the return of the legendary M&S Summer Beauty Box! It’s always hugely popular and I think last year sold out within hours, so it’s really important that you get in there quickly! The offer is: spend £40 across clothing, homeware and beauty and get a beauty box gift – worth £105 – for just £10. The offer is valid from today until 26th June 2017 (but it’s doubtful whether stocks will last that long). The M&S Summer Beauty Box contains all sorts of gorgeous goodies, so if you’re planning a little M&S shop, this is the perfect time to do it!
So if you’ve been following along with my post 40 beauty diary, you’ll know that I’ve been trying hard to take better care of my skin, and trying out a few different treatments with the lovely people at One Stop Doctors, a brand new medical facility in Hemel Hempstead. After my consultation with GP and Aesthetic Doctor, Dr Heidi Miller, I was really excited to take the next step and book in for some Botox. If you’ve been considering having any aesthetic treatments, I thought it might be helpful to give you a completely honest account of what it’s really like to have Botox.
The more I travel, the more I seem to pare down my in-flight beauty kit. At one stage, I was lugging all manner of things in a huge carry-on bag, but recently, I’ve started to realise that I wasn’t actually using half the products. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that last week, I travelled to Florida on Norwegian’s Dreamliner, which gives you a bit of added help in the in-flight beauty department by reducing the effects of jet lag with lots of lovely fresh air and adjusting cabin pressure to optimum levels. There’s also smart mood lighting, which is very relaxing, and 65% larger windows, but still, flying is very dehydrating, and it helps to whip off all your makeup and treat your skin to some extra moisture while you’ve got the chance to sit back and relax. I thought I’d tell you about my in-flight beauty heroes – the ones that made the cut and still travel with me every time.
Now our boys are older and have their own money, when it comes to gifting they tend to just ask what I’d like. I’m always happy with flowers or chocolates, but when they or Mr E want to buy me something lovely that I might not splurge on for myself, I tend to head straight for beauty products. You already know that I’m a big fan of M & S beauty, so I thought I’d pick a few things that I love that would make amazing Mother’s Day gifts (or, frankly, a well-deserved bit of self-gifting too). Read on to find my top picks for Mother’s Day beauty with M & S:
I spend so much money on products that aren’t right for me. My worst one was getting my foundation done at the Chanel counter at Gatwick, then purchasing the product and not realising until I went to the loo on the plane and looked in the mirror that my face was literally orange (top tip, try to approach someone on a make-up counter whose own make-up style you really like). I have to say, though, that when I took it back to the Chanel counter at John Lewis, they changed it for me. I also find I make a lot of mistakes buying online, with products not being the right colour or texture for me. Happily, though, I occasionally have some amazingly good accidental discoveries, and I’m on a roll recently, so I thought I’d share them with you.
WHAT a weekend. We had our amazing summer sparklers party on Friday night. I am absolutely rubbish and took NO pictures, but we had such a fun time and – apart from the fact that I was an idiot and bought single cream, so my pavlova ended up being ‘deconstructed’ – it all went really well. More of this very soon! I had a complete day off anything to do with health and fitness on Friday: I scoffed pavlova and cheese and all those good things, but now I’m back on it: exercising regularly (I WILL be toned and fit by our holiday in September), drinking loads of water and looking after my body and my skin, which brings me neatly on to my EXCLUSIVE offer: 20% off REN Skincare exclusively for you guys!
When you’re packing for holidays, you don’t want to lug your entire beauty routine with you in your case. One: it takes up loads of room and two: it’s a holiday! Time for a pared down, simple beauty routine that gives you more time to have fun. This weekend I’m heading to Walt Disney World Resort Florida with my birthday boy, Charlie, who is 18 tomorrow (I KNOW!) so I thought I’d share my thoughts on beauty essentials for the parks: just enough to keep you looking glowy and gorgeous ready for those selfies with Minnie Mouse (oh, you bet I’ll be stalking her, she’s my fave!).
My skin has been SO dry recently. My poor hands are red and chapped and my face is dry, flaky and uncomfortable. Two wet, cold and windy dog walks a day, added to a couple of long haul flights and a bit of sun in the Bahamas and my skin is all over the place. In desperation, I went to my local John Lewis and had a consultation at the Clinique counter, and I was really impressed with the results. The more I’ve asked people, the more I’ve discovered an awful lot of love for the 3-step system. I bought a trial pack and decided to give it a go.
Girly one, this. So boys you can go and do something manly for a minute. What is it with us girls and our hair? Why do we always want the hair we can’t have? Every curly girly I know wants dead straight hair, and us straight haired girls probably own every curling device known to man. I recently met a natural blonde who dies her hair black (I thought it was natural). It’s a dilemma.
Every time I go on holiday, I just bung my whole make-up bag in my suitcase, but honestly, once I’m there, I only use a tiny amount of it. This time, I decided that I was going to carry on the good work I’ve done with my capsule holiday wardrobe, by applying the same theory to my make-up bag.
We’ve been having a little try of a very clever new toothbrush. The Nano-b toothbrush is very different to ordinary toothbrushes, and we’re all quite addicted to the lovely feeling they give you after brushing.
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