The Best Person That You Are Now

If the Baby Allows

It’s Sunday and after a weekend of indulgence I’m not excatly to quote Beyonce “Feeling Myself” – it’s normal but how much of it is down to our own ingrained views of self apperance, rather than the reality that no-one else sees our minor flaws quite the way we do? Kicking off a two part series of self acceptance and realism is Kim from “If The Baby Allows“…

“Stood in front of the mirror, semi-nude (because I can’t quite stomach the full shebang this morning) I look exhausted, and to put it kindly, I’m not exactly wowed by what I see. Nauseated seems fitting.

I run through my mental checklist, Southbound appendages – check, body hair representing Chewbacca – check, skin type: grand canyon/de-hydrated/Sahara/moon crater hybrid – check, citrus fruit inspired derriere – check.

Coincidentally Mel C’s song started playing on the radio “things will never be the same again.” Its moments like this that makes me realise there is indeed no such thing as coincidence and that the universe is gently trying to nudge me towards a realistic state of awareness.

Throughout life there are events that change us, shake us to the core and we come out the other side different. Illness, lifestyle & circumstance changes etc; for me it was IVF, pregnancy, and early motherhood. I came out the other side a dishevelled, tired, bloated and saggy (how?) version of myself. Either that or I had an awesome night out…no it was definitely all of the above, I have the screaming baby in the background to prove it, plus I can clearly remember it ALL!

After my stark realisation, I quickly got dressed to hide the evidence. On went my pregnancy leggings (the ones I swore I would burn the moment after birth) brushed all three remaining post natal hairs on my head and applied a thick layer of concealer under my eyes. I was then ready for coffee guzzling, “I’m fine, I don’t know what you’re talking about” Supermum action.

My Mum often likes to smugly recite “mirror, mirror on the wall, you are your Mother after all” never Mother, never. However, we all know the truth, that we do in some way turn into our mother, but for now I am going to be part of the “not on my nelly, I’m different club” until I eventually give in and let the Mum symptoms implode on me. But up to that point, I will do my best to refrain from the Mum-sy and attempt to be a “yummy mummy” cringey I know.

This doesn’t come without its challenges: time restraints being a big factor, just try a full manicure routine with a snot filled, colic suffering, insomniac kid in your presence – go on I dare you. In case you are not feeling brave, I will summarise what happens with two words: tears and smears.

The other big challenge is comparison.

Fast forward a few years and I should be well on my way to yummy flat tummys-ville right? In fact I should’ve signed up for the Victoria’s Secret show by now. Just look at Heidi Klum, five weeks after giving birth she was back on the catwalk in a bikini, flat tummy, glowing locks, no stretchmarks perfect skin – that is exactly the standard I should be aiming for. That is what everyone is expecting of me: my children, husband, family, society, my sisters friend that I said hi to once, the woman who has twins and is coping way better than I am, the postman, the next door neighbour – everyone. Even the dog gives me a disappointed look If I attempt to head out the door with a greasy haired mop, poor effort Kim. If Heidi can do it, so can I?

NEWS FLASH – it doesn’t quite work like that. In fact it sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it? Yet most of us lay on the pressure and compare ourselves to others in some way or another, don’t we? My answer to this? Get a grip love. Okay slightly harsh but on some level I mean it. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? Sure it’s great to make an effort but why give yourself a hard time about it? It’s all about perspective. Change your perspective and be the best person that you are now. Not what you were, or what you think you should be, but who you are now. Whoa I just came over all dizzy with that sudden rush of guru, and it has hit me that being the best you really is all you can be.

So that is exactly what I am doing, changing my perspective, and I’ve realised that as nice as it is to look good, feeling good works so much better. If painting my nails, wearing red lipstick and having pamper rituals makes me feel good then so be it. I am what I am, I will do my best (Brownies honour) and that’s it – this “radical theory” applies to everyone whatever your story.

Not comfortable with your figure? Wear what makes you feel good. Going through a bad skin phase? Decorate those beautiful eyes. Having a bad hair week day? Spend time on those talons that everyone admires. What I am trying to say is we all have areas that we don’t like, and we all have areas that we do like – and as for those “not so good” areas, well we can work on them can’t we? No harm in trying now is there.

I’m not quite in the realms of “I’m proud of my tiger stripes” I am however okay with them, they are there for good, so no point in stressing about it. The best I can do is treat them, maybe even exercise (chortle) for tightening and then get over it. Sorry not so guru there – but to some degree we do have to let it go, embrace the good and move on. ”

Kim – www.ifthebabyallows.blogspot.co.uk

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Are The GlamGlow Face Masks Really Worth The Hype?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but increasingly I seem to be wearing my cynical hat and wondering when we all got caught up in the hype of ‘wonder products’ and their extortionate price tags. Although there are some truly wonderful innovations our there that really do make a difference, a lot of the time a product can be over hyped and over praised by those that won’t even truly benefit from the ingredients it has to offer. With so many beauty editors and influencers confessing to adore everything going, it’s hard to know whether or not the excitement is justified – or if you’d be better off saving your cash for something else entirely. GlamGlow is definitely one of those brands; I remember when it first launched and every beauty enthusiast was desperate to try this ground-breaking mud mask in an effort to revolutionist their skin. At the time I tried it and thought it was pleasant, but distinctively average, but a few years later (and with many more additions to the range) it was time to put Glam’s Glow to the test once again. Can these little pots of coloured goo really give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of?

YOUTH MUD (TO SMOOTH)
Originally designed as a ten minute ‘professional facial in a jar’ for celebrities about to walk the red carper, this smoothing mask gently exfoliates the surface to leave behind a softer and more glowing complexion. It’s not exceptionally abrasive, but it does gently buff the skin to leave it feeling like its had a bit of a work out; but the key here is to use it before a big meeting or night out, rather than as a bathtime pamper. The results aren’t groundbreaking, but they are noticeable – however, they’re also achievable with your usual facial exfoliator and a good manual massage. (Just saying!)

THIRSTY MUD (TO HYDRATE)
Apparently this uses ‘the most advanced hydration active technologies’ (nope, me either!) to hydrate, restore, replenish and calm the skin. First up, it’s a lovely balm-like formula that’s a pleasure to apply (helped by the fact it smells amazing) and can be used for a 20-minute hit or even overnight for a more intense treatment (when it’s £39.00 a pot I’m totally down with not washing it down the drain.) I love a hydrating mask and this is definitely a good one, but you’d get the same impact via a hardworking moisturiser or night cream – this just makes the experience a little more pampering.

FLASH MUD (TO BRIGHTEN)
Developed to create luminous skin, this treatment contains Betulin, Betulinic Acid and Ellagic Acid to create an improved ‘colour balanced’ skin tone. It also includes three types of exfoliant to slough away dullness and drive the ingredients deeper into the skin, as well as (wait for it) diamond photoluminescence to increase the reflecting level of the skin and make it appear more radiant. When I tried this is actually made my face bright pink and slightly warm for an hour or so after – and I’m not sure that that was the look they were going for. In all honesty I didn’t see or feel much difference at all, so this one was completely lost on me.

POWER MUD (FOR A WEEKLY POWER CLEANSE)
This was the mask I was most intrigued to try, but also most confused by. Was it a cleanser, a mask, a treatment or combination of all three? Power Mud aims to remove the build-up of cleansing product and excess grime, providing a more intense weekly power cleanse to those of us that use a lot of product; particularly handy for those who suffer with breakouts and dullness, this lightweight mud turns to an oil-balm when mixed with water. You leave it on the skin for ten minutes (presumably so it can ‘suck out’ all the bits of leftover product) and then wash off; it’s a very gentle and pleasant cleanse, but it’s also impossible to know if it’s really doing anything more than my usual cleanser.

GRAVITY MUD (TO FIRM & LIFT)
Currently available in a limited edition Sonic Blue shade, this is apparently an ‘instant tightening and firming treatment that contains mega-targeted ingredients that work together to help skin’s contours feel firmer and look more defined.’ So in a nutshell it’s supposed to contour your skin, while tightening those saggy bits. The rather gloopy formula is quite tricky to apply (and gets everywhere FYI – my bathroom plughole is still blue!) but once it’s on it’s a comfortable way to pass ten or so minutes while it dries; you can either pull it off in one piece or massage away with a warm damp flannel (if you’ve a lot of facial fuzz I’d recommend the latter.) As for the results, my skin was definitely left smoother and a little plumper, but I can’t say there was any contouring or lifting going on. Because of the nature of the formula you get a lot more from this than the other masks, but I’m just not convinced this delivers on its promises.

So there you go; each one of the GlamGlow masks tried and tested for your pleasure. Although each of them are perfectly pleasant to use (and also smell amazing,) for me there wasn’t enough of a difference or immediate result to warrant the price tag. Most provide similar results to my usual facial exfoliators, night treatments and anti-ageing skincare – which probably also work out cheaper per use, knowing how much mask you need to slap on. None of them are horrendous, but none of them rock my world either. If you’re feeling the need to get spendy then by all means make a purchase, but if you’d rather invest in a great skincare regime you can enjoy every single day, then that’s probably a wise decision too.

Have you tried any of the GlamGlow masks? What did you think?

The GlamGlow masks are available online, priced £39.00 each for the 50g pot. (15g sample sizes are also available if you want to test before you invest!)


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Burt’s Bees at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

Calling all my fellow Scots and those who may just be in town for the next few days (if not don’t worry there will be other locations and dates added to the tour), Burt’s Bees will be bringing their interactive Wall of Kisses to no other than Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow, to celebrate the launch of their new lipstick collection from the 3rd-5th of March.

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

If you are available to pop along not only can you see all 18 shades of the new lipstick in person but you can of course try on as many as you like and have a mini lip consultation with a make-up artist on hand. As mentioned there is a interactive wall of kisses, which will display images and gifs created at the Burt’s Bees pop up which will then be emailed directly to your inbox so you can upload your creation onto Twitter and/or Instagram to be in with the chance to win all 18 shades worth no less than £178.

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

I promise it will be a lot of fun – who doesn’t love lipstick? – and it would be lovely to say hello in person – I will be at the Burt’s Bees Pop Up at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow (ground floor) tomorrow so if you can, please drop by.

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The White Company Launch A Capsule Skincare Collection (But Is It Worth The Price Tag?)

Overpriced pillowcases, fluffy socks and candles are my guilty pleasure – and there’s no better place to seek them out than The White Company. It’s become a destination in its own right because of the purity of the colour scheme and the quality of the items within, but until now they’ve kept their focus very much to homewares. I was surprised to find out that the founder of The White Company was originally a beauty journalist and therefore incredibly passionate about skincare, so it makes complete sense that this year the brand are trying their hand at launching a capsule range of beauty products that very much fit within their ethos of minimalistic and aspirational shopping. Rather interestingly they’ve partnered with Deciem (who really know their stuff – they’re the people behind The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, Fountain and Hand Chemistry) to bring this collection to life; if you want the industry to stand up and take notice, then these are undoubtedly the guys you’d turn to for help. Using their expertise to develop a collection that consists of a cleansing balm, night oil, moisturiser, concentrated serum and eye treatment, the result is a five piece line-up that provides a great basis for any skincare regime. But is it worth the hype, and more importantly the price?

The stripped back approach to skincare they’ve developed matches the brand aesthetic completely, remaining in-keeping with their approach to everything from candles to bed throws. There’s no fluff or faff, just a range of easy-to-use and incredibly beautiful formulas that will undoubtedly appeal to The White Company customers old and new; even the packaging is simple, elegant and timeless – ensuring that this appeals as much to a 25 year old as a 65 year old. Although the capsule collection is somewhat refreshing, it does mean if you want a more bespoke skincare regime or have specific needs that you’ll need to look elsewhere – or at least add in a product or two from perhaps the standalone Deciem ranges. Let’s take a closer look at each in turn…

SUPER SERUM £40.00
Featuring a blend of grape vine stem cells, protein-rich amino acids, green-tea and marine extracts, this intelligent serum offers protection against UV damage and ageing while also helping it to look plumper, smoother and more even. This is probably my favourite from the range, as it’s incredibly light and more like an oil than a serum; my skin soaks it up within a few seconds, leaving a pretty radiant complexion behind that’s ready for my moisturiser. It’s a great all-rounder for all ages, but you will need a touch more punch if you’re wanting to tackle any bigger issues than ‘I just want to look after my skin.’

ADVANCED HYDRATION £30.00
Blended with an advanced form of hyaluronic acid, nourishing Amazonian oils and soothing aloe-vera butter, this lightweight moisturiser is non-greasy and absorbs quickly to leave skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. It’s delicately scented with lavender, rose and orange essential oils to make the experience evocative (although the lavender puts me to sleep a little!) and luxurious, but despite that it’s a relatively standard moisturiser. In my opinion the price is a little steep considering the amount of product you get, and the downside is that I’m a little disappointed there’s no dressing-table appropriate pot.

EYE REVIVE £20.00
This ultra-light gel formula claims to diminish the appearance of dark circles, visibly reduce puffiness and helps to lift the upper eyelids. It’s definitely cooling and pleasurable to apply, and thanks to a blend of Persian silk tree, oxygen-boosting actives and probiotic technology there’s the possibility that it could actually brighten over time too – but again, it doesn’t provide the immediate difference I look for and it’s not amazing enough for me to stick with over a longer period of time.

SUPER BALM £25.00
A cleansing balm that’s designed to deeply, yet gently, cleanse and dissolve all traces of make-up while instantly boosting hydration, this is a great staple for anyone that needs a good cleanser at the end of a long day. It starts as a cream, melts into a lightweight balm upon contact with the skin, and then emulsifies when mixed with water to leave a creamy cleanse behind. You get a lot of product for your money too, making this a relatively affordable and effective option that I wouldn’t think twice about recommending.

NIGHT OIL £30.00
Formulated with an enriching blend of Amazonian oils, anti-oxidants and poppy-flower extract to ensure that you’ll awake with deeply nourished, super soft and firmer-looking skin, this night oil smells delicious and is a great texture for those nervous about applying oils. Although it’s certainly pleasurable, I don’t think there’s anything groundbreaking going on here so you’ll definitely be investing in more of a sensorial experience rather than hardcore skincare – but if that’s your bag, you’ll love it.

Overall the range is great to use and provides a simple approach to skincare, but it’s not rocking my world. I feel like you’re definitely paying a premium for it being in White Company packaging, rather than for what’s inside; my main concern with this range is the fact that partnering with Deciem means that you can get the same level of expertise and quality of ingredient from them directly – for a much cheaper price point. (The Ordinary starts at only a fiver, and if you know how to use it the range will be a life changer.) It’s the perfect addition for the usual customer that pops into The White Company for a bathrobe or Christening gift and I completely understand why they’ve made this brand extension, but for those of us that expect great things from their skincare product it may be worth investing your cash elsewhere. (Or just picking up a load of Deciem instead.)

What do you think about The White Company’s skincare range? A great addition, or a waste of money?

 

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