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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What Beauty Confidence Means To Me

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LIPIVIR

The beauty industry thrives on our insecurities, worries and concerns; it’s there to point out that we have spots that need covering, fine lines that need targeting or lashes that need lengthening. However, it’s also there to provide the tools we need to feel confident and fabulous when we need it most – whether that’s via a radiance boosting face cream, a bright red lipstick or a shampoo that keeps your colour vibrant. I adore everything about the industry and choose to take away the positives rather than the negatives, believing that those bods in white coats are busy trying to find solutions to our problems rather than forcing us to buy into something we don’t really need. Personally I’ve always looked at my huge stash of products as a tool kit to reveal who I think I am, rather than a way of concealing or creating a new identity; it’s empowering and confidence building to know I can cover up those early onset greys, dark circles and fine lines under my eyes, so I don’t have to worry about them interfering with my day. The benefit the beauty industry brings is choice: choice to address concerns or worries, choice to create who you want to be that day, choice to age at your own pace and choice to feel confident in your own skin. But what about beauty confidence?

Beauty confidence to me is about knowing I’m projecting my best image to those around me, without worrying about the little details. It’s about knowing my skin feels great, my nails are done, my grey hairs are covered and that I don’t have to worry about a breakout or cold sore appearing when it’s least convenient. Beauty confidence to me is about the little things that make a huge difference, but when they work you don’t even realise the impact they have; from cuticle oil to help my nails grow strong, to body scrubs that help reveal fresh glowing skin, to my favourite concealers that ensure focus is on my eyes – not what lies beneath. Beauty confidence to me is about knowing my body is changing as I age, but embracing it wholeheartedly and celebrating the fact that it works hard to keep me moving rather than putting it down for daring to be imperfect; it’s about understanding that there is beauty in all of us and in our differences, and that if we were all the same the world would be a very boring place to be. Beauty confidence is about doing whatever makes you feel good, and minimising the potential to make you feel bad.

Fortunately lipivir understand that the appearance of a cold sore can be confidence draining; they understand that it can make you want to hide away, that you may not want to look people in the eye and that the discomfort can interfere with your day. They understand that to have beauty confidence you have to be armed with the tools to ensure you feel your best, so they set about creating something to help: a lightweight gel that can be applied around the edge of lips to help prevent the appearance of cold sores. (The HSV1 virus that causes cold sores reactivates by sending signals between particles to ‘wake-up’ and start replicating so they can spread; lipivir has a special formulation that disrupts these signals so they don’t arrive. Its special formula is made of a biologically inactive substance which interferes with the signals, ‘jamming’ the viruses’ communications and preventing outbreaks.)

It’s these little steps in our regime that can have a huge impact, knowing that we have the tools at our disposal to stop those pesky inconveniences from appearing altogether. Beauty confidence is about stepping out the door with your head held high knowing you’re looking and feeling fabulous – and you’re going to kick some ass. I’ve been trying lipivir for a few weeks alongside one of my best friends who suffers from horrendous cold sores and it’s definitely helped us both to feel beauty confident. Although it’s hard to tell whether or not something has been effective when it’s a preventative measure, the fact there’s a simple way to stop those ‘oh no’ moments is a godsend in my book. Alongside my nail strengthener, retinol enriched night creams, semi-permenant brows and regular pedicure appointments, it proves that there are little ways to ensure you feel beauty confident 365 days of the year. Thank goodness for the beauty industry.

What does beauty confidence mean to you?

To find out more about lipivir, visit their website: www.lipivir.com
You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Read my previous post, How To Ensure Healthy Kissable Lips All Year Long, for some more top tips.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of lipivir; all opinions and recommendations are my own.

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I Gave Up Make Up For Lent

I Gave Up Make Up For Lent

I’m a beauty blogger and as such I have more make-up and beauty products, than any one person could ever need but does that stop me from buying more? In a word, no. If we were simply talking about replacing the basics, such as replenishing my favourite cleanser or mascara, it really wouldn’t be a problem, in fact it would be a normal shopping habit but I am unable to draw that line. As soon as a new beauty collection catches my eye, I’m fishing around my handbag in search of my bankcard to treat myself once again to a lipstick, blush or eyeshadow that will probably on see the light of day twice – and that’s if we are lucky. It is wasteful and a rut I am determined to get myself out of and that is why I have partnered up with Christian Aid for Lent.

I Gave Up Make Up For Lent

Now straight off the bat, I do want to acknowledge that not everyone participates in Lent for various reasons and that of course is more than completely fine, but for me it is a yearly tradition and this time around, I would like it to mean so much more to myself than simply giving up fizzy drinks – girl it has been 10 years in a row, you know you’ll cave at the first offer of a can of Coca Cola. So this Lent I am giving up spending any money on beauty products full stop – there will be no new moisturiser, lipstick or eyeshadow added to my already ridiculous stash and in it’s place I will donate the money to Christian Aid to help fight poverty.

On paper it sounds easy: girl waves goodbye to lipstick, counts down the forty days, donates to said charity and goes on with her life as normal but there is so much more to this challenge than saving money and not rushing to purchase the latest lip gloss. I’m hoping for a change for life, a more considered attitude towards life’s little luxuries – that’s not to say I won’t splurge occasionally because everyone deserves a treat but a treat is all it should be in my case – not a weekly blow out session at my local beauty counter. Yes April the 13th (when Lent finishes) does seem a long way off but the greater cause here is so much more important than what can I haul next and as mentioned that is a mind-set, I am so actively determined to shake off.

I Gave Up Make Up For Lent

If you are a beauty blogger or not, you can get involved with Christian Aid for Lent in numerous ways: you can of course give up something for Lent in support of the charity (lipstick, fizzy drinks, sweets – the world is your oyster…well unless that is what you aim to avoid for 40 days) and create your own Just Giving page to ask others to support you, or you can donate to those who are participating in the fundraiser via their donation pages – my page is here and if I see any others by fellow bloggers, I will be sure to share them on social media.

We have 34 days left of Lent, religious or not, why not join in and make a small change within your life and perhaps a huge one to those less fortunate?

This is a sponsored and collaborative post but I am donating to said to charity and sticking to my no buy clause.

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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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