Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Best Dry Shampoos

When I first discovered dry shampoo many years ago now, it totally transformed my beauty regime. In order for my hair not to look totally limp, I needed to wash it every day, now, 3 days i the norm. Not only do they save vast amounts of time in hair washing and drying, they give lift and volume to boot. 
 I was a Batiste (£2.99 Boots) only girl for years, which is probably the main player in dry shampoos and there is always a bottle or two in my dressing table draw. This classic zaps away any greasiness in your locks and adds lift too. The only downside is that it can leave a white residue if you get too close with your spraying and dos need a good brushing to remove, which can be a pain if you’ve got curls going on. 

 I recently got introduced to CO Lab (£3.49 Superdrug) by my beauty-blogging bestie Gemma from This London Life. Its invisible formula means you don’t get the grey effect (I have enough of this from mother nature thank you!) but I don’t find it as powerful! For me this is perfect for juzzing your hair the evening after you washed it in the morning, to for day two that isn’t greasy, just going limp (day three is a batiste day for sure!!!) 

 Bumble and Bumble prĂȘt -a-powder (£22 Look Fantastic) is my fave, you sprinkle the product into your roots and them I use my finger tips to rub into the roots. the white powder vanishes and it is fabulous at banishing oil and adding volume. 

 My final pick is Davines Hair Refresher (£18 Liberty) which again, leaves no white residue and is really light - you don’t get a build up of product. It is really lightly fragranced so you hardly know its there. If you haven’t tried a dry shampoo before, you MUST, a total game changer in saving time and styling your hair too.


Saturday 16 January 2016

My Grey & White Nursery

Planning for a new baby is such an exciting time. All the tiny little clothes, blankets etc to choose and coo over. I love interiors, so planning our little bundle’s nurses was high on my list of priorities. You may have guessed, if you read my blog often, that I am a little obsessed with The White Company, so when explaining to Mr BMB the look I was after, I said that I wanted it to have fallen out of their catalog. 

 Although we had only decorated the spare room, which was to become the nursery a year prior in a very acceptable neutral shade, I insisted that we re-paint in grey, opting from Farrow and Ball in Dimpse with a satin finish so the walls were easier to clean. I do love grey walls and this shade is dark enough that the white woodwork and furniture stands out against it, but it is pale enough to be a calming shade too.  I trawled the internet to find the perfect white tree wall sticker (£48.99 Bouf) which contrasts beautifully against the grey, as do the white wooden star pegs (£5.50 each Bimbily) with little white wooden hangers for some of my favourite of her outfits. The beautiful cloud mobile (£25 The White Company) hanging over her cot is also one of my favourite pieces.

 Although we bought lots of accessorise from The White Company, our furniture budget didn’t stretch that far. So we chose a white wooden sleigh cot-bed from Mothercare (Chiltern Sleigh Cot Bed £300) with a useful storage draw underneath, which I use for blankets and bedding that I don’t mind being on show (although they were obviously scooped out when I took these snaps!). I’ve found that pale white sheets are the easiest to clean, as you can fully attack them with stain removers without worrying about pattens fading unevenly. We use beautifully thick organic cotton sheets from The Little Green Sheep Company (£14.95) and their waterproof mattress protector (£28.95) also, which is beautifully soft and doesn’t feel plasticy. 

To make her cot all snug we popped in the beautiful Noah’s Arc Cot Bumper (£65 The White Company) along with a Grey Star (£16 The White Company) and White Cloud Cushion (£19 The White Company), where little bunny (£11 Jelly Cat) likes to hang out when he isn’t being cuddled.

 I didn’t consider buying a changing table as they aren’t a very flexible piece of furniture, instead we chose a long chest of draws from the Hemnes range at IKEA (IKEA £215) that will be more grown-up when little Sophie is too and I found a grey star print changing mat (£5.99 Mothercare) that fitted with my theme perfectly.

When baby arrived, my parents treated us to a beautiful chair from Laura Ashley (Lancaster Hendon Natural Chair £1,050 - currently on sale for £577.50). When you are up in the middle of the night, I think it is important to be comfy and this fitted the bill perfectly. I like to keep a blanket handy for my benefit on chilly nights to wrap up in (Reversible Cloud Blanket £36 The White Company).  

Although we have loads of storage, as Sophie has got older our toy collection is increasing, which need to be accessible too. I love these personalised Storage bags (£40 My 1st Years) which she can dig around to find her of-the-moment favourite friend. 

Sophie has been given some beautiful toys, (Similar Wooden Duck £26.95 duck) some of which sit and watch over her from the fire place with her Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Sign (£15 Yummy Mummy Gifts) and her beautiful rocking horse (The White Company £95) waits patiently to be played with on a sheepskin rug that Sophie love feeling the texture of.

Adding little bits and pieces around the room to make it feel personal and homely was really important. We bought a picture shelf (IKEA £6) which we filled with pictures from my Maternity Shoot by Laura Beth Photography (see more here) and from Sophie’s newborn shoot from Simply Newborn Photography (post here). I also framed a few of the baby cards we were sent when she first arrived. For Christmas, we were given such a thoughtful gift of a family tree with our names on, which I've popped in Sophie's room too (Similar £20 Etsy).

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour around my favourite room in the house...

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Wash Off Cleansers

I’m a big fan of wash-off cleansers at the end of the day as well as first thing in the morning. I know some find splashing water on their face not conducive to winding down ready for bed, but I think they make the process of taking my makeup off much speedier and they make me feel all clean and fresh. So here are some of my fave wash off cleansers (and one cheeky micellar water too!) 

 My ultimate favourite is Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gell (£20.50 Debenhams) which is oil based on application and as its name suggests melts away your make up. When you add water to rinse, the oil transforms into a milk and is washed away leaving no oily sticky residue. It leaves all the ‘good oils’ so doesn’t dry out you skin and leaves it feeling plump and healthy too. 

 Another fave is Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser from Liz Earl (£15.50 John Lewis). The super thick cream consistency is also amazing it removing all your make up and the hot muslin cloth leaves your skin feeling spotless. I don’t like the muslin getting dirty with makeup marks handing in my bathroom (I know this is a bit ridiculous) so I prefer to use this as a morning cleanser in the shower, this also make sense as it contains Eucalyptus which give you a get-up-and-go morning freshness too.  

An empty cleanser that I have loved it pH Advantage Anti-Aging Glycolic Gel Cleanser (£15.50 Amazon). It lasted my for an age as a morning cleanser as a little goes a long way. My skin was super clear and soft whilst I used it - a re-purchase maybe required! 

 On the less expensive end of the scale I fell in love with No & Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser for Normal/Oily Skin (£9.50 Boots) at its press launch event about 4 years ago! The pump converts the product into a foam which smells so fresh and clean (I love) and it is really effective at removing all traces of makeup - even waterproof mascara. Some camps aren’t fans of foaming cleansers as they can remove too many of your natural skin oils, however I do love how clean they make your skin feel. 

La Roche-Posay Physiological Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel (£12 Feel Unique) is another go-to end of the day cleanser. It isn’t as thorough at removing eye make up but is really gentle on sensitive skin. 

My final wash off cleanser for this post is Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Gel Wash which is great for younger more break-out prone skin. Along with fighting spots and blackheads, the grapefruit leaves skin feeling super clean too. 

Although most evenings I am desperate to crawl into bed and in the morning I am in a race to get up and ready I try to find time to make sure my skin is super clean by using a micellar water too. This 3 in 1 One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution from Vichy (£8 Essentual) is meant to cut out the need for the cleansing step first. Maybe I use too much make-up, but I find it takes a few too many cotton pads moistened with product until my skin in clean, so I do use on of the above cleansers first. However, a quick dose of this post cleanser, or use as an eye make up remover is just the ticket!

Thursday 7 January 2016

Bathroom update: Orla Kiely Geranium Bath and Body Hand Wash Set

After Christmas we do need a bit of a refresh. The house can look a bit tired after the decorations come down and for me it is time for a few updates to get ready for spring. In the next month I'm planning on finally finishing decorating the guest room and getting a new bed (size up so whole new bedding to invest in too) which I'll be blogging about, but these both will take time, a fair amount of thought and financial negotiations with Mr BMB. So in the mean time I'm getting on with some easier wins.

Yesterday I had a brutal sort through my clothing and I am reaping the rewards this morning. Today, a  much less time consuming task of updating my cloakroom hand care. As this is the bathroom that guests will pop into I like to have a luxurious product for them to use that smells as beautiful as it looks. This Orla Kiely Bath and Body Hand Wash Set in Geranium (£22 John Lewis) set fits the bill perfectly. 

I love Orla's iconic stem print that decorates the bottles and in my grey bathroom (like every room in my house....!) it adds a smash of colour. The products feel luxurious in texture and I just adore the fragrance, a blend of essential oils it smells like a high-end spa. The bottles have a ceramic base to sit snuggly in to keep them looking neat and tidy. I'm also thinking up some uses for the gorgeous mustard tin with embossed stem print... 


Tuesday 5 January 2016

New Year Beauty Refresh

It finished far too quickly didn't it? I do get sad when Christmas and New Year are all a distant memory, as I love the festive season so much. On Sunday we took down all the decorations and I was ready for the house to look really empty and sparse. However, I actually felt really refreshed, the house felt really tidy and I started getting excited about prepping for Spring. This got me thinking that I could do with a bit of a beauty overhaul too to cleanse myself of the festive season too.

First stop was hair, colouring my locks makes them feel nourished, healthy and shiny, so this was an easy win. I don't like adding red tones to my hair, so I opted for 5/1 medium cool dark brown shade from Vidal Sassoon Salonist (£9.99 Superdrug - currently only £7.99). I so love this product, as you leave the colour on your roots for longer and there is a serum for your lengths which really helps with  your hair's condition.

Body was next and a good exfoliation was needed to rid myself of dry skin that develops fluctuating between ventral heating and cool outside temps. I used ESPA Exfoliating Body Polish (£32 John Lewis) as it contains spearmint it leaves your skin feeling tingly-clean whilst the apricot seed kernels do their scrubbing and aloe vera helps hydrate the skin too.

I also love Frank Body Scrub (£11.95 Frank Body) which comes in this brown paper packaging. It has the consistence of coffee, as it is made mainly of this. The high caffeine content stimulates blood flow which helps target cellulite (big win!) it also contains almond oil and vitamin E to help hydrate and smooth the skin. The rough stuff is sea salt which also helps reduce any inflammation too.

After a good scrub a super hydrating body lotion is essential and I opted for Jo Malone Body Creme (£50 Jo Malone) which is super thick and gorgeous. Blackberry and Bay is my current fave Jo Malone fragrances too.

The face was my final port of call. With the toxins of the Christmas season causing blocked pores a chemical exfoliant was needed. I LOVE Radical (their serum is incredible....) so I'be been using their Age Defying Exfoliating Pads (£48 Space NK) at night after cleansing to remove excess sebum which causes skin congestion. It used fruit based acids but also contains camomile so is fine on my sensitive skin.

Hopefully you have ben well rested over the holidays, but baby hasn't been sleeping well so my skin is on the puffy side, but Anne Semonin has been to the rescue with her Express Radiance Ice Cubes (£48 Cult Beauty). You pop these little cubes in your freezer, then take them out of the packaging into a little gauze bag on glide over your face. This helps to increase the rate at which drainage occurs and gives you and instant skin wake up. The cubes contain radiance boosting and skin soothing ingredients so I've been using before going out to try and hid my 'up half the night' look.

My final boot has been to add a bit of colour to my complexion, using Tan Luxe Face (£31 QVC) in my usual moisturiser. It give as a subtle glow to the skin and you can customise by adding the number of drops you choose.

I do feel better and revived for this beauty update, so I'd recommend one evening to take out of your schedule and give yourself a pamper so you are 2016 ready!

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