Category Archives: Beauty

Happy Hair Days

Three months after giving birth, my hair started falling out faster than you can say “hair loss”. I guess the hair Elliot’s scalp has been sprouting recently has had to come from somewhere ūüôā

Previously I’d been using the Redken Extreme shampoo & conditioner in the hope that it’d work wonders on my hair. Well, it hasn’t. In fact I think it’s pretty crap, as I’ve spent every morning after the shower, desperately combing through my wet hair trying to detangle it before Elliot got bored of sitting in his bouncy chair.

So now I felt like treating my quickly receding hair line as gently and naturally as possible – no need to nuke the last remaining strands with parabens.

What I needed was a powerful de-frizzing shampoo and conditioner and when I spotted the Happy Hair Days products during my online shopping spree at Sainsburys I was intrigued. I love the quirky bottle designs and the fact that the products don’t contain parabens, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate).

And the price, oooh the price is just fine: £3.99 per bottle. I chose the Blueberry & Pear smoothing shampoo & conditioner and it smells great. But there are many other cool combinations, like the Marshmallow & Coconut one for coloured hair, or the Rosemary & Mint thickening one.

I couldn’t find a website for the Happy Hair Days brand, but you can find them in Sainsbury’s and Boots.

No7 concealer and triple protection tinted moisturiser

Just wanted to share these two fab beauty products with you.

The other day I used the last tiny drop of my¬†YSL Touche Eclat concealer and decided that there was no way I was going to buy a new one, a) because they’re too damn expensive (¬£22-25) and b) they aren’t really that great. If you’re after some of the big brand concealers I’d rather spend my money on those from Est√©e Lauder or Lanc√īme.

But I wasn’t nowhere near a shop that sold Est√©e Lauder or L√Ęncome. I was standing outside a Boots, so I decided to take a chance with Boot’s quite brilliant own range¬†No7 and their Radiance Concealer. It cost ¬£14 but I had a ¬£5 off voucher and paid ¬£9.

And I really like it. I think it’s about as good as the Touche Eclat and so much cheaper.

When I bough it the cashier handed me yet another £5 off voucher, so of course I had to run back in and buy what proved to be the piece de resistance, the No7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser.

I’m not a big fan of traditional foundations as many of them are too heavy and give my skin a fake and very made up look. So I used to not use anything. But with age your skin tone become less even, and pregnancy isn’t really helping either as I’ve started to get these darker pigmentation spots. They’ve decided to make their first appearance on my nose, of all places.

So the much lighter tinted moisturisers are my way forward. I guess you’re supposed to use this instead of your daily moisturiser but I prefer to moisturise as well. It’s so easy to apply and evens out the skin tone in the gentlest way possible. ¬£12 (¬£7 with the voucher). And it contains SPF 15!

Favourite product: Naked orange blossom shower gel

I was browsing the shelves at Boots yesterday, looking for a new and less expensive shower gel that could replace my now empty Weleda Wild Rose Shower Cream.

Boots don’t stock too many skin & eco-friendly natural products, but I already knew where I was heading: to the shelf with Naked body care products. All their products are 97% natural and free from parabens, SLS and¬† petrochemicals. And they’re very affordable.

I was just about to grab their Love Me Naked rose body wash, but then I smelled this one for sensitive skin called Take Care and had to buy it.

It’s scented with orange blossoms and the delicate smell instantly took me back in time to ages ago when I was working as an au-pair in Paris. When I prepared strawberries or cr√™pes or for the kids I would always sprinkle them with l’eau de fleur d’oranger – orange blossom water. Pure nostalgia. Price ¬£3.99.

Naked make loads of other products (unfortunately most Boots only stock a small selection). So far I’ve only tried their shampoo + conditioner for coloured hair, which I didn’t exactly love. But the shower gels are great. The next thing I’m going to try out is their witch hazel toner.

Click here to check out Naked’s whole product range (they do free UK delivery on orders over ¬£20.

My favourite toner: Neal’s Yard Rose Water

Let me introduce you to my favourite toner: this one from Neal’s Yard Remedies.

The British company, known for their lovely blue bottles, specialises in organic, herb-based products for face, hair, body, baby etc. They don’t believe in animal testing, synthetic colours, parabens etc. and their products are still quite affordable. They have shops all over London and you can find them here.

I use the rose water in the morning after the shower and in the evening after removing make-up. It also comes in a lavender version.

Neal’s Yard Rose water, ¬£9.75. Buy it online here.

Organic Surge – beautifully cheap skincare with a conscience and without any nasties

I’ve been filling my shopping basket with award-winning Scottish brand Organic Surge’s facial creams the last two times I’ve been to Boots as they’ve had a very generous ¬†2 for ¬£8 offer going on. Normally the creams cost an also reasonable ¬£8 each.

I love everything about this brand: from the very low prices and aesthetically pleasing packaging to the gentle ingredients that are mainly organic and natural and free from parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate, synthetic perfume and other nasties.

What I also like is that they don’t test on animals and support charities. Every time you buy a product you contribute to support a vulnerable child in Africa.

Apart from the facial creams, which are really really good (and rose-scented), I also love their shower gels (£3.99). And they also do a range of shampoos and conditioners that I want to try out.

In the UK you can find Organic surge in Boots and in shops like Whole Foods, Waitrose and Fresh & Wild. And if you’re in Denmark you need to head for your nearest Matas, Coop or Helsam.

www.organicsurge.com

The twilight hour in W9

Yesterday I went for a walk. From Maida Vale and up Abbey Road until it twists and becomes West End Lane.

I had brought my camera as I wanted to double-check the West Hampstead charity shops before writing the guide. But I ended up taking more pictures of the sky than anything else.

It was just so pretty as the day’s fog had finally cleared, letting the setting sun shine blood-orange red¬†through tree-tops and illuminate windows.

My favourite beauty blog: A model recommends

A few weeks ago I watched the brilliant Channel 4 documentary series from 2003,¬†This Model Life for the first time. Here acclaimed film-maker Jane Treys zooms in on life in fashion’s fast lane as pictured in the life of two very different British models.

First up is the incredibly beautiful, tall and majestic supermodel¬†Erin O’Connor who jets between Paris, New York and London to strike poses for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Valentino. She’s a the top of her game and is wisely investing her money in NY property.

Quite a bit further down the slippery supermodel ladder we find bubbly blonde Ruth Crilly who is hanging on with a firm grip. What she lacks in height and serene beauty compared to Erin O’Connor she makes up for in charm, drive and a great sense of humour. In the first episode we follow her as her agency ships her off to Japan where Ruth is hoping to earn enough money to pay back her mum and erase those horrible credit card debts. It’s not a great success (the Japanese are not big fans of the quirky gap between her front teeth, although they’re too polite to say it) but Ruth takes it all in stride.

Same happens in a very hot and humid New York in August, where all her potential customers seem to have fled the sticky city and Ruth ends up spending more time with a baby turtle in her dingy model apartment than at castings.

So bottom line and what I actually wanted to say: After watching the programme I googled Ruth Crilly and found out that seven years later she’s still in business as a successful model and as the author of a popular blog: A model recommends. Here she tests and recommends beauty products via posts and YouTube videos. It has quickly become my favourite beauty blog (well, actually the only one I really care to read) because it’s so down-to-earth, useful and honest and just as delightful as the woman behind it. Go check it out and see if you like it too.

Watch This Model Life on Channel 4 On Demand (only works in the UK I think)

Visit A model recommends