The Mother of All Days
Henley Life Magazine
Anne Marie Scanlon
If there’s a phrase that makes women laugh, bitterly, it’s ‘working mother’ because the implied opposite is a non-working mother and everyone knows that such a thing does not exist. The job of mothering is never done. We are cooks, cleaners, launderers, taxi drivers, accountants, party-planners, personal shoppers, agony aunts, the judge, jury, chief prosecutor and the defence. We are bankers, excuse-makers, excuse-demanders, praisers and critics-in-chief. We are the writer of cards, the person who drops everything to deliver, the finder of lost socks and helper of homework. We are the punchbag and the pillow. Some of are both Mum and Dad. I could go on and on. It’s a job for life and we never earn a penny which is why most of us also work outside the home.
Then we get a day a year to celebrate.
And what happens? Often it’s breakfast in bed. There is no denying this is lovely, especially when the little ones are little. A word of advice to the other adults in the room – it’s no treat for Mummy to finish her lovely breakfast to come down to a kitchen that looks like a crime scene.
If I had my way, I would rename ‘Mothering Sunday’ as ‘No-Mothering Sunday’ a day when women don’t have to lift a hand all day and can lie in bed eating chocolates and watching films if they want. Let’s face it, that would be the best present some of us could get right?
Few Mums have the time for self-care, let alone shopping for indulgent products so something luxurious and practical is always a welcome gift. Oskia London (available in Space NK) have a marvellous range of sumptuous and useful products that will appeal to busy Mums. Their Renaissance Hand & Body Cream (£36) is a rejuvenating and anti-aging salve that smells delicious. Importantly, it can be used on any skin type.
As women age their skin type changes too and as more and more women are having children later in life many of us find ourselves menopausal at the same time as having a young family. As mentioned in our Health section, the Menopause can, and does, play havoc with almost every part of a woman’s life. Skin can become particularly problematic during menopause – being exceedingly dry yet at the same time be prone to acne in some cases.
Thankfully there are plenty of products available for women with aging and/or menopausal skin. Oskia London also do a brilliant lightweight serum, Get Up & GlowÔ (£69) which brightens and firms, evens skin tone, smoothes the appearance of fine lines, protects against everyday environmental, seasonal and lifestyle damage. It can be used underneath moisturiser for an unbeatable anti-ageing and health boosting effect, or patted over makeup to perk up & brighten skin.
CBD has been in the news a lot recently and it is increasingly becoming an ingredient in beauty products. Don’t worry we are not suggesting harried mothers take to drugs, as CBD short for cannabidiol, which although a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.
When applied topically CBD can help relieve skin problems caused by inflammation including the appearance of redness. Herbivore Emerald + CBD Deep Moisture Glow Oil (£48) is a deep moisturiser which also provides calming and skin soothing relief. Grounded also have a brand new serum containing CBD. This CBD Skincare anti-aging serum (£29.99) provides an antidote to the woes of menopausal skin combatting dry, blocked and stressed skin while providing a barrier against environmental factors. This serum also contains nourishing oils and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump skin.
Whatever age your children are, and whether or not you got breakfast in bed, they owe you a dinner. Several if the truth were known. Happy Mother’s Day.
Oskia London is available at Space NK and online at www.oskiaskincare.com
Herbivore products are available at Space NK, Cult Beauty and Liberty London.
Grounded CBD Skincare is available at Holland & Barrett www.holldandbarrett.com
Have a Beautiful Valentine's Day
Henley Life Magazine
Anne Marie Scanlon
Many men moan that they don’t understand women; they just don’t know what we want. It’s like we are all some sort of inscrutable enigmas as we yell at them not to leave wet towels on the floor (or much worse, on the bed) or beg them to please, please, please put the toilet seat back down. Yes, we’re so very very mysterious.
Valentine’s Day can be a flashpoint in relationships. Instead of romance and rekindled love many men find themselves on the couch and moaning to their mates the following day “Women! Do you know what they want? I don’t!”
Getting Valentine’s Day right isn’t hard. First off, what women don’t want is to have to remind their beloved that yes, they would like a bit of a fuss – it doesn’t have to be a massive dramatic gesture, but a gesture of some sort. The other thing we don’t want is some limp garage flowers and a battered box of Milk Tray. “It’s the thought that counts,” I hear a chorus of male voices saying. True but a grab bag of ‘gifts’ while filling up the car really isn’t very thoughtful.
Flowers and chocolates are indeed the tradition V-Day gifts and as long as they don’t whiff faintly of petrol they’re usually welcome. But, that’s just the start. A meal out is mandatory – preferably in a restaurant with waiters and cutlery please. (No, seriously, you would be AMAZED at what some chaps consider dining out.)
So far, so minimal. At this point some men take the opportunity to ‘pop the question’ (see our feature on Wedding Trends) but that’s hard to do when you’ve already been married for some time. A gift of jewellery is always romantic but while diamonds are forever so is the stonking great debt that comes with them. Lovely smellies and scents – candles, bath oil and perfume are much kinder to the bank balance. The little blue Tiffany box might be a once-in-a-lifetime event but a signature cream and black Jo Malone London container is guaranteed to get hearts a-flutter. The famous perfumiers have just brought out a new Cologne Intense – Vetiver & Golden Vanilla (£78) which combines delicious ingredients from Madagascar to make you swoon. Or you can warm up the room with the Cologne Intense Velvet Rose & Oud Scent Surround Diffuser (£77), a deep Damask Rose spicy and decadent scent and also a recent addition to the brand.
But what better scent for a day dedicated to romance than Love by Beauty Pie (the online store for those in the know, see below). Don’t be put off by the lack of brand recognition – Love is a delicious and high end scent, created by Frank Voelkl, that is light enough to wear during the day but sensuous enough for the evening.
Plump lips were long the Holy Grail of Beauty but then came a variety of fillers and now ‘Trout Pout’ is everywhere. If that particular look doesn’t appeal to you, (you would not be alone) or if you are afraid of needles then there is a solution. If you fancy some fuller lips for a special occasion, like Valentines Day, then check out Bubu skincare #youpucker Lip Pumping Mask a combination of topical Botox and hydrating ingredients to give you an instant shimmering fuller lip. At just £5 it’s also cheaper than filler. Or you could try one of the seven shades of the new Futurelipstick Luxe Shine lippies from Beauty Pie - these also plump and hydrate, are high-shine and give extra long-lasting colour. (Price see below).
Spare Your Blushes
A romantic night out can cause all sorts of head rushes but we all know there’s a big difference between a charming blush and a head like a boiled beetroot. The former is enchanting, the latter – not so much. Spare your own blushes by making sure you have your Fairy Godmother with you. Wrong time of year you say? No, this Fairy Godmother (£55) from The English Mineral Makeup Company is a handy little compact (small enough to fit in dressiest handbags) which doubles as a primer and a finisher. A few quick dabs and the beetroot will be banished. It also comes with an adorable little charm – your own Valentine gift to yourself.
Beauty Pie is a new buyers club for beauty products. Created by Marcia Kilgore (Bliss, FitFlop, Soap &Glory) it allows members to purchase luxury brands for a fraction of the recommended retail price (RRP). Love fragrance (RRP £100/ Members £18.85) Futurelipstick (RRP £20/Members £2.99). See www.beautypie.com for details.
Jo Malone London can be found in most major department stores and online at www.jomalone.co.uk
Bubu Skincare can be purchased online at www.bubuskincare.com
The English Mineral Makeup Company can be purchased online at www.englishmineralmakeup.co.uk
The Irish Post
Beauty Secrets: How to achieve glowing skin in the winter months
By Anne Marie Scanlon on December 2, 2013
http://www.irishpost.co.uk/life-style/beauty-secrets-achieve-healthy-glow-winter-months CLICK LINK TO SEE ORIGINAL FEATURE WITH PICTURES.
THE road to hell is not, as it is so often claimed, paved with good intentions.
No, that particular pathway is made up of repeated pressings of the snooze button. Was there ever an invention so downright evil?
It’s far, far, too easy to hit the snooze button continually — I’ve often been found lying in bed cradling my mobile like it’s a particularly precious infant and sleepily murmuring “just another five minutes” when I should actually be up, out and on my way somewhere.
As a result my morning beauty routine can at times be a little slapdash (less slap and more dash usually), the very last thing I want is, to add yet another step to the cleanse, tone, moisturise, slap, mascara, lippie, grab keys and dash routine.
Now having said that, if I have time, a meeting, a date or any other sort of evening engagement I’ve always been a big fan of primer.
Over the last week as I’ve been testing various primers by putting them on in the morning I’ve realised just how foolish I’ve been to skip out on this tiny step which really doesn’t take any time at all.
Those few extra minutes in the morning result in better applied make-up, smoother looking and less shiny skin and longer lasting make-up.
OK before I launch in to tell you about the various brands let me just pause for a minute to give a quick primer on primers for those of you who don’t really know what they are, or how to use them, or are just a little bit afraid of them.
For the sake of clarity I’m sticking to foundation primers today (with one exception which you’ll see later).
No matter how good your skin is and no matter how well you take care of it, skin is not plastic (unless you’re a Stateside reality TV star, mentioning no names) and therefore tone and texture will vary.
A foundation primer is a base coat that prepares your skin so that you can apply your foundation more evenly and smoothly. It also helps ‘set’ your make-up and keep it in place.
Depending on the primer you choose it can also help absorb oil and reduce greasiness, even out skin tone or colour and often they contain some form of SPF protection which helps prevent sun damage. Primers come in various guises, creams, lotions, mousses and clear gels.
Confusion can arise with primers and moisturisers —do you need both and if so which should you apply first?
Well some primers contain moisturiser but if they don’t I would recommend a light moisturiser that is quickly and easily absorbed (there’s that time factor again) and then put the primer on top.
Clinique have just launched a range of Superprimer Face Primers (£20) including one universal formula and five tinted formulas for specific skin needs (correcting redness, dullness, discolouration etc.).
The Superprimer is a lightweight oil-free product that not only smoothes out skin but includes silicone polymers that help perfect pores, fine lines and wrinkles. I can highly recommend this primer.
It glides on easily and is absorbed pretty quickly leaving the skin smooth and ready for the application of foundation.
I tried both the Colour Corrects Redness and the Universal Face Primer and they both worked a treat. Also at £20 they’re great value for money.
Clinique are also responsible for the All About Shadow Primer for Eyes (£20) without which no make-up bag is complete.
Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control (£28) does the usual job of a face primer and then some. The formula contains 2% salicylic acid — a key ingredient in the treatment and prevention of acne and psoriasis.
Salicylic acid is a very hardworking little monohydroxybenzoic — it causes the cells of the epidermis to shed more regularly, opens clogged pores, neutralises the bacteria within and then prevents them from clogging up again by constricting their diameter.
You don’t have to be a dermatologist to know that this is all good news for anyone but particularly for those prone to breakouts.
The Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control works in two ways, providing blemish-fighting and oil-free hydration which can be used on sensitive skin.
Not only does it help make skin look better instantly but continued use will help you achieve clearer skin.
I don’t have particularly blemish ridden skin (thank God) but like many women I have an over-active T panel so this primer was great for reducing the shine and keeping my make-up in place.
And with this primer you apply it to bare skin so there’s really no excuse for skipping it!
For the ultimate in lightweight under base try Shu Uemura UV Under Base Youthful Radiance Mousse (£29). I was a bit dubious about this at first as it goes on very wet.
However it does dry very quickly and just on its own (even before you apply your make-up) it perks up grey winter-worn skin.
It’s not unlike a tinted moisturiser and I’d be quite happy to pop out on a quick errand with only the mousse between me and the cold light of day.
Although it’s not a primer Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream (£23.50) does exactly what it says on the tin — evens out skin tone and gives you a lovely glow. It also has an SPF 50 and UVA protection, hydrates your skin and it really does last all day.
Incidentally if redness and/or rosacea are a problem check out Dermalogica Redness Relief SPF 20 (£34) which is a 3 in 1 moisturiser which helps reduce the appearance of redness, soothe skin and provide protection from the sun.
This month’s lovely perfume comes to us courtesy of L’Occitane en Provence. I’m a huge fan of L’Occitane mainly because their products always smell so good.
Their brand new scent Ambre & Santal is no exception. Designed by L’Occitane
in-house perfumer Karine Dubreuil, Ambre & Santal is the perfect fragrance for Fall, combining notes of Amber, Sandalwood and Cedar with Bergamot. Sometimes exotic perfumes can be a tad heavy or, heaven help us, overpowering, but Ambre & Santal is a surprisingly light scent, a little bit spicy, a little bit sassy and a whole lot of sophistication.
Just make sure to lock it away when teenage nieces or aging aunties visit as it suitable for all ages.
Fans of Coronation Street are delighted to see the return of Rovers landlady Liz McDonald. I love Liz but more than anything I am fascinated by her hair because, there’s no nice way to put this, it’s fierce.
I sympathise with Bev Callard, the actress who plays Liz, because I too suffer from frizz and my adult life has been one long quest to find either the ultimate anti-frizz product or a live-in hairdresser.
Well, remember last month I told you about the milk_shake Leave In Conditioner special bottle and price for Breast Cancer Awareness month? You do? Good. At the time of going to press I hadn’t had a chance to try the product for myself but I since have and someone should send a bottle to Weatherfield ASAP.
Not my bottle though, I am jealously guarding that one because it is worth double its weight in gold.
For more information or stockists please see:
Available at Harvey Nichols nationwide and in London at Liberty, Fenwick and Shu Uemura Boutique in Neal Street. Mail Order at 0207 235 2375
L’Occitane en Provence
The Irish Post
Beauty secrets: The shades you can’t do without this autumn
By Anne Marie Scanlon on October 11, 2013
I DON’T know about you but I’ve always thought that ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ was selling the autumn just a teeny bit short.
For me it has to be the best time of the year – the beautiful changing colours of the leaves, the drop in temperature giving you a good excuse to have a bun and a hot chocolate and not fret about being ‘bikini ready’, a time for new jackets and boots and coats and best of all, from a personal perspective, the children go back to school. Bliss.
Of course thanks to the fact that we’re deep in the period that will be known historically as ‘austerity’ few of us have the chance to indulge in new attire – most of us will have to do with last year’s boots and that coat that prompts friends to say ‘aren’t you getting great wear out of that all the same’.
Fear not though, even if you can’t afford a new wardrobe you can still update your look to reflect the blessed change in seasons. A few choice bits of makeup will
not cost the earth and has the benefit of not only making you look like a new woman, but feel like
What a bumper autumn this is for colours and shades.
Don’t be fooled by the name of the new limited edition Fall 2013 Collection from Smashbox which is called Fade to Black. That Fade to Black Eye Shadow Palette (£32) goes from nude shades to extreme black might sound bleak but when teamed with the dramatic Fade to Black Be Legendary Lipstick (£15.50) which comes in two intense shades (with great names – Cognac and Black Cherry) it can produce an understated look for daytime or a stronger image for going out and having your picture taken.
The name itself, Fade to Black, takes its inspiration from film and these colours really conjure up the glamour of the golden age of Hollywood.
The individual shades go from matte to shimmer and the palettes come in two ranges: Fade In (gold pearl to safari green) and Fade Out (soft peach to deep plum). While I adored both shades of lipstick in this collection I fell deeply in love with the New Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner (£16.00).
For a long time now I’ve been a straight liquid liner girl, I didn’t think it was possible to return to any sort of pencil ever again. It just goes to show, you should never say never. This pencil gives precise lines and a long lasting finish and it’s self-sharpening!
There are eight shades, I tried Violetta (prune) even though I normally wear black and it looked fabulous – dark and dramatic without looking obviously purple, definitely a must-buy. I had a similar experience with the Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense (£14.50) which works beautifully to produce a long wearing, non-fading smooth liquid like finish (good for those who don’t always have a steady hand).
Clinique have also produced a fabulous new range of colours for eyes available in singles, duos, trios and quads. I tried Jenna’s Essentials Quad (£28) which like the Smashbox Fade to Black palette can be used to be as subtle or as dramatic as you want. The All About Shadow range contains a huge variety of colours and shades so there is something for everyone.
Over at Estée Lauder they’ve embraced The Metallics for Fall 2013. Oh be still my beating heart, the lipsticks are fabulous, the lip glosses are fabulous but most fabulous of all is the new Limited Edition Pure Color Vivid Shine Nail Lacquer (£14.50).
There are nine amazing shades and if I could I’d have the lot of them, they are all so beautiful it’s hard to choose between them but I did especially like the Metallic Green and Chrome Violet. Speaking of nails another colour that I just had to have is Black Sugar (£26) from the Tom Ford Fall Color Collection.
Like pretty much everything that carries the Tom Ford name this shade just quietly states sophistication. Yes, I do try to be sophisticated from time to time, usually at the school gates during the first few days of the term, but I’m not sure anyone is buying it.
At heart though, I’m a Magpie and can’t resist a bit of glitz and glitter so the MAC Indulge collection is perfect for me with a wonderful range of deep autumnal shades and plenty of glitz for nails and lips.
Retro glamour seems to be a recurring theme on the make-up counters this autumn. Apart from the Indulge collection, MAC have also produced a limited edition Retro Matte Lipstick (£15) which includes eight luscious fall shades and eight Longwear Lip Pencils (£14.50).
Similarly the Lancôme limited edition AW13 Makeup collection also conjures up images of glamour and sophistication (not least as they’ve got Kate Winslet as their cover girl). Nothing says Hollywood quite like a killer red lipstick and the AW13 collection has repackaged their best-selling L’Absolu Rouge Caprice (£22) in the special limited edition black case.
Lancôme have also created a brand new shade for the collection – Prune Désir, a deep autumnal plum, perfect for puckering up and drawing attention away from your hard-working coat.
A quick step to advanced beauty sleep
Advanced Night Repair has been around for some time and is, quite justifiably in my opinion, a best seller. Now the folks at Lauder have improved it. There’s a lot of science stuff about sleep and new technology but I’m not going to bore on about that.
I tried it in circumstances that were pretty ideal to see how a skin renewal cream works. When I applied it I hadn’t properly moisturized in over a week and I was under hydrated. My skin felt dry and looked dull. The next day, it felt soft! It also looked a lot better.
See, at times I don’t moisturise properly (I know, I know) the reason being I don’t really like putting on any sort of cream, as I don’t like feeling even temporarily greasy. With the new Advanced Night Repair there’s no messing. Being a serum it goes on easily and is quickly absorbed and as I said earlier appears to be fairly quick working. What can I say, I love it.
Price: £48 for 30ml
For more information or stockists please see:
Tom Ford Beauty is available in select department stores nationwide.
Have I told you lately about being a Rod-alike?
I will cut to the chase here. I suffer from a terrible affliction – Irish Hair. Yes, at the first sign of humidity, a boiling kettle or even the weather forecaster saying there is a possibility of scattered showers and ‘Bing’ my hair springs into an impressive ‘fro.
So far, the only solution I’ve encountered is having a professional blow dry. It has to be a salon job because when I do it myself I end up looking like Rod Stewart. Seriously, I could earn a living as his stunt double, or at the very least, his stunt hair double.
With all due respect to Rod it’s not a good look. (It’s not even a good look on Rod, but we won’t go there today). I’ve spent years, decades even, trying not to look like Rod. I own a professional quality blow dryer, top of the range hair straighteners, rollers and an array of products that would give a small chemist a run for their money. I am putty in the hands of any advertiser who offers me frizz-free shiny hair.
Yet, despite all of the technology and my best efforts all too often I’m left dancing around the bedroom, wiggling my bum and wailing the words to Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
So I wasn’t hoping for much when I tried DHC After Bath Hair Emulsion (to the point where I had my leopard print leggings at the ready). This is a leave-in conditioner which promises to help ‘rejuvenate dry and colour damaged hair’. Now, I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the leave-in conditioner. It just goes against the grain to wash your hair and then leave the conditioner in right? But you know, desperate times call for desperate measures and besides the neighbours said if they had to listen to me howling Rod Stewart lyrics just one more time they were going to call the polis.
You can use the After Bath Hair Emulsion on damp or dry hair so I bunged it in after washing my hair. Unlike some leave-in conditioners I’ve tried it didn’t make my hair feel unwashed or greasy. In fact once I’d blow-dried my hair it didn’t feel like I had any product in. However, my hair did feel smoother and, AND, most amazingly of all, I was able to do a half decent job with the blow dry – without using any other styling products!
So the leopard skin leggings are back in the drawer, the neighbours are happy and it’s time to break out the handbags and gladrags!.
www.dhcuk.cok After Bath Hair Emulsion £10.50