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Diary of a sleep-deprived yummy

Laura Davidson, travel editor, columnist and newspaper and magazine journalist, is mum to 23-month-old Hannah, and 12 -week old Lucy.
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What with all the sleepless nights, a collicky baby, a turbo-charged toddler, and a home to run (we all know how hard this time is), Laura is determined to keep up her nana’s legacy of looking fabulous even when she is feeling less than human most days…
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So while she reckons she needs a little help in the beauty department to feel less slummy mummy and more yummy mummy – though we think she looks great – here is how she’s getting on…
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I could hug Jane Danson. She doesn’t know it, but the Coronation Street actress, who plays mouthy Manc Leanne Barlow, may well have saved my sanity. I interviewed her a couple of years back for a magazine cover on the newspaper where I was working at the time. She was really lovely and we blethered for a while about her family and precious boys, Harry and Sam.

Refreshingly candid about her experience of being a new mum, she told me about a nightmare period she’d had when her youngest was tiny, enduring weeks of screaming until he was diagnosed with silent reflux.

It stuck in my head and for that I’m eternally grateful. After a similarly nightmare period of screaming with little Lucy, I looked up my old interview notes and all the symptoms Jane described were definitely ringing a bell.

Sure enough, the doc diagnosed silent reflux in my little one too and gave me some miracle sachets to put in her bottles. She’s not completely over it, but she is far better and I don’t feel quite so inclined to throw myself off the M8 flyover, which can only be a good thing.

Honestly, with a lifetime of newspaper deadlines behind me, I thought I knew what stress was. I didn’t have a clue. Dealing with a trantrumy toddler with the incessant screams of a newborn for a backing track, now that’s stressful. Anyway, I’ve hopefully now turned a corner. And if I ever bump into Jane, I owe her a drink. A double, at least.

With the parenting trials this month has thrown at me, I reckon it’s even more of a miracle I didn’t let the diet go to hell in a handcart and eat my bodyweight in chocolate (even though at times I’ve seriously wanted to).

I’ve been mega strict with myself and have lost just over a stone in seven weeks. My hols are now less than three weeks away and I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll at least not be mistaken for a beached whale with shouts of ‘throw her back into the water’ from concerned Spaniards. The mum tum’s still an issue, but I’m getting there. A few wee beauty treats have gone a long way towards lifting my spirits, I can tell you.

My top recommendation for the month is the Glamour Styler from Wahl, pictured above. Part of the brand’s Signature Styling range, it’s an air styler that packs 1000watts of power, so dries your hair as it styles. It’s a brilliant time saver, especially for me with two monsters biting my ankles every time I try to negotiate the hairdryer.

If you have long hair, the 50mm bristle brush creates big, loose curls. I’ve got an above-shoulder bob, so the 25mm metal bristle brush is better for me, creating volume at the roots and achieving that just-out-the-salon look at home. I might be carrying a fair degree of dark baggage under my eyes these days, but at least I rocked up to mum-and-toddlers group last week with serious swish appeal thanks to this little baby. Priced £29.99 – for stockists see www.wahl.co.uk or call 01227 740 555.

Lotions and potions-wise, I’ve been giving Etat Pur’s Redensifying Regenerating Care B39 a whirl and I’m loving loving loving it. It’s a regenerating cream that, according to the science bit, restructures the dermal matrix. I’ll take their word for it. All I know is it’s waging war on my wrinkles, especially those fine lines around my eyes that are my current pet hate. Gotta love it. Priced £16.60 from www.etatpur.co.uk

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For your bod, try Weleda’s Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion (£13.95, from health stores and pharmacies or see www.weleda.co.uk). The summer might be on its way out, but this will plonk you bang in the middle of an Italian lemon grove on a hot balmy day. Well, a girl can dream, can’t she? It’s a great hydrating post-shower cream with a handy pump-action dispenser and that lemon and lime scent is heavenly.

Finally, for a wee bit of feel-good glamour, I’ve been treated to a cracking lip and nail set from Autograph at Marks & Spencer. At £9.50, the colourful duo won’t break the bank and comes in a cute little gift box so would make for an inexpensive treat if you have a friend in need of a pick-me-up pressie.

I’ve been trying out shade Pink (A0), a yummy candy box colour that will brighten your fingertips and your mood instantly. Available in store or at www.marksandspencer.com