”Mummy broken. Mummy fix it. Mummy find teddy. Waybulloo, Mummy, Waybulloo. No like, Mummy, too yucky.”
All to a background chorus of a squealing five-month-old who’s definitely found her voice. Don’t you just bloody love being holed up at home with the kids in the rain?
My week, as you may have guessed, has not been the best. It’s difficult enough to entertain the rug rats at the best of times, but being stuck indoors in the torrential rain doesn’t make life any easier.
We’ve baked. We’ve painted. We’ve read stories. We’ve done jigsaws. We’ve watched so much CBeebies I feel like I should be organising a night out with my new BFF Mr Tumble. Shoot me now. It would be the humane thing to do. Really it would.
Being a freelancer, I’ve no office Christmas do this year, but I do have a couple of nights out organised with good friends. And make no mistake, I’ll be channeling Sex And The City, definitely not CBeebies. Sorry, Mr Tumble, but you ain’t invited.
To get my skin in tip-top condition through winter, I’ve been using the Vital Light Collection from Clarins’ Skin Illuminators collection (£59, www.clarins.co.uk ).
Containing 10mls of Vital Light Serum, 50mls Day Illuminating Anti-Ageing Cream and 15mls Night Revitalising Anti-Ageing Cream, it’s like an SOS kit for your winter skin, all packaged up in a gorgeous vanity case.
Just a tiny amount of the serum is enough to turn around my lacklustre winter complexion, instantly returning the elasticity to my skin and making me look more awake. Winner. The day cream is a gorgeous moisturiser that helps to firm fine lines and wrinkles, increasing the skins own light-reflecting properties, and the night cream gets to work while you stack up some zeds. Love it.
Don’t know about you, but nothing screams Big Night Out at me like a bit of fake tan and my glamorous glow of choice right now has to be Xen-Tan. It’s the most natural-looking sunless tan than I’ve ever used. Not a hint of Tango, more a caress of tropical climes. In Glasgow. Sort of.
Before a big night out, I can’t see past the Dark Lotion (£28.99 for 236mls, www.xen-tan.co.uk). The lotion is scarily dark looking at first, but that makes it easier to apply. It dries in about three minutes and is fine to sleep in – it’s the first one I’ve used that doesn’t come off on the sheets. Shower after a good night’s kip and you’re left with a natural olive-toned glow. Unlike some other tans I’ve tried, one application is plenty to achieve that week-in-the-sun look.
For the face, Xen-Tan’s Face Tanner Luxe (£19.99 for 80mls) isn’t as dark as the body lotion and is designed to be used every day until you achieve the exact colour you want. Perfect if you want to avoid any Ross from Friends moments.
So that’s the tan organised – on to the make-up. Smashbox Cosmetics aren’t exactly a new kid on the block – the brand has been going since 1996 – but it’s a relatively new addition to my make-up bag. I don’t mind admitting, I think I’m a little bit in love with it.
Their Photo Finish Dark Spot Correcting Primer (£25 for 30mls, www.boot.com and www.smashbox.co.uk) is a wow product. After going overboard with the sunbathing a little, I’m not too keen on the dark spots at the top of my cheeks. This little baby not only disguises them under foundation, continued use can also help reduce their appearance altogether. Me likey.
My absolute fave of the moment, though, is the Smashbox Studio Pop Eye Palette (£36). It’s a giftbox of gorgeousness with 16 Photo Op Eye Shadows and four Cream Liners and – here’s the best bit – a set of ‘get the look’ cards that give step-by-step instructions on how to get your glam on and create particular looks. I’m absolutely hooked. It’s a failsafe way to try new looks with instructions and pictures showing you exactly how to use each shade – ‘Apply Lunar to the entire lid, blend Cinder into crease, brush Pastel onto browbone, line upper and lower lashline with Cinder…’ You get the drift. Easy peasy. You’ll feel like you’ve got your own personal make-up artist side-by-side with you at the mirror. Genius.
I don’t know about you, but this cold weather has been playing havoc with my hands (that, and washing up 40million baby bottles every day). I’m seriously in fear of developing old lady paws and don’t want to go down the Madonna road of teaming a natty pair of fingerless gloves with every outfit. So I’ve been giving Origins’ Make A Difference Hand Treatment (£18 for 75mls, www.origins.co.uk) a whirl. As well as forming a barrier to stop your hands drying out in water and cold weather, ingredients including rose of Jericho and Meadowfoam Seed Oil truly nurture skin that’s in need of a little TLC. It smells gorgeous too.
So that’s me – moisturised and tanned to within an inch of my life and treating my peepers to a fab new look. Santa Baby, I’m ready for ya.