Laura Davidson, travel editor, columnist and journalist, is mum to two-year old Hannah, and year-old Lucy.
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…
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…
In precisely seven days’ time, I will step on a plane clutching little more than my boarding pass and a good book. No gargantuan Baby And Me bag, no fluffy Peppa Pigs or Dora the Explorers. Yup, this mummy is having a break. WITHOUT the kids. To say I am a tad excited at the prospect of my adults-only three-night trip to Venice to celebrate my better half’s 40th birthday would be the understatement of the year.
Love my gorgeous girls as much as I do, the idea of leaving them in the care of their grandparents for a weekend while we jet off for an honest-to-goodness proper city break is setting my heart racing. There will be afternoon Prosecco quaffing – hurrah! There will be long lies – hurrah! There will be meals in nice restaurants that don’t have order-by-picture kids’ menus – hurrah!
As if the prospect of my Venice trip wasn’t fabulous enough, I had another little mood-lifter this week. Normally at this time of year I’d be feeling on a bit of a downer as autumn makes way for winter, but a fantastically decadent Aveda Elemental Nature Facial put paid to the onslaught of seasonally affected disorder.
I enjoyed my treatment at the Aveda spa closest to me at James Dun’s House in Glasgow , but the brand has similar sanctuaries all over the country. It’s £81 for 60 minutes or £96 for 75 mins – to find your local Aveda spa see www.aveda.co.uk.
A relaxing facial massage followed and then I had a heavenly foot massage while the Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque (£29 for 125mls) was left to lift and smooth my skin. The result was a brightened complexion and a seriously brightened state of mind. Fantastic.
Aveda also has some fantastic treats in store for Christmas. I’ve got two faves – the Calming Gift Set containing a travel size Calming Cleanser, Smoothing Body Polish and Replenishing Body Moisturizer, £30, and this year’s signature Aveda Christmas gift candle, £25. With hints of cinnamon, ginger lily and clove, its seasonal fragrance will get you in the mood for the festivities. All available from www.aveda.co.uk from the end of this month.
Continuing with the mood-lifters, I’ve all over Jo Malone’s Amber and Lavender Body Wash (£30 for 250mls) and matching body lotion (£38 for 250mls) this month. Although there are spicy tones, making it ideal for autumn, the scent is never overpowering – just enough to give you hint of warmth to combat the plummeting temperatures outside. Gorgeous.
Another thing that’s brought some cheer to my chops is the discovery of Freeze 24/7, a fabulous skincare brand that was dubbed ‘Botox in a bottle’ when it launched in the UK last year. Containing the herb Gynostemma Pentaphyllum, which is dubbed ‘magic grass’ by Asian women because of its anti-aging qualities, the stuff has been flying off the shelves at Debenhams since its introduction last March. I’ve been road testing the brand’s Miracle Kit (£77, www.debenhams.com and in store). It’s an introduction kit that contains everything you need to zap those dreaded wrinkles and lines.
First up is a scrub with IceCrystals Anti-Aging Prep & Police, a superfine exfoliator that gets rid of dead skin cells, priming the skin to absorb the anti-aging goodies. Next, it’s time to bring in the big guns – Freeze 24/7’s Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment. This rich cream is used only on the areas where you’re concerned about lines – for me, that was a particularly deep furrow on my forehead and the smile lines at either side of my mouth. After that’s absorbed, it’s time to moisturise the whole face with IceCream Double Scoop Intensive Anti-Aging Moisturiser and treat the eye area with Eyecing Fatigue Fighting Eye Cream. The four-step programme has been proven to show 50-90 per cent reduction in the visible appearance of fine lines within minutes.
Weirdly, I have to agree. I don’t know that I’d say my brow furrow was reduced by 50 per cent, but it did definitely appear softer and less in-your-face. Not if that don’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will.
Finally, I’ve discovered a new hero product that’s going to take up permanent residence in my make-up bag. Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder (£23, www.clinique.co.uk) is a true find. At last, a pressed powder that doesn’t make my face look like the top of a floured scone – and that’s got to be a good thing, right? It doesn’t cake, nor does it make the skin look dry. It eliminates shine and keeps make-up in place all day long. Just like it should. A triumph.
And the best mood lifter of all this month? I’ll let you know when I get back from Venice. Arrivederci!