Struggle to look presentable for those early breakfast meetings? Worry no more – we have some brilliant quick beauty fixes which will have you looking more human than you feel. (And all trace of those sleepless nights will be between you and the bathroom mirror.) Move over ‘dragged through the hedge’ mum, here comes ‘fresh as a daisy’ mamma!

By Clare Trodden

Clare, a national newspaper and magazine journalist for more than 25 years, and the former Editor of Spectrum has been finding different ways to make you look and feel great for those early mornings in February. Here’s what she found.


jane iredale, My Steppes make-up compact, £39.95

It’s often only when you catch sight of yourself in the rear view mirror that you realise what a sight you actually are. Getting everyone fed, dressed and out of the door on time takes precedence over almost everything else. The last thing you’ve got time to think about is how you look or where you’ve stashed your make-up. Which is where this neat stack of twist-out pots comes in. It’s light and, well, compact. Easy enough to tote around in your bag or glove compartment and contains a mirror, two lip glosses, a blusher and a bronzer. It’s available in two palettes: Cool for those who look best in vivid jewel tones and Warm for those who look best in earth tones. The design is great as are the products. The blush and the bronzer contain pine bark and pomegranate extracts for antioxidant and anti-ageing effects. And, as with all jane iredale make-up products they provide colour without using synthetic dyes, which can cause breakouts on the cheeks. The lip gloss contains mint and ginger extracts to naturally plump lips. Finger tips are fine for applying the gloss, but make sure you have a brush handy for the blusher and bronzer. Call 020 8450 7111 for stockists, or go to


L’Occitane, Cherry Princess Eau de toilette, £29

There’s the occasional burst of sunshine, even in the depths of February, which gives us hope that spring isn’t too far away. There’s also the launch of L’Occitane’s limited edition Cherry Princess range with its fruity/floral scent. The packaging is pretty and feminine – pink, but in a soft and sophisticated shade. Of course, it’s what’s inside that’s important and the combination of the scent of juicy cherries and delicate flowers is uplifting. It may be a bit too sweet for some. In fact, I thought it would be too sweet for me on first testing but once it settles down, it’s a whole lot more subtle. The range was inspired by the beauty of a French Princess, Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Empress Josephine. Hortense was famous for her porcelain complexion and would blush in response to any compliment. Using the scent’s French nom de plume, Cerisier Princesse, will add a splash of ooh la la to your day. But be careful if you have your own little princess at home – she will sniff this out at a hundred paces and fall in love with the scent and the packaging. Maman will have to hide this one away. From department stores or

Environ, Avst Eye Gel, £28

On days – even weeks – when sleep is in short supply, it’s an achievement to simply get through the day. Sadly, there is rarely an award for these heroic endeavours. Even worse is that the response you often face is… hard lines. Lines, shadows and puffiness. On these days, you need all the help you can get and this no-nonsense product should fit the bill. Clean, crisp packaging with a large dollop of science thrown in for good measure. This range was developed by leading South African plastic surgeon Dr. Des Fernandes and the eye gel promises to smoothe, firm, moisturise and reduces fine lines, while increasing the production of collagen. It’s packed with vitamins as well extracts of wild thyme and lupin which help to lift and tighten the skin. The gel is cooling and gentle, though it felt as is it was getting to work immediately and did help soften those lines after a few days. You don’t need too much, so don’t give it too much welly when you hit the pump. From beauty therapists. Call 020 8450 2020 for details.