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…
I’ve had a sort of love/hate relationship with my barnet ever since I first found myself in the family way. A few months into my first pregnancy I noticed my hair seemed thicker, glossier and far healthier than it had done in years.
Okay, so I wasn’t exactly Jennifer Aniston, but there was a big improvement. It grew faster too. One of the few bonuses of pregnancy. After popping out Darling Daughter No1, my fabulous new do continued to thrive … until I stopped breastfeeding when she was five months old and it then proceeded to fall out in chunks in the shower. All perfectly normal, supposedly, but still a bloody big shock, I can tell you.
Exactly the same thing happened with DD No2. So, for the past couple of years, I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail of hair products to help. While there’s no doubt a great shampoo and conditioner can really make a big difference, this month I think I’ve found the ultimate combo.
First, before blow drying, I’ve been using Aveda’s Damage Remedy (£20.50 for 100mls, www.aveda.co.uk), a fantastic leave-in treatment that helps protect from heat and prevent breakage when styling. As well as making my hair feel silky soft, it also smells fantastic. Scented with Aveda’s own Pure-fume with bergamot and ylang ylang, it’s a little bit of luxury in my otherwise porridge-on-the-T-shirt existence.
Next, for the all-important blow dry and that’s where my new best friend comes in – the ghd air. I’ve been a big fan of the brand’s straightening irons for years and find that using them just a couple of times a week usually tames my barnet into submission. Their hairdryer is a revelation – and if you’re thinking of dropping a few hints for a little something under the Christmas tree, check out their festive limited edition – the Wonderland Air, £99 from www.ghdhair.com.
I swear, I love this little baby like family. Packing a whole 2100watts of professional power, it dries hair in a flash – I found it about a third quicker than my usual drier. It also uses ionic technology – adding negative ions to the air and onto your hair, cancelling out positive ions that can cause static and locking in moisture. With two heat and speed settings and a choice of two drying nozzles for fine or thicker hair, it’s got great versatility. As well as creating volume, the unexpected bonus was that my hair was shinier too – down the ionic element. Even better, my DIY blow-dry lasted for three days. Result.
So, with my hair sorted for the party season, I’ve been turning to a couple of other new products to give my skin a much-needed glow. Green People’s Fruit Scrub Exfoliator (£11.95 for 50mls, www.greenpeople.co.uk) is gentle, yet really good at sloughing off all that dry skin that can make you look like an over-floured scone in winter. Not a good look. Containing apricot and mandarin, it smells yummy and a small pea-sized blob is all you need for a really good scrub.
To refresh the skin afterwards, a quick squirt of Clayspray’s Hydrate H20 spray is fantastic (£17.50 for 125mls, www.clayspray.com). It’s a natural spring water sourced from high in the Spanish mountains, all in a handy spray. Extremely rich in minerals, it soothes the skin and revives a tired complexion.
I’m also loving their Glow masque (£44.50 for 125mls). Containing pure red clay, it removes impurities but also aids cell regeneration for a more youthful look. That’s the science bit. The reality bit is that it leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean but nourished and, well, glowy. It also contains cacao and smells like the most amazing chocolate in the world, so might just provide an alternative to reaching for the biscuit tin if you’re trying to lose a few pounds for Christmas.
Finally, in my continued battle against Cellulite, I’ve found some fantastic new ammunition – Clarins’ Body Lift Cellulite Control (£36 for 200mls, www.clarins.co.uk).
It’s a cream-gel containing eight plant extracts to instantly lift and firm. Skin feels tingly on application and, unlike some other cellulite creams I’ve tried, it absorbed really well and didn’t feel sticky. Believe me, it takes a lot to see a visible difference in my seriously-stubborn orange-peel thighs, but after about a week of twice daily application, I really did see an improvement.
It didn’t disappear – that would take a miracle – but it did give me hope that the only orange peel I might see over the festive season would be in the kids’ Christmas stockings. I can but dream…