Laura Davidson, travel editor, columnist and journalist, is mum to three-year-old Hannah and 18-month-old Lucy.
Juggling work with a turbo-charged toddler and an energetic pre-schooler isn’t always easy but she’s still determined to look more yummy mummy than slummy mummy. Here’s how she’s been getting on this month…
So there I am doing the pre-Christmas clean. You know, all those mind-numbingly dull jobs that get done once in a blue moon – wiping down skirting boards, vacuuming under the sofa. You get the picture.
It’s an impossibly glamorous life I lead. Darling Daughter No1 decides she’s going to help. Great. Many hands and all that. Except when I walk past the full-length mirror that she’s decided to ‘polish’, a familiar scent wafts up at me. And it ain’t Mr Sheen. ‘Hannah, what did you use to clean the mirror?’ I ask, trying to place the lightly floral smell filling the hall.
A small hand is brought round from behind her back, index finger poised on the pump-dispenser of my favourite Darphin face cream. A mere dribble is left in the bottom of the bottle. I give up.
While completely gutted that my gorgeous cream has been smeared all over the mirror, you really can’t fault the girl’s three-year-old logic. And, when I think about it, given that in about 10 years’ time I’ll be sharing my space with two teenage princesses, should I just get used to the fact that the contents of my bathroom cabinet are no longer my own?
Well, I think Santa Claus has taken pity on me because, as if by magic, the very next day the lovely ladies at Darphin sent me a brand new face cream to try out. There is a God. And I think she’s female.
Prédermine is the brand’s fabulous anti-ageing range and the Densifying Anti-Wrinkle Cream (£85 for 50mls, www.darphin.co.uk) is a gorgeously luxe face treatment. It comes in three formulas – as a light fluid for combination skin and two rich cream versions, one for normal skin and one for dry.
I’ve been road-testing the one for dry skin given that I’ve a tendency to dry patches during the winter. Highly attractive. Kokum butter and rice oil make it super nourishing and – honestly – my fine lines look as though they’ve been ‘filled’ after about a week’s use. Best of all – no more dry patches. Result.
I’m pleased to report that my beloved new ghd air hairdryer is still taming my wayward locks but I’ve added another weapon to the arsenal in my quest for total Jennifer Aniston hair. Ever suffered those annoying little flyaways at the roots? Well, the clever clogs at Ojon have come up with the ideal solution.
Rare Blend Tamer (£20 for 13mls, www.ojon.co.uk) is a mix of – you guessed it – rare blend oils to smooth down those annoying broken strands that always stand to attention exactly where you don’t want them to. The packing is genius – it’s exactly like a mascara wand so that you don’t over apply. Light and non-greasy, it doesn’t leave hair weighed down or sticky. A must for your handbag. Make-up wise, I had a fantastic makeover at my nearest Smashbox counter just in time for the Christmas night out with the YummyMummyBeauty team.
Fed-up with wearing the same colours all the time, the make-up artist showed me that blue eyeshadow is something not to be afraid of and – more importantly – not a shade to be worn by pensioners only. She used the Wonder Vision Eye Set in Cosmic – a great-value Christmas set. For £35, it includes a six-shadow pinwheel palette (with colours ranging from shimmery oyster to electric aqua and dramatic sparkly navy) as well as full-size Full Exposure Mascara and Limitless eyeliner. Total bargain.
To give a little helping hand, I’m also now in love with the brand’s High Definition Concealer (£17 for 8mls, available in six shades) which, I kid you not, banished my dark under-eye circles and instantly made me party-ready. The Photo Matte Anti-Shine (£17 for 15mls), meanwhile, is a new handbag staple. It’s a miracle in a tube. Apply a dot of the light cream to powder-finish formula on your nose or other areas prone to shine and you’ll stay matte all night long. All fromwww.smashbox.co.uk.
To go with the gorgeous smoky eye make-up I wanted a nude lipstick that still had a bit of glossy glamour and Clarins’ Joli Rouge Lipstick in Soft Berry (£18, www.clarins.co.uk) is perfect. It’s a beautiful winey/taupe shade that gives lips just enough gloss and colour to balance my dramatic festive look on the eyes.
For a more fun daytime look (and going light on the eye make-up), Color Bomb lip tint from Too Faced in Coral Pop (£19 at Debenhams) can’t fail to pup a smile on your face. It smells like sweeties and looks like sweeties – a gorgeous candy pink. Although it looks like a chubby pencil, it applies like a lipstick and with its twist-barrel packaging, there’s no need to sharpen.
So my make-up bag’s sorted and the house is clean – especially my hall mirror – and tomorrow my tree goes up.
All that’s left is to really bring Christmas home with some scent. While I love festive candles, my absolute favourite scent is Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir. It’s spicy, warm and with notes of seasonal juicy fruit. It’s a great alternative to the overload of clove that so many Christmassy scents seem to go for.
I’ve gone mad with the Scent Surround Room Spray (£34 for 175mls, www.jomalone.co.uk). Try it, it’ll make you instantly want to light the fire and pour a large glass of red wine, and who can argue with that?
House clean and smelling gorgeous. Santa, we’re ready for you.