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…
The terrible twos have arrived with a vengeance. I’m ashamed to admit it but, until now, whenever other mums at toddlers’ group would talk of tears (theirs) and tantrums (their toddlers’), I’d nod in faux agreement while really thinking that my little angel would never, ever be such a brat.
Well, it serves me right for being so smug, because the universe is now having a great big laugh at my expense, all packaged up in a neat bundle that’s just over 2ft 2ins tall with deceptively cute pigtails.
I swear, someone has kidnapped my darling daughter and replaced her with the little girl from the Exorcist. Well, not quite, but you get the idea.
The nightly ritual of a quick bedtime story before lights out has now extended to a three-hour sleeptime stand-off. So far there’s only been one winner. And it’s not me.
Then there’s some bizarre separation anxiety she’s developed all of a sudden that sees her muster up some Oscar-standard weeping and wailing unless she’s actually superglued to my leg.
A week into this new phase (Please God, let it just be a phase), and I’m at my wits’ end. To bribe darling daughter there’s been lots of chocolate. And mummy’s reward? Wine. Lots of it.
Thank God I had a much-needed girlie night out at the weekend. With some gorgeous new products I’ve been sent lately, I was ready to get my glam on and forget the hell of Toddlergate.
Illamasqua’s Precision Ink eyeliner, £17, www.illamasqua.com is the new star of my make-up bag. I’ve been using the Wisdom shade, a sort of burnished gold that’s really flattering for blue eyes – not as harsh as a black, but with some sparkly flecks for a bit of vamp appeal. I now want to try all five shades in the range – I don’t think I’ll ever use another liquid eyeliner again. The fine tip makes it easy to apply and because it’s smudgeproof and waterproof once applied it lasts all night without flaking. Love, love, love.
Top it off with a couple of coats of Clarins’ Wonder Volume Mascara, £21, www.clarins.co.uk, and you’re good to go. I love the fine brush that individually brushes and separates each lash to add fullness without clumping. I’ve also been looking for a nude lip that still looks glam and I’ve found a great combo.
Clarins’ lipliner pencil in 03 Nude, £16, www.clarins.co.uk is truly what it says – a gorgeous shade that will blend in with the natural shade of your lip, great for subtle shaping without a harsh or obvious line. Filled in with Liz Earle’s Sheer Lip gloss in Nougat, £13.50, www.lizearle.com, the lips look great with a caramelly colourwash yet with added shine that takes the look from daytime to going out glamour.
Another trend I’m loving just now is for nails. Have you checked out all the fabulously fancy top coats on the make-up counters just now? There are some gorge ones with glitter, sparkles and tinsel-like threads – all aimed at creating simple nail art for those who are particularly shoogly of hand. That’ll be me then.
If, like me, you’ve precisely 10 spare minutes a week to look after your nails, you’ll love another gem I’ve found from Illamasqua – Speckled Nail Polish, £14.50, www.illamasqua.com. My fave is Freckle – a gorgeous neutral taupe with flecks of black through it. Brush on two coats and you’re done. From drab to fab in five minutes.
On the skincare front, I’ve found a fab new moisturiser – Origins’ Plantscription Anti-ageing Cream, £46, www.origins.co.uk. Want the science? There are 300,000 Raspberry plant stem cells in every 50ml jar. Known for their regenerative properties, these hard-working little beauties smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, smooth the skin’s texture and generally make you look and feel a bit less decrepit. Unfortunately plant stem cells have not yet been trained to stick on your washing and pick up the kids from nursery, but the boffins at Origins are apparently working on that.
It’s one of the first anti-ageing creams I’ve tried that, after about two weeks’ use, genuinely made my skin look and feel younger. Given that I’m zooming towards 40 at a great rate of knots, I can see me buying this in bulk.
Lastly, how disappointing is it that April is here and we haven’t yet had a glimmer of sunshine? Well, until the big yellow ball in the sky decides to put in an appearance, I’ve been relying on Clinique’s Self-Sun Face Tinted Lotion,£17.50, www.clinique.com to give me a bit of a glow. It’s fabulous – the tint gives you an instant hit of colour and a lasting natural-looking golden tan develops over a couple of hours. Best of all, because the lotion is coloured, you can see exactly where you’re applying it so you don’t end up looking like you’ve been Tango-ed. Light and non-greasy it’s a summer must-have.
Just hope that by the time sunnier weather does eventually arrive, I’m not accessorising my summer wardrobe with a screaming two-year-old stuck to my leg. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.