There’s not much time for a long soak in the tub these days, but when I do have a moment, I like to treat myself to a nice hair mask or a good face scrub to make me feel like less of a frump and more of a yummy mummy. I’ve managed to discover quite a few new favourites along the way – here are this week’s essentials:
1. Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery PAK. Since first discovering Kiehl’s after attending the launch last year, I’ve been hooked and I keep discovering new favourites. I’m currently using the Ultra Facial Cleanser, Grapefruit Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser, Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I use the luxe Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream on occasion, when my skin feels really neglected. This amazing hair mask looks set to join my list of must-haves: it smells deliciously fruity, is silicone-free (silicones tend to build up over time, weighing hair down and making it look a little worse for wear), and works a treat at preventing your expensive salon colour from fading within a week or two. I have my hair dyed roughly every six weeks but I’ve had to give this month’s colour a skip, as it simply isn’t feasible to set aside an hour and a half to have my hair coloured with a breastfeeding six week old to take care of. Fortunately I’ve been using this hair mask at least once a week and even my hair stylist remarked at how well my colour has lasted.
2. Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydration Boost Night Mask. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been amazed at how little sleep I can get by on, but it seems my skin feels differently and needs a whole lot more than it’s been getting! After battling with a dull, less-than-radiant complexion for a couple of weeks, I went in search of something to give my skin a little boost and I came across this wonderfully nourishing and creamy face mask. I noticed a few breakouts after the first couple of times that I used this mask – a good sign, in my opinion. Unlike a rash (which would indicate an irritation of some sort), I believe that a spot or two is an indication that the mask is working: it’s job is to rid your skin of impurities, after all! After the initial spot or two, I noticed that my skin was left feeling well-hydrated, plumped up and a little brighter and more ‘glowy’. I can already see this becoming a regular during the cooler months, when my skin tends to need a little extra TLC.
3. Esse Eye Makeup Remover. Ok, confession time: I’m not one to use a makeup remover on a regular basis (I find that my beloved QMS Deep Cleansing and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser do a good job of removing dirt and grime, and makeup!), and for someone who wears as much eye makeup I do, this is a rather sad fact. I’ve had this product in my collection for a couple of months, but I’ve never really used it so, in an effort to downscale my beauty stash (by actually finishing some products, rather than using one product once or twice, then ditching it in favour of something new – am I the only one who does this?!), I decided that it was about time I gave this beauty a go. And boy, am I glad I did! It has a light, creamy consistency that melts into your skin, taking every last trace of heavy eye liner, waterproof mascara and longwear cream shadow along with it. I like the fact that it’s organic and gentle, especially since it’s for use on the delicate eye area, and it has a really subtle, herb-y scent, which I love. Of all the products I’ve tested recently, this one tops the list. Simple, gentle, effective. What more could you want?
4. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel. I’ve always preferred chemical exfoliants over harsh, granular scrubs, but I’ve found that some chemical exfoliants can be a bit harsh on my skin, often resulting in redness and irritation. As a result, I always approach new contenders with caution, which explains why this enzyme peel from spa beauty brand, Elemis, has been sitting on my bathroom shelf, unused, for a few weeks now. So, with a brand new baby to look after and nowhere to go, I decided that now would be as good a time as any to give this product a try. The verdict? A gorgeously-scented, gel-type cream that actually feels soothing upon application and doesn’t tingle in the slightest (I know that many people enjoy a slight tingle, but I’m always put off by this sensation as it just feels as though my skin is irritated). My skin looked considerably brighter and more radiant after I’d rinsed the product off, with no redness (as is often the case after using peels). This product used once a week and combined with the Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydration Boost Night Mask twice weekly, has left my skin feeling softer and more nourished than ever before. They make a pretty perfect pairing, and one I’d recommend to everyone who’s after a glowing complexion.