Sunday, 27 January 2013

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Monday, 21 January 2013

My guilty secret

Hello, my name is Michelle and I *chokes back the tears* once bought a product advertised on an infomercial *blushes and dissolves into crying puddle on floor*.

Yep, it's true.

But you know what? I wasn't sold a dud. I actually LOVE what I bought. And it's turned my guilty secret into a revelation.

Now I'm not the most girly girl in the World (you won't often find me in a dress or heels) but I do like to look the best I can, especially on no sleep, and make-up has been my crutch for years. It gives me confidence and I like the routine of applying it in the morning and putting on my 'outside' face. Over the years I've progressed through the make-up ranks from dodgy lipsticks bought with my pocket money from Portobello Market to expensive foundation from Channel and Clarins. Ever few weeks I'd try something new, swayed by the advertising in magazines or attracted by a new product at the beauty counter.

But a few months ago that all changed. I actually threw away my old make-up. I stopped stopping at the beauty counter. I didn't need anything new.

Why? Sheer Cover.

Now let me point out here and now that this is NOT a sponsored post. I was flicking through the channels one morning and came across the *cough* infomercial. There was an American lady on the screen about to get married, having her make-up done. Her skin wasn't too bad but it wasn't flawless by ANY means. She needed some coverage, if you know what I mean *raises eyebrows*. But then the make-up artist started applying the best concealer I have ever seen to her face. She followed it up with a powder foundation, yes powder, that made her skin almost perfect. It took just minutes and she didn't look 'too made up'. Before I knew it I was dialing the number on the screen for a no-obligation Sheer Cover trial while watching other women being transformed.

Then the informercial was over and the phone was back on its hook. And the guilt began. 'What's wrong with you?!' I scolded myself. 'These things are always faked!' I blamed my pregnancy hormones and resolved to return the trial pack as soon as it arrived and pretend it had never happened. My guilty secret.

A few days later a non-descript brown box arrived. My curiosity got the better of me and I opened it up and started playing with the products. Four months later I am still using Sheer Cover and loving it.

Here's what you get in the trial pack:

Primer - you smooth it on after moisturiser and before make up and it smoothes your skin minimising any pores.

The best creamy concealer I have ever used - it melts into your skin and covers all flaws and redness without caking. There are two colours so you can mix them to match your skin tone. This stuff is brilliant.

Mineral powder foundation - so light you can't feel it on your face and provides as much or as little coverage as you need, just layer it up. Again there are two shades that you can use separately or mix for the best match to your skin.

Mascara - it's ok, not the best I've ever used, but good enough and I don't wear mascara every day so it lasts.

Blusher/eyeshadow palette - I don't really wear eyeshadow but the blusher is lovely and gives a natural pinky glow to your cheeks.

You also get a brush to apply the concealer (I tend to use my fingers to be honest though) and one for the foundation.

I can now get my outside face on in less than 5 minutes and forget about it. It lasts almost all day and I could just touch it up with the powder foundation if I needed to (I don't have time by the way so it's great that it lasts).

Don't believe me? Watch this video of Emma Forbes using Sheer Cover in under 2 minutes. There's also a usage guide that walks you through it.


But you know what the best thing about Sheer Cover is? I don't need to go anywhere to buy it. I don't even have to remember to order it. It just arrives in the post every 3 months, replenishing my stock, without me lifting a finger. And if I've used less or more than usual I just ring up and get them to change the date they send it to me. It's not cheap at £19.95 for the introductory kit and then the same price each month but I worked out I probably spend that anyway trying out new products that I end up throwing away or leaving in the back of the bathroom cupboard to fester.

So there you have it, my guilty secret. Could it become yours?

P.S. It's also available in the U.S. and Australia *waves to overseas readers*.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Silent Sunday

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Tick tock

You'd think it would be silent this early in the morning but it's not. As I sit in bed playing with my birthday toy, a new Samsung tablet, the house is alive. The central heating burbles, whining occasionally as if struggling to wake up to its task. The clock on the wall that we moved from the nursery tick tocks quietly, almost apologetically. Little Man and OH snore competitively, the former's snuffles drowned out until he almost snorts himself awake. I freeze momentarily.

It's delicious, this time. This personal time. So good I can almost taste it. I should probably be sleeping but with only an hour until OH gets up it seems pointless. Nothing worse than being woken up just as you enter deep sleep. Like someone showing you heaven and slamming the door in your face.

Besides I've always liked the early morning hours. Perhaps its the promise of a day not yet begun, full of hope and potential, or time stolen from the night. It's always been my time. Time for me, time to write, before the day gets in the way.

Another snort, a fidget, a reminder that my time is short. It's been a better night and I'm grateful, my eyes less itchy, my brain less wooly, my temper in check. I catch myself wondering what Curly Girl should wear to her friend's birthday party today realise the day is creeping in, stealing into my thoughts. Not yet, not yet.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I've started... so I'll finish

This week Little Man (the baby formally known as Peanut) is two months old. As he woke up at 4am for a feed on Tuesday I heard the whoosing sound of time passing us by. How can it be eight weeks already? How could I be powering walking our little bundle along to the doctors for his first vaccinations when it seems like yesterday that he was snuggling into my chest in the hospital just minutes after he was ? On the plus side, those eight weeks passing mean that I can start exercising again. I'm already feeling under pressure to lose my post-preggy paunch. Perhaps it's my ago (forty on Sunday y'all *gasp*) or the lack of a full night's sleep for SO long, but my belly feels that much bigger this time around. And the weight seems to have formed such a close and loving relationship with my body that they'll never divorce and go their separate ways. I suppose in days gone by I'd have been considered voluptuous. These days I'm just fat.

'But you've only just had a baby!' friends tell me 'Give it time!' and 'You're still breastfeeding after all.' They're right of course. And I'd love to love my tummy, really I would. I know why it's there and I'm grateful for the wonderful job it did to bring our miraculous baby boy into this world. But I still want it gone. The belly that I celebrated and everyone coo-ed over just eight weeks ago is now a weight around my neck (or rather my waist) and a cause of raised eyebrows and even the odd 'when's the baby due?' type comment from strangers (case in point the 28 year old pizza waitress last weekend who meant no harm when she pointed out 'but you still have a belly?!' as if it might have somehow slipped my attention). It's bad enough that Curly Girl points to my middle and asks me if there's another baby brother coming soon.

And so the New Year brings one of my resolutions - to lose two stone and regain the level of fitness I had before I found out last February that we were, by some strange and wondrous trick of nature, pregnant again. So that production at the twin milk factories isn't disrupted I'm starting slowly - cutting down my portion sizes which have crept up to OH size and beyond, basic core strengthening exercises (head lifts, box press ups, leg lowers and bum lifts) and leaving my car at pre-school after dropping Curly Girl off so that I can pram-push-and-power-walk the 15 minutes into the village and back every day. I started on Monday and already I feel better psychologically for doing some exercise.

I just need to finish what I'm beginning and stick to my guns.

At work I was always a completer finisher. Every Myers-Briggs test I did said the same thing - this lady will finish the job, you can rely on her. She may not be the most innovative of creative tool in the box (err steady on...) but when there's a deadline looming you'll want her on your team.

Fast forward two children and I wonder what messers Myers and Briggs would make of me now. The house is littered with started, half-done and almost-finished jobs. Curly Girl's thank you letters lie on the kitchen table; one written, envelope un-addressed; unfolded washing languishes in the clothes basket; used dishes glare at me from the sink. And oh sure, I have ideas for posts, even manage to scribble them down from time to time, even a paragraph or two but can I get them into the laptop? Nope.

And ditto calling back the friends who've phoned me, checking out my online baskets, tidying up the toys which have taken up residence in all corners of the house, taking down the (now unlucky) Christmas tree, applying for Curly Girl's school place and generally crossing off my various to do list tasks.

Am I being too hard on myself? Probably. But if I won't, then who will? This is bloggy boot camp people and tough love reigns in this house. At least until I get back to my old self.

Are you making New Year resolutions? How are you going to make sure you stick to them?

Friday, 4 January 2013

And the winners of the swaddlng wraps are...

Thanks to everyone who read my  of Newborn Essential Swaddling Wraps from Cuski and aden+anais and entered the giveaway just before Christmas. With 219 entries it was one of my most popular giveaways yet!

We were lucky enough to have SIX winners so congratulations goes to...

Kerry K

Julie P

Sarah S

Claire T.L.

Philip D

Michelle M

...who were all randomly selected by Rafflecopter.

The gorgeous swaddling wraps will be on their way to you very soon - enjoy!

Didn't win? Don't worry, you can still buy the full range of aden+anais and Cuski swaddling wraps online and at selected retailers. I thoroughly recommend them!

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