Category Archives: Beauty

SM tests… Footner Coolactive Foot Massager

SM tester writes: “I’ve been shuffling about in this heat in horrible flip flops which I really should have consigned to the dustbin three holidays ago. My poor old feet have been saying *adopting a comedy foot talking voice here* ‘Seriously, we liked you better when you made us hit the dance floor in those super high heels at that wedding…’

Today I was working from home. I dunked my feet in the kids’ paddling pool every 45 mins. Yesterday I was at an afternoon event in the relentless heat and such decadence was not an option. But Footner’s cooling foam gave my feet an icy blast and the roller ball is good for giving them a mini massage on the go. So basically, like having a paddling pool in a can that you can keep in your changing bag…”

Click here to buy.

Lovely Little Things: Matte Lipgloss from the Chloe Ferry Cosmetics range

Honestly, I love a good lipgloss. Before kids I wouldn’t leave the house without a Juicy Tube or Dior Addict one in my pocket. But as anyone who has kissed their child on the forehead will know, plumpy pouts and kid-smushing do not mix (unless you want their nursery teacher to ask you if your little darling maybe fell down the stairs…)

Now – in the nicest possible way – to me (ie a mother of three) Chloe Ferry doesn’t seem like an obvious style icon. But she has put some thought into her range of cosmetics. For starter, they are vegan and cruelty free. For seconds, they really pack a punch.

I tried out the Matte Lipgloss in Rouge. Probably the first time I’ve worn red lippy in the daytime since my youngest was born. It is described as ‘mid red’ – so not full on Jessica Rabbit but at the same time it is definitely a statement. But because it is matte, the colour stays on your lips; definitely enough to give your offspring a school gate peck (NB: it also withstands a couple of cocktails…)

So essentially you can rock rouge lips without the risk of anyone alerting social services. Well, until your adorable cherub unearths a Sharpie from the depths of your handbag, that it…

RRP £14.99 from Chloe Ferry Cosmetics

SM tests… Love Boo Super Stretchy Miracle Oil

Created with a unique blend of omega rich argan, almond, passionflower and mandarin oils, Love Boo Super Stretchy Miracle Oil promises to be tough on stretch marks. We tested…

SM tester writes: “Oh my gosh, if ever there were a ‘Mrs Wobblebottom’ that would be me. My stretch marks are accumulated; the net result of multiple children, decreasing visits to the gym and more Magnum lollies consumed at each successive pregnancy. I’m not quite in ‘mom jeans’ but my go-to ones after each pregnancy are those Zara jeggings that hold everything in… And not even my husband sees me peel them off at night..

I had decided (whilst more sprightly colleagues were training for Park Runs and the Marathon) that I might start doing a bit of jogging, starting off with home from the school run… And at the same time thought I might try and attack the spiderwebs all over my belly. 

Love Boo oil comes in a girlie pink packaged bottle (which stops husband stealing it to pour recklessly in the bath) and smells divine (a bit like orange blossom, maybe?) You slather it on your tummy, bum, thighs (all the bits you hate, basically!) and – well – be generous!

The instructions suggest you use it twice a day… But as I barely have time for one beauty product anyhow, I’ve been rubbing it in after my morning shower. 

I can definitely see the difference; unlike some (and I’ve tried hundreds!) stretch mark treatments, it doesn’t just smooth out the marks, it plumps up the skin as well. This means a) it doesn’t itch and b) if you are doing a modest bit of jogging or the odd sit up you’ll reap the benefit of your belly looking and feeling firmer. What’s left is frankly just because of all the Magnums…”

Love Boo Miracle Oil starts at £7.99 for 50ml. For more info or to order go here. 

Tested by Lauren.

Our brilliant £3 beauty bargain…

Asda (yes, Asda!)’s NSPA Mum to Be range includes some great products; their bump butter, for example, smells divine and is super rich… But it’s their Nipple Balm that has been blowing our mind this week, and we haven’t once used it on our nipples!

The product normally retails at £5 but good ole Asda have rolled back the price to just three quid…

Editor writes: “OK, once you can get over the fact that you are carrying Nipple Balm in your handbag, this stuff will be your new best friend. Essentially you can use it for any of the millions of tasks you might otherwise use Lanolips for – or for that matter, Eight Hour Cream – lips, cuticles, hands, elbows etc, or taming those eyebrows… I love rubbing a bit into my cheeks for a bit of a dewy/outdoorsy look but you could actually go the whole hog and blend it with your regular moisturiser for a little extra boost. It’s fab as a barrier of your toes rub in flip flops or rubbing into your ear lobes when you take your earrings out. 

NSPA Nipple Balm is made with medical grade Lanolin and Rose Hip Oil, so if you actually were using this on your boobs, it would be totally safe for breastfeeding. But also means it’s good news for those with sensitive skin… 

As this product is super cheap at the moment I’d be tempted to stock up – except for the fact that I think one tube will probably last me six months. Obviously, you will get some funny looks when you whip it out in public (and maybe some helpful types offering to redirect you to your areola!) but just roll with the smugness that this is thirteen times cheaper than Eight Hour Cream (not that we don’t love Eight Hour Cream, but…) so your skin will still love you but you can spend a bit more on shoes *cough* – I mean, groceries…”

Shop online here or pick one up in store…

SM reviews… Skin Elixir Organic Frankincense & May Chang Moisturiser

Organic brand Skin Elixir’s moisturiser is handmade in Nottingham, suitable for face and body and costs £22 for 60ml. We tested.

SM tester writes: “Apparently Sadie Frost can’t get enough of this one, and let’s face it, she lives our kinda life (kids, cocktails, a business to run…) but still looks hot. So if this is the solution, we want to try it! 

If you’ve ever tried the Neal’s Yard Frankincense range you’ll know how restorative it is for dry, flaky skin. Well this is a whole other level; the deepest, richest salve you’ll have ever put on your face – yet it sinks in quickly. It reminds me a bit of putting Weleda’s Skin Food on overnight as a mask (which I do in the depths of Winter when I start to panic about wrinkles) but this is super-wearable (you could even moisturise at your desk at work without looking like you’ve run up several flights of stairs).

The other ingredient in this balm is May Chang, which is citrusy and therefore a natural anti-inflammatory. So despite being super-emollient, the balm keeps oil and sebum in check. 

The scent is quite interesting; not unpleasant at all, just quite unusual. Frankincense is meant to be good for clearing the mind (by which they mean finding your inner calm – as opposed to totally blanking out due to nappy brain!) and I guess it sort of makes me think of pine forests. 

Best of all with this product, you only need the teenist bit. So one 60ml tub might well banish my wrinkles from now until I’m an actual pensioner… “

Order online here. give us tips on creating fairytale party hair…

Xmas disco coming up and daughter desperate to look like Elsa? (Or you fancy scaring the PTA by rocking up as the Goblin Kind?) share some know-how…

Elsa from Frozen

Elsa’s thick fishtail plait is just so pretty. And let’s face it, not many other hairstyles can weather a blizzard summoned by magic. It does take some practice; it’s easier if you add a little texture paste into your hair before you get plaiting, and don’t forget to pull and loosen for a thick messy fishtail.

Princess Leia from Star Wars

When we think movie-hair we definitely think of Princess Leia. Use pins to spread two buns nice and wide rather than wrapping them too tight. For a modern take on intergalactic hair, position them a little higher and towards the back of your head – you’ll get lovely waves when you take them out too.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Belle from Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast is the ultimate in Disney Princess hair goals. Styling cream and a thick curling wand is enough to achieve Belle’s simple but stunning bangs and waves. Scoop the top half into a high voluminous bun and you’re officially Belle. We can’t wait to see how Emma Watson does it in 2017.

Tinker Bell from Peter Pan

Tinker Bell’s voluminous high bun and side fringe is perfect for keeping hair out of the face. First tie into a high ponytail and braid around the outside for a pretty twist on Tink’s bun.

Sugar Kane KowalczykMarilyn Monroe from Some Like it Hot

A movie legend, Marilyn’s sassy pearls of wisdom live on today, and so should her gorgeous wavy do. Use medium rollers overnight, spritz with hairspray in the morning and sweep it all to one side to go Hollywood Monroe.

Lisa Loris – Wednesday Adams from The Adam’s Family

Wednesday’s middle-parted plaits are ideal for a Monday when you’re just not feeling it. Get that parting nice and centered and clear, and get plaiting. Spritz with hair spray for hold.

Holly Golighty – Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Another iconic movie queen to inspire us with her on screen looks is Audrey. That immovable bouffant beehive is achieved with plenty of volume power in the roots, textured hair that hasn’t been freshly washed and plenty of hair spray.

Jareth – David Bowie from Labyrinth

Looking to grab attention at Christmas parties? Look no further than David Bowie as The Labyrinth’s Goblin King. He practically invented the whole glitter roots trend we’re seeing more and more of. Straighten your hair and use fingers to add plenty of glitter to your roots.

Mia Wallace – Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction

You’re probably thinking you can’t achieve the straight, fringed lob Uma Thurman rocks in Pulp Fiction, but we have news for you. Even if you don’t have a fringe, you can still mock one up with bobby pins.

Juliet – Claire Danes from Romeo and Juliet

Juliet’s hair is so simple that it just works. Halve straight hair into a top and bottom section, secure with pins and tuck behind the ears, this looks especially nice with long bangs.

10% discount with The Organic Balm Co to celebrate Organic Beauty Week

Bag yourself 10% off at #MMHA16 Winners The Organic Balm Company’s online store to celebrate Organic Beauty Week as part of Organic September.

Standout products include our top rated Mother and Baby Nourish Balm and their RAH Facial Serum – or treat yourself to their Cocoa Rose Bath Melts.

Prices are all adjusted on the website, so no need for codes… Happy Shopping!

SM tests… Bee Good’s Necta Perfecta Beautifying Mask

We really fell for Bee Good’s range this year – they are the only British premium skincare brand to exclusively use British beeswax, honey and propolis in all their products and we gave them a #MMHA16 thumbs up…

So we were delighted to test their latest Necta Perfecta product; the UK’s first multi-tasking youth enhancing face and body enzyme mask to deliver targeted results & prepare your skin to maximise the effectiveness of your skincare, make-up and tanning products.

SM tester writes: “OMG, what a product. It comes in a huuuuge and posh looking jar, which costs £39.95, but I think a jar would last around 6 months, even with the extensive hammering I’m giving it! 

The gist is that you can use it on your face, scalp, feet, hands, elbows… anywhere dry or ‘problem’ and it delivers a double whammy of an enzyme peel and a mega moisture all in one. 

You’re meant to put it on your face either like a mask or like a cleansing balm (ie wash off with a muslin). The first night, instead of leaving on for 20 mins before bed I actually just fell asleep with it on – and woke up with lovely smooth skin! 

I have also been using it on my feet – if you saw my cracked heels you’d probably be a bit sick – let’s just say the hot summer hasn’t been kind and I should have spent a bit less time in flip flops – but it was really soothing and dealt with the cracked, flaky skin and sore patches – I’ve been popping a bit on before putting my gym socks and trainers on too as it means I take them off to nicer looking feet after a workout. 

You can use it as a scalp boost – I’ve been giving my head a little massage with it as the bonus effect is a volumising product that smells lovely (ingredients include orange, lemon and sugar maple as well as honey) – but you can just shampoo it out once it has worked its magic.”

Order online from Bee Good. 

Keeping your cool in the third trimester…

AKA how not to resemble a melted ice lolly at 38 weeks… 😉

Editor writes: Before my youngest was born a week ago  my only means of blocking out the sun was by standing in the shadow cast by my ginormous belly. Third time ’round pregnancy takes no prisoners and seemingly nor does the current heatwave.

Besides sitting with the freezer door open and scoffing Magnums, here are my picks for keeping your cool…


The Jojoba Company’s Moisturising Day Cream is a lightweight day cream packed with natural ingredients but the zinc in it keep skin looking matte but plump. There’s SPF (in case you forgot, because you were browsing Nameberry) plus the product comes in a clever dispenser which allows you to pump and squeeze, meaning that every splodge comes out of the tube (hey –  it’s good practice for breastfeeding…) Get this one from Ocado or StressNoMore.

I’ve also been mainlining Ark Skincare’s award winning Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil which is ayurvedic (nope, we can’t say it either) and smells divine (a bit like Aveda’s Love oil) and you can rub it all over your stretch marks, flaky skin, frizzy hair, swollen ankles (I could go on but it wouldn’t be pretty…) A little goes a long way, it’s not greasy at all (despite being an oil) and you smell like a sort of upmarket Moroccan spa (it’s rose and patchouli based, but in a morning-sickness-friendly way) – available online.

I’m a latecomer I know to Tresemme’s Keratin range but who can resist the lure of their 7 Day Smooth treatment when one’s hair goes through weekly torture via over-chlorinated kids’ pools, 30-second school run ‘up-do’s’ and ‘last in the shower, no time to condition’ situations. And that’s before the preggo hormones kick in to make frizzy like, supersize frizzy… Anyway – this one really does work, even if you just comb a few drops through and dry your hair under the dryer at the aforementioned pool whilst (with the other hand) feeding your toddler a packet of PomBears. Grab it from Superdrug as it’s BOGOF.

The Mama Wax at Strip

If having a presentable lady garden is on your checklist for the delivery room (hey, it’s gonna be the centre of attention for a fair few hours, right?) then a Mama-Wax from Strip (the waxing joint loved by celebs including Victoria Beckham) might be a better solution than jiggling precariously in front of a mirror with a LadyShave…

STRIP, London’s leading waxing boutique, offer an intimate waxing treatment for mothers-to-be, specifically designed to prepare and pamper the most intimate areas up to when the pushing begins. Just as every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day, expectant mothers should feel as calm and as comfortable as they can when their due date arrives. 
STRIP’s maternity wax is designed to be as bespoke and pain-free as possible without compromising on effectiveness, leaving you soft, smooth and relaxed. All STRIP therapists are trained to the highest standards, and will advise on custom wax blends for individual clients. Most importantly, STRIP’s therapists understand that a body in the 2-3 Trimester moves and behaves differently during pregnancy and needs to be treated accordingly. In addition, STRIP’s sumptuous treatment rooms have superior beds which can be adjusted to support tummies of all sizes carrying precious cargo and the sorest, most sensitive backs. Strip also offer a selection of stylish maternity nursing bras and briefs in a variety of colours and sizes.
Prices are the same as a normal hot wax, however the treatment time is extended, and the therapists are trained to make sure the treatment is carried out in the most suitable and comfortable way for expectant mothers.