Category Archives: Mummy Reviews

Rethink your skincare routine with Natural Elements 10 Years Younger Kit

We were obviously a bit sceptical when this one arrived for testing. Ten years younger, you say? Hmm, that would make us …well, a lot perkier, firmer and generally surrounded by a youthful and possibly child-free glow, wouldn’t it?

The lowdown: The WoW (War on Wrinkles) kits are a two step process; first there’s a unique vital oil and then a blending cream, both packed with ultra potent anti-oxidants to neutralise super-charged free radicals (think super food in skin care form) and provides UVA and UVB protection. Natural Elements’ creator and cosmetology dermatologist John Hamilton explains “Our skin is exposed to an increasing onslaught of chemicals from both our products and our environment. Standard anti-oxidants are no longer enough to counter the effects of increasingly potent free radicals. This breakthrough in understanding the process of mitochondrial decay is providing a new anti-ageing solution as never seen before.”

Our SM tester says: ‘I know some people are worried about putting oil on their face, but this Uplifting Oil  feels really lovely and light and smells incredible; it is peach and avocado oil blended with orange and jasmin. It sinks straight in but you can give yourself a little facial massage if you don’t have children pestering at the bathroom door. You then add a drop of the Blending Cream on top which creates a matte finish that is so good you don’t actually need foundation – I honestly got my whole routine paired down to this plus a little dab of concealer. The oils come in different variations, depending on your skin type and a little drop is all you need – in fact you don’t even need to use the Blending Cream at night time if you don’t want to.

I don’t know about ten years younger but it does make your skin glow and it feels like a breath of fresh air in itself not to be wearing foundation. Your pores look hydrated and plumped up – in fact, I found myself taking a couple of selfies just so that I could zoom in and look at them (I know… but it beat doing the ironing!)

I would definitely recommend this – it does take a bit longer than just dabbing on moisturiser but I’d say rethink your routine and have a couple of minutes TLC time, your skin will thank you for it.’

Natural Elements 10 Years Younger Kit is priced from £36. For further information or to order call 01299 253994 or visit www.naturalelementsskincare.com

#HolidayHotlist… BEABA Baby Sunglasses

Chic French brand Beaba makes a range of children’s sunglasses; in on-trend colourways, designed for maximum comfort and with UV protection you can trust.

Our SM tester says: ‘My kids are trendy. There is no doubt about it. I love dressing them up in little shirts, waistcoats and chinos. Their summer wardrobe, however, lacks a bit of imagination. Shorts and a t-shirt just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. The summer clobber is definitely missing something.

Luckily, Beaba sunglasses landed on my doorstep. I cannot tell you how funky my 10 week old little boy looks. Yes, he has Elmo on his baby grow; yes, he has shorts that don’t quite fit; yes, he has sick all down said clothes anyway, but with these little sunglasses (which have flexible arms, so they can be adjusted and don’t fall off) he looks genuinely awesome. Funk-ality aside, they also protect his delicate peepers from bright sunshine too. He can now pretend he is not asleep when people are cooing in his face, too (Mum, I’m talking to you!)’

SM reviews…Puzzle Club Magazine

Puzzle Club Magazine is a new edition from the Puzzler family and is a puzzle-based education magazine. Aimed at Ket Stage 2 level children between the agoes od 7 and 11 year old and contains 64 pages supporting learning in the core subjects of the National Curriculum.

Our SM tester says: I hate car journeys. I especially hate car journeys when I have a repeat drone of “Are we there yet?”, “I’m bored” and “The ipod’s not working”. My children are a joy, genuinely, but a car ride with them is bound to set the best Earth Mother into a steady decline of drink and pizza. The best way to make the M25 as stress free as possible is to plug them into some inane animal cartoon show and then I feel even worse as a parent. Am I brainwashing them with the tiger that has a thick American accent and orders ice cream? Luckily, I have found a solution. The Puzzle Club is a new magazine that contains various fun puzzles that support the National Curriculum, especially English, Maths and Science in the form of colour-by-numbers, crosswords and odd-one-out pictures to name a few. It’s actually a really fun and informative read and because it has 64 pages, it’s unlikely to run out anytime soon. It is the perfect car companion. However, the annoying questions still remain. “My bum hurts”, “I lost my pen” and “Who’s William Blake?”. Woah. That last one came out of left field.

Lovely Little Things: NAIF ‘The Best 15 Minutes Gift Set’

We’re adoring the  range at the moment: from a company set up by two Earth-loving Dutch doting dads, NAIF uses no perfumes, allergens or nasties – the products are mild, kind, effective – and come in generous sized bottles!

We tested one of the gift sets, designed for bath times and named ‘The Best 15 Minutes’. It contains a gentle but effective cleansing wash gel and a super soft, quick absorbing body lotion – both suitable from birth an with funky unisex designs that will look great in any bathroom – plus a beautiful giant swaddle wrap with a quirky sun/cloud design (also makes a great sun shade for the stroller) which you can then wrap the clean bambino up in. Let’s hear it for the boys because this is one of the best product sets we’ve seen in ages – and Doutzen Kroes is a fan too according to Dutch Vogue

SM Reviews… Martha Hill Skincare

Martha Hill’s story is equally tragic, inspirational and – well – a little bit bonkers.

A true Slick Mummy, she was widowed when disaster met with her pilot husband’s plane just weeks before the birth of her youngest daughter in 1947 but rallied her strength to raise her children and tend a productive farm. At her kitchen table she began to use plants and herbs to make beauty products – and the range began.

Martha also had a successful fashion career – and her youngest daughter went on to debut the mini skirt at Ascot – and today the Martha Hill range caters for all skin types and is praised by women of all ages for helping them achieve an ‘English Rose’ complexion.

We tested a selection of products from the Martha Hill range, which are all available from Beauty Naturals.

Our SM tester says: I loved the look of the packaging for this range, really old fashioned/classic looking, like my grandmother would have used.

– Rosewater Skin Tonic: I grew up soothing my teenage skin with rosewater and witch hazel, which I bought from the chemist and then decanted into a vintage glass bottle. It seemed so decadent, but was also much kinder to my skin than harsh spot treatments. To this day using anything rosewater based always makes my skin feel clean and fresh, and this product is divine. It smells lovely and your skin just glows with health after just a couple of days use…

– Gardeners’ Cream: I was keen to try this one as the Winter has ravaged my hands – well, Winter and being without a dishwasher for a few months, scraping the ice off the car windscreen every morning and forgetting my gloves on a daily basis – and even my beloved Eight Hour Cream wasn’t making any difference. This comes in a huge tube and can be used on all rough extremities – as it were – is packed with nourishing almond and wheatgerm oil and isn’t greasy at all. I kept the tube in the car and before the week was out my husband was using it too (especially on his bald spot).

– Mimosa Night Cream: this one is part of a set including cleanser and day cream, I tried the night cream and even reading the ingredients sounds luxe. The product is packed with Mimosa Absolute (Mimosa is the flower of happiness, apparently), ylang ylang, beeswax, honey, juniper berry … I must say the smell of it is quite strong and distinctive – not unpleasant – but definitely perfumed. When you use the cream at night it really does tighten up the skin – after a couple of nights I was using it on my neck and decolletage also.

– Perfect Finish Face Powder in Rose Beige: For serious vintage glamour, nothing beats loose powder. This one comes in a small enough tub with a decent lid so as to prevent accidental handbag explosions and is easy to get a smooth, even finish with just a make up sponge – so all in all pretty portable. It comes in three shades and this one gives sallow skin a little bit of a pink flush. It is packed with kaolin to soak up skin shine and create a matte finish. Martha’s range also includes cream foundation if you need more coverage.

Editor’s Tip: Martha was a huge advocate of raw food, saying “The earth provides wonderful foods which aren’t used enough. At this time of year you can make marvellous salads with raw vegetables, grated celery and watercress – but not the stuff grown in boxes, the big river cress.” … Channel Martha’s love for the green stuff with Jamie Oliver’s cress salad with mackerel pate

#SM Sleep Week: The Serenity Star from aden + anais

In ’round off to our Sleep Week features, one of our SM testers tried the Serenity Star from aden + anais out on her newborn son.
The lowdown: this nifty little gadget is a night light, sound machine, temperature monitor, feeding timer – and usefully also (for new mums) a clock to see how many hours left til bedtime or what time ‘Neighbours’ is on TV.
Our SM Tester says: I am currently in the magical and dream-like state of dealing with a two-week old newborn. Gone are my cravings for macaroni cheese (although the calorie content can still be found on my thighs) and in are sleepless nights and stitches.
 
However, this is not a new experience for me: with a toddler of two and a half already, the newborn housemate has no choice but to get with the programme and chip in. No neatly folded, carefully ironed clothes; no time to spend endless hours gazing at his peaceful sleeping face; no point cooing over the mustard factory in his nappy.
 
In fact, it is like someone has pressed fast-forward on my life and suddenly everything needs to be done in half the time. I don’t have time to sing for hours on end, nor to carefully log each feed in my leather bound ‘baby book’; the room thermometer from my first child is gathering dust in the corner and we don’t have a night light – quite frankly, I forgot to buy one.
 
I feel guilty. My second child is every bit as precious as my first, but I just do not have the time to spend fussing and fretting as before. I want the essentials for my second – out with the worries and in with the necessities. Security; safety; food; cleanliness and, above all, love.
 
The good thing I found about the aden+anais Serenity Star is that is does just that. For me, this handy little gadget gets rid of the fuss and gives you exactly what you want. With features including a clock, temperature check, nightlight, sound machine and even a feeding diary, I had everything myself and my precious second bundle needed, in one place.
 
The star shape looks attractive in our (sadly not yet re-done) blue and white nursery and the mains and battery options means it is easily transportable too. The low-level soft light is bright enough to make a warm glow in the room, but not too bright that it causes him to wake up (tick box for feeling secure and giving Mummy extra sleeping time). The temperature check with a blue glow for ‘cold’, ‘red’ for hot and ‘white’ for just right (how very Goldilocks), means I don’t need to scramble around tiptoeing trying to check if he is about to freeze or boil without putting the light on and waking him up (tick box for safety). The sound machine plays two varieties of lullabies as well as having a setting for omitting white noise and a heartbeat, means I can make my little one feel snug, whilst reading a story to my toddler downstairs. And,lastly, the feeding diary means my frazzled brain has one less thing to think about.
 
But most of all, this product is something new. New for him.  And special. It may have all the features we have already seen, but not in this package. Just like my second child.

Testing Testing… A note from the Editor

Happy New Year to all our readers, thank you for all your support and lovely messages so far and glad you like the site as much as we do.

Just to let you know, we’ll be doing lots more product testing over the next few months – we have a gang of fab mums with kids ranging from 3 months to 12 years in age – and we test in lots of rigorous and Mummy-relevant ways.

So – a note to PRs to say please stop by to say hello and also to would-be-tester mums to drop us a line at slickmummy@journalist.com

We hope you enjoy reading our regular features: School Run Superheroes (testing make up that can be applied in the car), Quick Change (our testers put changing bags and store changing rooms through their paces) and our Buggy Olympics (self-explanatory… ) – plus of course our #GinFriday Cocktail of the Week.

 

Hi-Tech Feeding Bottles

Despite the professionals at the Cow & Gate helpline assuring us that the best bottles for bottle feeding (regardless of colic, tongue tie or need for boobie similarity) are the cheapy ‘straight up and down’ ones you get from the chemist, there seem to be a plethora of new, super-sciency ones out on the market at the moment.

Our Slick Mummy testers gave the following the once over (with three and six month old babies):

Munchin Latch System

This one is meant to mimic the breast, rather than look like one. The teat is much larger and less ‘pert’ than most and comes in three flow speeds. The bottle has a built in anti-colic valve and the bottle comes in two sizes.

Pros: our tester thought the bottle performed well – especially with the faster teat – and the design (including the pretty blue valve) was lovely.

Cons: the base arond the valve is hard to clean.

Available at Boots, £6.99 per bottle

Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Advance Comfort System

The Tommee Tippee bottles have the appearance of the sort of breast that would neatly nestle into a champagne saucer (wouldn’t ours all?) but this new addition to the range includes an air venting system (a bit like a cocktail swizzle stick) which prevents bubbles. Again, these come in two bottle sizes.

Pros: our tester thought the product performed well and was compatible with the regular TT accessories (bottle warmer etc)

Cons: our tester advised that one screw the lid on a bit tighter just before feeding as hot water cooling seems to contract the seal a little bit.

Available at Boots £13.99 for two bottles.

Dr Brown’s Natural Flow System

These claim to reduce colic and also preserve vitamins through preventing oxidation (who knew milk oxidized?) and they come in a variety of colours,  sizes (including preemie) and teat flows. Recommended by 9/10 midwives.

Pros: our tester liked the colourways and the fact that they were easy to clean and didn’t cloud.

Cons: a bit fiddly to put together and prone to leaking if not done properly.

Available at Boots £19.99 for starter kit.