Me time

So you may have seen over on my Instagram, today is the first day of Summer.  It's also Make it Matter Day - a phrase coined by M&S to encourage us to take time out living out lives on autopilot and thinking about the small things that really matter to us.  Making small changes to our lives which can have a massive difference in how we live them.

As much as I am on holiday and my first thought was - well the obvious choice would be to relish spending quality time with my family but.. but, as I was walking the dog at 7am as I have been doing most mornings (on the beach, as you're not allowed on the beach with dogs "really" but it's deserted at that time AND I pick up any poo AND I walk right on the edge where the tide comes in so it's hardly the crime of the century but please don't tell anyone....), it occurred to me - as mums and wives and busy women, I bet many of us spend way too little time on "us".   

It's probably not what they intended but as someone who gets emails every day from people saying thank you for giving them back some confidence in how they look which has, in turn, made a huge difference in how they feel, I don't think this is as selfish as it could initially seem.  Our families all rely on us and the stronger and happier we feel in ourselves, the better a mother/wife/daughter/sister/grandmother/friend we can be.

So today, I want to look at relishing those five minutes every day that we should be spending on ourselves.  We deserve it.  We also deserve the odd treat to make those five minutes that little bit more special. 

I've been meaning to do a beauty blog for ages so this is actually perfect timing - the list of things that I've been buying has been getting longer, so today, to kick off my little run of beauty blogs (I have a couple more in the pipeline of things I've been trying and loving), I thought I'd bring you my favourites that you can pick up with the school uniform (and can I confess to being all the smug and having done the shorts and trousers run before the school holidays. Note to boys - do NOT grow too much please).

First up - lippie.  If there's anything that's guaranteed to bring an instant smile to my face with the minimal of effort, it's a new lippie.  

And this one was recommended to me by a make up artist on a shoot recently.  It's the perfect nude lip (it looks super pink, it's not!)

Supermodel Smile Lip Glossy from Rosie £12.50

I have since got this one which is slightly peachier (it looks scarily coral but it's really really not.  Full on coral I cannot do).  It's genuinely Summer in a balm.

My Best Girl Friend Lip Glossy from Rosie £12.50

The other balm I'm loving (and yes I do have one of these in every bag and yes I treat myself to another one every time I nip in to get food...) is from Pixi.   A huge selection of these, but I love the nude one. 

Tinted Brilliance Lip Balm from Pixi £12

But starting with the most important part of my day - cleansing. I have said it a gazillion times (I say it in every beauty blog I do), my favourite cleanser is Emma Hardie Moringa Balm.  Use morning and night - I also use to take off all my eye make up too.  I was using a separate (new) eye make up remover (I've tried two) and developed the most horrendous eczema round my eyes (which I did harp on about quite a lot over in Insta stories).  I tried so many remedies to get rid of it.  What worked?  Well - a smidge of hydrocortisone and using this instead of the specialist eye make up remover. 

Amazing Face Starter Kit £25

Another brand I love is L'Occitane.  Their Precious cream is perfect for the first signs of ageing (I'm deluding myself that I'm just "starting" to age...).  In all seriousness though, I do find, the richer serums and creams for more mature skin (weeps) are too heavy and don't sink into my skin like it should. 

Whereas this, I can use both serum and cream and feel fully plumped and moisturised as opposed to greasy and heavy which is what richer combinations can leave me feeling. 

The cleanser is also gorgeously light (although nothing will beat a balm for me - complete horses for courses though.  I do like this one in the shower as I can wash it off without the need for a cloth.  Perfect for morning cleansing).

Immortelle Starter Kit £22 from L'Occitane

Or the cream on its own which is my favourite. 

Immortelle Precious Cream from L'Occitane £52

When it comes to holiday - this year, I'm treating myself to a Nuxe set.  I've just ordered this to click and collect on Saturday morning (nothing like leaving it till the last minute...) as it's buy one get one half price. 

Tanning Oil for Face & Body from Nuxe £18

Although this is the no brainer for a weekend away...for you only.. not for slathering over the children!  I also love these kits for hand luggage only.  I surely cannot be the only one who has had something confiscated at security having totally forgotten I'd squirrelled it away in my suitcase.

Sun Care Travel Kit from Nuxe £19

And this because I am obsessed with the Nuxe fragrance and can't wait to see how it smells...

Delicious Fragrance Water from Nuxe £26

And THIS.  Do not forget your hair and then spend the next year wishing you had as it's turned to straw (yes that was me one year... ok maybe more than one year...).

Sun Milky Oil for Hair £12 from Nuxe (half price offer)

Speaking of hair - I have been over the moon to finally find a colourist I am in love with at the Josh Wood Atelier in London (if you want some "me" time - a trip there is exactly what you need.  BLISS) but if you can't get there to see them (and I recommend Mads for colour and Sophie for a cut) then the next best thing is their range at M&S (which they also sell in the salon, it is that good).

Pro Brilliance Shampoo from Josh Wood £12.50

And the matching hair mask.  There is a conditioner but with my hair being so dry, I always use a mask (I only wash my hair once to twice a week - MAX - MINGER alert....).

Pro Brilliance Embrace Hair Mask £15 from Josh Wood 

The one hair product I also can't live without is a pre conditioner.  Now, I'm not going to lie, these are a pain in the behind to do as I always forget BUT it's worth it.  And this is the king of all pre conditioners.  Leave on for as long as you want (hours would be good if you have wire wool hair like me).

I first tried it in a trial pack that is the ideal holiday companion as well.  

Soft & Shiny Trial Pack from Philip Kingsley (I also do like the shampoo and conditioner actually) £19

I usually use the normal one but would love to try the new two that are out. 

Geranium & Neroli Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley £19.50

Or the extra large size (and there is currently an offer on of a free towel if you buy two Philip Kingsley products). 

Coconut Breeze Elasticizer £33

However, I am definitely going to try this one - if I can get MORE moisture, that would only be a good thing!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme £18

And what makes the waiting around with a conditioner on more palatable? 

Why that would be a candle.  Is there anything else more appropriate for spoiling yourself.  If I could only pick one thing it would be a candle.  Actually it would be a candle or a lipstick - it would depend on if I were treating myself, going out or staying in.  Both would be epic. 

Happiness Candle from Neom £30

So I say that this was a selfish post and I was going to make sure I look after "me" today but I actually had the pleasure of spending most of the day with my youngest.  Shrouded in guilt as the other two had gone off on bikes they had hired with the husband and I, as I am such a RUBBISH mother, haven't yet taught the 8yr old to ride one.  In my defence, we do live on a country road with no pavement on the edge of a town and so unless they ride around the garden (and a massive garden it isn't), they can't just go off on their own. 

But that's actually a pretty pants excuse (the husband also had a really bad cycling accident about three years ago and went from being a super keen cyclist who took the elder two out every weekend - the 10yr old could ride a bike without stabilisers at three - to not wanting to go back out on a bike at all.  And I do NOT cycle.  Seriously, am I the only person you've ever heard of who has failed their cycling proficiency test?  Rather embarrassing revelation right there...).  And so that will be remedied with the ordering of new bikes when we get home but for today - he was a complete angel and we went on a two hour walk together.  It was a complete and utter pleasure.  He is the best company, he kept telling me he loved me (I could EAT him), we laughed, we joked, we played games and it was the ultimate treat for me. 

He can also take a mean photo.

Issa dress - Rixo 
Rosie Panama - Penmayne of London
Earrings - Mango
Sunglasses - Chloe from Very Exclusive

We are now all off out for dinner, having had the most amazing day and looking forward to another day of fabulous weather tomorrow (before I tackle the M25 driving home on a Friday night.  EEK).

I'd love to hear what your favourite "me" time treats are, be them five minutes every day or a day a month.  I'm sure you'll all agree they are important and if you take a moment to recharge, the smallest time out can make the hugest difference.

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    1. I don't very often have 'me' time but have just spent a lovely evening with friends at a beauty event in Selfridges. Got some real treats with a couple of glasses of wine thrown in!
      Have a great trip to Ibiza. Look forward to your amusing Insta stories!

    2. That's what I tend to do other than grab 5 mins here or there. I LOVE a night out with the girls. Sounds amazing - how do I not know about these events?! And yes - there should be some interesting insta stories...!!!

  2. I really love it when you do beauty posts Kat, there's always something new that pops up that I want to try! You know me, I'm a beauty product junkie (yes, I'm the person who'd rather buy 4 lipsticks than a new pair of shoes!! ) but there are always new things that have passed me by and I STILL haven't tried the EH cleansing balm. X

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    If you would rather have women hit on YOU, instead of spending your nights prowling around in crowded pubs and restaurants...

    Then I encourage you to watch this short video to find out a weird secret that has the potential to get you your very own harem of beautiful women: