I honestly think that the transition from summer to autumn is the most dramatic and brutal of all season changes. The others seem more kind and gradual, this one feels like it happens over night. As soon as the kids go back to school the temperature drops like a stone, the leaves turn that reddish brown colour and the night’s really pull in. This transition is also brutal on my skin and my emotions. I love summer and always feel a little low as it comes to an end – but I also appreciate that Autumn is a beautiful time of year and I couldn’t live in a country without proper seasons.

Anyway, enough waffling about the seasons. Last night I gave myself a little home facial to scrub away all that dead skin, brighten my complexion and add lots of moisture. It also gave me some relaxing ‘me-time’ to recharge the batteries once the kids were in bed and asleep.

Looking at my skin I knew it needed a little pick-me-up, as it was looking dull and dehydrated. Here are the products I reached for, for my little home facial treat…

STEP 1 : CLEANSING (Double Cleanse)
Dermalogica Precleanse

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleansing 

STEP 2 : EXFOLIATING

Origins Never A Dull Moment Face Polish

STEP 3 : MASK

Clarins SOS Hydration Mask

STEP 4 : TREATMENT

Time Bomb Youth Juice Secret Oi

I simply lay in my bed while the creamy mask did its thing with a gorgeous ‘Tranquillity’ Neom candle burning next to me on the bedside table.

This whole routine only took me about twenty minutes but it really helped to lift my spirits. I cleared my mind and felt comfortably cocooned and relaxed lying in my bed. These five products also left my skin feeling incredibly nourished and smooth, and the gorgeous smell of the Youth Juice Secret Oil lingered on my skin all night.

I must admit beauty products and gorgeous aromas make me very happy, so I knew that this treat to the skin and senses was exactly what I needed last night.

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Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

I’ve been wanting to try this much hyped product since it launched earlier this year. I’m a big fan and believer in the double cleanse, so this product is right up my street.

So what did I already know… Two cleansers in one pot, created by iconic beauty brand Pixi and super-star beauty blogger Caroline Hirons. It’s also the ‘IT’ beauty launch of 2017!

If you don’t already know, double cleansing is basically cleansing (or washing) your face twice. You’ll be shocked at the amount of makeup/dirt that’s left on skin after just one cleanse. Honestly, try it for yourself – wash your face with your usual cleanser/face wash and then cleanse your skin a second time. You’ll see that there is still some dirt and make-up coming off! I’ve noticed a big difference in the appearance of my skin since I’ve started doing this.

Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

Now this product takes the ‘cleansing twice’ theory a little further, as there are two different formulas in one pot, each with a different cleansing function. One side is a solid cleansing oil that melts on contact with your skin and the other side has a more luxurious and nourishing cleansing cream.

Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

First you cleanse your skin with the solid balm that melts into an oil cleanser, wash that off with a cloth and warm water, then apply the sumptuous cream cleanser and remove it in the same way. This is a quick and easy way to ‘double cleanse’, and for my money well worth hype. I really rate this product, it’s already up there with my absolute favourite cleansing products. Caroline Hirons definitely knows what makes a good skincare product and this collaboration is testament to that.

Pixi Double Cleanse pots are available from the Pixi website and Marks &Spencer, and retails at £24.

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I thought I was being so organised at the beginning of the summer by getting all the girls’ uniforms sorted for the new school year. I got their skirts, dresses, blouses and cardigans but I knew it was probably best to wait until the end of the summer to get their shoes. There’s always a risk in doing this of course, because there’s a chance the shops will have run out of the size you need but then if you get the shoes too early, you could find that their feet have grown over the summer. Anyway, organised or not the shoes were left to the last minute and I was starting to panic.

I’ve mentioned before that Marks and Spencer is my one-stop school shop (well, apart from the logo embroidery shop that we have to use) and that I’ve always gone to M&S for Lili’s school shoes. I find their quality brilliant and the price reasonable compared to other high street shops.

So as it turns out, I didn’t need to panic because as soon as we stepped into M&S I realised that they were totally geared up for the ‘last minute mum’ and the rails were fully stocked with shoes of all styles and sizes. I already knew that they’d raised their game this year with a personalised measuring and fitting service (at selected stores only). As you can see, we took them up on this service (and no, you don’t have to book in for this, like some shops), it was great to know that I was getting the right size and fit for the girls.

This year Marks and Spencer have also increased their size and fitting options with half sizes, as well as wide, regular and narrow fit. All this means that you can feel assured that your child will have a perfectly fitting shoe.

As it turns out Lili’s feet are a narrow 13 and a half, so these new options really did help her find the perfect size, while Poppy is a regular size 11. They both chose their favourite style from a wide selection of velcro fastening, black leather school shoes, so now we are ready for school.

While we were there we also got Iris’ feet measured and fitted for her first pair of ‘big girl’ walking shoes. She did so well, I think she was excited to be following in her big sisters’ foot steps (literally), which made her feel very happy.

If you can’t get to a store, the M&S website have a great measuring print-out you can use to measure your child’s feet at home and then place an order online. However, if you can get to a store offering the serve I really do recommend it.

So that’s it, the summer is over and it’s time for the new school year to begin. Autumn is very much in the air and the leaves are starting to fall. The school bag is packed and Lili’s looking forward to seeing her friends on Wednesday. Poppy will have to wait another few days before she starts her school adventure next Monday.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

 

 

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I tell you what, the beauty industry can be pretty confusing at times… first we had foundations, then tinted moisturisers, then BB Creams and now we have CC Creams. Okay, CC Creams have been around for a few years now but you get my point. Each one does a slightly different version of the same job.

So incase you don’t already know BB stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm, whereas CC stands for Colour Control or Colour Correction. Just like BB creams they have hydrating properties, SPF protection and usually a semi-sheer coverage. However, a CC Cream has the added benefit of colour-correcting technology to improve uneven skin tones. Yes, it’s true some CC creams seem to be little more than tinted moisturisers, but there are some that achieve their true purpose and believe me the difference is big!

I think I may have found one such CC Cream! IT Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+CC Cream (£30, 32ml) gives great coverage, without being heavy, drying or too oily. It goes on beautifully and feels really smooth and hydrating on the skin. It also smells gorgeous and offers an impressive SPF50+ protection, which means it really does tick all of my skincare turned makeup boxes. I’m a big believer in sun screen and know without question that sun damage is my number one skincare concern. When we’re on holiday I never go below a SPF of 50 (for face or body) and always wear a big sun hat to cover my face.

I think I may have found one such CC Cream! IT Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+CC Cream (£30, 32ml) gives great coverage, without being heavy, drying or too oily.

I’ve been testing the ‘light’ shade which is fine for my skin tone but I think I’d go for the ‘medium’ version next time, as I found this a little too light without using a bronzer to warm things up. Having said that, I was testing it over the last month while on holiday in Spain and although I do my best to protect my face from the sun it does tend to tan quite quickly. So maybe this shade will be perfect for me in a month or so.

Regardless of the shade, this really is a good CC Cream and worth the £30 price tag. What you get with this CC Cream is essentially a hydrating, anti-ageing moisturiser, a high sun protector and a foundation all rolled-in to one product. When you look at it like that the price is very justifiable and it will save you time!

I think I may have found one such CC Cream! IT Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+CC Cream (£30, 32ml) gives great coverage, without being heavy, drying or too oily.

IT Cosmetics are available to buy from Selfridges online or QVC.

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If you’re a fan of Decleor (like me!) or fancy trying some Decleor products, you definitely need to read this post! QVC are currently offering this amazing Decleor bundle, which happens to include five of my favourite hydrating products. The bundle includes products for your face and body and will honestly have you feeling like you’ve turned your bathroom into a luxury Spa.

The 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection includes…

Aroma Solution Prolagene Energising Gel (400ml supersize)

This is a fabulous multi-purpose gel that has been designed for face and body, to revitalise and tone the look and feel of your skin. It’s also really hydrating and one of my favourite summertime body products – I use it instead of a body lotion, I just love how quickly and easily the blue gel melts into my skin.

Decleor 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection

Aroma Cleanse Alguaromes Toning Shower & Bath Gel (400ml supersize)

If you’re after a shower gel (it can also be used in the bath) that brings the spa to your bathroom (with aromas of lemon, lavender and seaweed extract) then this is the one for you! It’s an invigorating wash that cleanses away impurities and leaves your skin feeling fresh and energised. I just love it, especially at this time of year.

Decleor 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection

Hydra Floral Light Cream (50ml)

This is one of Decleor’s hero products, a hydrating day moisturiser that offers 24 hour care. It’s light in texture but packs a massive moisturising punch, and a product I’ve used on and off for years. My face always feels soft and smooth after using this one.

Decleor 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection

Hydra Floral White Petal Skin Perfecting Concentrate (30ml)

This is a new product but one that’s really impressed me. It’s a lightweight serum-gel formulated to refine the look of your skin, and promote a more luminous complexion. Since using it I’ve noticed that my pores have almost disappeared and my complexion looks a lot brighter. I love finding new products like this, that really work.

Decleor 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection

Aromessence Neroli Balm (15ml)

After two weeks in the sun my skin is in desperate need of this intensive night-time treatment. It’s a rich balm that helps to revive tired-looking, dehydrated skin. I think of it as my ‘supercharged’ night cream, perfect for when my skin needs a little extra TLC.

Decleor 5 Piece Hydrating Perfecting Collection

If you were to buy all five of these products individually your bill would come to a jaw-dropping £190 but QVC are currently offering these five products in a bundle for £91, which is pretty amazing!! I really recommend all of them as a great introduction to this gorgeous french skincare brand.

I was not paid for this post but I was sent the products and feel like this deal is worth shouting about! 

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