31.3.12

Nails of the Week- Red Carpet Manicure in Violetta Darling


Red Carpet Manicure is the first company to sell an at home version of the gel manicure kit, most other brands are professional treatments available only to salon's unless you buy them on ebay like I do. I noticed that Harvey Nicks stock this brand and so I took a stroll over there to check out their Beyond Beauty department. I chose Violetta Darling which is a gorgeous pastel lilac shade which I then applied at home with Nicole by OPI's Make a Comet-ment as an accent nail. 


I also picked up a bottle of Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer, on the advice of the lovely Honey's Mummy who also suggested that I cure my nails for double the time, all to prevent peeling. So, fingers crossed this time!


I pained all my nails with Violetta Darling, and layered the Nicole by OPI shade over the top of my ring finger. I find that normal nail polish lasts longer this way.


The application of the RCM gel polish was incredible, the best I have tried so far. It is just the right consistency, not too thin and not too gloopy, so it went on really smoothly. The brush was also really precise. Now I'm just waiting to see how well it lasts, I've been wearing it a few days now and it still looks immaculate other than the tiniest bit of lifting at the edges.


I absolutely loved Harvey Nichols Beauty Beyond department, choc full of gorgeous nail polishes. They stock the full range of Butter London, and also these Nailease strips which look very similar to my beloved Incoco. I can't wait to try it out, I chose coral and will be taking these away with me to apply over Easter to save me lugging a whole load of nail paraphernalia all the way to Greece.


Here's the link to Red Carpet Manicure's webpage LINK!


29.3.12

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eye Shadow

Eyeshadow is one of those funny make up items that isn't really essential to my daily make up routine, a bit like lippie I guess. Yet if I have time to apply it, it can completely change my look and how I feel. It stays that way for the first few hours, until it melts in to the creases of my eyelid until it closely resembles a crude oil slick. But if you're someone who is on the go most of the day, you don't really want be worrying about eye makeup.

Luckily, I discovered cream eye shadow a few years back when researching wedding make up that would stay put in a hot climate, we got married in Athens in September 2009- it rained! Now I almost always use a MAC painterly (a neutral cream shadow) as a primer for powder eyeshadow. Bobbi Brown's Long wear cream shadow is excellent and works really well for a smokey eye, Benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow is also pretty fabulous and stays put until you remove it.



Chanel recently entered into the foray of cream shadows with their Illusion d'Ombre which I treated myself to a few weeks ago with my Boots Advantage points ( if you haven't signed up to their parenting club- do it, you get 10 points per £1! )



Emerveille is a really beautiful neutral simmery peachy champagne shade. It comes in the standard luxury Chanel packaging which includes a cute little brush that I have yet to use, because I prefer to apply this with my fingers. The cream dries pretty quicky so you have to work fast to blend it for the desired effect.


I have tried to photograph it on, but Mr J is away at the mo with the good camera and so these are iphone pics, they aren't great but you get the overall idea that Emerveille gives a barely there nude effect. ( please excuse the excess baggage under my eyes!)



Overall, whilst I love this shade, and yes his probably does last longer than a standard powder eyeshadow, I think there are longer lasting cream shadows out there that cost far less. Benefit does a very very similar shade called RSVP which is almost half the price and works just as well if not better!

Oh and one extremely obvious tip, don't do what I did and make sure you screw on the lid tightly!! These dry out VERY quickly otherwise.

23.3.12

Read of the Week- Yoga for Mother and Baby


Through out almost the entire 9 months before little E was born, I attended a fantastic yoga class over in Islington, discovered by my sister who was also pregnant at the time! I worked right up until a few weeks before the birth and so I really enjoyed this 1 hour a week class where I could totally switch off, relax and yet still exercise gently.
One of the reasons my sister chose this particular company was because they also offered mother and baby yoga, so about 10 weeks after E's arrival I was super excited to begin classes with our lovely yoga teacher, Veronique, once again! Estella really loves her weekly yoga class with her cousin, my sister and I both look forward to doing some yoga whilst keeping the little ones entertained. Sadly, once they are able to crawl ( and my little niece is pretty much ready, E flails on her tummy like a wind up bath frog- very cute) the classes are no longer very practical :(
So, I did a little research over at the local bookstore to see if I could find any baby yoga books so that we could carry on at home. I found this excellent book by Francoise Barbira Freedman called Yoga for Mother and Baby, which uses very similar principles to what we have learned in class. I don't know how easy it would be to follow the yoga in the book if you have never been to a class before but for me, it is a great reminder of what we have been practising over the past few months as many of the rhymes and postures are the same. I mentioned this book to our yoga teacher and she tells me that the author was one of the first people to introduce mother and baby yoga to the UK.



The book is full of images and step-by step guides to take you through the yoga poses and stretches so I really hope that both E and I will be able to keep up the yoga to some degree, it has helped no end with post pregnancy aches and pains!

I bought my book from Amazon, here's the link if you'd like to take a look LINK!



21.3.12

My Current Favourite Lippie

At the moment, I can't get enough of Mac's Shy Girl and Impassioned lipsticks. You couldn't get two more different colours, one is nearly nude and the other is a vibrant fuchsia. I mentioned Impassioned in a post a while back HERE! but I love it so much, I figured it deserved a post of it's very own.

Here's why I love it:

- It's an outfit all in it's own right, it doesn't matter what else you're wearing.
- It stays on so well I have to remove it at night with baby wipes
- I get a ton of compliments whenever I wear it and that doesn't happen very often otherwise!
- I got it free with Mac's 'Back to Mac' recycling program. Take in 6 empties and you get a free lippie.
  Here's some more info Link!

And here's what it looks like on. Before you ask, I swear I didn't deliberately match my lipstick to my pram....... or  to the frozen yogurt ;)



Oh and here's the link to Impassioned the Mac website: Link!

19.3.12

Beauty advice all the way from Essex

So many women say that they bloomed when they became pregnant,  but oh not me!! I spent nine months ( and quite a few after) looking like a pasty, spotty whale. Whilst I have managed to shed about half my baby weight and still trying to shift the rest, I have yet to get rid of the nasty acne around my chin area.


Anyway, if you missed it, there was an episode of TOWIE the other week where Chloe Sims recommended the use of Sudocrem to get rid of spots. I never thought I would be taking beauty tips from the TOWIE girls and least of all admitting to it! Although I do find their make up kinda fascinating....



I don't use actually use Sudocrem on E, I use Zinc and Castor oil  which is not only amazing ( we have yet to succumb to the dreaded nappy rash) but also comes at a bargaintastic £2.05 for 250ml which lasts forever!
Here's the link LINK! 
But like most Mamas I did have a couple of pots of Sudocrem lying around, so for the past week I have been giving it a go.

Guess what? It actually works!!! My skin is clearing up beautifully, and all for the purse friendly price of £7.04 for a whopping 400ml HERE!

17.3.12

Read of the week- French Children Don't Throw Food

As trivial as it may sound, one of the things I dreaded about becoming a mama was that so many of the restaurants that I have enjoyed over the years would suddenly become out of bounds when you have a child in tow. I soon discovered that tiny sleeping babies are relatively portable and in her first few months little E came with us everywhere we went, from lunch at Pret to dinner at the Bluebird. When she is a little bit older, I really hope that we will be able to continue eating out at nice restaurants ( at least, that's the plan) so I thought this would make an interesting read.

 The author herself is an American mother bringing up three children in Paris and it is actually more an observation of French parenting with a few anecdotes and tips along the way rather than an actual parenting manual. I spent a year at university in Paris and whilst at the time, I was paying more attention to the shops and nightlife than the behaviour of French children, I can relate to many of the author's stories about Parisian attitudes. So far, I'm really enjoying this book, it's written in quite a chatty style so it's super easy to read. There are chapters covering the myths of how Parisian women get back in to their skinnies so quickly, how they get their children to sleep through the night and why French children are relatively unfussy eaters.

If you like the sound of this book, here's a link to Amazon Link!


16.3.12

The Mother of all Questions


I was tagged on twitter by the lovely Aimee of Everything's Rosey to answer 'The Mother of all questions'. Seeing as it's almost Mother's day, I thought it was quite apt. So, here goes........

1. Sum up parenthood

The most difficult job I have ever done, but by far the most rewarding

2. What is your favourite part of the day?

When my little girl wakes up, she is always super smiley and cute. I wish I could be on such good form first thing in the morning but I'm so not a morning person!

3. Are you going on holiday this year, if so what type of hols are you taking your little one/s to?

We have family in both Athens and Singapore so we will probably be visiting them both at some point this year and will hopefully get away for a few days to one of the Islands.

4. Have you tried baby led weaning? If so what did you think?

No, we haven't tried it and I don't really know all that much about it other than that it sounds very messy!!

5.Whats one piece of advice you would give to an expectant first-time mum/dad? 

Get as much rest as you can before the baby is born. The shops will still be there after the baby arrives and so as long as you have the basics you're fine.

6. If anything what would you do different during the first few months of your first-born's life?

I would have listened to my instincts rather than nonsense from the health visitor. My little one had staphyloccocal infection when she was around a week old, the health visitor told me it was heat rash and then berated me when I took the baby to the GP for a more accurate diagnosis rather than to a feeding class she had arranged for me.


7. What's your favourite 'me time' activity?

Erm painting my nails or getting my hair blowdried

8. Whats your biggest worry?

I worry that if I go back to work, even part time, I will miss out on major milestones in Estella's childhood that I should be there for. eg her first words or her first steps

9.  What makes you smile?

At seven months, E already has a great sense of humour, she has inherited that from her Daddy who is THE funniest person I have ever met. I laugh constantly when I am around them both.

10. How do you make your little one/s smile?

She loves being tickled. Silly voices, the songs we learn in baby yoga and me jumping around the room like an idiot usually work too.

Now I have to think up questions for some more bloggers to answer so,

@mummyandmonkey
@mummymey_hem
@karenspofw

Here are your questions:

1. Sum up parenthood
2. What is your favourite part of the day?

3. Are you going on holiday this year, if so what type of hols are you taking your little one/s to?
4. Have you used any parenting manuals such as Gina Ford or Jo Tantum? If so what did you think?
5.If you could go back and give yourself some advice just before your baby arrived, what would you say? 
6. If anything what would you do different during the first few months of your first-born's life?
7. What's your favourite 'me time' activity?
8. Whats your biggest worry?
9.  What makes you smile?
10. How do you make your little one/s smile?

Nails of the week- OPI Gelcolor in Malaga Wine

Some people can recall what they wore on significant days in their lives, others remember what the weather was like or perhaps what perfume they wore. Well, I remember what nail polish I had on, did I mention I was a teeny bit obsessed??

The day Mr Jones asked me to marry him, I was wearing Malaga Wine by OPI


On my wedding day I wore Cute as a button by Essie


On my honeymoon, I wore Malaga Wine, again!


The day my daughter was born, I wore Tiger Blossom by Gelish



So as you can imagine, when OPI announced that they were introducing their own gel polish  called Gelcolor I was as excited as only a self diagnosed nail polishaholic could be!!! The range would consist of the companies best selling shade which of course included one of my favourites, Malaga Wine. It's just one of those colours that always looks chic, you have to try really hard to make it look bad no matter how scruffy the rest of you may be.

Now that I have finally gotten my hit and given OPI's gel a whirl, I'm embarassed to say that I was just the slightest bit dissapointed with it. The brush is no where near as good as the brush on their regular polish, causing the gel to be quite thick in consistency and consequently harder to apply neatly. It also means that the colour is much deeper so the effect is more like four coats of regular polish. But seriously, it's not enough to make me complain about getting at least a week's chip free wear out of my favourite shade!!

Below, I have the regular Malaga Wine on my index finger and the other two fingers have gel, you can see the gel is just the slightest bit darker.


Some more picage:


If you missed my post on DIY gel polish click HERE!

And to find out how to remove it, clickHERE!

Thanks for reading! have a great weekend everyone x


13.3.12

Super duper hair product discovery!

Here's a quick post on a fantastic new hair product I recently discovered. I have been using Moroccan Oil for a while now, but my bottle finally ran out after about a year a and a half of constant use!! Whilst I have no complaints I quite like to try new products, all in the name of research of course!! On a trip to my local hair salon, I enquired about Kerastase's Elixir Ultime and instead they sent me away with a sample of Redken's multi talented All Soft Argan-6 Oil, so called because funnily enough it has six different uses:
  • Heat protector
  • Shine enhancer
  • Post shampoo conditioning treatment
  • Pre shampoo moisturiser
  • To smooth hair post blow dry
  • Over night treatment
Here's some more info from Redken themselves Link!



I haven't really been using it long enough to comment on any improvement to my hair itself but on the whole my hair feels super soft ( usually my hair feels like a brillo pad so this is a definite plus!) I love that I only have to remember to use one product these days, which is also brilliant for travel, leaving me with plenty of room in my washbag for sachets of calpol and tubes of dentinox....

The product itself feels just like any other hair oil. A little goes a long way so you don't have to use much at all and unlike so many hair products it has a very subtle and inoffensive caramel scent.

I picked up mine from Beauty Flash Shop Here

7.3.12

Just a random little shopping post



Today we trudged over to Regent Street in the rain to meet my sister-in-law and my niece at Anthropologie for a browse around. I love their Kings Road shop, it reminds me of an old antiques emporium with so much to discover. Initially this one felt a bit like a grown up Urban Outfitters but as we wandered around I started to feel as though I'd quite like to take the entire shop home with me, either that or move in. I'm still thinking about the gillet below but not sure that pink suede and baby sick are a good combo!






Conveniently, it was raining far to much to wait for the bus so little E and I sheltered in a few more shops. Look what I found in Topshop.... Yep, they have wedge heeled trainers!! Not loving the zip at the side though, so the hunt continues....


I did however pick up these bargaintastic flats in New Look. At the time I thought they looked quite Louboutin-esque with the chrome and perspex but now I fear I'm suffering from buyers remorse!


I finally managed to track down Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Emerveille. Quick translation: Chanel's long wear cream eye shadow in a peachy/ gold shade. The best part is that I got it totally free with my Boots points. Hooray for the advantage card :) 


Cream shadows are brilliant for busy mamas, they last all day and are super easy to apply! I will be doing a blog post on these soon.
Thanks for bearing with me and my random shopping post, promise to write something more relevant in the next few days!




5.3.12

My Ultimate 'Pram-pushing ' Shoe! ;)

Now I am very much a 'Trainers should only be worn in the gym' kinda gal! But I could totally make an exception for these Isabel Marant Perkins leather and suede sneakers ( if my bank balance were to allow it!!)

Since I became pregnant last year, I have hardly been able to wear my beloved heels and the concealed wedge on these just looks so comfy!!! Even Boyonce has been sported wearing these whilst carrying little Blue Ivy in her arms. I'm hoping Office come out with a high street version sharpish!!!

1.3.12

Stokke Tripp Trapp Review

There is lots of excitement in the Jones household, because our new Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair arrived the other day from Back in Action and we are loving it!!



We already have the Xplory and the Sleepi so you could say we are Stokke converts. If you have been following my blog you will know that we were undecided between the Stokke and the Bloom high chairs. Well we came to a compromise with me getting to chose the colour scheme. The Tripp trapp comes in a huge variety of colours, but I felt the white went best with our decor. To make the chair a little more fun, I went for the Purple baby seat and the purple tails cushion. The Tails cushion is soooo cute, it has a little animal design in pink and purple shades AND it is also water repellant, which we love!!!




I put the chair together myself. It wasn't complicated taking me about thirty minutes or so. I just wish that someone had told me before not to tighten the screws until the end because I ended up losening them time and time again while I added the chair back and the footrests etc.



This high chair doesn't come with a tray, so the great thing about this is that little E gets to sit at the dining table with us which she absolutely loves. Instead I ordered the Table Top, which is like a transparent tray that attaches very firmly to the dining table with little suckers. It comes with four different templates that you can change around easily. We also bought the harness although I haven't used this yet. You can just about see the tray below



All in all I am super happy that Mr Jones convinced me to chose this high chair over the Bloom one. It is really teeny and takes up hardly any room in our already packed flat. Like most Stokke products it is rather cleverly designed to grow with your baby. As your child gets older, you can remove the baby seat, lower the foot rests etc. So although initially the Tripp Trapp seems on the expensive side, you can actually justify this by the years of use you will get out of it compared to other brands.





Happy Saint David's Day!!!!


Happy Saint David's day to all our Welshie and semi-Welshie friends!!!! x

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