Funny stuff happens post-bairn. Hair growth fizzles out [barely shaved my legs in 7 weeks]; dry skin becomes suddenly oily again [the t-zone is back to teen-sheen status]; eye bags sprout eye bags for their eye bags, and then, all of a sudden, get used to sleeplessness and disappear, all by themselves [or is it the new 'kinder' mirror we've installed in the bathroom?!]; smooth as a baby's bottom skin develops barnacled patches [back of arms, like silk for 40 weeks, are now more sandpapery] and the hairs on my head are falling out in clumps, as the scalp relinquishes its stronghold on the excess pregnancy strands [I shed a daily hair rug for the bathroom floor. Thank gawd [and Mr Dyson] for my handheld hoover]. So, with new highs and lows comes new opportunities to TEST TEST TEST, and this I have been doing with renewed relish now that the 8-week-old is learning to sleep better at night [hoorah!].
What do I like?
Creme de la Mer The Body Lotion - After trialling oils from Mama Mio, Aromatherapy Associates and Erbaviva [all lovely, nourishing, great-smelling], I went back to this baby which is still half-full as I abandoned it while pregnant. Well, yes, it really is incomparably fab and leaves even awkward skin very soft. The back of arms are already looking & feeling better. I'm just not looking forward to re-purchase time. Ouch.
Origins Never a Dull Moment Scrub – Now, from all that I’ve tried & trialed & tested and learned, I know that rough-grain scrubs are no good for skin [not even the body]. Much better to look for fine Microdermabrasion-style formulas, or chemical exfoliants, such as those found in Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask. But, well, this one breaks the rules. I first purchased it while temping as a counter girl at Selfridges [13 years ago!], and though I’ve not used it in the interim, I was most glad to rediscover it last month. It smells lush & fruity, leaves skin very rosy and perky, and makes light work of rough patches. Best of all, it doesn’t leave skin sore or ‘scrubbed’ feeling.
Sue Devitt Micro-Aquatic Hydrating Marine Minerals Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 – Sue wins no prizes for snappy product names, but she does gain plaudits with this gorgeous, dewy, light base. Many bases claim to moisturise yet somehow highlight dry patches instead – but this is different. It makes skin softer, spongier and smoother. It also gives great glow & wears well throughout the day [tip: pat it into skin that is still slightly ‘moist’ after the application of your morning face cream].
And what just isn’t getting the baby bathed?
Origins Clean Energy Cleanser – There’s nothing glaringly wrong with this – it feels nice enough, smells zingy & contains nice things [olive/kukui/macadamia nut oils], but it just didn’t do anything special either. Skin was a bit shiny at times, dry at others and congestion on the chin was not kept at bay. It is absolutely dandy for removing a thin layer of slap, but if you want a deep, nourishing, purifying or balancing cleanse, there are better suds on the shelves.
The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Tint – There was a time when I used this a lot – before dates with the blokie; before dashing out to buy milk; on trains before meetings... because I believed it gave my lips a gorgeous bitten stain and cheeks a hearty, healthy flush. Now, 8 years in the beauty biz later, I’ve come to realise that this is seriously lacking. It’s watery consistency means the colour is never uniform – in my case, the insides of my lips always pink up more than the outer bits, which makes me look as though I’ve been sucking on home-made Ribena popsicles [not a great look for a 30-year-old professional]. Even after reapplying, layer upon layer, I found it utterly impossible to get an even colour across the entire lip. On cheeks? Even worse. Some bits of skin take, others do not – making the skin look a bit rashy. Consigned to the bin this one [and those fond memories, to the re-visited and corrected annals of time].