It occurred to me a few weeks ago how little time I dedicate to myself these days.

I used to take so much joy in playing around with different make up looks whilst getting ready in the mornings, or having a lovely relaxing bath at the weekend followed up with a full body-smothering of moisturiser or oil, or even just taking an hour before bed at night to read a book together with Jason.

Naturally, the time I have available to dedicate to all this was cut down suddenly and massively with the arrival of Ottilie, one year, 10 months, and two weeks ago! I mean, it isn’t as though I’m running around with her without catching a breath from dawn until midnight, but it’s just that my responsibilities and general life admin have increased 10 fold, my priorities have changed, and good GOD the general tiredness of parenting leaves very little energy spare for indulgent bedtime routines!


But a couple of months ago, I realised that my lack of self care was leaving me feeling massively run down, and a bit drab. I was throwing on the barest bit of makeup in the car each morning, never taking any pride in my appearance, and wearing the same old clothes day in day out.

So I decided to set myself a series of week-long self-care challenges, all with the end goal of seeing whether making effort to take care and time for myself would have an impact on my overall wellbeing. And of course, I want to blog about it here too!


And the first of those challenges has been to set up a nice, neat makeup area in our bathroom at home, and put on a full face of makeup every day!

I’ve never been into super heavy makeup, but some days it’s been fun to wear foundation, blush and bronzer, a couple of different types of eyeshadow…the whole shebang! Usually on mornings when Ottie’s in nursery and I’ve actually got some time on my hands for once, ha! But more often than not I’ve returned to a very fresh, minimal, pared down look that’s made me feel put together but not at all weighed down by make up.

My friends at Birchbox actually sent over a few of their favourite products for me to try out when I spoke to them about my idea for this challenge, which was so kind and also made putting on my makeup each morning extra fun!

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And they truly have the best taste, because a couple of those products have become firm favourites so fast that I’ll be repurchasing the very second they run out! I’ve been raving the Lumene Beauty Serum ever since the first day I tried it, and honestly I haven’t worn a thing else on my skin in six weeks. It gives the most effortless glow, just the right amount of ultra light coverage, and feels nourishing too.

The Stila palette in the photograph above too has become a ‘can’t be without it’ product, since it combines eye shadows in exactly the right shades to put together the perfect neutral or smokey eye, and two gorgeous blushers too! A time-saver, through and through…

And that Bourjois matte liquid lipstick has been my go-to for months now- it’s got such great staying power, is the perfect soft pink shade, and can be layered up heavily for a bold look or just dabbed on with topped with lip balm for a subtle pink glow. I love it!

My current favourite products :: Stila ‘Perfect Me Perfect Hue’ palette || Lumene Watercolour Blush || Benefit Roller Lash || Nuxe Prodigieuse eye cream || Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream || The BEST candle ever


Interestingly, and not at all surprisingly, making time in my morning routine to put on a quick, 5-10 minute make up look has had the biggest impact on my mood. I’ve found I’m so much more confident when I’ve taken just a few minutes care over my appearance, and feel like I’ve reclaimed some of my ‘old self’ again!

~ ~ ~

So, fellow Mamas, I’d love to know how you get on if you try this challenge too! I’m of course, of COURSE not suggesting that we all need makeup to feel good and confident in ourselves, but for me it’s been such a lovely way to steal back a bit of time all for myself each day, and to give myself a boost in positivity every morning.

Here’s to self care! <3


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P I N K ,   G R E Y ,   +   N U D E

I had a question pop up via my Instagram recently about how I do my makeup, and it got me thinking about the fact that I’ve never actually shared a tutorial for my everyday, so-routine-I-could-do-it-half-asleep, makeup look!

That’s probably, I guess, down to the fact that it’s taken me a little while (easily a good couple of years!) to work out exactly how I like my makeup to look on a day to day basis. I still do tend to fiddle around with it fairly regularly (some days I’ll swap in liquid liner instead of a shadow line, other days I I fancy a bold lip), but this is the base look I come back to time and again.

It’s a pretty muted, natural look, with softly defined eyes (using a charcoal grey shadow for liner, in place of pencil or liquid), a subtle contoured cheek, and peachy pink blush and lips.

Here’s the how-to! >>


01. Apply your favourite base- right now I’m using Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, and a beauty blender-type sponge for a flawlessly light and natural finish. Add concealer beneath the eyes and to any blemishes.


02. Sweep a light, creamy toned shadow over the whole of your eyelid, and up onto the brow bone.

03. Work a light grey shadow into the outer corner and crease of your eye socket, blending it in with the base colour.

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04. Using a fine brush, carefully line the top of your eye using a charcoal grey shadow, and then use the flat of the brush to smudge a little along your lower lash line too.


05. Blend a rosy pink blusher into the apples of your cheeks- I love Benefit Bella Bamba for its gold highlighting qualities, but since it’s been discontinued, plan on buying Nars Orgasm soon as an alternative.

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06. Using a large fluffy brush, sweep bronzer down from your temples through to the contour of your cheeks. Blend well, so as not to create a strongly contoured look- I went a little darker than normal here for the sake of the photos, but usually like the bronzer to be super pared back and subtle!


07. Use a peachy pink liner or matte lip crayon to line the lips, and then go over with your favourite nude-toned lipstick. This Max Factor has been my favourite since last summer- and it’s on its last legs, now!



And that’s it, the finished look! If you recreate it (and I’d love to see photos, if you give it a go!) I hope you love it as much as I do.

Posted in BEAUTY, HOW TO

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A N   O D E   T O   B I R C H B O X

I remember when I first started blogging (back in 2012), beauty boxes were The Thing To Blog About. As a then-newbie lifestyle blogger in a UK market populated by beauty and fashion blogs, I never felt like these monthly beauty subscription boxes (GlossyBox, and the like) were something that I should really go out of my way to cover.

Not to mention the fact that back then I had absolutely ZERO interest in beauty as a whole, and wouldn’t have been able to muster up the faintest scrap of enthusiasm for the concept!

However, my 2016 self is a very different person. Being part of the blogging industry for almost four years (FOUR! That’s madness…) has given me a real love for all things beauty and skincare related, and whilst I still consider myself a total dunce on the subject, I’m always so interested in testing new products, finding myself the perfect skincare routine, and perfecting the art of creating a beautiful day-to-day makeup look.


Over the past year or so I’ve come to know Birchbox pretty well (after having been to a couple of their always-chic and well put together events), and have been lucky enough to have their beauty boxes arrive on my doorstep for the past few months.

I realised the other day that it was probably about time I wrote a little review here about how much I’ve come to enjoy these lovely boxes, after I realised that I now owe half the products in my beauty and skincare regime to discoveries made thanks to Birchbox!


This month’s box is a collaboration between Birchbox and the Rifle Paper Co, which has resulted in the prettiest floral print box that I just know I’ll be keeping hold of in the interests of storage and organisation.

The products featured are a lovely teatree-scented foot cream, Benefit’s Dew the Hoola (a new liquid form of their classic bronzer- I cannot WAIT to test this out!), a moisturising under-eye concealer, detangling spray (always a Godsend for me), and an eyeliner than looks to be 1000x creamier and more pigmented than the L’Oreal one I’m currently using up.

I tend not to test all the products in one go, and instead usually pop them all into the ‘samples’ draw of my desk in the front bedroom (a.k.a. the nursery-to-be, eeek!) and then dip into it whenever I’m in need of a new moisturiser/face mask/hair smoothing spray/etc. etc.


So many of the products I use on a daily basis now have come via these boxes- Benefit’s Roller Lash (the BEST mascara I’ve ever used), Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre moisturiser, Penhaligon’s Iris Prima perfume (I wore this on my wedding day, and just adore it), ModelCo brow gel, and so many more besides.

Even Jason’s fallen in love with This Work’s Deep Sleep plus spray, and recently treated himself to the full size version!

So, whilst I might be four years late on the whole idea of giving monthly subsciption boxes some airtime, please consider Birchbox officially ‘shouted out’ here on CwR!

Oh, and I feel like I need to make a little disclaimer here that though the boxes I receive are sent to me as a press sample, I’m in no way being asked or incentivised to write about Birchbox on my blog! Enthusiasm for all things beauty-by-post 100% author’s own…

Posted in BEAUTY

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D I Y   B R I D A L   B E A U T Y . . .

One of the aspects of the wedding I was without doubt most nervous about in the lead up was getting my makeup right. The pressure of having to look your absolute best on a day when you’ll have a camera being pointed at your face almost from the second you open your eyes in the morning, until the moment the clock strikes midnight and you wave your last goodbye to your guests, is pretty full-on!

I deliberated for weeks about whether or not to book a makeup artist to do it for me, but eventually decided to ‘forgo the pro’, and do my makeup myself! There were 101 reasons behind the decision, but the main one was that Jason had this worry that if someone else did my makeup for me, I’d end up not looking like myself on our wedding day! He was so very anxious about it and felt so passionately that he always loves how I do my makeup myself, and since I was was pretty divided and couldn’t makeup my mind one way or the other, it helped make the decision for me.

Doing my makeup myself actually turned out to be such a fun challenge! And, my friends, it also turned out to be an *excellent* excuse to buy a whole load of new makeup, so if ever you needed a reason…;)


After experimenting with endless different options, I decided to go for a very soft, natural grey eye makeup look for the day. I knew I wanted an eye makeup look that would be defined enough that it’d hold up to a camera, but not something so heavily smokey that it’d look out of place in our church ceremony. We’d chosen a fairly cool-toned palette for the day (in everything from the flowers to the bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suits), and since warmer colours can be pretty hit and miss on me anyway, going for a cooler neutral look was pretty much a no-brainer!

I’ve put together a tutorial below of how I did my eye makeup for my wedding, and a full list of all the products I used for the rest of the full look shown in the photos above! And since I’ve already had a few questions from soon-to-be brides about how it was DIYing my makeup, I’d say, go for it! So long as you’ve done a few practise rounds of the look, and leave yourself plenty of time on the actual morning so that if any mistakes happen you’ve got time to fix them, you’ll be just fine! Looking back on it now, taking 45 minutes to myself that morning to do my makeup was probably the most calm and peaceful period of the whole day, and I was so very grateful to have a moment of quiet to reflect and gather my thoughts on the most exciting ‘whirlwind’ day of my life.


P R O D U C T S ::
Foundation – Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation {Shade 5}
Concealer – Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer
Powder – Bare Minerals Touch Up Veil {Shade Light}
Eye shadows – Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics and Urban Decay Naked palettes
Brows – Urban Decay ‘Primal’ shadow
Liner – Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal {Shade 001 Black}
Mascara – Benefit Roller Lash
Blusher – Benefit Bella Bamba
Bronzer – Benefit Hoola
Highlighter – MAC Mineralise Skin Finish ‘Soft + Gentle’
Lip liner – L’Oreal Indefectible Lip Liner ‘Always Toasted’
Lipstick – Max Factor Colour Elixir ‘Simply Nude’
Lip gloss – L’Oreal Infallible Gloss ‘Protest Queen’

** Photos from the wedding by Sam Docker, tutorial photos by me.

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