With a newborn at home, I'm not feeling (or looking, I suppose) my absolute best, so I'm relying on products to give me a lift and make me feel a little better. And that's the great thing about beauty products particularly – they can make us go from feeling drab to fab quickly.
Part of my products excitement comes from finding and trying out great stuff for kids too, which I've included here below.
Please let me know in the comments section below if you've tried anything new or memorable lately? I'd love to find out more.
Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser
I bought some after seeing so many beauty bloggers raving about it, and I can see why. It's a fast-absorbing moisturising spray that hydrates swiftly- great for busy women, or people like me who are sometimes too lazy to apply anything in the morning.
Each spray is R89,95, and available from chemists and supermarkets. There are three variants – Aloe Soothe, Deep Restore and Cocoa Radiant. My favourite, after having eventually tried all of them, is Deep Restore, which smells a bit like vanilla to me, one of my best fragrances. The Cocoa Radiant follows as a close second, and reminds me of the sea and beach holidays when I was a child. I've seen lots of people cite Aloe Soothe as their best.
It's good to know that the spray uses compressed air, not harmful propellants, and you simply need to spray it about 10cm from your skin. You don't need to rub in vigoroulsy – it spreads easily and is very easily absorbed.
MAC Liptensity lipstick
I'm not lying when I say that for about a month, I checked the MAC shopping site daily to see if Liptensity had launched yet, just in case I missed the email.
And the day that it was available, I went online to buy two lipsticks as they would only be in store three days later. This is how much I trust MAC – I will buy lipstick before even trying it, and most of the time I've had success, barring about two shades I've bought over the last few years that haven't worked.
There are 24 Liptensity shades, and they're intensely pigmented lipstick with a satin finish. They were made with the help of Maureen Seaberg, a tetrachromat, who can see 100 times more colours than we do, and we're able to see one million.
I got two, and I love them – there's Toast and Butter on the left, and Cordovan on the right. The colours glide on, and last about five to six hours (with drinking and eating).
Kiehl's Nurturing Oil for Mom & Baby
I love that one of my favourite brands, Kiehl's, has introduced a new product for moms AND babies, that is at once pure and nurturing for a baby's delicate skin, and pampering and indulgent for us too.
Their Nurtuing Oil for Mom & Baby is the latest in the Kiehl's Baby Collection, joining another of bests, Gentle Foaming Hair & Body Wash, which I wrote about last year.
The oil, made with natural olive fruit and apricot kernel oils has a mild fragrance, is easily absorbed, and leaves skin softer and smoother. It can also be used to massage baby.
It's available from Kiehl's stores for R625.
La Roche Posay Sun Protection
La Roche Posay is a leading French skincare brand, and is fairly new to South Africa. I've tried out two sun protection protection products, Anthelios Kids Lotion SPF50 (R250) and Anthelios Kids Spray SPF50+ (R295), available at DisChem.
The products are said to offer high and broad-spectrum sun protection for babies and kids, and is water- and sand-resistant.
I prefer the spray as I find it easier to apply, especially if you have a child like mine who hates having sun protection applied.
It has a slightly whiter colour and leaves a lighter film on the skin than ordinary sun protection creams, which is done deliberately, so that parents can identify unprotected uncovered areas.
The products are fragrance- and paraben-free, and also have a shea butter moisturiser to strengthen the skin.
Badger products aren't new, but this is the first time I'm trying them, after having seen their lovely packaging and products in stores for ages, and wondering if they actually work, since sometimes I'm a sceptic of natural products.
First up is the Night-Night Balm, which can be used for kids and adults to help with relaxation and rest. This balm has all the calming and relaxing natural stuff – chamomile, lavender and sandalwood – and you can rub a little onto the temples, neck, lips and wrists.
I was a bit nervous to try it on my newborn, though there's nothing in it that's "unsafe" for her, and my seven-year-old didn't want any of it, so I used it on myself, and it was lovely. It didn't feel or smell overpowering, and while I can't attest to it putting me to sleep, it certainly did relax and calm me, which is much needed these days.
I've also dabbed it on a few times during the day when I've needed calming, and I've instantly felt relaxed.
Another product, which I can't lay scientific claim to, since it's not full-on summer and we haven't experienced mosquitoes or insect bites, is the Anti-Anti-Bug Balm (great for easy application on kids, and especially places like wrists and ankles where mozzies like to bite).
It contains no DEET, which automatically makes it a must-try, and something I'll have close on hand for the outdoors, and on holiday in December.
The balm has citronella, cedar and lemongrass, which naturally repel biting insects. They also have a base of organic extra virgin olive and castor oil to soothe and soften skin.
Also available is the Anti-Bug Shake & Spray.
They're available online at www.naturescolours.com, Wellness Warehouse and various health shops, and products start at around R78 each. For more info, go to the Natures Colours Facebook page: www.facebook.com/naturescoloursSA