Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Tracy Anderson Method: Post-Pregnancy Workout

Okay so firstly, I have to apologise to any followers or those of you who might just drop by now and again on this late post. I am exhausted. And I don't just mean the kind of tiredness where, you've gone to bed really late a few nights in a row because you've been obsessed with watching the entire box set of Girls. Nope, I mean, up every 3 hours, all night, every night for weeks, even months. This baby business is pretty tough. And it's meant that just pulling together my energy to pick up every last bit of Lego at 8.00pm has been an effort. Let's just say I'm getting through a lot of coffee.

Anyhow. I've been trying to use Elsie's nap times productively and instead of just hoovering I've been doing the odd exercise DVD (I know, right?). It probably sounds completely contradictory to what I've said in the previous paragraph, seeing as I'm so tired but I really do find the odd hour spent raising my heart beat instead of just crashing out does make me feel a little lifted. And I've always exercised, so a home workout is my way of getting something in when I wouldn't otherwise have time.

So on to Tracy Anderson. You've probably heard of her because she's the trainer behind Gwyneth Paltrow's amazing post-baby body (have you seen her in Thanks for Sharing BTW?) and she's also worked with Madonna. She has stacks of DVD's and I've wanted to try one for ages simply because she reputedly gets amazing results (and a bit because I heart Gwyneth). And what could be more appropriate than the Post-Pregnancy Workout? I bought it, laid out my yoga mat, closed the curtains and got ready to weeeerk.

And boy is it work. The 45 minute DVD is split into a couple of different sections, all focused on mat work and namely, one loooooong abs workout, legs, a bit of bum and arms at the end. The abs section, which is first up is really tough. If you imagine how wobbly your abs are after having a baby, hitting them with any kind of exercise is a shock in itself but Tracy doesn't mess about; there are all kinds of crunches, abdominal twists and she even sneaks in a few planks - which are notoriously bloody hard even on tight, toned tummies.

So there's no getting around it, this one is TOUGH. I didn't put on a whole lot of weight after having Elsie and I think I'm fit-ish and I found it really hard. However, I think if you put the work in (Tracy recommends you do the DVD at least four times a week) this would really work. My muscles ached in that kind of smug, 'I've-just-exercised-really-hard' way after just one session and it's inspired me to try and keep at it. Tracy put on 60lbs when she had her baby too so that's inspiration, right there, on your TV screen. If you need more, rent Thanks for Sharing and check out Gwyneth in her underwear. She's 38. She's had two children. Amazing.

Buy The Tracy Anderson Method Post Pregnancy Workout DVD, £7.50 here.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Paddington Bear for babyGap

So a few weeks ago I whittled on about how you can save money on all sorts of baby stuff. And something I've learned is that there's just no point spending oodles of money on ridiculously pretty and pricey vests and grows that will undoubtedly get ruined (it takes just one colossal baby poo to do it). Instead I buy all my essential vests/grows/leggings like these gorgeous long sleeved body suits for super cheap but splurge a bit on nicer cardigans, jumpers and little jackets that might see my baby through a whole season.

And this week, whilst my beauty editor friends were waiting with baited breath to check out what Peter Pilotto and Target had come up with for Net a Porter, I was super excited to see what the Paddington Bear and babyGap collaboration was going to bring about. Yes, forget high fashion, these days it's all about cute-as-a-button baby booty. Paddington Bear you say? BabyGap? Seriously, what could be cuter? (or cleverer - hats off to Gap). And as if to prove a case in point, it's the perfect range to spend a little more on if you're after an essential item or just something you absolutely love.

Saying that, there is SO much to fall in love with in this collection, you might find it hard to know where to start (or when to stop). I personally love this Quilted Denim Jacket, £29.95, which will be perfect for when Spring arrives and Elsie is no longer tucked up in her all-in-one. It's a bit Isabel Marant no? And there are loads of pretty Paddington-esque cardigans, leggings and even a teeny trench coat, which I LOVE but reckon getting a six month old in and out of it might be more hassle than it's worth.

Anyhow, it's all pretty adorable. Find the range here and be quick as I reckon this lot will fly.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Secret to a Beauty Editor's Skin

After almost 15 years in the beauty industry, I've got to really know my skin and what works for me. To be honest, its been a huge amount of trial and error, simply because, as a beauty editor you just get sent so much stuff and, you're supposed to try it all. Everything. More often than not, I'd get sent maybe five to ten skincare products a day so really, this was just impossible and I'd kind of got the whole thing down to a fine art - I'd only really try the brands I knew well, the formulas I know suited my combination skin and the textures I loved. After all, there's only so much fiddling about with your skin can take before it has a mini meltdown and spots/dry patches/irritation ensues.

However, there's one product I've been desperate to trial for ages. I mean really trial, not just take it home, leave it by the bathroom sink and slap it on when I remember. And it's the battery operated cleansing brush. Yes, yes, I know I'm a bit late to the party but I so love my muslin cloths and lately, when I've been time pressed, my fingers have been pretty good too (a few minutes of face massage teamed with your cleanser works wonders). Also, the brush that rakes in all of those awards (deservedly) costs in excess of £100. Really? Okay I get that price per usage it works out great but I knew that if I wasn't working on a magazine and getting one to try for free, I would probably never spend that much.

So I give you Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Cleansing System, £26.99 ( I have been using this every evening for the last three weeks or so and I can wholeheartedly say that it's brilliant. Why? 1. It cleanses your skin four times better than using your cleanser alone would. 2. It feels great. As the little brush whirls around on your skin it really does feel like it's getting right in there, delving into and ditching any specks of dirt that have tucked themselves into every pore. 3. It's SO easy. Being a new-ish mum this is essential. Massage a bit of your cleanser onto your skin, press a button, move it about for 60 seconds and you're done. 4. You can even do it in the shower. 5. It makes your skin look better. Sweeping away all that gunk means your skin is better prepped to get all that good stuff you're paying for in your moisturiser. 6. It's £26.99!

You can thank me later.