Mama Spree | Our Go-To Beauty Must-Haves

To be honest, until a few years ago, skincare routines and beauty products held little interest for me. I’m not saying I haven’t spent a small fortune in Boots and Space NK over the years, but I would happily try whatever product was recommended, having neither the time nor inclination to give it much thought. As the years pass, whilst I still don’t have much time, the inclination has changed and I’ve become much more mindful that whatever I put on my face needs to work! Skincare aside (a post for another day perhaps) there are a few products that given the usual five minutes I dedicate to make-up in the mornings that I wear it, do work and make me feel more able to face the world. The first is SkinCeuticals Protect Brightening Sunscreen: it’s lightweight (non sticky!) and not only protects but helps provide a smooth base layer if you’re applying other make up. I sometimes mix it with my second favourite product: YSL All-In-One BB Creme which is a must in winter when my skin need a hint of colour and at least the appearance of even skin tone. I use Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner and Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara on my eyes (no fibre flakes or smudges) and add a pinch of colour to my cheeks with Nars The Multiple (in Orgasm) (I find cream blushers more forgiving than powder). That’s it, except to say, that at the end of the day I always carefully remove my make-up with what is probably my favourite beauty product: a charcoal sponge (slightly worrying that I’m so excited about a sponge I know but try them and you’ll see what I mean).

Nicky x


I find the very idea of ‘beauty’ pretty tedious (bear with me…) I’m definitely more of your ‘wash and go’ kind of gal. You’ll see me on the school run with a just moisturised, shiny make-up free face, a messy bun on the top of my head (usually the same one from my shower), and more recently, quite possibly my M&S new thermal leggings (don’t be judging until you’ve slipped a pair on!!). I do not own a hairdryer (although I’m not going to lie, I am partial to the occasional John Frieda blow-dry). When I come back from the school run, the hair might (it often doesn’t actually – I like to think of it as ‘shower chic’) come down, then the make-up (might) go on, but it literally takes me seconds. I just want to look vaguely healthy and un-spotty, and if I can look a bit dewy and glowy, then that’s always a bonus (usually a fluke!). But overall, I’m very much a ‘need to know only’ type of person (about pretty much everything in fact), and I must confess the very idea of a beauty post bores me to tears! BUT, having said all that that, I am always interested (just quite nosey really…) in knowing what people’s (be it make-up artists, friends, whoever…) ‘go to’ products are, and if I come across a post like that, I’m somehow always drawn in. I’m talking about the ‘can’t live withouts’, the ‘must haves’. Just the ones really worth knowing about. I want the edited version, not the feature length, and definitely not the ‘director’s cut’ version. And recently mine became very apparent when I (and as a seasoned traveller, frankly, stupidly) I forgot my makeup bag on a work trip to Florence. In my defence though, I realised before my cab was at the end of my road, but couldn’t face going back to get it, as my departure had been such a tearful, emotional one with Tabitha, but that’s another story…). Anyway, fast forward to City Airport (my favourite of all the London airports btw – they sell Dipqtue candles in Duty Free for God’s sake!!), and I had to do a quick smash & grab to buy my essentials. So these are mine: Lâncome Long Lasting Softening Concealer: I have really dry sensitive skin (nice combo), so I always prefer a cream concealer. This one is light, but covers well. I never wear foundation (the wonderful makeup artist and legend, Ruby Hammer once told me ,many years ago, that you shouldn’t need need to wear foundation if you your skin is generally good – just a bit of concealer where needed). Just a few dabs on the odd spot etc. Benefit Hoola blusher: I’ve been using this for years, and occasionally am pretty certain I stray into Oompa Loompa territory, but I like to have a year-round hint of something as close to ‘sun-kissed’ as I can get (I brush it across my cheeks, nose and forehead – basically anywhere the sun hits your face, as learned from Gisele no less!). For the same purpose I also love the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick (in Ibiza):  a recent discovery, which have seen in many a makeup artist’s kits on shoots since her collection launched; and the Estee Lauder Sheer Tint Release is my latest favourite discovery (on a shoot), for more of a healthy ‘glow’ – just dab on your cheekbones and rub in); Dior Diorshow Mascara – I used to have really long, thick, dark lashes (which of course, I just took for granted), which are definitely less so these days, so this is great for a little more definition around the eye area); my eyebrows are my ‘thing’. I like to keep them quick thick, but consequently they do need a bit of management (taming??) in the mornings. I use the Laura Mercier Brow Grooming Brush, but frankly one of the kids’ old toothbrushes does the trick (so I didn’t bother buying this at Duty Free!); this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturise Broad Spectrum is the best one I’ve ever tried. I don’t wear it every day, but occasionally it’s a great ‘go to’ when you want a bit more ‘polish’, so I tend to only really use it in the evenings, or if I’m having a particularly tired looking day, and I need to bring out the ‘big guns’…); and last, but by no means least, a good lip salve is an absolute must – a life-saver. I suffer from really dry, chapped lips, particularly in the winter months, and this one from Burt’s Bees is without doubt, the best one I have ever used. If I could only take one of my must-haves to a desert island, this would definitely be it. Just for the record, the things I bought for my trip to Florence (the real ‘couldn’t live withouts’ were the Lâncome concealer, the Hoola bronzer, and the Burt’s Bees lip balm. Oh, and I did buy a kids’ toothbrush for my brows!!

Sarah xx


ps: we have added a new Beauty Shop to the site, Just a tight edit of our favourites (only things we actually use), which we will add to when we feel something is worthy of sharing. Only things that we truly love (the same as all our shops). xx

pps: this is the Gap parka I saw today and posted on Instagram. It’s even nicer in person! SC