The great big (practically elephantine) pregnancy post!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 23 - 2014

When I started this blog back in 2009 (it’s Lipglossiping’s 5th anniversary on Friday!), I was already 8-months pregnant with Leila, which didn’t leave a lot of time for pregnancy thoughts and updates.  When I discovered I was expecting again last September, I thought that this time around I might fill the pages with tales of untreated haemorrhoids, killer constipation, and colourful stretch marks but when push came to shove, I’ve actually spent most of these past 9-months feeling too lackluster to blog much at all.

Which means two things.

One.  You’ve actually been spared.

And two…  You’re overdue a post (or seven-hundred).

Let’s start with a pregnancy/beauty/health one shall we?  I’ve only got two weeks of this chapter in my life left, so I’d better crack on!

baby bump

Sickness & Nausea

There’s been a lot of it this time around.  I didn’t realise how lucky I was when I was carrying Leila, my early pregnancy symptoms revolved around sore boobs and that was mostly it.  This time, I was dealt the whole deck – from night-time nausea to daily ritualistic sacrifices to Ralph, the porcelain god.  Nipples that were convinced my bras had turned into julienne peelers overnight, and the kind of exhaustion that had me tucked up in bed by 7pm every evening.

My only advice is to remember that it will pass.  Unless you’re really, really, unlucky.  In which case, sorry about that.  I tried sickness bands, preggo pops, scent therapy… truly, the only things that really worked for me in the early days were to make sure that I slept as much as I was able (waving goodbye to my late nights of blogging) and to eat toast/crackers/anything I could get my hands on before I’d even sat up in bed in the morning.

Skin

Back in 2008/2009, I glowed from day one.  Five years on… not so much.  It’s a pretty frustrating turn of events for someone who invests so much bloody effort in their appearance nowadays!  As soon as the mercury plummeted and Winter approached, my skin turned to pure shit.  The dryness, all over my body was unbearable at times.  Foundation was a no-go, a practical impossibility, so I resigned myself to it and spent the mornings slathering on increasingly rich moisturising products in an attempt to keep the flakies to a minimum.

I’d love to tell you that I found a magical combination of moisturising products to solve my issues.  But I didn’t.  It didn’t matter how heavy the lotions were, how much the serums pulled water from thin air, or how many moisturising masks I applied, I can’t say that I ever restored the balance through changing my moisturising routine.  The only thing that has provided relief is upping regular exfoliation from once a week to four(!) times a week.  I’ll admit, I was worried that I was over-exfoliating my sensitive skin… but I really believe that my skin, right now… needs it more than anything else.

exfoliating-in-pregnancy

I’m alternating between using LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser (£6.35)* three times a week while in the shower in the morning, and my beloved Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask (£38.25), once a week as a Sunday night (treat)ment.  For moisturising, I got so pissed off at throwing money at products that I’m really happy to have stripped back the fuss and found it beneficial.  I’m using Olay Beauty Fluid Sensitive (£3.99) and it’s doing a grand job without bells and whistles.

Hair

Another cruel blow from the last 9-months was that nothing actually changed.  With Leila, my greasy roots disappeared and I was able to get away with washing my hair only twice a week!  This time, nada.  The only noticeable difference was how much greyer I’ve become in the 5-years between kiddos.  Thanks for that!

superdrug-creme-sensations-hair-dye

I avoided dyeing my hair completely for the first 3-months of pregnancy and have since cut-down my habit to once every 8/9 weeks.  I use a semi-permanent dye… the same that I was using pre-pregnancy but I’ve gone another shade lighter as my hair seems especially prone to sucking up the dark colour at the moment.  I use the Superdrug Crème Sensations in Light Brown 6.0 (£3.59) which gives me a med/dark brown result and lasts really well over my greys.

Body

I’ve been waiting for the onslaught of stretchmarks since I turned 30+ weeks but I haven’t seen any.  Well, not any new ones anyway… some of the faded ones from last time are looking a little more pronounced but I may have gotten away with developing any additional marks.

Having said that, I firmly believe that there is nothing you can apply topically to your tummy to avoid stretchmarks.  Nothing.  You’ll either get ’em or you won’t.  I haven’t paid any special attention to moisturising my body because I’m a lazy oik, so the only products that have been in contact with my baby bump are good old-fashioned Astral Cream (£3.99)* after showering and LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£15.95) as a once a week treat, a product that I still get evangelical about!

bump-moisturising

The only other pregnancy issue I’ve experienced with my body has been a big increase in the development of my existing skin tags!  I’m a skin-taggy person and have had a few removed over the years but in the past 9-months, my two remaining ones have literally tripled in size.  I’ve read that this is a common issue, brought about by the extra growth of cells within the superficial layers of skin.  This makes perfect sense to me… and may also explain why I’ve benefited so much from upping my exfoliation routine!  I’ll be getting them frozen off when bubs is out, for sure!

Other Preggo Issues

I was half-expecting my PCOS hair-growth to go ballistic during pregnancy… but this hasn’t happened (thank God!).  Neither have my moods been massively altered by the hormonal changes.  My diet has been affected by the return of “borderline” gestational diabetes and my greatest ally in reducing my refined carb-intake has been the humble loaf of Burgen Bread (the soya & linseed one) (£1.40) and an increase in side salads!  I have missed hot cross buns terribly this Easter but Lidl’s 81% Arriba Superieur Dark Chocolate (£0.99) has seen me through my darkest days!

soya-and-linseed-bread1

My final issue has been achieving quality sleep.  I’ve really struggled with it on and off since week 32.  Mostly thanks to heartburn, so if the old wive’s tale is anything to go by… I will surely give birth to an ape.  I’m at the point now that regular over-the-counter remedies just aren’t helping.  I have a midwife appointment tomorrow but with only 2-weeks left, I don’t think she’ll be keen to put me on anything stronger.

So there we go, I’m sure I’ve missed some preggo-related stuffs but in all honesty, I’m bored of writing this mammoth post now and I desperately want to go and put the kettle on. 

All things being well, we’ll be meeting the newest addition to our family on the 7th May, that’s not long is it?  I still haven’t attached the crib to the bed yet but I have packed my makeup bag for the hospital. Priorities!

* press samples

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Champneys Blissful Bump Range at Boots

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 19 - 2014

After approximately 4hrs of sleep last night, I’m not feeling particularly blissful about my bump today.  Chronic heartburn that jumps so high it singes my ears and a hyperactive breech baby, keen to explore its Irish roots with a bit o’ dancing on my cervix ensures that the only bliss I’m likely to find in my expanding bump for now is my new-found ability to rest a cup of tea on it.

Having said that, there’s something to be said for my current condition.  Mostly based around the opportunities to stuff my face with gleeful abandon and use all manner of lotions and potions in the name of baby-bump pampering.

Of course, there are many companies out there only to happy to help us ladies nurture our bumps in the way in which our beauty-loving souls desire.  One of these brands, better-known for their health and spa resorts are Champneys.  Their Blissful Bump* range features a host of preggo-belly indulging goodies that make great gifts for Mum’s to be.

Champney Blissful Bump Range1

The brand sent me a few bits from the range to have a look at, and I’ve welcomed the bonafide opportunity to tell the rest of my family to bugger off away from my shower treats.  Did I tell you that my 4yr old has genuinely stolen my NEOM tranquility bath foam and even offered up her Matey bubble bath like it’s a legitimate replacement?!  I’ve created a monster.

Anyway, back to the range from Champneys!

Champney Blissful Bump Range2

My favourite item in the range is the Ginger Inspired Room Spray… which wasn’t the most obvious choice but any kind of obnoxious smells are like Kryptonite to my preggo-nose and I’m ridiculously sensitive to the fact that our car smells a bit like a turnip.  Of course, I’m the only one who can actually detect this aroma (unless my husband is messing with my mind and does actually have a turnip concealed in the glove compartment).

I usually swear by a tin of California Scents Coronado Cherry to make the car smell amaze but my sensitive nose has gone into overdrive and the Champney’s Ginger Inspired Room Spray is the only scent room/car fragrancer that I can handle.  I’m sure Champneys actually intended far more sophisticated uses for their product in the boudoir… but disguising turnips in my Citroen Picasso will have to do for now.

Champney Blissful Bump Range3

My second-favourite item in the range is the Blissful Bump Shower Cream which delivers a rich, creamy lather and delicious scent.  It’s a skin-softening wonder and leaves me feeling lush and pampered.  At £6.00, it also happens to be the cheapest item in the range.  Who says I’m high-maintenance?

The spa brand also offer a couple of bump-moisturising products in the form of a stretch-mark oil and a body butter.  If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know how terrible I am at bothering with body-moisturising but what you might not know about me is that I have a solid belief that nothing will prevent stretch-marks, nothing that can be applied and rubbed in anyway.  In my opinion, you’re either genetically destined to get ’em, or you ain’t.

That’s not to say that moisturising your bump like a loon is a thankless task, but I just don’t believe that it will achieve anything other than soft skin.  So knock yourself out… but don’t bother telling me that religious use of Bio Oil on your bump saved you from a road-map of the Swiss Alps across your belly ‘cos I just won’t believe you!

The entire body range has been formulated to be free from parabens, paraffin oils, and SLES, focusing on the importance of conditioning and soothing the skin.  The scents used are beautiful, the packaging… divine.  The prices are high-street friendly and make the perfect gift for family and friend’s who are expecting.

The Champneys Blissful Bump Range is available to buy instore and online at boots.com, prices start from £6.00

* press sample

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Mama Mio Mini Kit for Expectant Mums – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 5 - 2009

In honour of my due date (yes, that’s today little dink if you’re paying attention – are you ever coming out smelly bum?) I thought I’d share my thoughts on a skincare line that I’ve been using throughout my pregnancy.

Mama Mio have a skincare range to suit most everyone, but I think it’s safe to say that they are most well known for their luxurious treats for mummies to be.

This is the kit that I’ve been using…

mamamio1

Mama Mio Mini Kit is for commitment phobes, jet-setters or Mama Mio beginners. This kit contains the best of the Mama Mio skin care range in convenient miniatures, so you can pamper your supermama-self wherever you are.

I was lucky enough to be bought this lovely little kit for Christmas, and have been putting it to good use on my poor pregnancy riddled belly and boobs!

It contains 6 of Mama Mio’s most popular products.

Here’s what Mama Mio say about them, followed by my thoughts…

Boob Tube Firming Cream:

Mama Mio Boob Tube is a product we just can’t do without. If you haven’t heard about it already (voted 10/10 by OK Magazine, winner of Greatest Product from the iParenting Awards) it was Kathy’s saviour when pregnant with twins and forevermore. This will help you defy gravity over time and stop the sag.

A nice balmy cream that helped to soothe on days when I was suffering from a feeling of ultra heaviness and achiness in that area.  I can’t put much stock into gravity defying claims, but as a moisturiser, it’s really nice.  I should also point out that I haven’t developed any stretch marks here compared to the road map that is now my stomach.  Probably a coincidence, but worth mentioning.

Moisturising Shower Cream:

Want to know a secret? Our Moisturising Shower Cream is actually a baby cleanser. We felt that every mama can use a little babying sometimes. That explains why it is so gentle – it won’t strip your skin like a harsh soap.  And of course it is sodium laureth sulfate free – it’s from Mama Mio.

I haven’t used this yet, I’ve packed it in my hospital bag as a post birth shower treat.

Super Rich Body Cream:

Our Super-rich Body Cream is a must for every mama. It’s rich yet quickly absorbed, nourishing but light, and makes skin feel silky with no lingering film, and smell gorgeous. So lavish your skin with this super-nourishing cream and glory at the glow and softness.

My favourite, a stand out product for me – mainly due to the scent, citrusy but with deeper, sweeter notes.  Utterly gorgeous and intoxicating.  I’m very tempted to repurchase this after I’ve had little dink.  Ultra moisturising without leaving a sticky feeling, the scent which is initially quite strong fades leaving a subtle hint on your skin.  It absorbs completely and leaves my skin feeling really soft and supple.

Wonder-Full Balm:

Mama Mio Wonder-Full Balm really is. We called it Wonder-Full Balm because you will find a million different ways to use it. Nine natural oils in a beeswax base, it is really a solid oil that melts in contact with your skin and provides rich intense moisture.

This was a lifesaver throughout the freezing month of January, I slathered it on my elbows, lips and any dry bits that appeared on my face.  Not the most comfortable product to wear thanks to the fact that it is after all a greasy balm that tended to stay on the surface – but it really stopped my skin from cracking compared to the days that I didn’t have it on me… In fairness, I’m not sure how this would have compared to a cheaper version like Badger Balms Healing Balm or even super budget Vaseline – but it definitely smells better than Vaseline!

Gravida Candle:

We added our Gravida Candle as we know that regardless of where you are, if you get five minutes to yourself, you’ll grab it. Whether it is a hotel room, bedroom or just enough room, you can sit back, relax, lay back and breathe deeply.

The most disappointing, I just couldn’t smell anything from this.  I actually thought it was just a plain tealight until I read on the website that it was supposed to be scented.  Total ‘meh’ product for me… and just ‘cos I’m a nerd – a ‘gravida’ is a pregnant woman incase you’re interested – which you like, totally weren’t.

Tummy Rub Oil:

Last but not least is our Tummy Rub Oil. A well tested, beautifully fragrant, omega-rich oil to ease your stretched and itchy skin. It is stretch mark prevention at its very best. It is also brilliant as banishing winter lizard legs…

Another beautifully scented product, but I prefer my Sanctuary Body Oils as I found Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub Oil stubbornly left a filmy coating on my skin despite intense rubbing in!  The little bottle also made application without dribbling it on the carpet a bit of a nightmare!  Despite religious use of this product, I also developed stretchmarks – although not until 35 weeks.  I am prone to stretchmarks though, and in honesty I believe it has far more to do with genetics than what you slather on your skin… I think I was destined to get them no matter what, so for them to only develop in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy is pretty good going and may or may not be related to the product I was using – who really knows?

mamamio2

Ok, so that’s a little run down of Mama Mio’s most popular products for mummies-to-be and my thoughts after using them for a few months.

In conclusion, there are some really nice products in this range, one of them in particular stands out as a product that I would repurchase.  Having said that, there are also products out there on the market designed for everyday use that would match up to the quality of these (and offer the same properties for overstretched pregnant skin) but at half the price.  Although the convenience of having a specially designed range like this can’t be argued against.

I was also delighted to read that:

Every Mama Mio product is safe to use at any time from pregnancy stage to pensionable age. It is Paraben Free, Petrolatum Free, Sodium Laureth and Sodium Laurel Sulphate Free, Xenoestrogen and Phtalates Free, Colourant and Synthetic Fragrance Free.

So if you’ve been searching for products practically guaranteed to be skin friendly – look no further!

If you’re looking for a gift for a mum-to-be, this is a really well put together little kit and couldn’t fail to please a lady in need of a little pampering.

RANDOM

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