Amy Antoinette - A Motherhood & Lifestyle Blog: September 2012

30 September 2012

This Too Shall Pass

It seems Autumn has crept up on upon us whilst we were all still waiting for summer to say hello. The nights are longer, there's a chill in the air and the leaves are changing colour. I'm looking forward to welcoming the new season as it means cosy knitwear, snuggles in front of the fire and homemade soup. But before I embrace all the comforts of Autumn, I thought I'd share some of the last few photo's I captured of summer before it so swiftly left us. 

My first Autumnal purchase of the year have been these River Island studded ankle boots. They have the perfect sized heel and I love the khaki coloured suede paired with the gold studs on the heel. Suede isn't the most practical material for our rainy seasons so I think I'll be investing in the black leather pair too.

Are you sad to see the end of Summer or are you looking forward to embracing Autumn?

26 September 2012

Benefit How To Look The Best At Everything Makeup Kit

I've always been a fan of Benefit - their brand offers the perfect combination of high quality products encased in fun, girly packaging. Benefit How To Look The Best At Everything is their latest release, a makeup kit containing a selection of Benefit's core products to give a flawless finish to the skin. The kit includes The Porefessional Primer, Hello Flawless Foundation, Boi-ing Concealer in two shades and Hello Flawless Powder, complete with a dinky little brush. Tucked away inside is a fold-out Tips & Tricks booklet, revealing a mirror underneath should you need to apply on the go. 

Not only do I adore this product simply because of the charming peachy packaging, it's also the perfect kit for trialling Benefit's base products before investing in full size products and the compact size means it's ideal for travelling. I already use and love the primer but the rest of the products are new to me so I'm looking forward to putting them to the test. I've heard amazing things about the long lasting foundation and industrial strength concealer so I have high hopes!

Whether you're new to the brand or a lifelong fan, this lovely little set of products would make a gorgeous gift - either as a treat to yourself or for a fabulous friend. Available in Light, Medium and Deep, there should be a shade to suit all skin tones. 

Benefit 'How To Look The Best At Everything' Flawless Complexion Makeup Kit* is priced at £24.50 and is available to buy from Boots and Debenhams

Are you a fan of Benefit's base products?

23 September 2012

Shabby to Chic - Upcycled Vintage Telephone Table

My first instalment of 'Shabby to Chicwhich featured a few pieces of upcycled furniture had a positive response with lots of you saying you'd love to see more, so I'm happy to show my latest transformation - an old telephone table. I'm drawn to anything vintage, so when I spotted this on eBay, I knew it would be the perfect hallway piece. After a tense few moments of last minute bidding, I became the proud owner of this telephone table for just £30.

It was looking a bit worse for wear with worn green velvet fabric and a disintegrating seat, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! Although I love upcycling second hand furniture, the one downside is the amount of prep. Washing with sugar soap and/or sanding the wood and then having to prime with an undercoat can take the enjoyment out of the transformation, so I was intrigued when I first heard about the delights of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. No prep required! With this paint, you can simply slap it on without all the fuss.

After Matt had stripped the studs and old fabric, I gave it two coats of Annie Sloan Old White - a cool, soft white without any yellow or pink undertones - before handing it over to the capable hands of my mum for the rest of its transformation. I thought a neutral palette was best so it could adapt to whatever colour scheme our future hallways may have, so we picked out a cream baroque fabric for an opulent finish and adorned the edges with trim. The seat foam was replaced and for the final touch I used a thin layer of Annie Sloan Clear Wax to protect the paint and give a slight sheen finish to the wood.

A vintage telephone table wouldn't be complete without a retro style phone, so I treated myself to a Mybelle Chic Deluxe Telephone and the makeover was complete. I love how much brighter and more elegant the telephone table now looks, it still amazes me what a coat of paint and some new fabric can do!

Let me know if you like these posts as I have a few other upcycling projects coming up and some past ones to show you!

Take a peek at my other upcycling projects…

20 September 2012

A Natural Beauty Project - DIY Shower Gel

I was recently contacted with a challenge to get back to nature and create a natural homemade beauty product, using ingredients which can be grown in British gardens or greenhouses. I've always been intrigued by DIY beauty products, so I welcomed the chance to use natural ingredients to create a fresh beauty product. When I was little I had great fun making my own lotions and potions using anything I could find in the bathroom (toothpaste and rose shampoo scented perfume, anyone?), so I felt like I was harnessing my inner child to create something which was actually functional and usable.

For the base product, I used Neal's Yard Create Your Own Hair & Body Wash - a gentle foaming cleanser which can be used as a shampoo, shower gel and handwash. This is a great little product which can either be used as it is (unfragranced) if you have particularly sensitive skin or scalp, or, if you fancy creating a bespoke item, it's easy to adapt to suit your needs. I opted for a calming and feminine scent of rose and chamomile. The process was simple, I added a few sprinkles of Chamomile Tea (which can be home grown) into the product and a couple of drops of Rose Essential Oil. The result was a shower gel with a soothing scent, with the added bonus that the tea provided some gentle exfoliation. I've loved creating my own beauty product so much that I'm now wanting to experiment with a DIY face mask and body scrub.

Let me know if you have any DIY recipes I can try!

*Sponsored by Floral & Hardy, specialists in contemporary garden ideas and garden design 

16 September 2012

Philips ReAura - An Update

Back in July, I posted about the journey I was about to embark on with the Philips ReAura Laser Skin RejuvenationAs I'm only in my 20s, I don't yet have wrinkles to complain about, so I was more focused on whether this device could give me a more even skin tone and texture with a reduction in blemishes. I was a little apprehensive when using this for the first time, but after watching the DVD and reading the manual, I felt prepared to start! To begin the process, skin needs to be gently cleansed, before applying a small amount of gel to the area to be treated (in my case, the face - although the neck, chest and hands can also be targeted), which allows for smooth movement over the skin. The device has three settings - the lowest being a practice test mode, and setting 3 being the highest for optimum results. After a few practice runs, the device is simple to use and I was quick to establish a twice-weekly process where I integrated the Reaura into my usual skincare routine.

There are some beauty treatments which the phrase 'no pain, no gain' can be applied to, and this is one of them. I'd read using the ReAura was uncomfortable, and I'd describe the sensation as something akin to mild sunburn - prickly, tingly and slightly tender, but I was reassured this was a normal reaction to the treatment and my skin would recover. After each session, I apply a generous amount of the after care solution, which provides some relief by cooling and soothing the skin. As skin can be left a little on the red side after use, I save the treatment for use in evenings when I know I can allow my skin to recover afterwards.

Although I haven't yet seen a difference in my skin, it certainly feels noticeably more plump and smooth, which is down to the laser encouraging cell renewal in the deeper layers of the skin. The softness of my skin after using the Reaura is enough reason alone for me to look past the pain element and continue with the treatment. It's recommended this treatment is used twice a week for eight weeks so I shall be updating again shortly with my final thoughts. Until then, do let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them. 

Philips RĂ©Aura is available to buy from SpaceNK

*Sponsored Post

6 September 2012

'A' Letter Necklace

I love browsing Etsy for unique, pretty jewellery. As much as I enjoy high street jewellery, it's nice to buy something special and a bit different to what everybody else is currently wearing. The latest addition to my jewellery collection is this ever so dainty heart necklace, imprinted with my initial - A. It was love at first sight. The delicate gold chain, the short length and the teeny tiny heart all had me smitten and it was one of the first initial necklaces I'd seen which didn't look gaudy or tacky. After finding it, I contacted the US seller to request shipping costs and had a reply saying due to past problems, she no longer ships to the UK. My heart sank but I was determined to own this necklace, so after a bit of pleading, she agreed to send it (albeit without the pretty gift box.) It's such a sweet little necklace, and a bargain at just £12.50. I love it!

Available to buy here (although you may have to do a bit of sweet talking!)