Browsing Tag


Green things

My little tin is full of Eco Make Up from Dr Hauschka

10 January, 2014

For most of my life my combined cheapskate-ness and desire to tread gently on the earth has led my philosophy towards Make Up to be “None at all unless it is second-hand.” So all of my make-up has been primarily and kindly donated from my mum and sister’s dregs. (I know, I know, I am TOO glamourous.)

A bit before Christmas though I decided to attempt a chemical-free life in 2014 and knew this would have to extend to my face. I threw out my secondhand mascara and went online to search out an eco make up range.

I came across Dr Hauschka and was delighted when he agreed to send me a parcel of goods to check out.


They are passionate about the environment and creating luxury beauty products for people who want more than the average toxic sludge.

I received a Rouge Compact, a Translucent Powder Compact, a Volumising Mascara and some Foundation. And it is POSH and LOVELY and I feel like a grown up!

I don’t usually wear loads, and if I do put stuff on my skin it is normally on certain areas like my chin – it seems to be getting patchy and dark the older I get?- which is probably really totally against the Laws of Make Up.


It all smells nicely, applies smoothly, and I feel great in it. I’d go for the waterproof mascara next time (but I have been crying a lot recently.) It is pricier than the cheapo ranges out there, however it is REALLY important to me that it isn’t full of toxic nasties.

If you are looking for environmentally friendly make-up, made wholly from natural products Dr Hauschka is your man.


A friendly request from the mother of two beautiful children *awkward face*

19 December, 2013

A few days after her third birthday my daughter, Ramona, turned her enormous blue lakes of eyeballs upon me and implored; “Am I beautiful, mummy? Are my eyes pretty? I don’t think my eyebrows are beautiful though.”

THERE’S a gut wrencher for two parents who try really hard to get across the value of the heart rather than the face. There are a million places she could have gotten such a question; the songs we listen to and sing, conversations overheard, even the quite carefully chosen stuff we watch and read. But, you know what, I think the way adults interact with her is a big part of it.

Barely a day passes where someone doesn’t comment on her outfit or hair or prettiness.

Please don’t.

Please don’t greet my daughter by exulting her beauty. She IS beautiful, just as many rosy cheeked kiddos are, but she has enough indicators rushing at her all day about how wrongly important this is- it doesn’t need to be confirmed by friends, family and strangers.

I know how hard it is though- giving a compliment feels like a great instant rapport builder- I so often point out what a cool hoody my nephews are wearing as a way of engaging them. It’s especially hard not to exclaim about an outfit when the toddler has clearly dressed themselves and is wearing two frocks over pyjamas and a Santa Hat.


My advice is to go prepared. When you know you are visiting nephews/ grandchildren/ friends with kids deliberately avoid “Cool Jumper!” and “What pretty hair!” and have some other possibilities in your mind for rapport.

How was your journey here? I got the bus and there was loads of traffic!

How has your day been today?

What animals do you like? I love elephants the most.

Are you reading many books these days?

Who’s this dude? (Referring to the teddy/ action figure they may be holding.)

Mostly though, a simple Hello will do and more natural interactions can come a bit later, as you and this child get more comfortable with each other.

If you are wondering what possible harm a little “Aren’t you gorgeous!” can do – particularly when it is common for adults to compliment each other on their appearance – consider the TV programme Fat Talk. Cameras followed school kids around for a while as they did a simple experiment that involved avoiding ALL talk of body descriptions and compliments. The results were stark- the teenagers felt much, much better about themselves when it was all avoided- even compared to receiving really positive feedback on their image.

It’s not that the word “beautiful” needs to be yanked out of our vocabulary – not at all. I’m not sure there is a parent out there who hasn’t looked at their child and, with a heart bursting with love, spontaneously erupted with a proclamation of their beauty! But in this setting, where people have a close relationship with the child and all manner of things are spoken of, it exists as just one strand of a child’s intricately woven existence. Their physicalness sits next to their kindness, their rambunctiousness, their humour, their insightfulness- whatever other factors of that child’s personality there are, rather than being the primary strand always and constantly commented on.

So please, think twice about commenting on a child’s appearance.

I’ll do my part as a parent and will put The Little Mermaid audiobook in the bin. I will take seriously conversations with Ramona about marketing and advertising and we will don our open yet critiquing hats when it comes to stereotyped fairy tales and films.

Perhaps together we might be able to stave off body insecurity for a few more years at least.

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