I am a moisturising addict. I go through more pots, tubs and tubes of the stuff than any other beauty product.  Having Eczema never makes skincare easy but anyone who suffers from sensitive or dry skin knows that skipping on your moisturiser is never worth the pain.

Admittedly sometimes at night  I slather so much on if I had silk sheets I’d probably shoot right out the other side of the bed!  So finding a good quality, natural product, that isn’t too greasy, is always on my hit list.

I’ve used Aveeno hand cream for years but I’d never tried their moisturising cream and I was pretty surprised when my dermatologist actually prescribed it to me.  Firstly I was ecstatic because it means that I get two massive bottles for the cost of one prescription, which means a mahoosive saving on the usual price.  Right now at Boots (UK) you can buy Aveeno moisturising cream for £14.46 for 500ml and there’s a 3 for 2 offer so you can stock up

I reckon a 500ml tub lasts me about 6 weeks, but I’m slathering it on every day religiously so it’s good value!

If you read Sensitive Shell a lot you’ll know I’m a huge fan of natural products.  It’s really important to me that I’m not just coating my skin in a load of chemicals.  The ingredients list on the back of the simple cute packaging is pretty short (always a good sign) and it’s gentle enough to use on babies.  I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s helped get rid of my Eczema but my skin is in the best condition it’s been in for ages and I’m sure this bad boy is partially responsible for this. I’ve seen all of my usual dry patches disappear, it’s the best cream I’ve used in ages and definitely does what it says on the tin!

I am a massive fan of oats, although I normally like my porridge first thing in a morning not on my skin, but Aveeno have been using oats in their products since 1945 so why not?! Go through pretty much any homemade skin scrub blog and oats will usually always feature heavily so I think it’s no secret that they are actually pretty good for us, inside and out.  The Aveeno moisturising cream smells so fresh, and even though their products are fragrance free the oats make for a deliciously delicately scented cream.  Almost good enough to eat, almost.

There are so many benefits from oats: moisturises- restores dehydrated skin, soothes, creates a protective film on the skins surface, and helps to return skin to normal PH levels.  I also love love LOVE the fact that this doesn’t leave my skin all greasy.  A lot of products for dry skin are very thick, heavy and you need to leave them to sink in for an eternity.  The Aveeno absorbs super quick and feels SO good.  Nothing like any of the moisturisers any of the doctors/dermatologists have recommended for me before.   I’m definitely going to give their shower oil a try, in fact I’ll probably be buying most of their range in the hope of swapping things up a little, but this love affair with the Aveeno moisturising cream won’t be ending any time soon…

J xx

I am so envious of anyone that can wear fake tan, and wear it well.  I’ve tried so many tanning products, however once they’ve been applied to my crazy sensitive skin they usually develop into patches of brownish-orange that wouldn’t look out of place as an example of ringworm in a science book.

There are a few good high end wash-on wash-off tanning products around, but you really need smooth skin for them to work well and when you have eczema there ain’t no amount of exfoliation that’s going to achieve that!

Fret not, my darlings, for a hero is on hand!  Be gone pasty legs and hello wonder skin! My friend suggested I tried Sally Hansen leg makeup and OH MY GOD-  HOW ON EARTH HAVE I NEVER TRIED THIS BEFORE?

The Bear was best man at a wedding last weekend and as I had bought the mother of all dresses I didn’t want my legs to let me down.  I’ve been off work and actually looking after my skin, so my legs are in fairly decent condition (apart from the serious lack of exercise) and they are virtually Eczema-free (wahoo!) so I thought I’d give it a go.  Wearing tights wasn’t an option with open-toed shoes so I needed a little something to help me along! Shaving always irritates my legs and I hate how they look without tights so this was definitely a product I couldn’t wait to try.

Aww, doesn’t he look all dashing and smart.  I am in LOVE with this dress…


Obvs the Sally Hanson brand has been around forever (Mumma Cox used to swear by it) and I know I’m
super late to the party, but if you aren’t confident at tanning, or have
sensitive skin then this is a great way to give your legs a bit of colour
without the commitment of fake tan.  Even
wash off tan can be a right pain in the ass if you have problem skin like me so
I bought the Airbrush Legs in Medium to sort out my pins.  And sort them out it did!  Airbrush is available in a spray or a
lotion.  I tried the spray and I’ll
definitely be using it again.  Not only
did it colour correct my mottled milky legs, it also hid some of my bruises,
shaving rash and really evened out my skin tone.

I sprayed it onto my hands and not directly to my legs and
then applied it to my legs in a downwards motion and massaged it in. The beauty
is you can build up the colour with no streaks, no orange patches, and
therefore no ringworm circles on your dry skin patches!

Airbrush legs claims to stay fresh on your legs all day and
it definitely does that.  The only thing
I will say is that, despite what it tells us on the advert; it DOES rub off
onto clothes etc.  I managed to leave the
hotel bed sheets looking like the Tango man had paid a visit, however it does
wash off super easy when you’ve hung up your dancing shoes.  So not only did it give my legs a bit of
colour it also smoothed out my skin and hid all those annoying marks from years
of clawing my skin and scars from being a total clutz!  It’s basically an amazing pair of
tights/stockings in a tin!

Check out the difference: No bruises, scratches, or redness!

I hope one day I’ll find a tanning product that works on
sensitive skin but for now I’m more than happy with a temporary leg
makeover.  Give it a try and check out
the image below to shop my wedding outfit and accessories.

Happy Friday!

J xx

Limited edition ‘Peyton’ dress, House of CB http://bit.ly/1TFGN4J

 

New Kid lipgloss, shade ‘Tickled Pink’ http://bit.ly/1QMHo1N

Eyelure volumising lashes 070 http://bit.ly/1X7ZEmG

Nails Inc, shade ‘Porchester Square’ http://bit.ly/1nCPZIv

 

L’Oreal eyeshadow Gold Mania  http://bit.ly/1pbNyP0

Gold shoes, Miss KG, John Lewis http://bit.ly/1WeH6RE

Just Cavalli, Nappa clutch/wrist bag http://bit.ly/1WeI9AT

Sally Hansen Airbursh Legs, Medium http://bit.ly/1QCHQPW

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and for all you lucky bastards that have one I suggest you make her feel special!

I’ve not had a Mum to share Mother’s Day with since my 21st birthday and trust me that ‘effort’ of buying flowers, a card or making a little gift, or even picking up the phone to organise the annoying family get together is actually worth it, because you’ll never know what you had until it’s gone.

I never wanted to be anywhere else but her side, even feeding the ducks!

I think Mother’s Day can be so many things.  It can be like a birthday for anyone that IS a Mother, it can be fun for everyone else and it can feel good to know you are spoiling the person who not only brought you into this world but the person that made you into what you are today.  It can also be a desperately sad day, some people have never known their mothers, or if you have other women who are pretty much the next best thing to a mother figure in your life, but often wonder what happened to the original. It can also be a painful day for anyone who has lost a child, a reminder of what could have been, and of course a sad day for anyone who lost their mother during any point in their life.

So buy that card, book that table and buy whoever is like a Marma to you a little something to show you appreciate all the times they’ve listened to your tears, tantrums, and celebrated your joy.

Here’s ten little ideas for anyone feeling a bit clueless, all £20 or under (links below). Don’t worry if you’re a little cash-strapped,  a homemade something is always a great idea. Get scouring Pintrest for some inspiration, bake a cake or print out and frame your favourite picture of you both or a photograph you know she loves.

 

Diptyque Roses scented candle, Space NK £20

Elemis Frangipani Duo £14.50

Personalised Mother’s Day gift, Not On The Highstreet £14.99

Royal Albert New Country teacup, Amazon £17.60

Holdsworth Blue Cube, 200g, John Lewis £15

Nails Inc Baby Nailkale Collection £19

Best Mummy make up bag £12.99

Lvndr Turquoise Bracelet £20

M&S Handcream Trio £8.50

Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur £18.00

WHEN YOUR MUM ISN’T AROUND ANYMORE…

There are a few problems you will always notice when you don’t have a Mum on Mother’s Day.  Firstly you’ll
feel like you have to do some sort of memorial. Like you’re massively dishonoring the person who brought you into the world if you don’t light a candle or something.  This is a load of rubbish.  If you’ve lost your Mum or don’t have any sort of Mother figure then you know damn well that you think about them more than just once a year.  Light a candle on their birthday or toast your next G&T to their memory.  Don’t punish yourself by thinking you HAVE to go all out and create a shrine.  It’ll just depress you even more.  I used to shy away from anything remotely Mother’s Day-ish, however this year I was invited to a Spa Day with my chums and their Mum (who has kind of ‘adopted’ me) and despite me thinking I’d get sad I thought what the hell.  My Marma loved a good Spa so why not?  Definitely ditch the guilt.

Secondly you’ll feel really annoyed or angry.  I am SO jealous of anyone who gets to meet their Mum for coffee, text them knowing they’ll get a reply, go shopping with them, introduce them to their boyfriend. Blah blah blah. You can’t avoid the bitterness-inducing social media surge of how much everyone loves their Mums on Mother’s Day statuses, all the Insta-worthy photos of lunches out with the family etc etc.  Nor will you have been able to hide under your duvet until all the shops have removed their Mother’s Day paraphernalia, which seems to start Feb 15th FYI. In time this bitterness dies down
a bit, you’ll never not miss your Mum; you’ll just learn to get on with life without her physically being there. Which, trust me, sucks.

Thirdly, there is also the awkwardness of responding to anyone who doesn’t know you don’t have a mother.

‘So where are you off to on Mother’s Day?’

‘Erm, nowhere, she’s dead…’

A guaranteed conversation killer.

Then there’s also the awkwardness of anyone offering pity on you:

‘I know this day is always difficult for you Jemma, so why don’t you come and have a six course lunch with twenty eight members of my family?’….. But that’s where my next point comes in. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about my Mum.  I always wonder when I get myself into dumb situations or let myself down what she would say to me and what her advice would be.  I would swap anything to spend a day with her and I feel like I’m at an age now where I would genuinely want to do so many nice things with her.  When you’re young parents can be kinda embarrassing but as you grow older you realise you become pretty similar and that they weren’t such bad eggs after all.  I look at my friends relationships with their mothers and I’m so jealous.  It hurts.  I hate it. I hate the fact she will never see me as I am now, she’ll never see me become a mother too, or get married (if that ever happens….yuk) she’ll never meet the Bear and she’ll never be able to tell me off again for stealing her makeup.  I’ll never be able to ask her how to make the best scones ever, or how to wash my knitted jumper without shrinking it to fit a Barbie.

WE ALL NEED A MOTHER FIGURE…

Just because you don’t have a Mum doesn’t mean you can’t adopt another Mother figure.  Let’s face it, well all kinda need one!

OBVIOUSLY you can’t parade round acting like they are your REAL Mum, annoying anyone that’s actually related to them,  but you get my point…

I never went searching for one, my adopted Mummy just kinda happened.  I am so lucky to have such amazing friends in my life and their families are part of this. My boyfriend’s Mum is amazing and I love her so much, but she’s his
marma and not mine.  My adopted Mum is my BFF’s mum, Gill Sheeran, and she’s incredible. I can literally sit for hours talking to her and she’s one of the most kind, glamourous, and generous women I’ve ever met. I guess she’s more of a role model and an aspiration than anything.  Anyone who can look that good on a daily basis is a hero in my eyes.  She’s
brought up a family, been through hell and back and still laughs and smiles like a care-free soul.  She’s always there to talk to, offer advice, share a Gin with,  and make me feel good about life.  She also has a blog ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ so check her out- it’s awesome!

We can literally talk about anything.  I know it’ll never be the same as talking to my own Mummy but I think deep down every girl needs someone they can turn to as a Mother figure.  It’s nature.

So if you DO have a Mother on Mother’s Day just imagine how hard it would be if she wasn’t there, and if you don’t have one try to avoid the bitterness of those that do!  Go out and celebrate someone else’s!  I know my Marma would be more than happy for me to be sipping Prosecco in a bathrobe this Sunday,

Love you Marma,

J xx

Never heard of Skincere? Well you should have.  If you have sensitive skin or any sort of allergies (wheat, dairy, nuts, chemicals) then this brand should definitely be on your radar.

I’m usually a bit dubious of any product claiming to make a difference to your skin that is 100% natural and free-from everything.  In my head if something is free from everything what is in it that’s going to make such a difference? Or, rather, what ISN’T in it that will make such an improvement on my ever sensitive shell?

The range is made up of five simple products- all you’ll ever need for a great daily skincare regime. When I first tried these products my skin was really sore.  I had really dry skin on my face and the skin around my eyes was particularly sensitive. I was expecting the eye serum to sting but it didn’t.  My skin has never felt smoother.  I am in LOVE with this brand.  So simple and so effective.  When I read up on the brand I loved their ethos as it matched mine  ‘Whilst skincare products for sensitive skin may address the issue of irritation and sensitivity, they tend to do nothing for anti-aging or beauty…’ Hurrah! My sentiments exactly.  While I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed that my skin miraculously looks five years younger I
will say the skin on my face is in great condition, and even though my skin does tend to be really up and down (I blame hormones and all the other crap we women have to deal with) it’s definitely improved.  I always judge a new product on whether or not I get spots the first time I use it, and I didn’t get any after my first use of Skincere.  Plus, they’re
vegan-friendly and not tested on animals. Winner!

First up:  the Cream Cleanser.  I apply this directly to dry skin and massage it in, removing with a muslin cloth.  The cleanser has exfoliating properties and it super soothing.  Normally I’m pretty red-faced after removing my makeup, but not with this bad boy.  The only thing I will say is that if I’ve worn liquid eyeliner or heavier eye makeup I used an extra eye makeup remover to completely remove all makeup traces, however for the rest of my face it left it feeling fresh and smooth.  Packed full of ingreidents like coconut oil, aloe leaf juice, smoothing Shea butter, bilberry, orange and lemon.  Heaven in a cleansing tube!

Ahh my hero product: Facial Serum (£19.99) I don’t think a day has gone by recently where I’ve not used this, even if I’ve been using other brands on my skin!  This feels SO good.  I use this straight after cleansing, and this is the product they claim does all the good stuff- increases firmness, reduces age spots, hydrates and smoothes.   I think this is the beast that has evened out my skin tone.  I often have red patches on my face but these have definitely reduced and even after the first use my skin was super smooth.

I also use the Eye Serum (£14.99) to help look after my tired-eyes.  I always suffer with the skin aroud my eyes.  If you have allergies they always itch and my eyelids are often red and dry.  I definitely feel like my skin is more hydrated from using this.  Sometimes I forget to use it with the facial serum but it does have an instant smoothing effect, which is amazing!  I think my dark circles are mostly lack of sleep though- If only my skin did actually look ten years younger!

I always follow my serum with either their Day Cream or Night Cream (both £24.99).  Obvs depending if it’s the morning or not.  I thought the day cream wouldn’t hydrate my skin enough, it’s such a light consistency; however it’s really hydrating without causing any breakouts. It’s non greasy and packed full of antioxidants and botanical extracts.

I try to swap up my night cream, depending how dry my skin is.  But this is a firm favourite.  It feels rich without being too thick, which is a trait I love.  I read on the back that it helps stressed skin, which mine definitely is.  I spend far too much time worrying at night and over thinking things, my poor skin needs all the help it can get!  Avocado oil helps boost collagen production and the high levels of vitamin E reduces itching, inflamatio  and softens dry skin-perfect if you have Eczema like me!

If you do suffer from sensitive skin, definitely give this a try.  I’ve really been upping my skincare game now I have all this time off work following my accident.  It’s great to try new products, and you never know- you might discover the hero product you’ve been searching for!  The prices are so reasonable too.  It’s always a risk splashing out on something you don’t know will work, or even suit your skin!  To make things even better there’s a sale on over at the skincere website so you can get beautifully hydrated skin for a fraction of the price.  Now who doesn’t

love a bargain…

J xx

www.skincere.co.uk

**I wasn’t sponsored or paid for this post**

I’ve been absent from my blog for just over a week, which is pants.  About 9 days ago I managed to end up in hospital following a pretty bad fall from a horse.  It has been horrific, but I say pretty bad as it could have been a lot worse.  Moral of the story: wear a body protector!

Being in so much pain, damaged, immobile and TOTALLY reliant on others has made me really think about how much I take for granted and how grateful and thankful I really should be. In our lives it’s so easy  to moan and grumble about all
the ‘if onlys’ and the ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘if I worked harder/had more money/was curvier/thinner…’ etc etc , we forget about all the good things we have.

Being injured made me realise all the little things I normally take for granted. The freedom to drive, go where ever I want, change a pillow case without crying in pain, walk up and down stairs, run, or even brush the nest that is my hair without hurting.  It also made me realise how amazing people are, family and friends, and my dearest Bear.

Moving away from beauty and food, this post is all about my reasons to be happy and the things I am most grateful for 🙂 So I challenge you all today to think beyond the doom and gloom and appreciate the little things in life that, without which, you would be as miserable as Dot Cotton during a tomato juice strike.  You might have a the mother of all bitchy resting faces, but there’s ALWAYS a reason to smile!

THE PEOPLE WE LOVE

Whether you’re single or not the people we love the most need telling.  Friends, family, housemates (I class mine as close friends), your partner, that girl/boy you’ve fancied since time began.  Tell them. When I lay in hospital freaking out it was my Dad and my boyfriend who made me feel safe and realise that, even though I detest hospitals almost as much as funerals, I was in good hands and I was ok.

We rely on our friends to be there for us and I don’t think we realise how much until we need them the most.  Heartbreak, death, birth, change.  The people we are closest to are the ones that get us through life’s highs and lows, yet are probably the people we take for granted the most.  They’ll always be there, right?  After Mum died I now always make a point of telling Dad I love him whenever we speak.  I wish I’d told Mum every day.  I’d have been lost this week without the Bear, my family, and my friends.  Nothing brings your relationship closer than your boyfriend stepping up to be your carer let me tell you!

I’d have been lost without all the lovely texts, notes, food parcels and little gifts from my chums. They made me feel loved when I felt really low and I hope that I can always be there for them when they need a friend in return.

FREEDOM TO TRAVEL

If you can drive then you will know how amazing you felt when you first passed your test.  Over time that joy fades into rush-hour frustration but for me this week I realised how much I rely on little Hugo (my car) to go everywhere I need to. This week also made me so grateful for all the holidays I’ve had, especially my skiing trip recently.  I wouldn’t have been able to do that in my current state!  We are so lucky in our society that we can just book a flight and get out of here, we can even move to another town or country whenever we fancy.

Visiting new places not only widens your horizons but you learn so much and meet so many amazing people, and I’m so grateful for all the holidays and experiences I have had.  Here’s to many more!!!

MY LITTLE BLOG

This week I got lovely email from a company I’d written about in a previous post and it made me feel so happy!  I don’t work for myself (that’s my dream one day…) but my blog is the one thing I create alone, I make time for it and I know it’s all my work.  When I get a nice comment, or email it feels amazing because I know I’ve achieved that- all on my tod.  I love the blogging community, there are so many inspirational, interesting people out there, and even though sometimes it’s easy to just look at other people on social media and compare myself I also know there’s a tonne of support and wonderful things going on and I’m grateful to be a part of that.

EXERCISE

Some people may scream at their screens, or laugh in disbelief, at my next sentence but it’s true so sorry. I miss exercise.

There I’ve said it. I totally hold my hands up though, I’m one of those people that when it’s cold and wet will have to force myself and argue in my head to run or do anything energetic but when the choice is taken away from you, it sucks.  I miss horse riding, I miss being able to sprint up the stairs, pick up my ridiculously heavy camera at work, and run until I can barely breathe.  When I came back from my skiing trip I was on such a healthy eating/exercise kick I was feeling so good about myself, and then my stupid accident happened.

Getting up early at the weekend to go to the yard does suck, but once I’m riding I’m in my happy place.  I am nervous about how I’ll feel when a horse starts tanking off with me again, but I miss being in the saddle and I miss riding my bomb-proof old pony Oslo.

Exercise makes you feel SO good about yourself afterwards.  The endorphin hype is real and even though it can be tough the sense of achievement afterwards can’t be matched.  If you can move, just do it! This time last year I was training for the London Marathon, this year I’m training myself to pick things up with crutches…

MY HORSE

What a wonderful animal Oslo is.  My pride and joy (see above, photo credit: Lee Wallis) I love him more than words.  Not being able to drive to see him, stroke his velvety, moleskin-soft nose, and sit on top of the old boy is killing me. He wasn’t the horse I fell off (I love that horse too) but he is my special boy and I’ve owned him for over half my life.  He’s amazing. Everyone that meets him agrees and he’s taught me, and so many others an awful lot.

He’s the gentlest sole but a real character and I’d be lost without him.  Sometimes being at the yard, especially in winter, when everyone else is busy doing something else makes me question why I do it but then as soon as I’m at the yard I’m so happy and as soon as I cuddle Oslo I know I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.  Having a horse is a massive commitment but I’m lucky enough to have a situation where other people look after him too.  It took eight long years to persuade my parents that having a horse would be a good idea, and I’ve never looked back.  Being away from him makes me realise how fortunate I am to have a horse, and the special bond that comes with it.

HEALTH

Recovering from an accident is a long process and it was good to know from my scans that, other than my current damage, I’m a healthy person.  This isn’t something anyone should take for granted.  My sight, smell, touch, ability to move, I’m thankful for it all and I’ve realised how important it is to look after myself.  Diet and exercise is cruicial, and even though I’m enjoying boxsets and chocolate, it’s made me realise how much I need to stay healthy- not just for my skin but for my insides too.  I love creating healthy meals and food can be so much fun, when you’re a child like me and can even turn your own breakfast into a bear!  Health isn’t just about the physical though, good mental health is vital and I really hit a low point last week and it’s easy to just fill your mind with sorrow and self-pity.  This is where staying active, surrounding yourself with positive people, experiencing new and exciting things, and travelling will keep you healthy in mind and body!

TIME

Anyone who knows me knows I live my life at 100mph.  I am always in a rush (usually late), and I’m always the ‘I don’t have enough time’ person. I would never spend a full day in bed, or lounging on the sofa, ever.  I don’t have enough time.

These injuries have forced me to do pretty much sod all, and I’m (sort of) grateful for this.  I also don’t want to waste it.  I think we waste so much time doing stupid pointless things, that we could actually spend doing useful things to help us achieve our dreams and goals.  I am 100% guilty of this.

My problem now is that I’m always saying how much I dream of time off work but now I have it I’m so immobile I can’t get anything done! So when I am back up and running I intend to spend less time procrastinating about what I want to do and actually get on and do it! Well, here’s hoping anyway… In the mean time I need to be grateful and thankful that I’ve been given time to think- about what I want to do with myself, my career, where I’d like to be and what I’d like to do.  Time is precious and it’s nice to spend time on your own, getting happy in your own skin. These are just a few things I’m grateful for, I could go on all day but no one wants to read that amount of shizzle and this is long enough as it is!

So get thinking about what you’re grateful for and what you probably take for granted, and don’t forget to tell the people you love that you do!

J xx