Holywood mums can make everything look so easy, but juggling work, kids and not having a glam squad to prep you 24/7, can throw a major wrench in your once pristine skincare routine… I know, I am one of them! In truth, there are mornings I am just about thrown together and barely washed when I get my daughter to school - never mind a beauty routine. Thankfully I am self-employed, so can run to the gym or back home after school drop off to spruce up before I get to my desk or a meeting. So this month, I tapped into a group of busy mummies who I am friends with (our group chat is a movie waiting to happen) and offered them the opportunityto help me review some fab new products which have just become available on - well, it was Mother’s Day after all!

When you get to your 30s (or 40s!) you can become a real self-confessed skincare addict, and I know many of us spend more than we would like to admit on oils that promise to revitalise skin, masks to keep us blemish free and moisturisers which promise to transform skin instantly. As we get older it is no secret that our skin needs that little bit more TLC and, combined with unpredictable weather, air-conditioning, busy lifestyles and everything else daily life throws our way, you could say we need/deserve it.

First up is PAULA’S CHOICE REDNESS RELIEF MINERAL MOISTURIZER (£28.45) which was reviewed by busy mum and double business owner Demelza.

I was excited when I heard that Paula Begone, the leading skincare expert and author had created her own skincare line. Paula has sold over 2.5 million copies of her skincare books and has appeared on the liked of Oprah and Dr Oz to talk all things skin. Using her years of research on skincare she has created a product line using ingredients that are proven to make your skin look younger and appear more radiant, so I had high hopes for her latest range.

Demelza is now well and truly converted, telling me: “After recently being diagnosed with rosacea, which isn't just for old people or heavy drinking males as I had thought, it’s a skin condition that can include stinging sensations, permanent redness and visible blood vessels, I was delighted to be asked to try Paula's Choice Redness relief mineral moisturizer as for months I have been trying lots (and I mean lots!) of different things to make the redness in my pale Irish skin disappear, but to no avail! 

“I don't actually know how much this mineral moisturiser costs but my initial impression of the packaging was that it looked attractive, expensive and contained natural healing ingredients so I couldn't wait to cover my face in it.”

She continued: “The cream itself is cooling and soothing. It’s creamy and white with no green tinge which I was expecting. Once on, it instantly calmed my redness so much so that I didn’t need concealer as well as foundation.

“It does have a distinct smell that I can't put my finger on. It smells organic and earthy - not unpleasant, but I do have other creams that smell so good I wish they were edible! Haven't thought that about this one to be fair, but if it’s doing its job….

“Finally, a big plus for me is it has a SPF30 rating, making it a one-stop option if you’re on the lazier side of beauty regimes like me. I have been using it for over a week now and I am very impressed! The inflamed redness in my skin has definitely reduced.”

The verdict - will Demelza continue to use it? She said a big YES! Will she be buying it? “Most definitely! It protects, calms & moisturises my skin and has enabled me to do the manic morning school run again makeup free without the thoughts running through my head are the other parents wondering... what is going on with her face?!”

So Paula's Choice Redness Relief Mineral Moisturizer is now Demelza's choice!

Next up was another product from the Paula’s Choice range, THE SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA LIQUID (£27.45). Read Katie’s review below;

“I suffered acne as a teenager and throughout my adult life have been prone to break outs. Now in my thirties these breakouts can appear redder and take longer to heal.  I have been using Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. I had never heard of the brand before (like most busy mums I guess I just stick to the brands I know and without much thought go back to products that I buy time and time again).

“In just over a week the difference in my skin has been amazing, my pores clearer, skin smoother and any blemishes have cleared up in record time. I would also suffer from blackheads and they are disappearing as never before! It is quick to use – I simply apply the liquid to a cotton pad after cleansing and toning and use it every morning and evening. The BHA (beta hydroxy acid) works by exfoliating your skin and cleaning your pores. 

This product is now part of my daily routine and one of my must-have beauty products.  I would recommend it to anyone with problem skin as the results are really so good!”

Noted on the product : Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin

Alpha-H revolutionised skincare with its innovative products. Judith reviewed the ALPHA-HLIQUID GOLD SMOOTHING AND PERFECTING MASK, (£38.95) a top selling product that is a firm favourite all over the world.

Exfoliators are THE miracle product, they cover everything in one bottle, from making skin more radiant to unclogging pores, preventing breakouts and giving skin an instant boost. Aplha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask contains 15% Glycolic Acid which is great for exfoliation, (Alpha-H pioneered the use of Gylcolic Acids in skincare nearly 20 years ago).

This weekly treatment is designed to give a boost to all skin types, particularly dull looking skin and the fast-acting formula means you see instant results and for busy mums on the go that is something we love to hear!

Judith said: “This is a lovely mask to use as it’s really light on the skin and easy to apply. I left it on for 10 minutes and, unlike other masks I have used, it didn’t harden on my face or feel uncomfortable in any way. It was easy to remove and afterwards my skin felt really smooth and refreshed. There was definitely a glow!

“I am looking forward to using this as part of my weekly skincare routine and hope to see a reduction in redness as a result. I loved the scent of it too and later found out that the luxurious mask is enriched with lavender oil, rose oil, wheatgerm oil, macademia seed oil and pure manuka honey to deeply nourish and hydrate. It works by clarifying, exfoliating and brightening skin, leaving you with a beautiful glowing, refined and balanced texture. This product gets a big thumbs up from me!

“Working deep into the skin, rehydrating it and instantly making skin more radiant, I recommend you get your hands on this product, fast!”  

Last but most definitely not least was PESTLE AND MORTAR PURE HYALURONIC SERUM (£35.95) which was reviewed by Edel;

“As a full-time working mum of a very active 5 year old, the skincare routine of my 20’s has been replaced by a pared down selection of old trusted favourites as I hit my 40’s. With a lack of sleep, central heating, office air conditioning and our current cold weather, I don’t have time for fuss but I do need fast results.

My idea of a hydrating serum is of a silk-like cooling lotion that disappears without a trace leaving my skin feeling comfortable and baby soft; something that banishes in an instant, the tightness, sensitivity and dullness of a hardworking, under-pressure skin. This is what I was promised with the Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum so, I was like a child on Christmas morning as I opened the simple but apothecary style packaging to find a clear glass bottle with a tear dropper top.

“I dutifully cleansed and toned my skin and applied 2-3 drops and was initially quite pleasantly surprised. My skin felt cool, comfortable and so ridiculously satiny-soft that I couldn’t stop touching it. In short, it felt like a dream.

“A few minutes in however and I just wasn’t loving it quite so much. It was making my skin feel tight. Not to a great extent but enough for me to notice and start to dislike the sensation. Dehydrated skin isn’t necessarily dry, it just needs a boost to feel comfortable but the last thing dehydrated skin needs is to feel tighter.

“Friends and work colleagues remarked that I looked ‘fresher’ but personally, the tightening effect was just too much for me. But then, I used to work on the Clarins counter and didn’t like the Beauty Flash Balm, which most women don’t even notice the effects of on their skin - ‘tightening’ products just aren’t for me I suppose.

“It says on the packaging and on the Pestle and Mortar website that the serum can also be used as a primer under makeup. I tried that option and was much happier. My skin still had the tight feeling although it wasn’t as uncomfortable as when applied under my moisturiser and for a special occasion or a night out it will keep foundation perfectly in place, which is an excellent bonus!

“Verdict: if you have oily to combination skin in need of a little hydration and a touch of firming or want your makeup to stay flawless, then this is for you. If like me, you have dehydrated skin that feels tight and needs a bit of TLC then you’d probably be better off using it under a rich moisturiser.”

So that’s it - my first guest reviewers - now I am wondering if I can christen them my beauty bitches?

As we wave goodbye to the cold(er) weather and step into spring I know I am certainly ready for some much-needed sunshine! (Ok, I know this is NI weather we are talking about, but can’t a gal dream?!)

Catch up next week!