Laura Butler-Madden's Winter Beauty Round-up

Those who know me will know that I’m a bit of a beauty addict – I’m also very brand loyal, so once I find a brand I love I do like to keep using it, which can cause it’s own issues as there are so many gorgeous brands out there to try! I also like to as much as possible to stick to natural products as I’m quite conscious about what I’m putting on my skin. I’m a huge fan of both Ren and Cowshed, which have amazing natural ranges – I have recently started using Cowshed’s new deodorant, Cow Pit, which I’m so pleased to have discovered. I’ve been looking for an effective chemical free deodorant for a long time and this one really fits the bill.

I’ve also recently discovered the brand Figs & Rouge – I simply love their range of products – the packaging is classy in monochrome and they use natural bio-active technology. I think in Winter it’s particularly important to look after and nourish your skin, so I wanted to share my top Winter beauty buys!

Laura Butler-Madden's Winter Beauty Round-up

  • First on my list is sleep! In winter I find I’m always lower in energy and so a good night’s sleep is even more important. For Christmas I was given a beautiful satin eye mask from Olivia Von Halle and it’s changed the way I sleep. In the past I have only ever used an eye mask when travelling on long haul flights, but over the last couple of months I’ve been channelling Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl and wearing it each night at home too. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed my sleep – although I don’t think I’m sleeping for longer, I am definitely sleeping more deeply, with less interruptions. And you just can put a price on a good night’s sleep!
  • A moisturising bath oil is really important to keep skin soft in winter months – my current choice is Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil from Ren.
  • It’s important to moisturise well after your bath too – for best results apply a moisturiser or oil while your skin is still a little damp – I’m currently using Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion, but another of my favourites is Divine Oil by Caudalie, which really does smell divine!
  • Also make sure you cleanse your skin well morning and night, but in the colder months use something gentle on your skin. My current choice is Figs & Rouge Clarifianté Purifying and I’m also loving their Hydra – Active 3 in 1 Hero Cream – perfect for dry skin on face or hands.
  • Really nourish your skin in Winter – I adore Chantecaille and I find the Aromacologie Vital Essence and Flower Harmonizing Cream perfect for these cold months, so I use those every morning and a night oil every evening – currently I’m using Själ Saphir Concentrate oil, which is a great product. Don’t be put off by the price tag as one small bottle will last months – I’ve had mine since October and it’s still going strong!
  • In Winter I wear also tend to wear a bit more make up – in summer I only wear a tinted moisturiser, but at the moment I feel that I need a bit more colour and coverage, so am using Chantecaille (I told you I was brand loyal!) Future Skin in Nude.
  • Otherwise I tend to keep my make up quite simple – YSL Touche Eclat and YSL Mascara and a slick of lipgloss…
  • Lips need a lot of care in Winter – currently I am loving Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil – it glides on, it really moisturising and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. The same goes for their Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, I love the soft colour that it gives – very natural and flattering.
  • Finally my choices for Winter scent! As I mentioned above, I have recently discovered Cowshed’s Cow Pit, which I love – it smells divine and it actually works, which isn’t always the case with natural deodorants. For perfume I’m a huge fan of Bella Bellissima – it’s a really upmarket, niche perfume brand sold in stores such as Selfridges and Fortnum’s. When it comes to scent I like to be unique and for this Bella is perfect. She has a large range with something to suit everyone. I’m currently alternating between Perfect Life and N0 3 – if you haven’t tried them before then I highly recommend popping to the counter in Selfridges for a good sniff!

Laura Butler-Madden's Winter Beauty Round-up

Laura Butler-Madden's Winter Beauty Round-up

 

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

We had the most glorious weekend with friends in New England in October – it’s taken me a while to get round to sorting all the photos of our trip, but finally I’m there! For P’s 40th birthday present we headed out to the US for a two week trip around New England. It was such a treat and we started the holiday in style by using our air miles to upgrade to First Class!

We arrived in Boston to spend the weekend with some great friends who live there – they have a gorgeous house in the Cambridge area of the City as well as a weekend house in the beautiful, leafy (which was perfect for that time of year!), sleepy seaside town of Annisquam.

As you can see from the photos, it really is a stunning place. The beaches and the clapboard houses are to die for. We pottered around the gorgeous town of Rockport (the town in the George Clooney movie, A Perfect Storm), bought some fresh lobster and headed back home after a delicious seafood lunch and walk on the beach.

That evening we wanted to catch the sunset in the bay next to their house – we were back a little late, so had to run to get there in time, but it was so worth it as you can see below! When we got home shattered from all the exertion(!), we relaxed in ourPJs, drinking champagne and eating lobster – such an indulgence and the perfect end to the perfect weekend!

The next part of the trip I’ll be sharing is our drive into Vermont to stay at the famous Pitcher Inn.

LBM

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Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

I have been fairly quiet over the past few months – working away behind the scenes on the blog’s new look, our new house, as well as a new website for interior design.

I have been getting more and more enquiries over the last year or so, which is very flattering, so I thought it time to take the plunge and put a portfolio website together online – the result is LBM Design Studio – I really hope you like it!

To celebrate the launch thought I would take a little trip down memory lane with you. Over the coming weeks I will share pictures of some of the rooms I have enjoyed designing the most as well as some of the rooms that have resonated most online, being shared on sites like Houzz and Pinterest.

First up is this lovely master bedroom in Battersea. It was one of the first projects I worked on and I loved this space so much – the striking wallpaper from Tapet Cafe, combined with Cornforth White paint from Farrow & Ball worked well together to create a lovely calming palette and a serene, elegant space. A calming colour palette is the basis of all bedrooms that I design – I really feel they should always be a luxurious sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house.

The Vogue print in the picture above was a personal commission – I asked my talented friend Buzzy to paint it for me and he has since been asked to recreate it a few times after people have spotted it on Pinterest. I think it has been saved over 20,000 times in total, which is just amazing!

I hope you like this selection of images – if you want to recreate a look similar to this in your home, then sign up for blog updates or follow me on instagram, as I will be sharing a ‘Get the Look’ post here soon!

LBM

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Happy New Year (I know it a little late for that!), but I’ve been working away behind the scenes all month on a blog redesign – I hope you like it!

I also wanted to share with you some of my favourite moments from January – a month when many suffer from the post-holiday blues, this year I chose to make it a time for me; a time to be quiet and reflect and enjoy our lovely new home and the beautiful countryside surrounding us. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have already seen some of these pictures, but for those who don’t, they perfectly depict some of the month’s best moments.

January is often a time when we decide to make big changes; dramatically cut things from our diets, begin a new exercise regime, or cut out any bad habits. This year I decided to do nothing of the sort! Instead my sole aim was to be gentle and kind to myself – to slow down after the chaos of 2016 and renovating/moving into our house just in time for Christmas. We still have quite a way to go on the house and I will love sharing our progress with you along the way. So instead of any big resolutions, I decided to add a few nice, gentle activities into my daily routine that all focussed on slowing down and being kinder to myself. The bonus about choosing these nice/gently things is that they have been so joyful and easy to stick to, that they will remain with me for the rest of the year.

My daily yoga with Adriene (if you haven’t heard of her before then I highly recommend checking her out on YouTube) is a wonderful start to the morning, our longer daily walks with the dogs have been so beautiful- the scenery so stunning and serene, and meditating each evening has been a wonderful way to wind down and still the mind. I have been using meditations by Oprah & Deepak – they are brilliant and there’s a huge selection, so something for everyone.

I have loved spending more time with P and the dogs, walking through the stunning countryside that surrounds us here in Dorset. I have also really enjoyed settling into our new home and making little bits of progress each day; whether unpacking bits and bobs or having a brainwave about a fabric or piece of furniture, I am loving pottering and making it feel like home.

My final new discovery this month had been the delicious and wonderfully fragrant Rose Bud Tea by Jing Tea – a lovely indulgent treat in the afternoon, like a little bit of heaven in a cup.

What have been the highlights of your month?

LBM

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I want to wish all my lovely readers a really Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year – I really hope that 2017 is a lovely, calm and positive year for everyone. 

We are finally feeling a bit settled in the new house – it was a very stressful first month, with almost everything that could break/not work deciding to do so! These last few days have felt much calmer though and having the Christmas tree brings a smile to my face every time I walk into the room.

I want to finish the year with a lovely story and hopefully a good omen for our new home and the year ahead. 

Yesterday morning Patrick and I got back from some last minute food shopping in Poundbury and whilst unpacking into the fridge, we heard a noise coming from the Christmas Tree. I put it down to needles dropping and rustling on the way down, but after a few more minutes we heard a different sound. It sounded like a tweeting, but the bird decorations on the tree don’t speak, so we headed over to take a closer look (the dogs were super excited by the drama!) and found a little Robin flitting between the branches!

We have no idea how he could have got in – with recent stormy weather windows haven’t been open and the doors only briefly to go in and out, but there he was happily sitting on the tree. We would have loved for him to have stayed, but we opened a window and after a moment or two he flew out into the garden. 

It really made us smile and was lovely thing to happen at Christmas – a happy note to end the year on!

Happy Christmas and look forward to catching up with you all in 2017.

LBM

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