My Skincare Routine

This week I thought I’d blog about my skincare routine. For the first time I’m feeling pretty good about my skin, its soft, clear and glowing. What more could anyone ask for? Hopefully some of these tips will help you achieve that too.

My Skin Type.

I have combination skin. It is very sensitive, prone to spots across my t-zone and dries out if products are too harsh. It’s rare that I find something I can use across my whole face.

Morning Skincare Routine.

As you will have seen from my other posts I am quite time poor in the mornings so I don’t do anything time consuming!


As my skin is clean from a through cleanse the night before it doesn’t need much. I tried just splashing it with warm water but I found this too drying. I had a sample of the REN Centifolia Cleansing Gel which I liked and re-bought.  It’s a non foaming wash off cleanser with a lovely rose fragrance.  This isn’t a holy grail product although it does the job, I’ll probably look for something else once this bottle is empty. I use it in the shower, a quick wash and rinse, job done.

REN Rosa Cleansing Gel Skincare


After my shower I use REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream.  This is £20 which I think is middle of the road price wise for a 50ml bottle. It is available from lots of places but I normally get it from M&S as they often have a 20% off beauty discount. I apply this all over my face and neck.

REN Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream Skincare



Then I pat the Superdrug Vitamin E eye cream £2.99 gently under and over my eye area with my ring finger.  I have spent fortunes on eye creams in the past and most of them make my eyes run, this is the only one that hasn’t. I’m starting to see more fine lines appear around my eyes so might need to upgrade this soon. Any recommendations would be gratefully received.  Superdrug Vitamin E eye cream. Skincare

I leave about 5 minutes for everything to sink in, or the amount of time It takes me to drink a cup of tea before I start applying my make up. (If you are a make up junkie like me my last blog post was all about my make up routine so whizz over and have a look).

Evening Skincare Routine:


I mentioned this product in my Sunday Saviour this week. If you haven’t already seen every Sunday Evening I do a post about my favourite product of the week. (This weeks Sunday Saviour) Anyway so every evening I cleanse with the Una Brennan Superfacialist Oil, £10.99 I absolutely love it, its like a mini facial every night and my skin is really benefitting from it. The School Run Style Social Product of the week. Skincare

After this I use the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser £5.99

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser Skincare

In my opinion this is equally as good as Liz Earle, the main differences are that it doesn’t smell as nice and the muslin isn’t quite as good. It is also a bargain in comparison, and is often on “buy one half price” making it even better value. I apply this to a damp face and polish off with a flannel, although this comes with a muslin I prefer the exfoliation a flannel gives. I use Ikea Krama Washcloth £3 for 10, they are brilliant.


Approximately 2-3 times a week I then use PIXI Glow Tonic £18, a glycolic acid toner.

PIXI Glow Tonic Skincare

I have really noticed a reduction in my open pores, less imperfections and generally smoother looking skin since I’ve used this. The pores aren’t completely gone though and I might try a different type of toner once this has run out, but I’d say for anyone starting to acid tone this a great first product.


But this time I am desperate for my bed but just three (face) products to go!!

First I use the Aldi Lacura Caviar Serum, I can’t link to this as it isn’t for sale on the Aldi website, it is only stocked during their special offer weeks. This cost around £8 and is favourably compared to La Prairie’s range of caviar creams which are £150+. This is applied all over my face, and for the price it goes on my neck and sometimes décolletage too! I like it, it’s my first foray into serums and its good, my skin likes it and looks good, what more can I say?Aldi Lacura Caviar Serum Skincare


After this I apply my Eye cream (same as above) and a few moments later once the serum has sunk in I use REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream £32. This goes all over my face and neck. It is pricer in comparison to my daily moisturiser but you only need a small amount so its lasts a while. Ren V-Cense Night Cream - Skincare

So thats it, I’m done, apart from hand cream and lip balm!! Some nights I wish I could just roll into bed, particularly if wine or gin has been consumed. However, I think I’m at the age where I really need to prioritise skincare otherwise I’ll be punished. I hope to live for many years so a few minutes a night isn’t too much of a sacrifice!


My last word, I think one of the best skincare tips I can give you is drink lots of water. I am pretty religious in my consumption of at least two litres of water a day.  If this drops for any reason (normally inversely proportional to my chocolate consumption) I can see it in my skin.

Right I am off its been a long day. I’ll be back on Sunday with this weeks Sunday Saviour, which is a new member of the family…..intrigued? See you on Sunday then!

New Year….new post!

Happy New Year, is it still ok to say that 15 days later? Its been ages since I last posted, I’ve been concentrating on consistently posting on my Instagram…what am I saying, you all know its been Christmas and with three children getting organised is no mean feat, plus I wanted to enjoy some time with my husband and our self assembled family of friends. It was great, some wonderful times were had by all, there were also door slamming (them) tearing hair out (me) type moments, but this is social media so we should gloss over them eh??? I still can’t believe its all over, I’m behaving like a jilted girlfriend unwilling to let it go, much to the husbands displeasure the fairly lights have remained in the lounge plus some other prettiness in the kitchen. My eldest Daughter keeps saying “I wish it could be Christmas everyday” or is that me saying it to her? either way I’m grieving the loss of the family time, feel good films, lazy mornings and the food, oh yes the food; the chocolate, the cheese, the mounds of turkey, the puddings and the gin. Well this hasn’t gone completely but January has heralded my return to the gym and with it a little more self restraint on the food and drink front. The week before Christmas also saw the breaking of the ground on our new extension, phase 3 of 250 on our house renovation has begun. This alone is driving me to drink, not to mention all the cups of tea I am making for the builders means I am drinking more tea and a cup of tea without biscuits alongside is lonely…so all in all I am doomed on the dry January and dieting front, but its not all my fault, its circumstances isn’t it?

So after so long off, what am I doing going forward? Well my plan is to do a “Sunday Saviour” post which will feature my must have item for the week, and then on a Thursday publish a longer post which might be, a weekly outfit round up, an insight into my skincare/make up/hair routines, a look in my wardrobe, a shopping haul, my take on a new trend, the general musings of a shopaholic or any combination of the above. If you have anything at all you would like to see please comment below or use the contact page, I would love to read your ideas and add them into my schedule.

To complement my blog posts I will be posting five out of seven days a week on Instagram www.instagram/com/theschoolrunstylesocial so follow me there for outfit posts and snapshots of our family life. I also have a Pinterest page where I pin outfit ideas, and new purchases and my ever growing wish lists! If you are interested in reading more, or just seeing if I keep my promise of regular posting please subscribe using the form in the sidebar and my new blog posts will be delivered directly to your inbox.

Thanks for reading, its good to be back.


What I wore today – ok the 31st October!!


Anna Smith - Style Blogger - What I wore today

Ok so the Halloween banner gives the game away slightly, this clearly wasn’t today, I’ve been procrastinating for so long that I’ve taken until now to post it. So why have I posted it, well it was a seminal moment. I have been practising taking outfit post photos for quite a while now and they just were not what I wanted this was the first photo I took I was happy with so I couldn’t post it, its symbolic.


So what am I wearing from top to bottom:

M&S check scarf

Sainsburys TU jersey jacket – I only purchased this a couple of weeks back but its not showing on line. I’ll come back and add some similar items later.

M&S Orange Crepe Top

M&S Super Skinny Jeans (otherwise known as jeggings)

M&S Brown Suede Ankle boots.

Its been a very M&S heavy day today, is that a bad thing?

As always please let me know any of your thoughts or comments. All of my outfits are shown on my Instagram so if you aren’t already following me please take a look at the schoolrunstylesocial.


Not just any coat a school run coat….

Its December, my most favourite month of the year. Its full of promise, excitement, colour, fun, glorious food, copious amounts of alcohol and the presents, well I couldn’t be a fashion blogger without the love of presents both giving and receiving I hesitate to add, but slightly more love for the receiving.  So on this bitingly cold beautiful December morning my thoughts turn to a school run coat…… of the many shopping quests of Mothers up and down the country and across the world come to think of it. Today I’m looking into what makes a school run coat and hunting down some on the high street.

So what are the key attributes of a school run coat:


Well this needs no introduction, clearly in this country a school run coat must be waterproof, not showerproof actual full on waterproof. Has anyone else noticed that at approximately 2:45 most days even when its been clear and bright all day the clouds start to gather and there it is rain, sheets of the stuff. In my two and a half years as a “school run mum” I have been drenched on many occasions, I mean drenched to the bone, get home take all your clothes off, your pants are wet, your shoes need tipping out as they are full of water (I wore ballet pumps that day…will I never learn!). This happened to some of my friends a week or so ago, luckily I had delegated pick up duty to the husband, the gods were smiling at me for once! Anyway back to coats. Proper waterproof is required mark…my…words!


Again a bit of a no brainer but before I started school I didn’t actually own an actual warm coat. My job meant getting out of a toasty car walking as fast as humanly possible to a warm dry shop and staying there all day and often night only to return back to the car as fast as possible. I owned plenty of coats all right, beautiful black wool coats (I’ve still got my absolute favourite from Massimo Dutta, it was a thing of beauty and love at first sight so even though Ill never wear it again it still justifies its place in the wardrobe) a gorgeous Cadbury’s purple dress coat I bought for my best friends winter wedding and several biker jackets…you can never have too many of these right. Well for the school run it’s wrong all wrong. You need a proper about to walk up a mountain, like I’m still wrapped up in my duvet type of coat, it helps ease the pain I feel when I realise its 2:45 and I’ve got to leave the log fire and head out to collect my little darlings, a little.


So this is where the stylish aspect of a school run coat can fall down slightly. However length is all important. Personally I’m quite short well average I suppose with a long body and I really shouldn’t be wearing a coat that falls anywhere past the top of my hips or at the very least the thinnest bit of my upper thigh to get my proportions correct. However and this is where although you might know all of the fashion rules sometimes you have to break them my absolute favourite school run coat is a calf length down padded jacket (remember I said duvet, well this is it!) Ideally your coat would be long, the biting wind and driving rain getting to your jeans is not comfortable and what is stylish about being a hunched shouldered, shivering blue lipped, wet jeans kind of girl.

So why is it so important…

Well I was pondering this thought with one of my fashion wife over the weekend and a coat is really bloody important, not just to protect you from hypothermia and overexposure, I do live in the midlands as apposed to the outer Hebrides but I firmly feel both of these could be a possibility if I ventured out without a coat. It is so important as lets face it for 6-8 depending on the weather months of the year its all people see of you. I can spend ages deliberating what to wear but once a coat is over it no one will see, unless its the dog once I get home!

My top picks..

I’m not really a practical practical kind of girl but I know that if looking for waterproof and warmth North Face comes high on the list of a brand you can rely on. The North Face Arctic Parka is a school run perennial but at £350 doesn’t come cheap.

8fdecdc18412a6b2f402eaf73c6f8a68For a slightly more slim line version have a look at the Zaneck Parka which is a more reasonable £250, still a frighteningly large amount of money for something that is practical, however if this is to be your only coat the cost per wear will come down very quickly. If you are like me and may need a brown, navy, green and cream version you may need to think again!.

7648234579a422ce865d2c786ae02f3eIn recent years I have found myself moving away from North Face, primarily as the fit isn’t quite right on me but also as they seem a little too practical and moving into brands that seem to be able to combine the performance required (often North Face and Berghaus are more than I need which is reflected in the cost) and moving to a newer more niche brand. My current favourite is Ilse Jacobsen. I have a pair of her Hornbaek wellies and they are awesome so when I am next due a coat I’ve shortlisted this one.



Next on my list to try is a Didriksons parka:

bl_208756_aAs I have been searching for this online I have found that several retailers now have this reduced to £160, tempted oh so tempted, I need to sit on my hands and get this blog finished!

For those of you looking for something more reasonably priced look no further than M&S, my favourite duvet coat is from here and its Per Una of all places!! Look out for their coats with stormwear as its their waterproofing trademark and it really is very good. Here are some of this years offerings:

Long stormwear available in navy and black, £99:sd_01_t49_3726_y0_x_ec_90Shorter storm wear coat available in Black, Navy and Cream, £69:sd_01_t49_3560_sw_x_ec_90

Also here is a Per Una offering that admittedly is not stormwear but looks really cozy and warm and its oversized collar and tie waste make it a smarter alternative to the ones above, it looks a little light sausagemeat in this photo but I have higher hopes for it in the flesh!sd_01_t49_3816l_sr_x_ec_90

I love Massimo Dutti as it suits my casual smart style perfectly (I’m not smart casual, that makes me think of men in chinos with no ties) and they also have some smarter padded coats for the school run, I have tried these so can’t comment on their actual waterproofing or keeping warm abilities but they are definitely more stylish than the North Face offerings.

Navy with fur collar £2296726601401_2_1_13


Navy fitted parka £109



A brand that also gets lots of love for the school run is Seasalt. Their Janelle coat at £140 in particular has got the most love, rated 5 star on their website.


If you don’t like the fact its knee length the Kellifray at £99 is a mid thigh option but isn’t available in the rainbow of colours the Janelle is.



But what if you want to ignore all of these rules and you just seen a coat and you love it and it isn’t waterproof and it isn’t warm and it hits that sweet spot right at the thinnest part of your leg…well here a couple of tips for making it work for you:

A uniqlo ultra light down jacket, these little beauties roll down to nothing and can hide inside your wool coat making them toasty warm. Choose a matching colour or even a complementary contrasting one which will add a bit of interest if its seen.



Also at uniqlo their heattech range is amazing, shown below is a crew neck long sleeved tee, they do these in all different styles and colours of the rainbow, they are thin and are perfect for layering, adding warmth without bulk.

And accessorise accessorise a huge scarf like my new Zara khaki one (Ive done a whole post on scarves here) adds warmth and colour.khaki

Gloves: I love my sheepskin gloves mine where from M&S last Christmas but here are this years version:


Finally the all important one, don’t forget your umbrella, you can even get ones that attach to your pushchair….a buggy brolly. I’ve never tried one, but they are one of those inventions that I’m sure thousands of mothers across the country have wished for!.

I hope this has been helpful, if you have enjoyed reading or have any coat finds of your own please comment below or contact me here and ill get back to you. There are a million trillion coats out there and I have only linked a few but I have a specific Pinterest board dedicated to school run coats here which I add to as and when I find anything I like so head over and have a look, don’t forget to follow it so you can see my new finds as soon as possible.

Enjoy your day, go forth and eat mince pies!

When is a scarf not just a scarf? Where to buy, how to tie and storage tips.

Towards the end of summer I often hear friends talking of looking forward to getting out their ankle boots or opaque tights, for me I cant wait to get my scarves out. How I love them, and therefore unsurprisingly have a rather extensive collection. As I mentioned in my post about getting ready in a hurry I find that a great scarf can really brighten up any outfit, they take two seconds to put on and there is always one for every budget.

Here are the top four scarves in my wardrobe:


1. Zara Check – Zara is great for scarves and this was a bloggers favourite from last year. This review is short and sweet, this scarf ticked my two most important scarf boxes: first and most obviously colour, its got lots of colours woven in to it so can be worn with so many different colour combinations and secondly size, this scarf is massive it easily wraps my neck twice and its width means it comes up to my ears, perfect for those chilly days. I also think a large scarf looks more stylish than its thinner more traditional counterparts.




I would say that Zara is now my first choice shop when looking for a scarf, further on i’ll list my top picks from them this season.

2. Mulberry woodland – this was a thirtieth birthday present from my husband. Mulberry scarves can be hideously expensive but if you visit their outlet stores they can be picked up at more reasonable prices, Bicester village has a great selection but their Shepton Mallet store more so. This scarf’s cost per wear is probably about 1p now as it is so easy to throw on whatever the weather as it is so light. Whilst the print might not be for everyone I find that all of the colours are perfect for me so complement pretty much 90% of my wardrobe.




3. Hush camel scarf £59.00, the newest addition to my scarf wardrobe. I have been on the hunt for a plain camel scarf for a while, I love to wear my Jones Leopard print ballerinas (currently out of stock but similar here and here) and get the heeby jeebies when I reach for those and my normal scarves, I would like to be able to clash patterns but it just isn’t for me. This is on the pricier side but I had some John Lewis vouchers so that made it in line with Zara prices and it is 100% lambswool which I am happy to pay extra for. I predict you will probably become bored of seeing me in this quite quickly! This is currently out of stock online at hush but is available on the John Lewis website here and in stores.




4. Becksondergaard coral cashmere blend. This brand makes brilliant scarves, they are often printed, stars being one of their signature styles. I have a couple of these scarves but this plain one is my most reached for, it just brightens up any outfit and this colour looks good against my face. My wardrobe used to be devoid of colour, it was mostly filled with black and charcoal grey as this formed the basis of my working wardrobe. After the birth of my first little girl I found myself lost as I only felt confident in my work clothes, things I would not be wearing again for many years (they are still in a box in the loft though, I loved dressing for work and do have hoarding tendencies) so I decided to inject some colour into my clothing. I found that bright clothes particularly tops, just seemed out of my comfort zone but scarves were a different matter. So to those of you who are frightened of colour use a scarf to ease you out of comfort zone too.


What are your favourite scarves and why? leave me a comment at the bottom so we can swap scarf stories!

My top picks from Zara this season:


This years version of my scarf £19.99  for the reasons I outlined above this is a brilliant scarf, the colours are a little cooler than last year but the black and traditional green and reds make it a great choice for winter.




Zara leopard print scarf £17.99 Leopard print is an incredibly popular and versatile print, its classic colours complement many others so is a go to for me. For many leopard might be daunting and can to some be perceived as cheap (Bet from Coronation Street anyone?) but a leopard scarf, shoe or bag is a great way of weaving it into your wardrobe if you are just dipping your feet into this trend. Unhelpfully the Zara website doesn’t seem to give its dimensions but it is lovely and chunky.


Camoflage £19.99 Camoflage is another of my favourite prints and is very “on trend” this season with the fashion for military style clothes continuing. It is also huge at 100x200cm so you’ll be able to wrap it perfectly.














My definite purchase khaki plain £19.99 I am hitting the ordering button on this as we speak, there is a khaki scarf shaped hole in my wardrobe and this looks like it fits the bill perfectly, at a whopping 210×120 it ticks my colour and size boxes so needs to be mine. It also comes in plenty of other colours sure to tickle your fancy.




There are lots more Zara scarves I could show you but we’ve got other things we need to discuss so here is the link for the Zara scarves page should you want to head over there, once you have finished reading this post of course.

A new brand? Becksondergaard.


Some of you may have already heard of Becksondergaard but for others this may be a new discovery. They aren’t the cheapest out there but if you shop around you can get them at H&M prices, look out for them in the ASOS sale and also at TK Maxx where they are between £15 and £25. Here are my current top picks:

Light pink and grey : this is a great spring early summer colour combination, I can see it paired with grey skinny jeans, ankle boots and a charcoal oversized woolly jumper, it’s also a bargain and can be winging its way to you tomorrow courtesy of amazon prime, what’s not to love?


The dressing room is the UKs official Becksondergaard stockist and has a fabulous selection of their scarves and now bags too. The dressing room is a fab independent store stocking lists of niche brands and I believe if you sign up to their newsletter you get 10% off your order, it’s well worth a look at their website. I’ve currently got my eye on:





How to tie your scarf:


I tend to tie my scarves in two ways:




They are easy throw on styles, after all I’m a Mum in a hurry!

How to store your scarves:


So with an unabating scarf obsession how do I store them? I turned to pinterest and discovered lots of people using the Ikea komplement multi use hanger which I duly purchased and filled but with my long thick scarves it looked messy, too big to fit any where, and it was a little fiddly to tie them on (I am time poor, or is that lazy???) but is a great idea for those of you with short thin scarves. So on my very own I came up with the idea of using ikea hanging storage compartments. It seems like I’m not the only one with this idea. This is how my scarves look:


I quickly roll each scarf up and pop it in the pocket. They are hanging next to my coats so are easily seen and its perfect for grabbing a coat and a scarf before I fly out of the door! As you can see I have the floral pockets which are no longer available, the picky in me would much prefer plain but too many ikea trips (the meatballs made me do it) and my lifelong search for storage solutions have left me with an excess of these ones (I have two more that can be yours for the price of postage if you would like, just message me, better still if two of you want them I can finally justify my need for the plain ones!!!)

Lastly a major hint for those liking thinner scarves when you buy them in store they are coated with a wonderful substance that keeps them crease free and full looking but after a number of wears and certainly once they are washed this goes and no one likes a limp scarf so I iron and use spray starch, in a couple of minutes your scarf will be restored to looking brand new.

As always I would love to hear your comments or questions so please leave them below or email me at

Thanks for reading.

My top 5 tips for getting ready in a hurry.

So picture this….

Monday morning, its 7am…well lets be realistic as I love the snooze button, 7:15… you’ve got three children to feed, water, clean and get out of the house by 8:30 and you need to get yourself ready to face the day. Where at all possible I never get dressed quickly and come home and get changed, I am aiming for right first time, every time. That’s not to say that on my exercise days I don’t relish the opportunity to go up to school in my gym gear and spend the extra time drinking that much needed cup of tea.

1.My personal tactic is to get the children all dressed and sorted first, I need as much time horizontal as physically possible so getting up earlier to get myself ready does not appeal. So once the children are ready they get a treat of 30 mins cbeebies or in the case of the baby he loved spending the whole time this morning emptying the waste paper basket in my room.  As soon as the clock strikes 8 its over to me.

2. Know exactly what you are going to wear. There is no time for the systematic trying on of outfits and hanging them up on the floor that I would usually employ when getting dressed at the weekend. This is a military operation. I have an outfit board of much loved combinations that helps me on mornings where speed is the key. This piece of art justifies its on blog post, so more on that another day. So before you go to bed the night before spend 2 minutes deciding on your clothes for the next day. A top tip here is to check the weather forecast too, ballet pumps and 3 inches of rain is never a good look.

3. Keep it simple. A classic outfit of skinny jeans and a Breton is a school run staple. Personally I don’t want to look overdone, for me its not about dressing to catch attention, just to look and feel good. That said I don’t want to be too safe so i’ll add an eye catching scarf, a statement necklace or some statement shoes to show that extra attention to detail which makes me feel more pulled together and confident.

4. A quick make up routine. I’ll revisit this in more detail as its worth talking about fully but getting a pared down make up routine is really important. My morning basics are primer, concealer, foundation, blusher/bronzer, mascara and eyebrows. Then should you be going into work or meeting friends you can always add eye shadow or liner to intensify your look. Or if like me on many occasions you are heading home to catch up with your dear friends Matthew Wright or Phil and Holly you wont feel overdone but can rest assured you wont scare the postman away with your daily amazon prime delivery.

5. An awesome lipstick My most recent discovery, and definitely justifies its own position in my top five. Before you head out of the door splash on a lipstick or a gloss, and smile. I have been known to do this step whilst heading up the road so a gloss is always a good option for those of us without make up artist skills. I also keep a spare gloss in my pocket for just this occasion.  Every time, without fail when I have worn a coloured lipstick someone has commented on how I look. Who doesn’t love validation, especially from other women, who can after all be our harshest critics.

The school run can be a daunting place and many of us will still be settling into a new routine having had our babies start reception. I remember only too clearly when my eldest started school, we had moved town and knew no-one, all of the Mums seemed to have already made friendship groups and I felt quite isolated. But never one to be defeated I started catching the eye of and smiling at as many Mums as I could, I felt self conscious and maybe some of them though who the heck is she but you know what it paid off, a smile quickly turned to a good morning and now I have a brilliant circle of friends, some of which genuine life long friends that really enrich my families’ lives. If I had kept my head down who knows how different life would be.

That’s all from me.

Thanks so much for reading, if you have any questions, ideas, feedback, fancy a chat please contact me at Enjoy your day.

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