Blue Monday: that point in January where you've finished the Christmas cheese, it's still ages till payday and the thought of defrosting the car before the school run ever again is enough to make you bin off dry January and head straight for the gin bottle (let's not even mention the news headlines). Bleak times - so why not treat yourself to a cup of tea, sit down and treat yourself to a cheering read about the products Mumsnetters have been loving over the past few weeks.
Our weekly recommendations newsletter goes out once a week on Sundays, showcasing the latest life-changing products that have been recommended on the Talk boards. From a magical acne soap (check out the proof in the Talk thread!) to a gorgeous cosy cami, here are the products our Swears By subscribers have been loving recently.
1. Best buy under £10: Revitale Salicylic Acid Scrub Soap
Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon
“I bought this soap from Amazon having seen the reviews and figured I could use it even if it was crap and it only bloody worked! I just put it on with a back brush in the shower and let it sit for a minute.” NMC2022
“I use it as a shower soap to prevent ingrown hairs - brilliant stuff!” MyAnacondaMight
A “Holy Grail” product here: an awesome acne soap which cleaned up NMC2022’s spotty back a treat, much to the fascination of the Mumsnet army. We won’t divulge where the rest of you in the chat are planning to use it - let’s just say you’ll hopefully be smooth as the proverbial baby before long. Regardless of where you are troubled, if you or a DC have pimples, acne, boils or all of the above, this soap is well worth a try and at just under £6 you have little to lose. Just make sure you report back for the rest of us! (No photos required).
2. Best January sale purchase: Boden Notch Neck Cotton Maxi Dress
Price: £98 | Buy now from Boden
“I bought this dress. I'm 5'8" and a solid size 12 and it's a great fit. It will swamp anyone petite as it's ankle length and voluminous (in a good way) on me. Brilliant for taller and solidly built people though. The colours are gorgeous, it's lined and has pockets.” wheresmyshoe
Mumsnetter Santaslittlemelter started a great thread this week about your favourite finds in the post-Christmas sales. We were all agog to read your recommendations and it seems like many of you have done a very thorough job of rinsing the shops of their best bargains, so well done for that. Wheresmyshoe found a particularly good deal on this stunning Boden dress which has a lovely feminine shape and is crafted from the most gorgeous bold printed cotton. We reckon it’s good for any season - dress it with boots and a leather jacket for the colder weather or sandals in summer. All in all a good, versatile buy!
3. Best haircare: Revlon Pro-Salon One Step
Price: £40 (was £60) | Buy now from Amazon
“I bought a Revlon One Step hairdryer brush in the Black Friday sale, and I love it! I’m rubbish at blow drying my hair, but this makes it so easy to get smooth swishy hair. I think the fact it doesn’t spin makes it easier for me, as I’d be bound to get it tangled up.” NameChangeInHaste
“The Revlon One Step however has changed my life - I'm not joking. I can get salon swishy hair in 30 mins. It is easy, fast, gives beautifully smooth voluminous hair. I cannot rave about it enough.” Indiesearcher
“Another fan of the One Step here! I’ve bought soooo many hair gadgets over the years, and this is by far the best.” Sammysquiz
“I have the Revlon. GAME CHANGER! I can finally get a bouncy smooth blow dry. I use Frizz Ease Three Day Smooth with it and a heat protector.” Ducksareruiningmypatio
Salon-styled hair from the comfort of your own home is an aspiration we can all get behind, and it seems that for many a Mumsnetter the best way of achieving this is with the Revlon One Step, a nifty gadget that combines a hair dryer and a volumiser. It uses ionic technology and other wizardry to give volume to your locks from the roots and creates a sleek boosted look with a bit of a curl, that you lot veritably swear by.
4. Best maternity wear: Jojo Maman Bebe Teal Drape Maternity and Nursing Cardigan
Price: £45 | Buy now from Jojo Maman Bebe
“It’s technically maternity wear but doesn’t really look it. It’s massive, could wrap around you and baby, and washes well.” MoreThanRubies
For those of you currently in the ‘family way’, we reckon this would make a wonderfully versatile addition to your maternity wardrobe, as thought Mumsnetter MoreThanRubies when one of you was looking for suggestions for a nice wraparound cardigan for snuggly breastfeeding. We love the bold teal colour and the chunky contrasting navy blue in the weave plus the handy shoulder button if you want to cover up and create a more sleek look.
5. Best dress for rescheduled Christmas parties: Hush Kensington dress
Price: £79 | Buy now from Hush
“It’s nice and flattering and easy to dress up or down. I’m small busted but relatively broad shouldered and it’s a tiny bit of a wriggle into it but fine once on.” ChocolateCoatedKettleBell
“I love it. I’m also a size 12, small bust and thick waist and it’s very flattering.” Thisisanoutrage
“I have that dress and am 5ft 9, size 12, not much of a waist. On me it is really flattering. The ruched waist works beautifully to give me a waist.” CMOTDibbler
“I have one. I’m 5ft 4 and an hourglass size 16. I get loads of compliments when I wear it.” HoppingGreen
Howlingatthegate needed some guidance the other week regarding the Kensington dress from Mumsnet favourites, Hush. Having ruefully accepted she might never find the perfect party frock last year, she stumbled upon the Kensington and you were all swift to recommend she give it a punt. It’s a lovely, unique piece that combines a shirt dress top with a floaty asymmetric hem and a flattering shirred waistband for total comfort and we reckon it’s just the thing for a rescheduled Christmas party.
6. Best everyday base layer: Brora scoop neck top
Price: £69 | Buy now from John Lewis
“I rate the lace trim long sleeved vests at Brora, very warm and machine washable (and pretty!) but retail at something like £60. I buy one per year.” Weirdarchitecture
There are some lovely floaty tops in the shops at the moment but more often than not they’re so flimsy you need a cami underneath to keep your modesty intact. Often in the colder weather even that isn’t enough to keep you warm, a conundrum our Mumsnetters were discussing just this week, and you all had lots of ideas for snug tops that are great for wearing as an undergarment. We love the suggestion of these pretty scoop neck tops from Brora at John Lewis, made in a soft pointelle fabric with a pretty lace detail, and perfect for adding a subtle extra layer when temperatures plummet.
7. Best for dental hygiene: Waterpik water flosser
Price: £55 | Buy now from Boots
"I use one, the stuff it blasts from between your teeth is unbelievable and it's very satisfying seeing all the bits in the sink. My old NHS dentist was very enthusiastic about them. Mouth feels very fresh afterwards.” Sparklingbrook
“I use one and it's great. I can't use floss as it hurts and gets stuck. I can't recommend the water flosser enough.” Charabanctrip
“I love my Waterpik, it's brilliant. Have the one with a tank that plugs into the mains. My husband has really crowded teeth and has never been able to floss, the Waterpik has made a massive difference to his gum health.” Goldenphoenix
“Our dentist recommended. DH loves it and uses it daily; I hate the damn thing because I'm so bad at directing it inside my mouth (part of my lifelong left/right confusion) the squirt gets all over the tiles. When I told dentist he suggested I use it when I'm in the shower, so I do. They do have a positive effect on gum health (dentist says he can see the difference).” 2bazookas
Readers of a certain age will remember an advert for beer that claimed to “refresh the parts that other beers cannot reach”. Well we can confidently say that a Waterpik is like Heineken, but for gums. This nifty gadget is basically a pressure washer for mouths that thoroughly irrigates all the nooks and crannies between your teeth that a normal toothbrush or bit of floss can’t get near, and we are totally here for it. Your thread on the subject was utterly rotten and had us howling at mental images of getting confused by lefts and rights and accidentally jet washing the bathroom or using it on mouldy windows. But the consensus is pretty unanimous and it seems Mumsnetters love their water flossers. So, if better oral hygiene is on your to-do list for 2022, then pop over to Boots where the Waterpik is currently just £37, down from £55, and enjoy squeaky clean gnashers forevermore.
8. Best for working from home: Lakeland Dreamland throws
Price: £50 | Buy now from Lakeland
"I've got a Lakeland one and it's one of the best things I've bought!” Returnoftheowl
“I've got the Dreamland one. I've used it every day for muscle pain (even in a heatwave sadly) for three years and it's never broken. It heats up within a minute and it's big enough to go right around the legs. It's also great for keeping the heating bill down.” DuringDinnerMints
These cold days and nights do rather play havoc with one’s heating bill so if you’re looking for a way to stay snug at home, without having the radiators on full blast all day long, then you might be interested in a discussion our Mumsnetters have had this week about heated blankets. These toasty bundles of warmth are fantastic for keeping the chill at bay and the Mumsnet gang reckon the best one you can buy is the Dreamland Velvety Electric Heated Throw from Lakeland. It costs just 1p to run for seven hours, and you can set it to different temperatures to run for anything from one to nine hours, perfect for keeping you cosy all night long.
9. Best for orginisation: Clairefontaine planning notebooks
Price: from £2 | Buy now from Amazon
“I just started using some Clairefontaine A5 notebooks for things like gratitude journaling, as the paper is great for fountain pen ink. The covers are SOOO pretty! I bought four to use for commonplace notebooks and keep them in a travellers' style A5 cover to keep them together. And the paper is fab too.” Baffledbunny
We loved the topic of toomuchtumericinwatermelon’s poll last week about the excitement of choosing a new planner for 2022 and, being big stationery fans ourselves, we thoroughly enjoyed reading all about the diaries and organisers which you’ve been buying for the new year, particularly those from French brands we recognise from childhood holidays. Clairefontaine is one such stationer, and we particularly love these A5 Neo Deco Notebooks which come in a multitude of stunning designs, and are ideal for journaling, note-taking and planning, plus they’re the perfect size to pop in your bag and keep handy for whenever inspiration strikes.
10. Best reusable beauty products: Danielle Creations Erase Your Face Eco Friendly Reusable Make Up Remover Cloths
Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon
“Brilliant at getting any makeup off with just water and much better for the environment too.” MrsMcCluskeysCat
These reusable face cloths are part of a new trend for sustainable beauty products that will not only cut down on single-use plastics but also save us money in the long run too. They’re super-kind to your skin and will remove every last bit of slap, including the glue-iest of waterproof mascara. These ones are favoured by Mumsnetters and come in a handy four pack, so there’s plenty to keep in rotation while one is in the wash.