Bright eyes

Models at the Peter Pilotto spring/summer 2011 fashion show at London Fashion Week, wearing Chantecaille make-up

We’re all about fast, easy beauty tricks at nonstopmama, so the simple use of shimmery blue eyeshadow at the Peter Pilotto spring/summer 2011 fashion show caught our attention. It shows how one, striking colour – nothing too complex, no clever blending of different shades – can be used to maximum effect.

The handiwork of make-up artist Lisa Houghton using Chantecaille make-up, the striking eyes were created by applying the Iridescent Eye Shade (£23, at Space NK) in Crystal to the inner corner of the eye, near the bridge of the nose, to create a ‘futuristic metallic look’. The colour was also taken along the lower lash line and blended, using an eyeshadow brush, up towards the centre of the brow. A slick of mascara and pretty lip shine completed the look – perfect if you’re rushing out the door for an evening out.

Of course, the effect could be toned down for everyday wear and not taken so close to the bridge of the nose for a more subtle look. And you could achieve the same effect using any metallic or shimmery shadow. Have fun experimenting! …

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One of our favourite things …

The cast of The Sound of MusicFor nonstopmamas who grew up with The Sound Of Music starring Julie Andrews, the latest stage production of the much-loved 1965 musical – made famous by the TV casting of Connie Fisher in the lead role of Maria, by producers Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian – is a full-on, nostalgic treat.

The cast of The Sound of Music UK Tour are fab – we saw actress Kirsty Malpass (pictured) as Maria, although Connie is on the tour schedule (the show is currently at the Bournemouth Pavilion until Saturday October 2, all dates here). Meanwhile, Michael Praed – whom we last remember seeing as Robin of Sherwood, in the Eighties TV series – is transformed into the distinguished, whistle-happy naval hero, Captain Von Trapp. Read more.

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Five minutes with … Ruth Clemens

Ruth ClemensHow thrilled are we to have Ruth Clemens – finalist on BBC2′s The Great British Bake Off and inspirational mama blogger over at The Pink Whisk – over for a virtual afternoon tea at nonstopmama? (Good thing we didn’t have to make any cakes, having seen her gorgeous be-ribboned ones in the final – there’s still time to catch the last show on BBC iPlayer).

But then, as she of the sugar-crusted scones herself insists, home baking is all about the homemade. Ruth, who is based in Cheshire, has keen cake testers in her husband and two sons. We’d still love her unflappable approach (we can’t see her getting covered in an exploding bag of icing sugar) and organisational skills to rub off on us  …

How would you describe the experience of being in The Great British Bake Off?

Absolutely brilliant – from start to finish! It’s been a completely life changing experience, I have made some of my bestest friends on the Bake Off and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it will take me.

* You did so brilliantly and worked so well under such pressure. What are your ‘keep cool’ secrets for working in the kitchen?

I have a kitchen the size of a peanut and it has proved very good training for staying organised and tidy. The workspace I had in The Great British Bake Off was far more space than I usually have to work with! I relax when I bake and really enjoy it – I’m a firm believer in baking with love. If you bake when you’re grumpy, it all goes wrong! Read more.

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Small wonder

build-a-bear smallfrys rangeThe Build-A-Bear Worshop has been Grandparent-tested by nonstopmama. We should have some sort of stamp for that – like the ‘Grandchildren On Board’ car sign we spotted this week – to say a shop has succeeded in helping VIGs (Very Important Grandmas/Grandads/both) navigate a busy toy department.

Being faced by an array of furry friends, noise or noise options and endless outfit combinations is enough to send any well-meaning eighty-something running for the hills (or the calm of the nearest M&S Café). But, not only did the store in question rise to the challenge, they made the experience great fun and the giving of the gift they wanted to be involved in choosing more meaningful (we did call ahead – totally anonymously – to ask if they’d offer help where needed). Read more.

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Crystal tips

French manicure with glittery nail tips

Models Own Nail Polish in Emerald CityHow much do we love this fab, glittery take on the traditional French Manicure tips – funky acquamarine glitter, as opposed to ‘Tippex-white’ – spotted at the school gate? The mama in question works at a bank, where we imagine customers are dazzled by her disco nails as she brings a touch of bling to every transaction!

She didn’t do them herself, but it’s inspired us to DIY-it with a glitter polish, sealed using a clear shine (we need to grow our nails a bit first. Nothing like motivation). Perfect for the job: nonstopmama loves the range of glitter colours at Models Own (£5 each), seen here in Emerald City (available at and

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    Jenni Baden HowardA daily one-stop bloggy shot of busy mama beauty, fashion, fitness, food and family, edited by Jenni Baden Howard. More.

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