I spent many hours of my school years drawing eyes in the margins of my exercise books. It was a bit of an obsession. I’d also sit at home in the evenings, drawing the faces of the models on the covers of magazines. My dream was to be a fashion designer, but these hopes were destroyed by my academic school and a father who believed it wasn’t a proper job and couldn’t see how I’d be a success. I ended up studying art, but I never lost my desire to be around fashion. By default, I ended up working in the offices of a top hairdressing company, eventually, as their PR, and once I started going on photographic shoots, it struck me it would be an easy step to become a makeup artist, a career I had never thought possible. It took a bit of persuasion, but an agency took me on and after endless test shots and even more endless rounds of ‘go sees’, showing my ‘book’ to photographers, magazine editors and advertising clients, I began working. It was the early 80s and my job saw me backstage at fashion shows, travelling abroad for advertising, fashion and catalogue shoots and sometimes doing the makeup for portraits of the famous.

10 years later, by then a mother, the uncertainty of the freelance world made my job less enticing and when I was asked to return to my PR job, I happily did so. In fact, I never stopped doing makeup, mainly for hair shows, sometimes for shoots and for a while even teaching.  Over the last few years, with changes to the company, I no longer do makeup for a job, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving dipping into a palette of colours with my brushes.

As we age we need to re-look at makeup application and that’s where I hope I can help you.

makeupartist  /  makeup / cosmetics  /  PR


No matter how tired (or, uh! drunk,) I might be, I always take off my makeup and brush my teeth before going to bed. There have been mornings when I’ve woken up without any memory of this action and have been surprised to see myself ‘fresh’ faced. (And once or twice, it has to be said, have been equally amazed I’d actually neatly hung my clothes up……In my youthful past of course, not now!)

My lashes are naturally pale and even though I dye them black from time to time, I really don’t like myself without mascara, and usually, that means 2 or 3 coats of the stuff. Over the years I’ve tried a multitude of different brands of eye makeup remover, from designer luxury versions to the big brands and cheap and cheerful. I used baby oil for quite a long time, but I feel that tends to drag the skin a bit and I don’t think it does my ageing eyes much good. As well as that, it tends to put an oily film over your eyes and more than once I’ve woken up to a blur thinking my eyesight had rapidly deteriorated overnight!

NIVEA-Double-Effect-Eye-Make-Up-Remover_x700This all brings me to my favourite ever eye makeup remover and you’ll be pleased to know it comes in the cheap and cheerful category! It’s good old Nivea and it’s called Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover. You just give it a good shake to mix the makeup removing solution with the cleansing solution  – which promises extra effectiveness, and then wipe gently over your eyelids and lashes and ‘voila!’. It removes several layers of mascara easily and gently, even the waterproof type. Importantly I feel it’s gentle on my lashes keeping them looking good.

It’s normally about £3.59 for 125ml wherever I buy it, but I’ve just seen Superdrug are selling it for just £1.49. So I’m going to stock up!

makeup remover / beauty  / makeup  /eyemakeup  / mascara  /


My friend Gemma turned up for the weekend bearing gifts. Firstly, a bottle of organic Prosecco. It tasted fantastic, without the slightly synthetic aftertaste I find lots of Prosecco seems to have these days,. Few bear little resemblance to the light, pale Italian fizz I remember drinking 20 odd years ago. But, this was like the real stuff, unlikely to cause headaches, night-sweats or palpations, (that is, unless you drink several bottles – I can’t vouch for that.)

….But I digress. She also gave me some LaCura Caviar Night Cream, which she swears is the best night cream she’s ever used and the packaging was certainly lovely. Then I realized both gifts were from Aldi, the low-cost supermarket that wins all the awards.

The LaCura Caviar Night Cream costs just £6.99. That’s right! I said £6.99. “Have a look at” Gemma said, “They rave about the LaCura range!” ………. As do Woman&Home, Mumsnet, The Independent and the Daily Mail it turns out.

It’s been described as comparable, (or nearly,) to the La Prairie Caviar Collection, the Swiss super-expensive skincare range often promoted in magazines, but at £292 for 50ml, out of most people’s league.

The Aldi LaCura Caviar Night Cream contains ingredients that certainly seem to promise the youthfulness we all dream of: Hyaluronic Acid, which improves hydration and stimulates the production of collagen, maintaining the elasticity of the skin, (so important as we age,) and Snow Algae, clinically proven to extend the life of cells and replace damaged cells, (equally important as we age.) Add to these, actual Caviar Extracts, which deliver nutritive benefits to reduce signs of ageing and active ingredients to detoxify and you’ve got a combination of ingredients as good as anything I’ve seen in other night creams on the market.


Some beauty writers compared the effects of La Prairie and LaCura after testing over a 4 week period and La Prairie did come out slightly better, but then for the sake of those people who have forked out £292 I’d rather hope it would! However, it has to be said, the praise for LaCura is very high. It’s too early for me to make a massive judgment, as I’ve only used it for 2 days, but I will let you know in 4 weeks….What I can say is that it really does feel nourishing. So far so good!

BTW If you’re wondering about my headband, it’s an old trick of mine….cut off one leg of a pair of tights (I mean, when was I ever going to wear that green colour anyway,) then cut off the toe and tie in a knot!

For info on the Aldi’s LaCura skincare range, go to:

face cream  /   anti ageing  / ageless  /  LaCura / La Prairie /  Caviar



I have a friend who’s a great organizer and is always on the lookout for the next bargain, ‘girls away trip’ to somewhere warm and sunny. We six friends live in the Southwest and are all time-poor, so the challenge is to find destinations we can reach from our local airport in Newquay, Cornwall. It’s all about a few days of bonding, laughing sunbathing and generally relaxing with a glass of wine.

For some reason, security in Newquay Airport is tighter than any other airport I’ve flown from and part of our experience is that my friend likes to challenge us to ‘carry-on only’ bags. We’re all totally into our hair and makeup products, (not to mention shoes and clothes,) so getting what you want to take into a small bag is never easy. Once, the closure of the airport plastic bag wouldn’t stay closed and I was forced to get rid of some of the contents. So I chose to throw away my suntan lotion, only to find it cost three times as much in Spain! If you’re thinking we could stock up in “duty free”, forget it! This one doesn’t sell anything useful, unless you want to take Cornish biscuits with you. Planned packing is the way.

Imagine then, how excited I was to discover TRINNY LONDON. This is a makeup brand created by Trinny Woodall and comprises stackable pots of cream makeup. On the TRINNY LONDON website, you go to the MATCH2ME section and fill in your skin, eye and hair colouring to find the right shades for you, then choose the products you want from a recommended selection.

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Trinny advises applying the creams with your fingertips and mainly that’s what I do, though I sometimes use a brush to define my lips or eyes. I’ve never thought cream products lasted well on your face, but these really do give a radiant glow and last well. The EYE2EYE colours can be applied to give a light coverage for the day, or built up for a more intense shade. The LIP2CHEEK colours are dual-function and are my favorites in the range. All these little creamy pots are so easy to use and just the right size to pop into the tiniest handbags for touchups.

The starter kit is £95, which I know is expensive, but gives you a good selection of colours as well as a Starlight highlighter and Face Finish and my little pots are lasting well. It’s also beautifully packaged, so would make a lovely present. Crucially you can get re-fills, which is something of which I totally approve! I’ve also got the BFF cream with SPF 30, a great, tinted day-cream for light coverage, which can be decanted into a small pot for my weekends away.

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I used BFF Cream, followed by Freddie LIP2CHEEK, Emperor EYE2EYE, Starlight on my cheekbones, & Face Finish.

TRINNY LONDON came with me on my summer holiday as well as my recent ‘short break’ and was the perfect holiday companion!

It’s only available online. Shop at:

makeup  /  Trinny Woodall  /  eye makeup / lips  / cheeks  /  blusher



I’m not sure if it’s the fact I went to the Seychelles for my honeymoon, or that when I walk through the doors of The White Company I go into a recurring dream of living in a fragrant white and grey home, where I lie on my pale grey sofa in a cashmere wrap and cashmere socks, flicking through a magazine. Whatever the reason,  I’ve been buying the Seychelles bath range for a few years now and the love affair continues.  The decadent body lotion and rich hand cream are total luxury and the lovely glass bottles of bath oil are absolute indulgence. Light my Seychelles candle and I’m living the dream! The bottles seem to last forever, so it’s not just about spoiling myself, it’s about pampering myself everyday.  And you know what, we all deserve that don’t we!


Luxury Gift Set £50.00

Hand wash £13.00  Hand & Body Cream £15.00

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