LIP ALLURE

I love a new lip colour, so ‘mooching around’ this morning, I was excited to find a ‘lippy’ that only launched yesterday.

(As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to makeup there are functional brands and aspirational brands. By ‘aspirational’ I mean the brands with clothes, shoes and bags I’d really like to have hanging in my wardrobe, but don’t….But happily, at least I can afford the makeup! Chanel falls into this sector. The logo just does it for me……….. And I was excited to try this brand-new matte liquid powder today.)

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CHANEL ROUGE ALLURE LIQUID POWDER, is an innovative, matte liquid lip colour that comes in 5 vibrant shades. It has a long-wearing, powdery, matte finish and when applied from the integrated foam applicator gives a modern blurred effect to the lips. You don’t even need a mirror to apply! The creamy and powdery second-skin texture is really sensorial, softening the lips with a sensation of comfort. A combination of softening oils melt onto the lips when applied and the ultra-thin and highly concentrated pigments deliver the intense shades. It’s a winner!

Chanel Rouge Allure Liquid Powder.  Price: £31.00 9ml.

Buy it from:

https://www.chanel.com

https://www.feelunique.com

https://www.debenhams.com   

 

lipstick  / lip powder / makeup / look / Chanel / New

A CUSHIONED LIFE

Question: What is it that women love and men don’t understand?

Answer:   Cushions.

How many times have I heard husbands and boyfriends moaning at the fact they have to remove ‘at least six cushions’ before they can get into bed at night. Even worse, accompanying wives and girlfriends on a shopping trip, they can be at least visibly seen, if not verbally heard, demonstrating their distaste for this peculiarly feminine desire…as their loved-one buys yet more cushions. My own husband balks at cushions on the sofa and moans he can never get them to sit quite correctly!

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But, guilty as charged! I have a lot of cushions going on in my house – every bed has a bunch, and chairs, even chairs that don’t need a cushion have a cushion. Then there are the hidden, stored-away cushions, once loved, now discarded, but not hated enough to actually throw away. I have cushions brought back from a market in Mauritius, traditionally woven cushions from Sardinia, marine style in blue and white stripes, and with boats, knots or anchors -absolutely fitting, in my mind, to my Cornwall home, even though the sea is 5 miles away.

 

 

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Fluffy, velvet, sequined, embroidered, suede, leather, woven, batik, or just plain….cushions have become a way of updating a room, changing a mood, adding softness to hard lines or an indulgence to snuggle into.  Don’t you love a cushion?

My latest cushions come from https://www.earthworks.uk

…of course, they have sent me on a journey. I’ve already bought the matching coasters and I feel it won’t belong before place mats and lampshades appear in my home!

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Cushions / Soft furnishings / Interiors / Interior design / My home / My style

 

TRIBAL GATHERING!

It’s a well-known fact that women are good at supporting each other through the good and bad times. It’s also become very ‘on-trend’ to talk about your ‘tribe’- whether it’s about sharing your ideas on home decor, how you deal with teenagers, the menopause, food you eat, fitness or fashion.

I’m lucky to have a group of close friends who can laugh at each other, enjoy each other’s company and share the good, great, boring and bad things that happen in daily life. In fact. it was my ‘tribe’ who encouraged me to start this blog. Sometimes we see each other all the time, sometimes our paths don’t cross for weeks or even months, but we all know we can send a quick message or pick up the phone and there will be someone there to listen, laugh, compliment or commiserate.  We lead quite different lives and different jobs…I’m far older than the others, but when we get together it’s always special. We have a bond.

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Looking at people’s posts on Instagram I am pleased to see there are lots of wonderful women supporting each other with their own groups and tribes, but there are others desperately searching for support, friendship, sympathy or praise. Even more however, men clearly don’t have this same friendship closeness, able to share emotions and thoughts as we women do,  I’ve discovered there are all too many out there on social media searching for something, I am sure they are not going to find and showing both loneliness and a loss of purpose. Oh! we women are lucky.

My blog and my Instagram posts are aimed at sharing my own experiences and expertise and it’s lovely to create bonds with like-minded people. However, my real friends, in real life and real time, are the ones I treasure, not the pictures I see that don’t tell the story behind the image. Do you agree?

friends / women /tribe / social media

 

 

Lip Service!

Good customer service is, as we all know, imperative, and definitely the make or break in a sale.

Last night I had 2 hours to kill in Palma airport. If you’ve ever been there you’ll know, it’s not the most comfortable of places and there were a lot of Stag and Hen parties returning on late flights having made the most of the weekend, and still up for a bit of loud partying…..so I was all for hiding in Duty Free midst the waft of fragrances and makeup. I was ‘perusing’ the Mac area for quite a while, while the 4 assistants were chatting together. More importantly I was thinking of buying a few items – a favourite lipstick, a compact and an eye shadow. Could I get their attention? No chance! I wandered off to have a look at the other brands, by now with a left hand covered in lipstick stripes. The assistant at Dior saw me rummaging in my bag for a tissue and immediately came over with both tissue and makeup remover, then began chatting proceeded to give me a super-informed spiel of the various lipsticks. And of course, she made a sale.

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Moral of the story: keep your eyes open to see what’s happening around you, be nice to people and know your stuff!

 

I bought:

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Holo Glow

Dior Fix It Correcteur 001 Light Beige

Get Dior cosmetics from: www.escentual.com/Dior/Lip-Glow

 

Makeup / cosmetics / Dior / lipstick / customer service /

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T MAKE A BOOB!

3 weeks ago I was called for a routine mammogram, not a particularly pleasant experience, nor 100% foolproof, but nevertheless important. I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac, but I have an inclination to expect the worst, so over the last couple of weeks, until the letter arrived this morning saying I was cancer free, my ‘ever-so’ slightly vivid imagination had from time to time dived momentarily into gloom.

Statistically of course it’s a common cancer with 1 in 8 women succumbing to the disease. It tends to hit older women, (so that’s me then,) but of course cancer can be unexpected, so even younger women, (as well as men,) should be aware of changes in their breasts.

When you open a letter and receive good news it’s such a huge relief, but it made me also think how I’d have felt and how I’d have reacted had the news been negative.

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So why am I telling you this? ……Don’t worry, I’m not offering any medical information or shock horror stories.  All I want to emphasise is how important it is to go for tests. A few minutes’ discomfort and the odd prod here and there, should be bearable – in fact far less uncomfortable than the average visit to your dental hygienist. ……You’ve only got one body, so look after it!!

breasts / health / wellness / check-up / mammogram / hypochondriac

 

THE EYES HAVE IT

Like fashion, makeup changes seasonally, with new colours and ever-more technologically advanced products designed to update our look and make us ‘on trend’. But, as with clothes, not all fashions in makeup will suit every face shape and particularly every eye shape, so it’s worth getting to know your face to make the most of it.

For the last couple of years there’s been a trend for bold, strong eyebrows. Eyebrows are fantastic for lifting the face and giving a youthful appearance, but go too wild and you might end up looking like a “Z-list celebrity”.  It’s about balance. If you’re going somewhere special and you want to make an impression, then dare to go a bit stronger with your brows and balance out with darker eyes or lips, or even a bit of both.

Here I show you how I morphed my face from dull and pallid to a stronger version of my real self! My brows are very pale – and thin – so I need all the help I can get to frame my face.  I also find, as my eyes become more “hooded,” (Gulps! Did I actually write that?) I need to use my under eye for added definition and to make my eyes stand out and sparkle.

 

When it comes to your lips, if you’re going for a bold colour, then always apply with a brush after outlining with a pencil in a matching colour. Please don’t use a contrasting colour ladies, especially if it’s darker, I’m about real women, with an edge of sophistication and worldliness. Get it?

So experiment – dare to strike out and see the reaction you get when you show off your fabulousness!

makeup /face /brows / lips /eyemakeup

MID-LIFE CRISIS

15 years ago today, we moved into our house in Cornwall. That makes this home the longest I have lived anywhere and considering how unsure I have been about living here, it’s remarkable I’ve stuck it out. Over the years people who’ve followed me on social media have seen a ‘perfect existence’, sailing through blue seas, walking along empty beaches, sitting outside quaint pubs and eating in fine restaurants, all interspersed with holidays and short breaks away and mid-week days in London. The truth is, I’ve often been filled with self-doubt. A new existence can be lonely, especially if you don’t quite fit in.

Enter my home & you’ll always be welcome

So many people reach a time in their lives when they want to jump off their track and go on a tangent. I truly jumped in feet first. I didn’t know the area. I had no contacts in my new destination and the decision was based on the choice of a school for my daughter and a desire (not strictly mine) to own a boat.

The AGA is the soul of my house. My morning view eases in the day. 

At first I didn’t see the beauty of my new surroundings. I just felt a long way from anywhere. (It is!)

I had to learn it wasn’t all bad! 

It’s not all bad! I love the ruggedness of the north coast beaches, the wild countryside and the pretty fishing villages of the south coast. I feel privileged to buy fish landed that morning and vegetables, eggs and meat straight from the local farms. I love taking the boat and mooring off a tiny beach you can only reach from the sea. I feel surrounded by art and artists and a general quirkiness I’ve never experienced anywhere, that’s both endearing and fascinating. And I do have friends who are supportive and special. Yet completely cutting my strings with my old life hangs over me still. I love the opportunity London offers. And even if I do nothing with my time there, I can be inspired just sitting on the 19 bus as it goes down the Kings Road, swings round Sloane Square and onward to Knightsbridge.

I’m telling you this for several reasons. Firstly, if you have a desire to ‘up sticks and move’, think carefully. What are you leaving behind, what are you gaining? That thatched cottage, barn conversion, villa in the Med, or house on stilts in the Far East, might be your vision, but as they say, ‘a house is not a home’. You have to inject the energy and the love. Secondly, it’s not that easy to stay in touch with your ‘old friends’. Despite an open-invitation to everyone we know, not that many have made the journey to Cornwall. Thirdly, you have to really make an effort. I didn’t and suffered. Lastly, change of any kind is rarely easy or straight- forward. So, before having a mid-life (or later) crisis and making a major life-change, ask yourself why you’re doing it, and if it goes wrong, can you go back? And don’t come running to me to say you’ve made a terrible mistake because I’ve warned you!

midlife crisis  / my life  / my home / friends /family / life your life

DISHING THE SOAP…. WILL A ‘BAR OF SHAMPOO’ CHANGE MY HAIR WASHING HABIT?

I’d love to be an Eco-warrior! I live by the sea, have huge regard for the ocean and belong to “Surfers’ Against Sewage,” a charity that benefitted from Harry & Megan’s charitable wedding list. And, I was horrified when last winter’s storms threw all kinds of rubbish onto the lovely beaches of Cornwall where I live, (think Poldark), littering minute pieces of plastic and other detritus across the sand. It really emphasised to me that we need to give up using plastic wherever possible, as well as stopping the flushing of non-biodegradeable items down our toilets.

(The beautiful Cornish coastline below)

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But, and it’s a big ‘but’, it’s one thing not accepting plastic straws and saying ‘no’ to fruit and vegetables in plastic bags, it’s quite another when it comes to the products (and let’s face it these are often chemicals in plastic bottles) that I use on myself. I’ve managed to ditch the shower gel in favour of soap, “Dove” if you must know, and remove my makeup with an old-school flannel, which I boil-up regularly. But when it comes to my hair, it’s another level.

In my town a ‘zero-waste’ store has just opened, run by a young woman with absolute vision, and I want to support her. I’ve happily bought nuts, grains and pasta in brown (recycled) paper bags. I’ve also purchased some metal straws and a metal lunch box, and, on Saturday, I went one step further and bought a bar of shampoo. The main ingredient of this ‘shampoo’ is ‘soap nuts’ which isn’t soap at all but ‘Sapindus Mukorossi’ a plant related to the lycee. Not only does the plant cleanse, it also helps combat the greenhouse gas effect by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and what’s more, its shells are 100% biodegradeable. The berries themselves can apparently be put into a bag and used in the washing machine in place of your usual powder or gel, but I haven’t tried that one (as yet.).

Anyway, to my hair. I wasn’t at all confident it would work and was expecting it to tug and pull, but I was pleasantly surprised the ‘Soapnut Shampoo’ lathered easily, and truly, the action didn’t seem much different to proper shampoo. I gave my hair a second wash, as I wasn’t convinced I’d thoroughly cleansed it the first time around, but, after rinsing, I have to say my hair felt squeaky clean. I purposely didn’t use styling products as I wanted to see how it looked and felt. Once dry, my hair was pretty shiny, but it felt rather as if I’d used some kind of waxy product, which was a bit weird. However, I’ve had no irritation and overall I wasn’t completely disappointed. I don’t think I’m quite ready to throw out my usual fabulous shampoos and conditioners, but I really like the concept and hope more solid, vegan, chemical free shampoos are developed. One positive thing, the Soapnut Shampoo would be perfect for travelling with ‘carry on only’ luggage and is easy to pop into your bag when you’re off to the gym or pool. I’m going to use it again as I want to see what it’s like used over time and of course, I can use it on my body too. So, not nuts about soapnuts, but overall it’s a good soap story!

 

vegan /  soap nuts  /shampoo  /ecologicalwarrior /  environmental / environmentallyfriendly / wash / hair / shampoobar  /  hairproducts

HAIR REPAIR

I’ve hung out with hairdressers for many years and whilst I’ve never actually taken a pair of scissors to anyone, apart from hacking off my daughter’s tangled mass when she was about 8, I could draw you a pretty good diagram of how to cut a “forward graduation” and I know what a “horse shoe section” implies………….
Which is why, I feel I can speak with some authority on hair care.

This time round let’s think about post-summer hair. Even if you’ve had a ‘staycation’, the chances are your hair is in need of a bit of TLC around this time of year. Almost everything about summer signifies grief to hair: sun, heat, chlorine, scraping it off your face, pulling it into knots and bands… on top of the holiday diet (or rather non-diet) and a cocktail or two.

So first things first, your ordinary conditioner isn’t going to do it. An in-salon treatment is the absolute and will get your hair on the return journey to its formal healthy existence in no time, followed up with recommended aftercare treatments you can do yourself at home. Alternatively, if you can’t get to a salon, treat yourself to a hair mask and indulge yourself to a few minutes of pampering once a week.

Coloured hair, especially blonde, brings a whole range of problems over summer from colour fade, to the dreaded green tinge, to just plain old “brassy”. But do you know lots of products specifically aimed at this problem? Speaking to a few people recently I’ve been surprised how little most people understand about caring for hair that’s coloured. Very briefly, violet tones take away those unwanted tinges and revive your colour. Coloured conditioners will brighten up your hair a shade, and colour protective shampoos, conditioners and protective sprays will maintain your colour vibrancy between salon visits.  And remember, when you’re in the sun, just like your skin, your hair needs UV protection.

Below I suggest some products for you to try, that I’ve used and liked.
However, my best advice is talk to your hairdresser. Ask for a consultation and get a bespoke recommendation for your own hair colour and type.

Happy Hair Day!

Bed Head Urban Antidotes Resurrection Shampoo, Conditioner & Mask

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This trio will give your hair much needed intense repair .

Perfect for severely damaged hair, Bed Head Urban Antidotes Resurrection repairs, adds strength and smoothes.

Available from TIGI salons & from http://www.feelunique.com

 

Catwalk Fashionista Shampoo, Conditioner

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For anyone with blonde or highlighted hair. Fashionista is perfect to remove any ‘brassy’ tones, and will keep your colour cool and leave your hair super-shiny. It’s also sulfate surfactant free. In addition, the conditioner keeps hair looking cool toned and protects it from heat, adding a healthy sheen.

Available from TIGI salons & from http://www.feelunique.com

 

 

TIGI Copyright Care Colour Shampoo & Conditioner (Only available from salons)

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A new, salon only brand that has been especially created for hair needing TLC and hair that’s regularly coloured. The Colour Shampoo and Conditioner will be part of a bespoke haircare regime created for you by your hairdresser. Infused with Coconut Oil, Keratin & Lipids the shampoo and conditioner are colour safe and leave hair nourished, vibrant & healthy looking.

http://www.tigicopyright.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hair / summer / after summer / haircare /hair products / blonde hair / coloured hair / damaged hair / ageing hair / hair colour /hairdressers/ hairdresser / colourist /shampoo / conditioner /hair mask / summer holiday hair /post-holiday

HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR!

How’s your stress management? I’m a natural redhead with a tendency to fire-off, but I can also dissipate the stress pretty quickly, accepting the inevitable, seeing the funny side of the situation or my behavior, or taking action to make a change.

Of course there are some stressful situations life throws at us from time to time, requiring external professional support. I’m not talking about these. I’m talking about stress that seems unbearable at the time, but in reality just needs living through, like missing flights, parcels not arriving, ‘losing’ something you’re sure you left in a safe place, forgetting to do something or just ‘flapping’ over a deadline. These situations can distress and worry people I know. But come on, we can overcome this!

The rolling eyeballs of my husband or daughter are often enough to shame me out of my stress. Equally I do remind myself to consider what will happen if I do or don’t do something. Accept you’re not perfect. Accept you might have to hang out in an airport for several hours. Enjoy the stress of the work deadline, knowing once completed, the task will have given you satisfaction and you can relax. Don’t worry if the food for your carefully planned dinner party isn’t as wonderful as you’d hoped. Do your dinner guests even care?

We go through our lives beating ourselves up. Yet often other people are looking at us with admiration. Youth brings with it both a lack of confidence and a youthful uncaring assurance, but as we age we often feel less confident in many ways. We’re lucky! We have experience to fall back on. So I say, mind your posture. Stand up and look proud. Tell yourself in one hour/one day/tomorrow, it will be better. Smile. Breathe deeply and remind yourself (in most cases) whatever is stressing you is merely an inconvenience.

 

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Footnote: I am on a train, currently stationary in the middle of nowhere, with a train on-fire in front. I will miss my connection and my 5 hour journey may well be at least 7. Am I stressed? I was, but I’ve had a word with myself and I’m going to get myself a stiff drink.

 

 

 

 

 

stress /  humour / lifestyle / family /  posture  /  breathe   / middle age  / ageless / ageing  / confidence  / experience  /life