My Fab Five Beauty Greats

20 Nov

all the products

It was only when I noticed that I was being drawn daily to the same five beauty products that I realised I had to share their wonderfulness with you. I’m lucky to be sent products by some great PRs to review for features I’m writing for women’s magazines or for my blog which means I often swap and change – sometimes trying out as many as 3 or 4 moisturisers in one week. So when I find a product that I keep returning to – you know it’s got to be a goodie. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, I would like to introduce you to my latest Fab Five Beauty Greats…

Garnier Body Oil

Garnier Body Oil Beauty Lotion is my best friend after a shower. While my skin is still slightly damp, a few pumps of this lotion slathered onto the whole body is all I need to keep my skin feeling soft and smelling gorgeous! I love the pump action of this bottle – it’s so quick and easy to use and mess free. It’s great for when I’m in a rush as there’s no faffing around taking off and replacing lids so it means I’ve got no excuse not to just ‘pump and go’! It contains 4 nourishing oils: Argan, Macadamia, Almond and Rose which help to replenish the skin with moisture and protect it from drying out. On the back of the bottle it says that during a 1 week consumer test taken by 41 women, 95% agreed there was a noticeable smoothness to skin and 78% noticed a visible difference in radiance. What’s more, it’s only £6.99 and one bottle lasts for yonks!

excuviance cleansing creme

Next up is Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme. This is from a dermatologist developed skincare range which I hadn’t heard about until I received this product as one of the amazing freebies at the brilliant Antonia Mariconda’s Beauty Blogger’s Workshop which I wrote about here.

Now, this came at quite an opportune time for me because (and here’s where I tell you my sordid secret) I’ve been trying to wean myself off cleansing with facial wipes. Yep, I’ve admitted it. I feel like I should be thrown into a beauty editor’s prison alongside those who secretly forgo the SPF30 or trim their own fringes with toenail scissors! So, I grabbed the chance of trying this and you know what? It’s so lovely that I’ve finally given up those skin drying facial wipes for good…or until the next time I have a  late night and can’t be bothered…shhh.

My dry, sensitive skin has blossomed over the few weeks I’ve been using this cleanser. After applying it to moistened skin I massage it in so that the soothing ingredients like extracts of Cucumber Fruit, Rosemary Leaf and Aloe Leaf condition while the anti ageing ingredient Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) protects and hydrates. It’s great for all skin types and if you’ve been looking for a gentle, anti ageing cleanser that can remove all traces of makeup and still leave skin feeling fresh, clean and soft, you can stop looking. This is it! It’s a bit pricey at around £39 but its a very high quality product which works wonderfully and what’s better is I’ve just found it on offer for £29.50 at www.effortlessskin.com.

mark hill shampoo

Mark Hill Little Hottie Does It All Everyday Shampoo is one of those handy little tubes that you can chuck in a gym bag or take away on holiday and it’s a formula that suits all hair types. It’s the ideal every day shampoo and all five of us in my family have used it and loved it – even my 18 year old son who is very particular about his haircare! I really like its light, slightly fruity fragrance and the fact that it contains a heat protector and seems to moisturise my dry hair enough so that I only need a small dollop of conditioner afterwards to leave it feeling in good condition. Being so small – and cheap at £1.99, I need to stock up and I think I’ll get a few for all the family

moisture serum

Rajeunir Moisture Serum is what I would term a ‘hero’ product. A hero product is what lots of women’s magazines and big beauty companies are now calling their favourite beauty finds – basically, it’s a product which rises above the rest. A bit like how some models have now become super rather than just models – but whatever, this is definitely one of mine! As you can see, I’ve nearly finished this tube. I fell in love with it on my recent American road trip and it’s been part of my skincare regime since then. I was asked by its lovely PR to try this and so I took it to America – along with another huge amount of creams and lotions – and found that by the end of the 14 day holiday, this was the one that I kept going back to. Why? Well, first and foremost it’s easy to use because it’s formulated to be a 5 in 1 product – day cream, night cream, eye cream, serum and primer meaning, if I’d read the label properly, I wouldn’t even have had to take all those other creams on holiday with me!

serum swatch

This moisture serum feels like a gel and lotion in one and smoothes on like a velvety textured primer. I found my skin – especially after having quite a bit of sun exposure – would drink this up and be left feeling supple and smooth. Its host of specially formulated ingredients are too many to name in one post but just some of the purposes they serve are to add plumpness to the skin, smooth fine lines, strengthen and neutralise environmental pollutants. It really suits my 47 year old skin and I think it’s a must-have for any over 40 to keep in their cosmetic drawer. Another pricey one at £42 from www.rajeunir.co.uk but I know I’ll be forking out for it once this tube is over!

vitage colour minerals blush pot

Vitage Colour Minerals Natural Lip & Cheek Colour in Love Poppy is one of those useful little double duty products (you can see this post has a theme – I love a product that can solve more than one beauty dilemma!) that my life is all about. It’s quick, easy and makes me look and feel better when I use it. Full stop. The Vitage range of makeup uses only natural minerals with no preservatives or chemicals and the strength of the colour pigment in this little pot is incredible. As you can see from the colour and swatch above, only a tiny little bit is needed to give cheeks a healthy flush. For lips I dab it on with my finger and use a clear gloss over the top and in an instant I look ready to go. The pots cost £16 and you can find them here.

So, I hope you enjoyed this round up of my Fab Five Beauty Greats as much as I’ve enjoyed telling you about them. If you’ve got any beauty must-haves please let me know – there’s always room in my makeup box for more! See you soon. x

 

Are You Ready For PROJECT FIT?

13 Nov

Project Fit sign

Shaking up my fitness routine is always a good idea – it stops me making excuses not to exercise and keeps things more exciting. So when I had the opportunity to review a new class, I thought it could give me the kick up the butt I need to get my body into shape in time for flaunting my festive finery! Continue reading

Milk Mobile Beauty Service | Review

3 Nov

moving home

If any of you have been following my Instagram or Twitter account (why aren’t you? – get over there now!) then you’ll know that prior to our fabulous USA holiday, we moved house. I know. Again! So a couple of weeks ago (pre holiday glow) my stress levels were through the roof. How high? Let’s just say that, on a scale of 1-10, I was hitting a 12 plus. Alongside work deadlines and busy family life, throwing in a house move which went horribly wrong at the last minute leaving the five of us (including doggy do dah) living out of bags in a hotel, you can imagine, right? Thankfully, we’re in the new home now but – because Stressed Husband seems to like living up to his name – it needs a lot, and I mean a lot of TLC (we’re talking gold walls, red granite worktops with shiny black tiled floor, very weird upholstery) to bring it up to Glowology scratch.

Continue reading

Meditation for Calm and Happiness

26 Oct

Glowology:

Remember to take a breath when life gets stressful! These tips will help :-)

Originally posted on Glowology :

mediation pic

Always on the lookout for things to help give life a little extra glow, I went to a meditation workshop at the weekend with a good friend. At first I was a bit worried because this friend and I have been asked to leave exercise classes before due to uncontrollable giggling, so we are perfect partners for catching a comedy show or having a good night out, but a meditation class? Well, it could’ve been a disaster, so we had to promise each other we would act like the proper grown-ups we are. We also sat ourselves near the exit so we could make a quick getaway if we had to chant, as we knew that OM-ing would probably tip us over the edge. Surprisingly enough though, we were very sensible and floated out of the workshop on an air of calm serenity.

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Antonia Mariconda’s Beauty Blogging Workshop

12 Oct

 

Indigo Room Soho Hotel

To say that winning a place on the Cosmedic Coach’s The Build a Beauty Blog Workshop last Saturday morning was one of the the highlights of my year, is an understatement. I was thrilled to be invited along for free to the beautiful – very pink – Indigo room at the stylish Soho Hotel to meet other like minded beauty and cosmetic fanatics. Meeting Cosmedic Coach Antonia Mariconda, was a treat in itself (let me tell you, what she doesn’t know about cosmetic surgery, anti-ageing, beauty and marketing a successful beauty blog, isn’t worth knowing!) Her online presence on Twitter is astounding (she has over 40,000 followers) and to get a chance to talk to her and listen to her words of wisdom was exciting and inspiring. Lucky old me!

Antonia Mariconda and me

As well as the fascinating story of how Antonia got to where she is today – blooming hard work, tenacity and plenty of savvy – we got to hear from Mark Bugg – Web Marketing Consultant, or to me, Tech Wizard Extraordinaire who spoke about getting your blog noticed for the right reasons: choosing the right blogging platform (WordPress – yay!), hosting, why you should be Google Plusing and You Tubing (I will, I will, I promise…) and how to make sure it looks good, is easy to navigate as well as giving us plenty of tricks and tips to get readers looking at your blog and then staying to look around. What I loved about Mark was he didn’t use complicated jargon and he was the sort of guy you could ask a question (our audience asked lots) and he didn’t look at you as if you just asked him if 2 plus 2 equals 4 – other tech types take note – you can be condescending and down right intimidating! Antonia interjected every know and then to ask Mark her own questions – things that she thought we would want to know and so it made for a really informal, friendly session which helped us glean a lot of well worth knowing stuff.

quotes

When lovely PR, Jenny Pabila from Niche PR came up to talk to us about how we can build up relationships with PRs I had an inkling I knew her already, and when she mentioned her past career, I realised that our paths had crossed many times over the years. We’d both started out in the beauty industry (her PR and me, journalism) at around the same time – too many years ago to mention! Although I already have quite a good relationship with many PRs because of my writing for magazines/online, it was still interesting and useful to listen to Jenny giving us her invaluable advice – she reaffirmed my belief that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what stage of your career you’re at, friendliness and good old fashion manners will always be the number one way of getting yourself noticed and is the best way to move forward in any career and, I’d say, in life in general.

writing from the workshop

As well as the fabulous speakers and all of the brilliant advice and personal career stories that they had to share – there was more…much more! The goody bags we left with were amazing – filled to the brim with beauty and wellbeing goodies kindly donated by companies who were happy for us bloggers to try and hopefully review. What a great way of making new contacts! And what with me being the lucky winner of the workshop – I got an extra large beauty hamper! In fact, it was a good job that my daughter was passing by the area as it took the two of us to carry it all home :-) And yes, she had her hands in it picking out her favourites before I had time to leave the hotel!

beauty freebies

I’ve been trying lots and lots of the products we were given that day and so will be reviewing them in posts to come – can’t wait to feed back the news to my lovely readers. And, if you’re interested in finding out more about Antonia and other workshops that she will be running, you should check out her blog here.

All that’s left for me to say is a massive big thank you to Antonia, Mark and Jenny for having inspired me more and given me more useful advice and things to think about in just a few hours than any other workshop/course I’ve attended that’s lasted days!

Fitness Review on SpeedFlex 30

23 Sep

Speedflex fitness

I’m fortunate that as a beauty and wellbeing journalist, I’m often asked by PRs to try a variety of products, treatments or classes that might be suitable for review in one of the publications I write for – or also on my blog. And with Glowology beginning to pick up the pace and get noticed in the industry thanks to my lovely followers and readers – that’s you! :-) – I can report back on the things that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you – as 40+ gorgeous, glam women (and men) – would be interested in knowing about. So, last month I was asked to try out a revolutionary new fitness class, Speedflex 30 and here’s my take on it…

Disembarking at Bank Underground Station at lunch time felt a bit like walking onto the set of Wolf of Wall Street. I felt decidedly under dressed in my Sweaty Betty day glo vest and sporty capri pants and hoped the SpeedFlex HQ wouldn’t be too far away. With the smartly dressed throng around me and with my rather ample thighs and tummy not quite under control in all that lycra, I felt as if I was doing the walk of shame! So, sunglasses on, I power walked the 5 minutes to the gym to give myself an air of confidence.

I soon realised that this was a gym like no other I’d visited before – there were no free weights, Stairmasters, rowing machines or bicycles but simply 2 spacious studios each housing seven black, rather stylish machines which looked totally unfamiliar and fairly space-agey. I found myself humming the theme to Star Wars as friendly fitness instructor, Hayley got me set up with a strap on heart monitor which would display my heart rate on a studio screen in order to check my progress during the workout. I was intrigued!

After a comprehensive consultation and a demonstration of the machines, the class began to fill up with such a wide variety of types I felt I could almost have been standing in a supermarket queue rather than a trendy studio in the heart of London. My surprised expression, prompted Hayley to explain that because the machines are hydrolic – meaning they respond to the force of the user as opposed to the addition of weights – the system allows for a professional athlete to train alongside a pensioner and there is no risk of injury. Ahh, that explains it! And the major benefit of these machines means there is no damage to muscles and little to no soreness after workouts. That’s a major plus for me as I’m often known to be limping around moaning about aches and pains for days (weeks) after a hard fitness class.

speedflex crunch

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the small group class – especially as we were all so different in shape, size and age that there was a feeling of friendliness and encouragement rather than competition. The athletic fitties haven’t been overlooked at Speedflex though as I noticed a beefcake competition in full force in another studio…well, it was hard not to look!

My thirty minute class consisted of circuits using each machine for a duration of 20 seconds with a buzzer indicating when to change. I huffed and puffed my way around, pulling and pressing, squatting and stretching against my own resistance, realising I could work as hard or as little as I wanted depending on the effort I put in – the machine matched my resistance. Moves such as arm lifts with kettle balls and crunches were interspersed between machines to ensure a full body workout. There was a point when I looked up at the class screen only to see my heart rate was blank – I knew I’d been working hard but I didn’t feel like I was a gonner quite yet, so I was relieved when I realised my monitor had simply unhinged itself! Phew…

phew

After the thirty minutes was up, Hayley congratulated us all for working so hard and called out our progress statistics – the monitor showed us how hard we’d worked individually in which particular section of the workout as well as how many calories we’d burnt. I had squatted, lunged and military pressed my way to burning up a whopping 500 calories in 30 minutes with the proof in black and white. I’d heard Speedflex could become addictive – and now I understood why!

This is the ideal exercise for people who have a lot of weight to lose but don’t know where to start, those who have been injured and are trying to get back to health as well as those who just want to work as hard as they can without the risk incurring or aggravating injuries. The fact that the class was only 30 minutes was a bonus as I felt it eliminated the excuse not to give it a go due to time restraints.

For information contact www.speedflex.com. Each class costs £30 or £150 per month. 33-36 Lombard Street, London EC3V (0844 543 363)

Let me know if you give it a try it!

Over 40 Celebrity Beauty Spotlight: Jerry Hall

18 Sep

Jerry Hall lead photo

Can you believe Jerry Hall is 58? She looks incredible doesn’t she? I’m not sure if she’s one of those who say ‘oh, yes I’ve tried Botox once, but didn’t like it so haven’t done it since’. How many times have we heard that line in interviews with oddly Benjamin Button-esque, age reversing celebs? It’s as if celebrities of a certain age know that we know they’ve done something and so by letting us know they’ve done it ‘just the once’ then, despite their frozen in time shiny forehead, rabbit nose lines and the fact they’ve only aged a month in 10 years, we will put it down to their incredible fountain of youth genes. They’re all natural…only did Botox the once you see? Hmmm, of course they did. 

Anyway, Jerry looks fab. Whether she’s in the Botox brigade or not…she’s very natural looking. I kind of agree with her feature in the Daily Mail on Monday about not wearing beige if you want to look good in your 50s. Although I confess to loving a bit of beige – I think it suits me because of my fairly olive skin –Jez is right in that it can be an unforgiving shade and, as we age, our complexion needs something a little more vibrant to stop it looking like a bag o’ dough. The same goes for black which can also start to look unflattering and a little too harsh against certain skin tones. I think once we reach 45, it’s a good idea to take stock of the changes in our skin and hair and it’s probably the ideal time to invest in a colour analysis session which is something I’ve been thinking of doing with some friends. Once I get my act together and actually do this, i’ll let you know how I get on.

I also love the beauty tips Jerry’s mum passed down to her, such as slathering olive oil onto hair and body once a week to keep it supple. I have an arsenal of oils (see picture for proof) which I switch and use day or night, when I feel my skin needs extra hydration. I would like to think of adding Jerry’s full body oil treatment to my beauty routine but I can bet, just as I’ve basted myself, I’ll pick up my iphone to check texts and it’ll slip out of my oily hands and smash on the floor. Plus, my bonkers dog sheds black hairs all over the house and I can’t imagine it being pleasant having to pick them off oily limbs. It will need to be a bathroom only affair. But the new oil of de jour has to be coconut oil doesn’t it? Its beauty and wellbeing benefits are everywhere at the moment and one of my favourite bloggers, Vicki, over at Honestmum swears by it as her miracle go-to product for everything from healing scars to replenishing the hair and skin with goodness. And let me tell you, if it can help get me hair and skin like hers, then I’m all for it!

arson of oils

As for fashion, I think I’m into growing old semi-disgracefully. I don’t want to go the whole hog ‘look at me, my tits are at my knees and my gut is on my ankles and I’m still rocking a leopard print cropped top because I’M MEEEEE!’ No, I’m not that much of a nutjob, but I do still like to shake it up a little with my vintage snakeskin boots and a pleather trouser now and then. Regardless of what my kids think, I am 47 – not 107!

snakeskin boots

What’s your take on looking good as we age then? I’d love to know!

Back to Blonde

16 Sep

 

Amanda Julca via Pinterest

Amanda Julca via Pinterest

This summer, to complement the much loved Ibiza boho look, I’ve been favouring laissez faire hair – namely, sunkissed, beachy waves that look relaxed and glam and give the impression that you haven’t tried too try hard. Well, that’s what it might look like, but I can’t tell you how many follicles I have frazzled over the years in the pursuit of just the right shade of Bondi beige streaks! I must admit that although I’ve loved having darker hair for the last few months, I just feel like I’m meant to be a blonde – even if my roots don’t agree. This summer, I went lighter again but by adding scorching sunshine, sea and chlorine to the mix – my newly blonde locks began to look more straw than silk. Thankfully, I’d heard about a new super conditioning treatment that was better at smoothing hair than a Brazilian blow-dry, so I tucked my frizzy mess under my trilby and headed to Town.

E

Eleven Hair is a couple of minutes walk from Bond Street Station and is very much the typical Mayfair salon with stylish statement lighting, cool music and even cooler hairstylists dressed head to toe in black. I was impressed with the array of beverages on offer from various blends of tea and coffee to white wine, beer and gin and tonic and, seeing it was a Friday afternoon, was tempted to accept a nice cold glass of wine until I breathed out and realised how tight my jeans had become from over indulging on holiday, so I settled for a still water (honest). As I sat down I  noticed a slightly offensive odour underneath the tinge of hairspray that took me back to the days when my hairstyle de jour was Meg Ryan’s crispy permed bob in When Harry Met Sally. I looked around to spot the culprit with the bubble perm but there was nothing but sleek styles atop of this clientele.

Just as I was pondering on the pong, my chair span around and I was face to face with Gleb, a charming and professional young stylist who asked lots of questions about my hair’s past and excitedly told me how pleased he was that Eleven are the first salon to have the brand new Japanese Diamond System in the UK because the results on clients so far have been fantastic. As he tried (in vain) to run his fingers through my hair, it was obvious that I am the ideal candidate for this new treatment. My hair is coloured, over processed and, due to over styling and sun damage, not in its best condition.

After washing my hair with clarifying shampoo to remove any remnants of build up that might prevent the absorption of the Japanese Diamond products, it was rinsed and ready for some TLC. Gleb applied a selection of specially formulated deep conditioning products to my hair section by section. The thick goop that was stroked onto my hair smelt fresh and clean and while I relaxed, Gleb explained that the 8 products in the Japanese Diamond System include repairing and protecting ingredients such as Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rose Oil, Silk, Cranberry and Lavender.

For the next step, Gleb placed a pane of perspex underneath each section of hair and ran a hand held ultrasound device from root to tip. Apparently, the ultrasound technology works with the products’ naturally derived ingredients to rejuvenate and restructure the hair from the inside out and the pane of perspex works to reflect the ultrasound waves, locking the ingredients deep into the hair shaft. Finally, my hair was rinsed and quickly blow-dried. I was staggered at the shine on my hair – it was something I hadn’t seen for years!

Although it’s a bit pricey at £85 – you also get a blow-dry and the effects last up to 2 months. Even after washing my hair a couple of days later I only needed a flick of the hot brush and a touch of serum to keep it looking in fantastic condition. A couple of weeks on, I’m still getting compliments but it does need a little more help to look as good as it did when I left the salon but I will definitely have this treatment again.

PicMonkey Collage

 

Superdrug Skincare Surprise

6 Aug

B. set of products

As a teenager I was able to try anything on my skin without a problem – bargain basement suncream, cheap as chips foundation – no problem. Then, in my twenties and without warning, I tried a brand of face cream which I’d used a hundred times before but, instead of getting the glowy skin results I’d had with it previously, I looked like a puffer fish with very bad sunburn and a bad case of acne on the side. Nice. So, like an estimated 50% of the population I joined the sensitive skin sufferers. Since discovering Clarins moisturisers and also my favourite facial oils which mostly contain natural, organic ingredients, I’ve been able to prevent an outbreak of PFF (puffer fish face) but I’ve always been wary of buying anything other than what I knew my skin was okay with. So, this post is about my latest fabulous skincare find. I couldn’t wait to share it with you but I wanted to finish the whole jar without a hitch before reporting on its results and as I’m now happily on to the second jar, here it is: Continue reading

Summer Beauty Favourites|Part 2

1 Aug
Me and Stressed Husband chilling in Devon

Me and Stressed Husband chilling in Devon

I love August. Not just because it’s my birthday month but because it’s the time when we take full advantage of the warm weather and try to escape the stresses of a busy work and family life by having a couple of lovely long weekends away in Devon. But I even adore the weekends spent chilling at home where we are lucky to live just by the river – and we take full advantage of the quaint riverside pubs as our Facebook check-ins will testify! We’ve been so spoilt this year with the glorious weather and as a Leo sun lover, it has delighted me no end; you won’t catch me complaining that it’s too hot!  So to keep me looking and feeling as glorious and bright as the sunshine, I’ve got a few more fabulous summer beauty must-haves which I promised to bring you in my last post – you can read it by clicking here if you missed it… Continue reading

Elegant Ageless Beauty

This blog is primarily aimed at the more mature ladies, but anyone with a general interest in all things to do with beauty, please feel free to join in. I will try to include items for all interests. Please read and enjoy ♥

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FEEL AND LOOK YOUR FABULOUS BEST - IT'S OUR TIME TO GLOW!

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