Lately, I’ve been feeling a change in the air and I’m not sure I like it. Summer has always been my favourite time of year – the hotter the better. I’ve always especially loved August as it’s my birthday month so you’ll often find me gearing up for the big day by running through the cocktail list in every pub along the river. But somehow, this year feels different…
I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderful magazines and clients over the years and one that I have huge respect for is Bodyvie Medi-Clinic in Richmond, Surrey. Its professionalism, high-tech non-surgical treatments and friendly, experienced aesthetic and medical team makes it a favourite among local mums and celebrities alike and it was while working with them, I got to find that one of their regular clients is television presenter Anthea Turner. Watching her on Loose Women recently got me thinking – even with her busy working life and being a regular at glittery, celebrity events, she seemed so down to earth and fun. Perhaps, I thought, she would be one of my fabulous Women Like Us. Serendipity stepped in when Bodyvie asked me to contact Anthea to write about her beauty tips for their blog and I was thrilled when she said she’d be happy to be featured on Glowology too. Thanks Anthea! So less faffing from me and more goss from her…let’s go!
Skincare is a very personal thing; what works well for some may only make others think ‘meh…it’s ok’ or they might not like it at all. And with so many skincare ranges available, knowing what to buy can be really confusing. So, I like to think that the products or treatments that I mention have something pretty special about them so that, even if they aren’t exactly the holy grail of beauty (because that hasn’t been invented yet and when it has, then believe me, I will be the first to tell you) I believe they will give most of us who are over 40, a happy little ‘ooh, yeah, that’s gooooood‘ kind of feeling.
When one of my best friends mentioned she was going to start an online women’s accessories business – Barewith Accessories – I got very excited. Being Liz’s friend – and being really nosey – means that I get to see what she’s bought for the business before anybody else and it can be lethal for the wallet, I’m not kidding! Whenever I go out wearing one of Barewith’s scarves or bags I can guarantee I’ll be surrounded by appreciative ‘oohs and ahh’s’ from other women wanting to know where they’re from. So, I thought it only fair that I share Liz and her wonderful wares with my lovely Glowology readers, so let’s find out more…
You’ve probably read about facial massage being good for your skin, but if you’re anything like me, you probably feel a little bit confused and not sure where to start. So, good news! on my quest for finding out how to keep skin looking youthful and healthy without spending fortune and while also giving yourself a big wellbeing boost at the same time, I came across this wonderful video by fabulous, International makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, who’s worked on the most famous faces in the world (oh, how I’d love to dive into her makeup cupboard…pure bliss!).
You know I can’t get enough of speedy beauty. Anything that makes me feel good and look good in super quick time is always going to be a winner; whether it’s a double duty product that makes skin feel fab while tackling wrinkles at the same time, a makeup item that gets me from blah to bodacious (or just decent enough) in five minutes flat or a fast workout (like this one I mentioned last week). Feeling good and looking good with minimum effort and as quickly as possible is always my aim and so that’s why I’m excited to introduce you to this wonderful little gem…The Light Salon.
How many times have you felt stressed in the last week or so? I can count at least five times. Four of those were to do with The Teen’s GCSE’s and her – and my – ability to constantly misplace things! Stress isn’t just awful for your health (90% of visits to the doctor are for stress related concerns) it’s terrible for your skin – breakout city here we come – and also, plays havoc with your wellbeing. And that is not on!
Even though we’re told a little bit of stress is something we can all do with as it keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger, too much is a definite no-no. It makes us feel and look worse for wear and it impacts on our relationships, putting everything into a negative spin. So here are my three favourite tricks for staying as upbeat as possible when stress slithers into my life. I hope they can help you too…
Since I gave up competitive swimming at 16 – I was a National champion and had a TV appearance on Tomorrow’s World and Grandstand (yeah, I know!) – my super speedy athlete’s metabolism, used to the 5am swimming sessions and healthy lifestyle, was abruptly sabotaged by late night partying, mid-day rising, junk food and dry Martini and lemondes. Within a few months of no pool action, my hard earned six pack had deflated and my thighs expanded and I found it hard to deal with. The body that had been a treasured temple was quickly becoming a flabby bedsit and I didn’t know then, but that excess weight that engulfed my body and that I’d never had before, was going to plague me for years and years to come…
Way back last year, I had the idea of writing a regular series of inspirational posts about Women Like Us who could give us tips and tricks on anything that makes them look and feel fantastic. I figure if it works for them, it could work for us too! Of course, me being me, I wrote my first post about my gorgeous and glamorous friend Liz Bennett (read it again here) and haven’t done anymore since! I got some great feedback on that post, so I’m picking up the pieces and getting the Women Like Us going again and I’m starting today with the lovely, super stylish and super organised Image Consultant and mum of two from West Sussex, Helen Reynolds.
Glowology: I wish I was naturally stylish! Tell me more about your work and how you got into it.
Helen: I got into the Image Consultancy business because of my own style journey which makes me typical of the women I now help! I’ve always been fascinated by the way different clothes can make you feel and in turn can affect the way you behave. After graduating from Uni I worked at a glossy magazine publishers with some incredibly glamourous and stylish women. I noticed how what I wore on any given day would affect my confidence and behaviour. Some days I would be outgoing and confident and would share my ideas in meetings (and be heard!). Other days when I didn’t feel like ‘me’ in my clothes I would revert to the shy little girl I used to be. After having my babies in my thirties I trained to become an Image Consultant and suddenly it all made sense. We are all different and what suits one person will not necessarily work for the next. I finally understood the importance of wearing clothes that ‘love you back’ rather than pieces I felt I should wear because they were fashionable or looked great on someone else I’d seen. For me it has been life-changing and I feel so lucky to be able to do this for the women that I work with. Some of them are limiting their lives because of the way they feel about the way they look. What I do isn’t really about the clothes to be honest, although that’s my ‘tool’, it’s more about unlocking something deep inside that makes women feel amazing and confident so that they live their lives to the full.
Glowology: I ‘met’ you virtually, through finding your website on Twitter and loving the tips on your blog. How and why did you get into blogging?
Helen: I wanted to be able to share my message with a wider audience so I went on a fabulous blogging course with Carole Bozkurt at The Blueprint Practice and discovered how to do it effectively and enjoy it! These days I have help in the form of an assistant and a marketing consultant to keep me on track and to ensure that I blog consistently. When I’m busy with clients it’s difficult to juggle it all.
Glowology: What’s a typical day like for you?
Helen: If it’s a client day, it’ll look something like this: Breakfast is a really important meal for me especially when I’m spending the day shopping. Once I’ve got the kids up and off to school I take the train to London to meet my client. We start with a coffee to re-visit their shopping list and clarify priorities and then hit the shops, breaking for a light lunch to take some time to recharge and decide on the focus for the afternoon.
Once I’ve finished the day, I whizz home and collect the boys, Sam 11 and George 9, cook dinner (or often two or three dinners to accommodate a fussy eater and my healthy preferences! I’m a soft touch…)Then it’s a tidy up and kids to bed before collapsing in front of rubbish TV with my ipad catching up on blogs and resting my feet.
Glowology: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Helen: I try to make time to visit the gym two to three times a week and I’ve just started having tennis lessons so we will see how that pans out! Apart from that it’s socialising with my friends. There’s nothing I love more than a natter over a glass of chilled white wine or a gin and tonic (or two) and of course shopping is in my blood so if I had a whole day off I would grab my ‘shopping partner in crime’ and head off for a blissful day updating my own wardrobe!
Glowology: What makes you feel happy? – long baths, candles, champagne? That type of thing (I’m dreaming of all of these things right now!)
Helen: So many things! I’m lucky that my default setting is happy and am definitely a glass half full kind of girl. I love time to myself and I love going out for dinner with my husband. We made a pact this year to go out to a swanky restaurant every month but so far we’ve only manage Le Caprice and a lovely Japanese restaurant that is local to us but The Shard is our next stop. I love quality time with my friends and I love being goofy with my kids. They make me laugh every day.
Glowology: Has your love of style always been a big part of your life?
Helen: Totally. Lots of my childhood memories include what we were all wearing. It wasn’t until I did my image training back in 2009 that I really understood what style was all about and started to refine my own in a way that felt authentic and easy.
Glowology: What are the biggest positive changes we could make to our wardrobes as we age?
Helen: Really tuning into the kind of clothes that love you back. Don’t ever wear something because you feel like you ‘ought’ to. Wear clothes that make you happy, that make you feel like you.
Glowology: Bearing in mind that 50 is the new 30…well, it is as far as I’m concerned 🙂 Do you think there is anything style wise that is ‘out of bounds’ over the age of 40?
Helen: I’m 43 and I would never tell anyone that they couldn’t wear anything, if it makes them feel happy that’s good enough for me! I’m cautious of mini-skirts over 40 but not for everyone. I have a friend who is tall and slim with amazing legs and she looks great in her denim mini skirt and a loose vest top and she is over 40. Everyone is different so no, I wouldn’t say anything is out of bound over 40… oh except pigtails!
Glowology: What is your everyday beauty routine like?
Helen: My husband despairs at my collection of potions and oils! I’ve recently got into cleansing oils (after reading Sali Hughes Pretty Honest) which my skin loves (being on the dry side) and have just started using a Vichy serum she raves about which has made a difference after just a few days. Apart from that I use an eye cream and moisturiser by Environ which is a brand made in South Africa by cosmetic surgeons. And I always use primer under my make-up. Twice a week I try to remember to use an exfoliating and moisturising mask as my skin is on the dry side.
.Glowology: What’s your desert island product?
Helen: Ooh good question. Can I have two? If I had to choose one it’d be lip balm. Carmex is my fave lip balm, it feels slightly medical. If I could sneak another one in, it’d be hand cream. I use it constantly. At the moment, I’m loving Aveeno which is supposed to last through handwashing and moisturise for 24 hours (but I use it constantly).
Glowology: You sound like my kind of girl and I gather that skincare is very important to you.
Helen: Hugely important. Yes I spend far too much on products. I daren’t add it up.
Glowology: What skincare/makeup tips could you give us fabulous over 40s that have helped you?
Helen: Treat your skin with what it needs not just anything you find. Just as with clothes, we are all different and we suit different things and I find treating your skin with products that are tailored to your needs makes all the difference.
Glowology: Have you ever been given advice that has been helpful regarding beauty/wellbeing?
Helen: That you get what you focus on! If you have a massive spot, try not to focus on it and stress too much. It will go. Instead focus on the rest of your skin being clear or your lovely bright eyes. It really works!
Glowology: What makes you feel fantastic inside?
Helen: Having great feedback from the women I work with and to feel I’m making a real difference in the way I want to.
Glowology: Do you exercise? If so, what do you do and how much?
Helen: Yes, exercise is an important part of my life although if I miss a week for whatever reason that’s ok. I’m not obsessed but I notice how it makes me feel more energised and mentally calm and I often get my best ideas for business when I am working out rather than glued to my computer screen. I go to the gym twice a week and am now I’m having a weekly tennis lesson too. I used to do a bit of yoga but that has dropped off. I’m sure I will go back to that one day.
Glowology: How important is looking good to you and are you happy with your body?
Helen: Looking my best is very important and affects how I feel and how I behave. As far as my body is concerned, I am happy now but it hasn’t always been that way. Learning to dress properly for your body type makes SUCH a difference!
Glowology: Do you eat a particular diet or is there anything you’ve found works for you and makes you feel good?
Helen: Yes, I worked with nutritionist Rachel McGuiness last year to improve my energy levels and my digestion and have changed my diet pretty radically but it works for me because I can relax the rules at the weekend. It’s the Metabolic Balance Program and one of the rules is to leave a gap of at least 5 hours between meals. I had a tendency to rely on caffeine or sugary snacks to get me through the day but when you keep it to mealtimes it’s amazing how you can avoid energy slumps. Obviously there is more to it than that, what you are eating at meal times matters too.
Glowology: Who do you think gets it spot on for over 40 style?
Helen: Victoria Beckham. She knows what suits her and always gets it right.
Glowology: Do you have any favourite designers or stores?
Helen: Most of my clients shop on the high street and the brands that work well for them vary hugely according to their body shape or look. For me, I love to mix high-end high street with the cheaper brands, although I’m trying to buy less and buy better quality pieces now that I’m running out of room! I always say invest as much as you can in the basics. Wearing cheaper quality trousers when you are over 40 is tricky. Invest in shoes, trousers and jackets and coats and fill in the gaps with cheaper stuff.
I love Anthropologie for its quirkiness, Whistles for its clean lines, Zara for its fast moving fashion and will always enjoy a good browse in John Lewis which has just about everything under one roof. I can easily spend 2-3 hours in John Lewis with a client!
Glowology: What can we do to make a quick difference to our wardrobes that would help us if we are stuck in a rut?
Helen: Wear those things you are saving for best for every day wear. Often we save things and never get around to wearing them enough. We spend more on these pieces than our every-day clothes but if you don’t wear them enough the cost per wear is too high.
Glowology: What is your feel good philosophy?
Helen: My feel good philosophy is when you wear clothes that ‘love you back’, you look and feel fabulous. Pay attention to the colours that suit your skin tone, shapes that flatter your figure and styles that feel right for YOU regardless of what everyone else is wearing. And if you can’t work it out for yourself, go and find someone to help you. When I discovered the styles that work well for me it changed everything.
I’d like to thank Helen so much for her useful and interesting style and feel-good tips! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m off to declutter my jam-packed wardrobe and make way for some new buys!
If you’d like to see how Helen could help you streamline your style and give you some advice on what clothes and colours could work for you, she’s holding a Style Masterclass at London’s Waldorf Hotel on 21st May. At the moment, there’s a special earlybird discount running until this Friday 29th April and you can find out more details by clicking here
I always remember my lovely Nanny Ciss saying ‘You should be grateful’ when I turned my nose up at something, whether it was a ‘nice bit of liver’ for dinner *shudders* or when I came second in the swimming club gala. Grateful? But I wanted sausages and chips and I wanted to win the trophy. I didn’t get what I wanted, so as far as I could tell there was nothing to be grateful for. As I grew up though, I realised, clever old Nanny Ciss knew a thing or two about leading a happy life and being thankful for what she had.
When I think about being grateful now, as an adult, I understand it all much better. While I was having a bit of a crappy day recently, it only took five minutes for me to switch my mood from yuck to yay and this is what helped…
The dog. Of course, I was going to say that first 🙂 My big, shiny, loveable Labrador Troy. It doesn’t matter that I’m being grumpy or shouting at Stressed Husband or one of the kids, my dumpling dog always forgives my moods and brings me a sock or pair of pants from the utility room as if to say ‘cheer up mum, here’s a present’. Awww. dirty socks? Nice – not. But I’m just grateful for him ‘presenting’ me with something – it’s his way of telling me he cares!
My house. It took a while to get the building work out of the way with lots of stress, dust and family arguments, and even though it still isn’t finished exactly how I would’ve liked it and it smells of damp dog, it has lots going for it: It overlooks the river, it’s big enough for my 3 big kids and their gaggle of friends and the parties. I guess I’m feeling a bit sad now that we’ve got it on the market (news updates to follow) but for now, it’s home and I’m grateful!
Friends and family. Of course, they’re top of the list, but today, I think Troy was the winner and got top mention as he managed to bring me not just one pair of socks and a lovely pair of unwashed boxer shorts, but a pair of slippers today too. And all, I might add, were in his mouth at the same time! Still, it only took me a quick scroll through my texts and a peek on Facebook to see how many lovely friends I have (and I don’t mean just ‘Facebook’ friends but real ‘if you’re down, I’ll listen to you moan and cheer you up’ type friends.) I’m well aware that not everybody is lucky enough to have such wonderful friends and family and so I am always grateful for that!
Being healthy. What more can I say? I moan about my aching hips – but will never give up swinging them about while I’m dancing! I grumble about my dizziness and other menopausal type symptoms which get on my tits (and talking of tits – they’re getting droopier by the minute so I’ve got to moan about those too) but all in all, I’m so, so grateful to be healthy.
So there we have it. My reasons to be grateful today and I’d like to say a big thank you to Nanny Ciss, God rest her soul, for instilling in me that I really ‘should be grateful’ instead of moaning about stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Love you nan.
What are your reasons to be grateful?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve often asked myself whether it’s time to have a little Botox. But even though my crow’s feet are multiplying faster than Danny Zuko’s chills in Greece and the crinkles on my forehead can no longer be convincingly veiled by light reflecting makeup, I’ve yet to succumb to a syringe of the smoothing stuff.
Just before Christmas when my skin was at its most wintery (read: pale, dry and lacklustre) it got to the point where I spent my spare time looking at before and after pictures of Botox treatments . Those unlined foreheads and youthful, perky eyes had me at breaking point when comparing them against my folds and deepening wrinkles, so it was perfect timing when I got a call from Miss Sherina Balaratnam asking me to trial Radara – a much hailed breakthrough in targeted skincare. Exciting!
S-Thetics in Beaconsfield is one of the first UK clinics trialling Radara, so Sherina was as excited as me. The fact that I’d never had Botox but was at that ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ stage, apparently made me a perfect candidate to trial this new, at home treatment, as I could decide whether Radara delivered good enough results to keep me away from the needle for even longer. Here’s how I got on…
THE RADARA BOX
The stylish looking box that contains the Radara skincare system was a treat in itself – ‘totally Instagrammable’ – so my girls told me! After my initial consultation with Sherina to check on the current depth of my crow’s feet and to be shown how to use the system correctly, I left S-Thetics clutching my ‘special box’ and took lots of pictures of it while smiling inanely and hoping the contents of said box would work magic on my crinkles.
THE RADARA SKINCARE SYSTEM
The skincare system consists of flexible patches coated with tiny microscopic plastic ‘needles’ less than half a millimetre long and a pump bottle of high-grade pure hyaluronic acid (HA). If you haven’t heard of HA, let me tell you, it is a big buzz in the skincare industry and you’re most likely to find it in products aimed at the over 40 age group. HA is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body, which, like anything that’s holding us firm and tight, sadly reduces as we age. Depletion of HA is one of the main reasons we lose that youthful glow, natural elasticity, hydration and support. So, Radara figures that by replenishing HA levels using this targeted method, skin health can be restored and wrinkles softened.
HOW TO USE IT
The Radara trial lasts for four weeks and patches are designed to be used around the eye area once a day – I used it in the evening before bed after cleansing and moisturising. Patches are placed on the skin and gently pressed so that the ‘needles’ create hundreds of tiny micro-channels. Although this sounds a bit painful, it isn’t at all – it’s just feels slightly prickly. Then, after smoothing on a pump of hyaluronic acid, the patches are placed back on the skin for five minutes to allow the serum to penetrate.
As a self-confessed sloven, I wondered whether this extra skincare step would become a hassle and wind up going by the way side, but actually, I came to look forward to my five minutes of Radara time! It was time for me to be still and quiet (it’s best not to move the face while the patches are doing their thing) and I found it an enjoyable part of my day, marking the start of a wind down routine.
Even though my trial took part over the festive season, I’m pleased to report that any excess of alcoholic bubbles and partying didn’t cause my nightly routine to slip and my patches went on every night for five minutes, without fail… Though I do admit to waking up and finding used patches stuck to my foot on a couple of occasions!
The results on my eyes over the first two weeks were unremarkable – my skin felt slightly more hydrated but that was all. Just when I started wondering that perhaps I wasn’t ‘doing it right’ I noticed a change! There was a definite softening of wrinkles in the third and fourth week alongside a brightening of the area. When my face was static, the crow’s feet were almost non-existent.
On my final visit to check on wrinkle depth, Sherina was impressed to note that there was a definite plumping up of lines around the eyes from my initial skin analysis and I was pleased with glowing compliments from friends and family about how refreshed I was looking. I felt that I looked ‘well’ and my crow’s feet were minimal and definitely improved.
Discussing my results with Sherina, we both felt that the Radara system would be ideal for somebody who is opposed to Botox or, like me, isn’t sure they’re ready to go that route yet, but is after a way to reduce lines in a natural, subtle way.
Although the wrinkle reducing effects of Radara may not be as dramatic as they would be with Botox, my wrinkles still improved considerably more than with any eye-cream that I’ve used over the same amount of time. The effects of Radara are said to last for up to three months and, a month on, I’m still less crinkly than before the trial.
I’ve decided to hold off from Botox for now and just hope that Radara decide to bring out patches that can be used for other areas such as the forehead, chest and lip area. Watch this space!
A month supply of Radara Targeted Skincare costs £199 and there is lots of information here on their website.
For more information on S-Thetics in Beaconsfield, visit their website here.
I must say that the latter half of 2015 has been pretty good – a lot better than the beginning of it when I had no roof, lived in a building site and the dog had an op on his leg that rendered him immobile and sad for months. Sad dog = sad me. Happily, as he bounded back to health, the year also took a turn for the better and so I’m ending 2015 on a high which I hope continues into 2016…
I’ve got some exciting plans for next year, both personally and professionally – more of which I’m sure you’ll be finding out about on my blog – and writing this blog more regularly is just one of my resolutions!
So, as we say farewell to 2015 and welcome in the New Year, I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy, glowing and joyous time ahead!
I remember when I was about 14 years old, going to bed with flawless skin and waking up covered in spots. Hormones played havoc and I was forever trying to stop the never ending flow of oil that oozed from my pores and left me shiny, spotty and sad.
In the ‘old days’ (as my kids call the 80s) I was told that the solution to spottiness was to zap spots with a hard-hitting, skin drying lotion and then fry my face under a sunlamp. Today that prescription would be skin sacrilege and dermatologists would shudder in their boots just thinking of it. I might have got a toffee apple tan (along with premature age spots) but my sebum glands went into overdrive because the harsh methods I was using were stripping my skin of oil and so it was producing even more to protect my frazzled face.
With clinical studies reporting 80% of teens will develop some form of acne, there are obviously a lot of mums out there wondering what is the best thing to do for their child’s skin. With this in mind, beautician Julia Vearncombe and homeopath, Hilery Dorrian – who both have had many years of experience in their respective fields – joined forces to come up with SkinGenius – a gentle, more natural skincare solution with a ‘no junk’ formula far superior to the skin strippers of yesteryear!
Understanding that teenagers have a tendency to be a little bit CBA (can’t be arsed) and slapdash, Julia and Hilery wanted to ensure the products in the range were simple and pleasant to use, as well as effective. Therefore, SkinGenius comprises just 3 no-fuss products: Facial Wash, Clarifying Lotion and Moisturiser. They are all jam packed with powerful but gentle ingredients to balance and calm skin such as Calendula which kills bacteria responsible for causing acne and speeds up healing, Witch Hazel to help reduce inflammation and oil production and minimise the look of pores plus Mallow, which is extracted from its flowers and leaves and used for its excellent soothing and emollient properties to keep skin texture smooth.
The Feedback So Far
My two daughters, 15 and 21 (above in main picture) have been trialling the clarifying lotion and moisturiser, and most recently, the face wash and, although they don’t suffer badly from spots, they are prone to breakouts around the time of the month.
Aimee, 21: “The clarifying lotion smells lovely – really fresh and citrussy. My favourite product is the moisturiser which makes my combination skin feel soft and supple but not greasy.”
Lily, 15: “I used to use wipes to take off my makeup but since getting spots and blackheads around my chin and nose (mum says this is because I don’t cleanse properly) I’ve started using the facial wash. It’s really gentle and cleanses deeply without drying my skin too much like some of the spot lotions I’ve tried before.”
Homeopath, Hilery has had her daughter Emily (below) trial the products since their creation and she has is thrilled with the results.
SkinGenius products start from £13.99 for a Facial Wash and you can find out more about them here.
In my opinion, as a mum and wellbeing and beauty writer who researches skincare just for fun as well as for my job, I would recommend SkinGenius to any parent who is looking for a natural and gentle skincare system to help keep their teen’s skin clean, clear and balanced. However, if acne is persistent and can’t be controlled by products alone, then you should ask your GP to refer you to a dermatologist for further investigation.
I’m definitely a woman from the no-fuss, wake-up-and-go camp of hair and beauty and this is more out of laziness rather than not having to do much to look presentable. Sometimes I know I should make more effort – especially being in the industry that I’m in – but as my Tall Teen would say ‘C.B.A’. For those of you who don’t understand, that’s Teen Talk for Cant Be Arsed.
Apart from a sprinkling of highlights when I can get around to having them – and I thank the Hair Trend Gods that roots are having a moment – it’s rare that I style my hair in any particular way. Mostly it’s left to dry naturally – loose and wavy – and if it looks particularly crispy at the ends or limp and lifeless, I scrape it up in a messy bun. I’m grateful that I’m freelance and work from home so nobody has to be subjected to my scruff-bag tendencies. Besides, my dog loves me just the way I am 🙂
Since reaching my mid-forties though, my hair has got thinner, which – along with middle age spread, dry, crepey skin and hot flushes – is another effect of the wonderful fluctuating hormones us middle-agers have to deal with. I’m not being negative here by the way – yes, we do have some health and beauty hurdles to handle as we age but, there is a lot we can do nowadays to keep looking and feeling great whatever our age (and I’ve got a lot of wonderful, helpful posts coming this way over the next few weeks – keep your eyes peeled!). So, when I was introduced to Reseed Haircare which has been developed to help thinning and hairloss, I was eager to try it out.
I didn’t have a good look at the ingredients when I first tried the shampoo but I knew as soon as it lathered up that it contained sulfates. Often sulfates are used to give shampoos a good, creamy, frothy lather, which users seem to like, but in reality, although it may feel nice, it’s not an ingredient that’s given applause by many dermatologists. I’ve done some research and sulfates can be a cause of problems such as breakouts, eczema and allergies, so if you’re prone to any of these skin problems, it might not be the right product for you. But, possible negatives aside, the range is dermatologically tested and is a ‘green bio-technology’ system that has been through 15 years of clinical trials with impressive feedback (which you can read on their website linked below). The Ginko and Sabal Fortifying Shampoo which I tried contained a whole host of hair strengthening vitamins and minerals to stimulate follicles and promote hair health and I also really liked the clean and fresh fragrance.
The Conditioner (not pictured because my girls went through it at a rate of knots) surprised me because it didn’t feel half as moisturising as my usual brand and I felt I needed more than my usual 10p amount to get a good coverage. But once I’d washed it off and combed my hair through, it felt absolutely fine. And when dry, it wasn’t in need of any extra sleeking or moisturising products.
The Ultra Volume Conditioner contained wheat bran and pomegranate colour protect which obviously did the job because, as you can see in the main picture above, my limp, coloured locks look much more bouncy and full than they had been before I started using the range. And this result is without any faffing or curling.
Reseed is being stocked in various Boots stores from this month and even though prices are quite hefty, starting from £24.99, I’m going to be stocking up on them because they work for me. It also means I can carry on my laissez faire hair methods and look okay while doing so!
There are a lot more products for men and women in the Reseed range and some of them focus much more on hairloss rather than general thinning. You can check out the whole range and the science behind it here on their website.
As you may know, I’m all for hot looking mamas over 40 strutting their stuff and being strong, powerful women in the workplace and at home. I totally love glamour and beauty but, as I age, I realise it’s not all about the looks – it’s more about The Sass.
What is The Sass?
The Sass…it’s knowing you wake up with crumply eyelids and a line from your pillow on your cheek that makes you look like you’ve had a run in with a gangland criminal. But you apply your kick ass mascara and glossy lips anyway – you can see through the crinkles to the beauty beyond.
The Sass…it’s pulling on your skinny jeans and failing to contain that bulge of flappy, apron-like skin that refuses to be shoved down beneath the waistline and hidden from view. But you stride out of the house and go about your day with a laugh and a ‘who gives a f***’ flick of the hair anyway.
The Sass…it’s about rocking that leopard print shirt or your pleather leggings with a flourish, despite that little voice in your head saying ‘isn’t it about time you packed away those items of clothing with your ra-ra skirt and Disney t-shirts?’ Balls. No!
The Sass…it’s about looking at your young daughters and their friends with their smooth skin, flat tummies and clothes-friendly bodies and telling them “Don’t ever worry about growing older and losing your looks because looks aren’t everything. But whatever you do, just don’t lose your SASS!”
The Sass comes in all shapes and sizes and knows no age limits and my message to you is that, even if some days you feel that your sass has deserted you – it hasn’t. If you look hard enough, you might just see it glinting back at you. Perhaps it’s tucked underneath those red cowboy boots that you’ve given up wearing for fear of looking like mutton – or maybe it’s hidden in your makeup bag among the safe beige and brown eyeshadows?
And if you still can’t find it, I’ll let you into a secret. Sass never fails to turn up around a table where you sit with a bottle of bubbly and some fabulous friends!
Here’s to Your Sass…wherever you may find it – don’t let it go!
I’ve been aware of iS Clinical as a top quality, scientifically respected, cosmeceutical brand for a few years now – ever since I became interested in high-end, results driven skincare. Basically, it hit my beauty radar round about the time I realised that my wrinkles were laughing at my half-hearted, twice daily regime of slapping on a generic moisturiser! I hadn’t yet got round to trying any products in the range, but, I’d heard good things and so when I was invited to try out their new, just-about-to-be-launched clinic treatment, I couldn’t wait!I went along to the recently opened S-Thetics Medical Aesthetics Clinic in the pretty Old Town of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and was met by Medical Director, Miss Sherina Balaratnam (above) whose credentials as a surgeon with extensive training in plastic surgery and medical aesthetics were very impressive and made me feel that I was definitely in the hands of a safe and trusted professional. The clinic itself was immaculate – just as I imagined a clinic under Miss Sherina’s charge would be. It had a stylish interior of wooden floors, misty grey walls, white leather chairs and chrome fittings and the silver and blue bottles of skincare were presented just-so on glass shelving. On the wall, a flat-screen TV showed videos of state-of-the-art face and body treatments and products that were available to purchase. In my opinion, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a higher calibre of aesthetic clinic – it knocks spots off some of those I’ve visited in Harley Street!
After the friendly and professional welcome I was given by Miss Sherina and her team – Louise (clinic administrator) and Lindsay (medical aesthetician) – I hoped the treatment I was having would live up to the glossy façade.
Before the treatment, I filled in a detailed questionnaire and my skin was analysed by a high tech 3D digital imaging system called VISIA which looks at all the layers of the skin. I’m happy to report that my skin was way above average for my age and skin tone for thickness (well, Stressed Husband is always saying I’m thick skinned!) and this hopefully bodes well for wrinkles. But it wasn’t as good on the congestion side of things. Rather than a slap-dash cleansing regime, I put that down to the dust I’ve been living in over the past year of the house building work!
Lindsay ran through what the treatment entailed and I was happy to lie back and begin the Fire & Ice journey…
After a th0rough cleanse and the application of the first masque, I got the ‘fire’ message as my skin began to get warmer and tingly (and a bit itchy) and there was a lovely waft of aniseed. Lindsay explained that the Intensive Resurfacing Masque is formulated with 18% glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, malic acid, vitamin B3, retinol and powerful antioxidants. This removes debris and the top loose layers of the epidermis, causing superficial trauma to the skin, which in turn revs up the skin’s healing mode, boosting collagen production. The aniseed smell was actually cinnamon – very autumnal! Lindsay made sure I felt comfortable and, after about 5 minutes, whisked off the masque with a special neutraliser before beginning the second part of the process.
The ingredients in the second ‘ice’ masque were a rejuvenating, intensely hydrating blend of hyaluronic acid and extracts of Japanese green tea, grape, soothing rosemary and liquorish which, although made my skin tingle again, felt cooling and refreshing.
While I nodded off at this part, Lindsay carried out the same double masque process on my décolletage and hands, before delivering a therapeutic massage to my neck, arms and hands, which put me into an even deeper slumber!
Once I awoke (I hoped I hadn’t frightened Lindsay with my snoring and dribbling) my treatment was finished off with a final cleanse and a healthy application of moisturising serum and a high SPF.
Incorporating the chest and hands into the treatment and adding a delicious massage was the new twist; the ‘Red Carpet’ extra which has been added to the regular Fire & Ice Treatment. I am lucky to have been one of the first journalists to try this new and improved treatment which is only just launching in the UK. The fact that it’s popular with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Halle Berry and is the best selling treatment at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills – dahling – was an added bonus for me!
But, what about my skin? Before leaving the clinic I was given an after care kit containing various iS Clinical products to help keep up the good work that the treatment had started. Looking in the mirror (and seeing past the ‘Pepper Pig’ flush) I noticed the surface of my skin was much smoother in texture and fine lines had dramatically diminished. Over the next few days, my friends (and Stressed Husband) remarked on the glow of my complexion. Put it this way, a week or so before having the treatment, I was considering Botox – and now I’m not!
The 75 minute Red Carpet Fire & Ice Treatment costs £175 but Miss Sherina is kindly offering Glowology readers the treatment for £125. To take advantage of this offer, call the clinic on 01494 670990 to book before October 31st and treatments can be taken until November 30th 2015.
I am a massive advocate of walking. Apart from the fact that scientists have discovered a daily brisk walk can delay the ageing process by 12 years, it’s a great weight-bearing exercise so perfect for keeping bones healthy. And – if you do it fast enough – it helps keep the wobble under control. There are even more fabulous benefits: For me, walking every day means I keep my fitness levels fairly constant, my dog gets his exercise and I can guarantee that if I leave the house feeling under the weather, I’ll return after a walk (rain or shine) feeling much brighter. It’s a natural, free happiness booster and as I mentioned here in my last post, I want to bring more of them our way!
The social aspect of walking is always a bonus – unlike jogging and running, you can hold a conversation with your friends without panting and having to stop mid-goss to get your breath back! That’s why this year, I wanted to take my usual choice of charity walk/run up a notch. So instead of the 5k Race For Life, I’m pleased to be joining a team of great women (including my gorgeous daughter, Aimee, below) to take part in the Cancer Research Shine Night Walk. I’ve opted for the 13 mile walk through London at night rather than the full marathon 26 miles because…well…because I’m a scaredy cat!
I’m really looking forward to the walk, as well as catching up with the team, but I just hope I’ve trained enough and that my niggly hip doesn’t cause me too much trouble.
One thing I can be sure of though, is that my feet should be comfortable because our team have been sponsored by SOLE whose unique orthopaedic footbeds and footwear adapt to the body to offer optimal support. They have sent our team a range of footbeds, the softest, bounciest socks I’ve ever worn (can socks be bouncy?) and some fab flip flops which look great with my tanned toes!
Of course, walking to raise money for the Cancer Research charity is the main point of the Shine Walk and I’m delighted to be part of the hundreds of walkers who are going to do our best to help kick cancer’s butt!
If you’d like to donate, it would be much appreciated and you can click on mine and Aimee’s page here.
Thank you everyone and wish us luck! xx
Way back in February I wrote a post about how to make yourself feel good when you’re feeling a bit down (click here) and I often write about how the dark, cold days of winter leave me feeling blah as well (click here). You have every right to think I’m a bit of a moany madam, but it’s really just the winter that does it to me…oh and living in a perpetual building site!
But I wanted to let you know about my favourite feel good find – and I’m so pleased it’s come my way just as the days are getting shorter – and wetter! It’s a handy little Vitamin D3 spray from Natural Health Practice that was sent to me, along with the staggering results of research by the Scientific Advisory Committee, that found a huge 60% of the UK population are deficient in Vitamin D!
So, why do we need Vitamin D? Apart from boosting your mood, Vitamin D helps the body to absorb phosphorous and calcium, which are essential to bone growth and inadequate levels of it can lead to insufficient bone density, fatigue, and muscle aches.
Most dermatologists will tell you to wear sunscreen daily – so this, plus the fact that we have low levels of sunlight in the winter can lead to lack of Vitamin D, BUT that doesn’t mean you should throw away the sunscreen – No Siree – your wrinkles won’t thank you for that! But getting outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen is all you need. In just a few minutes, your skin is unlikely to suffer and you’ll be filling up your Vitamin D quota.
Don’t forget to eat the right foods as well – eggs, mushrooms, fatty fish, meat and fortified cereals all help, but if you’re suffering with the winter blues, fatigue and general lethargy more than usual, it’s a good idea to ask your GP for a blood test. You may just be deficient and not even realise it.
I’ll be writing about Ways to Get Happy a lot more over the coming months, as happiness is something we just can’t get enough of! In the meantime, you might want to invest in your own little Vitamin D spray of sunshine, which you can find here at £10.97.
Working from home, aka the building site, amidst the dust and drilling of a team of tradesmen, any invitation that comes my way that will get me out of the
hell hole house is usually met with me shouting ‘yes please! Yes please!’ in the high pitched, over excited manner of a school girl being asked if she’d like to be the lead in the school play. So, when I was kindly invited to try a new facial at the Soho based Premier Laser Clinic, I was out of the door in a puff of dust…really.
On arrival at the pristine clinic, I met skin specialist, Ellie, whose years of experience belied her youthful looks and who assured me that the recently launched Skinbreeze Orbital Facial would soon put pay to my tired, stressed skin.
I laid back – trying to ignore the weird vertigo that I’ve suddenly acquired which makes me feel as if I’m about to fall off the bed everytime I turn my head – and got ready to be pampered.
I’ve had microdermabrasion before and admit, even though my skin often looks great once the redness has subsided, it’s not particularly relaxing as I find the exfoliating crystals quite scratchy. However, the special thing about the new technology in this facial, is that it has specially designed rotating tips of various levels of coarseness – we started with the least abrasive as it was my first time. There’s also a wide choice of speed settings and I was pleased that the exfoliating tip actually felt quite tickly, and not at all uncomfortable, as it vibrated and massaged my face, cleaning and refining pores.
Another plus point about having various speeds and levels of abrasiveness means that, unlike usual crystal microdermabrasion – which is kind of a one-size-fits-all affair – this treatment can be tailor-made to suit the individual’s skin type and requirements.
While the skin resurfacing is taking place, a red LED light is shined onto my skin, and this is said to help promote cell renewal, stimulate collagen and boost circulation.
The next phase of the facial was what excited me the most as I’d read about the skin plumping and line filling benefits of oxygen on the skin and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Ellie used what looked like a small power washer to deliver an infusion of Skinbreeze serum, containing powerful ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Seaweed Extract, along with O2, into the deeper layers of the skin. The feeling was wonderful! These little puffs of cool spray made my skin feel very revived and refreshed.
Once my skin was polished and tingly, Ellie placed a super-hydrating sheet mask over my face and as she tried to lay it so that the holes for the nose, mouth and eyes were in the right place, she asked whether I was claustrophobic. ‘Nope’ I replied confidently as the mask came down and it all went black. Of course, my mind then immediately went into self-sabotage mode and mocked me: “what do you mean you’re not claustrophobic? Don’t you remember how hard you find it to breathe when you’re in a lift – or when it takes too long to get a jumper over your head?” Great. Thankfully, just as I was about to embarrass myself and hyperventilate, the mask fell into place and all was well. Phew. I felt calm and relaxed while my skin drank up the softening, nourishing moisturisers.
While the mask was on, Ellie used an ebrasor – a hand held massaging piece of equipment – to smooth and lift the skin and stimulate the muscles of the face in order to drain excess fluid and dissipate puffiness.
My Verdict: What a treat! My skin felt smoother, looked so much brighter and had a restored glow in the cheeks that seemed to have been missing in action lately!
A course of Skinbreeze facials is usually required to maintain the results but a one off is the perfect precursor to a night on the tiles. Or in my case, it’s the perfect remedy to bat away the skin spoiling effects of the building debris until the next time!