One of the most exciting – and intriguing – aspects to my week, last week, was my first session of SculpSure – the latest treatment in non-invasive body contouring to hit the UK straight from its hugely successful launch in America. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have already seen me hooked up to the space age looking equipment (and if you’re not following @ukglowology on Facebook – click here and get over there now!). Here’s how I got on…
I’ve been invited to quite a few 50th birthday parties this year and am thinking about what to do next year when I reach that milestone too. It’s got me thinking…when you were a kid, what did someone of 50 look like to you? To me, someone of 50 years old was ‘almost old’; they weren’t quite my nan – white/grey bubble perm, beige slacks and a dab of Parma Violet Eau de Cologne behind the ears (even though, like most of our nans, mine seemed to look like that from 35 onwards). But 50 definitely wasn’t skinny jeans, converse, leopard print coats, flowing locks, a sprinkling of glitter and a red lip either. Fifty was the lull before the bed-bath. And now?
It’s Friday (YAY!) and I’m bringing you my latest beauty favourite. I’ve actually been using these particularly products since around July but wanted to wait until I’d finished them to give a true account of how I got on with them. I’m now desperately scraping out the final remnants, wishing they would go on and on, so I guess you can tell by that they’ve been great!
I’ve always been a fan of CACI treatments and remember that when they first came out – many years ago – they were heralded as the non-surgical ‘facelift’ responsible for the ever-youthful complexions of celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Sadie Frost. Before long, many well preserved celebrities admitted to regular CACI micro-current facials to keep the dreaded saggy, hang-dog jowls at bay. I recently wrote about how much Anthea Turner loves them for their firming benefits too and you can read that post here.
I love using my blog to showcase the latest and greatest treatments that can help us look good, the hard-working and effective makeup and skincare, the exciting beauty finds that might not cost the earth (or might!) yet are so worth buying because they’re fab. But even more than the exterior beauty, I like to discuss the inner beauty and what makes me feel great. Because it’s not just about me – it’s about you. I write my blog because I want you to feel great too. I know we are quite similar – that is, we are if you’re a 40 plus woman who spends a lot of time wondering if, as you age, you’re still relevant; wondering if you’re making the most out of life and whether you’re doing all that you can to help yourself feel great and live your best life.
It’s been a week of ups and downs for me and my family: Job wins, call backs for auditions, birthdays and iffy GCSE results. Add to the physical and emotional rollercoaster that is daily family life, a busier than normal time at work, it’s meant I’ve not been able to spend us much time doing the things I love – like keeping my blog up to date with new posts and getting to the gym. So, this long weekend has come at just the right time for frazzled old me!
I’ve got to a point where I’ve got a lot to think about as times are changing in Glowology World, both with work and within the family and there are some really important decisions to be made that need more focus than my usual way of dealing with things: popping to the local with Stressed Husband and hashing through a few ideas over a glass of wine or two!
So, I’m enforcing a semi-digital detox! I’ll be off the radar for a couple of days but still at the end of my phone for texting (The Teen is at Reading Festival – she needs checking up on!) and I’ll need a bit of Google to help with those decisions 🙂 Even though I work in the industry, sometimes the noise of social media can get a little deafening and you just need to switch off and get IRL (that’s In Real Life). And that’s what I’m going to do this weekend.
With the new school year looming and summer holiday’s almost over (I’ve got a late one coming up though because I’m clinging on to it with all my might!) now is the perfect time to chill, think and plan for the months ahead.
Here’s hoping you have a lovely, restful last Bank Holiday of the year!
Happy birthday to me! I mentioned in a recent post that I wasn’t feeling as excited about my birthday as I usually am (read about it here) but I’m pleased to report that things have changed. My birthday is tomorrow and I am now THIS (I’m holding my arms out really, really, really wide) excited! 🙂 So, what’s changed?
Packing for holiday has never been my forte – especially when it comes to lotions and potions because I want to take them ALL! This year, I was given a few samples from various fabulous brands to try while I was away, and although most of them past the test of this frazzled old beauty ed, the two I wanted to shine a sunny little light on are here below. They’re the winners in my eyes because I’m still using them beyond my holiday. So, let me introduce you to my new favourite body beauts…
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.