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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.

I love the view from my window in the summer 🙂

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 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.

mango cover

Now that my winter sniffles have finally left, my nostrils are clear and free to twitch at the first scent of spring. Ahhh. And as the spring/summer 2014 Mango look book landed on my desk today, it wasn’t just my nostrils that went into overdrive – my mind was whirring with ‘I have to have that!’ and ‘My wardrobe needs that too!’ Now, I love fashion, always have, always will, but I’m not particularly stylish because I’m too lazy busy to get my act together most of the time – I’m all comfy, doggy walking boots and lipgloss – but when I scrub up, I do so quite well…even if I do say so myself. Of course, my idol, Joan Collins wouldn’t hear of such an excuse – you’re never too busy to be full out glam as far as she’s concerned and she’s right, of course. But because I don’t often try as hard as I should, I need clothes that make me look like I have and that’s where Mango come in – they’ve pulled off ‘effortless chic’ perfectly…


My lovely teenage girls

When I read about another young life in turmoil – or even tragically ended – because of low self-esteem or distorted body image, I want to weep. My heart breaks for the teenagers out there who sit alone in their room, scrolling through malicious and dangerous websites and online forums that spew forth destructive words and images which somehow seep into innocent minds, convincing our young that they are fat, ugly, disgusting, unpopular, useless…