No Ageing Angel

I’ve definitely a lot to learn when it comes to the ageing process.  I think, like most people, I’d rather run and hide from the changes that are happening to my body at times, but then there are always the gentle (or not so gentle) daily reminders.  I am now quite stiff when I get out of bed of a morning, my eyesight is far less clearer than it used to be and don’t get me started on my periods.


It’s going to happen whether I like it or not and I want to be as positive as I can be about it.  They say forewarned is forearmed so when I watched TV the other lunchtime and saw an interview with Cameron Diaz talking about her new book The Longevity Book, I added it to my reading list.



Enjoying a Sunday afternoon read


Obviously Cameron is a few years younger than me, she is 43 to be exact, but when she turned 39 she started to be asked the same question in interviews, ‘as an actor, was she scared to turn 40’?  Of course everyone is scared of ageing, but what she set out to do was understand what ageing really is and thereby educate the rest of us on what is actually happening to our bodies and empower women to tackle the challenges head on.


I may be ahead of the curve in years, but I’m definitely behind this lady when it comes to understanding what’s happening to my body and how to look after it. I’m no angel, Charlie’s or otherwise, and that extra glass of wine on a night out is one I now always regret.


Accompanied by her writing partner, Sandra Bark (together they wrote bestseller The Body Book), Cameron went on a journey, talking to doctors and researchers about the ageing process.  It’s super interesting and the book goes into great detail about what is physically happening to your body as you get older.  In some places I found it a little heavy going, it’s quite scientific, but on the whole I found the tone of it really uplifting and it was very refreshing to read about how you may feel as you age, rather than how you look.


The chapters on the menopause, managing stress and building a stronger body and stronger brain were really valuable to me.  My mum was adamant that I would be educated on the changes my body would experience as I entered puberty.  Aged 10 I went on a school trip to Cornwall with an armful of sanitary towels, much to my embarrassment.  (She need not have worried it would be some years later before what she called ‘my friend’ would make an appearance.)   But now, as my body changes once again, she is unable to guide me through, as lucky lady, her ‘friend’ just suddenly stopped visiting one day and that was that.  I’m therefore in need to find another ‘expert’ to help me out and this book goes in-depth into the subject.  Yay!


There is also a really lovely chapter towards the end about the joy of connecting with friends and family as being vital to our health.   “Connections feel so good for our hearts and our spirits that it should come as no surprise that it’s also good for our bodies too.”  Who doesn’t feel better after a girl’s night in, or meal out with their nearest and dearest?  I often fall short of doing this, getting carried away with the daily grind that I don’t make enough time for the fun stuff, but love and laughter really can lighten the mood and we all need some of that.


Cameron and Sandra say there are five pillars that you should consider and practice.  These are: good nutrition, moving often, getting enough sleep, stress release and having meaningful relationships.  The pillars are discussed in details and I dare say you might find something of interest/use if you fancy a read.


I’m definitely trying to take all this on board.  I eat pretty healthily in the day, but let myself down at night.  So I’m trying to swap chocolate for fruit salad at least half the week.  Exercise-wise I do a Hiit session for 25 mins, five days a week, so I’m pretty happy with that, but I’m starting to think about including a swim session to help with the stiffness. Sleep is my bug-bear. I go to bed at 10, but I can wake as early as 6, even on a weekend.  I find it very hard to go back to sleep, but I do aim for an afternoon nap at least once during the weekend, to try and claw an hour back.  Stress is an unwanted friend for me,  as I expect it is in many people’s lives, but I’m trying to be kinder to myself and give myself a break and I do find my morning run sets me up for a better day.  As for connecting with others, well I have you guys who I love talking to once a week and I’m going to make more of an effort to spend time with others IRL (in real life).


I think the over-riding thought that I took away from the book, is just to be aware.  No-one is perfect, but you can try to be the best version of yourself.  Maintaining a decent level of well-being can be achieved if you put the effort in.  I definitely want to give it a go.  Oh and you CAN enjoy a glass of red wine of a night-time, which I’m thrilled about as when you read this post I will be on holiday!


I won’t be blogging next week girls as I’ll still be away, so I hope you won’t mind my taking a week off.  You can see what I’m up to over on Instagram if you fancy it.


Have a great week.


Gail xx


P.S. I picked up a copy in the library if you don’t want to buy.



Holiday Make-Up Made Easy

I look dreadful without make-up.  I’m not one of those women who wears make-up at night or jumps out of bed before her husband wakes so that he never sees her without war paint, but I know I need it during the day and I’m happier, more confident when I have a little ‘slap’ on.


I’ve recently reverted to ‘carving out time’ to put it on, as I did in my youth.  In my thirties, there was no time, or maybe I thought I didn’t need as much time, and my face was done in minutes.  Now, as I get older, I’m building up the drugstore again and I’m starting to think I might end up like Barbara Cartland as my bathroom overflows with colourful goodies.


Hopefully SP will stick around and forewarn me of graffiti-style war paint wearing as I get older, but that’s down the line and my immediate problem lies in the holiday make-up bag, which is a bone of contention between us.  It all started when we couldn’t carry anything over 100ml in our hand luggage and I couldn’t hide ‘all that stuff’ in a tote.  I know it’s for a good reason, but now all my make-up is visible in the shared suitcase (obviously where I’m going wrong) and ‘make-up control’ guidelines dictate very serious restrictions. The trouble is SP considers said make-up kit a luxury, I consider it First Aid.


Without make-up my head looks like a spud and it’s particularly worse when I expose my skin to the sun.  I do not have summer-friendly skin.  I’m naturally pale and really have to stick at the sun worship to gain any colour, always being mindful of how long I’m out in it,  as I can scorch like a tomato on a grill.


I wear high factor protection on my face the whole time I’m away and then add a swish of MAC Bronzer to give my face a sun-kissed look of an evening.  These items are non-negotiable, but with make-up space at a premium I need to limit myself with the rest of the ‘equipment’ and not take the complete drugstore, which is how I found myself fine-tuning my kit to the items below for my last holiday.


20160106_125047 blog


Wearing high factor protection is great for your skin, but try standing next to a bronzed beauty in the Med, it ain’t so hot.  So I always take foundation and powder away with me.   This time I wanted to find a 2-in-1 product that also didn’t break the bank.  Chatting to beauty bloggers on Twitter and doing some digging around I found a 4-in1 product, True Match Genius by L’Oreal.


A primer, concealer, foundation and powder in one compact, it comes with a built-in mirror and application sponge.  It’s creamy to touch, but transforms to a matt texture with a satin finish once on the skin.  It offers medium coverage and because it comes in a small case I could take it with me everywhere and touch up should my skin get ‘flushed’.  I really liked the result, but I think I’m going to go a shade darker this next holiday to give me a little more colour.


I was also advised to try eyeshadow sticks or crayons, which meant I didn’t have to take any brushes with me – hoorah – see saving space comes naturally to me!  I found these by Max Factor.  They aren’t new in the world of beauty, but certainly a fresh idea to me.  These are 2-in-1 Gel Shadow Liners.  They offer a high pigmentation and I bought a light brown/gold colour for day wear and a metallic grey for an evening.  In truth they are quite chunky sticks so I didn’t wear them as a liner and drew over the whole eyelid, but that suited my needs.  I think you’d need a pretty steady hand to just use them as a liner.  I loved the colours and coverage though.


There are some nights of course when you want to add more sparkle to your look and for that I bought Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner that I kept reading about all last year.  I bought Midnight Cowboy which offers a wash of gold glitter that can be delicately worn on the outer rim of your eye, or hell-for-leather over the whole eyelid.  It depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’re going to an Abba tribute gig or not, but I found a tiny amount really makes your eyes pop in a pretty way.  I wore mine with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara (not pictured), which is my currant fave.


Lastly, I had a sample (must have been from a magazine) of Benefit’s Hoola Lip Gloss.  It does say Ultra Plush on the packaging, but I did find it really quite heavy to wear and it took a little getting used to.  It’s pretty much nude on the lip, but does offer some shimmer.  I’m not convinced that it did much for me, I’m too pale and need colour, so I will be reverting back to a pink gloss for the next holiday.  But if you go a gorgeous nut brown (please don’t stand near me) then this could be a gloss for you.


And that was it, my holiday ‘look’ with just a few products.  I literally got a gold star from SP.


Don’t worry, I got my own back. I more than made up for it with shoes!!!


Have a nice weekend.


Gail x


Not-So-Secret Weapon – Under Eye Cover


Happy Friday All!


You know, the longer I write this blog, the more I find all I need to learn on the net.  This last week, my ‘research’ has led me to finding a new product that I’m so in love with I really want to share it with you.


My under eye area is the living museum of my life – all the bad things that I’ve done, like smoking and drinking are on display here.  I no longer smoke (thank heaven), but a glass of the good stuff will always be a treat.   (Though I’ve cut it down to only allowing myself a drink two nights a week.  What a BORE).


The surrounding area of my eyes have been where the first, second and third signs of ageing have shown over the years and I’m always to trying to cover it up.  We all do, right?  Under-eye/black circle miracle cover is a constant search for me and I’ve spent lots (at the MAC counter and others) trying to find a good enough cover.  To be honest some of these do work, but as soon as I step outside my eyes water like an old Labrador and I’m back to square one.  By the time I get to where I’m going it’s pretty much washed away and I look knackered.


So I was delighted to watch a video by Pixiwoo about drug store concealers and learn that a cheaper option had promise.  Maybelline Instant Anti-Ageing Eye Eraser comes with its own built-in applicator and the girls (who are successful make-up artists) said it offered good coverage.  I grabbed my coat and headed to Superdrug.




Put simply, it’s my new bestie and I love it. It really does conceal.  I used a brush to help blend it in (well actually I bought a new brush from Real Techniques while I was in the store!) which really helped me not ‘overdo’ it.  And, what is more appealing to me, is that because it has its own applicator I can stick it in my handbag and touch up throughout the darn day if needs be.




If you’re interested (and I know a few people have said they’d like me to look into this area of ageing assault) it comes in two colours, Nude and Light, and I bought the latter because I’m very fair.  It costs £7.99 in Superdrug, so it doesn’t break the bank either and obviously you can pick it up in other stores.


Eureka!  I’ve had a breakthrough.  Now, about those crow’s feet…..


Til next week.


Gail xxx



Why I Love Chanel’s Lift Lumière Foundation

When I get paid a compliment I take notice, especially when it comes from a woman.  If a female takes the time to say you look great then you know you’re doing something correct.  Am I right girls?


On a number of occasions when I’ve worn Chanel’s Lift Lumière I’ve either been told my complexion looks great, or I’ve been asked outright what I’m wearing.  Enough said, I thought it looked good, but if others say so too, I’m on to a good thing.


I have always loved make up, see my earlier post on Looks, Lipstick and Lisa, and I guess I do like to wear high-end brands, but I’ve always believed that you get what you pay for. More than happy to find cheaper alternatives, but when it comes to foundation, the base of the art ‘work’ I am more than happy to shell out.


I bought my first bottle of Chanel Lift Lumière two years ago and I fell in love with the texture and resulting look instantly.



Chanel describes Lift Lumière as ‘a firming and smoothing fluid make up that smooths wrinkles and fine lines, without emphasizing them. It reduces dark spots, the appearance of pores and signs of aging.’ 



The desired result being thus: an even and natural complexion with a slightly satiny finish. Smoothed features and a sensation of comfort and hold all-day long.


I had purposely looked for a foundation that would support aging-skin, or at least make the effort to do so. I love lighter foundations and BB creams, but they do nothing to support a more finished look that I need for meetings, etc.  I wanted medium to full coverage to even out my skin tone and I also wanted a finish that offered ‘highlights’ to lift my sallowing skin.  So I was excited to read that Lift Lumière contains a LIFTOPTIC complex, which directs light exactly where it is needed.


The natural coverage is provided ‘thanks to coloured pigments with yellow, red and black iron oxides coated in amino acids, which ensure optimum affinity with the skin. And it also contains a firming polymer that smoothes the skin surface and provides an extremely comfortable firming effect.


Now, I don’t know that I would say my skin feels firmer, but it definitely looks more alive!  I can build up the coverage depending on where I’m going and I absolutely adore the smooth, satin finish.  It definitely adds a more radiant look to my skin and in my opinion there’s nothing more aging than matt and nothing less attractive than shiny skin.  It covers imperfections in areas where I want to build up coverage and it has an SPF 15, which means those nasty rays can’t age me even further.  I love it.


I have recently bought my second bottle.  The first one I had was shade 30 Cendre (right in picture above), which added a little more colour to my pale face (if I remember correctly I did buy it in the summer) and for my second purchase I’ve chosen 20 Clair (left in picture above), which is lighter, but an exact match to my skin tone and lightens it even more, which I’m learning is something you need when you get older.  See Joan Collins – that chick always looks good!


Chanel Lift Lumière Firming and Smoothing Fluid Makeup SPF 15 £34.20 available at John Lewis.


Gail x



How To: Make Your Eyes Look Younger

I was out with a friend recently and couldn’t help but notice how pretty her eyes looked.  She always wears lovely make-up, but something was different.  Let’s just say, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.


I was trying to work out what was different when I realised that she must had read an article that had caught my attention a few months back.  It was an article on how to make your eyes look younger and I had started to the follow the tip and loved the result.


Never one to keep a positive thought to myself I told her that she was looking fab and was she wearing her eye make-up differently.  She was and had received quite a few complements about it already.  It turns out that she was following the tip that I had read, which is obviously too good to keep to myself, so I thought I would share it with you.


Before the big reveal, I just wanted to ask if you’ve tried Benefits Roller Lash yet?  If not, it’s a product worth giving a go.  Benefit are forever bringing out unique products to make us look fab and I have a fair few of their products, including the HollywoodGlo highlighter and Thrrob – a ‘turned on’ flush of blusher (!) in my make-up kit.


make your eyes look younger


Never knowingly missing an opportunity to dive into duty free,  I was rushing through to departures on a holiday earlier in the year, when I screeched to a halt at the Benefit counter to pick up a new wand of They’re Real, a gorgeous mascara highly recommended and loved by many.  Who doesn’t want a few pennies off their purchase!


The assistant, taking no notice of my clear signs of anxiety that I make it to the plane on time (red, sweaty, slightly aggressive expression), disarmed me by asking if I had heard of their new mascara.  An upgrade from They’re Real and offering to lift my lashes and give more pop to my eyes.


I am one for reading up and knowing exactly what I’m buying before I purchase.  I can dither a bit to be honest and this wasn’t cheap mascara that I could lose in a drawer if it didn’t match up to the promise, but her pluckiness impressed me (with even less time she would have got short shrift) and I got out my plastic.


Basically, Roller Lash is a roller for lashes!  It has a ‘hook ‘n’ roll’ brush that latches on to your lashes, separates, lifts and curls them, thereby opening the eyes.  In a consumer panel test 94% said that eyes look more wide open.


make your eyes look younger


It comes in Ink Black, thank heaven.  I’ve tried brown mascara before and I don’t know about you, but I can put make-up on in the morning and then mid-afternoon realise it looks as if I’ve taken the whole nude make-up look way too far!  I need definition.


The mascara itself has a luscious texture to it and the brush does curl my lashes.  I’ve never used lash curlers, but Benefit suggests you can ditch these now Roller Lash is here.  Performance-wise, by using the new, patent-pending, hook design brush, your lashes will hold their curl for up to 12 hours and I have to stay my lashes do stay in place.  In fact, I can find it quite tricky to get off at the end of the day (it’s water-resistant), so I use cleansing oil help to dissolve it.


I love it and 10 months later I have just purchased a second one.  So if you’re in the market for mascara, maybe take a look at Roller Lash, especially with party season soon to be upon us.


And, if you want to make even more of a statement, with your make-up here’s the tip to make your eyes appear younger.  Wear liner on your inner lash line!  Yep, it’s that simple. But it works like this.  Science dictates that younger eyes have a greater iris-to-sclera ratio than older eyes (how much coloured iris and white (sclera) can be seen).  By pencilling the waterline we replicate the magic ratio and voila, give our eyes a more youthful (read: sexier) appearance.


And who doesn’t want to be appear hot.  Unless you’re half cantering through departures!


Gail x