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



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



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



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





A couple of years ago I woke up out of the fog of my, far too busy, early 40’s and didn’t recognise the face in the mirror.


A pretty tired, plain, quite indignant face was staring right back at me.  After I got over the initial shock, I started to root around the bathroom cabinet looking for ‘tools’ to repair the damage and realised it was a baron playground.


I have always loved make-up.  My mum bought me my first ‘how to wear’ make up book and as I got older and was hitting the nightlife I would buy magazines and experiment by copying the different looks while watching the Brookside Omnibus.


Of course, nowadays you can find everything you need online, so upon realising action needed to be taken I spent a few lazy-ass Saturday afternoons indulging in some research.  I came across a bunch of make-up bloggers.  They had helpful tutorials, listed their favourite buys, and talked about new trends.  It was far better than taking my cue from an advert.  I’ll never look like Eva Longoria, but the girl next-door, I might have a chance.


When MAC first came to the UK I was in my twenties.  Its first store was on the King’s Road and my friend and I caught the train to London just to go shopping there.  Now you can find any brand you want in any major city and buy online.  It’s much more accessible and so much cheaper than the train fare.


So, when I chanced upon these new breed of make-up fans on the net I scoured for MAC lipsticks.  You got to start somewhere and with a flick of mascara and a fab lipstick you can be good to go.  It felt like a good starting place as I was a bit anxious about the process, as post-fog my face had changed, a lot.


You can find tons of posts on Top 10 favourite MAC lipsticks and I picked out a few shades that I thought might work and placed an order.  I was very excited to receive Hue, Angel, Shy Girl and Crème Cup, which are all pretty variations of nude lipsticks.


Unfortunately for me the zing didn’t happen and I was a bit disappointed in myself for making the mistake.  They looked great on the girls!  There’s the clue, of course, I was trying to duplicate a youthful face.  Young and/or tanned faces will suit nudes all day long, but if you want to give your face a boost, you’ll need a little more colour.


So when the nudes didn’t nail it I bounced right over to the bright red brigade, however that just seemed to turn the clock back to 1985 and I looked like I was going to crash a Robert Palmer video.


Not givin in, I returned to the net and started to search make up for women in their forties and was delighted to find that make-up artist and beauty genius, Lisa Eldridge, who I recognised from magazines when I was young had her own YouTube site.   Lisa is an absolute expert in her field; she’s passionate about make-up and very well respected.  She works with celebrities such as Kate Winslet and her channel, with tons of free tutorials, is viewed by over 1 million followers, to she’s doing something right.


I found her video on Simple Evening Make Up for Mature Women to be really helpful and she has a new one on How to Pick and Wear the Perfect Nude Lipstick For You that’s really useful too.  See I’ve not given up on the nude shades; I just needed to adjust my perception and pick out a better shade.


Armed with more info I have gone back to the shops.  I’m currently wearing and enjoying MAC’s Velvet Teddy, Kinda Sexy and Viva Glam V for daywear.  The first two are matt nudes and the last one has a shimmer.  I nearly always use a lip liner for more definition, as your lips seem to appear thinner as you get older.  I use one from Top Shop called Ceramic.


I’m also loving the rich burgundy shades that are in vogue this season, less harsh than letter box red, and I really want to get one for night outs so that I’m not completely invisible.


Hey, no-one puts baby in the corner….



Gail x