My Beauty Favourites I REALLY need to share with you.

Recently, there have been a few standout beauty items which I’ve been banging on about to friends and family in my usual “you have GOT to try this!” manner so I thought I’d extend that product love to you guys, as it’s good to share and all that. working on the basis that I’m one of those people who is studipdly influenced by word of mouth and would much rather hear about a new product from a friend than glaze over yet another TV ad. Plus,  I don’t read magazines anymore to find out whats hot and what’s not, (too busy and finally got over the lure of free magazine gifts) so word of mouth and Instagram it is. (I might revisit that one should I get to go on a holiday somewhere hot without kids one day, then its glossy mags all the way.)

So here goes; this is what I’ve been raving about lately……

Clinique 3 step skincare AND mascara.

I plodded over to the Clinique counter last November in desperation to find something to help with a reoccurring dry patch under my eyes. I had a sneaky feeling it was eczema brought on by something I was putting on my face. I also had quite visible pores, which despite having a good skincare routine, wasn’t addressing the problem. I was categorically told NOT to put anything around my eyes other than eye cream, shown which of their products would help and noticed a special offer on their famous 3 Step wash, tone and moisturising products. I also qualified for a special promotion as I’d bought 2 products and in there I found their utterly amazing mascara.

And that’s where my Clinique love affair began from which I’m yet to give up. I’m a total convert as I have not had a hint of the dry patch ( I think that all their products being fragrance-free helped. ) and my skin has never looked clearer. As for that mascara, wow. Now bear in mind I’ve been wearing it for 25 years so have tried quite a few, I think I qualify in being able to say it’s the best I’ve ever used.I’ve been through both the High Impact Mascara and just started using Lash Power.

It’s worth noting that if you’re tempted to buy some, check out the Clinique website as you get some amazing freebies thrown in with your order. I find it much better than buying in store, and it’s free delivery.

Oleo Bodycare Hand Cream

I hate the feel of dry hands and usually have a pot of hand cream by every sink, in my handbag and by my bed. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, I clearly remember my mum buying my Nanna hand cream as presents, but either way, hand cream features rather heavily in my life and I do have an opinion about it. The richer the better, just how I like my…….coffee. None of that watery rubbish.

And Oleo Bodycare Rich Moisturising Hand Cream is by far my favourite.I discovered this one purely by chance during an interview with a new social media client. It’s fragranced with pure geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils so you get a full sensory experience as well as the aromatherapy benefits. So wish we had progressed onto smelly-vision so you could understand where I’m coming from!

I'm sharing my 5 favourite beauty buys which I 've been raving about to everyone lately

Sheet Face Masks

Never one to miss a special offer, I saw these in my local supermarket one day and thought I’d give one a try. Now before I go any further, these things should come with an Only to be used when no one else is around, even the dog warning. They’re a face shaped sheet impregnated with serum, with cutouts to the eyes, nose and mouth which you place on your face for 20 or so minutes.

And those 20 minutes will be the tensest and longest of your life as you’re on edge praying that no one comes to the door.  I can only compare it to what I think I would look like if I was to have some sort of extreme facial surgery and this was the recovery process.

I have taken photos of myself masked up to send to my bestie then immediately deleted as I was genuinely worried about the response. But the results are simply amazing, you rub any excess serum into your skin and it feels super smooth, as well as fine lines (temporarily) looking less visible.

They’re not cheap for a single use product but shop around and stock up when they’re on offer, or just use when you’ve got a special occasion coming up. My favourite is the Skin Republic Collagen Infusion Sheet Mask followed closely by the Garnier Sheet Masks.

So there you go, my unbiased, purely personal recommendations, I’d love to know if you agree or have any to recommend back. Like I said, it’s good to share!





My Teeth Straightening Journey – The Big Reveal!

nearly 17 months ago, I sat at my laptop scouring the internet for a dentist in Devon who offered teeth straightening. It was something I’d wanted to do for many years, I’m talking 10 at least, probably more. I’d mentioned it to my NHS dentist a few times who seemed completely disinterested and offered very little advice. I knew it was vanity, but it was also starting to affect the way I smiled and spoke to people, my dentist at the time convinced me that as my teeth were healthy I shouldn’t start messing around with them.

I wasn’t convinced, I could keep them white and clean no problem, I’d not had a filling since my teens but still, I yearned for the perfect smile, and why not. 2016 was a horrible year, I had very little to smile about, so if there was ever a reason to improve my smile and try recoup some of my battered self-esteem it was then. I tentatively picked up the phone to book an assessment and turned up the next day at a private dentist.

This is where I first got a hint that not all private dentists are the same, as I sat in the chair I felt total pressure to go for the most expensive package they offered after a very quick 15 minute look at my mouth, he talked about removing teeth and the whole experience seemed like a sales pitch. I paid my £100 and knowing I couldn’t afford what he was suggesting. Then by chance, I ended up having a Twitter conversation with the Exeter Dental Centre, and realised that they were more about the patient and less about the big bucks.

The assessment here was completely different, much more thorough and photos were taken for a detailed idea of what was needed. Alex, my dentist, talked through the whole procedure (no teeth were going to be removed!) and was totally honest and transparent. I left there elated that I might at last, get the smile I’d always dreamed of.



Ceramic braces were fitted, just the top at 1st, them months later the bottom ( a more detailed post on my first fitting is here and update on them here ) I’m not going to lie, it can hurt at times, I had regular check ups every 5-6 weeks where the wire was changed along with the bands around each bracket. They would get pretty stained and I had to avoid foods which contained turmeric, red wine, beetroot and strong coffee. You soon learn to read ingredient lists and scour any menu at what you can’t eat.

I also avoided chewy foods such as bread and pizza crusts, sweets and toffee was a big no-no too. I didn’t miss them too much to be fair, and it helped me maintain a much healthier lifestyle as a result. Meals out I would check they didn’t have spinach and I felt very conscious of green food lingering in my braces, it’s where you really learn who your friends are. I made sure I always carried a mirror and toothpicks in my handbag too.

The worst times were when the wires at the back would dig into my cheeks, I’d use wax which my dentist provided, to cover the brackets and wires but they wouldn’t always stick. On those days, and it would only ever be a few, I’d stick to soups, yoghurts and smoothies and did end up losing weight because of it. You also learn to chop or cut up all your food. But the positive side is how quickly you start noticing the changes.

People would tell me they hadn’t noticed I was wearing braces until I mentioned it, and I very quickly became used to them, and the last few day before they were due to come off, I started to feel sad at the fact they were going! It’s been 24 hours now and I still haven’t registered that I no longer have to brush my teeth a certain way or put my elastics in.

I’ve had fixed retainers fitted to the backs of my teeth to keep them in place and will be going back next week for a removable retainer which I will have to wear every night for 6 months and a few times a week after that. I guess that saying no pain no gain really applies here, but OMG have I gained!

I haven’t stopped grinning like a Cheshire cat, getting ceramic braces have hands down been the right decision and to say I’m pleased with the result is an understatement! No more covering my mouth when I speak, smiling in photos which my mouth shut and feeling self-conscious when I meet someone with perfectly straight teeth.


Beauty Trends any women over 40’s will love!
I was a little hesitant to age-ify this post but if, like me, you’re the wrong side of 39 then there are occasions when the current beauty trends are best left to the young and the 1980’s when you were first experimenting with blue mascara and Bodyshop Kiwi Lip balm in the safety of the local roller disco.
Don’t take my word as gospel though, if you want to bush up your over plucked eyebrows and draw tangerine blusher up to your temples then go for it. Just remember that by 40 most of use will have some tell-take fine lines, <note to self, get Botox price list> so all I’m saying is sometimes it’s better to not to draw attention to things which could otherwise be ignored. And highlight your best bits.
Here’s a few things which you can do at any age:

Gloss those lips

Great for hiding lines and plumping out thin lips, I for one never truly embraced last years trend for matt lips so I’m glad to see that lip gloss is making a come back. I tend to stick with a neutral colour which I can apply on the go and then a slightly pinkier one for evenings. And the best thing for me is it doesn’t stain my ceramic braces!

Smudged eyeliner

I tried and tried to go on tend with the perfect cat-eye flick,  and failed. Whether it’s my wonky eyes or just lack of hours spent watching YouTube tutorials I assigned myself to a life of looking on enviously at the young and beautiful, then convinced myself I was too old anyway. So hurrah for the return or smudged eyeliner which is set to be a popular look this season. I managed to create the smudged look effortlessly by 11am most morning.

Dewy skin

Just like glossy lips, the dewy skin trend this year helps give a healthy, youthful glow which is always a good thing. Getting advice or a mini makeover from beauty therapists who have access to products and salon supplies is a  start if you’re unsure. I’ve been adding a highlighter cream to my normal foundation or using it on its own on the days I don’t want full coverage.


I’ve added this after reading a great article on 5 minute make up tricks and realised that there is a place for contouring for us with a longer back history in makeup. As you age, you tend to get more definition on your face, Mother Nature is not completely cruel (I’ve got a feeling she added that one in as she got a little older herself) but adding highlighter under your eyes and either side of your nose will work wonders. I’ve found a great piece on The Daily Mail which should give you an idea.

So nothing too scary there, more a relief I’d say!

beauty trends that women over 40's will love


This is a collaborative post



Holding Back The Years With Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser

So there I was studying eery crevice and line on my face as wondering if there really was any truth in the concept of growing old gracefully. Magnifying mirrors are both a gift and a curse. I totally get that there is no shame in sporting the odd line here and there, laughter lines, to me,  are a trophy of happiness which should be worn with pride. It’s those pesky frown lines which I can’t abide though, hate the bloody things but I’m a prolific squinter on a sunny day and at the grand age of 41 mine are proving a permanent feature along with a few tell tale signs of  a miss-spent youth.

I’ve actually got quite a good skincare routine which was given a boost 8 weeks ago with the introduction of a  Tria Beauty age defying laser. It has never even occurred to me that there was an option of tackling fine lines with an at home laser promising to

 restore the natural luminosity of your entire face, reduce discolouration, improve skin texture and smooth hard-to-treat wrinkles in the comfort of your own home. Penetrating beams of light continuously rebuild collagen beneath the skin’s surface for a more youthful, radiant and refreshed look in as little as 2 weeks.

Was I nervous to try out something which was usually only available in a salon? Yes, yes I was.

But none the less I was keen to see exactly what it could do.
So after a thorough cleanse of my face to allow the laser to really work it’s magic I sat in front of the mirror, put it on the lowest setting and glided it over my face in an up and down motion concentrating on each area starting with the forehead, each side of the face and then the chin and lip area.

The laser beeps when it’s time to move on and feels like a hot finger nail running along the surface of your skin. Nothing uncomfortable but the sensation did feel a lot more noticeable as I moved up through the settings over the weeks, especially around the lip area which tended to be more sensitive.

As the weeks turned into a months, the effects were starting to become more and more apparent. Initially there was just a general smoother appearance but after 8 weeks of daily use I’ve noticed my freckles have faded along with some larger areas of pigmentation making my skin look a lot clearer, the fine lines around my eyes and mouth a lot less visable and my deep frown lines much less apparent.


I’ve changed the way I’m using the Tria now that I’m use to the sensation and concentrating on the deeper lines. It’s still very much part of my evening skincare routine and will report back after a full 11 weeks of continuous use.

turning back the years with Tria age defying laser


I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.




I Found It! The Perfect Skincare Routine

So, hands up. What’s your most annoying skin complaint? Wrinkles, spots or just dull, tired looking skin? Maybe it’s all three. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to settle for it. I’m totally in the whole you are what you eat  camp. (unfortunately that means I’m a walking bottle of Proseco after a week with my sister staying. Everything in moderation I say, and if Mama aint happy, ‘aint nobody happy, last week Proseco made me happy but I’m back on it with a detox and health kick ahead

Anyway, I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes you don’t have to settle for what nature gave you, that you can tweak what you don’t like if you fancy it. And back along,  I wasn’t loving the dull, tell-tale signs that the ageing process and months of stress was doing to the skin on my face.

You see I’m in the midst of a midlife changeover and will take anything I can, within reason, to help boost my confidence and point me in the right direction of a whole new world I’m just discovering. So I’m well up for testing out the Bravura London skincare range of acid peels. Initially I thought no way hosé am i waking a load of chemicals on my face with the danger of looking like a zombie run attendee. But after reading through what this actually entailed I was swayed.

I've trialled the range of acid peels from Bravura London and found the perfect skincare routine!
It’s not acid in the strongest, scary sense of the word, far from it, these are carefully blended potions of face transforming, do-at-home wonder pots.

Glycolic Acid is an Alpha hydroxy acid which performs at the base of the stratum corneum (the top layers of your skin), dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together. Because this increases cell turnover, skin becomes smoother, more elastic and more even in tone and texture.

At the same time Glycolic Acid also stimulates your skin to produce more collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin and keeps it elastic and line free; when this starts to disintegrate, skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Replacing the collagen your skin has lost with age can help diminish crow’s feet around the eyes, frown lines, and vertical lines around the lips.

It all started with a flurry of emails asking which skin type I was and what did I want to rectify. Then a parcel arrived containing my recipe to fabulousness. I’m guessing by now that you’ve realised that I am seriously impressed by how effective the Bravura range is.

I've trialled the range of acid peels from Bravura London and found the perfect skincare routine!
I received two different types of acid; glycolic and lactic. A pot of moisturiser, a fan brush to apply the acids, facial cleaning oil, toner and some hyaluronic acid serum. Along with a full and thorough leaflet explaining how each worked along with some safety advice, like a reminder to use an spf while using them as your skin is more susceptible to UVA/UVB damage.

So tentatively I sat down at my dressing table, following the instructions to the later.

You begin by giving your face a good clean with the cleansing oil, the evening cleanse took a couple of cotton wool pads worth. Man does this stuff shift the grime! You then clear the skin of any left over oil and dirt with the deliciously smelling toner. Then it’s on with the acid.
The recommendation is to alternate between each one every other days (so one day doing neither) and log it on the back on the leaflet so I knew which day was which. I decanted the acid into empty glass pots and then dipped the brush in and swept it over my face for 5 minutes. You feel a very slight tingling sensation but nothing uncomfortable. (Those 5 minutes are perfect timing for my daily planking exercises) and then wash away with warm water, pat drying gently with a towel. Next step is the serum, which helps get the moisture back in as well as pup up your skin, and then you follow with the moisturiser,

The effects are almost instant, with brighter, softer, clearer skin but the real benefits are seen after a month or so. I’m quite freckly and the excess pigmentation is reduced. Fine lines are much less visable too. This is one skincare routine which I am sticking with and have been recommending to friends and family. It’s not too pricey either (£9.59 for 1 bottle of glycolic acid) and after a months continued use I’ve only used half a bottle.

Huge thumbs up from me ladies (and gents, I’ve tried it on my son’s face to help with a few acne scars) my skin has never looked better.


I received the mentioned products to trial and share my results. All words and photos are my own.