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Thankyou Clarins and Ffion

11 Apr

photo Photo on 2015-04-09 at 17.43 #2 Photo on 2015-04-09 at 17.43 Photo on 2015-04-09 at 17.43 #3 photo photo

I think the last time I wore foundation make up was when I was a teenager and Max Factor brought out block foundation called ‘panstick’. It came in three different shades and we put it over our lips as well and no lipstick!

Actually I have tried others as I began to notice at work that women of my age always wore it. I tried several brands and shades, but some made me itch, and some were too oily and got into my contact lenses, and generally the whole experience was a waste of money, although I gave it all away, so friends had the benefit.

I had a go at the old powder puff job over my nose to stop the shine, just like my Mum did, and my eldest sister STILL does. My Nana had compact cases with loose powder in and somewhere in the memory vault, I can see a Max Factor compact with solid powder and a BEE on the top. It was pink plastic? This is at least FIFTY years ago!

Okay , I have tried, and still have the brush and box, of Number Seven little tiny balls of different shades of powder, including pink to give a blushed, sun-tanned look. I gave up on the ‘blusher-balls’ as it made people, like me, who didn’t know how to apply it, look like clowns, or worse still, like ‘lively-ladies’ making a few bob!

Anyway, happened to be in Boots in Touchwood, Solihull, and as my friend was engrossed in another counter, I found the Clarins girl and asked her what shade of their new Everlasting foundation she could recommend, as I have a wedding to attend in November! Wahay! And my future daughter-in-law is doing a course in Birmingham, to learn how to be a make-up artist.

Best thing I ever did, as she tried two different shades on each side of my face, and then I had to go have a look in the daylight, and my friend helped me choose. Then she applied the chosen one with a BRUSH, it was shaped like a tulip leaf. I can now see what all those brushes Ruth has drying on her bathroom window sills, are all about now, and, that was where I have been going wrong, all over my fingers and hands, and all a streaky mess.

Then she applied Instant Light Brush-on Perfector around the tops of my cheekbone and then Blush Prodige, illuminating cheek colour under the cheek bone. It looked really good and it lasted all day and all evening. She gave me samples and also recommended that I use the double serum and the Extra-firming Day cream and the extra-firming neck cream, all of which I have been using, thankyou, Clarins, they are so brilliant.

I always bought Estee Lauder Advanced night repair serum and just used it through the day as well and I have tried the face-oils, but, I find the Clarins Double-Serum, is almost like a combination of both an oil and a serum. I really find, as I am economical, that I use either that, or the day cream, but I always use the neck cream, I even re-apply the neck cream through the day, it does work. My future daughter-in-law, Ffion, said “you don’t have any wrinkles at all on your fore-head” but didn’t mention my neck, so maybe I need to re-apply it more often?

As you will see from the photographs, Ffion has been giving me a ‘make-over’ She was brilliant and had brought with her a vast range of eyeshadows and eyebrow ‘stuff’ and lip-shades, and so many brushes and powders and palettes, it was like my son’s studio. She actually put the foundation on her hand and said ‘less is more’ and had the ‘tulip-leaf brush’ to apply it. She did say she had bought, or been given, that brush from her course.

I really loved the look Ffion gave my eyes and my eyebrows; I didn’t know you had different shades of eyeshadows, and even eye shadows for the eyebrows, and a gel to keep it all in place. Lipstick was applied with a brush. I was telling Ffion, that we used to put a darker shade in the centre of our lips, and lighter on the full lips to create a plumper, look and we outlined with lip-pencil, which I still do. I think I much preferred my Ffion ‘lip-look’. It was agreed that we both didn’t like the glossy, glittery lips and eye shadows for my age, which made me feel better about all the lip-glosses I had bought over the years and had just thrown in the bin.

Going out to dinner tonight, so I am having another make-over and off to buy a Clinique mascara which I loved, it is a curved wand, with no brushes and there is a tiny brush for the underneath eyelashes, although Ffion did say she didn’t want me to get that ‘spider-look’ I always have a problem with mascaras and contact lenses. Must dash, toodlepip.

Oh dear, I need a hair-cut looking at these photos; I keep it longish, as I hate going to the hair-dressers, I have enough of my own concerns without listening to the hair-dressers’ problems. So, I have solved it. I don’t colour my hair, just wait for age and the sun, and I just divide my hair down the back, and cut each side, then my lovely hubby evens it all up, and voila’ done and dusted, and much cheaper than all those highlights cost, and the chemicals burning into your scalp when you have to have roots done, and the AMOUNT OF TIME you have to spend in there! I have been to the hairdressers about five times in my adult life. I can’t remember when I was little; when I look at the photos from the past now, I don’t remember who I was. In fact I spoke to one of my sisters last week, and she had to send me photos of when we both did judo, we were in a competition, as I couldn’t remember. I told her, I would keep ringing her, so she could fill me in, on who I once was! I am the sort of person who doesn’t linger too much in the past. Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forwards but I like to ‘feel the present’ and enjoy the moment, a glimmer of sunshine through the window, gotta go and feel the sun! Toodlepip! Onwards and forwards!




Olfactory choices? My discovery! Caudalie and Clarins!

28 Jul

Thankyou to Caudalie Spa in ‘Etangs des Corots’ who managed to smooth out my forehead lines with their facial. They wrote down all the products they used, my beauty prescription came home with me and I have just re-discovered it. When you are having a facial, after a massage in a darkened room, the only senses you are actually using, are your hearing (relaxing music) and your sense of smell (all those different aromas) and of course touch, on the skin, of hot and cold and different textures. You don’t see the beauty products you just feel and smell them.When we are actually buying beauty products, it’s then that the ‘appearance’, packaging, logo etc, kicks in and becomes a deciding factor; small enough, light tube, to carry in handbag? will it look good on the dressing table? ( I haven’t got a dressing table, do they still exist, do people have them?) We are stimulated by visuals mostly, colour is a dictator of our purchases, the pink frock or the blue? So I found it really interesting to actually see what my Caudalie products looked like; definitely handbag and travelling light ones, they can all go in one smallish cosmetic bag. The new ‘premier cru’ moisturiser is wonderful, but it is £92.50 for 50ml. Now I am going to find a photo, as you will remember it, if you have the visual, along with the price? Oops can’t do it! It’s brown and gold so just imagine it! Not my colours at all.

Thankyou to Clarins as I really love your packaging, frosted glass jars and subtle colours, white with minimal red print BUT above all it is opening the jar and THE SMELL of the moisturiser, which sends me straight back to the smell, when opening PONDS cold cream, (or was it called vanishing cream?) which was in a glass, white jar and the cream was pink. I just love the smell. When buying roses to plant in the rose garden, don’t you go burying your nose in them at the garden centre? Definitely, I am an olfactory decision maker.

I also made a really big discovery, which you clever gals out there probably made much earlier on than me; always use the same brand for cleanser, moisturiser, neck cream and eye cream, it really makes sense and is more effective ( it LOOKS better, I really start to feel quite sick if I am faced with masses and masses of different coloured bottles, all different shapes and sizes,  my daughter’s bathroom shelves and window sills and dressing tables are just all piled high with conglomerate, do you know I think this word in this context could be an oxymoron or maybe I am just having a litotes moment? I am still waiting for a beauty product to be called obfuscation? or how about a palimpsest, layer upon layer upon layer upon…….

Sorry, I am waxing lyrical now, and must get back to the saturday papers, before I buy the sunday paper! Ruth always says I should re read everything through a few times and check my spellings? Oh yeah?

Sorry NO VISUALS, however when we are reading books and newspapers we don’t expect pictures now do we? We are ‘tickling’ those thinking brain cells with words and using our imagination?

Clarins Mother’s Day!!! Very Exciting and so Classy!

14 Apr

P1120383This was such a lovely surprise! Thankyou Clarins and Thankyou Ruth xx A knock at the door and the box itself had Clarins message on the corner! Really exciting!P1120386Inside was a white hat box tied with a ribbon and a really lovely collection of Clarins products which I so love: Bain aux Plantes ‘Relax’, Eau Dynamissante, and Extra firming Day cream and night cream AND my favourite neck cream. Wonderful present as I can now use all the same brand, which is the best skincare as usually I have a ‘mix n’ match’ approach, dependent on what I can afford and also what is left over as, invariably, I don’t use as much of one skin product as another.

Lovely message inside, which went to the heart strings, so poignant, very clever Clarins:


“Even though your talented daughter has the beauty world at her fingertips, we know that behind every great talent is a wonderful Mum.

With this in mind, it’s your turn to enjoy some well-deserved pampering with the enclosed Clarins products”

I have been trying for ages now to grab other pics from the desktop but my machine is not interested and hubby is waiting as we are off to Madrid and I should have sent this earlier but have been topping up my knowledge of political Spain, reading Ian Gibson’s ‘Fire in the Blood’. I am always fascinated by the non-tourist parts of Spain and had really interesting visits to Northern Spain in the past! Hey ho, oooops gotta go! xxxx

Spider eyes!

3 Feb

When I once asked my lovely husband if I looked a bit middle-aged, he said ” No, Chris, you aren’t middle-aged, you are old-aged!”  Afterwards! …….. in fact quite a while afterwards, I thought yes, you are correct, I am, although my brother-in-law’s Mum is celebrating her 105th birthday this week, I would have to last to 120, to be middle-aged now!

Ah well, he is on the pinnacle of an intellectual mountain, I can’t expect him to slide down just to deal with ‘female vulnerabilities’ and it’s only since I have had a bit more time on my hands, that ‘my appearance’ has climbed the ‘things to tackle’ list! B C and B J, I maybe looked in a mirror once or twice a week and DEFINITELY no time for make up!

I went to a surprise sixtieth birthday party last weekendish. Surpise? Oh really? If that was a surprise, then, why was my friend wearing a little lacey black number, suede boots and ‘made-up-to-the-nines’, (what is this saying? what are the nines?)

Which brings me to ‘The use of mascara when you are old-aged’ Why do some older, black-eyed beauties have to wear those claggy- squashed- spider-lashes? Their lashes absolutely caked and thickened and lengthened, emphasising the outline of the eye with black eye-liner? Their faces thickly covered in ‘tanned’ face make-up, foundation, with the ubiquitous pink powdering on the cheekbones and then the bright lips.

Since the party, I have been experimenting! I have now thrown out all those lash-lengtheners, where you have to have a little comb to get rid of all the blobs of mascara or try to pick all the bits off or,even if you fold up the piece of tissue under your bottom lashes, you end up with big blobs on your under-eye wrinkles !

You probably know this and have been using it for eons, BUT, I have JUST discovered Clinique’s ‘bottom lash long-wearing formula mascara’, which has a tiny brush, just right for bottom lashes AND their ‘ high impact dramatic lashes on-contact mascara impact optimal’ is so very light to apply. I do find it VERY confusing when buying mascaras now as they all portend to do something different and I don’t know what all the different things are anymore! Optimal, high-impact, on-contact! What does it mean!

We used to have a little cake of black mascara in a compact with a brush, like a tiny ‘handbrush’ and you wet the black cake with water, or spit, and rubbed the brush over it, until you got a creamy coating on the brush, then you applied it! It wasn’t waterproof and my Mum used to complain that she couldn’t get it out of the towels, on wash-day!

I can remember a friend’s Dad, when I was twelve, or thirteen, telling me to “wash that ‘muck’ off my face, as I looked like I had been down a coal mine!”

I am finding I use more eye make up with my specs on, but actually getting it on, when I can’t see, is a real challenge! I used to be okay with contact lenses but at the moment, I am not wearing them very often as I appear to be going through a ‘dry-eye’ stage in my old-age!

Photo on 2014-01-29 at 11.14 #4

Anyway, here are the mascara-eyes!

Chemicals we slap on our skin !

16 Aug

I have spent HOURS trying to get a PDF copy of a newspaper cutting which I scanned in to let you read BUT to no avail; I shall just have to write it out for you. One more try will copy to Word Document! Trouble is I have had years of using Microsoft Word and bought it for my Mac and it struggles to match up if that makes sense? Okay tried PDF and JPeg gonna write out the important bits!

From the daily 20p I(Independent)paper last monthish and cut it out for you. There was a previous SCARE reported, and commented on, actually by the RCOG, in the same paper, about the use of some chemicals in face creams, which they thought may have adverse effects on ladies’ hormones, leading to infertility OR miscarriages and I so wish I had kept that cutting too.

Allergy ‘epidemic’ from chemical in cosmetics

by Oscar Quinn

A chemical found in cosmetic and household cleaning products may be causing an epidemic of skin allergies, dermatologists have warned.

A special meeting is to be held at the British Association of Dermatologists’ annual conference in Liverpool this week to address the findings, which claim that shower gels, washing-up liquids and wet wipes could be resonsible for eczema and contact allergies.

The ingredient in question, Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is to blame for an increasing number of allergic reactions, accoprding to researchers at the Leeds Centre for Dermatology and the St John’s Institute of Dermatology at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Anyway, to cut it short because I only do two finger typing, MI is a preservative and had previously been used in a compound with an ingredient called Methylchloroisothiazolineon (MCI) but concerns that MCI was causing allergies led to manufacturers to stop combining the two! MANY industrial and household products, including cosmetics, contain both MI and MCI. I am really careful now, since my episode with the first anti-ageing cream I ever used, where I was going to return it, because it made me turn bright red and get HOT (I was 53 and hadn’t realised that was what menopausal ‘power-surges’ were like! thank goodness the girl on the Lancome counter was out at lunch!)

I really have always felt that we are exposed to too many chemicals and have always used my lovely slippery combination of almond oil (over- the- counter- in- a- brown bottle at Tesco pharmacy for three pounds ish) with five drops of lavender oil, I am sure I wrote a blog about it?

I have never bought those air fresheners that plug in, I spray the shower and run out, or wear a mask so that I don’t breathe it in, as we are breathing in chemicals very quickly into our systems!

Anyway beware and always read the ingredients, even though it takes HOURS. There is a really good website where you can look them all up, but I have my doubts, who’s paying ’em? I used to have a little saying “Love your enemies, trust but few, and always paddle your own canoe” I am still saying to my children to ‘Keep your own counsel and don’t just go with the flow, always question and find the answers before you plunge and never ever trust the media’

I could be a paranoid, suspicious person, perhaps, but I always feel we have to be in control of our thinking and never run along on those emotions of fear, vulnerability, vanity and sheer hysteria that can creep in when we aren’t looking.

I do really worry about you all out there as you are faced by an overload of information and so many choices and you are so very vulnerable. Take care xx

Why are my lips getting bigger?

8 Sep

Oh dear, I was trying to find the outside of my lips the other day and realised that they appeared to be all over the place, rather like someone who had been sucking a raspberry icelolly: I have been experimenting with lip colour,lip balm and lip gloss!

Here are my results:

Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm Long-Lasting Moisture & Shine 15ml

Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm Long-Lasting Moisture & Shine 15ml

£12:45ish in the sale on line with free delivery

I just put this onto my lips and squeezed the tube. Not good! Firstly it is a bit strange having a piece of plastic with a hole in it squashed on your lips and trying to draw a line of gloss over your lips. Too much comes out and then you have to press your upper lip over the lower to use the excess up and THEN you have it ALL OVER………….. GREAT BIG SHINY LIPS!………….. Much bigger lips than I am used to!………………… VERY GLOSSY Polymer? lips………………………. Not sure I want to have that WET look!

You are actually meant to use it with a lip brush (which I have) However, what do I squeeze it into? Too messy! It is meant to go OVER your lipstick and you can just put it in the MIDDLE of your lips, for a luminous touch? Oh well, I prefer my good old fashioned lip gloss from Clinique which comes in a tube like a mascara and has a brush, so you can aim at your lips. I have been using them for years. NEXT……….

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick 3.5g

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick 3.5g

£14:45 in the sale
I am addicted to the smell of this lipstick BUT……….it has a core of colour and the outsides are clear and glossy. I think this is a technique we used to use to make our lips look more voluptuous in days of yore, probably from the beauty page of Woman’s Own. It is nigh on impossible to get the stain part on the outsides of your lips. I ended up with it all over my chin! Not for me as a lipstick;  I keep it in my handbag because I just love the actual metal casing and how it opens up and then you get the SMELL of blackcurrant.
NEXT…………….and this is perfect…………… Note…………… THE BRUSH……………

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain 6ml

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain 6ml

£19.13 FREE Delivery

All I can say is, this is as good as my old usual: I draw a line with my lip pencil, add my Clinique stubby crayon lip stain and then gloss over………fait accompli……..tres bien……..ausgeseichtnicht……estupendous. I really like Clinique’s lip liner as it is retractable and there is no sharpening and like wise with their crayon lip stains but this is equal to all those in one brush. Well done YSL
 Big warning though:  you MUST use lip liner, as the stain is quite strong and I kept missing the edges of my lips and went over; I now have no idea where my real lips end and it is VERY difficult to get the stain off…………………the red icelolly look or the ‘why have you drawn around your lips in permanent markerpen’ look? ? ?
Also it does dry your lips out quite a bit! (Blimey,talked my way out of buying that one again! Stick to what works for you? ) Actually I think this one is good with a touch of gloss on top or balm so your lips don’t feel dry and have that SET feel! I get fed up of leaving my lip gloss all over my tea cup. I used to do that two application job with lipstick; you put one coat on and then blot it with a tissue between your lips and then apply another coat so it lasts longer?
Must go as this has taken me over an hour and my hips have set.

it’s just perfect!

25 Jun

I have always had such a problem with face make up; it’s always the wrong shade or it goes on streaky or I get it all over my collar. I just LOVE this one which I have been wearing in the evening if going out (which isn’t very often so it should last for the next ten tears!)

Skin Perfection Gel - Rich 30ml

This is 30ml for £49.50 BUT it goes on like a dream as it is a gel and you don’t need very much at all. It is handbag size, brilliant for travelling and they sell it at House of Fraser where they give out advice on which colour will suit you and there are only four shades to choose from which I find so helpful. Once a week for the next ten years works out at about 9p a time? Hope it doesn’t go off! The other thing I like about it is, it is quite matt so you don’t end up looking like one of those shiny orange- tanned goddesses!

I also love the way it is so easy to get a small amount out and it is the consistency of whipped cream so it doesn’t run everywhere or spill out over the neck of the bottle or tube. It is best to put it on straight after your moisturiser.

Love it!