Winter White woollen coat from “French Connection”.
Winter White woollen coat from “French Connection”.
Here, I have matched my skirt with a – winter white – “French Connection” coat, a pop of red cashmere, then completing the look with long black leather boots.
When you’re browsing on the internet or looking through a magazine for fashion inspiration, and you see an item of clothing that really catches your eye, you either go to the website and buy it, or look for something similar and within budget. Especially, if the item is too expensive – which is usually the case.
“French Connection” Faux fur Gilet
“French Connection” Faux fur Gilet
I really love neutral tones here as they add a timeless and sophisticated look, particularly when worn together. It’s Winter, here, and I’m wearing a faux fur “French Connection” gilet, along with a timeless cashmere sweater from Marks and Spencer.
I saw a picture, online, of a Midi skirt and loved the rich colours and check design. So, after doing some detective work, I spotted this Mango skirt and immediately sent for it. It’s a lovely light wool and the colours are khaki and brown tones with buttons down the front.
“Mango” Leather Bomber Jacket
“Mango” Leather Bomber Jacket
There are of course so many different ways you can style this skirt. These versatile colours allow me to wear the skirt with a neutral colour palette or bolder, contrasting tones. This skirt, for me, is a classic piece that I can wear, for many years to come…..Here, I’m wearing long black leather boots with a short leather biker jacket, also from Mango
The Midi is my favourite length – I find it very flattering. This skirt is a timeless classic. During this season, there couldn’t be a more perfect fabric. To me, it oozes femininity and style. It’s great, either dressed up with heels or knee-high boots, or simply dressed down and casual, with ankle boots.
“Zara” Double Breasted Brown Jacket
“Zara” Double Breasted Brown Jacket
I bought this brown jacket, recently, in the “Zara” sale. It was reduced from £119.00 to £29.99 – I couldn’t believe my luck!! I know I will get a lot of wear out of it.
Thank you for your time and I hope you found the post helpful and informative!
Please leave a message if you have any questions.
Please note that this blog post contains no gifted items, but may contain some affiliate links. All of the items are my own.
Brown Leather Knee High Boots from “Marks & Spencer”
Apologies – a belated “Happy New Year” to everyone.
A few styles you might like for Autumn/Winter
I have never made New Year resolutions. But, I always like to begin the year with a positive mindset.
I like to keep busy and plan and prioritise my activities. Because having a few things to look forward to keeps us all ticking along and is good for our mental wellbeing – it can’t be all work and no play.
2018 wasn’t a bad year for my family – thank goodness!! For me, health is the most important thing, so as far as that is concerned, it wasn’t an “annus horribilis”.
I have only been doing this blog for a short while, and while loving it, I’m still finding my feet. I will continue for as long as it makes me happy and gives me some fun, which is the main reason I started it. I may not be doing it as habitually as others, but I am just taking small steps at a time.
In a year or two, I may be blogging a lot more – who knows what is around the corner? But, this has to fit in with my family and work. I am also only posting when I believe I have something worthwhile to show, or talk about.
I do love fashion – so here are a few items that I have enjoyed wearing over the last couple of months. And, I know I will go on wearing them. Some items are from the back of my wardrobe that, thank goodness, I haven’t thrown out! And, I still love them! For example, the “Monsoon” skirt. I have taken a few photos for Instagram, and quite a few people have remarked on it.
Thank you for your time and I hope you found the post helpful and informative!
I started using Retin-A at the beginning of 2016. This post is purely to talk about my experience using Retin-A for coming up to three years.
I’ll briefly explain what it is. Retin-A is a brand name for tretinoin which has been approved for medical use, since 1967. It’s a medication used for the treatment of acne. It’s also considered to be the “gold standard” of anti-aging topical treatments.
It is thought to be effective on reversing the signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles; age spots; sagging; and dullness, by increasing collagen production deep within the skin. Because of this, Retin-A should be used along with sunscreen, daily.
My reasons for starting to use it was my skin was dull and lifeless. The usual symptoms of getting older, along with the menopause, was my reason to look for something that would help me.
Around this time, I decided to not only look at my skincare but my lifestyle as well. I felt unfit – both physically and mentally (my poor hubby!!) – that is probably a whole other blog post!
I had always exercised – but had let it slip – so I started again in a more routine way, which was not only good for me physically but mentally as well. I have a static bike and I put together my own exercise routine – incorporating weights and stretching. I have tried my best to stick to 3 times a week, but, like everyone else, I sometimes fall off the wagon and it takes will power to get back on the bike (literally)!! I’m not much of a social exerciser so the gym isn’t for me – though I am going to start yoga, in 2019. I also really enjoy going for country walks around our beautiful countryside.
Back then, when I was doing my research, I listened to women, who, said they hadn’t had any cosmetic work done, but their skin had a great glow. I wanted that ‘glow’. Whether that sounds shallow or not, I just wanted to improve my skin and look better.
So, what were other women around my age using which weren’t injectables but could improve the look and feel of my skin? Retin-A (retinoids) seemed to be the active ingredient mentioned time and time again,
So, I decided to give it a go – what did I have to lose? I understood it would be a long journey though, and, if there were to be any improvements it wouldn’t be overnight, and patience would be needed.
Retin-A must be used sparingly (pea size amount), nightly. There are side effects like peeling; redness; dryness; and irritation. So, I decided to start with the 0.05%, though there are lower strengths available. I was unable to buy it over the counter in the UK. So, over the years, I have either bought it in Europe, (or Mexico, on the occasional long-haul vacation), or, asked friends to bring me tubes of it back when they have been on holiday, or, visiting other countries. This has always kept my supply in check.
I know Differin (a retinoid known as Adapalene) is available to buy in the US over the counter.
Adapalene is, apparently, more tolerable to other topical prescription retinoids and gentler on your skin, while still effective. I haven’t tried it, preferring to keep on using the cream.
I started using Retin-A once a week for the first month, twice a week the second month, leading up to every day after approximately six months, always in the evening. In the beginning, I would wait until my face was completely dry following my night time cleansing routine. The skin is apparently more poress when wet. I would then apply a light serum followed a few minutes later by the Retin-A. Then, after about five minutes, I would apply a night time moisturiser.
At first, I applied the cream around my eyes avoiding the sides of my nostrils and around the mouth, as I had read these are very sensitive areas to be avoided at first.
I have since read that using a moisturiser following my application has probably helped transfer the cream to these areas from early on, breaking down the intensity. Using a serum before applying Retin-A and moisturising after, was beneficial to building up a tolerance to the cream in these sensitive areas.
During the first year and a half, I slowly built up to using it every night. But the slightest irritation and I would go back a step by dropping a day for a few weeks and so forth. This is probably why a lot of people give up using it, as it takes patience for your skin to acclimatise and adapt.
Retin-A – My Skincare Journey
In my third year of use, I increased to the 0.1% strength and have been using that every other night, alternating with the 0,05% – my skin is still not ready to use the higher strength every night and seems good with the high/low application. I am slowly becoming acclimated to it. I do still get slight peeling and now I apply it directly to my under-eye area, but I still don’t apply it onto my eyelids or below the brow bone, I do, however, apply at the sides of my nose.
In my opinion, Retin-A has improved my skin. I did have a few age spots from the sunshine over the years on my cheeks – but they have faded slightly. I’m happy with the results and will probably use it, forever!
Don’t get me wrong, I still have lines and crow’s feet but, hey, I’m 58 years old and I don’t want to look way younger as I think that would look a little odd! I just want to look the best I can for my age and I’ll be happy with that.
I have read articles where women have said that their droopy eyelids have improved using Retin-A.
If you are interested, check out the vlogger, Jackie, from “Hot and Flashy”. Jackie said Retin-A has helped her and has provided photographs to illustrate this!
I have always naturally had a little bit of a hooded eyelid so I’m not sure about that, but I definitely get remarks from other people telling me my skin looks good. Mind you, a lot of sleep, a good diet and drinking lots of water contribute to that mostly – as well as not being overly stressed – that can take its toll on your skin, too
Going forward, and knowing I am now going to log the use of this cream, I will now take close-up photographs and I will monitor, on a yearly basis, especially as in a years’ time, I will be acclimatised to the full strength 0.1%, hopefully!
Thank you for your time and I hope you found the post helpful and informative!
I adore the plush fabrics that the colder months bring. Cashmere woollens, velvet, and corduroy, as well as tweedy tactile fabrics – wrapping them around us – feeling comfy and warm.
Over the years, I have developed a love of coats. It might be due to living in the North East of England, where you spend best part of the year in one! That said, we have had a long, warm summer, this year. Recently, I have added a few versatile additions to my wardrobe as well as bringing out old trusted garments, which I still love and enjoy wearing (check my Instagram page).
I have the odd items of clothing that are so old they could be “vintage”, but, I still enjoy wearing them. I’m pleased I didn’t have a mad moment and give them away, as I have done in the past! Some of my older items were expensive, by my standards – others, I didn’t pay a lot for, but are still in excellent condition.
I’m a fan of casual glamour, a mixture of day and evening wear. One of my mantras is, if an outfit works, and fits with your style, keep wearing it,and mix it up with other items.
I wear trousers a lot more in the winter, so, I have been experimenting with quite a few styles. A few haven’t worked, so, I have had to return them. But, others I have really liked, and they have made me a little more adventurous with my style – it’s never too late! I purchased them to spice up my winter wardrobe. I thought I would share some of these items with you to see what you think?
The three pairs of trousers that I’ve featured are all from H&M, which is purely coincidental.
Velvet Wide Legged Pants
I didn’t think I would like these at all. They are high on the waist, which can be a little tricky to wear when you get older. However, when I tried them on, I got a pleasant surprise. The velvet is very soft. It is also very comfortable, especially around the tummy. I found that, worn with the correct clothes, they are surprisingly flattering, and they work. Plus, I got a few compliments from trusted friends when I wore them.
Black tuxedo and cream cami – also photo-bombed slightly by Jarvis!!
Black slim-fit jeans with a slight flared hem.
I wear jeans a lot, in my everyday world. These jeans caught my eye, because of the slight flare. I was curious to see if they would suit me. I tried them on in the shop, and got a pleasant surprise.
They sit quite high on the waist, pulling the tummy in, in a lovely way. There is 1% “elastane” in the material, plus organic cotton, which I like. I find them flattering. They can be worn with high heels, or flats. This style of jean is a lovely contrast as I usually wear straight legged jeans, so it’s nice to shake it up! I have worn them a few times, and they are very comfortable.
Here are a few ways I have worn these jeans.
Worn with a Zara sweatshirt that was only £9.99 and a man’s Burberry scarf that I bought a long time ago.
Worn with a Tuxedo, plus a touch of leopard print.
Wide legged checked trousers
Again, these are not my usual style. I was a little unsure if I would like them. My legs are not super long, so I was worried they would appear shorter, due to the hem sitting above the ankle.
However, they are smart, casual and a good fit and work well with most footwear. I know there have been a lot of issues with H&M sizing, but there was no problem. They fit me perfectly. I am a 12 to 14 (depending on the brand), and with these trousers, I felt more comfortable in the size 14. They are, in my opinion, a quality material, and I really like them – plus, they go with a lot of things. So versatile!
What I wore with them.
“Next” leather jacket,which I have had for an eternity and still love! Plus, a black cashmere polo neck sweater from Marks and Spencer
Thank you for reading my post. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.
I am not quite ready to go bare faced. I love a light, medium touch of foundation to improve the look of my skin and choosing the right one can be a tricky, costly affair if you get it wrong.
The choice on the high street is mind boggling and can be both daunting and confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for!
During my younger years, bringing up my family, working, and running around at ninety miles an hour meant minimal maintenance regarding my makeup. It was applied very quickly and if it took away the deathly white glare that I had woken up with, I was content, happy and ready to go with my busy day ahead!
There wasn’t the choice back then, unless I was just too busy to take much notice. Of course, currently, there is so much choice it is hard to keep up!
Back then, if I was looking for a good foundation, I would do a little research, then get a few samples to try, just in case I had some strange horrible reaction to the ingredients. Always wanting light coverage that would hopefully give me a little radiance, if possible. The prerequisite was that it was a good, quality product.
The one I settled for and used for years was Clinique’s “Super Balanced Foundation”. This, I found to be very good – it wasn’t too heavy, it was light in coverage and looked quite natural. I had no knowledge of applying foundation primers in those days. Out of curiosity, I got a sample of the same foundation, the other day, in ivory – which is my colour – and, it is still a great foundation.
Towards my late forties, I tried other foundations as my skin was becoming a lot drier, partly due to hormonal changes. So, I started to do my research, looking for a foundation that would help the dryness, facial redness, skin sensitivity and….. oh, the list goes on…… Hence, over the last seven years, I have used and sampled quite a few foundations. I now wish that I had kept a detailed diary of my experiences – some good and some bad. Because, back then, I never thought for one minute I would find the time to start this blog
My wish list, foundation-wise, is to have a product that will smooth out imperfections, whilst not settling into pores or wrinkles; give me a bit of a glow; and not disappear after a few hours’ wear!
I have listed my current four favourite foundations below. And, I will continue to try new ones, as there are so many coming out, all, of the time.
When I was doing my research, this foundation kept coming up time and time again with fantastic reviews for mature skin. So, I gave it a try and immediately loved it. I have been using it for around three years. I find the foundation easy to apply, it gives a very sheer look, evens out skin tone, whilst still looking natural. It may need a slight touch up if worn all day and can look a little luminous around the four to five-hour mark, but a fine dusting of finishing powder does the trick to sort this, I find.
Estee Lauder – “Double Wear Light” 30ml (£33.50)
This was my other “go to” foundation, though I haven’t used it for a little while. I did find it to be very lightweight whilst giving a natural appearance. It is long lasting and didn’t settle into pores or wrinkles. However, since I finished my tube, Estee Lauder have now changed the formula. My shade was “Number 2” with the old formula and I have noticed there are a lot more shades with the new one. I will try the new one and let you know what I think
L’Oréal – “Paris True Match Liquid Foundation” 30ml (£9.99)
I bought this foundation from Sainsburys – it was on offer for £4 – can you believe!?
I had seen quite a few adverts for this foundation, so, decided to give it a go. And, for that price, I couldn’t refuse. Though I had to guess with the colour match, which worked out fine. I went for beige and it’s a good match!!
This foundation is lasting for ages. I’m still not even a quarter of the way through, as a little goes a long way. It really holds its own against the more expensive foundations. It’s easy to apply, very lightweight and hydrating, There are also a lot of shades to choose from.
I haven’t used this foundation for a while but included it, as I wore it for such a long time. Out of curiosity, I decided to ask for a tester to see if it was still as good. My colour is silk ivory. After wearing it for a few weeks, I still find it to be a good foundation. It has a lovely texture and sits well on the skin. It also provides great coverage without being too heavy.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have any questions please leave a comment.
I learnt a few weeks ago that House of Fraser (HOF) are not honouring gift cards in store or online. My gift card for HOF is worth £80.00. I have followed the process for getting my money refunded but I’m not holding my breath. So my question is “are gift cards a safe bet”??
Since this discovery, I have been told it’s probably best to spend gift cards quickly in this present climate. More importantly, I feel concerned for the staff of House of Fraser. It must be the worst feeling in the world for these employees to not know what the future holds, and it makes the slight problem of a gift card seem trivial. But, nevertheless, £80 is no small amount!!!
Recently, I went to Newcastle to make sure my youngest son was settled into university for his final year. We all met up in the city centre for coffee, then and I went into Fenwicks Dept Store. This was a conscious decision as I had another gift card that I had received from Christmas 2017. The whole House of Fraser gift card situation made me think that maybe I had to spend it quickly!
Wandering around Fenwicks, I couldn’t resist this pretty blue Daria Print Ruffled Skirt from Mint Velvet (£89.00). It is chiffon material in a layered silhouette. This midi skirt sits high on the waist and I have already worn it quite a few times – pairing it with a Zara dark blue fitted jumper, or a cream fitted cardigan.
I particularly love the movement of the skirt and thought it looked good with this old leather biker jacket that I have owned for ages, along with some blue suede ankle boots.
This skirt could easily be dressed up in heels and a silky blouse or even a stylish t-shirt and sneakers with a little denim jacket – that would look cool!!
I know I will get a lot of wear out of it as it is so versatile and flattering – and I also love the midi length, which is my favourite.
We must face facts that Winter is just around the corner. This year, we have had a real summer, so, we can’t complain.
One of this season’s favourites is the Animal print, which is a huge trend and the “go to” look. It has been a fashion favourite and seems to go from strength to strength. This is news, if you really like it.
There is no escaping the multitude of animal-inspired patterns. Animal print has never really disappeared – because, it never goes out of fashion. And, I am happy about that, because I’ve always enjoyed wearing this design, in some shape or form. But, this year, it is here in abundance.
The question is to either go “full on” animal print or just a touch. It’s all down to how you feel and what your own personable style is. I have seen some fantastic dresses and coats. But, for the person who just wants a splash, it may be too much to have a full-on “head to toe” ensemble going on.
I think the beauty of animal print is it goes with anything, and can lift your outfit to the next level with either the right piece of clothing or an added accessory. I personally love seeing a colour block outfit with just a few touches of animal print – it is just so subtle and stylish and can give the outfit the edge. But, the overall look is such a personal thing.
I read an article a long time ago that said finding your perfect animal print can be a tricky one, saying it can depend on the colour and density of the print that will or won’t work with your shape or facial features. For example, if you have dainty features, a smaller more dense print will suit. I’m not sure if I agree with this view. The article cited an awful lot of suggestions but, to be honest, I lost the will to live reading the whole piece!!! There were just too many rules to abide by. I think we all look for a little guidance. But, overall, I hope we are generally confident enough to know when we try clothes on whether they suit us or not.
I like this dress. However, I am quite a conservative dresser – so, this outfit, for me, is quite bold.
But, I find, as I’m steadily getting older, I’m getting a little more adventurous. This animal print dress may be a bit too much for some, but it brought the “daredevil” out in me. Plus, I love the midi length – so, it’s a “win-win” situation!
I would like to share with you my journey through the last couple of years regarding skincare. In my younger years, l would lie in the sun all day with very little protection. I had no idea about SPF or protecting my skin, we just went for the burn – thinking how cool we looked with a bit of colour. Mind you, I never had that easy tanning skin. I went bright pink, then it all just all peeled off (not cool). It’s little wonder that I don’t now look like a prune. With our UK climate, we are generally lucky if we get a few days of sunshine in any one year, which has probably saved me. That said, this summer has been exceptionally hot!!!
Over the years I have used many creams and serums that I thought would improve my skin, not really researching the ingredients and relying instead on the information or hype that came with that product.
I would say it was around my late forties, early fifties when my skin started to change. I noticed the skin on my face was dried out, dull and well, awful really. My skin also felt irritated and tight, my immediate reaction to this was to buy moisturisers that made me glow like a bleacher beacon! I thought if I slapped on a rich cream that would do the trick, not so!
This spurred me on to start to do my research to improve my skin, reading articles by experts, watching vloggers and gathering as much information as I could. I looked for bloggers and vloggers in my age group – I loved watching the young women as well, but they weren’t on the same journey as me, so I couldn’t really relate, women in my age group were hard to find back then, maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.
Thankfully this is now improving and women in midlife are certainly becoming more visible. I really enjoyed listening to the ones who I thought knew their stuff and I gained a lot of knowledge from them and still read their blogs or watch them on you tube today.
I must also mention that around my late forties, early fifties it seemed to be a time that is quite frantic and stressful – you will all relate. Around this time when I felt the beginnings of the menopause everything else seemed to be also reaching a crescendo, such as children going through their own teenage hormonal stage, elderly parents or family starting to have health problems or issues – oh the list is endless and there we are trying to look after everyone as well as working and juggling other life balls as well! – so, no wonder things can become a little dramatic with the way we look and feel at this time, I know this was the case with me!
Apologies for going off the subject but it’s all related to how we feel and look.
Of course, nutrition along with drinking plenty water (I always forget) along with sleep (what’s that) and of course a high SPF cream is always recommended. Also, I know it really shows on my face when I have had a few days of overindulgence, you can certainly get away with that in your early days, but not now.
I have no experience of fillers, Botox or any laser treatments – I am certainly not against any of these – it’s just it’s never been on my radar.
For me I wanted to see which skincare or active ingredients were proven to work. Skincare that I could try at my own leisure, to see if it was effective for me and beneficial to my own skin to make me feel better.
Following my research, I learned there is a huge list of ingredients that are effective for better skin – the ingredients that were mentioned time and time again are Retinols, Tretinoin (Retin A), Vitamin C, a whole host of peptides, AHA’s and other ingredients (it’s mind boggling)!
I thought I would keep it simple and try Retin A (Tretinoin) and Vitamin C, including it in my skincare routine.
I did my homework regarding Retin A and to play it safe I started to use it gradually using the lowest strength first, using it once a week and very slowly building it up. It takes a long time for your skin to adapt, hence I’m still not onto the higher strength of 0.1% daily after using it for three years. So, the trick I have found is to go slow. This is certainly not for everyone. Tretonion is not available to buy over the counter in the UK, though it is in Europe and other countries – But I feel it has improved my skin and has worked for me – but may not suit everyone – so do your homework if you are tempted.
As I am mildly obsessed with moisturisers and serums I will be doing some tried and tested products I have used along with my journey using Retin A in the future.
Thank you for reading. Please subscribe to my blog if you enjoyed it!
Some girls are so certain of their style from the beginning. I remember, in my young days, these girls stood out from the rest and were an inspiration to me. I have been friendly with a lot of women throughout my life whose style has inspired me. Whatever age and size, their confidence and their flair shone through. There is nothing more fabulous than someone who is comfortable in their own skin. Style wise, they are such an inspiration and have no fear of looking a certain way or wearing something they really love and are not afraid of what people think, or say.
photographer – Viktor Hanacek
I loved nights out, in my younger years – the girls would turn up in their ‘get-ups’, which had been so meticulously put together. Of course, these were the late seventies, early eighties – the time of big shoulder pads and “New Romantics”. I also had a few mates who were “Punks” and “Goths” (now, that took time, effort and style). I wonder what they are doing, and where they are with their “style”, now. I don’t think you ever quite leave your young style behind as you get older – it’s part of who you are. As we get older, we have had time to rehearse and practise.
Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash
I like to think I have a little bit of an idea when I’m trying on things that don’t suit me – they just feel so “wrong”. For example, in my younger years, I had some “not good” moments with woollen dresses which made me look like a giant snowball – think the whole colour block thing doesn’t agree with me, and the odd (very eighties) rah-rah skirt. This was the first successful attempt to revive the mini skirt and, hands up, I was a fan at the time! It wasn’t very forgiving if you know what I mean.
Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash
Oh, and there was the odd bad hair-do just to add to the overall mix. I once came back from the hairdressers looking like Tina Turner which, as much as I love Tina Turner, this was not my intention or what I had asked for. I think the hairdresser got a little bit carried away.
Me out for a saunter, in the direction of the pub! I do love “easy to wear” chilled out fashion that makes me feel good, though I’m not averse to a lovely little bit of dressing up!
I believe style in midlife years is continually a “work in progress”. For example, I will see a great outfit on someone, or in a shop and love it. Sometimes, I’ve been brave enough to ask the person where they had purchased it. But, on me, it will either look equally good or really terrible. I once read somewhere that style takes time and maybe that’s true. I believe, at this age, I am still trying to look good and that, for me, it’s on-going. Some women make wearing clothes look effortless. Whereas, for me, alas, that’s not always the case!!!
Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash
I also believe it is very important to be comfortable, and know what suits me. I’ve done this through trial and error, and taking good advice along the way from expert fashion stylists. There is a lot of great “style gurus” out there. I believe some of them are brilliant and give out great, constructive advice. But, I also believe that, whatever advice you read, you still must feel happy and relaxed in what you are wearing. Because style is such a personal thing! We all know people who wear something because of the label or because they think, if it’s one of the most expensive, exclusive garments in the shop, then it will have to look great on them. Unfortunately, as we know, that’s not always the case.
Thank you for reading, let me know if you have any comments and please subscribe to my blog.