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Hilton Northampton Valentines Day


Nearly 6 months into my inch loss regime I am high on life and so thankful that you have joined me yet again on this personal lifestyle journey. I can no longer afford be lazy about taking care of myself and have discovered that regularly walking on the treadmill, at this time in my life, is tailor-made for me. DVT and two strokes have taught me how life could change in the blink of an eye. Without warning, I was unable to move or walk unaided. That sobering thought has switched my focus and to be able to do the most ordinary thing I now see as a gift. Regular exercise has transcended my lifestyle generating many wonders to the surface.

As I continue to evolve through 2019, grateful for the knowledge and life experiences that I have gleaned over the years I am encouraged knowing that everyone, small or large, young or old even celebrities who are often perceived as having a perfect life, is dealing with challenges of some sort. While I am not expecting weight loss to give me a “perfect life”, I do hope for a “longer life”. There is no finish line for me. My quest to remain healthy will always be ongoing. My GP has prescribed the medication and I continue to work hard to keep my blood pressure down, the strokes at bay and lessen the chance of a clot in my foot ever returning.

End of Valentines Day Challenge

1st Photo - 09.12.18: Middle Photo 11.01.19:

3rd Photo - 14.02.19:

Life has taught me that worry and fear are two useless emotions that cripple you, lock you into a stalemate, block you from seeing past the obstacle and prevent you from moving forward. By way of example, if I had succumbed to these emotions, I would never have completed my first novel or making monthly deposits in my blogging bank account. My YouTube channel would never have been born and my growing followers/subscribers on social media would still be nothing but a pipe dream. Anxiety would have prohibited me from sharing my excitement in completing my Valentines challenge (compare photos above), and “showing a little skin” when wearing loungewear. The happiness of that Valentines weekend is still wrapped around me like a soft shawl.

Showing a little skin

Different life events have caused me to reassess my individual style and how I project my exterior self. As a mature woman, I am now able to dedicate more time not only in overhauling my wardrobe but re-educating myself how best to apply my makeup to mature skin. Drawing inspiration from continued inch loss

Loungewear from Fashion Nova

particularly around my stomach area, I have evolved and grown with the changes to my body. I have turned up the “sexy” dial by adding the perfect dose of colour and sheer material to my wardrobe. While I don’t want to look 30, I most certainly do not want to dress older than my 57 years. To that end JD Williams, ASOS, SimplyBe FashionWorld etc. are no longer my first port of call. Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Freemans and much more have provided some key pieces to my wardrobe.

There are some beautiful (non-plunging) necklines that are tasteful, classy, super sexy and hot. I

Headshot Little Black Dress

am loving anything sheer, sophisticated yet conservative that oozes sexiness while leaving something to the imagination. The texture and touch of any kind of faux leather, not to mention the way it hugs your body, is both modern and so sexy. The power of Christian Dior’s pencil skirt is as influential today as it was back in the 1950's and a sure fire way to create the hourglass silhouette. In short, I now dress on the outside how I feel on the inside.

We have so much to learn from each other and in order for friendships to grow not only do we owe each other a listening ear and a deep sense of honesty but we must be open to criticism. An okay friend or acquaintance will always say you look lovely even when you don’t. Know the true meaning of friendship and take it as a compliment when someone cares enough about you to let you know when something is not quite right. Thankfully it is still the case that my true friends love me enough to tell me when I am not looking my best and are always there to nudge me in the right direction. Remember, everyone has the right to their opinion and when among TRUE FRIENDS we should not have to sit on your thoughts and/or feelings just to maintain the peace or not to “ruffle feathers”. Be transparent. Be authentic. Be kind. Be YOU!

Creating my own Work Outfit Calendar stops me from “winging it” and makes it possible for me to rotate all of the clothes I have in my wardrobe. While fashion photos or YouTube “haul” videos are inspirational we will not always have the items in your closet. I touched on my Work Outfit Calendar in a previous blog and set out below, highly requested details of how I use my Work Outfit Calendar.

Work Outfit Calendar


The first column always begins with the date the item was purchased, and dates worn thereafter. The second column contains a description of the item and more recently the retailer from where it is purchased. I also detail what I wear with it and out of shot would be the Shoes and jewellery worn also. The third column is the most interesting as this is where I insert my honest comments i.e. 27/01/16 – Gold Satin Tie Neck Blouse is tight around hips but considering last month it wouldn’t even go on this is good. 22/03/17 – Gold Satin Tie Neck Blouse tight around hips and stomach keeps rolling up good thing tucked inside trousers with a cardigan on top.

The third column now also includes compliments/comments from colleagues and subscribers after posting a work outfit photo which I use as a clear indication as to whether I have got it right. That outfit is now logged in my Work Outfit Calendar and my photo look book on my phone which removes the guesswork and saves me time. When was the last time you stood in front of my wardrobe as time ticks away thinking “what am I going to wear today”? I confess, it has been a few years since I have done that. A photo look book or work outfit calendar is most useful when packing or when want to put outfits together for a week or more. You will instinctively know when to pair classic pieces you have cultivated over many years with some on-trend pieces to create a sleek and sophisticated look.

An alternative option is to follow the ABC rule. Accentuate, Balance and Camouflage.

Accentuate - Acknowledge what is the most favourite thing about your body and accentuate your assets whatever it is and show them off. If it’s your shoulders wear sleeveless dress or top. If it is your legs wear a skirt. If a small waist wear belts to highlight that fact.

Balance - If you have really wide hips you want to wear something on your shoulders shoulder pads or frill to balance out your shape. Wear belts that are not typical belts but something that is a little bit unexpected.

Cornelli Sweater from Kaleidoscope

I know how tempting it is to slip into those loose baggy items that are guaranteed to cover up problem areas but be aware, shapeless garments that have no sense of proportion have an adverse effect and makes us look heavier.

This “pearlfectSoft Grey Cornelli Sweater from Kaleidoscope Size 22 - £20.00 (reduced from £45.00) is the perfect example of having both comfort and class. Balancing your outfit proportions will make you look youthful and well put together. It is always more flattering when wearing a tight fitting top to wear loose trousers and vice versa. I used to love structured pieces but as I get older I am drawn to more sumptuous, soft material and would sooner opt for a silk button down as opposed to a cotton one.

Camouflage - Play with designs and wear clothes that skim the body. Flowy material Find clothing that does NOT hug every portion of my body, find clothes that outline the natural curves of your body.

MAKEUP - I now apply the ABC rule of thumb when trying to achieve clean, sharp eye makeup which can become jagged due to loose skin that moves when eyeshadow is applied.

Accentuate in this instance is to open up the eye.

  • Shimmer eyeshadow: It’s all about placement of eyeshadow on mature skin. Any shimmering eyeshadows should be restricted to the lid area. Any eyeshadow above the lid area should be matte as shimmering eyeshadows will draw attention to the fleshy fold of skin aka “the hood” that hangs over and envelops your natural crease. The aim is to lift and open the eye.

Balance means to frame the face and lift the eye using eyeshadow and different methods to eliminate any droopiness.

  • Eyebrows shape your face shape your eyes make you look younger/youthful eye looks more open wider and bigger.

  • Tight lining: If I apply eyeliner on the lid close to the lash line, it will eat into my lid space. Once I open my eye all you will see is a black line and no eyeshadow. Instead I have to tight line, apply a soft eye pencil beneath the lash on the waterline. This method, not only opens up the eye, but fills in any gaps to sparse eyelashes to make them look thicker.

Camouflage any droopiness of the outer eye.

  • Blending - Windscreen wiper motions, as seen on YouTube when blending my eyeshadow, is no longer an option as that encourages me to drag the eye down. I have had to re-educate myself to buff upwards and towards the inner corner of the eye.

  • Mascara - when applying mascara you need to fan all of your eyelashes out towards the inner corner of the eye. Applying waterproof mascara is best because when normal mascara runs it can make you look tired.

Tortoiseshell Handle Handbag

Accessories - When our accessories look tired so do we. To create a more polished look, I have scaled back on statement pieces of jewellery and wear more subtle understated day to day pieces. I like to keep the eye focused on one thing like a beautiful pair of shoes, bold lip or structured handbag. Dorothy Perkins Black Tortoiseshell Handle Mini Tote Bag £20 (reduced from £25 for 24 hours only). The tortoiseshell hardware on this tote bag really feel familiar and homely to me and my idea of a timeless classic brought right up to date with a modern twist. Think! Is it impactful or interesting enough to add something to your overall look?

Selfie updated Makeup Application Photos

Update/Changes to my Makeup Application Process

  • Foundation - Use more moisturiser/oil mixed in with lighter/thinner foundation formula. Avoid a matt finish. A dewy or satin finish is less likely to dry out during the day and sit in those fine lines.

  • Setting Powder - Do not bake or cook your concealer like the YouTubers do. Adding lots of layers of power to mature skin can cause that “cakey” look. Use a damp beauty blender to apply powder to your oily t-zone and/or to set your concealer/makeup.

  • Blush - DO NOT OVERDO the blush. If you apply too much then your makeup will look dated or a very good impersonation of Aunt Sally in “Worzel Gummidge”

  • Lipstick/Lipgloss - Wear lighter colour lipsticks or lip gloss. The super matt formulas can seep into the lines and dark colours on thin maturing lips stand out. I always outline my lips with a lip pencil.

  • Black Eyeliner - Avoid wearing heavy black eyeliner all around the eyes, it can make a drooping mature eye look tired. Restrict black eyeliner to the upper lash line. To blend it out using a pencil brush will give a softer effect and not look so heavy on the eyes.

  • False Eyelashes - I feel the wispy thick false eyelashes, are better left to the youthful YouTube makeup celebs. False eyelashes should be as natural looking as possible. When wearing false lashes I buy the really small ones to avoid them touching my forehead whenever I blink or that trying too hard look!

Hair Colour - I am experimenting with softer shades of hair extensions/wigs. I have evolved from Shade 1 or 1b to a 4 as I find it less severe and much more flattering on my face. Shops like PAKS stock so many variations of hair shades and I am excited to start embracing a new warmer shade that is going to work for me and flatter my face.

Exfoliating your Skin

Over the years I have been asked how it is that my skin is so soft. I would reply “I moisturise my skin every day”. It was not until I began to research the benefits of exfoliation for this blog that I realised that I had totally dismissed/overlooked the importance of my habitual daily exfoliating

Cleansing Face Brush

regime. This Exfoliating/Cleansing Facial Brush £0.99p from E-bay is what I use with my soap to wash and effectively remove dead cells. This habitual exfoliation is apparently, what allows cleansers, toners and moisturisers to properly penetrate the multiple layers of skin more deeply and improve my complexion. Who would have known that passing this brush under warm water and massaging it into a bar of soap before working into my face in circular motions is how I have kept my skin clear and hydrated. It never fails to amaze me how this inexpensive brush despite unclogging my pores of oil, dirt and other impurities in the sauna at the gym never fails, the next morning, to remove residual dirt and makeup without sending my oily T-zone into overdrive.

NSPA Spa Body Brush

The skin on your body is thicker than the skin on your face, and again due to habitual weekly body exfoliation, with this NSPA Sacred Spa Body Brush £3 from Asda, my body has become resilient to more vigorous exfoliation. Ridding your body’s surface of dead skin cells cleanses and promotes proper cell turnover which will prevent bacteria, sweat, and dirt from getting stuck underneath the skin’s surface. Weekend exfoliation of my body does a lot more than keep my skin nice and soft it’s my way of scrubbing away the previous week before laying my clean body between clean sheets, sipping a glass of red and falling into a deep sleep.

CONCLUSION: I will be 57 by the time I post my next blog and hope to have birthday purchase photos using all of the birthday discount codes I have received from the cosmetic and clothing on-line retailers. Share 6 month compare inch loss photos, post the highly requested simple how to apply eyeshadow YouTube video and to update you on any other changes I have adopted to maintain good health and clear skin. I confirm I have begun book 2 of the BFF series entitled “My Kind of Retribution”. X


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