Whenever anyone kindly asks me what I’d like for christmas, I so rarely remember to askfor the thing that really makes my day and allows me to look as fantastic as I do for someone of my very advanced years!  I do take great care of my skin and body.   I can’t really claim to be so saintly regarding my hair.  A series of unfortunate hair appointments has made me lose confidence in my abilit to communicate to these professionsals.   For some reason I can talk til the cows come home on almost any other subject, but when it comes to eplaining how I want my hair to look just before I leae te salon, I seem to talk a lot of gibberish.   If only I could illustrate my ideas more adequately rather than what I must do – suggest I want an unflattering pudding basin bob!

I have never really had the talent for making my eyes look wonderfully exotic – those gorgeous upswept liners that make the eyes grow wide and always questioning.  Rather like Endora in Bewitched.  I have very poor eyesight at the best of times and without them on, whilst putting my own make up on, if I can see some darkish shape around each eye, then that’s good enough.   On go the day specs and I then get a cotton bud dipped in a little eyewash – that gets carefully applied under the lower lashes and above the eyelid below the brow – as inevitably some of the earlier attempt will have stray or splashed up!  I only use eye make up.  I have never worn face make up – I like to pretend I’m an eternal teenager, and so far it seems to be working!  Good exercise to boost the blood circulation also helps.  Oh, as does drinking a lot of plain water!

During the summer months, we often reduce down the amount of products we use during our day to day makeup looks – the warmth and the sun do not always go well with a full face of makeup!  When we start to move towards the winter months however, it is a good time to look at the sorts of products we use daily.  Here are some ideas of how to adapt your normal, go-to makeup for winter seasons.

Primer – this is a great product to use in the colder months, especially a hydrating or moisturising primer which locks in moisture to keep dry patches at bay.

Foundation – good for evening out the skin tone, a foundation can be slightly fuller coverage throughout the winter.

Concealer – disguise tired looking eyes with a brightening concealer

Highlight – Lift the darkness of winter with a subtle shimmer on the tops of cheekbones and down the nose.

We all know that using a good quality makeup brush can make a huge difference to the way your makeup applies, but how often should we be cleaning our brushes, and what is the best method for cleaning them?

Firstly, it is important to know that hygeine is SUPER important for facial makeup.  Think about how much bacteria transfers from your face to the makeup each time you use it!  Yuck… The best thing to do is wash your makeup brushes using either hand soap, or gentle shampoo at least weekly.

Makeup artists will advocate washing your brushes after each use, but for many people this is a little unsustainable and a bit too much of a hassle.  Weekly allows you to freshen up your brushes enough to prevent spreading bacteria over your face which can cause spots and breakouts.

The best method for washing your brushes is to wet them, then swirl in a little liquid soap or shampoo, gently massaging the bristles with your fingers to remove makeup and grime.  Rinse clean and allow to air dry.  You can take the worst of the water off with a towel.

This very hot and sultry weather has been an absolute nightmare for some folk – we cannot cope with the humidity and no matter how often the authorities suggest we keep out of the sun to ensure that we don’t get headaches caused by looking directly at a very sunny aspect, keep  curtains closed.   To ensure we don’t get dehydrated at all – and this is very easy with old folk, drink lots of plain water, etc. etc.  check the colour of our urine to ensure not drying up.   Also, applying high factor sun protection lotion more regularly when we do have to go out in the sunny air.   Wearing a hat is almost obligatory now, but it makes sense otheriwse heatstroke can hit even faster.   Taking care with make up, especially on the eyes.  Waterproof pencil and mascara are best as they don’t melt or run down the face on in the eyes quite so much.

As the winter draws to a close, I always get that excited feeling when the first of the warmer days drifts along.  We had a particular grim winter season this time.  Muc seriously cold and wet weather brought all manner of problems in the garden and around the country as a whole.  This brings down the bouyancy of a community – the need to be joyful and enthusiastic for life is essential when the chips are down.  I change my make up and body products according to how I feel, and this of course is directed by the weather and climate.  I always step up my skin’s  protection as soon as we get more than a glimmer of sun.  My skin and body routine itself remains unaltered but the products have to have higher factor and I rarely let the sun hit my face and neck on a hot day.   Sun I do love, but not the ravaging effect it can have!

Isn’t it funny how different seasons bring out the need for a change in the scent we apply or the lotions and potions we apply to our face and body?  I have always been a bit of sticker – having spent teenage years and much of my adult life thinking perfume never suited me, I now have a wonderful range of products to choose from and each one suits me admirably.  I was introduced to online perfumery products a while back and I have found that the information available on each product is second to none.   Whereas the gloriously made up and well coiffured doyennes of the department store perfumery counters will be able to promote particular products in their line, they rarely have any of the technical information that is so helpful for the wearer to know before spraying or applying.   Having facts to hand helps you to select the right balance of floral over heady musk for example.


Some of the beauty articles in the posher maazines are now raving about all sorts of age reducing or limiting facial work that can be carried out without massively expensive clinic time.   Years ago the idea of plumping out the face was usually something that only a fool would steal for or an entire school club together to get Teacher that life enhancing wrinkle removal.   There are filling products now that have collagen and other ‘natural’ ingredients.  The injections can be a bit of a side issue, with pain being felt.  It would put me ff straight away thinking that a non medically trained consltant could try inplanting stuff withot being a doctor.  There have been some really serious mishaps with these clinics – thinking of at least 3 actresses who look really stupid treatments, two hae been left with massively bloated lips and jaw regions and I don’t think either have ever worked on stage or screen since.

Oh how my chums and I chortled when we were at school and one of the teachers came in with rather unusual make up instead of her usual pink circle on each cheek, gash of bright scarlet across her lips and just a line of pencil under each eye – where I have carefully applied a ‘dusty’ look with black mascara every since learning the art from my mother when I was 13.    We got used to the teachers routinely telling us off for breaking the rules.  Mind you, make up in those days was so basic that it wouldn’t be noticed at all today.  We have all kinds of creams, blushers, coloured foundations, bronzing moisturisers, highlighting cream, shadow minimising.  I do read the magazines but ralise I need one of the consultations available from the best of the make up and beauty sites – a treat for me maybe.

Oh how well I remember the teenage magazines of my youth.  Lots of gloriously coloured articles showing the latest trends in ‘beauty’ and how to make the most of our features.  Nothing saucy or racy involving boys, we were so innocent in those days and the magazines tended to hint at more exciting things to be had when we got a little older.  There was no shortage of offers to try this perfume or that eye shadow.  Lots of competitions were entered to try and get the Twiggy look – I used to have ver long hair, quite thick but very baby fine.  It was a nightmare to manage and when dear old Twig became hot property, I decided to have a similar hair cut, having been told how like her I was facially and bodily.  Of course, the local hairdresser could not emulate the right look and I ended up with a ghastly mess.  I cried rivers over that mistake.