Hurray, it’s nearly holiday time for us but before I go, I just want to leave you with one more post to cover off some great beauty products for women over 40. Just to recap, my policy is only to cover beauty products if I can honestly see a difference. If a beauty PR gets in touch with me I make this clear which means there are quite a few things I don’t write about. However, here are a few winners that I’ve trialled recently.

Great beauty products for women over 40

Verso skincare review

After I wrote my review of the new Skinceuticals regime I’d been trialling, a few beauty people pointed out that I was missing a product: retinol. Verso, a relatively new Swedish brand, kindly sent me an eye and face serum to show me what they meant.

Great beauty products for women over 40

Verso’s name comes from the Latin for reverse and it has patented a new formula which is eight times more potent than typical Retinol (Vitamin A) but only half as aggressive. It’s just been ranged as part of John Lewis’s Loved and Found collection which features the best of emerging brands so that has to be a vote in its favour.

What does retinol do?

According to Verso, Retinol 8 has a proven rejuvenating effect on the skin and it works by increasing the production of collagen, effectively reversing visible signs of ageing. Retinol 8 is the first non-prescription Vitamin A derivative that can be used safely in the daytime. It is clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier, smooth wrinkles and reduce pigmentation. Products from Verso contain no colourants, parabens or mineral oils

The problem with Retinol is that it often irritates the skin however Verso’s patented Retinol 8 formulation is less UV sensitive, less aggressive and, because it is eight times more powerful than traditional Retinol, it can be used in smaller quantities.

The complete Verso system comprises of 6 steps and includes cleanser and moisturiser. I can’t tell you how good the rest of the range is because I haven’t tried it but here are my thoughts on the facial serum and the eye serum.

What is it like to use?

Well firstly I love the packaging, it’s clean and Scandi which means it looks great in my bathroom. The only problem is that I can’t see how much product is left in the pot.

When you apply it to the skin, the texture is like a light cream so it absorbs immediately and the finish is smooth and matte. I don’t have sensitive skin but I did notice that my eyes stung a little when I first applied the eye cream. I’ve been using it on alternate nights, before my Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 and the Aldi Lacura night cream.

What are the results?

When I wake up on the mornings after I’ve used it, my skin definitely glows. The best example I can give you is this selfie that I took for Facebook when I set off at 5am for the Hope Fashion shoot. Quite a few of you commented that I was looking fresh faced – it was only because I had slapped on lots of the Verso serum the night before in the hope that it would do its magic and it did.

Midlifechic skincare review

Will I keep on using it?

Like the Skinceuticals range, it isn’t cheap but it does make a big difference. Given that I can save money on my day and night creams by using these much more concentrated scientific products first then yes, I will use it a couple of times a week. My Skinceuticals products still haven’t run out after 6 months’ use so although these powerful products are a higher initial outlay, because you use such tiny amounts they are better value in the long term.

Where to buy it

The Verso range is not classed as a cosmeceutical so it can currently be bought in eclectic beauty departments at upmarket retailers such as Net a Porter and also online retailers.

Great beauty products for women over 40

Eye and facial serum bonus pack

Mane n Tail shampoo and conditioner review

So, this isn’t something I’ve been sent but something that I bought at the Harvey Nichols store in Birmingham – partly because it was the only thing there that didn’t require a bank loan but also because I’ve heard so much about it but never actually come across it before.

You’ll know the story – Mane n Tail was originally created for show horses to keep their manes and tails glossy. People started using it on themselves and a new cult product was born. I’m about the only non-horsey person in our village (give me a cat any day) so I wasn’t excited by the equine connection. However I realised how much I like it as a product when my hairdresser told me I had enough points to choose a free Redken or Kerastase shampoo or conditioner and I declined, preferring to stick with Mane and Tail.

It gives my hair volume, makes it glossier and my scalp feels in good condition. I don’t think it makes hair grow any faster but it does make it look good plus it’s a reasonable price for a big 355ml bottle. Small middle aged point here but I really value the fact that I can easily distinguish the shampoo bottle from the conditioner in the shower when I can’t wear my reading glasses – I know, that was such an unglamorous thing to say! Try it (but don’t buy it at Harvey Nichols – it’s much cheaper here)!

Great beauty products for women over 40

Mane n Tail Shampoo

Great beauty products for women over 40

Mane n Tail conditioner

James Reed Overnight Tan Review

I confess to not really liking fake tan and being too lazy to faff around with all of the preparation required. However I’ve had a sample of this since Mr MC bought me a Marks and Spencer advent calendar at Christmas. I was busy going through my travel size products in preparation for the holiday when I found it again and thought I would give it a try.

Great beauty products for women over 40

James Read Overnight tan sleep mask

As you know, I usually add Clarins Golden Glow drops to my moisturiser. The James Read overnight tan gives you a deeper colour and it’s a bit like waking up the morning after you’ve spent a day in the sun. It’s a very natural looking tan, there are no tan lines or uneven patches, it doesn’t smell and thankfully it doesn’t stain your anti-wrinkle silk pillowcase either(!) Reading reviews online, it seems to be another cult product with lots of 5 star ratings.


A lovely thing happened to me this week. The people at Fenjal came across a very old post of mine which, to this day, remains one of the most read – A Mindful Midlifechic Weekend. In it I mention the fact that I often use Fenjal when I have a relaxing bath because it reminds me of my mum. They very kindly sent me this box of goodies and so far I have been using the shower gel which is really lovely. I can have a nostalgic sense of my mum around me every day now.

Great beauty products for women over 40

You can buy Fenjal products here if you fancy a trip down memory lane – the range is so much more than just luxury bath oil now. It’s funny but my middle son really loves the smell of Fenjal too – the bathroom is next to his bedroom and he always sits with his door open after I’ve had a bath so that the lingering fragrance wafts through.

Marks and Spencer backless loafers

I also wanted to show you something that I ordered this week but sent straight back. Lots of bloggers have covered these M&S backless loafers so I thought I’d try them. They seemed like a good idea being a low price for a trend that will probably be a one season wonder. I have no aversion to non-leather shoes but these are just very obviously plastic. I ordered two different sizes and neither fitted my foot well. It’s a shame because I thought they’d be a great transitional pair of shoes.

M&S backless loafers review

M&S backless loafers

George Northwood Update

I went for my second visit to George Northwood recently, I saw Fabz again and just left him to get on with his grand plan. When I looked up from my magazine I was surprised to see that he had chopped most of my hair off again. He’s working on getting the shape right so I’m back on the growing it out phase which is a bit of a pain. I can’t say I like it at the moment but hopefully the end result will be worth it. At least I don’t need to go back again until October so it should look quite different then.

Midlife lately

It’s been hectic. I seem to have been travelling around to different cities a lot and of course the boys are all at home so I’ve been enjoying spending time with them. When I was last in London I caught up with some of my media friends at Shoreditch House. The talk was all about the Brexit fallout and the tough time that everyone in the creative and marketing industry has been having. Many had lost numerous accounts and projects over the last few months and everyone agreed it was a scary time.

However, I’m cautiously saying that I’m sensing restored confidence in the business community and I think that once the Summer slowdown is over, things will get moving again. For now anyway.

I’m really looking forward to our break. I don’t feel as though I’ve been doing Midlifechic justice recently. With working so hard at my marketing job and also with the weather being so bad, I haven’t been taking many photos and all of my inspiration seems to have gone by the wayside. I need to recharge.

This is what I wore yesterday though, heading off to meet some friends. The middle son was the only one around to take a picture and somehow he managed to focus on things other than me in every single shot!


Hope linen wrap cardigan (now in the sale); Zara guipure top (past season); Next relaxed skinny jeans (past season); Boden espadrilles and clutch (past season)

He did a bit better with this one but cut out half of the outfit

Midlifechic 2

And here’s another day when the sun actually shone. I’d been to a meeting and was heading off to parents’ evening. It shows that I really have stuck to my own advice and bought very little this season, I think this dress is now 9 years old and has probably only been worn 9 times!

Midlifechic 3

Boden Shirtdress (past season); Zara shoes (past season); Whistles tote (past season)

So – can you guess where we’re going on holiday?

In the meantime just for a bit of fun, I thought I’d leave you with a couple of clues as to where we’re going when we finally set off on Tuesday. See if you can guess:

  1. For some it would be an odyssey to visit a neighbour nearby
  2. A high ranking Italian soldier didn’t play the piano here

And with that I wave you goodbye for a while. I just want to say thank you so much for reading Midlifechic this year and for your comments and emails. Even though it takes me a while to reply to you, I read them all as soon as they arrive and you always make me smile. I’m really proud of the community that we have built here.

I’m going to be over on Instagram @midlifechic whilst we’re away and I’m even planning to make my first foray into video by trying out the new Instagram stories feature. So, keep an eye open for me popping up in the little circles across the top of your feed if you follow me and don’t forget you only have 24 hours to view them before they disappear forever (which is a relief).

Au revoir et à bientôt!

Recent posts you may have missed

Final reductions at Boden and Hush – what to buy

A capsule holiday wardrobe – what I’ve packed

48 hours in Birmingham

Disclosure: the Verso skincare and Fenjal products were sent to me free of charge but with no obligation to write a review. All other products reviewed were bought by me personally.