I don’t often do beauty posts but there are a few things I’ve been using recently that I wanted to share with you. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling like the very cliché of a midlife woman at the moment: exhausted. Work has been relentless since I came back from holiday in August. Because my department is new, there is no path to follow, so I never know what is coming next. My new girl enthusiasm has meant that I have been brimming over with new ideas but of course I then have to bring the ideas to reality which means that my team and I have been living on a ‘fast spin cycle’ that feels as though it will never end. Reducing my days to three hasn’t helped because the workload hasn’t reduced and I still have a team to manage plus of course there’s a family Christmas to sort out.
Anyway, the reason that I’m offloading on you is because all of this has been really telling in my skin. My eyes have been sore and puffy and I just look tired. Throughout the year I’ve been trying various different creams and serums because sometimes the puffiness doesn’t go down until midday. I’ve tried Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, Lancome’s Genifique, Clarins eye contour balm and L’Oreal’s Revitalift and been utterly unimpressed. However when I was doing a Boots online shop a little while ago, I needed to up my basket to get free delivery and I bought a tube of Eysilix by Indeed Labs.
I’ve been using it for about 6 weeks now and it’s brilliant; the puffiness has reduced and the lines under my eyes are lighter. I’m not going to say it’s a miracle worker, I don’t look 20 years younger but I’d say my eyes might look 5 years younger which is good enough for me. Anyway I thought I’d share it with you; this isn’t a sponsored post and I don’t know much about the brand, it’s just the first time I’ve found an eye cream that works and it’s far less expensive than the other brands I’ve tried. A top tip though if you decide to try it, give it 5 minutes to sink in before you add any make up otherwise it will turn into crumbs, it needs time to set.
At night I’ve just started using these Elizabeth Arden Ceramide eye capsules which they’ve sent me to review. I can’t feed back on their effectiveness yet but they’re very soothing for tired eyes at the end of a long day and there is enough serum in the capsule to cover your whole face.
The other beauty hero that is keeping me looking a bit glowy is the foundation I bought back in March when I was with my friend in Edinburgh. It’s Dior Star, it isn’t cheap but it makes your skin gleam and it’s rescuing me on a daily basis at the moment.
Finally to avoid the Walking Dead look I’m using Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder in Golden Light (or some websites just call it light) which doesn’t give you the orange sheen that bronzers often do. It’s just a gentle glow that helps you to look as if you’ve had a healthy weekend away.
I thought I’d share those things with you in case you need to get your glow back in time for Christmas – if you’re feeling anything like me, you need all the help you can get!
So, what else has been going on? Well, as you know, a fortnight ago I was invited to take part in a Christmas photoshoot with Marisota which wasn’t a brand I knew but it is aimed at women who are size 12 and above so we’re talking curvy again. The invitation came in when I was travelling back from a meeting with one of my colleagues who has been having a really tough time recently and is struggling with her weight. I was saying I felt too tired and too busy to go along when she turned to me and said “Nikki, women like me need women like you to go out and give us hope that we can feel good about ourselves- go and do it.” So I did.
Marisota is part of the JD Williams group and I like the fact that they’re based in Manchester’s old garment district, there’s something about them that feels very authentic; they’re making affordable, comfortable clothes for women of all sizes. In total they had invited 5 completely different bloggers along and it was great to spend the day with them hearing about their blogs. I was the oldest (small shudder) but it was very relaxed and this is what it was like being a catalogue model for a day.
There was a selection of clothes on the rails in different sizes to choose from – the idea was that we would create looks but it was tricky because there weren’t many size 12s.
Then we moved on to shoes and accessories (definitely the older blogger who needs her glasses to read the shoe sizes)
Next was hair and make-up, it’s amazing just how much make up you need to wear for a proper photoshoot with lights
And then it was time to step in front of the camera which I’m starting to find easier than I used to now I’ve had more practice but it’s still weird when you’re in a room full of people
Sequin skirt and glitter top… with the jacket and clutch bag
And a cheesy number – I’m not sure what they’re using this one for
Outfit number 2 and I decided to go for something more relaxed
The fur trimmed cape is amazing and great for wearing over an evening outfit, it’s available in black, wine, natural and midnight which is the one I’m wearing.
Preparing for the group shot – as you can see I’d made a mess of my hair and make-up – I’m not used to wearing so much eyeliner and I’d smeared it
So, that was a bit of fun, it was like having a dressing up box to play with – thank you Marisota for inviting me. What did I think of the clothes? Well I wasn’t keen on the tops, I don’t like synthetics and they were very synthetic but I did like the fur cape and the faux fur jacket. The sequinned pencil skirt was also really good – sequinned skirts are usually made from a strong cotton which makes them very rigid but this was made from an elasticated material so it was stretchy and yet it clung which gave it a flattering shape. I will be wearing this very skirt with a cashmere jumper in the run up to Christmas.
I should also give a special mention to the jeans – if you have a muffin top, they are amazing. They have Marisota’s ‘shapeology’ which means that they pull you in, if you add this to the fact that they are very high waisted (they come up to your ribs) then you can imagine how clever they are. They’re really comfortable and a great price at less than £30. The boots were also very comfortable with lots of padded cushioning inside, it was like wearing slippers. The sandals however were agony, they were made from hard fabric and even though they were wide fitting (which my feet are not), they cut into my toes.
By the way if you’re wondering how my legs look brown, I used Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer instant tan because I can never be bothered with fake tan. It goes on as easily as body cream and doesn’t streak. It simply washes off in the shower afterwards and it doesn’t mark your clothes.
So, just a few other things to tell you about. I want to introduce you to Shelley, a fellow Midlifechic reader, who contacted me to tell me about the business that she has launched.
She used to be a buyer for a big high street retailer but has set up Tulip Jewellery on her own in a mission to sell simple, affordable silver jewellery. She sent me this little box
which contained this lovely silver and rose gold Russian rings pendant
I’m wearing it today but I’ve just been out in the driving rain with Mr MC and the boys to choose a Christmas tree and I’m utterly bedraggled so I’ll save it for another day. Anyway, if you’re looking for a Christmas present for someone (or yourself), have a look at the lovely architectural shapes that Shelley has on her website, they’re reasonably priced and it’s good to support another member of our midlife gang.
Our friends at Jack Wills got in touch again yesterday to say that they’re offering £20 off hoodies and sweatshirts this weekend here – great if you haven’t already bought one (which I have – grrr)!
I’m now being pestered to stop blogging and go and decorate the first of our Christmas trees. Tomorrow the eldest is bringing not one but two girls home from uni for lunch and Mr MC is strutting around congratulating himself that his boy obviously gets his charm from his dad. As I type my dear boy has just called to ask if it’s ok if he also brings home 20 muddy rugby kits to wash – it’s his turn on the team rota apparently. How convenient for him.
I’m feeling as though my writing has lost its sparkle recently, much like me. Not only am I finding work tough but the drive there and back in the pitch black is really scary, especially given the flooding that we’re having as a result of this terrible weather. On Thursday lots of the roads were impassable and so I had to find a way back cross country along tiny lanes not knowing where I was going or when I was going to hit another flood. Today the shops in the village have had to close because we have power cuts, rain is coming in through the roofs of our old buildings and the water level is rising not only in the sea tides and the river but the canal has also reached the top of its banks. It’s all a bit wearing.
Thank goodness Christmas is nearly here along with all the lovely times that it brings. My blog will soon be filled with joy again and then of course there’s a bright shiny new year to plan so please don’t stop reading. I hope you’re warm and dry and having a lovely weekend, I’m off to decorate the tree with a warming glass of homemade sloe gin that Mr MC has just brought me. The good times can’t begin soon enough.