Sunday, 17 November 2019

4 Winter Survival picks - fashion and beauty

I do love winter.  A time to wrap up in lots of layers, thick jumpers, turn on the heating, shut out the world and light all the candles.  There's always lots of good TV on come winter and as well as the early dark nights, icy temperatures and almost constant rain, it's a great excuse to stay indoors - warm and dry.

But as much as I'd love to hibernate for 4 months, life means I have to venture out, to work and of course try and get some daylight!  There are 4 things that are going to help me survive the winter, by keeping cozy warm and adding some glow to my winter lack lustre skin.
Dr Renaud Rose Plumping Volumising Cream (gifted) 
For those of us that need a richer moisturiser in winter, that is targeted towards mature skin and helps to restore volume, this rose scented cream is lovely.  Although it is a rich cream, it sinks in quickly and leaves no stickiness.  I've been applying this twice daily for a few weeks now and it really has left my skin feeling so much softer and less textured than before.  The rose scent is present but it's not overpowering and I find quite pleasant.  Available here.
Marks and Spencer Rosie for Autograph Radiance Highlighter £8.75
I've been adding a few drops of this liquid highlighter from the Rosie for Autograph range to my foundation.  I like to do this to add a subtle glow as I've found the Beauty Pie foundation I've started using is not as luminous as my Fenty foundation of choice.  And not wanting to waste the Beauty Pie foundation, I've been adding a few drops of this highlighter on to a brush with the foundation.  They mix together and then give the foundation a bit more depth, and not so flat.  And of course you can dot and blend a few drops on to the top of cheekbones.
ASOS Design (wide fit) August Biker Boots £28.00
I hadn't thought I would need new boots this year.  Last year I bought some flat black multi buckled boots from Raid (ASOS).  Wore them probably 5 times.  Went to put them on recently and there was a split right across both soles.  So bad was the split (and I have no idea how this occurred) a shoe mender said they were not repairable.
Hence these new boots.  Now granted, I would have liked to have gone for some leather boots.  Ones which will not split after 5 wears and would last me many, many years.  But as I'm madly saving up for an upcoming holiday, I just couldn't afford that sort of spend.  These biker boots from ASOS are not leather but were only £28.00.  They're wide fit so really comfortable and look good with skinny jeans.  I haven't tried yet but think with a certain style of midi dress/skirt, would also look good.
Tesco F&F Thermal Cami £7.00
If you feel the cold or work in a chilly office/working environment (and I'm not just talking about the atmosphere!), you'll probably already be used to the life changing magic of a thermal vest.  Wearing a thermal vest is like having someone wrap their warm arms around you all day (but in a non irritating way).  A thin layer that locks in your own body heat, a vest will keep you snug and warm and is a life saving barrier from itchy jumpers.
I've recently come across this pretty thermal camisole vest from Tesco.  The material is so soft to the touch.  The lace around the V neck line and shoulders also looks nice peeping out from underneath a jumper or cardigan.  The hemline also has the same lace trim all around, so you could wear it untucked.

So those are my 4 winter survival picks to see you through the worst that this time of year can through at us.  Bring it on.



Sunday, 10 November 2019

Mend don't Spend

First up, I have to make it really clear that I am no seamstress.  I can't knit, crochet and recently gave up a cross stitching kit because it was too hard for me.  But, along with Oxbow lakes - the only other thing I remember from school is how to thread a sewing machine.  Weird isn't it what you retain from all those years at school.  Granted it would have been helpful to retain how to work out percentages but as long as I can work out what 20% off (ASOS and M&S) is, I'm all good!

I've had this cute mini sewing machine from John Lewis for about 12 years and have only recently used it.  If you do know your way around a Singer, this is not the machine for you.  But for me, who just wants to occasionally hem a trouser, it's fine.

Recently I needed to have a few pairs of old work trousers taken in.  I was going to find an alteration service but I had 5 pairs and knew the cost was going to rack up, so I went on You Tube and found a couple of videos on how to take in trousers.  And it's really quite easy (you do need a sewing machine).  And ok my "alterations" are quite rudimentary but hey, it's only me who's going to see the dodgy stitching.  I'm really chuffed as I've rejuvenated several pairs of work trousers for the cost of one reel of cotton.

I've also reignited 2 dresses which were a bit sack like.  This smock dress from Matalan was just too shapeless.  All I did to this was pull in the sides and hand stitch the middle bit together.  What this has done is give some shape to the dress and a bit of interest as (inadvertently) my stitch work created a pleat.

Close up.
And this straight column dress from Next needed some interest.  This was a last minute alteration - I was going out to a friend's 40th party, had the dress on and just wasn't feeling it.  So without taking it off, I grabbed and twisted a handful of the material and stitched it together.  I really like how this came out.
Grab and sew..
Two things that have really made my alteration service easier are a seam ripper and plastic hair bands.  I used the seam ripper to unpick 2 pockets on a silky Zara pyjama shirt.  I bought it ages ago in the sale and just couldn't wear it, because of the pockets.  It didn't look right worn out but because of the pockets I couldn't tuck it in.  Now I've taken the pockets off with my seam ripper, I can now wear it french tucked in.  Voila.
And plastic hair bands?  I use these to tie up the base of a T-shirt and then with the t-shirt ponytail, tuck it up and under.  You can also do this with thin jumpers and tops.  Honestly this little trick really changes the look of t-shirts.
Other ways to fall in love with your once loved fashion pieces:

  • change the buttons.  Etsy do some cute eye catching buttons.  
  • add a silky scarf as a belt.
  • dye it another colour.
  • use iron on patches.  I got some from H&M and ironed a tiger patch on to an old denim jacket.
There are lots of ways to change up your wardrobe without buying new.  It saves money and you'll feel like your own fashion designer!


Sunday, 3 November 2019

Get your coat love, you've pulled

I love coats as much as I love Cadbury's Whole Nut (has anyone tried the bag of Whole Nut bites - you must!).  Coats keep you warm, wrapped up in coziness, dry from the rain and can hide a bad outfit.  There are all manner of coats and I love them all - parkas, rain macs, trenches, faux fur, puffer, duffel coats and my current favourite.. a pea coat.

A true pea coat is normally navy, characterized by a short length, broad lapels, double breasted  front, often with large wooden, metal or plastic buttons, and vertical or slash pockets and originally worn by sailors.  This shorter but warm coat is perfect for autumn when you don't need or want the bulk of a longer coat and it can be worn more like a jacket.  And come winter and especially if you're a tube commuter, a pea coat with a big scarf will keep you snug as a bug on your walk outside of the tube and then remove your scarf to cool down whilst pressed up against your fellow passengers underground.

The pea coat is your versatile friend as well.  Smart enough to be a work coat yet completing your weekend jeans, jumper and trainers or boots combo.

A couple of months ago I bought the Topshop Slouch coat (£65).  Ok, it's not a true pea coat design but it's a relaxed ode to the pea.
And look at it in yellow..
Other pea (style) coats that I've found..
This camel beauty from M&S (£79), they also do it in a pea coat traditional navy.
For snuggliness, this pea coat style coat from New Look (£37.49)
And if you want a shorter length pea coat, look at this absolute stunner from Scotch & Soda (£63).  This look would fab with wide leg jeans.
And from Mango (£79.99) this buttoned wool coat.  Brighten this up with bright patterned scarf.
And if you fancy splashing the cash.. from & Other Stories this double breasted boucle coat (£175)
And here's me showing off the Topshop coat

It should also be noted that you can comfortably drive whilst wearing this coat, it doesn't bunch up or take up excessive seat space.  This coat isn't lined and that did initially put me off but in Autumn you don't really need a lined coat, or do as I do and wear a vest and thick jumper underneath.



Sunday, 27 October 2019

Travel review - Valldemossa, Mallorca

The nights are getting darker very quickly at the moment and probably the main thing on most of our minds is impending Christmas.  But once that is done and dusted, and we've then endured many months of darkness, greyness, coldness and wetness.. thoughts will turn to where to holiday next year.

I've got a suggestion for you, and to be honest I really wanted to keep this to myself because this is a total gem but I like you and this is a total recommendation that I have to share with you!  Valldemossa is a traditional Spanish town in the Tramuntana Mountains on the island of Mallorca.  A 20 minute taxi ride from Palma airport, the drive up in to the mountains are breath taking and you start to get tantalising glimpses of the pretty town which is located on the hillside.  The above picture was taken on our arrival and I promise the sun came out shortly after.

If you love authentic, traditional Spanish culture, you will not be disappointed with Valldemossa.  We were there for a week at the end of July and were lucky to experience the Festes de la Beata, a festival to honour the Saint Catalina Thomas.  On the evening of the festival lots of the young children dressed in traditional outfits and the highlight of the evening was when the children rode through the cobbled streets on horse drawn carriages, decorated with flowers.  I'm not sure why but the children had buckets of small sweets which they threw out to spectators.  My little nephew loved that.

What struck me about Valldemossa is not just the architectural beauty of the buildings and the obvious love and care that residents take over their town (on nearly every street corner are rolls of free dog poo bags and bins) but there is absolutely no rubbish at all.  This has to be one of the cleanest places I've ever been to.
The streets were decorated with streamer bunting for the festival and even that didn't make the place look tacky!

Our family group stayed in a large Air B&B villa, which was really nice with a great pool and in a quiet area but only a short walk into the quiet town.

Even though Valldemossa is a traditional rural town in the mountains, so not what I would call an obvious tourist spot, on some afternoons we did see quite a few visitors who were obviously on a sight seeing tour of the area in the Tramuntana mountains but there wasn't hoards of them.  

And the choice of restaurants is really good.  For a small town, there are a surprising number of really nice places to eat - we had some great food.  Oh and if you do visit, you must try a Coca de Patata - a sweet cake made of boiled potatoes. Doesn't make sense does it.  But trust me, try one.  With a coffee is best apparently.  Or a full fat coke if you're me!

Valldemossa is quite high up in the mountains so a trip to the beach will take nerves of steel for whoever is driving the hire care (numerous hair pin bends) or if you do as we did, and take the air conditioned bus to Port de Soller (a beautiful beach which you can happily spend all day on), sit at the front of the bus.  Or make sure you take a sandcastle bucket that you're not planning on keeping!
Half of our party very bravely went for a half day hike up the mountains and their pictures were stunning.  Although even though I quite like a hike, this sounded too tough for me, and it was high up and I do not do heights.  But there are lots of hike trails from the town so I'm sure there would be a hike for all abilities.
I would happily go back to this beautiful little town again and really hope to next year, either for a longer 10 days or as Palma airport is only a 2ish hour flight from London, a weekend jaunt is completely do-able.  



Tuesday, 22 October 2019

What's up with you?!

Is it just me who gets immediately wound up when asked this question?  Because invariably when someone asks you this, you're actually having an OK day and ticking along right as rain.  I then get anxious that I'm inadvertently showing my resting bitch face or giving the side eye without realising?  Rarely do people ask you what's up when you need them to ask you.

So what's been up with me?  Why have I lost the love for what once gave me such joy - my little blog.  Well I got fed up.  I got overwhelmed.  With the blog, I don't have anyone who can take my outfit photos, I have to mirror selfie which just isn't the same.  I also work full time and just can't give the time and effort to daily Instagram posts.  I felt I just wasn't and couldn't keep up with everyone else.  But I think the biggest thing was that I haven't been buying many things.  We've all become very aware of what a wasteful culture we're living in/fast and cheap fashion and how these uninspiring pieces are clogging up land fill.  The excitement of being able to buy really affordable active skincare from the likes of The Ordinary and Inky List, and layer multiple products on to my skin, eventually meant it gave up and protested with 10 months of Perioral Dermatitis.  I had to really pare back on my skincare and go back to basics.  So I wasn't buying or trying new products.  The same for fashion.  I want to only spend my money on things that "spark joy" and will last a long time.  I want to make more conscious purchases.  Which is all well and good but means I haven't got many new things to tell you about.

I've even had a social media black out where I deleted all those apps from my phone.  And it's been good.  I've started to read books, even listen to podcasts.  And let me tell you not having Instagram to scroll through has meant that I haven't been tempted to buy things (that I really don't need).

But all this has meant I'm missing the only creative outlet in my life that I enjoy (although working full time in HR you have to be creative sometimes!).  And to sometimes hear that people who have read some of my posts are still enjoying the things I've recommended, makes me happy.  Thank you to those people.

So I've decided to relaunch and rejuvenate That Age Style and it's going to have more personal posts, ramblings, observations and hopefully generally things that will make me and you happy to read about.  I hope you will join me.

A wise person recently told me that you should do anything and everything that makes you happy.  And it's so true.  (Or just give it a go to see if it makes you happy).  


Saturday, 20 July 2019

Beauty Pie - is it worth tasting the pie?

You've probably seen the Facebook and Instagram adverts for Beauty Pie - a beauty lovers members club. And if, like me, you were intrigued but wondered if it was a rip off or didn't understand how it works.. I've gone in, I've joined and I'm going to give you the low down.

So Beauty Pie was set up by the same woman who founded Bliss, Flit Flop, Soap & Glory and Soaper Duper to really kick the luxury snobbish beauty industry in to touch. The premise? Beauty Pie products are made in the same factories as all your high end brands, using the same premium ingredients but without the high price point. But how is this possible?

Now firstly you can try out any Beauty Pie product without becoming a member. But you will pay the full (non member) price. And the member's price is such a big discount that why would you want to do that.

There are 3 levels of membership, and depending on which level you go for and pay for each month, will then give you an amount that you can buy up to. This is the typical price - the price you would pay if you weren't a member. But of course being a member means you pay the members price, which is a vastly reduced amount. The 3 levels of membership are £10 a month, £15 a month or £20 a month. So for:

£10.00 a month - you get £100 worth of typical price spend allowance
£15.00 a month - £150 worth of typical price spend allowance
£20.00 a month - £200 worth of typical price spend allowance

You pay the membership fee every month, whether you make an order or not. Think of it like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Your membership comes out of your account every month whether you watch any boxsets of not. You only need join up for 3 months, so if after 3 months you want to cancel, you can.

I've got the £10 a month membership (although I will be upgrading to £15 a month as there are so many things I want to try!).

I've detailed below what my first 2 orders have been and what they cost me, which will hopefully make more sense.

Order 1
I paid £10 initial membership (there was an offer on when I joined and I got an increased first month allowance of £150)
Ordered: One Powder wonder (typical price £26.00, paid £5.28), Uber volume boost mascara (typical price £20.00, paid £3.36), Future lipstick matte (typical price £20.00, paid £3.62)

So out of my £150 member access, I used up £66. But I only paid £10 membership + £12.26 = £22.26 (for £66 worth of product).

And because I hadn't used up all of my monthly allowance, it carries over to the next month meaning I had an increased allowance of £184.

Order 2
I paid £10 membership
Ordered: Jeju daily rehydration mist (typical price £30.00, paid £9.58), Petals, heliotrope & ambrette eau de parfum (typical price £125.00, paid £16.45), Sheer tinted oil-free SPF20 (typical price £28.00, paid £5.63)

So out of my increased £184 member access allowance, I used up £183. I paid £10 membership + £35.02 = £45.02 (for £183 worth of product). I wouldn't normally plan on spending this much but I wanted to order a perfume and so had saved some of my allowance to carry over from the previous month.

Do I think it's worth joining?  YES, I do. If you love your beauty - skincare, makeup and haircare (they've just started doing haircare), and you like to try new things and love yourself high end products but don't want to pay the usual extortionate price, Beauty Pie is for you.

A quick run down and review of everything I've ordered so far:
One Powder Wonder - this powder was the whole reason I joined Beauty Pie, as very highly recommended by Nadine Baggot. It's a translucent, suits all, very finely milled powder that takes away shine, helps blend make up, blurs, hides pores - it basically perfects your skin, in a light, non cakey way. This powder is better than my previous holy grail Mac skin mineralize!
Uber volume boost mascara - this mascara is lovely, it does give volume and length. It's a fairly wet mascara, which I think I am the only person not to favour, because of my rubbish application skills. So I have to be really careful or just use a cotton bud to wipe away any smears from my lash line.
Future lipstick matte - the staying power, application and feel of this lipstick is really nice. This particular shade (hearthrob pink) is just a touch too dark for my skin tone for daywear but evenings, yes. And I will be trying other shades.
Jeju daily rehydration mist - an antioxidant, soothing and hydrating toner with hyaluronic acid which you mist on to your face after cleansing and before moisturiser, or at anytime during the day. This smells fresh and is so refreshing. If you're struggling in the heat, this is lovely. I really can see a positive difference in my skin after only a few days of using this.
Super healthy skin sheer tinted oil-free SPF20 - a tinted SPF that you use on top of your moisturiser, it gives you SPF protection, whilst a good sheer tint that creates a blurred soft focus finish. I can happily wear this and just a touch of concealer.
Eau de parfum - you just have to smell this, it is devine. I'm not a perfume person, I can take them or leave them, preferring body sprays and light scents but this smells of a very high end, expensive, designer perfume. It's slightly sweet, slightly musky, floral bottle of bliss. Delicious.

There are so many items I've already added to my wishlist - the skincare looks amazing, my next order will include the new shampoo and conditioner and there's a new blush/highlighter palette that is the spit of the much lusted after Hourglass palette..

I hope this helps explain a bit more about Beauty Pie and how it works and that it is definitely worth trying a slice. Or three.



Sunday, 16 June 2019

Birthday Bucket Lists ... should you do one?

You've probably heard of these lists - 40 before 40, 50 before 50 etc. Lists of things for you to aim to achieve or do before or by the end of your milestone birthday year. I imagine this idea has come from the states but whatever, I for one think they are a great, fun idea. 
I'm turning (gulp) 50 next year and have been building my list for a while now. I want my list to be fun, challenging, mostly achievable but not make me resent it or cheat by just making up the numbers (such as "make lunch for work for a week" - I always do that!).
On my own, I got to 20 things on my list and then I hit a bit of a wall, mostly because most of my goals start with "go to...". and there is only so much annual leave I can get off work and more importantly, have the funds to go to all these places in less than 2 years. I started researching on the net to try and steal other people's ideas but couldn't really find many. I will be letting you see my list once I've finished it, maybe to give you some inspiration and because if I publish it.. I will have to give it a damn good go!

I did find this list of 50 things to do before your 50th (obviously you can deduct 10 or 20 if you're not as old as me) and as a bit of fun I thought you might like to see either how sheltered or not my life has been, and you can have a go at ticking off what you've done on the list.

There's also a 20 things you've regretted list I found, so I've put that at the end, purely for laughs yea, because frankly I don't have any regrets and nor should you. (And I'm looking at  you, Costa cinnamon roll of lushness..).

50 things to do before you're 50

  1. Buy a house - done. Nothing like getting home, shutting the door and world out.
  2. Have kids - done. 1 amazing daughter.
  3. Get married - done. Lets move on.
  4. Fall in love - I think so? Yea I'm pretty sure.
  5. Eat fish and chips on the pier - done.
  6. Donate blood - no. I would though. For the tea and biscuit as well.
  7. Read 100 books - only if I've been on a 100 holidays, so no!
  8. See your favourite musician/band live - no. 
  9. Learn a language - non, nada, nein.
  10. Attend a music festival - no. Want to.
  11. Own a dog - yes. More stressful than owning a child.
  12. Learn to say no to your mother - done.
  13. Stay out all night partying - yes, when I was 15. And we just talked so not really partying.
  14. See the Northern Lights - no.
  15. Visit Stonehenge - I drove past it. It's disappointingly small.
  16. Be able to remember which side of your car the petrol cap is on - "my side" "my side".
  17. Travel somewhere alone - done. Will do again.
  18. Sleep underneath the stars - in a tent? then yes. Without a tent, you must be mad.
  19. Watch a meteor shower - no.
  20. Dance in the rain - always.
  21. Become an expert at something - ha, no. 
  22. Quit a job - yes, on the 2nd day.
  23. See a volcano - yes, in Hawaii and Lanzarote.
  24. Visit all seven continents - which ones are they? So no.
  25. Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain - yes (fat lot of good that did!).
  26. Take a helicopter ride - yes.
  27. Have sex on a beach - I can't stand walking on sand, so no.
  28. Swim with dolphins - yes.
  29. Go skinny dipping - please, I'm British (so no).
  30. Ride a gondola in Venice - no.
  31. Make a snow angel - yes.
  32. Take part in a protest - internally, every day.
  33. Own your own business - yes.
  34. Go up in a hot air balloon - god no, scared of heights!
  35. Ride an elephant - no.
  36. Climb Snowdonia - no but driven past it, does that count?!
  37. Jump into a pool fully clothed - yes (forced in by my brother in law).
  38. Backpack across Europe - no.
  39. Perfect a signature dish - umm I mean I have 4 things I cook over and over??
  40. Drink beer at Oktoberfest - no, don't like beer.
  41. Run a marathon - ha, no that's my sister's gig.
  42. Get a tattoo - yes, got 2.
  43. Ride a Vespa - no.
  44. Watch comedy at Edinburgh Fringe - no, I don't like comedy.
  45. Write a novel - no but have thought about it.
  46. Write a journal - wrote diaries as a teen, they would have been hilarious to read now.
  47. Spend a month technology free - no.
  48. Try drugs - only the soft friendly kind.
  49. Have a threesome - please, I'm struggling to have a twosome!
  50. Go to an airport and pick a random flight - no, that is anxiety inducing shiz right there!

20 regrets (yes to regretting. No to not regretting)

  1. Not seeing enough of the world - no, I've been lucky with travel but there's still so much more to see..
  2. Smoking too much - no, I like a social ciggy. I think it makes me look cool.
  3. Losing touch with old friends - no, if you lose touch its run its course.
  4. Putting on too much weight - yes but it happens so quickly, I never stood a chance.
  5. Marrying the wrong person - yes. (I do regret that one but I got my daughter so..)
  6. Not starting my pension soon enough - no, I did but then I stopped for too long.
  7. Not learning a new language - it would be nice to learn spanish..
  8. Spending too much time worrying about what others thought of me - used to, then you get older and you don't give one, so no.
  9. Not learning an instrument - yes, the recorder, the clarinet.. awful instruments. 
  10. Not following a career direction I wanted - no.
  11. Living to work rather than working to live - no, never done this. 5pm switch off!
  12. Not looking after my health properly - no.
  13. Not being able to say 'no' - no!
  14. Not learning more about my family tree - no. I know who I want to know.
  15. Having children too old - no.
  16. Not having children - no.
  17. Not owning my own business - no.
  18. Not taking up more hobbies - haha, I am queen of hobbies and phases so no.
  19. Having children too young - no.
  20. Never living in the countryside - no, I have lived in the countryside and always wanted to. But it was far out, with no nearby emergency chocolate shops nearby.
Why don't you have a go at putting together a milestone birthday bucket list, but remember it's just for you and a fun thing to do.


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