beauty

Product Review – Boots no7 Restore & Renew – Boots no7 Essential Moisture face creams

 

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I’ve decided to review these two creams together, mostly because I’ve used both one after the other and also to save time and space.

Both of these creams are thick and luxurious and without too much of a smell.  They both come in a generously sized tub.  They both make my skin beautifully soft and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them both.

The only problems are that the Essential Moisture Day Cream has no SPF at all, which in today’s world of awareness about the damaging effects of the sun, amazes me.  Also, the Restore and Renew, which has an SPF of 15, is WAY more expensive.

Out of the two, I much prefer Restore and Renew.  I’m 51 and need a richer cream nowadays.  I’ve passed the stage of having to worry about blackheads, so the thicker cream suits me and will help avoid wrinkles a little longer.  It’s over £25 though, which for me is a tad too much.  The Essential Moisture is only around £13, which is much more affordable but at the cost of sun damage.

I’m trying to find a high SPF rich cream which is as good as Restore and Renew but at a lower cost.  I’m halfway through my tub of Essential Moisture at the moment, but when it’s finished I shall not be buying it again, simply because of the lack of SPF.

If money is no object and you want sun protection, then Restore and Renew is for you.  If money is tight and you don’t care about sun damage, then Essential Moisture is basically the same product without the SPF and at a much lower cost.  They are both fab moisturisers.

Final Verdict – No 7 Fanomenal Lash Serum

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It’s almost 8 weeks since I wrote this review on No 7’s new Fanomenal Lash Serum and now I’ve come back to give my final verdict.

This product claims to give you longer, thicker and darker lashes in 8 weeks of daily use, which consists of applying it to your lash roots daily.

Pros – It has made my lashes longer.

Cons – It’s expensive at around £25 for a very small tube.  It stings like fuck when it gets into your eyes, which is inevitable when having to apply it to the very roots of your lashes.  The tube leaks unless you keep it upright all the time and be careful how you dip the brush in.  It didn’t make my lashes fuller.  It didn’t make them darker either.

To sum up, this product worked fantastically well as far as extra length is concerned.  Trouble is, my lashes are already very long and I wasn’t after extra length.  What I wanted was extra fullness and a darker colour, neither of which I got.  It took seconds to apply so application was pretty trouble free, despite the fact that the tube oozes when dipping the brush so you have to be gentle or you lose some product and at this price, you don’t want to lose a drop.

Will I continue with it?  Nah.  Too expensive and it didn’t do what I wanted.  If you’re after extra length only, then I can’t recommend it highly enough but if it’s fullness or a darker colour you’re after, don’t bother.

Product Review – No 7 Fanomenal Lash Serum

I’ll admit right away that this was an impulse purchase; I’m prone to them, being as I’m devoid of self esteem, but having got the product home and googled it, I was delighted to find the reviews to be fantastic.

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Now this costs quite a bit, over £20 for a very small tube so this is a risk for me as a destitute author but, like most women, I dream of longer and thicker lashes.  The product instructions say to put a thin line of the product along the very roots of the lash, both top and bottom, twice a day.  You can also use it on your brows.  You are supposed to use it for 8 weeks, after which time, use 3 or 4 times per week to maintain the look.  It is supposed to make the lashes, longer, fuller and darker.

Another thing I’ll admit to (fairly proudly actually) is that I’m blessed with very long lashes anyway, but they’re lacking in fullness.  I won’t mind if this product doesn’t make them longer as they’re very long anyway but more fullness and a darker appearance would be most welcome.

I’ve only just bought this today, so I can’t yet give a final review (I’ll do a follow up in 8 weeks).

Putting the stuff on is very easy, just draw a line along the lash lines and over the brows.  It feels just like water when it goes on and didn’t sting my eyes at all.  I also used it on my brows as they are a little sparse on the outer half of each so more fullness there would be welcome too, even though it might mean more plucking.  Some of the reviews mention the tube leaks if you don’t keep it upright, so I’ve pre empted any potential problem here by keeping it upright from the start..

I’ll be back in 8 weeks to give my final thoughts.  Fingers crossed this works.

Self Surgery – My success Stories

I’m one of those people who, having been irritated beyond endurance by the lack of real help from England’s National Health Service, more often than not, resorts to self surgery to sort out minor problems.

A few years ago I noticed what seemed to be an area of extra dry skin appear in the middle of my forehead.  It was slightly higher than the surrounding skin and had a slightly rough texture.  All efforts to combat it failed; from extra moisturisers to exfoliating it vigorously, nothing worked and it grew until it was about 1cm in diameter.  It didn’t hurt and it didn’t bother me other than the fact that is was unsightly and being right in the middle of my forehead, I couldn’t hide it.  It also didn’t tan like the rest of my face and in the summer it would be pale and therefore, more noticeable still.

Eventually, at the end of last year I finally decided I wanted rid of it and after googling for a while, discovered it was a type of wart called a flat wart, which are common on the face.  Being caused by a virus, HPV, moisturising was bound to be totally ineffectual so I needed a bigger sledge hammer to crack this nut.  I googled how to remove them and found an interesting array of videos espousing the miracle of Apple Cider Vinegar as a wart cure and thought, “why the hell not try it, I’m desperate.”

Each night I soaked a small square piece of cotton wool pad (like the flat pads you take eye make up off with) in the cider vinegar and applied it to the wart and covered it completely with elastoplast to keep out the air so the cider vinegar doesn’t dry.  After 48 hours I noticed the top surface began to change so I took a dental pick (the hook shaped tool you can buy to pic your teeth with) and gently scraped at it to see what would happen.  Well what happened was that the whole top surface of the wart scraped off painlessly.  It bled a lot but didn’t hurt at all so I applied a new vinegar soaked pad and followed the same procedure each night for a week until I was happy I had got ‘all the way down.’  Once I was happy it had all gone, I applied Bepanthen cream (sold in the baby dept) and re applied a couple of times a day until it was healed.

I now have a totally smooth forehead and the vaguest of marks where the wart used to be.  It isn’t a scar exactly, just a slight change in the texture of the skin in that small area but it’s almost impossible to notice if you don’t know what was there before.  I’m delighted it is so easy to remove warts and have since dealt with two more smaller ones at the outer corner of my left eye, with equal success.  Cider Vinegar is now a permanent resident within my home.

A few weeks ago I awoke one morning with a pain in my left upper eyelid.  It hurt for a couple of days before I noticed a small lump appear in the middle of my upper eyelid.  I immediately assumed it was a stye and knew that it would eventually heal itself.  After a week or so of no obvious ‘head’ appearing and no pain, I realised it probably wasn’t a stye so I googled (he really is your friend you know) and discovered to my horror that is was a Chelazion.  Now these buggers appear for no apparent reason and can stay for years before disappearing on their own.  Well there was no way I was putting up with that so I researched on how to deal with them.  Also during this time I had an eye test for contact lenses and the optician commented on it and told me my lash lines on both eyes were “mucky” and confirmed it to be a chelazion.  He advised regular hot compresses and gave it a good squeeze but said he couldn’t get all of the muck out of it.  I noticed that as it got bigger, it affected my eyesight and made the vision in my left eye, totally doubled.  I began to wonder if I was safe to drive.

This is what a Chelazion looks like.

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So began the daily routine of hot compresses and lash line scrubbing with a face cloth.  Five times a day I’d be bent over the bathroom sink, scrubbing my lash line with a boiling hot face cloth before putting that same cloth on my eye for up to ten minutes.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve developed an unnaturally high tolerance for hot water and I have what my grandmother used to call ‘asbestos hands.’  Two days ago I noticed that when I squeezed the lump, a tiny white dot would appear right in my lash line so I ran to my craft box and got a pin.  One quick jab and a huge blob of pus squirted out.  From that moment on my Chelazion has gradually reduced in size with the help of regular hot compresses and lash line scrubbing and this morning I can allow myself to believe that it may be totally gone within the next day or so.  My eyesight is also much better without the pressure of this thing squashing my eyeball.

Even after it’s gone, I’m going to continue making sure I scrub my lash lines daily, to keep them free from muck that might block the ducts and cause another Chelazion.

Not being blessed with good looks, these minor but unsightly nuisances are more than I can tolerate and I am glad that I have the knowledge and presence of mind to deal with them myself, rather than rely on overworked doctors who just tell me to “leave it alone and see how it goes.”

Wish Upon a Jar – Review

I seldom do review blogs but having tried a new product recently, I feel compelled to write about my experience.  The product in question is this:-

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This new face cream is made by the Soap & Glory company and they market it as a “21 day collagen overhaul cream.”  The wonderfully retro packaging always delights me and having used a few of their products before, I was happy to give this fairly expensive cream a go.

I bought it in Boots for just under £15.00 and the packaging says you should use it either in place of or underneath your usual moisturiser, twice a day for 21 days and then stop.  You have to wait 3 months before using it again.

It comes in a gorgeous silver globe pot which made me drool as soon as I saw it on the shelf as I’m heavily into anything chrome and I will admit that one of my first thoughts was how well it would go with my decor (yes, shallow of me I know, so sue me.)

The cream itself is thick in texture and a beautiful pale pink colour with the most heavenly slightly orange smell.  A little goes a long way and in fact, if you’re too generous with it I find it hard to get it worked in, so remember, less is more.  It glides on, despite being quite thick and even though I have oily skin, it sinks in quickly without leaving a shine.

It claims to reduce fine lines but as I’ve only been using it for 3 days now, I can’t verify that.  What I can verify is the amazing smoothness of my skin.  My complexion is fairly open and, being 50 now, not as fine as it once was but I noticed immediately how amazingly smooth my face feels with this cream.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product, just for the softness if nothing else (apart from the uber cool pot of course) and I will update after the 21 days are up as to the state of my ‘fine lines’ (wrinkles to you and me).

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

I’ve never written a letter to you before, although that’s not because I’ve never believed in you.  My mother remembers me as a four year old waking everyone in excitement at 3am because you had called and left our presents at the end of our bed.  That made you angry though, because you came back and took them back and made me go back to sleep until the morning, sorry about that.

I don’t know why I’ve decided to write to you now.  Maybe it’s because I’m 50, which is one of those important milestones that make you take stock of your life and think about stuff.  Maybe it’s simply because I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine tonight, I don’t know but anyway, here I am.

So what do I want to ask you for this Christmas?  Where do I start?  Actually I know what I don’t want more than what I do want.  I don’t want stuff.  I can save up and get stuff for myself.  No, what I want can’t be bought and only a miracle can bring it to me, so that’s where you come in.

Santa, I want to be loved.  I want to be adored and I want someone to adore in return.  I want to stop being someone only fit to be hated.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and love the woman I see staring back at me.  I want to conquer my addictions and enjoy living.  I want to love myself and love life and cherish every moment.  I want to laugh every day and forget the last time I ever cried.

I’m talented, clever, intelligent, imaginative and funny but y’know Santa, I’d trade it all for one day of being beautiful.  To be able to walk down the street and have people look at me and smile because I’m so beautiful would be so wonderful.  I’d trade all my gifts for a minute of beauty.  I’m sick of being ugly, I’m sick of being the one who is funny but nothing to look at and I’m sick of all those ‘it’s the personality that counts’ cliches when we know all men judge by looks first.  Please make me beautiful for just one day Santa and I’ll trade all my talents and gifts without complaint.

In that one day I might find love, I might discover how to smile or even a reason to go on living.  Beauty is everything today Santa, and without it you’re nothing.  We live in world where you are judged  by the way you look, not by the content of your mind.  It’s wrong I know, but that’s the way men are.  I can’t change them so I have to work with the system or die.

Santa, if you can’t make me beautiful, then bring me a blind man to love.  A  man with no eyes cannot judge me by my looks.

Thank you Santa

Happy Christmas, love to Rudolph.

A milestone I didn’t want to reach

Something just happened that I’ve been dreading for years.  I knew it had to happen but somehow you always think that a miracle will occur and it’ll pass you by.  I’ve reached a milestone.  A milestone that all of us reach at some point; some earlier than others.  I’ve been lucky to get to 50 before reaching it; I’ve known people who had to deal with it years earlier than me.  It’s a milestone that not only brings anguish but questions.  I now have an important decision to make and I haven’t a clue what to do.

I found my very first grey hairs today..!

So now I have to decide – to dye or not to dye, that is the question.

The problem with dyeing is that grey hair takes colour in a very different way than naturally coloured hair.  My mother once decided to try a coloured mousse that advertised itself as ‘semi permanent – washes out in 6 washes’ and she went bright orange; I’m talking day glow here.  It didn’t wash out in 6 washes either and she had to go around in a headscarf for months until it faded and grew out and I teased her mecilessly.  In order to dye grey hair well, you need a salon do and they’re expensive.  There’s the roots problem, which entails a continuous expense that I don’t know I can guarantee to afford.  There’s also the hassle of it all; worrying about the roots and looking like a skunk if you let them grow out too much.  At least if you’re all grey it looks better than looking like a skunk with grown out roots.

If I choose not to dye, then I have to get used to looking like an old woman in a world where being young and beautiful is everything.  My problem is I’m neither young nor beautiful.  I’m 50 and physically ugly and being grey as well is going to be too much to bear.

I simply don’t know what to do.  I hate getting old.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I was beautiful to begin with.  Ugh, I wish I was dead…!

A Question of Beauty

Just what is physical beauty? Ask 100 people this question and you’ll get 100 different answers. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is one of the few oft quoted sayings that I truly believe to be true. Physical beauty follows trends in a similar way that clothing follows trends, although the physical beauty trends tend to last a lot longer than the clothing fashion trends do. In the past, to be thought of as beautiful, one had to be big. Thin women were thought of as symbolising an under nourished upbringing which meant they had no money. If you could afford to eat enough to be big, you were a good catch. In the same way at one time it was thought most unattractive to have a tanned complexion because it symbolised that you had probably spent a long time labouring in the fields, another sign of a lowly status in life. If you were pale, it showed you were rich enough not to have to toil out of doors. Many of the current trends are caused by celebrities and in our longing to be like them, we try to make our bodies look like theirs and so our opinions of what is beautiful, subtly change.
One of the current trends that has been slowly and quietly creeping its way into the top ten, is the issue of race. It is now accepted that it is most desirable to be, or appear to be, of mixed race. Mixed race people are thought of as the most beautiful and I have to admit that there is a sound physical reason for this. Every race has its own particular identity, things you can recognise as being of one race rather than another. They are generalisations of course but for instance the nose shape of the Jewish race, the eye shape of orientals and the nostrils of the black races. All of these and many others act as markers to tell us what race a person belongs to.

When two people from different races produce a child, that offspring will inherit traits from both partners and often the mixture results in a look that could never be achieved from either of the two parent races alone. This results in some stunningly beautiful people. Add to this is the current trend for a tanned complexion and you have the recipe for beauty and any combination of races will do the job, so long as one half is of black origins. Of course it’s not guaranteed to work, there is a famous actor of mixed race who has a twin that looks completely caucasian. I myself am technically mixed but I look completely caucasian. It’s just the luck of the draw.

In order to be accepted as even worthy of consideration, one has to be stick thin nowadays and the more bones poking out, the better. If you can play a tune on your ribcage, you’re streets ahead of anyone with a curvaceous body shape. This obsession with thinness has caused major problems for the younger generation of today, as we’re all well aware but even with this new awareness, we still don’t appear to be any nearer to changing this belief that thin is beautiful.

Height is one area of beauty that there doesn’t appear to be a definite majority viewpoint. Some men like petite women, some like statuesque ones. When asking women about height though, the vast majority of them will say their man should be taller than they are. I cannot imagine ever agreeing to go out with a man who is shorter than I am, it just wouldn’t happen no matter what the reward. I’ve never met a woman who has said that she’d be happy to date a man shorter than herself. I haven’t actually asked men, but I am confident enough to wager that most of them wouldn’t be too happy to date a woman who towers over them. It’s a question of male ego at the end of the day. A taller woman makes them feel less like the ‘king of the castle’.

There are some things that are so basic that they don’t need to be discussed at any length. Hygiene is one such area. No man or woman is attractive if they’re smelly or dirty. Without going into detail, I will just say that I did once know a woman who admitted that her husband found her most attractive if she didn’t wash too often! Some races have their own very unique traditions of beauty. Some pacific islanders cover their bodies in tattoos and scars and these are signs of status as well as beauty.

Of course 99% of all slaves to beauty are women and we put ourselves through all sorts of hell in the pursuit of acceptance and the affections of our chosen man. We spend our lives on permanent diets trying to achieve that stick thin quality that most men want these days. We survive on carrot sticks and cucumber slices in the hope that that hot guy in the office will ask us out on a date. When we find he’s already in a relationship with a woman who would make a bamboo cane look obese, we console ourselves with a family bag of Maltesers and a lardy cake. The next morning we feel guilty so out come the carrot sticks and cucumber slices again and the whole sorry cycle starts over. This weight/size issue is a strange one because I’ve met many men who have told me that they like curves on a woman and yet we all know it’s the bean sticks that men look at with approval. There are subtle racial differences to the weight/size preferences too. Many black and hispanic men like women with obvious hourglass figures – large breasts, tiny waists and round backsides. Just the sort of figure us caucasians find it hardest to achieve without surgery.

Women don’t seem to be as pernickety about weight/size as the men are. We women are happy to take a man with a bit of extra weight around the middle without it meaning we think any less of him. But then women are not as visually led as men are. A man sees you before he experiences you and his judgement of you will be formulated by what he’s seeing. A woman on the hand, experiences you without looking too closely first. Her judgement of you will be based on your character and behaviour first and looks second. If a man looks at you and likes what he sees, he will then decide whether to get to know you further or not. If he doesn’t like what he see’s then he will not bother to even ask himself whether he wants to get to know you better. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way men are made.

Over the years I’ve done so much to try to make myself more acceptable physically. As with most women, I’ve dyed my hair, grown my hair, cut my hair, dieted, worn make up and clothing designed to accentuate my good points (whatever they are) and hide the bad (a bin bag would work here). Over the years my hair has been every colour, style and length imaginable and I’ve been fat and moderately slim and all places in between. All of the things that are wrong with me though, are those that cannot be changed. My racial look for instance. As I said before I’m technically mixed race but you’d never know by looking at me. I look caucasian and I’ve missed out on that lovely golden skinned, almond eyed look that would take me straight to the top of the looks chart. I don’t tan easily either and over the years I’ve spend many weeks in the agony of sunburn, only to suffer the itching of peeling skin for weeks afterwards and then find I’m just as white underneath it all as I was before.

Yes I can diet, and I am doing. I’ve lost a stone so far and very proud of my achievement. I still have 3 stone to go until I weigh what I regard as an ideal weight for my height. I’ve long since given up with my hair and now keep it in a short crop in it’s natural brunette. I’m not yet going grey but my hair is naturally very fine so all of the styles we women want, are out of my league. If I had money, and lots of it, I could achieve much more of the look I desire. I’m one of those women who is all for cosmetic surgery. But only if it’s done for yourself, rather than for someone else. I want to look a certain way because I want to look into the mirror and like what I see. I want to find myself attractive. If I won the lotto, I’d have loads of surgery.

I’m still hoping that one day fashion will dictate that the most beautiful women are pale, large around the middle, have over large round eyes and prominent chins and short fine hair. At the same time I still long to find my ideal man who is at least 5 feet 10, mixed race, very muscular and looks like he’s been carved out of a shithouse wall. The problem is of course that a man like that could have his pick of women and he wouldn’t look twice at me.

Oh well, guess I’d better get used to being an old maid.

Male celebs & the distortion of a generation

I’ve just seen a photo on my facebook wall about a couple who were arrested after being discovered having sex in the back of a Buick. Now I’m all for being discreet but it’s not what they were doing that bothers me, it’s the comments underneath the photo that have enraged me.

The man was in his 50’s and the woman was 71. When the cop asked what they were doing (naked in the back of a car..? Helloooooo..!) the man replied “I’m f***ing this chick.” The vast majority of the comments attack the woman for her physical appearance, state that she obviously hasn’t had sex in a very long time and may never have it again, give the opinion that she isn’t worthy of attention by any man because of her age and state the belief that the man’s male friends will forever tease him for wanting to have sex with her.

The woman has white hair and her skin has a few wrinkles but her eyes are bright and full of expression, she has fantastic bone structure and her smile is radiant. She is slim and is a remarkable ambassador for a woman of 71. So why the ‘ugly’ and “eww” comments? Why has she obviously not had sex in years? Why should the man be embarrassed to have had sex with her? Sex is not a privilege afforded only to the under 40’s, it should be a physical expression of mutual pleasure, joy, attraction and love and those of us over 50 deserve to have those experiences just as much as anyone else. It incenses me that women are seen as immediately unattractive as soon as we hit the big five oh and those in the media spotlight are largely to blame for this distorted view the younger generation have of how people should and shouldn’t behave.

So many male celebs toss their women aside for a young, brainless Belsen victim just because she doesn’t have any lines around her eyes, or because she may have grey hair that it seems normal nowadays to ‘trade her in for a younger model’ every few years. The younger generation who look to these celebs for inspiration as to how to act, get a very distorted and dangerous view of how to handle relationships and how to view women and our place in society. One very well known American actor tossed his wife and daughter aside for a well known ‘celeb whore’ he’d been cheating for ages with, just because she was younger and unlined.

The only thing that gives me any sense of calm is the knowledge that within a few years this actor will no longer have those huge biceps that years of steroids have given him. His pec implants will look ridiculous above his ageing, sagging paunch and as he goes for the first of many facelifts he will find those brainless but unlined Belsen victims are no longer interested in hearing his hoary old catchphrases or admiring his cabinet full of awards. The hollywood whores will be lining up outside the hotel rooms of younger, taughter buttocked beefcake and his beautiful, mature wife will be a successful business woman with a healthy sex life with her younger lover while his daughter will be embarrassed to be seen with him.

It’s not me, I know I’m ugly and will never attract a man worth having, but women in general are being written off as not worthy just because of the time they’ve been on the planet and those with the power to inspire a generation into a healthier way of interacting, are teaching the younger generation to be more negatively judgemental.

These male celebs make me sick…!