This isn’t advice from a fashion and beauty expert, but ideas that help me face the world and my own image… Will generally appear between the 7th -10th of the month.
The last entry. My desert island ‘luxury’ would be the one product no older skin can do without in any location: a serious supply of moisturiser, with Vitamin C and some SPF.
Apply it after any serum, before any concealer. (Lightest, thinnest formulas always first). A facialist friend once told me that skin-care products are best absorbed if smoothed on in a linear, not circular motion, following the natural contours of the face and neck – then patted on or pressed in….
For an extra bit of exercise, blowing out your cheeks and stretching your mouth in a smile will help you target those vertical lines around the mouth and the ones from nose to chin.
A word to end with, worth repeating. Taking a pride in your appearance is a form of self-respect, at any stage of life. A civic duty, even! Thank you for reading this series.
Artwork for the wiser face. Modern make-up pencils – with a more blendable formula – keep outlines clear but natural.
A light-touch line under the lower lashes with a little up-tick at the outer edges of the eyes adds instant definition and lift. A fine brush, touched with shadow, is another subtle eye-enhancer, while a baby bud dipped in a tiny bit of face cream will correct any ‘mistakes’…
Drawing a cross with a lip-liner creates a neat cupid’s bow; colouring in the mouth with the same pencil makes the most lasting base for your lipstick. The traditional method of double application, blotting inbetween, is still the best…. Blotting papers, sold in little packs on the beauty counter, are brilliant for this and keep things mask-friendly. T.X
Summer style – 3 essentials:
- silk underwear, to keep you cool in the heat (and warm in winter)
- cropped trousers/jeans, to show the ankle – so kindly resistant to wrinkles or weight gain – with a mid-heeled sandal. Add an anklet, for the hell of it….
- a lightweight (ultradown) gilet – a dream to pack
As with interior decor, 3 colours together – in nice clean shapes, fuss-free – work a treat. An Eternal Triangle: khaki or olive -or tobacco or camel – with cream and your best shade of pink or lilac. Alternative base: black, worn lightly in linen or – in a jacket, dress or top -the absolutely ageless broderie anglaise….. T.X
Wear a fossil, perhaps on a pendant. The average ammonite is millions of years old, which puts human ageing into perspective! T.X
Add something unexpected to your outfit. Like a gilet over, not under, your coat – or 2 scarves worn together. Or your best pearls with your go-to jeans….though diamonds would do. T.X
Butter your knees! If they’re starting to resemble an elephant’s, use a scrub first on and around the area, wash off, then apply a rich cream or body butter. Once a month, more often in summer. T.X
Lift a lockdown-grey day – with colour. Pink, cream, yellow and lilac – in shades suited to your skin and character – worn above the waist, will reflect light up and around you….T.X
Play with perfume. Spray it, not on your skin, but above and around you, then walk through the mist. Or on to the ends of a scarf – so the scent drifts up during the day. Wearing two different scents together, but on different parts of the body, can create an interesting effect….T.X
Treat your hands to a deep-cream – and some messy play. Exfoliate lightly first – if you’re out of regular scrub, try used coffee grounds… Smother on the hand-cream, wait a bit, pop on some disposable gloves, then do the washing-up in hot water – which helps the cream sink in. Forearms are often forgotten; hand-cream should go up to the elbows too…. T. X
The versatile Vs with 100s of uses. A few favourites:
A little cider vinegar in warm, boiled water first thing will set the metabolism in motion; a dash of white wine vinegar in the rinsing water after shampooing will re-balance the hair and add shine.
Vaseline, invented in 1859, is great for minor cuts but also – softens cuticles and removes mascara while conditioning the lashes. Applied to pulse-points before perfume, it will make the scent last longer. A spot on the end of a make-up pencil will help it glide on more smoothly – and, as ‘lip therapy’, the wonder jelly comes in rose and cocoa butter ‘flavours’… T.X
Think tall and stretch out. A trainer friend’s tip I try to follow: stretching for 10 minutes or more a day keeps the body bendy. 3 of the best moves,but you’ll know if they’re ok for you.
A cat-like series of stretches when you wake up.
The Ceiling Kiss. Tilt your head back and make an exaggerated kiss shape with your mouth, then grin as widely as you can. Repeat… Nice for the neck, jawline and upper back.
Touching your toes – good for the spine, arteries, blood flow to the brain and – I hope! – helps stop you shrinking… T. X
Summer skin needs your hat with a brim and regular sun-cream, but adores other anointments too… Like facial sunscreen, more easily absorbed than the body variety. Fine for feet and hands too, it can double up as a moisturiser, saving space in a toiletries bag.
A multi-purpose dry oil leaves no greasy residue and adds a certain shimmer… This is not a commercial site and never will be – but I’ve never found one better than the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, orange blossom in a bottle.