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Fashion,beauty and jewellery for sassy over 40 women

Monday, 21 August 2017

Plenty of Pearls

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton showcases a glamorous outfit for the over 40 woman: black velvet trousers and a top embellished with pearls
There were lots of pearls in clothes on the Autumn/Fall/Winter catwalks and I love them,  so I snapped up this Zara pearl embellished jumper (sweater) as soon as I saw it. Zara has a lot of new arrivals with pearls on them, including a very nice frock coat (below) which I have my beady eye on!
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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What I'm buying for AW 17

Creating a mood board and identifying where you have gaps in your wardrobe are great for giving you a head start in buying clothes for a new season.
The good news is, I have got a new job and will be back to work very soon. While being a lady of leisure has been fun for the last few months, I'm looking forward to being back in the hubbub of office life. Plus I can splurge again on clothes!
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Monday, 14 August 2017

More green in 2017

How to colour match a problem skirt
I started this year with a post about "Green in 2017," and it's been one of the best read so far. It was about my love of the colour green, and how green had been chosen by Pantone as its colour of the year, in the "greenery" manifestation.
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Friday, 11 August 2017

Mutton's Choice Cuts

Monthly Miscellany from the Mind of Mutton

This month I'm ruminating on Middle Child Day and my blog anniversary (2006!).

You probably weren't aware dear reader but tomorrow (Saturday) has been deemed Middle Child Day. Hooray for the middle child, the stalwart of the family who learns very early to wheel and deal.

According to Frank Sulloway, PhD, author of Born to Rebel, "They are agreeable, diplomatic, and compromising, and they handle disappointment well. They have realistic expectations, are the least likely to be spoiled, and they tend to be the most independent."
Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with brothers Andrew and Robert as children

A good description, I fancy.

I was the middle child of three, with brothers on either side. In the photo above, I'm about six years old. There was a 10 year age gap between the eldest, Andrew, and the youngest, Robert. Andrew, who sadly died two years ago, was not a stereotypical eldest child. He was very self contained and independent. He could be quite bossy with me and Robert, who, when he was young, was very "naughty." Andrew would quite often slipper Robert up the stairs when he wouldn't go to bed.  Our dad was stationed in Singapore when Robert was a toddler, and Andrew took it upon himself to be the father in his absence.

He could also be a lot of fun. We spent hours playing "catch the gonk" which would be thrown up and down the landing, and used to fall about laughing at Carry On films. At Andrew's funeral service, we chose one of the trademark Carry On tunes to mark his exit.

My childhood was fairly idyllic. In those days kids were allowed to go out and play all day, and I did with gusto. I would be gone after breakfast and back in time for tea. My fun included going to the den or cave, fighting the children down "the enemy end,"creating plays, attempting to make films with a still camera and picking blackberrries or primroses in the fields near our home.

On Sundays we would pile into the car, usually wearing bizarrely named "car coats," and be driven somewhere for an airing. Tavistock perhaps, where Robert could play on Stumbles the steamroller, and fall into the pond in winter, so that he had to suffer the indignity of riding home naked behind a copy of the News of the World.

In addition to the freedom we had of being kids, we didn't suffer from over anxious parenting. We weren't forced to do any extra-curricular activities. I went to the Guides once but didn't like it (and my mum was relieved, because they couldn't have afforded the uniform). I did enjoy going to "Guild", a spin-off of Sunday school where we made baskets and got chips as a rare treat on the way home.

I don't remember my parents ever putting pressure on us to do well at school.  In my case, I had an inner determination to succeed and I spent hours revising and managed to get three A levels.

So if you're a middle child, let's raise a glass tomorrow and be thankful that our position in the pecking order made us resilient and determined.


That first blog post in 2006

A post written in 2016 about the death of David Bowie by life long fan Gail Hanlon
Back in 2006 I launched a blog called "A Curious Girl's Guide to Life." It still exists, out in the tumbleweed of deserted sites. I felt sure my pithy views and nostalgic glimpses of life in the 70s would make me a big celeb. So it was humbling to find that in those days, the likes of the Huffington Post were VERY rare, and I was lucky to get 200 page views a week from visitors searching for topics like "Does John Torode wear a wig?" (One of my more memorable posts).

Think back to 2006. We had Facebook (launched 2004)  and Twitter, just (launched March 2006). We also had Myspace, which was the largest social networking site in the world between 2005 and 2008. Blogging was nowhere near as popular as it is today. It was the preserve of a few people, mostly older, who wanted an outlet to write. I remember getting blank looks from my stepchildren when I asked them if they had ever read any blogs or knew where to look for them .

If you had a blog, you didn't have many options for promoting it. Social media was quite new and not everyone was using it. RSS feeds were niche.  I promoted my blog on Facebook and my call to action was always to bookmark my blog, but I could barely persuade my own family and friends to do it, let alone anyone else.  If I had a post I wanted to be seen, I would email my friends with the link.

The key thing was getting yourself into the directories that existed, and having a presence on sites like Technorati, and getting people to leave comments on your blog.  It was a tight knit community where bloggers whose subject matter was entirely unrelated to yours would visit and leave a comment, and vice versa.

I look back at the early posts and smile at some of the people who were my online friends then. "The Duchess," who posted beautiful pictures of tea cups and cakes. "The Frump Factor," a precursor of today's over-40s fashion blogger.

My old blog still exists, and the first post was not surprisingly about David Bowie. I wrote another in 2016 upon hearing of his death, shown in the screenshot.

I regard it very fondly now, as a record of my life between 2006 and 2016. I had a very long commute to work and would amuse myself by spotting the lorries operated by Bailey's Equine Feeds ("horse nutrition in the bag") and Norbert Dentressangle. This is all documented, along with my garden and my obsession about certain TV programmes - Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice. Plus accounts of our holidays, and explanations of why we celebrate bank holidays. Plus a few wood pigeons.

Sharing this post with the weekend blog hop at Claire Justine and Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb.

FOR MORE MUTTON

Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin and receive a weekly email on my updates. You'll love "shoe of the day" on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 




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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Products that top beauty bloggers can't live without

Beauty bloggers get sent a lot of new products to try, but which ones are their "keepers," the products they buy repeatedly? I asked some of my favourite ladies for their top five. Only one product appeared twice - can you spot which one?
Gail Henderson, UK beauty blogger, tells Is This Mutton? her five top products

UK over-40s blogger Gail Henderson 


Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
I totally love this cleanser.  It removes all makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara.  I use it every day, with the exception of when I am trialing another product. I haven’t found any other cleanser to beat EH.

Simple Dual Effect Eye Make-up Remover 
The Emma Hardie does take of all make up, but to save my facecloths becoming too discoloured, I like to use this Simple eye make-up remover first.  I have re-purchased this over and over again.  A great, affordable product.

Dior Addict Lipstick in "Bright" 
I absolutely love Dior lipsticks, and this shade is my favourite.  I always carry it in my handbag because it goes with everything, is super luxurious on the lips and if I had to have just one lipstick, then this would be it.
Blogger Gail Henderson's favourite lipstick, Dior Addict in Bright. Image: Dior
Gail Henderson's favourite lipstick, Dior Addict in Bright

Clarins hand and nail treatment cream 
I have used this Clarins hand cream for years.  It is the best one I have found.  I love how it really makes a difference to my skin, and the smell is divine.

Rapid Lash 
This is quite a new product to me, and it will definitely have a permanent place in my list of products. This has made such a huge difference to my lashes, which are now super long and healthy.  I would recommend this to anyone who is thinking of having eyelash extensions - it's cheaper, looks better and saves time.

Find Gail here: blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook


Rougepout spills the beans on her top 5 beauty products to Is This Mutton?

Rebecca Lodge, UK vlogger behind Rougepout

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
This has been my staple cleanser for years, even though I try new ones as they launch and rotate my products to include other brands. It hydrates, removes all eye makeup and keeps my skin super clean.
Seche Vite, Fast Drying Top Coat
The only top coat I use, it dries super fast and seals the nail colour giving longevity and colour protection.
Aussie Haircare, Colour Mate Shampoo
This keeps my locks glossy and my scalp cleansed. Again, I may buy and try other products but I always have a bottle of this in my cupboard and return to it.
Clarins Facial Oils, Lotus and Blue Orchid
The first facial oils I ever used in my late teens and I still buy them. Lotus really keeps my Combination/Oily skin in beautiful condition. The Blue Orchid is perfect for dehydrated skin and improves my skin textur. Both are wonderful to relax and do a home facial with, the scent alone totally relaxes me.
Mac Ruby Woo lipstick
THE red lipstick, a blue red and the one that I always have in my makeup collection, it suits my skin tone, has impact and if you’re going to wear red, well, there isn’t any better than Ruby Woo.
Rougepouts Rebecca Lodge has a trademark red lipstick: Ruby Woo by MAC
Rebecca's signature red pout

Find Rebecca here: blog, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, 

AntiAgingAmber reveals her top 5 beauty products to IsThisMutton?

US based AntiAging Amber


 Amber shares her over-35 beauty tips and discoveries on Instagram. Her top 5:


I have bought this time and time again. This is a beautiful, natural cleanser. It’s very gentle, and thoroughly cleanses my skin without stripping it. I used this exclusively when I was receiving IPL treatments earlier in the year for hyper pigmentation and broken capillaries. This is such a simple cleanser, with only six ingredients, and provides a nice foam, from sodium olivate. I look forward to the natural, fresh rose scent as well.
Buy in the UK at cultbeauty.co.uk
The favourite cleanser of US beauty blogger AntiAgingAmber, Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser
Amber's favourite cleanser 


I am a huge fan of Living Proof, especially their styling products. I find that their products help me achieve the styles I’m looking for and provide the longevity. I’m a critical care nurse who works a grueling schedule. For the health of my hair and because of my schedule, I try to wash and style my hair twice a week. Of all the products I use from this brand, I find that this styling cream helps me to protect my hair and prolong my style and keep it looking cleaner longer. I shamefully admit that I currently have three back-ups of this product.
Buy in the UK from SpaceNK.com, cultbeauty.co.uk

I’m always trying new mascaras to give me both length and volume. I’ve found that one particular primer allows me to have both and layers well with just about any mascara I’ve paired it with. That product is the Laura Geller Fortifying Lashes Eyelash Primer. I think I’m on my 3rd tube of this and I’m obsessed. After curling my lashes, I apply this from root to tip. I find it conditions and separates my lashes, and makes it much easier to apply mascara. At times I’ve even skipped mascara and only used this as the formula is black, not white, like many other eyelash primers. I also have hooded eyes which can be a challenge with wearing mascara. I have found that by using this primer, it helps the mascara to adhere better to my lashes and I don’t have smudging throughout the day. I also can’t help but feel that they appear longer since I started using this product.
Buy in the UK from FeelUnique.com, LookFantastic.com

This is my holy grail SPF! I think I’m on my fifth or sixth tube of this and will never be without. I have sensitive prone skin, so I prefer mineral-based SPF’s with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. The challenge with those is that they tend to leave a white cast on the skin. The Paula’s Choice is tinted, which counteracts any cast. It’s super blendable and layers beautifully under makeup. While the product packaging states it’s formulated for normal-oily, combo skin, this is also fantastic on dry skin too! It leaves a satin finish that many say can also double as a makeup primer. Some of the best advice I’ve heard regarding SPF is from Caroline Hirons. She said to find an SPF that you love, because it’s the one you’ll use. This is the one I will continue to use over and over!
Buy in the UK from lookfantastic.com and amazon.co.uk

I love these super affordable glosses! If you didn’t know any different, you would think these were a higher end gloss. They’re super moisturizing and there’s a wide range of flattering shades. I keep these in my purse and in my scrub top. My favorite shade is a light blue-toned pink, Éclair. I find it gives the appearance of whiter teeth. These layer beautifully over lipsticks and stains as well.
Buy in the UK from Boots.

Follow Amber on Instagram, Twitter

Beauty blogger Lucy Dorling tries a lot of products but which 5 are her all-time faves?

Over 30s UK beauty blogger Lucy Dorling

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
There is no makeup too stubborn to be removed, Cleanse and Polish is so gentle (you can even use it on children's face paints) and makes my skin feel so soft and clean afterwards.
Decleor Aromessence Neroli 
One of my favourite facial oils. It's wonderfully hydrating and helps balance my skin. The smell is heavenly too.
Kind Natured Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Sulphate free Shampoo and Conditioner I repeatedly buy again and again. Makes my coarse wavy hair feel soft and manageable and doesn't strip my sensitive scalp.
Apothaka Skincare SOS Recovery Nail and Cuticle Oil
Simply the best I have ever tried (the facial oil from this range is also divine!). An independent home made range I love to support.
Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30
The best wrinkle reducing moisturiser I've tried. I love it's light texture and beautiful scent that makes it a joy to use. And it works!
Blogger Lucy Dorling's favourite moisturiser, Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. Image: courtesy Elemis
Lucy's favourite moisturiser 

Find Lucy here: blog, Insta, Twitter  
Which 5 products does The Lavender Barn blogger Lynda buy repeatedly?


Over 50s beauty/lifestyle blogger Lynda from The Lavender Barn 

Nivea Daily Essentials double effect eye make-up remover
It's as good as Lancôme for a fraction of the price.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I have not found anything better for a first cleanse to remove make up.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
I couldn't possibly live without it!
Laura Mercier body creme
Can't beat the texture and fragrances.
Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub
Best exfoliator on the planet.
The Lavender Barn's best exfoliator 

Find Lynda here: blog, Insta, Twitter, Facebook

Is This Mutton's Top 5 Beauty Products

This is the bomb - as loved by Kate Moss and many others. The rich blend includes hyaluronic acid and it revives the skin and provides a perfect canvas for makeup.
Charlotte's Magic Cream from Charlotte Tilbury lives up to its name. Image: Is This Mutton?
Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil
I love all the products in the Amande (almond) range and particularly the shower oil, which has a fresh delicate smell and leaves the skin supple and nourished.
Guerlain KissKiss Liplift
My mother and I have been using this for ever. It's a primer for lipstick, and helps stop lipstick "bleeding" over the edges of your lips. It makes your lipstick last longer. It comes in a beautiful case too, all part of the lipstick ritual for me.
Guerlain Kiss Kiss Creamy Shaping Lip Colour in Rose Indien 
This bright fuchsia pink lipstick is one of my favourites and people often ask what the colour is when I'm wearing it.
The favourite lipstick of Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon, Rose Indien by Guerlain
Mutton's choice of lipstick

Jouer Lip Enhancer
I can't get enough of this lip enhancer from French company Jouer. It's described as an intensive night treatment, but the effect it gives, of plumped, smooth glossy lips, is too good to waste, so I wear it during the day. Buy from Cult Beauty.

FOR MORE MUTTON

Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin and receive a weekly email on my updates. You'll love "shoe of the day" on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 




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Monday, 7 August 2017

5 Over 50 Challenge: Orange is the New Black

Is This Mutton? blogger Gail Hanlon's take on the latest challenge for five fashion bloggers over the age of 50. Orange kick flare trousers from Missguided teamed with a hat and vintage bag, and a cropped cashmere cardigan. Stunning necklace by Eternal Collection.
I had a few false starts before I finally got an outfit together for Lazy Daisy Jones's challenge this month. Strangely, orange has never really been on my radar, so I didn't have anything to use. Then I was gifted a beautiful orange toned necklace from Eternal Collection, so that was my first acquisition.
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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Fit for a Pharoah: the Peridot

Peridot Oval Cluster Ring Vintage 14 carat Yellow,  Gold Estate Fine Jewelry Pre

Continuing Is This Mutton's series on the birthstones, we hone in on Peridot, the birthstone for August. The beautiful ring above is secondhand with six carats of Peridot set in 18CT gold. See it at Ruby Lane Vintage.
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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Autumn/Fall Preview Part 2: The Trends

Uterque leading the way with a very directional line up including these wide, cinched waist jeans
At this stage of early August, most of the new arrivals are transitional pieces rather than anything very new or directional. So the statement sleeve is still with us, as is the ruffled skirt, in plain colors. The pleated skirt is still around and there's lots of silver pleated skirts.
Silver Pleated Metallic A-Line Midi Skirt, Marks and Spencer, £35
The backless shoe and sliders have been updated in more luxurious velvet and brocade fabrics, as has the kimono.

There are some new silhouettes with the wider leg and the belted waist making a return. The jeans above are by Uterque. They're worn with another key trend, the soft pull-on shoe boot.
Soft pull-on boots are new for Autumn 2017. This pair from Uterque
These are also from Uterque, who have a very strong Autumn line-up so far. The longer pull-on boot is great for those with less than slender calves because there's no zip to impede progress. Over-the-knee boots are still big this autumn and will also be in soft pull-on style, so now there's no excuse not to wear them.

Odd shoes were seen on the catwalk, and Zara is showing this with identical shoes but in different colours. I have to say, I quite like it!
An emerging trend for AW17 is mismatched shoes, as shown by Zara UK

Several summer staples are given an update for Autumn including the kimono, which is now in sumptuous brocades and embroidery. This one from Zara, £119.
Gingham is still around too, as seen in this luxurious silk crepe de chine jumpsuit, £390, from Diane Von Furstenberg.
The asymmetric skirt is a big trend in autumn. This pleated lamé and tulle midi skirt is by Christopher Kane,  £1,445.
Corsets and waist belts were seen in the summer collections but failed to make a huge impact. They're prominent again this autumn and more likely to take off because oversize jumpers and coats look far more flattering belted.
Here Zara have used a wide red belt to cinch the waist of the model wearing this elegant dress, £79.99.

Florals have gone in a new direction with dark backgrounds. There's an example from Zara in my Pinterest board AW 17.

Knitwear is given a flattering dusting of shimmer, and fake fur in the form of coats and jackets will provide some warmth and color. For evening, midi skirts in pale pink and cream, and fabrics like silk and velvet, offer something alternative to metallics and red. Pleated skirt below in pink from Oliver Bonas, £65.

Velvet pencil midi skirt, £35 in gold mix, £55, Marks and Spencer Autograph
Sharing this post with Claire Justine and Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb.

COMING SOON ON IS THIS MUTTON?

Saturday: If you love green, you'll love the Peridot
Monday (Aug 7): 5Over50 Challenge

FOR MORE MUTTON

Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin and receive a weekly email on my updates. You'll love "shoe of the day" on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 



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