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Fashion,beauty and jewellery for the non-invisible woman over 45


Thursday, 18 January 2018

What's in my make-up bag?

Image showing a woman's make-up brushes
I don't know about you but I've always loved looking in other women's make-up bags. I remember rummaging through my Gran's many years ago (Yardley lipstick which she also used as "rouge" and Max Factor Creme Puff powder). So I'm going to give you a peak into mine.

Friday, 12 January 2018

It's pricey - but this serum really works

Image showing a close up of Lancer Skincare products Pure Youth Serum and The Method: Nourish. Copyright Is This Mutton?
TV and radio presenter Mariella Frostrup (age 55) was recently quoted saying that people had asked asking if she had "some work done" because her skin was looking so good. She said no, it was all down to a wonder serum.

She didn't say what the serum was but it may well have been Lancer Skincare Pure Youth Serum. Normally I would never spend £230 on a serum: I have tried many different serums and never been very impressed with any of them. But sneaky Feel Unique put a sample tube of Pure Youth Serum into one of my gift bags recently, and I started using it without looking it up.

The next day I was pleasantly surprised to see my skin really did look smoother and more plumped up. Usually in the morning I have eye bags, a bleary, sallow look and all manner of age related woes.

I used the tube until it ran out and I was so thrilled by the results, reader, I splashed out on the full size  (30ml) version.

I use the serum every other night.  It has dramatically improved the appearance of my pigmentation marks, and reduces redness around the nose. The surface wrinkles are also reduced. Even better, it doesn't cause dryness or irritation in the way that many serums enhanced with retinol or AHAs often do.

I'm so impressed that I've just started using Lancer Skincare's The Method: Nourish  (less spendy at £105). It's too soon to give a verdict.

So what's the skinny on Dr Lancer and his miraculous products?

Who's Dr Lancer?

Harold Lancer is a Beverly Hills dermatologist, the son of Austrian immigrants who grew up in a farmhouse located in a rural town in Connecticut. At the age of seven, he suffered severe burns over 10% of his body after falling into a vat of near boiling water. While the recovery process was painful and tedious, this experience greatly influenced his clear belief in restoration instead of alteration as the most effective way to obtain beautiful skin.

His "Method" is renowned for giving what's described as "the Lancer Glow."

The Pure Youth Serum uses retinol-like compounds - a proprietary mix called Mimixyl™- to signal the skin to produce new skin cells and collagen. Most dermatologists recommend the use of a retinol based product to help diminish the signs of ageing. By apparently harnessing the skin's own ability to create new, younger looking skin, the serum can dramatically reduce the appearance of sun damage, and lessen fine lines and other age signs.

And it really does.

If you're tempted, Lancer Skincare products are currently reduced in price at several outlets including Feel Unique and Harrods.com.  It's currently £117 at Look Fantastic and £138 at Feel Unique.  Click here for ingredients.

Next week (Thursday) I'll be giving you a root round in my make-up bag. This is something I loved doing as a child.

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


Don't miss a post -  follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. You'll love "shoe of the day" on 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.  


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Beauty Haul

For my birthday recently I was very lucky to get several new beauty products, as well as reacquainting myself with some old favourites.

Liquid Eye shadows from Stila and Urban Decay

The usual advice to older ladies is not to use sparkly eye shadows in any shape or form, but I think that's rubbish. Flat, matte eye shadows can actually make our eyes look older. The trick is to keep the glitter and glimmer on the lids, close to the lashes, and not to use over the crow's feet unless you're keen to highlight them (!).

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow in Gold is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. It's a mixture of pearl and glitter and  has a high percentage of gold in a fluid base. I applied a pale green eye shadow on my lids first (over primer) and then applied the Stila glitter product along the upper lash line. The glitter particles capture the light very well and it creates a more youthful eye.

Urban Decay's Liquid Moondust eye shadow in Magnetic is a cream that goes on like a powder, creating a dense, high-sheen effect with tiny particles of glitter. It gives a lovely iridescence to the eye lids. With hindsight this is not the best shade for my lids - I tend to use this dark aubergine / purple colour to highlight the socket line. But they have 23 fabulous shades so really we are spoilt for choice.

Aveda Color Conserve shampoo and conditioner for colour treated hair 

I  was interested to try a different brand for my colour treated hair. For some reason the Pureology products which I have used for the last two years had started making my scalp itch. I don't have blonde highlights at present and the organic Davines colours which were used instead have left my hair in better condition, albeit a little harder to handle now  (it's finer in texture without the bleach!). The Aveda products have a distinctive smell unlike any others - a pleasant, clean smell - and leave my hair shiny.

Product Renewals

In addition to the new products above, I also had some old favourites including Apothaka's lovely Rejuvenating Face Oil for normal-dry skin and their remarkable SOS Nail Recovery Oil. Read my review of the face and nail oils here. I was also given Apothaka's Rebalancing Cleansing Oil, which is new, but I've been determined to use up my existing cleansing balm before I try it - so stay tooned for the review later.

Finally, I last bought Nars' The Multiple about 10 years ago. It lasts a long time. So I treated myself to a new one in the usual shade Portofino. Cream blushers are far more flattering to the older complexion and this one has high colour density and lasts all day. Its creamy formula and sheer colour blends effortlessly to create shimmering accents; contours or dynamic highlights on all skin tones. I only use it as a blusher, although its name confirms that it's supposed to have other uses.

Sharing this post with Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine and Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb.


Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin or Feedspot (where Is This Mutton? is in the top 30 fashion blogs for the over-40s). 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.  


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Beauty Advent calendars

Image showing the John Lewis Beauty Advent Calendar 2017 as featured by Is This Mutton blog for the over 40s

I love to have a beauty Advent Calendar. Such fun to open a window every day and find a little treat to enjoy, even if there is no picture of Ruud Gullitt on a chimney pot  (A Father Ted joke for those in the know). Beauty Advent calendars are big business. Most brands are in on the act. So which one to choose?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

MAC Pastel Times Nine eyeshadow palette

Image showing the MAC Pastel Times Nine eye shadow palette, copyright Is-This-Mutton blog for the over-40s
As we get older, avenues of pleasure gradually become closed to us. For me, the avenues include: oysters, following an incident in a local restaurant that meant I was unable to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, and high heels. For my mother, the list irrationally includes cucumbers.

For me it also includes eye shadow palettes.

I drool over beautiful eye shadow palettes and used to collect them, even if I knew I'd only wear one colour. Such things of beauty!

But over time, I became disillusioned because nearly all the palettes on the market are aimed squarely at the young audience and aren't suited for the crepey, hooded or deep set eyes of the older fashionista.

Some of the eye shadows which are aimed at us are just so matte and boring, I don't want to give them house room.

A lot of cosmetic houses make the mistake of thinking that older women can wear browns and purples and, er reds, the same as everyone else. For me, with deep seat eyes and dark circles, those colours make me look like Frankinstein.  Light pastels work best to bring my eyes forward, and I like to use a little judicious frosting or shimmer, even though it's supposed to be against the rules.

Trying the MAC Pastel Times Nine Palette

I was thrilled to see a palette, which, although it isn't jaw droppingly gorgeous like the Huda or Naked palettes, does have nine colours that mostly all work for me.

The MAC Pastel Times Nine palette, £25, has a combination of satin and frosted shadows in light pastels, as the name would suggest - although there are some darker colours on the right hand side which are perfect for contouring the eye socket  (check out my tips on eyeshadow for deep set eyes).

The shades are:
New Nude: Whitish pink highlighter (Satin)
Fresh Innoncence: Ivory frosty warm white (Frost)
Spice Bar: Grayish taupe (Satin)
Flounce: Pale pastel pink (Matte)
Restless Rose: Pinkish Mauve (Satin)
Free Roaming: Dirty lavender (VXP)
Spring Moon: Baby blue (Frost)
Greystroke: Pale greenish silver (Satin)
Sweet Green: Soft muted green (Satin)

The shades can be used wet or dry. I used the two green shades on my lids and socket, extending upwards at the outer corners, and highlighted the brow area with the ivory frosty warm white. I would like to say my skin really does look this good, but Samsung phone cameras detect a "selfie" being taken and all sorts of filters get applied without one's knowledge!
Image shwing a woman over 40 with a full face of makeup including pink lipstick and light green eyshadow
Sharing this post with Claire Justine's Wednesday Blog Hop and Saturday Share at Not Dressed As Lamb.


Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin or Feedspotand 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.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A miraculous nail and cuticle oil

These products are hand made by Apothaka founder Natasha Dauncey and 100 per cent natural but highly effective
I am quite a cynical buyer of beauty products in that I often buy them but don't expect miracles. I take most of the claims made for products with a pinch of salt. So it's not often that I use the "M" - or Miracle - word for anything. But, dear reader, I'm using it for Apothaka's SOS Recovery Nail and Cuticle Oil.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush

A beautiful blusher which gives a reflective light effect to make it look as if your skin is lit up.
I've just bought my second Ambient Lighting blusher from Hourglass and as it's such a wonderful product, I thought I would tell you about it.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Lipstick Trends and Tips

Ombre, marbling, layering: what are the lipstick trends for Autumn 2017 that you will be adopting?
The easiest way I've found to avoid the curse of middle age invisibility is to wear bright red or pink lipstick.

I've only recently started wearing lipstick in standout colours. For the last few years I stuck to nude shades with pink gloss, thinking it looked like Nigella. Also, my husband isn't keen on the lipstick look. But I look washed out in my fashion "shoots" if I don't wear it. What are the latest formulations and trends? Read on.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Skincare Magic from Charlotte Tilbury

Helen Mirren memorably said recently that using moisturiser "probably does f--- all”, something I've always suspected myself, in terms of whether or not moisturisers can improve your skin long-term.

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.


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. 


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Beauty: exploring HA masks and rose and violet delights

We need more rose! Is This Mutton? reviews Argan Moroccan Rose day cream
This month I've been trying another hyaluronic acid face mask, a rose scented day cream from the supermarket, the Marks and Spencer Summer Box and two products I'd never thought of trying - mainly because I perceive them as "too cheap"!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Look younger with better posture

Age is no barrier to having great posture. Just look at actresses Felicity Kendal, Joanna Lumley and Cherie Lunghi
What do these fantastic ladies - actresses Felicity Kendal, (left) Joanna Lumley and Cherie Lunghi (right) have in common?

Excellent posture.

I think all three ladies have either danced or practiced Pilates most of their lives, and it shows.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Can you lose your double chin with this face mask?

The ChinUp mask components. It's claimed you will lose at least two centimetres around the chin and jawline.
It takes a bit of effort to get rid of a double chin. Dieting and/or exercising the face or, for faster results, liposuction or Coolsculpting.

But now an intriguing product called ChinUp Mask claims to provide instant, visible results in 30 minutes that last on average 2-3 days.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

June Beauty Review

Quite a few products to discuss this month! Had a nice haul from deluxe French brand Darphin - and found a really GREAT blue mascara which you may have overlooked, thinking it's for teenagers.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Eight hacks for better nails

Eight hacks for better nails: article published on Is This Mutton?
Hands up if you would like better nails! Are your nail weak and flaky, and your cuticles dry and ragged? If so, join the club. Years ago, I had good nails and loved wearing nail polish. But after a five year period of wearing acrylic nails in the late 90s, my nails were never the same.

I made a New Year's resolution I was going to try to improve my nails this year. Tricky question was how. I have always used a cuticle conditioner oil or cream, every day; I eat a diet quite high in protein (said to be good for nails) and I always wear rubber gloves in the kitchen.

But I looked into other ways of improving my nails, and they are definitely looking better. Here's the "Before," three months ago:
The "before" shot in Is This Mutton's? article on how to improve your nails with eight simple hacks
The nails were very flaky and would split into layers as soon as they started to grow. They were forever snagging on things. I've always had a tendency to pull at my cuticles and so they are quite thick around the base of the nail, and dry. The nails had longitudinal ridges.

I took a step back and analysed how I treat my hands and nails. When I'm on holiday, and particularly in the sun, my nails improve hugely. So I guessed that hard work was part of the problem. I was using very hot water, albeit with rubber gloves on, for kitchen chores. I was constantly washing my hands using those cheap £1 anti-bacterial hand washes. And in the garden, I used to abandon my gardening gloves to do "precision work" like weeding.


1. Find a good nail strengthener 

I've tried a number of nail strengthening products in the past. Laurie from Vanity and Me recommended Seche Vite top coat, and I discovered they have a product called Perfect Nail Rebuild. It doesn't seem to be on sale in the UK but I got it on Amazon for £8.73. I use this once a week. It gives a clear glossy finish like a top coat, but actively makes the nails stronger and less likely to break. I've been very pleased with it.

2. Use a good quality hand wash

I ditched the £1 bottles of hand wash and upgraded to Argan Moroccan Rose hand wash from Waitrose. It's still under five pounds, smells divine, and more importantly, doesn't dry out my hands and nails.

3. Leave hand cream everywhere

I was useless with hand cream. I have lots of tubes of it, but despite good intentions, was hardly ever using it. So now I keep it in several places: the bathroom, the kitchen, the office, handbags - and apply whenever I get the chance! I have a couple of favourites including L'Occitane Amande, but really, any hand cream is good provided you keep applying it and like the smell and texture.

4. Buy plastic gloves for gardening and other "precision" tasks

My husband buys in bulk those thin plastic blue gloves, and these are wonderful for weeding in the garden and drive, and protecting your hands when doing precision work that may be dirty. You can get a hundred pairs for just over five pounds on Amazon.

5. Don't use boiling water for kitchen chores

I thought rubber gloves protected me, but I was wrong. Hot water (not boiling hot) is fine.

6. Filing and buffing

When my nails were bad, I was having to file them every day because it seemed the edges were always rough and snagging on things. I use emery boards, which are always better than metal nail files, and tried to file in one direction only, but still had the problem. Since my nails improved, thanks to Rebuild, they are not so rough edged. But I am still careful with how I file them.

Buffing weakens the surface of the nail, so if your nails are already weak, don't do it.

7. Cuticle Care

I still apply cuticle cream every day - it really makes a difference. I like Sally Hansen's Healthy Cuticles Now. I am trying very hard not to pull at loose skin, or snip away with the scissors. Soaking the fingers in warm water with olive oil for a few minutes, and then gently pushing back the cuticles, helps to stop the cuticle "sticking" to the nail bed. 

8. What to eat for good nails

Years ago the advice was always to eat jelly cubes! Do you remember? Nowadays we're told to eat foods rich in vitamins B, found in lean meat, whole grains and dairy produce; iron, found in high quantities in red meat; zinc found in lean meats, shell fish and whole grains, and vitamin A which can be found in oily fish, orange/yellow and deep green vegetables. 

9. Use good quality products for your manicure

Try to avoid those big cheap bottles of nail polish remover and go for those free of acetone. Look for products that contain aloe vera and vitamin E. Always use a base coat, particularly if you're using dark or brightly coloured polishes which may stain your nails  (I use the Rebuild product as a base coat if I'm applying nail polish on top). Finish off with a top coat to help preserve your manicure.

My nails now 

The "after" shot in Is This Mutton's article on how to improve your nails: eight simple hacks
There's still room for improvement but they are not so weak now: they have started growing without splitting, and the cuticles are less ragged. The ridges are sometimes hereditary, so if your mother has them, chances are you will too. But I find they improve whenever I use Rebuild or basecoat.

Sharing this post with Catherine at Not Dressed As Lamb, #SaturdayShareLinkUp, and Rena at Fine Whatever.


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.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

May Beauty Round-Up

Three of the beauty products for May 2017 reviewed by Is This Mutton?
 This month I'm looking at a bronzer designed for mature skin, a vitamin C serum, a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, and a hand wash which is helping to improve my nails.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Our skin care routines

Four women in their 40s and 50s talk about their skincare regimes, including Rebecca Lodge, the vlogger behind Rougepout.
What gets us started on the beauty trail, and how do the women in our lives influence our skincare choices?

I've been finding out from four women who were happy to spill the beans on their skincare habits.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Take the years off with a new hairstyle

Gail Hanlon, blogger, with new choppier hair cut and colour
It's easy to get into a rut with your hair. I know all too well. From the age of 15 through most of my adult life, I sported a medium length wavy style which I called "the revised mullet" because it required no fancy styling or products. It was very wash and go. I didn't use a dryer.

Before the age of 15, there was the dreaded feather cut, but let's draw a veil over that.

There were a few flirtations over the years with short, bobbed or permed styles, and I even had some some hair extensions in 1990, way before they were popular. But I always came back to the revised mullet.

I then met Jodie, who had a tiny salon tucked away in a local shopping arcade. I saw an ad in a local paper about her new salon, saying she was Toni and Guy trained, and as I like to use local businesses, I went along for a cut n blow dry.

Jodie gave me the bob style which I've had since 2013. It became increasingly blonder over time, although like any good hairdresser, Jodie wouldn't let me go too far lest it become crispy and frazzled.

I liked my bob: it was easy to manage, as long as I blow dried it  (leaving it to dry naturally, as I did with the "revised mullet" meant it stuck out at weird angles).

Jodie fulfilled her dream of opening her own salon, Mustard & Co. She has a talented team and they often take part in competitions, and are constantly taking courses to keep skills up-to-date. Jodie's salon was one of the first to start selling the luxurious brand Davines from Italy, and now all their hair colourants are from Davines: no parabens, sulphates and other nasties.

Jodie got in touch with me recently and suggested an edgier style might look good, particularly with all my fashion blogging (or as my husband calls it, parading around in the garden in silly poses).

I had to agree: I was wondering if my hair was a bit too helmet or Theresa May-like, and when I wore "boho florals" someone suggested my hair was totally unsuitable for the genre. The "before" shot is below.
The "before" shot of the hair transformation of Gail Hanlon, blogger from Is This Mutton?
I'm thrilled with the outcome and never had so many positive comments on Instagram and FB! Someone suggested it takes 10 years off. Happy with that! As it's shorter around the ears, I can even wear earrings now that might be seen. But a shorter cut does need a bit more effort in terms of makeup. Here's the back view:
Image showing the back view of the new hairstyle of Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
I washed it myself a little nervously, as you always wonder if it will look as good as when the salon does it, and I didn't even have to use a hairdryer. It dried very quickly and I was able to "flick up" the side bits, a bit like Lulu, and it looked fine. I forgot to buy the pomade that Jodie used (less drying and less defining than gel or powder - which is good as I don't like too much "definition" in case it looks scruffy) but will go back and get some.

There are quite a few bloggers whose hair I admire: Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots, and Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust, as I love the colour of their hair.  I love the chic styles of Jane from My Midlife Fashion, Judith from Style Crone (unbelievably in her 70s) and Mandy from Fashion Unfolded By Mandy.
If you're thinking about having a new style, I've put together a Hairstyles board on Pinterest. There are short, medium and long styles, and styles for fine and thick hair.

Finally, consider hair pieces or wigs. The lovely Nisha at SugarPuffAndFluff has a number of videos on wigs, reviews and how to put them on. For hair extensions, back in 1990 I went to a lady called Lucinda Ellery who has now become very well-known for the hair loss systems she creates and designs. She now has salons in salons in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Solihull and  Los Angeles and New York.

I've compiled a montage of some of my hair looks over the years - some v bad! Check it out at my Facebook page.

What was the worst hair style you ever had?  Do share!


For more Mutton follow my blog on Bloglovin and receive a weekly email on my updates. Don't miss "shoe of the day" on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards. 


Sunday, 30 April 2017

April beauty round-up

Every woman needs a good antioxidant oil. Image shows Mad Hippie's

This month's star product is undoubtedly Mad Hippie's Antioxidant Oil. I've tried many oils but never found "The One" until Mad Hippie. This oil is miraculous!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Makeup tips for younger eyes

Is This Mutton's tips for using makeup to take the years off your eyes
The girl above has beautiful eyes and we can see she is not very old. Unfortunately eyes are one of the first places to show our age - why else do celebrities wear sunglasses so often?- and even if we're relaxed about growing older, it can be exasperating to see folds of loose skin, crepey lids and crow's eyes which become strobed with concealer as the day goes on.

There are surgical options of course, including eye bag removal (blepharoplasty) and brow lift. If you're thinking of going down that road, do your research and pay top price for best results.
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