Is This Mutton?

A personal style and beauty blog by a working woman who wants to instil joie-de-vivre in the over 50s

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Surprise Birthday Lunch in Dublin - and Link Up

Posing by beautiful hydrangeas Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton fashion blog
We spent the weekend in Dublin, a short hop from the UK and so similar yet so different. It's always a fantastic place to visit.  The reason for our trip was a surprise birthday lunch for John's sister Sue, celebrating a milestone birthday.  She knew she was going to Ireland for a few days but she didn't know that her nearest and dearest from the UK, Ireland and Nice were also going to be there.
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Monday, 9 September 2019

High Octane Glamour at the Vionic AW Runway Show in London

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in Vionic Kaitlyn espadrilles, silver skirt and pink jacket
Innovative shoe brand Vionic first ran a runway show to show off the new season's styles a year ago, and since then the event has got bigger and bigger. This year it moved to BAFTA in London and the champagne was flowing. It was great to see blogger friends Jacqui from Mummabstylish and Michelle from Fifty and Fab and to meet up with some new faces.
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Friday, 6 September 2019

Five for Fri-Yay: September 6

A contemporary pale pink armchair from Marks and Spencer
My occasional round-up of five things I'm loving right now. First, let me introduce you to Mimi my new bedroom chair! I've always wanted a pretty chair for the bedroom but have never found one in the right colour. Then I saw this Mimi chair in Marks and Spencer - the perfect pink. It will add a little variety to my indoor blogging shoots. It's so comfortable I may even sit on it and read a book.

Fabulous Cleanser 


Special 10th anniversary packaging for Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm with exfoliating seeds
I absolutely love Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm, and this is the special packaging for the product's 10th anniversary, which includes some exfoliating seeds.  It's a large jar and although it seems pricey, I'm still using the same size jar I bought before Christmas. It's the most luxurious of cleansers: it feels so indulgent yet it's highly effective and leaves your skin smooth and glowing. If you hurry you can still buy the special version.


The Beauty Podcast with Sali Hughes

This has shot into my top 10 podcasts  (and indeed, the national podcast chart). The first episode featured beauty blogger Caroline Hirons and cosmetic scientist Sam Farmer discussing the notion of "Clean Beauty."  It was jaw dropping! Apparently there is not one 100% natural beauty product - they all contain chemicals of some sort. In a no-nonsense way the team dispelled myths about parabens and sulphates, and laughed at how some products claim to be "not treated on animals"  (which is actually the law!) and "gluten free," as if beauty products actually contain gluten. Well, maybe one or two do, but you get the idea.

The second episode was on bridal beauty - but don't let that put you off, it was fascinating. They even discussed something which has always intrigued me: why do brides suddenly decide to have ringlets or put their hair up, when they never do it normally?

Latest Reading


I'm going through a phase of reading crime thrillers. It's unchallenging and all I need for 30 minutes before I fall asleep.

I've just read an intriguing book called Sleep by C.L. Taylor. A woman is stricken by guilt after being the driver of a car in an accident which killed two of her colleagues and paralyzed a third. She flees to a hotel job on a remote island in Scotland. She seems have a stalker who's obsessed about sleep. In a sinister way. Which hotel guest is it?

Latest TV Viewing

I'm kind of enjoying Interior Design Masters (BBC2), mainly for Fearne Cotton's outfits, but it's not as gentle and informative as the programme it replaced, The Great Interior Design Challenge. In this new incarnation, the team of hopefuls is quite spiteful about each other's efforts, and it's rare that they turn in a decent design in my opinion - too little time or budget. They don't even seem to see the rooms they're designing until they turn up on the day with the brief already prepared.

I'm looking forward to the inaugural episode of Strictly Come Dancing although we'll be watching it on catch-up later as we're out on the big night.

Arrival of a New Season

It feels decidedly autumnal today and the trees are rapidly changing colour.  I used to dread the arrival of autumn but this year I'm welcoming it. I don't do gingerbread lattes or Halloween but these are my top 10 reasons for liking autumn this year:
1. Put away the fake tan! I use it mostly on my legs but in autumn you don't have to.
2. Get the tights out. I love tights in crazy colours and patterns.
3. No need for pedicures.  I still look after my feet in autumn and winter but I don't have to keep applying new polish to my nails because they're going to be seen every day.
4. Crunchy leaves to walk through.
5. The garden can have a well deserved rest, and so can I  (apart from sorting out myriad containers and planting bulbs for spring).
6. The winter clothes.  I welcome them down from the loft as old friends. The soft caress of cashmere. The satisfying ping of leather in an ankle boot. The hats, the gloves. The fleeces. A far more pleasing selection, to me, than summer's flimsy offerings.
7. Snuggling. No fear of missing out (FOMO), it's best to stay in on dark cold evenings and watch TV or read.
8. The promise of Christmas. Our ancestors were very wise in creating this festival in the middle of winter. This year I've already booked a Christmas carol concert at the Royal Albert Hall and ordered a wooden Nativity Set - something I've always wanted.
9. The occasional perfect winter's day:  blue sky, crisp coldness, and winter sun.
10. No need for sun cream.  Not in the UK in winter.  Yay!

Sharing this post with Share All Link Up at Not Dressed As Lamb and #WelcometotheWeekend at Claire Justine.
Style blogger Gail Hanlon dressed for a winter's walk in Epping Forest
 winter's walk, February 2018

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Creating Your Signature Style - and Link Up

Blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton on the personal touches that make our style our own:  featuring her favourite, the Peter Pan collar
What's your signature style?  You may be perplexed by the question, because according to the Is This Mutton? fashion and beauty survey, many of you are confident enough to flirt with different  styles depending on your mood.  You can switch easily from boho to classic with a twist or trendy. But even if you like to stick to one style, you're no doubt making it your own with a few of your signature special touches.
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