Is This Mutton?

Fashion and fun for the over-50s.

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Monday, 24 February 2020

Style Not Age Challenge: Flower Power

Over 50s style blogger Gail Hanlon in faux fur trimmed floral bomber jacket and jeans for the Style Not Age challenge Flower Power
I'm thrilled to be back in a style challenge and joining the fabulous women of Style Not Age each month.

This month's challenge was chosen by Hilda and it's Flower Power. I find these challenges fascinating
to see everyone's different take on the theme!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Beauty Bonanza and Link Up

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon experiments with three products that claim to give you the fake eyelash effect
Greetings all.  It's been a while since we talked about beauty, so in this bumper post I'm going to show you what happened when I copied a tutorial for a fake eyelash effect, using three products;  share my current routine, and talk about cleansers.

Using a Primer for "Fake Eye Lash" Effect

I mentioned before how I saw a tutorial on creating a natural make up  with just three products by  Katie from Beauty and the Boutique I'm still using the blusher.  Revisit that post here. So when Katie popped up showing how to use three products to get a fake eyelash effect, I was hooked.  I'm forever trying different mascaras, as regular readers will know.
Mascara primer, mascara and eyeliner from Beauty and the Boutique
The three products used, above, are a mascara primer from Code Beautiful called Forget Fake Lashes, mascara Back in Black from Lord and Berry, and eyeliner Goddess Pencil from Eye of Horus.

Katie is a makeup artist and a very relatable one.  Here she is, right, giving the spiel, with her friend, also called Katie.
Makeup artist Katie from Beauty and the Boutique giving a tutorial on fuller lashes with three products
I applied the primer first: it looks like a beige mascara.  The technique is to wiggle it at the base of your lashes and then pull it outwards. It dries instantly.  The mascara has an unprepossessing wand - it's a fairly straight stick - but this style of brush is best suited to wiggling and then using the wand vertically to gussy up the tiny lashes.  Finally, there's the Goddess eye pencil - which looks like a felt tip pen, and is double-ended - which I chose in amethyst.

The eyeliner is applied at the waterline of the top lid.   Hold up the lid and aim the tip at the lashes.  I've found this is a great effect: it fills in the gaps if your lashes are a bit sparse. You can use this without any mascara.

My "after" is at the top of the page.  I certainly have thicker and longer looking lashes, not as good as Katie's, but she probably has 20 years on me. Watch her tutorial here.

I'm now going to see if the eye make-up passes my "Panda test" and for how long. Very few eye products go more than an hour or two. It's probably because I'm a contact lens wearer and my eyes can get a bit watery.

UPDATE: I was amazed that by the end of the day, even after having to manoeuvre a roast dinner in and out of the oven, the eye make-up was still intact. No smudges.  In fact it was quite challenging to remove, took 3 attempts.  I will definitely use this technique when I'm going Out Out, but it's too much of a faff for everyday.  The eyeliner pencil works brilliantly on its, however.

My Current Routine

Several skincare and makeup products being used by Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon including a foundation to cover pigmentation and a face cream, neck cream and eye cream to help over-50 skin
This is the current line-up of skincare and beauty products that I use most days.  I start with a serum, from Clarins. This has a delicious fresh scent and glides nicely over the skin, disappearing into the skin quickly and giving a glowy base.  I then apply an eye cream - StriVectin Multi Action R&R Eye Cream. I add a couple of drops of Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster to my face cream and neck cream. In the winter, it helps reduce the pallor.

I recently finished the jar of moisturizer I was using so I'm now using up what's left of a Magic Cream from Charlotte Tilbury.  This one takes a lot of beating. It has a rich hyaluronic acid formula so it revives tired dull skin in an instant.  I've nearly finished the expensive Perricone Neuropeptide neck cream, right, which I wrote about here.  It's lasted a long time.  I have some new Prai neck products which I was given for Christmas to use when the jar is empty.

A couple of other products in the line-up: the two round pots are:  a Body Shop blusher in a pretty pink, Marshmallow, that probably suits everyone, and Trinny London's Miracle Blur.

Trinny and Susannah

UK readers will remember Trinny from the TV show she did a few years ago with Susannah Constantine. Trinny has her own range of makeup and is frequently on IGTV and Facebook giving demos in her exuberant way.  I don't know why she and Susannah haven't been paired again on TV. They would be great in a travel show, or giving an honest view from the fashion shows. They are great together and very amusing. Of course they're also middle aged women, so to the 20-something hipster male commissioning editors, probably not appealing.

Anyway, back to the Miracle Blur. This is a bit like a Polyfilla for the skin. Simply push it into pitted or lined areas. I used it above my top lip line to cover up the little lines. It's very effective.

I also bought Trinny London's BFF Cream, which was highly recommended by Laurie over at Vanity and MeThis is described as a skin perfector, and you wear it instead of moisturizer. There is a color matching tool on the Trinny London website and I was matched with Light.  The cream is white but apparently "micro-encapsulated pigments perfectly adapt to your skin tone using your body heat, and oxygen, to create a healthy looking luminous glow."

As you can see below in the "after" shot, it gives a good even finish and a radiant sheen.  If you're younger or have very good skin with no issues, it would look fine on its own.  I need some help with the skin around my eyes, so I definitely need to add some concealer and eye primer.  But it did a better job than I expected with making the pigmentation on my cheeks less visible.
Before using the BFF Cream
After using the BFF Cream

Repeat Buys

In the picture there are three very regular repeat buys. I already mentioned the eye cream, which I'm convinced has diminished slightly the crow's feet lines. I have just re-ordered the foundation, left, Darphin's Melaperfect, which I always buy in bulk because I'm afraid they might discontinue it.  I love this foundation because it hides pigmentation and dark circles better than anything I've tried, without looking too heavy. I'm still using the cheap Pro Base concealer from MUA which I showed you in my post Party Face With Bargain Make Up.

The other repeat buy is Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer.  I keep one in the car and actually look forward to the moment when I apply it, on the way to work. My lips can feel horribly dry and scaly in the winter.  Most balms feel bitty or need reapplying too quickly. This one glides on to create a smooth shiny finish, and lasts a good while. I'm wearing it on its own in the picture at the top.


Various cleansers belonging to over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
I have a bit of a backlog of cleansers, after being given a couple for Christmas.  I love to use Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm every morning.  It cleanses very gently and thoroughly and doesn't leave any redness. I have been a fan for several years.  When it's finally used up, I will try the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.  This is a Japanese company and I've heard great things about the cleanser.

In the evening I like to remove makeup with a micellar or cleansing lotion, even though I'm sure that the products don't really remove the makeup - they simply push it round your face!  But it's a throwback to when I was a teen and we all used Anne French cleansing milk - which you can still get.  I'm currently using the Vichy product, which is rich and soothing.  When it's used up I will open the Elemis rose petal cleanser. And then the Caudalie Micellar.  I have enough to last me the entire year.  The Dr Dennis Gross pore cleansing gel is quite a small tube so I'm going to take it when I'm travelling or on holiday.

None of the products featured was gifted - I bough them all.  I've included a shopping guide below to help you find them, and I receive a couple of pence if you click through.  It won't set me up for retirement any time soon!

Sharing this post with Claire Justine, #iwillwearwhatiwant at Not Dressed as Lamb, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style,  Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish; Style with a Smile at Stylesplash; Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, Red Carpet Link Up at Glamadventure, Muttonstyle, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style and #BloggerClubUK or #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings  Jennie at A Pocket of Polka Dots and Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood

Shop My Favourites

Which are your favourite cleansers ladies?  Have you used any products by Trinny London? And share your most precious buys of all - the repeats, in the comments.

#WowOnWednesday Link Up 

Last week's most clicked was Michelle from My Bijou Life with her post What Fashionistas Need to Know About Gold Filled v Gold Plated.
My favourite fashion post was by Jess from Elegantly Dressed and Stylish with her post Valentine's Day the Casual Way. I fell in love with Jess's blouse.
Jess Janenga in floral blouse showing a casual Valentine's Day look
I'll include both of these posts in my Stories later today on Instagram.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Friday, 14 February 2020

What I've Been Hearing, Watching and Reading: Five for FriYay

Marian Keyes best selling author of Grown Ups, 2020
My occasional round-up of great reading, TV and podcasts starts with the marvellous writer Marian Keyes.  I pre-ordered her new book Grown Ups  although I've decided to save it for my summer holiday.  I wish the warm hearted and funny Keyes could be my BFF.

She featured in two of my favourite podcasts this week, How to Fail, and Fortunately with Fi and Jane. She's spot on when she says that men who write in the same genre are not dismissed as "chick lit" or light and fluffy. Of course, if it's by a man it has to be some higher art form. Utter nonsense of course.

It takes a lot to spook me. Normally,  I find ghost stories a bit of a yawn fest. But when I read Michelle Paver's Thin Air, I'm sure my heart rate went up. The story is set in 1937 in the dark isolation of a snowbound base-camp of a small scientific expedition.

Reading reviews after I finished it, I found that this was Paver's second "ghost story" and people complained it was not as scary as the first one, Dark Matter. I promptly read the first one and found that in some ways it was similar. The dramatic device was the same: someone with a grudge coming back to wreak havoc.  Both books are gripping.


I was so pleased to discover Heavyweight not least because it has a healthy back catalogue of episodes. Heavyweight is from one of my favourite pod providers, Gimlet.  The title eludes to "losing a heavy weight."  The presenter, humorist Jonathan Goldstein, helps people try to resolve a moment from their past that they wish they could change.

Two examples: one was from his own family, where his father and uncle, aged 80 and 85 respectively, had barely spoken to each other for year for reasons they could hardly remember. Jonathan managed to get them to agree to a meet up. It was fascinating and compelling. as the younger brother realised for the first time the heavy burden his older brother had carried. He had  believed all his life that the older brother was the favourite and felt resentful.

In the most recent episode, Marie-Claude, who wants to take up a career in real estate, finds she has to take exams that involve maths, and she has been traumatised by maths since childhood. I know how she feels. Does she succeed in putting her fear of algebra behind her?  A very uplifting story.

The podcast always starts with a phone call between Jonathan and one of his female friends. She doesn't want to be involved in his podcast and it's an entertaining intro.


The Stranger (Netflix) is watchable and intriguing, although ultimately a bit disappointing. With a stellar cast, including Dervla Kerwan, Stephen Rea and Anthony Head, it has many story threads, some of which turn out to be dead ends and a bit pointless. We enjoyed it until the last episode, which was not very believable.The UK thriller The Stranger on Netflix
Olive Kitteridge, a two-parter from HBO, is back on Sky, Now TV and Brit Box.  I saw it when it first came out, having read Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer prize winning book.  Now, watching it again, having read the unexpected follow-up by Strout, I find myself disliking Olive.  The former maths teacher is a curmudgeon, always rolling her eyes and having a sharp opinion; but in the two parter, she rarely shows a glimmer of the kindness you see in the second book.  I cringed at how awful she was to her kind, loving husband. 
Olive is a complex character however, which makes her all the more real.  We see how she loved her son when he was a baby, yet when he's grown up they have a difficult relationship. She resents his first wife, and after overhearing her criticising the dress Olive made for the wedding, Olive steals an earring from her and runs a marker pen across one of the daughter-in-law's dresses.

I highly recommend it - beautiful scenery and filmography, and outstanding award-winning performances from Frances Dormand as Olive and Richard Jenkins as her beleagured husband.

What are your latest recommendations? Do share in the comments.

Sharing this post with #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb, Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine, Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge and #BloggerClubUK or #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings


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Wednesday, 12 February 2020

I Liked This Skirt So Much I Bought Another One: And Link Up

Flattering for all sizes the Zandra skirt from Kettlewell in Atlantis worn with white fur gilet and sweater by over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon
If you find something you love, and there are more colours available, ladies, go for it. I bought this velvet skirt by Kettlewell in Violet Dazzle a few months ago.  I noticed it's now in the sale, so I snapped up this gorgeous colour, Atlantis Dazzle.

I'm wearing it with last winter's white jumper and boots and a very old furry gilet. The necklace by Corsi Design Factory was a perfect match. I bought it at the V&A Museum on the day I met the lovely Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper.  It looks like a normal necklace but it's made of a soft resin.
Teal velvet skirt worn with white boots, white jumper and furry gilet with a necklace by Corsi Design Factory
The reason I love the Zandra skirt is that it's got a lovely sheen, and is so soft to sit on;  and it's so easy to wear, with its elasticated (yes!) waist. It's a good length too.
As I mentioned, I already had it in Violet Dazzle. I wore it on an outing last week to meet Nikki Garnett from Midlife Chic. When meeting another fashion blogger you always agonize over what to wear. I wore my skirt and a purple cashmere jumper from M&S, but the stand out items were my chunky pearls and lilac coat.
A lilac cocoon coat is warm and stylish over purple with silver accessories, as shown by over-50s style blog Is This Mutton
I love the coat but we rarely get the right weather in the UK to wear it.  Ideally it should be cold but dry.  And the coat feels a bit dressy for everyday running around.  So although I don't wear it very often, it's brilliant quality with a high percentage of cashmere so I know it will be good for many years to come.
Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon in monochrome purple with a velvet Zandra skirt from Kettlewell and silver ankle boots with chunky pearl necklaces
You can see the lovely sheen of the skirt.  The pearls are actually two necklaces.  One was very cheap and bought in BHS many years ago.  I got the other one from Etsy.  Chunky pearls always seem to get compliments.  One of Nikki's readers (she invited ladies in London to meet up, if they were free, and 15 came along) messaged me afterwards to say she liked the pearls.
Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in lilac cashmere coat, purple jumper and layered chunky pearl necklaces
Do you ever buy an item in more than one colour, if you find you love it?

Sharing this post with Claire Justine, #iwillwearwhatiwant at Not Dressed as Lamb, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style,  Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish; Style with a Smile at Stylesplash; Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, Red Carpet Link Up at Glamadventure, Muttonstyle, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style and #BloggerClubUK or #AnythingGoes at My Random 

I'm back on Friday with a #FiveForFriYay post on podcasts, TV and books. See you then!

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday.
Last week's readers' favourite was Kim from Fierce Fashion with her post Refashioned Top with Camo. Kim's top was originally black but she bleached it, and then she changed the shoulder by adding a leopard print insert.  he instantly has a totally unique garment. I really admire women who can customize their clothes.  I'm hopeless with a needle so all I can do is admire.
Midlife blogger Kim from Fierce Fashion in camo pants and a refashioned top
My favourite post was by Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge. Please indulge with this one! No-one has ever done a style steal on me before, so I was so chuffed  (a good ol' British word) when Shelbee gave us her take on my David Bowie t-shirt and jeans - "Inspired by Is This Mutton: Bowie Tee." Thanks so much Shelbee - I love your take on the outfit, particularly the red boots!
Two bloggers, similar outfit: take one Bowie tee and add jeans and boots
A special mention also to Michelle from Fifty and Fab. She wrote very bravely about her phobia of vomiting - My personal struggle with emetophobia amd how to overcome phobias and anxiety. It's a big deal for bloggers to open up about personal challenges - kudos to Michelle.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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