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Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Monday 29 June 2020

Check Me Out: Style Not Age Challenge

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in pink and black with check trousers, belted jacket and bright pink ankle boots for the Check Me Out Challenge

It's the last Monday of the month which means it's time for the Style Not Age Challenge where five bloggers from the UK and Ireland interpret a different theme.  This time it was Anna's challenge, "Check Me Out." Anna, from Anna's Island Style, often rocks checks in her colourful outfits.

Friday 26 June 2020

Friday Favourites: Books, Films, Podcasts

UK blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton with headphones on enjoying a podcast or two
Here it is, my occasional post about what I've been watching, reading and listening to. This week I'm featuring a couple of Irish films, some treats from English National Ballet and the National Theatre, an international crime thriller from the BBC, the re-issue of an old favourite of mine, and some cheerful, positive vibe podcasts.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

All White? Plus Link Up

Over 50s fashion blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in white trousers, broderie blouse and leopard print accessories

This summer has been a strange one for fashion trends because they have been largely dictated by the retailers without the usual street style of influencers percolating through and creating the odd surprise (like last year's Zara "It" dress).

The three biggest trends are statement sleeves, broderie and what I call the big dress - voluminous and baggy,


Wednesday 17 June 2020

Beauty Update: Summer Tanning, the Best Concealers in the World And Link Up

Over 50 fashion and beauty blogger Gail Hanlon with new St Tropez tanning products

I read recently that Anna Wintour and her "FROW" chums (those frosty faced ladies at the fashion shows) never wear tights, not even in the depths of winter. Well, fair play to them if they can withstand the cold plus endure the upkeep required to keep legs suitable for all-weather exposure.  I find it's enough of a "faff" in the summer to keep my legs in the required state.

As Mr Mutton and I won't be going abroad any time soon  (our Greek holiday was sadly cancelled) I've been exploring a couple of new products for getting an effective and easy fake tan.  None of them were gifted, so rest assure you're getting an unexpurgated opinion.

I like to use a gradual fake tan on my legs - my arms pick up a tan when I'm out walking or gardening. Dove's Summer Revived, which I wrote about here, is still a favourite and pretty fool- proof.  This year I've also tried a new type of formula from St Tropez: Self Tan Purity Body Mousse. I bought a sample pack which included small trial bottles of the body formula and the facial tanning mist.  I didn't like the body product very much.  You shake the "water" and it turns into a mousse as you spray it. A mitt is required to arrange it on the limbs.

I found the result a bit patchy and prefer to use hands rather than a mitt.  You can easily wash your hands immediately afterwards and use a nailbrush to remove any signs.

But the facial mist is very good and I bought the full size bottle.  Simply shake and mist it on, remembering to close your eye as you spray each side of the face.  It smells OK and, used lightly, gives a pleasing glow.

The turquoise packaging of new St Tropez - Purity Bronzing Face Mist and Body Mousse

St Tropez have also introduced a tan remover, which is very useful for getting rid of the last vestiges when you want to start afresh after a few days. Used with an exfoliating mitt, it effectively removes the debris.  If you've had "accidents" while applying a fake tan  (orangey patches) then you can also use this.  The only irritating thing is that you have to wait five minutes before rinsing it off.  That seems a long time to be standing in the shower.

My two other fake tan tips are:  use a dark towel after showering  (I find they all come off on white towels) and don't apply before bed because your legs will probably be streaky the next day.

So that's fake tan covered.  What about getting hair-free legs?  I have never had my legs professionally waxed.  I've always used a razor.  But the amount of plastic involved, and the cost for replacement blades  (up there with the cost of ink for printers) makes it an extremely unattractive proposition. I was intrigued to read a very positive review for an epilator by an Instagrammer.

The Braun Silk Epil epilator for hair removal

Remember them, ladies?  They came out a few years ago with a lot of publicity but many of us dismissed them as instruments of torture. The nature of the beast is that it rips the hair out from its root.  In theory this makes the hair slower to grow back, but it also makes for quite a painful experience.

I've never tried an epilator so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  The model shown is the Braun Silk-Epil 9 which was on offer at Amazon and came with a separate skin cleansing brush which I probably won't use.

After charging the device I started epilating without reading the instructions and mistakenly used the  no 2 setting (slightly more painful).  It is a little bit grimace-y, but my main beef is that it doesn't give such a good result as shaving or no doubt waxing. It kept leaving some hairs behind, even though they were the same length, and I had to keep having another go. But I'll use it now and then, if I need to give my legs a quick once over and don't have time to shave them.

Finally to concealers.  I've been using a runny cheap one and it was rubbish, so I went back to Charlotte Tilbury and bought the Mini Miracle Eye Wand (the white wand) and the Magic Away liquid concealer. I'd been reminded how good these are by receiving a sample of the Magic Away product.

Beauty blogger Gail Hanlon with two concealers from Charlotte Tilbury

One of the challenges is finding the right shade if you don't want to go into a store.  If you buy a couple of products from Charlotte Tilbury online you can request a couple of samples, and their colour chart samples are excellent  (see my latest one below for foundation).

My shade for the Magic Away concealer is #3, fair, pale and neutral. I use this on pigmentation spots.  The Mini Miracle Eye Wand, in shade 2 for me, has a an under-eye cream at one end and an eye brightener / concealer at the other.  It's a slightly more liquid concealer than Magic Away so I prefer it for under eye circles.  Anyway, here I am having used both these miracle products.  I've used a turquoise eyeshadow as an eyeliner which we're always warned not to do  ("so old-fashioned! So Princess Diana") but who cares about rules, eh ladies? The lipstick is by Look Fabulous Forever.

Over 50s woman breaks a makeup rule by wearing a blue eyeshadow as eyeliner. Shock!

Let's hear about your fake tan recommendations and leg hair disposal methods in the comments below!

Sharing this post with  Stylish Monday at Fashion Trends and Friends, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Monday Runway at A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link up where everyone gains. Readers can find new blogs to enjoy and bloggers can find new readers!

Last week's favourite post  (most clicked) was Anna from Muttonstyle Years and I, and her post June Capsule Wardrobe for the Over 50s.  There's a link in her post to her YouTube video where she shows you how to put the capsule together. 

Also very popular was Friday Favourite Feature: Tunic Tops and Aquarium Stops by Chrissy from Granola and Grace, below. Love that casual chic look.

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Wednesday 10 June 2020

Styling a Tricky Patterned Skirt - and Link Up

You're probably thinking "what's tricky about that skirt?" It's a perfectly respectable wrapover skirt from Oasis, bought late last summer in the sale and worn then with a white top. But I didn't have any other tops that would go with it, because although I was seduced by the colours of the skirt, they're not colors that really suit me.

I knew Kettlewell would have the perfect color and they did, a peach square necked top that goes perfectly with the flowers in the skirt. If you haven't discovered Kettlewell, they have clothes in many of the colors you wouldn't normally see in the shops. If you've had your colors "done" this is perfect for finding the right shades. If you haven't, you'll naturally gravitate towards the shades that are most flattering on you.
It's funny how, over time, colors that previously suited you no longer do as much for you.  When I had dark hair (naturally) and my coloring was a bit darker, this peach color was one of my best ones, Now it's a bit "blah" compared to some of the cooler and brighter shades I like now, such as fuchsia pink and lilac. But hey, let's get some wear out of this sweet skirt. I wrote about my experiences with  color analysis here.
Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton the over-50s style blog in floral wrapover skirt from Oasis and peach square necked top from Kettlewell
The garden needs a bit of a brush up after the stormy weather on Saturday. It was very windy with some torrential downpours, and the garden looked quite crushed for a time. But today's sun has revived everything.

I added gold mules (old) and an ancient cream enamel flower necklace to an emsemble which is comfortable and relaxed for working at home and shopping trips.

Make-up used:  Darphin Melaperfect Dark Spot Correcting foundation; Flower Beauty Color Drops for Cheeks in Melon;  Look Fabulous Forever Smooth Out Eye Prime; Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift; NYX Worth the Hype mascara; Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Amethyst and Charlotte Tilbury KISSING in Pillow Talk.

Sharing this post with  Stylish Monday at Fashion Trends and Friends, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Monday Runway at A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi
Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link up where everyone gains. Readers can find new blogs to enjoy and bloggers can find new readers!

The most clicked post was from I Wish I Was Back In Style where Di featured some very classy outfits with statement sleeves:  "It's All About the Sleeves." This orangey pink dress is a real show-stopper.
My favourite non-fashion post was by Shelbee from Shelbee on The Edge: "This is 46," where she shared 46 interesting facts about herself and 46 wonderful pictures in celebration of her birthday. Here are three facts I picked at random: her favourite holiday destination so far has been Iceland;  she has shaved her head twice, and she was a competitive swimmer until the age of 21. The photo I chose is a lovely family portrait.

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Friday 5 June 2020

Friday Favourites June Edition

Woman enjoying herself listening to music
Welcome to my monthly round-up of what I've been reading, watching and listening to. First up, reading. Nigella Lawson and others have been writing about how they're struggling to read during the pandemic. Nigella has found audio books a great alternative.  I'm still reading at my usual rate, getting through around two books a week.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Polka Dot Triple - And LInk Up

Garden shot of over-50s style blogger Gail Hanlon in polka dot frilled bottom trousers, polka dot top and polka dot sling back shoes
I recently saw in a fashion magazine a picture where the model was wearing nothing but polka dots in many different variations. I immediately decided to try the same thing.  Here we have polka dots three times.  It could have been four, because I have a polka dot jacket, but I thought that would be over-egging things.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

May In Review: Sentence A Day - Lock Down Continues

One of the highest points of London at Yates Meadow, Epping Forest, with views of the City behind blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
Fri May 1
Mixed weather. Got drenched queuing at Sainsbury's for 45 mins. Today's mystery shortages: coffee and sparkling water. Glad it's Friday, been a long and challenging week

Sat May 2
My dad would have been 91. Short walk. Watched new version of film Whisky Galore (not good) and had smoked haddock. New midi skirt from Hush delivered. See it here.

Sun May 3
Chilly. Did 5 mile urban walk. Although I was mostly walking in busy London suburb streets, many of the verges are now meadows and were looking wonderful. Like being in the countryside!
Mon May 4
Cold. Did Joe Wicks workout, which today was with his wife as he's had wrist surgery.  No walk today. Hinching! Googled: how long do squirrels live.  As we don't know when garden centres will reopen, placed an order for delivery in a week or so.

Tues May 5
Did the short walk I call the King's Head Circular (2.4 miles) and nipped into Co Op.   Sentence a day published. for April.  Googled: why do I always feel cold

Weds May 6
UK now has largest death toll in Europe. Busy at work, no walk today.

Thurs May 7
Day off to make a nice long weekend - tomorrow is a bank (public) holiday. Went to Waitrose for the first time in a month. Short wait. No mystery shortages.  Did housework and changed beds.

Fri May 8
VE Day. Day off. Sunny. Did 4.5 mile walk and walked past the local war memorial where all the Peace roses are out.  Surprised J by collecting lunch from local cafe Helen's On The Green, a Cyprus meze for two. Wore a tea dress. Watched film 1917  (not as good as I was expecting).
The yellow rose tinged with pink - Peace  - on VE Day in the war memorial garden at Chingford in London. Copyright Is This Mutton blog
Saturday May 9
Sunny but weather supposed to be getting a lot colder by tomorrow. Did some food shopping  at M&S in Epping. Weeding and emptying containers ready for new haul from garden centre.

Sunday May 10
Bit emotional today and weeping at drop of hat, eg a tweet from Hong Kong saying "we are baffled and worried about you" (the UK), and then a tribute to Florian Schneider from Kraftwerk. I loved them.

Monday May 11
Temps have plummeted.  Did indoor workout.  Garden centre delivery, how thrilling.  Busy day work-wise.

Tues May 12
Did Kings Head circular.  Busy day. My co starting to prepare for a return to work - v gradual. More details on Thurs. Googled: King Alfred (from watching The Last Kingdom, Netflix drama about the Viking invasions).

Weds May 13
Short walk, 2 miles. Co-Op for bread. Busy day. Greece likely to start admitting tourists from 15 June.  But 2 weeks self isolation/quarantine afterwards. Nobody will want to take an
extra two weeks' holiday for that.

Thurs May 14
Ordered Zoflora and Minkys, both despatched immediately! Pres at work about the return strategy. Sunny, cold. Went Sainsbury's

Fri May 15
Published Friday Favourites. London 'R' rate down to 0.4 which means in 2 weeks virus will hopefully be on the run. Garden centres reopen tomorrow, plus people are permitted to drive to beauty spots for walks and exercise  (but not to stay overnight, or meet other people).

Sat May 16
Outside the garden centre waiting for it to open at 8.57. Not too long a wait. Bought some solar lights, some bedding plants, verbena bonariensis, dianthus. Then did food shopping, no queues. They must all be out driving. Rules have relaxed on driving to beauty spots.
Trolley full of plants after UK garden centres reopened in May 2020
Sun May 17
After a 4.5 mile walk spent the day gardening.  A lot of prep to do with containers and the soil before I could start planting. Video call with granddaughter.

Mon May 18
Started off quiet but got v busy in late afternoon. Ironing picked up, first time for weeks

Tues May 19
Down at 5.30am because of all the magpie noise. Was afraid they were attacking the blackbirds' nest.  Beautiful day, did walk with J of Yates Meadow in Epping Forest.  On a good day there is a wonderful view of London (image at the top). New pair of black jeans delivered, identical to the jeans I reviewed here.

Weds May 20
Hot. Got caught up in work and no time for a walk in the morning.  Felt a bit tired so didn't go out in the end. Today I should have been at the Chelsea Flower Show with a friend.

Thurs May 21
Food shopping in Epping.

Fri May 22
Slow day. Story emerged of Dominic Cumming - adviser to Boris Johnson, who drove 250 miles with his wife and child to Durham, contravening the lockdown.

Sat May 23
Another trip to the garden centre. Planted everything when I got home and sowed forget-me-not seeds ready for next spring. "Shed corner" is now a little oasis of colour which draw the eye down to the bottom of the garden, making it look bigger. Garden is now "finished" for summer.
Putting the lovely new seed box I received for Christmas to good use!
Sun May 24
Walk 4.5 miles urban. walk. Hot. The blackbirds in our garden have two chicks which have just fledged. They're nearly as big as the adults, and hopping around flapping their wings and demanding food.
Mon May 25
Bank holiday.  Hot. John's sister came over on her bike. She and John then cycled back into central London where she lives. Sat in Mansfield park (socially distanced)  with grand daughter. Last episode  of State of Happiness.  Dominic Cummings did a TV question/answer session after a huge furore. It was an hour from my life I will never get back.

Tues May 26
Quieter work day for a while. Cloudy. J sprayed the roses, signs of aphids. Did workout

Weds May 27
Cloudy then hot. Busy. Longer walk just under 4 miles.

Thurs May 28
Blue sky. At Waitrose at 9. No queue! Mystery shortages - several:  lemons, bin liners and rubber gloves.  Plus no flour again (not that it affects me, I haven't done any baking, we are eating the same as usual!). Govt announced 6 people can meet in a garden with social distancing from Mon.

Fri May 29
Hot again. Short walk. J cleaned conservatory windows. Weeded rose bed. Huge weeds. Meant to take pic for #dressupfriday on Insta but can only take pics early in morning and what with washing hair, walk and starting work at 9, didn't have time.

Sat May 30
Hot. Long walk 7.5 miles including canal.  Didn't wear socks (trainers, socks and shorts not a good look) but feet were sore on way back and blistered later. J did 5k run. Watered roses. Watched film Bombshell (good). Tonight John and I should have been at the Royal Albert Hall watching the film Titanic accompanied by an orchestra, and with dinner in their fine dining restaurant beforehand. Another time!
View of a canal walk in London May 2020 with blue sky
Sun May 31
Hot. Did early blog shoot before sun was too bright. Roast chicken.  Quick food shop at M&S- biggest queue I've seen there. Gave myself a pedicure.  Nails prepped below and ready for nail polish.
A home pedicure during lockdown: various potions and lotions and pampered feet.
Sharing this post with #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle and #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings

For More Mutton

There's a fashion or beauty post every Wednesday, with the #WowOnWednesday link up. Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. 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 1 June 2020

Perfect Everyday Skirt

Acid yellow tee worn with geometric patterned knee-length skirt from TU at Sainsbury's

I wrote recently that I couldn't imagine wearing a knee-length skirt again, having fallen for midi length. Well, here I am in a flippy knee-length skirt, and it's new. I picked it up along with the food shopping at Sainsbury's.

The reason I snapped it up, at £12, was that it's a delightfully easy skirt to wear with its elasticated waist.  Very comfortable to sit in while chained to the desk. It came with a belt which I took off.  The blend of colours goes well with a lot of shades.

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton the over 50s style blog in brown and black geometric skirt worn with acid yellow top and black crystal heeled sandals

I'm wearing it with an acid yellow top from Kettlewell and transparent bag. The sandals are years old.

The fashion stores in the UK reopen on June 15. I won't be in a hurry to go into London to snap up the many bargains that will be on offer.  I've been buying pieces online throughout the lock down, so I don't really need anything now.  It won't be long before we see the first drops for autumn/winter. What a sobering thought that is!

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in knee length flippy skirt from TU at Sainsburys and acid yellow tee from  Kettlewell

I'll be back tomorrow, June 2, with a post on the month of May, followed by #WowOnWednesday on June 3. A veritable feast of mutton. Hope to see you soon.

Sharing this post with Ageless Style at A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to Coast and Beauty By Miss L 


Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot.  I share more goodies at the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits.  Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter.

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