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Wednesday 22 September 2021

Back to the Office - and Link Up


Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in red and beige

Dear friends: quite a mixed post this week. I'm covering the imminent return to the office;  a wonderful pre-Christmas season gift to ourselves, and a quick beauty update that includes my lash and brow trial, inspired by Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb. 
From next week, I'm back in the office for two days a week. I'm looking forward to going back.  It feels like Groundhog Day every time I walk into my home office and close the door. 

It will be great to wear "real" clothes because I've tended to wear a technical top and jeans all day, after I've been out for my early morning walk.

What to wear back in the office 

I've got quite a few outfits to choose from.  I  made a list of items and colours I wanted from the new Kettlewell autumn./winter range, and some of the new purchases have landed. The pic at the top shows how a scarf can transform an outfit. I'm wearing the only shade of brown coded for Winters  (brown is too warm a color for us). Kettlewell call it Mole, and I think it's a great neutral.  The Mole short tie wrap would look a bit plain on its own but the tango red/mole scarf really gives it some va-va-voom. 

I have heard reports it's very cool in the office with improved ventilation, so I will make sure I have enough layers.  I feel the cold at the best of times, and air conditioning is usually far too aggressive for me. 

Other things I've been thinking about are getting a new mini keyboard and mouse, because we'll be hot desking. IT will provide them, but I'd rather have my own set for hygiene reasons. I also need to remember the need to take my breakfast and lunch. I used to take in a kefir drink or porridge for breakfast, and a salad for lunch. I'm too fussy about my intake to rely on the cafeteria, good though it is. 

We will not be required to wear masks or maintain social distancing in the office, which is causing anxiety for some. But those who are really worried about Covid can carry on working from home. 

There'll be a coloured lanyard system in place where you wear a particular colour to indicate how you feel about contact or proximity.  It seems a bit redundant in a way, because if someone indicates by their colour that they want to keep social distance and wear a mask, does it mean that person's colleagues should respect their wishes and do the same?  The guidelines are not clear.  Meanwhile the govt has already said that working from home may return, if infections surge. 

Don't miss out on your Advent Beauty Calendar

Girls, if you would like the gift of an Advent beauty calendar this year, you need to be fast. They sell out very quickly. 

I think it's a wonderful gift to ourselves. You start opening the windows on Dec 1, so it's a nice pre-season warmer. And let's face us, women do most of the work for Christmas - buying presents and decorations, decorating the house, wrapping presents, preparing for guests, doing most (if not all)
of the cooking and so on - why not give ourselves a seasonal treat? 

The beauty Advent calendars are nearly all on sale now. They're a loss leader for the retailers and brands, who only make them in small numbers. If you want to choose one,  this guide from Vogue is a good place to look, or this Good Housekeeping guide for US readers.

Feel Unique Beauty Advent Calendar 2021 - photograph copyright Is This Mutton

I've already got mine, as you can see! I promised myself that I would have an Advent calendar if I stopped buying random beauty boxes, and I did. The calendar I've bought myself is from Feel Unique:  it's worth £385 but on sale for just £119. I always study the brands and products to see if there's enough to interest me.  This one is is bursting with no less than 27 indulgent treats, including bestsellers from brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Elemis, and Huda Beauty, along with lesser-known products, like Rodial’s pink-diamond face mask.

Did Revitalash improve my eyelashes? 

A few weeks ago Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb showed the amazing results she had had from Revitalash, which she bought herself. And I immediately decided to give it a go.  My lashes were not very long and while I've found a fabulous mascara, it's a faff to remove it so I figured it would be great to have longer lashes and use an eyelash curler.

I've been using Revitalash since the end of July and I've noticed a difference. My eyelashes are nowhere near as long and fluttery as Catherine's, but they are less gappy and when I use an eyelash curler they're pretty good. In the after picture below, I have curled them but not added mascara, just a bit of tight lining (eyeliner into the bottom of the lashes). 

Like Catherine, I also tried the companion product, Revitabrow, and I think it's given more noticeable results. Before I started using it, my brows were a bit like tadpoles:  a fairly dense tadpole "head" and then disappearing to nothing because I had overplucked the tail, and had to draw it in.

Revitabrow has caused my brows to grow more vigorously in the tadpole's head - and I'm amazed at how dark and lush the brows are there!  Some of the hairs are long and coarse, which reminds me why I plucked them out in the first place.  As far as the "tail" is concerned, slight regrowth on the left eye, but very little on the right.  I'm still pencilling them in.

Neither product is cheap but at least they work.  I used another one a year or so ago which was nearly as expensive and did not work at all.  Revitalash is £92.50 on Amazon UK, and Revitabrowis £81.73. I personally try to avoid buying from Amazon but their prices are the cheapest. 

There's a lovely story behind the brand.  As their website says, Revitalash was originally developed by Dr Michael Brinkenhoff as a gift to his wife Gayle who was suffering from cancer. She was very excited about her beautiful lashes, and since then, 15 years ago, the brand has supported breast cancer awareness, research and education initiatives year-round. 

Before and after trying Revitalash and Revitabrow:  by Is This Mutton blog

Is a cheaper cleanser better than an expensive one?

I was using a very expensive balm cleanser and a top of the market micellar water and decided to try cheaper versions having read that this is an area where you can economise.

Since July I have been using a very cheap gel cleanser from Boots and a mass market micellar. I missed the indulgence of the beautiful scent and texture of the other products, particularly the balm. But more importantly, my skin was looking red and shiny after the gel cleanser, and the micellar only seemed to be moving make-up around, not removing it properly.

I'm now using two products from trendy brand Drunk Elephant  (bought myself), and what a huge difference!  After using the Slaii Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser, my skin feels much softer without the shine or redness. And the good news is, the product is still cheaper than the one I was originally using.  It also came with a vial of fine grains which can be added to the butter, and acts as an exfoliator. The micellar does a better job than its mass market equivalent in removing the grime. My skin is really soft afterwards.  Both products smell a little weird - a bit herby I would say - but not unpleasant.  

So that's my mixed post, and I'd love to hear in the comments what you think of beauty Advent Calendars. Do you have success with cheap cleansers, and, if you're going back to the office, what's on your mind?  

Nothing was gifted for this post and no affiliate links were used.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday.  If you're looking for new blogs to read, do check back later in the week because a lot more posts get added on subsequent days. 

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Is This Mutton Favourite

I would wear all the outfits worn by Jill from Grownup Glamour in a heartbeat.  I loved her ensemble in the post Skirt Love - particularly the skirt and boots! 

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  1. The red and mole colours look lovely 😍 on you. I find good brand, fragrance free cleansers are best for me - La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser or Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser ❤️πŸ’•

    1. Both very good brands Sandy. Lovely to see you here again x

  2. I never bought musks a advent calendar. Sounds like fun. I can imagine that all the,, rules,, at the office are not clear. Everybody had find their way back again I suppose. I'm using eureka serum at the moment too, L'OrΓ©al. It seems to be working.

  3. Such a newsy post, Gail - I use a lash and brow serum and it’s definitely made a difference, as has yours - good stuff!
    Life as we know it has most certainly changed, that’s for sure - hope you enjoy getting back in the office and that it works well, we are still in the midst of lockdowns in different locations and at different times on the east coast of Australia… tricky times!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Donna 🧚‍♀️❤️🐝

    1. Thanks for passing by Donna! I hope we are finally out of the lockdown phase but time will tell.


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