Having a ‘down’ day? Feel useless? Depressed? Feel like hiding, crying, going back to bed….? Don’t worry you’re not alone, feeling better is a walk in the park.

pexels-photo-631986.jpegWomen are known to be ‘multi-taskers’. Thats a fairly big title to live up to. What if your starter motor fails one day? And all of your oomph has morphed into a bleurgh? You know what you should be doing, but you simply cannot get beyond staring into your empty mug of coffee. Having a duvet day is just not allowed. Resting and blobbing around eating chocolate and other rubbish is all you want to do, but you know its just PLAIN WRONG, so your blobbing, flopping, wrong day is severely tarnished with guilt and self-hatred; you’re a failure, you’re useless, you’re ugly, you’re fat…. you’re blah blah blurgh.

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Because women are natural carers, nurturers and people-pleasers – more so than men – we often set ourselves much higher standards, and when we undertake to do what may previously been considered a man’s job, we feel we have to do it way better, just to prove ourselves. So we’re extra thorough. We’re more diligent. We’re bloody killing ourselves.

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Of course it will eventually get to us. So how do we drag ourselves out of this exhausted rut? Other than reaching for the gin, chocolate, shopping, or all of them? From the age of 45 onwards we have the added struggle of free-wheeling, outta control hormones; many of us have children leaving the nest; some of us also have failed marriages and therefore sudden single-dom to also deal with.

It’s a fight ladies. It’s a fight with the truth. You have to look at your truth.

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Make time to both reflect on your achievements, and to look forward to your ambitions. Maybe the last thing you want is to think about is you. Don’t be scared, this is her – The Long Forgotten YOU. Say hello to her and make her happy.

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Who are you? What do you love to do? What makes you tick? The first thing you should do is take care of your health, both mentally and physically. The two are intrinsically intertwined and when you allow yourself to succumb to chocolate and gin, you will pay – the short-lived pleasures as the toxins engulf your senses are swiftly followed with the downers, the results of such indulgences.

Try and take yourself to a higher plane. Yoga is incredibly good for this. Not only does it encourage you to stretch and strengthen, it also encourages breathing correctly and getting into meditative state. Once in this place, devoid of angst, devoid of self-loathing, you will find that part of you that you somehow lost along the way. If yoga isn’t for you, then simple long walks in amongst nature can also remind you of your earth, your grounding and what a flowering blossom your life continues to be, despite what it may seem to be to you right now. Mindfulness is a big trend and not without reason.

Mindfulness: Getting Started

pexels-photo-906106.jpegFor the more financially blessed amongst us, you can’t do better than to indulge yourself at a retreat or a spa for a few days – you will come back a renewed and stronger person.

Vogue Spa Guide – Best Spa Breaks in UK 2018

Drink plenty of water. Eat plenty of greens. It’s so basic. It’s so obvious, but we all forget these things from time to time when we become awash with what seems like a ton of losses at once. Being alone with your thoughts can initially be terrifying, having time to reflect can make you tearful, but actually once you get there and you realise what life still has to offer you, and indeed, what you have to offer it, then you can being to feel worthwhile, complete and happy once more. Your happiness is solely up to you. Find your inner peace, it’s somewhere in there, you may have to search for a while, you may have to shake off a lot of negative feelings, but start with being proud of what you’ve achieved so far. I am sure its quite a lot.

 

When your whore-moans get outta control. Menopause and them hormones.

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Hot flushes. Mood swings. Weight gain. Weakening bones. Ba ba bing. 

You’ve all experienced various levels of premenstrual tension. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who just shed a dainty tear at a toilet roll TV advert featuring puppies, a day before you came on. Maybe you had furious migraines, got horribly bloated and HATED everything (except chocolate), for at least a week prior to hemorrhaging your pants off.  At both extremes, you were controlled, or at least ‘altered’ by them hormones.

Menopause = PMT x 1000

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Yet despite experiencing these periods, on average 450 times in our lifetime, we still find it extremely hard to step outside of ourselves and recognize that what is happening is not necessarily how we ‘normally’ feel.

We’re not normally so tearful, nor are we normally so angry, nor do we normally feel, in simple terms, quite so bloody shit. But it is real in that moment and we have to strive to control our tongues and/or our tears.

So when ‘normal’ leaves the building; when there is virtually zero control and when your whore is moaning BIGTIME, what do you do?

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Ask your mum?

I asked my mum (apparently we often meno very similarly to our mothers). She told me she was a complete bitch for a year; she couldn’t really recall anything about the hot flushes and/or sweats – she lived in a very hot country at the time, so there was no gauging it. That wasn’t amazingly helpful.

 

KNOW I am affected by this meno-bitch; simple logic tells me that. But I struggle to sieve out my normal truth from my whore-moaner. How can I tell if my despair, or my sudden anxiety, or my snappiness is unjustified or not? My hormones make everything feel so convincing and real, that I can’t.

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But what I can do, and what I suggest you do too, is to do everything possible to minimize these symptoms. Embrace this challenging time, grab this whore by the hair and ‘own’ her.

Help yourselves as much as you can with your mind, your diet and (for some) HRT. 

HOT FLASHES. I live in a (currently) cold country, so I absolutely DO notice my hot flashes. A very good, old friend of mine explained how she dealt with these infernos. She looked at them as empowering, she was in awe of what her body was capable of – going from 0-60 in seconds, furnace boiling, suddenly soaked in sweat, and then, just as quickly, it’s passed. It’s incredible; it’s something top magicians couldn’t do…okay it’s also embarrassing, inconvenient and causes way more laundry. But be little fascinated by it, because it is pretty amazing.

DIET: there are several foods and drinks you should avoid to minimize the flushes, as well as some foods that help to balance your hormones naturally. With balanced hormones, you are more likely to keep control of weight gain too.

Guide to managing menopause with diet

What NOT to eat and drink.

  • caffeine – one of the WORST for hot flashes, moodiness and sleep problems
  • alcohol – ditto
  • spicy foods – can contribute to more hot flashes, but they’re no where near as damaging as caffeine, alcohol and
  • sugar – cut out sugar and you’re fighting fatigue and weight gain
  • refined carbohydrates – high carb foods contribute to fatigue and moodiness

What TO eat and drink 

  • water, plenty of it – this helps; decrease bloating, vaginal dryness and dry skin
  • fresh fibrous fruits, nuts and vegetables – you need much more calcium now, so go for lentils, almonds, sardines and dark green leafy veg
  • whole grains – oatmeal, quinoa, barley, brown rice – all provide B vitamins which help boost energy, manage stress, and keep the digestive system functioning.
  • soy and flaxseed are thought to mimic estrogen, (this isn’t proven) which can help with mood swings.
  • vitamin D – if you don’t live in a sunny climate, and don’t eat a ton of mackerel or tuna every day, then get some Vitamin D supplements. You should take 1000-2000 international units daily. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption (which is essential for bone density) and helps with depression and anxiety.

So all in all, this whore-moaning meno is far more manageable if you DO accept what’s happening and help yourself as much as you can.

Roll with the punches girls and, hopefully, you won’t do the punching.

What to eat during menopause

 

 

Hands up if you’re over 45 and are having the best sex EVER? And hands up if you’re not (but you wouldn’t mind…)

Hands up if you’re over 45 and are having the best sex EVER? And hands up if you’re not (but you wouldn’t mind…) here’s how

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One of the best things about becoming older, is that fabulous confidence/lack of care as to what anyone thinks. By now, you know what you like in the bedroom. You know what you don’t like, and you love what you do like.

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It’s a known fact that women our age do seriously enjoy sex. We’ve lost our inhibitions that we may have had in our earlies, we’ve maybe worked out a few fave moves and we are less worried about what we’re doing wrong or what we are doing right. 

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So why aren’t we simply just doing it? 

Because we can’t find the right person to do it with.

Or maybe you’ve given up even thinking about it, as it’s either been unattainable, or so unenjoyable that you’re simply not interested. And that department is now closed. But you do still fancy some companionship.

Don’t worry you are not the only one.

So if you want sex with no strings; or sex with some strings; or just some strings and no sex, you need to let someone know. You need to find him, or he needs to be able to find you.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV / Rex USA ( 666175AR ) Helen Mirren in ‘Prime Suspect VII’ – 2006 ITV Archive

The thought of internet dating freaks loads of people out. Its time to get over that. Its okay. Its just the way it is these days; if you can’t beat it, join it. It’s easier to date now than it ever has been. There are so many sites that for them to be successful, they have to make them really quite niche, which should (in theory) make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Who are you? And what do you want?

If you’re over 45, then you’re classified as mature (regardless of how childish you are).

“Mature Dating” sounds so very grown-up, sensible and safe: but is it though? Obviously there are always going to be the less than wholesome blokes lurking around in any given place, so be smart about where you meet up and don’t give out your address until you feel secure enough to. But that doesn’t mean its anymore dangerous than simply walking out your front door. And of course, there are some good guys too. The same has to be said for us women, some of us are fab and some of us can be pretty scary. No one is perfect, so don’t seek perfection, it’ll end in tears. But do be realistic, don’t lie about your age, don’t upload an overly retouched photo of yourself, and don’t be shy.

Get date-ready and get out there.

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So if you’re looking for companionship, that may well lead onto the best sex of your life (there’s always hope), or if you’re just looking for straight forward companionship then rather than looking on sites that have every testosterone-fuelled 24-40 year old on there, look on sites that are closer to home and closer to what you want. Here’s where ‘Mature Dating‘ can and does help.

Don’t shy away from sites that are trying to tell you in their domain names EXACTLY what you can expect, even if they do sound a little dull or dour.

Try one of these: Older dating Cornwall Dating Agency Aberdeen Dating Agency Edinburgh Dating Agency Cardiff Dating Agency

Or if you just want to have sex and nothing else, (not even a conversation), then you can go to Adult dating

Another great (and FREE) site for anyone ready to get out there and have some companionship…and maybe more, is We love dates

The rules: be safe, be yourself, be honest and DON’T talk about your past relationship. Its boring. Move on. Enjoy girls!

GOOD WINTER SKIN: THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS. Which moisturizer is THE BEST?

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Okay so you do have to make a little bit of effort here girls; your face is going through the daily onslaught of central heating, freezing winds, low winter sun, pollution etc; we need to recognize that at this time of year, its quite awkward for our skin, to say the least. So what with Madame Winter and Mrs Menopause, which also has a habit of totally screwing up our skin, we really need to be putting a lot more in, just to keep our skin feeling average, let alone good.

And this means more masks…boring, I know…well at least I find them boring, but they really, really do make a massive difference. They don’t have to be expensive, they can be as cheap as an avocado and a spoonful of honey or milk and almonds; but they do have to offer some form or nurturing to our otherwise suffering epidermises.

Here’s some great natural face mask recipes

green face mask

So now we’ve ‘masked’, what are the best (top ten) moisturizers for Winter skin?

I’ve been trawling the web, accumulating data from every list: from Vogue, to Marie Claire, to InStyle, to The Independent, to Cosmo, to very many more. I wanted to find out which products truly are THE BEST for our skins. Unsurprisingly every list was very different; only a handful of products came up more than once, which says to me that they either have incredible PR people, or these moisturizers really are the BEST.

The first is an oldie but goldie, it’s been around for years and is amazing.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant

EA 8hr Skin Protectant

Kiehls Ultra Facial Hydrating Moisturiser

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Probably the most expensive one…Creme de la Mer

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Ole Henriksen Skin Insulator This one at least has a token SPF15 in it, which is still better than none. Despite it being cloudy and chilly, we need an SPF all year round. The depleted ozone layer has made sure of that.

Ole Henriksen

Origins Make A Difference Plus

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Sisley Confort Extreme….pretty expensive too

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Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimal – this one is great and cheap

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Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 

both moisturizing and with a good SPF30…..we like an SPF remember…

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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer

I personally never got on with Clinique,  but as it came up a few times, I thought it diligent of me to give it the mention….

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Clarins Hydra-Essentiel

….used in combination with a serum this can get great results

Clarins

I concluded that there are an awful lot of extremely good products out there, so use what works for you, but just use more of it…don’t forget to protect with an SPF, use a serum as well as your moisturizer if you just need a little boost AND try to MASK at least once a week….oh and just because it’s cold, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink lots of WATER. Try to make yourself drink plenty, it really does help…central heating, chilly winds etc totally dehydrate our skin…..cheers girls!

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Doing a hydrating mask, its so dull and you look so stoopid…but it has to happen…..

 

REVEALED: MODELS’ TOP MUST-HAVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS – surprisingly pretty basic (& cheap)

Having worked as a model for over 30 years, I’ve got to know many other models, so I decided to ask them all what their top 3 beauty products are; what they absolutely would not be without. Virtually all of them (I asked over 20 girls) said at least one of these three things – a good SPF, vaseline or the equivalent for lips and coconut oil – for everything, hair, face, nails the lot.

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Brucella @MrsRobinsonManangement

Brucella loves Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

Coconut oil

“This is my every day body moisturiser.  I don’t use anything else. Come winter or summer, it leaves skin feeling amazingly soft, silky and nourished. Totally organic and natural too. If you think of it this way – everything we put on our skin goes into our blood stream, so it might as well be something natural! Great for a hair mask or natural moisture mask, too. Feeds the nails and keeps them nourished and strong.” 

Kendra agrees, saying, “Coconut Oil is great for absolutely everything!”

Brucella’s other top products are Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner and Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Balm

 

What was surprising that despite the wealth of products available out there, a handful were mentioned time and time again. Which in my head, means THEY MUST BE GOOD. These were the unquestionable winners.

Ali is just one of many who won’t be without

Ultrasun Anti-Pigmentation

ultra sun face

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Nalintha Duku @ChaseManagement

What Nalintha says, “Ultrasun anti-pigmentation does not leave a white/grey cast on my brown skin! Usually my issue with all SPF of a higher factor. Has antioxidants in it, and does not block my pores. Have seen a huge difference in my skin now that I commit to using sun screen all year round and at a higher protection.  Has definitely help to fade any marks and pigmentation on my skin and the overall clarity of it.”

 

Nalintha’s other top products are Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil and Skin Actives Vitamin A serum

Ali’s other two must-haves are Alpha H Liquid Gold and Phillip Kingsley’s Elasticizer

 

A lot of the girls mentioned SPF – they wear it all year round, as it makes such a big difference – especially if you’re using any products with Retinol in them.

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Cindy Robins @Models One

Cindy won’t be without is Heliocare tinted SPF Her other top products are Eve Lom Cleanser and Weleda Calendula Baby Body lotion

Rebi uses Sarah Chapman Skin Insurance SPF30 , Vaseline or Kiehl’s Lip Balm.

Another product that was mentioned time and time again is Gale Hayman’s Lip Lift enhanced with Collagen and Vitamin E

Gale Hayman

Pirjo says, “My lips used to be so dry and uncomfortable. Since using Lip Lift, my lips feel soft, supple and gorgeous. I can’t go to sleep without putting some on at night, even if that means fumbling around the bedside table in the dark, until I find that little stick of magic.”

Pirjo’s other top products are Gatineau Age Benefit and Gatineau DefiLift Body Oil

Sharon says about Gale Hayman’s Lip Lift, “I carry this with me wherever I go. It stops my lips from cracking and keeps them super smooth.”

Sharon’s other top products are Perricone Neuropeptide Night Cream and Margaret Dabbs Nail Serum

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Tara

Tara also LOVES Lip Lift, as well as La Roche-Posay Redermic R Eye & Face Cream and STUDIO 10 miracle serum

Now here’s the best of the rest.

Andii loves John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler  conditioner saying “it detangles my hair like a dream and I can use it as as a leave in product also it is a natural product without all the ‘nasties’.”

Michelle swears by washing her face in cold water with any kind of scrub she can get her hands on, and Oils for Life Oil from the Body Shop

Courtney loves Kiehl’s Creme de corps  for her body and is also another fan of oils for her “everything” Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil (face, body and hair)

Cordelia won’t be without Emma Hardie’s Moringa Balm

Of course beauty is also largely down to a healthy diet, drinking water, sleep, genes and many other factors: but it seems to me that as long as you’ve got some organic Coconut Oil, a pot of vaseline and a good SPF then you’re pretty much sorted.

Thanks to all my gorgeous model friends who took the time to tell me their top beauty must-haves: sorry I didn’t mention all of you, but everyone’s input was as equally valuable, thanks so much girls! Frankie x

 

Just STOP being so emotional about it! It’s not funny, it’s not useful and it’s not clever…it’s often unnecessary, and it’s always fattening.

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No, no! I’m really fine!

So a lot might be happening with your emotions right now. You’re possibly hating everyone and everything, maybe even yourself. Well stop that, right now. Our hormones are on a big fat jolly, and, for many of us, we’re also going through some other significant, life-changing moment or other – whether it be the kids leaving home, a career ramp up or ramp down, or just Mrs Merry Menopause herself –  whatever it is, there’s no need to be STRESSING YOUR PANTS OFF.

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One of the advantages of being over 50, is that you really do not have the time to continue to put up with stuff that basically now just bores you stooopid. Yet you still react emotionally.

And it can make you fat. Stress causes you to release the hormone cortisol.

read here why cortisol is public enemy number 1

For example, maybe it drives you insane when your husband/son/dog/cleaner/whomever puts that chair/glass/bone/cushion/whatever back in the wrong place….you throw your head back in disgust, you feel rage, fire in your belly. You cry out “Why?” “Not again!” “Noo!!’ You put yourself through a tormented moment or two, just because someone has done something you don’t like. Again.

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Get over it.

Stop being so emotionally involved in things that don’t require emotional involvement.

Tips to help you deal better with stress

I was put to this exact task only this week. My beloved computer began to spin the whirly wheel of death, for longer and longer periods, until eventually it could barely be turned on for a minute before it froze. I had no choice, I had to take it in. And pray.

praying woman

 

I had a huge amount of unfinished work that I needed to complete. But I also have my entire life on this solitary machine….I was terrified I’d lose it all. I could feel my hair going grayer. I could feel the horrible angst in my belly and my wrinkles deepening at an insane rate.

Then I made a conscious decision. I decided to be ADULT about things. I decided to separate my emotional involvement with my computer potentially dying.

Instead, I took my computer/life to the fix-it guy on the high street, and I didn’t even cry. No. No tears. Words.

“You’ve done the only thing you can do, now you just have to wait. May as well wait with a smile on my face and make good use of the time in hand, rather than pacing around like a caged tiger, clawing at myself until I rip all my hair out.”

tearing hair out

SO give yourself a talking to whenever you catch yourself bleating off – either out aloud or inwardly – stop yourself in your tracks and ask yourself “why?”

“Do I need to feel quite so passionate about this comparatively small little thing?”

We all tend to worry way too much, often about totally insignificant material things. But with a little self-reasoning, we can lead much calmer lives, committing way less damage to ourselves as a bonus.

So LET IT GO.

 

Worrying is not pretty, or clever, or helpful; if you can talk yourself out of it, then do, it really worked for me.

Dogs do it, cats do it, you must too. STRETCH.

Stretctoes

Doing yer downward-facing dog, does so much more than just making you look stupid. Everyone knows that athletes should stretch both before and after exercise, but why do we assume we don’t need to? Stretching does way more for you than you might realise, here are just a few of the reasons why you should.

  • it feels AMAZING – stretching releases dopamine, a brain chemical that affects the feelings of happiness. Fact. Is that not enough of a reason? Even just taking moments to stop and stretch out your back, neck and shoulders helps enormously with relaxing body and mind.

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  • it keeps you FLEXIBLE. Do you want to be the old lady that creaks, farts and shrieks with every movement? Chances are we all eventually head that way anyway, to some degree. But at least try to stall things from steadily rusting into something, eventually, quite painful. Try to stretch one part of you every day, even if its really brief. Its so important.
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No wonder she’s got a twinkle in her eye
  • Stretch yer face out. By doing some facial yoga you can aid the muscular support structure that is keeping your face in place.

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  •  Stretching is great for the circulation – we all know how important it is to keep the blood flowing, even to our outer most parts. Its essential to aid that circulation now we’re older: it even helps our skin.

read this and you will believe me

 

  • it helps your POSTURE. Posture is SO important throughout life, no where near enough attention is paid to this. This is a real BEAUTY issue too. You can take years off by paying attention to your posture. Stretching will alert all your muscles and put into work those needed to stop that hunched back.
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see the difference….
  • its a great party piece. Bendy people always are pretty impressive. (or is it just me?)
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ok…this could look rather awkward at a dinner party…

 

  • PAIN RELIEVING – so many people get a back ache and figure that bed rest will help. NO. In most cases that is pretty much the worse thing you can do. Movement, exercise and most importantly stretching relieves any muscular tension, as well as helping strengthening the core. Here’s some exercises to help pains

So come on girls, do it for you. Do it for your future. Stick some music on and do 3 minutes every day, I promise you will notice a difference within days.

Rule number 6: Empty Nest Syndrome. Dig deep, it’s gonna be okay: just find your inner Madonna.

Madonna. Madge. Maddie. Mad. Mary, mother of Jesus. Whatever you call her, one thing is for sure, Little Miss Madddiepants has successfully survived decades in the public eye. Love her or hate her: she certainly has got one thing totally right; she reinvents herself. All the time. Even through the menopause.

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He’s leaving.

My youngest, aged 18: off to uni. The last time I felt this type of anticipated pain, was when I drove my beloved border collie to the vets to be euthanized. That feeling of utter despair, (even though I knew I was doing the one and only right thing), I am reminded of now, in that I’m snatching every available second, to tidy his hair, stroke his back…get his food…knowing this will be one of my very, very last chances…end of an era….

vacant nest

Perfect timing: menopause right alongside your nest getting thoroughly emptied.

Okay my son is not dying; I’m being over-dramatic. But him leaving is, for me, another painful, albeit inevitable, life-changing occurrence. It IS a rather big corner.

What else would I want, though? He’s been successful enough to get to go to uni: well done me. Good parenting. Wahoo. I didn’t even encourage him to have a gap year. I could have maybe got another year out of ‘what’s for dinner?‘ or ‘can I have some money please?

empty-nest-syndrome-i-prefer-to-think-of-it-as-martin-luther-king-dayfree-at-last-81a7e

But actually its not all about those duties you’re seemingly constantly harangued into doing….its way more than that….In my case..well…how the hell am I gonna cope without him?!

He looks after the (new) dog when I’m working; he helps me work my camera; he’s the sole, in-house (tremendous standard fyi) cake-baker; he even asks how I am. Okay, to be completely truthful, he has practically become my counsellor. I feel physical pain, in my gut, that he’s going.

My fluffy nest feels like its being turned inside out.

Read more about causes of Empty Nest Syndrome Depression

So why is Mary, Mother of Jesus (bet she was an incredibly proud mum) relevant to Empty Nest Syndrome?

Madonna is really interested in herself.

She takes time to work on her entire image. Sure, she has people to do stuff for her, but ultimately, she is the one asking for ideas on clothing, image and hair styles. She wants the best for herself. And why shouldn’t she? So she’s busy. With herself. And that help heaps, if you’re feeling that final severing of that strong, yet intangible, umbilical cord, as that ‘taking-to-uni’ day arrives. You need to pick yourself up and at least try and look good.

So, get your inner Madonna out and focus.

On you.

Its great that you’re not needed anymore. Come on; it is! You will now have a bit/a lot more time to consider some self-reinvention. Cause, if nothing else, it will stop you from wallowing in your own tears, and encourage you to rediscover YOU. Someone other than just his mum.

mary
Mary had a ball

Maybe, like me, you’re realizing that it’s much less how you’re defined by others, but more how you’ve inadvertently defined yourself – “my son”, “my angel”….”my co-dependent”….”my rock” ..”my ‘he-makes-me-feel-needed-and-useful-and-stuff'”…”my I can’t fucking cope without him!”

I can. You can. Once I stopped crying; I drank a bottle of vin rouge while watching shit tv, I then decided that I’d better get to bed and wake up in an altogether more acceptable mood.

Upon awakening, I dragged out my inner Madonna and decided to work from the outside in. So my personal reinvention began with a fabulous fake tan.

JamesreadSLpMask_

It stops you from crying. Cry, and pay with streak marks down the face; therefore, keep it together bitch. This fab faux tan instructs to use at night, but it also works beautifully during the day – especially if you need to make yourself happy/slightly happier/less miserable. And its so easy to use, as long as you’re not balling your eyes out, you can’t go wrong.

Buy Sleep Mask Face Here

But I didn’t stop there. I then immersed myself in the fabulous melting coconut balm

Life's a beach
I took myself to a far off island and lovingly massaged beautiful, dreamy, coconut oil into my tired, dry, menopausal skin…..

James Read products are very user-friendly. I literally LOVE using the coconut melting balm. It is beautiful to massage in – the smell and texture takes you away from it all. This particular tanning brand understands that people are generally complete rubbish at applying their own fake tan, so it compensates in products that do the work for you. They moisturize as well as any luxury skin brand does, while giving you the tan you want – superbly natural.

More about James Read – tanning guru

However, if you do need more help, maybe from the inside out, then read Germaine Greer inspirational book The Change

Although arch feminist, Greer slates sex a bit much in this read; her general stance on how to deal with the change, for me also helps in how to deal with life when you’re facing up to the fact that you’re no longer as needed as you were before…

Come on girls: lets VOGUE

 

 

Rule number 5: What the pluck? Just grow a pair!

lost_highway_david_lynch
pretty hairy

So Mother Nature designed us to look our best at about the age of 21…coincidentally when we’re our most fertile. By the time we’re approaching/in our menopause, Mrs M Nature is fervently doing her best to strip us of anything remaining that might be attractive. Already blessing us with wrinkles and crinkles, she then goes that step further and begins to rob us of our brows and lashes. Thanks.

Or were you (like me) a right little plucker, once upon a tweezer?

GHCoverDec93
Back then, I didn’t give a pluck

Either way, if you over-plucked or not, you’re undoubtedly now noticing that those brows and lashes are sadly mere fading follicles.

But do not despair, there’s help out there. A bold and bushy brow, does a lot to liven up the face; as do youthful-looking luscious lashes and if there’s any trace of a follicle (even if it’s really blonde, fine and seemingly pointless) you can help them get back to some of their former glory.

Just as we condition the hair on our heads, we should be conditioning those lashes and brows. Yes there are false lashes out there and for special ocassions, why not? Fake brows…erm…not so sure…and there’s only so much coloring in you can do.

So we need to make the most of what we’ve got naturally and that means investing a little more than we did in our earlies.

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there’s nothing like having natural lashes n brows

Over a decade ago, the wife of an ophthalmologist suffered major loss of hair from her brows and lashes due to the serious medication she was on. The ophthalmologist created a serum for her, which worked so well, the brand Revitalash was born.

I noticed my lashes were a lot less lush a few years ago; I discovered Revitalash and  have been using both the lash and brow conditioner ever since. Not only have the grown back much fuller and thicker than I ever imagined they could, but they’re also darker. As these two particular conditioners encourage the pigment too. And we all love a strong pigment, right??

It’s easy to use, one sweep with the wand across clean, dry lashes once a day and its the same with the brows. Either at night time or in the morning – I find it mildly irritating at night and have a tendency to rub my eyes, so I do mine in the morning. Be patient and persevere with the products; you won’t see any difference for a good two to three weeks and then boom…you’ll suddenly see the difference, its like they’ve come from no where…but you must be consistent and use the products every day/night.

all my own
got me some lashes n brows

Since Revitalash came into the world of beauty, there have been many (maybe not quite so good) imitations of this product, that you can buy almost anywhere.

The Cheap Alternative

If you can’t afford any of these, then even putting simple vaseline on your eyebrows at night will help keep them nice and healthy. However you can’t put vaseline on your eyelashes…but you can put on castor oil…

Wise-Little-Hen-5

read more about using castor oil here

One of things that sets Revitalash apart from the rest is the hygiene one gets from the specially designed ingredients within the serum, so if you’re using castor oil, be sure to refresh your mascara wand regularly, if not daily. I personally would use it on the lashes first, then the brows and then bin it. You can buy cheap disposable mascara wands in bulk here

If you do go for the castor oil alternative, look for ‘cold pressed’ hexane free, castor oil here

So girls, if you’re feeling a bit brow beaten or ‘what the pluck’ and short n stubby in the lash department, try helping them out with any of the conditioning recommendations above and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You may even be able to freaking flutter again….

Bette Davis Eyes

 

Rule number 4: I scream for SUNSCREEN!

Save your face from more wrinkles right now

Dracula got it right. He knew that the daylight would kill him. No matter what they say about him, he did have good skin.

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During our 50’s our skin changes a lot. Its gets bumpier and duller; thinner in places, thicker in others; there are saggier bits and more wrinkles. But hold tight, you CAN STOP this from getting a lot worse. But, you need to start today, whatever the weather.

The biggest thing that causes premature aging is light. Yes: sunlight, cloudy light, computer screen light, through-the-car-window light, basically pretty much any light. And not enough of you know this. Protecting your skin against daylight is a MUST. Every single day of the year. A study in Australia done over a four year period CONCLUSIVELY proved that by wearing sunscreen every single day, not only helped in the protection against skin cancer, but also with pigmentation, loss of elasticity, open pores, dullness, lines and wrinkles.

Report on the 4 year study

A 69 year old truck driver reveals how half his face has been so irrevocably damaged by the sun, see the difference for yourselves.

Sun damage to half the face

Yet not enough of us wear sunscreen on a daily basis. WHY? Because we don’t live in Australia? Because we think as it’s dull, cold winter we won’t need it? Because we need vitamin D? Because its cloudy? Because we want a tan? Because we think of sunscreen as gloopy, greasy, sticky and claustrophobic? Because we think we’re going to look like flipping clowns?

sunscreen face

Are we insane? (yes) Or do we just not realise the extent of the damage simple daylight does to our faces? Or is that we just want to wear our favourite moisturizers? Well here’s the thing, you can still wear your moisturizers (in fact many have now incorporated sunscreen into their creams, but I’ll come back to that in a minute); you don’t have to look like a total freak and you’ll be even more insane NOT to protect your face. Some people say that sunscreens can be harmful, that we don’t know what damage can be caused by the ingredients…well, there’s an awful lot more people dying of skin cancers than there are dying of sunscreen. But you need the right one.

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You get UVA (A = aging) & UVB (B = burning) rays, so you must get a moisturizer or face sunscreen that has BROAD SPECTRUM protection. Broad spectrum means that it will protect against both A & B rays. The A’s penetrate deeper into the skin & cause damage that will come and haunt you forever if you don’t stop them now.

 

And SP15 is no where near enough. The fairer your skin, the more prone you are to damage; but if you’re very dark skinned don’t think you don’t need it, because you absolutely do. You should be looking for creams with broad spectrum cover of anything between factor 30 & 50. And that’s just for the winter. If you’re somewhere where its very hot and sunny, then you need to use minimum 50 and make sure you either reapply when needed or get one that is once a day application. And wear a hat. And sunglasses. And maybe take an umbrella if you want to look really professional.

Cameron Diaz Protected
Cameron knows her skin is worth it

So come on girls get wise. Save those lovely faces of yours. I personally use a number of different products. When I use both moisturizers and a sunscreen (specifically crafted for the face), I leave at least 15 minutes in between applications and allow 15 minutes indoors after applying sunscreen, to allow it to properly sink in, before I step outside.

Here are a few of the top brands that have that broad spectrum SPF you need.

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Buy best selling British brand here

Alpha H is an Australian brand that totally understands the incredible importance and value of protecting yourself on a daily basis. I frequently use their daily moisturiser with a built in factor 50: this product is genuinely both moisturising and protective.

alpha-h-spf50

Buy Alpha H Sp 50 here

Another one of my favorites is by the Swiss brand Ultra Sun. They are incredibly strong on the efficacy of their products, they manufacture their creams so that they only have to be applied once a day and they work. I sometimes find (depending upon what I’ve put my skin through) that I need a moisturiser as well, but in the summer more often not.

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Here’s one place you can get it

However, if you do find that you are left with a ashy or white residue, then try moisturizing a good few minutes before applying the sunscreen. Or simply apply some bronzer or foundation on top. If your foundation already has SPF in, then double check that it is both broad spectrum and a high enough factor. Talking of make-up…well that’s another post coming soon..

Meanwhile over to Baz….