My TOP, VERY BEST FINDS this year so far…are: Sri Lanka (yeh, lucky me, or is it just being 50+, & therefore a more urgent traveller?);a seemingly simple face cloth and finally, an incredible leg transformation kit.

I’ve discovered that once you hit 50, you are more aware of time running out, which, in a way, is a really good thing, as not only do you throw caution to the wind and do things like book an amazing holiday to Sri Lanka, (where I discovered all kinds of nature’s wonders, including natural beauty products, this will be in a future post, as there is way too much to tell you), but you also try your hardest to get the things you really like and want. So when something “wows” me, I want to share it, so if you can’t get to Sri Lanka just yet, you may well at least be able to get the following gems into your beauty regime


I’ve discovered that once you hit 50, you are more aware of time running out, which, in a way, is a really good thing, as not only do you throw caution to the wind and do things like book an amazing holiday to Sri Lanka, (where I discovered all kinds of nature’s wonders, including natural beauty products, this will be in a future post, as there is way too much to tell you), but you also try your hardest to get the things you really like and want. So when something “wows” me, I want to share it, so if you can’t get to Sri Lanka just yet, you may well at least be able to get the following gems into your beauty regime.

THE WIPE OUT MICROFIBRE FACE CLOTH: I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of ‘beauty’ modelling for QVC UK, (a tv shopping channel), where I get to demonstrate a considerable amount of products. Whilst doing these demos, I obviously have to use the very products we are selling; so I get very good, real experiences of each and every one. Not many things really make me sit up and shout “wow”, but this face cloth made me thoroughly “wow”, and “wow” very aloud. I LOVE THIS SIMPLE FLANNEL. It literally GRABS tight onto every single bit of dirt, grime and make up; one that leaves your face INCREDIBLY clean and lovely, but without taking off an extra layer of skin. It’s much more brilliant than any normal flannel could ever even hope to be. Even with eye make up – this flannel removes it easily, with just water and nothing else. In my opinion, The Wipe Out , is The Face Cloth God: in a league of its own.

My beautiful friend Susie and I (& our legs) many years ago

THE GAME CHANGING LEG COLLECTION: Again I have QVC to thank for introducing me to this next set of products. All by Margaret Dabbs. A podiatrist; a foot guru; a string of salons’ owner; an innovator and a general just amazing person. Some of you may well have experienced the luxury of a treatment at one of her many clinics. (London, Dubai, Doha, Gloucester..), others will have, like me, discovered her through QVC; and, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, I am delighted to introduce her (& her wonderful wares). She is mainly known for her incredible foot treatments, of which I myself am an avid fan (Foot Hygiene Cream) and use many of her other products, on a regular basis. She also has developed great products for the hands and nails, but her latest and biggest  ‘wow’, is a set of ENCROYABLE treatments for the legs.

I already do an all over body scrub on, almost, a daily basis. So that’s quite a lot. Plus I moisturise religiously après shower, with either pure coconut oil, SBC Collagen Gel, Flora Mare Body Lotion or Vaseline Intensive Care Body lotion, so I thought I was already doing my best. Little did I know. My leg-skin was in for a massive treat. We had under six minutes to demonstrate a whole leg treatment kit – beginning with an uplifting and thorough scrub; rinsing that off; then applying the (in my case) YELLOW (or you can chose BLACK) mask treatment all over all of the legs, then waiting 12 minutes (we had, at the most, 3mins) then rinsing that off; and finally moisturising with the firming leg serum. My legs looked like they’d been photoshopped. The skin was visibly much, much smoother and silkier, as did it feel. The thread veins seemed to have considerably diminished and there were no visible dry patches. It was literally incredible. I was gob-smacked. And that was only after a mere six minutes. What would happen after 12? I had to buy the kit and believe me, I have not been disappointed. My legs look ten years younger; healthier, silkier and generally just a lot, lot nicer. Plus they feel better, and my circulation has definitely improved. Genius products. Get your legs summer ready; impress yourself. Its a fabulous experience. I really want to literally SHOUT about this set, it is THAT AMAZING. (Unless your legs are already in mint, tippety-top condition, then I guess you wouldn’t notice that much of a dramatic change; but for all the rest of us…do NOT hold back).


Susie, with her lovely legs





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


Probably the most expensive one…Creme de la Mer


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


Sisley Confort Extreme….pretty expensive too


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


Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 

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


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….


Clarins Hydra-Essentiel

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


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!


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.

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

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.

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


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


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.


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?


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 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.


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 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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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….





Rule number 2: Cleanse. It sounds so boring, but its both essential and great.




…..and I mean EVERY NIGHT, even if you’re a little bit tipsy, JUST DO IT!

Now you’re older, whether you’re 38 or 87, or anything in between, its time. Its TIME  to really take care of this cleansing routine. In fact great cleansing is imperative to get into your life regardless of age, so those of you in your ‘earlies’ get into a routine now and you’ll reap the benefits forever more.

bare faced
bare to face

However, for those who’ve been on the planet a while; not only have you undoubtedly acquired many ‘things’ such as old books, inherited artifacts, children (maybe); miss-matching towels; speeding fines; debt, a crap vacuum cleaner etc but you’ve also more than likely gained some worrying wrinkles; perhaps a smattering of pesky pigmentation; some screaming scars; open pores, flaky, dry patchy skin or just ruddy rosacea; whatever misdemeanors that now sully your once glowing, perky, vibrant, peachy skin can, in fact, be helped. A lot. Just by great cleansing.

So this is a two-pronged attack. I want to encourage you all to have a clear out; with everything – permanent complaints, excess clothing, dead skin cells, temperamental bowels, bulging cupboards, clutter, useless men: the lot.


Just as you wouldn’t wear the same pair of knickers for months on end, nor should you wear those skin cells. When we’re in our ‘earlies’ our skin naturally replenishes itself at an astonishing speed. By the time we’re 30, our skin has got less efficient and the dead cells are replaced more slowly. By the time we’re 40, its even slower. Once we’re 50 and beyond…well we need to get the big guns out to drag off those determined old cells that cling like glue to our faces and bodies, hanging on for as long as they possibly can in order to facilitate deeper, darker wrinkles; bigger, badder, more rotund pores and dull dull OH SO DULL skin.


Here are some of my favorite products that REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.


Buy Alpha H Liquid Gold here

Alpha H Liquid Gold is genius. First brand ever to recognize that exfoliation is key. Wipe this over cleansed (Alpha H Balancing Cleanser is FANTASTIC for ALL skin types) skin at night and you’ll feel a tingle – this is your skin being woken up, sent into the gym, as Liquid Gold forces your PH levels to rebalance. Do not moisturize. No need, Just go to bed and let the magic work. While you’re sleeping the AHA’s slowly munch away at your dead skin cells, revealing a fresh, hydrated face in the morning. Do use sun screen the following day. This product is brilliant for ALL SKIN COMPLAINTS.

As far as cleansing goes, this Flora Mare 4eversonic is a Great hygienic facial tool


If you don’t like the idea of an AHA exfoliator then a physical one can work just as well. I recommend the Flora Mare 4eversonic, in my opinion its better than any sonic brushes out there. Partly because bacteria can fester in brushes, no matter how frequently you clean or change the heads, but also because the 4eversonic is a joy to use, leaving your skin feeling like glass. For the older skin I highly recommend the Diamare range from Flora Mare, pictured above is their beautiful creamy cleanser, which again leaves the skin thoroughly clean and smooth.



I’m currently testing a couple of different body scrubs, so have none to recommend at the moment – but even if you just get a pair of exfoliating mitts and some body wash, add a little salt and olive oil and your skin will feel amazing.


No one likes a mess. Not really. Some people say they don’t mind living in a mess, but I don’t believe them. It hurts your head. Its annoying not being able to find stuff. Cleansing your life is as beneficial as cleansing your skin. Have a clear out. Its incredible what it does for the soul. Your junk could be someone else’s…junk, or maybe they would have a use for it…either way, get rid. Don’t hang on to stuff that is just taking space. Head space. Space space. Every time you buy a new piece of clothing, make it a rule to either give a piece away or throw a piece away. Sort through that clutter on the side, it won’t take long and it will no longer irritate you slightly every time you see it. Likewise with friends – if they’re not bringing it, then drop them. Yeah that sounds mean,  but seriously, if you have certain friends who only ever have negative things to say about you and your life…..the dump ’em. Have a cabinet re-shuffle and nuture the good ones.

So please girls, you’ve got one skin, make the most of it. Treat it right and you’ll get rewards. Of course, skin health is not just about cleansing, its also down to stress, pollution, sun damage, sleep deprivation, smoking, drinking and men. Yes, men. If he’s dragging you down, putting you down, or never going down….there’s just one thing for it….you gotta….

wash that man right outta yer hair