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 feelsAMAZING – 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.
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.
Stretch yer face out. By doing some facial yoga you can aid the muscular support structure that is keeping your face in place.
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.
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.
its a great party piece. Bendy people always are pretty impressive. (or is it just me?)
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.
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?
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.
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 dayand 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.
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…
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
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….
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.
A 69 year old truck driver reveals how half his face has been so irrevocably damaged by the sun, see the difference for yourselves.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
Nothing escapes the menopause; collagen loss; more flab and folds; hearing loss; sight loss; hormone blah and hormone blob; but – to top it all – our former crowning glory steadily dissolves into a dull and lifeless, frizzy, fuzz.
And it happens quick. Once barely able to get a large hair tie around my ponytail, I can now wrap a small tie around at least 3 times.
My ponytail has become a punytail.
Obviously I blame my sons, but in fairness, its not all down to them. I would be on this dissipated, stringy strand now anyway: why? Because I’m on the chuffing meno-train.
However, at least I am lucky enough to be working in the beauty industry and, as a result, have happened upon several hair-carers; all of whom promise thickening, strengthening and lustre.
And, oh how we love lustre (aka ‘youth’?) Almost as much as we love coffee, and that’s the key. Unfortunately its not drinking coffee that helps our tresses, but caffeine – applied topically.
There are, of course, many brands that claim to help nurture the hair you have, make it stronger (therefore lasts longer), fuller, thicker, shinier etc; but there are some that are better than others and with ALL of them, you must be patient (we all know how long our hair takes to grow) and you MUST USE the products exactly as advised on the packaging.
Nothing works if you don’t persistently use it.
HAIRFIX is a brand born to treat women exactly our age. It’s a clever recipe that includes time-release caffeine, which works throughout the night to really get down deep in those follicles. It’s a cost-effective serum (as you use only a small amount), which you rub into your scalp 3/4 times a week, at night, wherever your concerns with your thinning hair are.
But you also need to be a lot more clever and considerate than you were in your earlies, in order to get that lustre back (or near to it at any rate) and there are several other things you can do which all help.
Drink plenty of WATER (yes watereven helps your hair)
Make sure you get enough Vitamin B12 (poultry, salmon, fortified cereal)
BIOTIN – also known as Vitamin H, a great supplement for the hair (and skin)
Take Viviscal – a supplement containing AminoMar C (shark and mollusk powder, an organic form of silica)
DON’T use HIGH HEAT tools on your hair (I’m guilty of this one) – no more than 150 degrees centigrade, if you can help it.
HRT Estrogen, estrogen, estrogen. You need it. Go and get some (via the Doctor), because your body stops producing it, (maybe because its banking on you dying at about 65; but that’s not necessarily the case these days) and, our hair needs it. (obvs consult your Dr on this one).
SILK PILLOWCASES – these have added benefit of less wrinkles on the face too, and believe me the difference they make to my hair is immeasurable. (I must get some more, my old ones have died)
SOFT WATER – If you live in a hard water area, see if you can invest in a filter even if its just one that you put in the shower (like this one)
Try not to wash your hair too often. I sometimes just brush my thoroughly through, let it get wet in the shower and then add conditioner. By doing this, you’re not stripping your hair of too many natural oils, whilst still giving it a lovely freshen up.
Hair Masks: use them. Whether you make your own (some great recipes here) or use shop-bought ones, they truly make a difference.
Treatments: DITTO. this is a great one easy to fit into any routine. Just apply onto damp hair for as long as possible before washing out
SO girls, don’t be defeated by bad hair. You can have a good hair day if you just take a little bit more time and give your hair some much needed TLC. Even if its just egg, honey, olive oil and avocado mushed together and slapped on for an hour or so once a week when no one is looking….just remember, you’re very much worth it.
HANDS UP IF YOU GO TO BED WITHOUT TAKING YOUR MAKE UP OFF?
STOP IT NOW, IF YOU WANT GREAT SKIN, YOU GOTTA CLEANSE!
…..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.
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.
EXFOLIATION IS KEY
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.
NO THANK YOU.
Here are some of my favorite products that REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
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.
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.
ITS NOT ALL ABOUT THE FACE: YOU GOTTA BODY SCRUB TOO
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.
BUT GOING BACK TO CLEANSING ALL OVER….
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….
Come on girls, let’s re-brand 50, bugger all those preconceived, old fashioned opinions of what 50 is… 50 can and should be great
Rule number one: Stop moaning.
Hello. I’m 50. And proud. I’m currently entering that phase in life where people say it’s ‘the best years’ of their life. Are they lying? Whats so great about your womb slowly dying, while your waist expands and your wrinkles get deeper and your hair thinner? Whats so good about that? Nothing. But hey, I’m alive. I’ve made it this far. I’ve wished that other people (mainly just my mother) had told me a load of shit when I was 20, but had I then known that golden, beautiful youth is a commodity that can never be revisited, would I have done things differently? I think not. No one can tell you. So I am going to endeavour to help those who in some way or other want to sort their lives out. And I want to begin with those of you that have a problem with turning the dreaded FIVE OHHH.
Coming out: I’m 50, deal with it.
Back in 1972, I knew what age I’d be in the dreaded 1984. The year 1984, I’d read, was a whole frightening world, borne out of George Orwell’s prophetic novel. As we know he was incredibly insightful, as it wasn’t long before Big Brother did arrive, with all his glorious CCTV. But 1984 was a subtle beginning of the actual truth of what we’re left with now. NOTHING escapes the camera. NOT. ONE. THING. No matter how we might hate it. We can deny it, or accept it: either way we film it. Our looks and the value of our looks has raised considerably, because anyone and everyone can see them, good or bad, all over the world at the press of a button. And that fact alone applies more pressure to us ladies entering the grand old decade of 50. I’d never given ANY thought to what a woman might feel like when she turned 50. Let alone ME. I was never going to do it. I would never EVER do it. After all, this was me – Frankie. I honestly, truly, have NEVER imagined myself as OLD. And doesn’t 50 = OLD?
As a child, I had worked out I’d be 35 when we entered the millennium. That seemed ancient. Thirty-five was grown up. Aside from naively assuming that aged 35, your life was a happy marriage, a nice house and kids; I’d imagined the millennium to be so futuristic; it would be an era when everyone wore metallic everything; silver bras, gold shoes and bronze masscara. I looked at 2000 with both trepidation and awe. It felt so incredibly far away – yet it came and went as fast as they all do. And being 35 didn’t feel half as old as I’d thought. Aged 35, you can still kid yourself to certain degree that you’re actually young. Young: what a lovely round, collagen rich, bouncy hair word.
The year however that I couldn’t even be bothered to try to imagine, let alone accept, which, as a matter of fact, came up pretty damned quick, was the year 2016. Which was the turning 50 year. It’s known to be when a woman officially become stale. She’s used goods. No longer fertile: a barren wench, a dried up hag. Grey hair. Saggy and dry everything. Plus menopausal women are known to hate EVERYONE; often including themselves. You’d think that would be a pretty monumental time in any person’s life…let alone a woman’s….yet no one tells you – at least they didn’t me.
The menopause is the dark secret. It’s embarrassing because it’s coupled with turning 50, aka officially going over the hill. There’s no more telling yourself you’re not yet middle-aged. Middle-aged has been and gone. You’re now entering the osteoarthritis phase. Free bus passes are around that corner. Tinnitus. Funerals/free drinks and a bit of a social every month…you actually know a few people who have died, by the time you’re 50. You’re robbed of pretending you’re young, the minute they all start popping off.
But I say NO. No to all of it. I am re-branding 50. The Golden Years. Why let yourself ‘go’. Go where? Down that hill? Why? Laziness? Conforming to what society has always expected us to do – i.e. get fatter, grumpier and less sexy? No thank you. We live longer. I don’t want to be ‘old’ for possibly as long as 50 years, no thanks. I want to ride my bike, dance and laugh just like I always have done. (although to be honest, I’m not much of a bike rider, never have been, I just enjoy the odd cycle).
So how do we do it girls?
We find that girl; that girl who is deep within us and that has been there forever. We let her out again. We forget what we’re supposed to be, how we are supposed to behave and set free that young and optimistic beautiful thing that we all were once upon a time.
We also stand tall, and I mean stand tall. I know its more effort to stand or sit up straight, now that we are older and more worn down, but make the effort. Good posture takes 10 years off you and will help to keep/get that body toned. No one has great posture the whole time naturally, we have to be self-conscious about it. We have to remind ourselves to suck in that belly, push back those shoulders and stick those tits out.
We move about. We eat healthily and drink plenty of water.
But most importantly we drop the RESENTMENT. Resentment is the worst thing in the world. If you don’t like it then don’t do it. You’re 50. Change it. Don’t walk around mealy-mouthed and angry. You’re not doing yourself any favors. You need to slap yourself in the face and work out what the hell you’re feeling so bitter and twisted about. Don’t hate yourself for whatever has happened in the past. Don’t hate others for whatever they’ve done to you in the past. Look forward. Look at you now. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Don’t be sad or scared of growing older. What are the choices? You can either grow older or you can die. So if you’re choosing to grow older, then do it with a smile on your face and a spring in your stride. Life is just as beautiful as the leaves blowing in the wind and the ducklings in the river. Try something new….I’m trying to write my first blog… tech stuff is daunting, so it may be a bit sketchy….but we gotta try…
I will be posting more tips in life, parenting, fashion, health and beauty. Ask me any question, give me your worries and I will do my best to help you sort yer life out girls.