Summer feet

Whether you are lucky enough to have had  a holiday in the sun or are planning for one the decision as to what to wear on your feet is important. If yours is a beach holiday then there are certainly some lovely flip flops around. Because I have unattractive toes I prefer to keep mine covered, although I’m envious of those who can show off their feet.

ted baker rose

Ted Baker rose leather

dune diamante flip flop

Dune diamante

If you want to go upmarket Katie Spade (available on line) has some very attractive styles. Another high quality brand is Stuart Weitzman. usually available at Russell and Bromley.

ks blk leather flip flop

Katie Spade black leather

stuart weitzman white tassle

Stuart Weitzman

If you find sandals with toe posts uncomfortable (many women do) the above white leather slip on’s are ideal, or the red and brown sandals shown below. If you do ‘uncover’ your toes then your feet need to be in tip top condition and your nails polished. If you have pale skin it is a good idea to wear some self-tan. Invest in a pedicure if your nail painting skills leave a lot to be desired.

perfect feet

I wish my toes looked like this!

red brown leather open

Simple leather sandals

I’m currently looking at some of this seasons nail colours so I’ll let you know what takes my fancy.

The right to bare arms

silver squiggle bangle

Delicate yet eye-catching

As you get older, even with exercise and the gym (!) women’s arms can loose their muscle tone. This means you may be reluctant to wear sleeveless tops and dresses. Unfortunately if the weather is hot or you are on holiday somewhere that actually has summer weather, then it is not practical to wear long sleeves all the time.

isabel marant cuff

Isabel Marant cuff

Although the cuff above is expensive there are loads of different style to be found on the high street.

Being realistic you can’t suddenly start using those dumb bells and in 3 weeks be ready to bare. Even if your arms are less than perfect they will look better with some self-tan on them as tanned skin often gives the illusion of being slimmer than it is.

You can draw attention away from your arms by wearing bracelets and cuffs.

silver gold bracelet

Silver & gold bracelet – on my wish list!

multi jewellery

Marakesh anyone?

A simple T-shirt, pair of jeans and a pashmina can be transformed by jewellery. Notice how the bracelets show off the tanned arms to advantage. Get those arms out girls!

Sunshine Therapy – Step Two

In Step One we looked at the importance of preparation and in today’s post we are looking at application.

Once your skin is fully prepared you are ready to apply your self-tan product. Invest in specifically designed gloves or mitts to avoid staining your hands! You can purchase these from chemists or supermarkets. Thankfully some self-tan products are fairly easy to use and smell considerably better than they once did!

solmate

Sol Mate by Temple Spa

Over the years I’ve tried many products (often with pretty poor results) and to date the above self-tan is the best. At only £25 for 150 ml it represents good value too. It is non-sticky, has a lovely smell thanks to the grapefruit essential oils and contains anti-aging ingredients.

Application

Apply in a dry environment not a steamy bath or shower room as this will make you perspire and may lead to a streaky finish. To be avoided at all costs!

Ensure your skin is well moisturised and that the moisturiser has been applied at least one hour before application to ensure even application. Work fairly quickly with light but firm strokes. It is always best to use a tinted product so you can actually see where the product is going.

Tricky areas! The elbows, knees and heels require a slightly different approach as these areas in most people tend to be drier and/or darker in skin tone than the rest of the body. Lightly moisturise and apply the product sparingly. With most products you can build up the tan – if you wish- over the next few days. It is important to keep the skin moisturised.

In Step Three we will look at maintenance.

Sunshine Therapy – Step One

Whatever your thoughts on sunbathing most people agree that a light natural looking tan on your  face and body makes you look healthy and rested. If you are jetting off to the sun then obviously you need to protect your skin and stay out of the strong midday rays. If you haven’t managed to get some rays, or you prefer not to sun bathe, then the convenience and benefits of self-tanning products are for you. As a Temple Spa Lifestyle Consultant I can strongly recommend their all year bronzing solutions. When self-tanning goes wrong, as it often does (orange and streaky!), it’s usually because the skin has not been prepared properly. The time taken to prepare ensures your self-tan looks natural. As in all matters of style you need to invest some time.

For the perfect (well as near as you can get it) self-tan on your body follow the 3-Step PAM process.

Preparation, Application & Maintenance

Let’s start with preparation. If you have never tried dry  skin brushing this may seem a little odd. I have been doing this for years and it definitely makes a difference. I do it irrespective of whether or not I am applying self-tan. It’s good for the circulation and gets rid of dead skin cells. Every morning before your shower or bath brush your skin, always in the direction of your heart, in long firm strokes. I have now discovered a skin massager which I use immediately after the brushing. This takes no more than 5 minutes. If you haven’t time in the morning do it in the evening!

skin brushing

 

Dry Brush

no pain no gain

Massage

sugar buff

Apply a skin scrub. I use Temple Spa Sugar Buff to buttocks and thighs because I do get cellulite. You need to use the scrub wherever you intend putting the self-tan. Then wash off and dry your skin.

buttock cellulite

You have now prepared your skin and it should feel soft and smooth. There will be no dry patches that the self-tan product can adhere to. You are now ready for Step Two, which will be posted soon.

 

 

The wonder of white jeans

All-White-Outfit-Idea-for-Women

Chic all in white

Yes it’s that time of year when I fervently hope that summer is not far off. What better time to get out the white jeans? Although I do wear mine all year round. White jeans are possibly the most versatile item in your wardrobe. They can look ultra cool, very casual and smart.

with flat glitter shoes

Dress up with glitter flats

with beige loafers

Dress down with loafers

Depending on how you accessorize the number of outfits you can create is almost limitless. If you are worried about white over a generous sized bottom then simply make sure your top covers the offending article. And remember, you can put white with virtually any colour and wear white jeans with sandals, brogues, ankle boots – you get the picture!

with black sweater

Great with simple black sweater

black top and sneakers

Good holiday look

If you don’t possess a pair of white jeans I would suggest you are missing out on a timeless approach to style rejuvenation.

Spa wherever you are

temple spa

Excellent skincare from an ethical company

in the beginning

The best cleanser I have ever used!

I have written before about the transformative power of clothes. You know that if you get your outfit right not only do you look good but you also feel good. One area of lifestyle I am increasingly asked about is skincare. As we get older our skin can change. It can become dryer, pores may appear larger and if like me, you are a bit of a sun worshipper,  you may have some signs of pigmentation. I wanted to be able to offer bespoke skincare as part of the services I provide. With this in mind I set to and did some research. Last year I came across a British owned company called Temple Spa based in West Sussex. I trialed the products and was so impressed I decided to become a consultant. So, what does this mean for you? It means I can offer a bespoke skincare service based on your skin type and take you through the facial you would experience at one of the high quality spas using Temple spa products. Because I am one of their consultants I can offer substantial cost reductions and keep you informed about special offers. As a client you can pay as little as £69 for cleanser, toner, moisturiser and skin mask. Full cost would be £94.

TS cleansing

This is skin therapy designed to match the needs of your skin and to reward your skin with outstanding long term benefits. The products are a delight to use and are a fusion of anti-aging ingredients, natural botanicals and essential oils.

I can offer a one-to-one session or if you prefer why not get a few friends or colleagues round and I’ll run a skin therapy class. If you are in the North East I run skin and spa therapy classes in my home which is set in the Northumberland hills. Contact me for details of the next class (May)

 

Get carried away

I rarely wear heels (I’ve inherited my mother’s challenging feet) although from time to time my outfit ‘needs’ heels. I love them and I think they make your posture better and, if you want to, they show off your legs. I’ve discovered quite the best thing in footwear for years. Ballerinas, made by a fabulously creative company, Butterfly Twists. Fold them up, pop them in your bag and when your heels get the better of you, pop them on.

chloe metallic butterflys

Chloe £35

I’ve recently bought the above style and will wear them next weekend when I attend a wedding. There will be dancing in the evening and I know my heels will not last the evening. The ballerinas are so comfortable and stylish. The sole is designed to be worn outside you need not fear they are too flimsy.

butterfly natalie

Natalie £35

butterfly jade

Jade £40

There is a wide range of styles and colours to choose from. Something to suit all occasions. So, whether you need them for a party, a shopping trip or on holiday you’ll find a pair you like. They fold up to about the size of a small purse. Brilliant!

www.butterflytwists.com

Dare to bear

If you read the fashion and style mags you will be aware that nude lipstick is everywhere. On some women it can look good. The thinking behind this trend is that it looks more natural than brighter coloured lipstick. Not sure I agree. No one’s lips are nude. We all have some pigmentation, hence the fact that a colour that works on a friend may look totally different on you. Allied to the huge amount of nude lipsticks on offer is that other trend. Matt lips.

dark nude lips

Dark Nude Matt

lips nude

Pale Nude Matt

If you want to wear matt lipstick you really need to have fairly full lips. Unlike a gloss lipstick a matt finish has the effect of flattening the lips and making them less prominent. Also, as women age their lips can tend to lose their plumpness and look thinner.

maybelline nude matt

Maybelline Nude Matt

The Maybelline lipstick has a totally matt finish and does wear well. The MAC in ‘Patisserie’ (below) has a very slight shimmer and in my view is more flattering.

MAC patisserie slight shimmer

 My preferred choice, especially if your lips are not full, is to go for the NARS or Chanel lipstick as they subtly highlight your lips and are not totally nude.

NARS niagara slight gloss

NARS in ‘Niagara’

cc 93 intime coco shine

Coco Shine in ’93 Intime’

I always feel that lipstick completes your makeup. It should complement and be in a colour that suits you. In my opinion nude lipstick is the opposite of natural and matt lipstick only works on full well defined lips.

I’m incapable of travelling light

It’s about this time of year when magazine articles and bloggers are busy extolling the virtues of travelling light. I have friends who only ever use a carry on bag. How do they do it? Toiletries aside (not that I ever could put them aside) how on earth do you pack for 7 days – let alone 14 – and only have a carry on bag.

travel toiletries

Airport sizes

Even with the necessary small sizes I still seem to have too many toiletries. I’ve tried decanting but once had shampoo over everything and spent the first two hours on arrival at my room  having an impromptu washing session. If it’s a beach holiday the only thing is to buy sun lotions and after sun products when you get there; but this can be expensive. Also some skincare products (pump dispensers particularly) defy any attempt to decant.

Then there are the articles that say you can take 10 items and create 20 outfits. Really? It has never worked for me and I do think I’m creative when it comes to putting together an outfit. And don’t start me on shoes. I take an average size 6 (39) so it’s not as if my footwear takes up too much room.

carrty on case

Carry on contents

The above image relates to the ideal content for your carry on case! I can only assume the person packing has never traveled with Easy Jet. I am going to make an effort this year and consider taking a linen towel – much less bulky – when I travel somewhere with a beach. I suppose I could restrict my footwear to one pair of beach sandals, evening sandals and loafers for walking about. I still know (because I’ve tried it) that I will not be able to get everything into my airline approved carry on.

organised suitcase

This is what I’m aspiring to!

I certainly will be taking a carry on. It will contain all my ‘extras’!

 

If the thought of heels makes you wince

blush flats with trim

Stylish and very wearable

As an older woman the one thing that annoys me with regard to matters of style (many other things annoy me but this is not the place or time!) is my inability to wear heels any more. On a more positive note there are so many lovely flats around it isn’t the challenge it once was.

patent blk flat 'attitude'

Edgy and full of attitude

If, like me, you really love shoes and are always looking for something above the average then the pair above are ideal. Flat shoes can look very stylish and of course they are ‘usually’ easier to walk in and don’t hurt your feet!

moonstone flats

Very feminine

The above flats would not look out of place with a LBD or a pair of evening trousers. One thing that flats offer – apart for ease – is versatility.