Tag Archives: 40 year old

The Makeup Bag of a 40 Year Old

I quite like makeup.  I always have.  Unfortunately I was so expert (!) at putting it on that throughout my life people didn’t think I wore any.  Except, obviously, when I went out and layered on the eyeliner and eyeshadow.  I now think it’s quite a skill to manage to wear makeup, but not look like you are wearing any, so I’m curious to what other people do now.

I though I’d share with you what is in my makeup bag.  This is it, sitting inside a much bigger makeup bag (which contains aforementioned “going out” paraphernalia) and this smaller bag contains my everyday makeup (give or take the odd item).

my make up bagI keep it in the top drawer of a tallboy in my dressing room (yes, I have one of them, not for much longer sadly).  I use a lit up Revlon mirror set to “daylight” to apply it in the morning.

my makeup bagSo what is inside the makeup bag, I hear you cry, well here is was THIS 42 year old is currently wearing on her face.

After applying my Clarins Blue Orchid oil and then a moisturiser (currently Boots Protect and Perfect Day cream) I then apply the following:

Clarins BB Cream – this is an absolute gem. The amount of people who mention how well I am or comment on photos of how dewy or illuminated I am in it are huge.  It creates a gorgeous glow.

Laura Mercier camouflage secret camouflage concealer.  I have had this for ages (yes, I know they are supposed to have a shelf life, but I tend to ignore that) and I only dragged it out again last year after the pfaff of the Bobby Brown concealer.  I now love this product. You can mix it as you see fit but I generally use the lighter shade under my eyes and the darker shade to hide the broken veins (lovely) around my nose and the odd chin spot. I use the little brush which is an eco brush from Boots.

I then apply mascara. I’ve been through all sorts in my lifetime but I find Maybelline are consistently brilliant and although it’s now tricky to find their original mascara, I use their Masterpiece one in Black.

My blusher is currently the Bobby Brown one I got last February, but as you can see I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel with it.  I use the big brush to apply it that I’ve had for about 15 years.  The one underneath is my new Clarins blush in a very similar Coral colour.  I’ve only swapped allegiance because my new town doesn’t have a Bobby Brown, but I do really rate this creme blusher. I never used a creme (or cream?) one before but once I just got on and did it, I think it’s a much nicer finish.  As you get older, anything that looks moisturised and not matte is a good thing.

Just to the right of that is my Bobby Brown creme eyeshadow in Lavender.  I’d never have chosen it myself (too old lady?) but it was picked during my makeover in February and it’s actually really nice on and provides the tiniest shade of colour. I don’t wear this to work, but a trip to visit my dad or a bbq it’s a nice understated added extra.

An eyeliner has snuck in there.  I can’t remember the brand, but they are usually a pen eyeliner of some sort, in black and I only ever put it on when I’m out for the evening at a party or big get together.  I can’t believe I used to use liquid eyeliner EVERY day through out my teens and twenties.  As I’ve got older I find it’s a bit too heavy during the day.

The tweezers?  Well I love these ones as they have flattened, ridged ends and never fail to grab.  I use these beauties on my eyebrows and sadly, my chin hair.  I’d have a full beard by now if it wasn’t for them.

So there you have it.  Anything there you fancy?  Anything you would add?  What’s in your makeup bag?






There is a bit of a phenomenon that keeps happening to me and I have been noticing it more and more recently.

It’s a middle age phenomenon I think.

Involuntarily high-pitched “aaaahhhh” or “oooohs” when surprised.

Open the door on someone?


Trip up a little on a footpath?


Get surprised by a toddler as you walk around a corner?


And not just in your normal voice.  This is a distinctly “old woman” sound.  It’s higher pitched. Very sing songy.  Very bloody annoying.

It’s really unsettling.

I’d be reeeeallly annoyed at me if it wasn’t me.

“Shut up making that annoying sound!”

Oh, hang on, it’s me.

Anyone else?

It’s so embarrassing.

Fuddy duddy? Moi?

Not bloody likely.  I am DOWN WITH DA KIDS.

Ok, I may have just ruined it with that sentence, but whilst I may be “getting on” I can at least have a conversation about some things that matter to teenagers.

I am vigilant about fashion. I remind myself, time and time again about the hideous things we did with clothing that was not flattering, but we considered cool. It was better to change your body shape for the worse than not wear the latest skirt/trouser/legging combo.  I say something like this to myself as I watch some street wise kid lollop down the road with his trousers belted at his thighs. I do the same when I see a young girl, curvy, delightfully plumpish wearing a crop top and low slung jeans which spill out “a la muffin toppish”.  I may choose not to wear that gear, but I now what it means to “need” to wear it.  I’m cutting them some slack.

I know how loud teenagers can accidentally be.  On the bus, in the street. They talk first, think later.  It sometimes really annoys me or makes me angry, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I was exactly the same. Saying something dorky at the bus stop, far too loud and far too annoying for those around me.  I too, remind myself of this A LOT.BBCRADIO1

What I am especially good at is music. I do not listen to Kiss FM, Radio 2, Radio 4 or Radio 5. I am a massive fan of Radio 1 and I’m not going anywhere.  The reason I’m not going anywhere is because I have a theory. A theory about old age and music.

Imagine that Radio One is a pair of tight jeans.  You look good in them, you feel bold in them and you wear them all the time.  You really like wearing your tight jeans, it makes you feel good. Everyone says how “cool” you are and you like it.  Then one day you put on a pair of jogging bottoms.  Ahhh, the softness, the give, the comfort.  You love the jogging bottoms because they are really safe and comfortable, but you wear the tight jeans a few more times, because, you know, you haven’t completely lost your marbles.  The trouble is, the jogging bottoms are calling to you.  You remember their softness. You remember how relaxing they were and you start wearing them more and more.  You forget how you felt when you wore your tight jeans. You start scoffing at others and saying out loud how uncomfortable the tight jeans were.  Why would anyone put themselves through that. You ignore the fact you now don’t look as good on a night out, you don’t care so much because you keep reminding yourself of your new comfort and you keep putting down others to make yourself believe that this is the right decision.  You have been converted.  Then one day, you pop your tight jeans on.  They are too small now.  You find them uncomfortable and unflattering. You cannot get your head around the fact you used to wear them.

THIS is why I can’t move radio stations. Not yet.  If I start stepping off the treadmill, consuming new music (albeit a particular kind) and keeping my head in the place where music continues to change, I’ll wind up like the person who puts on the tight jeans for the last time. It won’t make any sense to me. It’ll sound like noise and I won’t get it and then there will be no going back. I can’t let that happen. Not yet.

Having said all that, it makes it sound like I’m forcing myself to listen to music I don’t like. I’m not. I love Radio 1 because I love 98% of the music they play. I think this is because I haven’t stepped off the treadmill.

I’m just very conscious of the fact that I’m pretty unusual in my age group.  Most of my friends occasionally listen to Radio 1 but mostly listen to Radio 2. Quite a lot don’t listen to Radio 1 at all anymore.  Ask them who the Number 1 is and they’d look at me blankly.

I have switched over a couple of occasions when the breakfast show has a stand in DJ or when they are doing a particularly cringy prank (I’ve never been able to stomach these, even in my 20’s) and whilst I love the banter, I can’t be doing with the music.  For every old song I listen to, another new one is lost, passed me by.

So I’m staying put. I’m messin’ with Radio 1’s demographic and I just don’t care because the day I step off the treadmill I’ll be saying goodbye to ever being able to understand a teenager’s taste in music every again and I refuse to let that happen.  I’m hanging on by my last remaining tooth whether you like it or not.

Taking the Plunge

Well, not literally.  I suppose it’s just as well we have no cliffs in London because the last few weeks at work would have certainly made the thought of it very appealing.  The trouble with having a difficult time at work is that it inevitably creeps into your home life too.  Hubby and I were arguing more and I was losing my patience with my children.  Nobody likes to be “that” mum.  The whole thing ends up spiralling up until you really don’t think you can take it anymore.

You may have remembered that I had a bit of a “losing it” moment with a senior executive a couple of weeks ago.  Well, not content with having one emotional angry moment I decided to book end it with another.  This time with my bosses boss.  This isn’t generally seen as a good career move, but I think it really summed up my general mood at the time.  Thankfully this man has a bit more emotional intelligence than the other guy and pressed me to the point where I was in fight or flight mode.  I was either going to shout “Fuck off” to him or walk out and even I was a bit apprehensive at which way I was going to go.  He saw the whites of my eyes, backed down and wandered off.  I knew I hadn’t won.  I had been lucky though.  I could have really made a mess of that.  We met the following Monday, much calmly and sorted out the disagreement in the right way.  Thank goodness.

So I’m at a cross roads.  I’ve been here 10 years in March and I recently decided I was going to find another job.  I’ve got lots of obstacles to getting there, but none that can’t be overcome.  I just need to break this all done in nice manageable chunks.  I’m concerned I’m going to miss out on my long service leave in March.  An extra 2 weeks holiday on top of the 4 weeks (Pro-rata for me, but works out the same).  It may take me that long to find the job I want, I can’t let that be a reason to hang on.  “I won’t earn as much” – Well, you never know.  “I won’t get the same benefits” – you never know, and at any rate, being happier is much more important. “I haven’t got a CV” – schedule the time to work on it.

The plan was that I start to look for a new job and then that would dictate where we might move out to.  We really want to move.  I feel stifled where I am.  The trouble is I don’t want to get a job somewhere only to discover all the areas around it I don’t want to live in.  We are, therefore, planning to go and do a bit of snoop around in areas we might like.  Hubby knows these places quite well, but I’m been a Londoner for 17 years and have never been to most.  First stop is this weekend.  Off to Hampshire to sample the delights that this county has to offer.  I’ve got a couple of villages recommended to me by people on Twitter (we nearly went on Sunday with hangovers, but some friends cancelled a weekend with us this week, so we thought we would use that), so we are going to check them all out.The Woods

We are making a whole weekend of it and will be staying overnight at relatives in Newbury which also gives us the opportunity to have a look West of Newbury too.  I’m really excited about it.  If we find an area we like I can find out about school and other amenities and then look for jobs that sit somewhere between there and where I am now.  Then I can commute for a while from here, hopefully with some flexibility and Pickle can complete Year 1 at her current school without me feeling guilty for pulling her out early.

All sounds so simple on paper though doesn’t it.  I’m hoping it pans out that well.

Any advice on what to look for in a new area, other than good schools?  What do you think makes a good place to live?

The Big Chop

I have had long hair FOOOOREVER!  Well, for a very long time.  I started growing my hair in 1992 as I had  a perm for some time (I know, I know, but it was cool, man).  Over the years I have had a few minor haircuts, bringing the hair to up a bit, but generally it’s been long.

More recently it’s been VERY long. It’s probably been this long for about 5 years and I did like it.  I liked it on the Saturday, just after I’d washed it (30 min), combed it (30 min), blow dried it (45 min) and straightened it (10 min).  You see the problem there.  Nearly 2 hours had to be put aside to make it look nice.  That was just one day though.  Due to the level of care I needed to put into it, I only did that once a week.  It was alrightish on Sunday, acceptable on Monday, Ok on Tuesday but pretty much after that it looked a mess.  If it wasn’t messy it was requiring constant brushing or dry shampoo.  I was having to be inventive with hair styles (side plait, plait, side bun, bun, low pony tail).  I’m a busy working mum and frankly it was driving me to distraction. I’d had enough of it.

I blogged about it here in October and I’ve been counting down the days until my hairdresser returned from maternity leave to do it.  Between that time I have swung wildly between wanted to have it done and thinking I’m a complete idiot!  On a Saturday, I love my hair, but I had to focus on the other 6 days when I really didn’t like it.  As well as remember the length of time it took to look after it on that Saturday.

So, here is my Saturday hair.

Long hairApologies for my goofy face.  Not my best look.  Look at my hair though………my lovely flowing loooooong hair.

So, then I booked D day.  It was 2 Saturdays ago now, but as you may remember I was languishing on a hospital camp bed on the Friday as my daughter was going to be wheeled into surgery, so I texted the hairdresser and said I was unlikely to make the appointment, but I didn’t want to cancel it just yet.

On Saturday morning hubby came up to the hospital with The Monster and I headed home with TM for a bit of rest, some house tidying and for him to have a lunch time nap.  I had forgotten about the appointment.  However, thankfully my hairdresser didn’t and she rang the doorbell and there she was, ready to do the big chop! Was I ready.

Well, yes I was!  It was hot, I had had a bit of a time with my daughter and hospital and my hair was annoying me.  After my colour was put on we went through my Pinterest board of hairstyles (Can’t believe I ever said I didn’t “get” Pinterest) and we worked out what she was going to do.


Here it is.

Long Bob

Now, I only took the photos on last Saturday, so this is not hairdresser completed hair (it was a week old by then). None the less, I achieved this wash, blow dry and straighten in under 30 minutes and quite frankly I LOVE IT.  It was so liberating.  The front is longer than the back as requested and as soon as I saw it I said “I love it, but next time, let’s go shorter on the back”.  I really want it to look more angular.  So there you have it. I did it.  For a hundred reasons, this cut is so much nicer and easier.

I have had a lot of compliments about it and people have said it is very flattering.  Hubby was surprised that he liked it so much, although he did add that he though it was a “grown up” hair style.  Well I’m 40 now, about time I took a moment to have a grown up look.

So what do you think?