Friday, 25 September 2009

Bad hair days

Am I the only person who has problems trying to keep their hair in some sort of respectable state? When I wash it, it refuses to dry straight. Which is strange when you think about it - until I had my baby I did have straight hair but since then it's become curlier. Not good curlier that you can leave after washing and still look good, but frizzy curlier that always looks like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards. And it's big.

Now if this was still the '80s that wouldn't be a problem. It makes me smile to think I spent the entire '80s having my straight hair permed to achieve the curly look and backcombing bits like crazy to make it all bigger (and I've got some awful photos to prove it though obviously I thought I looked fabulous at the time). Now, if I want to achieve the poker straight locks of yesteryear I have to plug in the straighteners.

And there's another story. Over the years I have spent a fortune on straighteners, resisting the temptation to buy the most expensive brand on the market, baulking at the cost. So I bought cheaper irons that didn't work, until I eventually caved in and purchased the GHDs. I could have bought them several times over, the money I'd wasted on other products! And they still work, four years later.

But I digress. Getting back to frizzy hair problems. One answer is to wear it up, which I do, a lot, but this causes it to break and there's always loads of hair in the shower after I've washed it. I do like to wear it down at times but don't want to have to straighten it every day. So what's the answer?

There are so many products out there that claim to help. I've tried loads of them and I still haven't found one that does it all well enough. Frizz Ease serum is one I like - it does tame the more wild traits of my tresses, but can't control it all and there's a Tigi product, Camera Ready, which is great for spraying lightly on your hair after you've finished styling it, to flatten those stray wisps or ariels that always seem to stick up no matter what.

In my continuing quest to find the perfect product I'm going to try the new Head & Shoulders Hydrating Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner, and Aveda's Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener this weekend. I'll let you know how I get on but in the meantime, any recommendations would be gratefully received.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Beauty at your fingertips

I've just seen the new autumn nail colours from Zoya. They are definitely dramatic, great for glam parties. My favourite though has to be the rich, plummy shade Posh. It gives a matte finish, is not too wintry and is still reminiscent of summer - which is perfect for the warm weather we've been having here in the East today. It works well with casual or career clothes so is great for my meeting today, but will it withstand the strains of mucking out the horse later? We shall see.

What a day!

John and I passed a crucial milestone today. We hacked out – properly – for the first time. I am so proud of him, he was perfect, in fact I was more nervous than he was.

We rode out with a friend from the yard and her horse, Croppie, choosing the ’short block’ (around 35 minutes) for our first time. Passing other horses, cows and dogs made my heart jump more than a few times but John took it all in his stride; yes he looked around, he was interested, but he did nothing more. What a superstar.

Just six months at our new yard and we have come so far already. This was the first time we’d hacked out in the nearly four years we’ve been together and an occasion that, many times in the past, I never thought I’d see. Absolutely wonderful.

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Signing off...

Alas, the recession is taking the gloss off beauty with the news that the Prescriptives range from Estee Lauder, will be no more from next year. Distribution of the brand stops from the end of January leaving thousands of women around the globe with a gap in their makeup bags where those handy little refillable palettes once were.

Now I know there are similar products on the market and I know it's not that big a deal in the great scheme of things, but there is something sad about the passing of a product that over the years, has become something of a friend.

I realise Prescriptives is more than just those refillable makeup palettes, but they epitomise the brand for me - being able to choose each shade means you never end up with a duff one you will never use.

One spark of sunshine - Prescriptives Calyx fragrance will still be available to buy in department stores from next February.

Getting closer

We went into the school tonight – a bit of walk and trot, nothing more as with the jumps up there’s not enough room to canter, not for me anyway.

Afterwards we headed off down the lane. After his recent nappiness I was apprehensive as to whether or not we’d make it past the yard. Sure enough, John planted his feet and refused to move forwards. It was tea time and he was making sure I knew he knew it.

Efforts to persuade him forwards resulted in him going backwards, turning and going backwards some more. Words of encouragement from friends at the yard couldn’t quell my nerves at what he was doing, but with their support I actually eventually succeeded in getting the stubborn old so-and-so to move forwards. And I was still in the saddle!!

When he finally conceded I was in charge (this time) we walked off down the lane accompanied by an understanding friend for moral support. We progressed further than we’d ever gone before – twice – as we came back and did the whole thing again. And there were no shenanigans this time. Success! We are almost ready to embark on a hack proper I think.

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Age is a state of mind

What happened? Last time I looked I was 20, then I blinked and somehow I have arrived at the startling age of 45, not knowing how I got here. Thank goodness that being 45 today is not the same as it was - it's the new 25 don't you know, or at least in my head it is. Which brings me nicely to my point - age is a state of mind. So, while my body might complain, creaking with odd twinges from time to time, my thoughts, feelings and emotions are the same as those of the 20-something girl I see when I look in the mirror, albeit with an added topping of maturity.

Beauty, fashion, music, friends and family are still as important to me as they ever were. I still get excited and nervous by new things, feel carefree on warm, sunny mornings and cry at sad stories (and even happy ones).

It matters to me how I feel and look - and when I look good, I feel confident. Obviously as far as hair and skincare goes, needs change over the years - I've moisturised religiously since I was 15 but baby lotion on my face just won't cut it anymore! And as for some catwalk trends well, we'll not even go there.

What I'm after are beauty products that suit my skin, makeup that complements my face and fashion that works with me rather than against me. I hope my blog is useful to other 40-somethings who are as shocked as I am at where the years have gone, but who feel exactly the same as they did before and still know how to enjoy every last drop of the fun that is life.