Thursday, 20 December 2012

Queen Cosmetics giveaway results

The winner of the Queen Cosmetics giveaway is…. (drum roll)… MsExpat!

Congratulations and you should receive your prize in the next few weeks (though give or take a week or so because of Christmas perhaps).

Thank you to everybody who entered the 40s Chic Queen Cosmetics giveaway and please pop by regularly to check out our news, reviews and latest competitions.

Why not sign up at the Google Friend Connect icon in the sidebar? That way you will never have to kick yourself for missing something important.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Pocket money sweets - Christmas treats

I’m of an age where I can remember running to the corner shop with 10p in my pocket and being able to buy a big back of mixed sweets – chews, lollies, sherbet, liquorice – oh my, heaven for a kid. When I do the ‘I remember when’ speech now, I see Dot’s eyes glaze over as she thinks ‘here we go again, back to the days of the dinosaurs’.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Winner - Lavera skincare giveaway

Ta da!
The winner of the 40s Chic Laveray skincare giveway is @Twinklefire. If you're reading this (which hopefully you are) then please contact me with your email address.
You have won the Lavera Faces My Age Anti-Wrinkle Organic Face Care Gift Bag, which is worth £49.50.
Lavera products are natural, plant-based and organic, and are suitable for even sensitive skin, thanks to the fact they are free from preservatives, synthetic perfumes and synthetic colours.

Congratulations @Twinklefire! 

Christmas gifts – hair

If your Christmas is about dressing up and partying then check out these great gifts for glorious tresses…

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Happy holidays – winter sun in Austria

This past few days have seen a dearth of posts from me – that’s because 40s Chic has been having a long-overdue rest with the family, our first holiday together for several years. We are in Austria, in a place called Saalbach Hinterglemm, a ski resort spread between the villages of Saalbach and yes, you’ve guessed it, Hinterglemm.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Beauty – Melvita face, body and hair oil

New from Melvita, Nature’s Gold Extraordinary Oil is an all-round beauty product, suitable for face, body and hair. Choc full of nourishing extracts from around the world, it contains Inca inchi oil from the Amazon, kendi Oil from Indonesia and the skincare wunder kind of 2012, argan oil from Morocco.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Giveaway - Living Nature Skin Essentials

This week’s great giveaway at 40s Chic comes courtesy of New Zealand natural skincare company Living Nature.

One lucky person will win a Skin Essentials gift pack for dry skin, which at this time of year, lets face it, is something we could all do with. The prize, worth £28, includes 50ml size bottles of cleanser, toner and moisturiser, a sample size night cream and award winning Firming Flax Serum, all bundled up in a reusable canvas bag.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Arm candy - Radley spring summer 13

You can never have too many bags. Some people like jewellery, some people like watches, me, I love bags. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be invited to the Radley SS13 launch in London a week or so ago. I walked into a large, white room, completely full of beautiful bags. I was in heaven.

This is my favourite - the Chiltern Tote. Hanging above is the Classic Pocket Bag and alongside you can see the Chiltern Mini. Look at the paint colours splattered on the canvas behind and that chair is amazing. The colours are new for next summer and the coral at the end is so beautiful. My favourite though is the blue, second from the left. My photos have not done the colour justice, but here it is close up.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Giveaway results - Canapés recipe book

Congratulations to the following people who have each won a copy of Canapes from Dorling Kindersley. Written by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille, this book is choc full of great party food ideas - what could be more perfect in the run up to Christmas.

Lucy Simpson
Jools H

Your books will be sent to you direct from the publisher.

Many thanks to everybody who entered. Why not sign up to follow 40s Chic through Google Friend Connect (in the sidebar) and then you will always be up to date on our giveaways and competitions?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Gorgeous Christmas gifts

I have been holding my hands behind my back, twiddling my fingers and sitting on my hands since July to stop myself talking about Christmas too early, but hey, it's now December and it's definitely time to jingle those bells and get festive. I thought I would bring you a few of my favourite Christmas gifts, discovered during my travels in the lat few months. I could go on for pages, but I wouldn't want to tire you out before the big day itself, so I'm limiting myself to just a few, with more photos than words for a seasonal change...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Pull up a biscuit and take a seat - interiors

Isn't this brilliant? I've just received these images and had to share them. What a great idea for a seat, it's quirky and ideal for the home fashionista who is looking for that little bit of extraordinary.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Elemis Evening Blooms Dry Body Oil

This is new from Elemis, a brand known for its high end spa treatments and skincare, and I think fans are going to love it.

Containing ylang ylang, osmanthus, jasmine and vanilla (though not too much thanks goodness as I find too much vanilla cloying),the fragrance of Evening Blooms is subtle, without getting lost; it lingers as a background scent and could easily be layered with other perfumes without clashing or jarring. The base is a blend of nourishing kukui and macadamia oils, but the resultant product isn't greasy, rather it leaves your skin feeling silky and smooth once it has sunk in, so it's a beauty treat you can indulge in for daytime, rather than saving it as an overnight treatment.

Don't overdo it when applying - you just need a little of the oil, warmed in your palms before massaging into your skin.

Evening Blooms Dry Body Oil launches on QVC tomorrow with a great opening offer - for more information on that visit our Facebook page.

Giveaway - Queen Cosmetics skincare

I have got an absolutely cracking giveaway for you this week, just in time for Christmas. The lovely people at Queen Cosmetics are offereing one lucky reader a festive gift set of some of their bestselling skincare products - Sensiderma Moisture Soothe, Sensiderma Rich Hand Cream, Eye Make-up Remover and Glycerine Soap, worth £45!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Autumn in Essex

Out walking the dog I stopped and breathed in the crisp air, and thought, I am glad I live here. There is nothing like the countryside in autumn.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Follow this blog (quick, before it gets away!)

Forgive me if this post comes across as a little self-indulgent, but I've decided to add a 'follow this blog' button to 40s Chic.

It's something I've noticed other blogs and websites are doing more and more, and it seems sensible to have something like this (unless of course it turns out I attract no followers and am Billy No Mates, in which case it will just be embarrassing.)

There's a practical reason for doing it as well. Now I've started running giveaways, companies and PRs keep asking me how many followers I have, how many page views and other how many questions that I don't know the answer to.

True, the back office bit of my blog gives an indication of page views, but it doesn't give me followers; I installed Feedburner to find out about followers but that seems to only include some, I think the people who subscribe by email (though I could be wrong). So then I signed up for Google Analytics - aargh, it's a nightmare to understand; it does show followers but the number varies according to what day it is. *Sigh*

So finally I'm going to go with Google Friend Connect and just cross my fingers that I don't turn out to be Billy No Mates.

Help me avoid that hell by signing up to follow 40s Chic through the new button in the side bar. And leaving a comment below to tell me what you think. :o)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Giveaway - Logo What Am I?

Hands up who loves board games?

I've always been particularly partial to them - I remember sitting round the table playing Monopoly with my dad and sister and brothers when I was little, and enjoying great games of Cluedo with my best friend at her house.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Beauty - bring a little summer back

If the winter weather is getting you down and you can't wait for warm sunny days (rather than cold sunny days), then this could be just the ticket to get you smiling again.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Winter ambiance - fragranced candles

It's soooo cold outside and I do not want to leave the house again today. (I have to though, I have to go buy food for the rabbit otherwise she will leave home). I spent a couple of hours walking the dog this morning, which lifted my mood and, looking around at the autumn countryside, I totally appreciated living in a village. I love it here - the trees, hedges and even the ploughed fields are alive with colours that paint a beautiful picture.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Beauty - Hammam in Marrakech

While I was in Marrakech I took up the offer of a Hammam at the spa attached to the hotel. Now I had heard about this bathing ritual before, but to be honest, I wasn't sure what it involved. Ladies, if you're at all shy or prudish about nakedness it might be best to stop reading now. As I soon found out, there's no point in being shy if you're going to experience a hammam.

Weight loss going in the right direction!

I am amazed, but after five days in Morocco I still managed to lost two pounds! I weighed myself when I got back home on Wednesday, in time for my Jenny Craig weigh-in, and yes, I'd lost two pounds.

Beauty - Korres giveaway results

The winner of our superb Korres giveaway is... The Mini Mes and Me! Congratulations and please tweet me so I can contact you!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Beauty - Lush giveaway results

Ta, da, daaaaa. Trumpet call please. I am really happy to announce the winners of the first ever 40s Chic giveaway - Lush Fun and the Lush Rosie gift set. I have three prizes to give away and they are going to:

Make Do Mum

Please let me have your contact details so I can forward them to the PR and she will send out your goodies direct. 

Food - Dotty's baking day

Today will go down in our family history as the day Dot baked her first muffins and biscuits almost entirely on her own (though she did leave the washing up to me).

I remember learning to bake with my mam and I'm glad that Dot is showing the same enthusiasm for cake making as I did... and just as much enthusiasm for eating the results.

It is now getting on for 8pm and she has had so much sugar today I won't be surprised at all if she doesn't sleep.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Travel - Hotel Tigmi, Marrakech

Just a quickie tonight. I have so much to write about my few days at Tigmi and the yoga retreat, but that's for Thursday. I have a long day of travelling back to Blighty ahead of me tomorrow and I'm flagging after so much yoga - I have done more exercise in the last few days than I've done in months, and I'm feeling it in my hips, my legs, my knees and my bum - but I'm feeling oh so smug at the same time!

I'm writing this in my suite, with a wood fire glowing away in the corner. The nights in Morocco at this time of year are cold and so it's wonderful to have the warmth of the fire. It's hard to believe that just a few hours ago I was sitting by the pool, basking in the hot sunshine, while from the back of the hotel lie the magnificent Atlas Mountains, covered in snow. Back to reality tomorrow.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Travel - first day in Marrakech

I arrived yesterday, late afternoon, but today was my first full day. I managed yesterday evening's yoga class even though I didn't think I would after travelling all day, but then I missed this morning's class due to turning off the alarm and rolling over back to sleep.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Travel - Hilton Hotel, Heathrow Terminal 5

From the moment I stepped into the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 I could not have been better looked after by the staff. This was my little stopover the night before my flight to Marrakech, which was leaving at 7.30am, meaning I had to be at the airport at 5.30am! Dreadful timing on my part.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Beauty - How to create a smoky eye

This past week has been a bit hectic, what with subbing shifts in London, a cold that's been threatening to overcome me and now a sick child - the usual lurgy kids pick up at school I think, but she feels pretty rotten poor thing. 

So this is going to be a quickie. It's a make up application video from The Body Shop and features their gorgeous Moonstone Smoky Eye Palette. I love the fact there are instructions on the back of the product, but this gives you a brief overview of how to create the look in the flesh, so to speak. Enjoy.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Beauty - BodyShop sneak preview

Today I was in London, enjoying a blogger event hosted by The Body Shop, during which I was able to lust after their latest Christmas gift sets and chat with international make-up artist and Body Shop ambassador Chase Aston. 

I have a few great make-up tips to share with you courtesy of Chase (who by the way is a lovely person to talk to as well as a mine of make-up information), and I'll post those tomorrow. For tonight though, just to whet your appetite, here's a few photos I took at the event...


Monday, 29 October 2012

Interiors - winter warmers

Winter is coming and I’m feeling cold, so I’m looking for ways to warm up our living room. I know I want colour – purple, red, burgundy, ochre, mustard, berry shades – but I don’t know in what combination. Those colours will bring a cosy feel to the room, and I think it’s about time to get rid of the white.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Foodie Friday - quick, quick brownies

I found this recipe when I was browsing the internet looking for something I could bake for Dot mid week. I was after something quick, nothing complicated and something with a bit of a yum factor. After a few hours timewasting when I should have been working, and countless recipes later, I came across these brownies.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A weighty matter - dieting with Jenny Craig

I have just made chocolate brownies, which perhaps wasn't such a good idea as I'm trying to lose weight. For the past fortnight I have been sampling the Jenny Craig diet plan, complete with what seemed like an enormous amount of Jenny Craig food when it arrived.

Beauty - cleansing face mask

Today I applied a face mask. You should have seen me while I left it on for the specified five minutes - I looked like I was trick or treating a week early.

The mustard yellow goo did nothing for my looks, but I'm hoping it has done something for my pores, and those awful spots that lie just under the skin that I never had when I was younger, but now appear out of nowhere when I'm in my 40s. Bloody hell, doesn't acne know it's supposed to be targeting teenagers?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Beauty - sweet toppings for your nails

These look fantastic and I can't wait to try them. After wraps, foils and water decals, we now have 3D effects for your nails. There are lots of them on beauty shelves but these ones come from LCN and are available in nine colours including rose, turquoise and black.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Giveaway - lovely Lavera skin care

This week our fab 40s Chic giveaway is courtesy of those lovely people at Lavera. If you don’t know this brand then you’ve really been missing out – where have you been since 1987?

Lavera is a natural cosmetics, hair care and skin care company with a wealth of plant-based and organic products that are suitable for even sensitive skin. They are free from preservatives, synthetic perfumes and synthetic colours.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fashion - wonderful wellies

Take a look at these. Not only are they practical (of course, wellies have to be), not only are they a lovely colour, but take a closer look, yes they are lined! Not just lined with any old material mind you, they are lined with merino wool. Here's a close up:

Beauty - cooling eye gels

Today I'm feeling a little rubbish - a mixture of the cold germs that are flying around everywhere at the moment and one to many glasses of wine last night - on a school night, too!

A good, long walk with the dog in the countryside, in the pouring rain, helped blow away the cobwebs and these little lovelies - Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels by Skyn Iceland - finished off the job.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Foodie Tuesday - comforting coffee cake

I made this coffee cake for the first time on Saturday as a late birthday present for my OH. I can’t take credit for the recipe as that belongs to the beautiful Pearls & Poodles, who blogged about it here.

I have just a few things to add having now made the cake:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Giveaway - Canapés recipe book

This week’s giveaway is Canapés, a beautifully photographed recipe book written by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille. It’s full of delicious ideas for party nibbles, some easy to make, some more difficult, but all look yummy.

Read my review of Canapés here and there’s a couple of recipes for you to try here.

I have three copies of the book to give away, courtesy of those kind people at Dorling Kindersley. All you have to do is leave a comment below and you will be in with a chance of winning one.

Canapés, by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille, published by DK, £14.99,

(Closing date 15 November; entrants must be over 18 years old; one entry per person; giveaway open to UK residents only. Any questions or problems please let me know.)

The Prize Finder

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Fashion - Musto SS13 - part 2

Following on from my taster of Musto's new line for next spring and summer here are the fashion show shots. The host for the event was Zara Philips who you can see above, doing her stuff. I particularly like her equestrian collection, but then I would, wouldn't I. However Musto is a brand that covers many sports, so the Olympic fashion parade below has looks for sailing, fishing, shooting and equestrian fans. Some of the clothes could be worn for any occassion while others are obviously dedicated to their particular sport - you wouldn't go to the shops wearing this red waterproof sailing outfit for example. Or would you?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Foodie Thursday - Canapés: the recipes

Fennel-marinated feta and olive skewers

As this recipe tastes so fresh and clean, it will work well with richer dishes. It makes a delicious vegetarian option.

Foodie Thursday - Canapés review

Now we are in autumn, and celebrations such as Bonfire Night and dare I say it, Christmas, are on the horizon, the publication of this recipe book is well timed.

Canapés is a cornucopia of party nibbles, savoury and sweet. It’s a great looking book, full of gorgeous photographs and it is hard backed, so it’s hardwearing, something I think is essential for a cookery title.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Giveaway - Korres skincare

We have a great giveaway this week thanks to the fab guys at Korres. If you haven’t been introduced to these beautiful skincare products then you have been missing out. Think of sunny Greek Islands and you are pretty much on the nose with this brand – it is natural, organic and smells delicious.

As a company Korres has its roots in Athens’ first homeopathic pharmacy; today it blends nature with science to produce an exciting collection of skincare, haircare, suncare and cosmetics. What more do you need?

First up we have the Guava Body Butter, full of vitamin C to help stimulate collagen production, shea butter, almond, sunflower and avocado oils for their softening and hydrating qualities and quince extract to nourish and restructure. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fashion - Musto SS13 collection

This is jut a quick taster of yesterday's Musto launch. As you can see the lineup is a Who's Who of Olympians and sporting prowess. That's before we get to the great sporting outfits for equestrian, and sailing fans, as well as casual country chic for lovers of the outdoors. More later.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

In the heart of London town

Somerset House, The Strand, London

I was in London today and had the good fortune to be at Somerset House when the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the fountains were jumping. What a glorious October day and what an absolutely stunning building.

The view from the other side of the square

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beauty - wicked black sparkly nail lacquer

Just a quickie - I love, love, love this new Butter London nail colour for winter. It's Gobsmacked - and I was when I saw the amount of glitter in it. I am going to wear it for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas parties (oh okay then, not parties so much as a bottle of wine with the other half in front of the television).

It's quite sheer so needs around three layers. It also needs a top coat as it feels like sandpaper without! You can find it at 

Beauty - eye make-up remover

This eye make-up remover is new to Ahava’s Time To Clear collection and as you can see, it is an almost two-tone product.

The water-based and oil-based layers lie separate in the bottle (as shown in the first two photographs) until you shake them up a little to mix them. Then it’s simply a case of apply to a cotton pad, hold to your eyes for a moment or two, then gently wipe across. The oil formulation means there’s no drag against the delicate skin around your eyes – yet there’s no greasy feel afterwards. Good stuff.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Foodie Tuesday - paella

A few weeks ago I wrote about a gift from Flavrbox, a hamper of artisan products - heaven for a foodie such as myself. Well among the lovely bits and pieces in the box was this Spanish Garden Paella from Gustosecco, and last night Dot and I had it for dinner.

Foodie Tuesday - mushroom month

October is mushroom month so if like me you’re a fungi fan then check out the Mushroom Bureau website where you will find more than 250 marvellous mushroom recipes. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Giveaways – a great gift of FUN from Lush

Launching giveaways on 40s Chic are the kind people at Lush – and I have three prizes of their new FUN multi-purpose marvel up for grabs.