Beauty over Forty

Keeping up appearances when age is just a number



6 Hits & 2 Misses from the Drugstore

Hits: Having almost given up on lipsticks from the Drugstore I have an unexpected hit to report for mature lips. L’Oreal has a beautiful sheer nude lipstick by Jennifer Lopez in their Color Riche range called JLO’s Nude. It’s beautiful with a bit of shimmer, flattering to anyone with lines on their lips. As a sheer color it doesn’t have very good lasting power, but is a joy to wear. The scent is slightly floral but not too overpowering. It’s available at Ulta for only 5,39 USD (it is currently on sale woo hoo)

Sticking with L’Oreal, in my post last Monday I wrote of the advantages of having a great lumiereflattering color for a quick one shade eye look. L’Oreal’s Color Riche L’Ombre Pure in the shade “Lumiere” is perfect for that. Unfortunately these only seem to be available in Europe, but in the UK they are in Boots & Superdrug and in Germany at any L’Oreal display.

I have found quite a few hits for damaged  hair recently. In principle apart from the follicle hair is dead, so all you are really looking for is products that help this look better, therefore haircare products tend to be quite simple in their formulation and there are rarely high-end products that are outstandingly better than those in the drugstore. Here’s a few of my good finds:

Conditioners: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor, smells delicious and comes in superb packaging where the bottle stands on its head allowing you to easily get all of the product out. This is a really nice conditioner, that improves combability.

However even better is: Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner, it also smells pleasant and can be bought in individual use sachets (which give me 2 uses). This product is free of sulphates and parabens and gives even better combability than the Aussie.


You know when you are good and go to the hairdressers every month getting those split cocnutwaterends removed, but then in the weeks after at home you blow dry your hair and damaged hair is sticking up all over the place? Well if you do, Ogx’s Coconut Water weightless Hydration Oil is your new best friend. I either spray this onto my damp hair and style or if I have used other products for that I spray a little to my brush once I am done with styling and brush through and those terrible flyaway damaged hairs behave themselves, plus it makes my hair super glossy.This product has a strong coconut aroma.

And finally on the hits: I am so sorry to write about this, because I think that if you live outside of Germany or Asutria you will not be able to get it. I have long been looking for the perfect hand cream, on that absorbs without icky residue, conditions hands and smells nice. Believe it or not, I have been through countless hand creams and none of them fulfilled these criteria until now. For under 2 Euros, I found hand care heaven in the drugstore brand “treaclemoon”. The product is in small portable 75ml bottles and comes in satsuma, coconut, mallow, raspberry and cherry scents. I now own them all. Each has a slightly different formula depending on how damaged your skin is, but all of them absorb amazingly, all are non-sticky leaving no residue. This brand deserves to be a global hit! If you have relatives in Germany get them to pick some up for you, they can be found in DM.

treaclemoonFinally I have only 2 misses to report: Influenced by YouTube and Blogs I went off and essencelashprincessbought two Essence mascara’s. Both were of the Lash Princess range, one called “false lash effect mascara”, the other called “volume mascara”. Both looked very nice at application, better than I would expect for mascara’s that only cost around 3 Euro’s. But with one of them (can’t remember which) my eye starting itching almost immediately and this continued throughout the day, with the other the mascara flaked off terribly by lunch time.Due to my sensitive eyes, I will be avoiding Essence mascara’s going forward along with maybelline.
That’s all folks!


Sisley: The most Beautiful Lipsticks nobody is talking about…

When you see pictures of my lips you are used to seeing something like this:


But, with the right lipstick I could be showing you guys something like this:


sisley-lippen-phyto_lip_shineThe lipstick I am wearing here is: Sisley ‘Phyto-Lip’ Shine in the shade 07 “Peach”. The finish is semi transparent and shiny, almost metallic. In any case it has a luminous sheen in it. The reason this looks so much better on my lips is: that sheer luminous colors will always look better on lips with fine lines, plus the lipstick contains plumping polymers. Not the lip plumper burning type thing many of us have tried, no tingle with this whatsoever, the polymers just seep into your lips making the lines somewhat plumped. The application is smooth and in wearing it is intensely hydrating, containing kokum and mango butter. The color lasts around 3 hours, with the hydrating feel lasting throughout the day, even if you don’t reapply.

The only drawback: the price! They cost 52 USD (eek one dollar less than Tom Ford!). With this being a French brand and myself being in Europe, fortunately they “only” cost  38,99 Euros for me. But, would I pay 52 if I had to? YES! My lips have never looked better. With the semi-transparent colors buying them is pretty risk free, if you get a “wrong” shade, it is still more than likely going to flatter you, as your own lip color will shine through.

Would I repurchase? Most definitely!

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2 New Limited Edition Lipsticks for Valentine’s – Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk & Valentine

A few days ago, just in time to damage your wallet prior to Valentine’s Day, Charlotte Tilbury released two new limited edition lipsticks.I got both of them.  🙂

Pillowtalk is from her Matte Revolution range, the lipstick translation of the hit nude pillowtalk2lipliner with the same name. It is a universally flattering shade with medium longwear (for a bullet lipstick) which applies very smoothly and evenly and does not accentuate any fine lines. It stays well put not necessarily requiring lipliner.

valentineValentine is in my opinion, the more exciting shade. It was released in their K.I.S.S.I.N.G. range which is moderately glossy. A few days ago I reviewed Bitch Perfect which is a similar shade from the same range and the review was unfavorable. I found my Bitch Perfect to bunch immediately and have pretty much no staying power whatsoever. Valentine applies better and does not bunch. The staying power is also short, but it is an incredibly pretty light nudey pink. Great for a pop of color in a nude makeup look. Valentine is more light pink than Bitch Perfect which has more of a coral tone to it.

I am really pleased with both Pillowtalk and Valentine. Both are really nice shades with Pillowtalk being the more universally flattering one and Valentine being a bit more fun. They retail for 32 Euros direct from Charlotte Tilbury’s website. My key question is always would I repurchase? If I could, given that these are limited edition I would repurchase Valentine. Pillowtalk is also a great shade, but there are many other similar shades on the market. Valentine is more unusual.

This the first time I ordered directly from Charlotte Tilbury. Dispatch was fast and the packaging was really good. This also gave me the opportunity to get a whole lot of other lipstick samples and perfume samples directly from the brand.

As I now suspect that my Bitch Perfect Lipstick (bought from a different online retailer) may have been old and that that may have affected the quality, going forward I will always order direct from the brand.

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Charlotte Tilbury Bi*** Perfect Lipstick.

Watching a video by Bunny (ka Graveyardgirl) reminded me how much I wanted to try Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. I love the packaging and with the full on glam image of the brand it’s nice to own something with that old Hollywood feel. I went for the shade “Bitch Perfect” from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. range, so named because it contains an anti-oxidant extract from the lipstick tree.

bitchperfectThe shade is a pinky coral, for me that was exciting as lately I have persistently been reaching for mauve shades and my choices were starting to bore me. I also purchased her lipliner “Lip Cheat” in the shade “Pillowtalk”. This lipliner gets great reviews and the color matches the lipstick really well.

User experience: the lipstick is moderately stiff and skips a little when applying. The feeling on the lips is not immediately emollient, but remind me a little of the feeling of putting on petroleum jelly. The color applies patchy, and although my lips are exfoliated, the pigment bunches up giving the impression of dry lips. The pigment is gone within around an hour, but the emollient feeling on the lips actually increases as times goes by and continues post the pigment fading. This was very disappointing. I really like the shade and expected far better performance. The only way I could keep the color staying longer was to entirely cover my lips with lipliner and apply the lipstick on top of that, the pigment still bunched though. The lipliner also bunched and flaked.

just applied and already bunching

For me this is a big product fail. I will continue to use it though for a bit as I like the shade, unless I encounter something with a better formula of the same shade. I was rather hoping this lipstick would be my go to and was hoping the pretty metallic tube would be a staple in my handbag.

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Memory Lane: Makeup in the 1990’s with Clinique’s Black Honey

Today I saw something that really surprised me, it was a preview I believe for a Sephora Play box and in it was Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I was of the opinion this had been completely discontinued, as I have not been able to find it in stores for years, turns out it was discontinued in Europe but continues to be sold in the US and elsewhere. However, if you try to buy it online for example from Sephora, they will not ship it to Europe (very weird), but it does ship from Lookfantastic.

The reason I care about this is I turned 16 in 1990, which is the exact year my friend recommended I try it. There is no other product from my youth that I have been trying to buy repeatedly throughout adulthood and the same must apply to countless other people or it would not be a cult classic.

Me aged 18 wearing Black Honey

To provide a little context to those of us who did not go through beauty in the 90’s. In the 90’s the majority of our makeup products were crap, drug store was abysmal and high end was also atrocious.  My first “good” foundation was from Clinique, at the time it was the only brand that provided foundations for different skin types in particular for oily puberty skin. They even almost had my shade (I have always been ethereal white) and it was the best match I could get. No other manufacturer had shades even close to light enough for me. My foundation was the best on the market and it was terrible. It lasted maybe 3 hours and I was not the most oiliest kid out there. At least it faded, the yellow drugstore shades separated. The only full coverage foundation there was was theater makeup. I was fortunate to have high end foundation, everything else I had was drugstore, some shadows were so poorly pigmented they didn’t even show up. Towards the late 90’s I was only buying high-end at the time mascara was amusing, you could either have one thin layer where you didn’t see anything, or clumpy eyes, thanks to Lancome, Dior and Chanel. No, clumpy lashes were not in fashion, it was all we could have! Eyeshadows lasted maybe 5 hours maximum. The turnaround to what we have today was actually driven by drugstore brands upping their game, high end had to follow and so we find today many items being completely on par with it being irrelevant whether it counts as high or low end. Anything I get at the drugstore today, no matter if it sucks will still definitely be better than what we had in the 90’s: except for Clinique’s Black Honey.

cliniqueblackhoney-2Throughout this period Clinique’s Black Honey was a stand out product, it was unique; a sheer lipstick that looked great on anyone literally all skin tones. When layering, it took you from day to night. It did not last long on the lips, it had the staying power of a gloss rather than a lipstick. Everyone would have preferred better staying power, but you could be sure that when it faded it faded really nicely from the middle out, like a slight ombre lip. Provided you didn’t put too much on, you could be pretty certain there would be no embarrassing smearing. This is the genuine “grunge” look everyone was wearing, which actually looked pretty natural, rather than what people are told: which is that people wore chocolate lipstick. I am really pleased that I have found it and that people will be getting it in their Sephora Play boxes, it is a handbag staple and deservedly a cult classic.

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Lime Crime for everyone!

Happy Saturday, a few months ago I was delighted to share with you how pleased I was with TheBalm’s  Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick performance on “mature” lips.  For those of us who may be younger and not in the know: many liquid lipsticks are so drying that they look terrible on lips which are not 100% plump, this applies to the natural lips of most people towards their late 30’s. Being over 40 it is in my own personal interest to find formulas which look wonderful on everyone, including myself.

limecrimeriot2Having tried many brands over the last months, I have grown careful of over-purchasing on a whim, and so I only ordered one Lime Crime Velvetine online, in the shade “Riot” which was the most similar to my favorite TheBalm shade “sincere”.

User Experience: The formula is very fluid, so you do need to be careful when applying it, it is very pigmented. I would be careful not to apply too much or you might have challenges with it not drying down. With wiping off excess of the doe foot I manage to completely cover my lips with one swipe. Applied in the right amount it does dry down, but not rapidly. The immediate feeling on the lips is not taut! There is no tightening and no exaggeration of lines. The product smell reminds me of cake batter and rum raisin, quite pleasant. Once dried down it is transfer & kissproof. I found the lasting power to be great, it lasted through a full meal and wore down nicely towards the end of the day. I would gauge that it lasts 2 to 3 hours longer than TheBalm Liquid Lipstick.

Velvetines come in 42 shades, so you are more than likely to find a shade that you like. I bought mine from BeautyBay (as they ship to Germany) where they have around twenty of the shades, still a good selection. I paid 18.90 Euros, a pretty good price for a really great product.

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Best of the Best: Makeup 2016

The year is coming to a close and what an exciting makeup year it was. I thought it fun to list out the very best products I have enjoyed this year. Do note that I am writing from the perspective of a pale skinned, cool toned person, who has fine lines and some wrinkles. My requirements of products may be different to yours. When I list products ranked, it means that I think all the products listed are great, I just have a slight preference for the higher ranked product. Disappointing products are not on this list. So without further ado, let’s get started in the order I would normally apply products.


Joint 1st place to Guerlain’s D’Or (non-silicone based) & Becca’s Backlight Radiance Primer (silicone based). Both are beautiful. The Guerlain L’Or was overhyped earlier in the year on YouTube, but still a lovely product in its own right. Just pricey, but great for experienced skin and who knows, maybe it really does have a lifting effect. The Becca primer is amazing, wonderful glow. I wrote a post about my favorite product combinations with it. An absolute must-have in my opinion.


#1) Shiseido Synchro Skin. This stuff is a dream, looks beautifully natural, stays put, wears beautifully, no creeping into fine lines or wrinkles, great coverage, extremely lightweight, medium to full cover, easy to build, can easily be sheared out. A miracle!

#2) Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Extreme Cover. The limited Shade Range and weirdness of the shades delegates this to second. Apart from that it performs just as well as the Shiseido, with full cover. This is extra great if you can’t find a good concealer for the under-eye area. With this foundation you shouldn’t need one.


Under Eye: Maybelline Age Rewind. Of all the concealers I have tested (18 so far) this outperforms even the most high-end in cover and in its ability to restrain from creeping into fine lines. For hiding blemishes: L’Oreal Infallible stick concealer stays put for a very long time.

Finishing/Setting Powder:

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder. I don’t need a powder to bake, just to finish and this powder is beautiful. Wonderful glow, almost impossible to overdo it. A discovery of December, I thoroughly enjoy it.


Smashbox Contour Palette. I have been using this for 3 years and did a lot of research to see if I could find one better, but I failed. The contour shade in the light/medium palette is just perfect for my skintone and this remains my go to.


Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, in the unimaginatively named shade: “Bronzer”. I own a lot of bronzers, so making it to the top is a great achievement. Lovely smooth application, natural looking shade and stays put all day.


Joint 1st to Milani’s Luminoso & Lancome’s Blush Subtil in Brun Roche. Luminoso is such a beautiful peach shade, it suits so many skin tones. Being a drugstore brand it’s also very affordable, even from Europe via Amazon (it’s a US brand).  Brun Roche is a brown toned Rose, very subtle and very natural looking with great staying power. Wouldn’t want to give up either of these.


Becca Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed. Just perfection.

Eyeshadow Palette:

Tarte’s tarteist™ PRO Amazonian Clay Palette. Having hooded eyes, I am not to bothered by reports of 5 colors muddying together when blended, because on hooded eyes you really don’t use that many colors. I may use up to 4 and they are not all the same tone, meaning I don’t experience those complaints. What I do experience is great color payoff, blendability and staying power and a very attractive shade range for a cool toned person like me. Love it.


Too Faced Better than Sex. I have lost count of the mascara’s I have tested this year, but I always come back to this one. Great volume and lengthening. Manages to make me look like I am wearing falsies and believe me, my natural lashes are nothing to write home about. Maybelline’s The Falsies Push Up Drama nearly upstaged this one, except I seem to be slightly allergic to one of the ingredients. I would still recommend that others try it out. At that price point, if it turns out you are allergic it’s no biggie, but if not; it really is a fabulous mascara.

Liquid Eyeliner: still searching for a holy grail

Pencil Eyeliner:

Cargo Swimmables. Formulated for the water ballet, in lovely shades these stay put on the waterline all day.

Liquid Lipstick:

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes. I dedicated a whole post to these fabulous liquid lipsticks. Love, love, love, beating these would be a tall order.

Traditional Lipstick Favorite formula:

Mac’s Satin. I love this formula, it doesn’t feather out and has a nice smooth application & finish, not glossy, but also not thoroughly matte. My favorite shade is “Amorous”, beautiful for the fall/winter.

Best Lipliner:

Mac’s Pro Longwear Lip Pencil, as the name says, a long wearing dependable friend, it applies smoothly, no skipping or tugging.

Best Lipstick Primer:

Guerlain’s KissKiss Liplift plumps, fills in fine lines, cancels out pigment and keeps your lipstick on about twice as long. A great product.

Gloss: still no holy grail

Lip Plumper:

Glamglow Plumprageous Gloss Lip Treatment gives me the plump without the pain. This year I tried 4 plumpers and this is my winner. This product will not be suitable for everyone as everyone’s lips react differently to different plumpers. I experienced no real pain with any plumper. Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme did a slightly better job of plumping, but around 2 days later my skin would peel. I do not experience with the Glamglow product, where I get a minty tingle and my lips actually get conditioned and plumped.

Setting Spray:

Urban Decay All Nighter keeps everything on from dawn to dusk until it gets taken off. I only use this if I am out for the evening.

So, that’s it folks! I am excited about the new discoveries I will make in the coming year, thanks for reading along and making them with me.

Happy Holidays with some old style Hollywood Glam

It’s nearly time, two more sleeps! Apart from the shopping, the turkey, the excitement, nothing screams holiday more than a bold glamorous lip.


My choice for Christmas day is Mac’s Lustre Lipstick in “Lady Bug” surrounded by Mac’s Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in “Kiss me Quick” for under that mistletoe. It’s a lovely Hollywood glam style that takes us back many years.

Yes it will transfer, yes it is not smudgeproof, yes it will transfer onto your wineglass. That’s how I know the glass is mine and who cares? It’s glossy, bold, glam and wears down beautifully.


Along that vein, I wish you all very Happy Holidays, may your wishes and dreams come true, and I will be back between Xmas and New Years.

My Hopes for Makeup Trends 2017

Everything goes in and out of fashion, sometimes, we can get an inkling that a trend may be on the “wrong side of fashion history”, sometimes we’re pretty sure the trend is timeless. Here are my thoughts on current and potential future beauty trends I would like to see either continue, grow or fade out.

Things I would like to see continue, or more of:

  1. More natural looking feather light transfer proof foundations. I have really appreciated the developments made in foundation over the last few years, it is now possible to have a great “your skin but better look” or even a camouflage effect whilst wearing an extremely light non-greasy base.
  2. Good contouring. I appreciate good contouring and wish to see this trend continue. Do well it can do amazing things for your face, I have seen whole double chins disappear through shade.
  3. I also appreciate really good liquid lipsticks, they are currently hugely popular and with better and better formulas I look forward to seeing more of them.

Trends I hope never really catch on:

  1. drapingDraping (contouring in blush), I was unfortunate enough to witness this in the 80’s the first time around. Believe me there is no value in it, wearers usually look like they have been slapped in the face. A trend that was on the wrong side of history then and remains there.
  2. Strobing (creating strong dimension through highlighting instead of shading). Highlighters are beautiful things, but it should hardly need mentioning that overdone the wearer will look either like a glitterball or a greaseball. Plus what’s the point of all that mattifying baking, and general matte full coverage foundation if the nose, the forehead and above the brow, all areas which would get oily during the day are highlit.

Trends I hope fade out:

  1. Instagram brows and Sharpie brows. Believe me in 10 years we will regret those photos.instabrows
  2. Baking, never in the history of woman has so much product been wasted in so little time. Baking looks great on camera. In real life it often does not. Even women in their 20’s have fine lines under the eyes, baking makes them worse. There is little value in spending a fortune on great moisturisers, only to have the moisture sucked out of them by a cake of powder. It photographs wonderfully, but does not always translate.

I look forward to reading other bloggers Beauty Hopes for 2017 over the next few weeks.

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