Basically Beauty

Forty-something beauty, reviews and the truth


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Guess My Age Cream by Laidbare

Guess my age, go on, guess!

I love it when I discover a face cream that I really like, that I would definitely buy again and that absolutely does not break the bank!

Seriously, one of the nicest creams I've tried on my face recently is Guess My Age Anti-Ageing Treatment Cream by Laidbare.  It arrived as part of my Love Lula beauty box in February but I didn't take much notice of it until recently when I ran out of my Elemis (which is gorgeous but you need a second mortgage to buy it).


For a 50ml pot it's £9.99 which is really good value for such a good cream.  When I first put it on it felt a bit tacky on my face but sinks in immediately leaving skin soft and is a great base for primer and make up afterwards.  It's got a lovely refreshing smell too, lovely for first thing in the morning.

What's in it?

Laidbare products are organic and made with only natural ingredients and not tested on animals, beautifully suitable for vegetarians and vegans too.  Guess My Age cream has got Active Prodejine and Exotic Flower Oil in it which is great wrinkle busting stuff.  Laidbare seem to know that they can't turn back time unlike some anti-ageing cream claims but use natural products to boost collagen and plump skin.  I have to admit that my skin does feel plumped and smooth and really soft actually.

I'm not going to compare it to Elemis as they are completely different creams though both are lovely.

Laidbare also sell another cream for mature skin that I want to try it's called 9 to 5 anti-ageing cream, definitely worth a try for only £7.99.

You can find the Laidbare website and link to the cream here.

Have you guessed my age?

I'm 45 (46 in July).

Guess My Age?  By Laidbare


Friday, 27 April 2018

High Intensity Griit and Zumba Gold (and not Aerobics)

Following on from my interesting back to front Step class on Monday I have bravely attempted two more classes at the gym this week.

The first was a High Intensity Griit Cardio class on Tuesday.  Really, the least said about this class the better.  It was only half a hour but it felt like an entire day.  Basically, I was way out of my depth.  Even further than the Step depth the day before, because at least I managed to muddle my way through that and actually on some level I did enjoy it.  This class was just way too hard, I wasn't fit or quick enough to keep up though I did battle my way to the end.  The whole point of trying the various classes is to try and find a few that I want to do regularly, I knew when I started to do them that there would be a couple I wasn't overkeen on and this is definitely one of them.  Hats off to everyone else in the class though, I was in awe, they were super-fit

On Wednesday morning I took it down a notch and I to a Zumba Gold class.  Zumba Gold is aimed at "all levels of fitness" which is probably why I was the youngest in the class.  I knew a few of the ladies there from my Pilates class so it was nice to see friendly faces. The ladies pointed out a lady called 'June' in the front row "she's 92 you know".  You wouldn't have known she was 92, she was one of the fittest in the class, I bloody hope I'm like her when I'm 92 let me tell you.

The nice thing about Zumba is that it's dance based with really good music so it's really good fun and because you're moving all the time it really does raise your heart rate and give you a good workout.  My FitBit told me I'd done a couple of thousand steps and burned quite a lot of calories so I was pleased with myself.  I put myself down on the list for next week.

On Thursday I was supposed to go to Aerobics but unfortunately I had to give that a miss due to accidentally whacking my head on something the day before which meant I had to go to A&E to have it glued back together.  The nice doctor told me to 'keep quiet' for a couple of days.  I didn't have concussion and it wasn't a big cut but I think they just want to make sure the glue stays put so leaping around at Aerobics was out of the question.

Tomorrow is Saturday and I'm down for Step at 10am.  I'd really rather go to Body Balance on Sunday morning but I've got to go and find posh outfits for the kids as we're at a wedding next weekend.  So, Step it is.

I wonder if the teacher will be Mindy from Monday's class?  At least I'll know what to expect this time!

Not nearly enough water for a High Intensity Griit class!


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Beauty Box by Funmi Fetto SS18

Funmi Fetto is a beauty journalist and British Vogue's Contributing Editor so I'd say she knows a thing or two about beauty products.  That's why, when I saw she'd had a big input into the SS18 Beauty Box on the Clinique website I clicked the button straight away, particularly as I knew there would be at least two Clinique products in there (win win).

The Beauty Box arrived last week but I have only just been able to open it what with one thing and another.  I'd had a particularly rubbish Monday so after I'd eaten and got the kids to bed I sat down to open up my little box of goodies.

And they're good!  The box contains:

Darphin Hydraskin Light Gel Cream
Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer
Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour, Ruby
MAC Prep & Prime Natural Radiance Yellow
Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effects Mascara
Clinique Cheek Pop, Berry Pop
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer


A sample bottle for Estee Lauder Double Wear
A sample of Clinique Moisture Surge

The only two products I'm not particularly excited about are the MAC Prep & Prime Natural Radiance as I've tried this before and didn't rate it, and the Bobbi Brown Lip Colour as Ruby is going to be too dark for me but I'll give it a whirl.

One of the reasons I love beauty boxes is because you get to test products before you buy them full size.  If it hadn't been for my Glossybox, for example I would never have discovered Kiko Milano make up which is now one of my favourite brands and very highly affordable too.  At the moment I have Glossybox and Love Lula (both monthly).  I've got a year subscription to Glossybox and Love Lula was six month subscription Christmas present from my lovely mother-in-law.  I'm do really love Love Lula though so I will be extending the subscription when it finishes.  It's a bit different as it's all organic products, things I probably wouldn't have known about if it hadn't been for the samples and I will definitely be re-purchasing a few things I've tried.

So, the testing of The Beauty Box products starts tomorrow!  I'll be back with my verdicts.

The Beauty Box


Monday, 23 April 2018

My First Step Class ... And Maybe My Last

Today I did a Step class at the gym.

I don't usually do the classes, normally I go straight to the ladies' gym and do some mat work and pretend to burn calories on the treadmill (though in fact I am always walking far too slow for it to be classed as cardio!).

It's at least 20 years since I took a Step class but I figured how hard can it be, it's like riding a bike right, you never forget.

Er, wrong.

The teacher, Mindy had a quick word with me at the start and said hello and mentioned that her class was "quite dancey", oh good I said, thinking it would be a bit like Zumba on a Step, shimmy shimmy side step, knee fold, 1, 2, 3, 4 ...

It was not, I repeat NOT like Zumba on a Step.  No gentle wiggle wiggle, two steps to the left, oh no,  just a few easy step up, step down moves for about two minutes then BAM! straight into the routine.

It took a good ten minutes for me to realise that I wasn't getting it.  I was the wrong way round all the time when the rest of the class were leaping like gazelles over the step and it wasn't like I was in a class full of super fit yummy mummies either, nope, there were gran's, grandad's, ladies and gents of all shapes and sizes and they were all much better at it than me!

I decided to watch and copy the extremely nimble feet of the gentleman in front of me who was at least my Dad's age (70) because he was brilliant, his coordination was great and he wouldn't have been out of place doing the River Dance.  This worked for me for a while, until Mindy thought it was a good idea to jump across the step, turn round and change direction ... then I was floored.  I managed the jump across but I turned the wrong way and nearly collided with River Dance Man who was shimmying and knee kicking diagonally across the Step box as we'd been told.  I stopped for a drink and noticed my extremely pink face in the mirror, glanced at my watch and realised that there were still 40 minutes to go!

Now, I'm not one to quit so I decided to stick it out even though it was confusing.  I did feel like I was getting a good work out because I was OK with the facing front step up, step down stuff and I basically just muddled my way through the rest of the complicated routine which was in three parts it turns out.  By the time we had to do the whole thing, I'd forgotten the first part and I had only mastered a quarter of it anyway.  River Dance Man helped as much as he could, by directing me to go the 'other side' whenever I got it wrong and I was grateful but he was probably just fearful of me knocking him over and I can't blame him, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and I'm not exactly built for Cirque Du Soleil!

Eventually, Mindy 'slowed things down' which basically meant bringing things back to a slightly less confusing routine i.e facing the front which meant I could at least attempt to copy what people were doing.  11.09 am and it was nearly finished. A few stretches and that was it.  I was too proud to slump in a corner in exhaustion so I legged it to the car park and slumped in the car eating emergency wine gums before driving home but not before Mindy had shouted at me "great job new lady, see you next week".

Hmmm, will she?

Maybe.   I'll have to replace the wine gums though ...

My feet ... pre class!


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Clinique City Block Sheer Daily Protector

It's taken me absolutely ages to get round to writing about this product but I used it last week when I was in Spain and it was as amazing as I thought it was when I first stumbled upon it last year.

Firstly, I am a Clinique fan it's got to be said but I don't usually LOVE their stuff as much as I do this product.  The Clinique City Block Sheer has stolen my heart.  As I've got older I've become much more picky about my primer and my foundation because that's what's closest to my skin - no point having a product that emphasises the bits I would quite like to cover up, is there?

Anyway, back to Clinique City Block Sheer.

One of the reasons I like it is because it is oil-free and oil-free products always seem to give me a much better base.  To be honest I'm surprised because it does contain SPF (25 to be exact) and usually products with SPF just make me look a bit greasy and my pores look huge!  Not with this though, this just sinks straight in and it's good when you're a bit sweaty because it's got something in it that helps get rid of the excess water and oil you produce (don't know how, that's their secret!).

Essentially, it seems it is a sun protection product "Sheer, high level, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB daily sun protection" that's what it says on the back of the tube but there's no reason you can't use it all year round I guess.  I don't because it doesn't work on me when I'm Winter Pale, only when I've had a few days of sun and my freckles have reappeared.

It also comes in SPF 40 too, for those heavy duty sun days.

Now that the weather is changing I am really excited about mixing up my make up, I've been wearing the same eyeshadows and base for months, now it's time to get out the Spring colours!

*Photo Credit:


Friday, 6 April 2018

Spain and Sun and Sunburn

The Winter has basically been horrible so I am very glad to be sitting here in Spain for a week with some sun and temperatures that are higher than 8 degrees celsius.

We arrived yesterday after a very early flight from Manchester (0650 takeoff), the rain was streaming down the dark windows of the EasyJet flight as we left, usually I hate take off but I was desperate to get above the clouds as I knew the sun must be lurking there somewhere.  And it was.  Phew.

I always knew how important sunlight was but now I'm completely convinced that I need to at least see it regularly otherwise I feel really depressed and down.  So it was lovely yesterday to arrive mid morning to bright sunshine with a little breeze and when we got to the villa the birds were singing and the water feature was tinkling away.  I love water, I find it really relaxing (not a fan of boats though, I only like water while I am on dry land!).

So early!

The Rock and the Sun

My feet - pre sun scorch

Yesterday however, was not one of my beauty high five days.  I'm quite ashamed to say that I got sunburnt.  I pride myself on being absolutely on top of the whole sun block thing as I'm very fair and have red hair plus I would never not slather the kids in it.  But yesterday husband took care of the kids and I just got sidetracked and before I knew it I was burnt.  I wasn't out there long without cream, can't have been more than 20 minutes but wow, the UV rays did a number on my sun starved pale skin.  It's a very long time since I've been burnt and I'd forgotten how sore it is, not to mention the many other health reasons you absolutely should not get sunburnt.

Tips for Sunburn

This is what I did after taking advice from the NHS website.  I also googled Sunstroke just to check.

  • Drink lots of water - skin will be dehydrated so water is essential to rehydrate and keep your temperature down.
  • Cool the skin down with a cool flannel, dabbing gently to take out some of the heat from the skin.
  • Put aloe vera on the skin, or appropriate after sun cream.  Solarcaine is great in the USA, it's cooling and antiseptic so it takes the pain away as well.  You can't get it in the UK unfortunately (but then, we get very few hot days so maybe they think it's not worth it!)
  • Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen (if appropriate for you) are good for temperature and pain.
  • Be really careful when you get in the shower, if it's too hot it'll bloody hurt!  
  • Next day, cover the entire burnt area (and more) in high factor sun cream and cover up and keep in the shade.
  • If it's really bad, definitely seek medical advice especially if blisters appear.  Mine wasn't that bad thankfully but it could have been.
Since then, I've been covered head to foot in a high SPF and in the shade but I do love the sun, just got to remember that it's bigger and stronger than we are!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Palette

Yesterday was a good day because I found out that Urban Decay were doing a mini Naked Heat palette.  

The full size Urban Decay Naked Heat palette was released last year and there was much excitement among the beauty world because this selection of eye shadows was a little different to their previous few palettes.  It's called Naked Heat for a reason, because all the shades are beautiful and warm shades of brown, coral and burgundy.  Really pretty.

I admit I dithered about this palette though because I really wasn't sure that I'd be able to make good use of all the colours, lovely though they are.  I like value for money palettes and I think £40.00 for something you'll only use a few colours in is a bit steep and a bit of a waste.  Even when I went to Sephora in the US I still couldn't bring myself to part with however many dollars it was.  I decided I'd made the right call and bought myself a Milani palette with similar colours for about $12 instead.  Job done. 

But going back to yesterday, seeing the Naked Heat Petite pallete changed my mind again.  It's so pretty!

It's got six of the best colours, all I think would be completely useable because they aren't too dark or 'off the wall'.  The first three colours are light and good for a daytime eye, the second three are darker and can be used for a smoky eye or as a liner, particularly the last darkest brown colour. 

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat

This costs £26.00 which I feel is much more manageable and better value as all of the colours can be used.  I'm very happy with my Naked Basics palette in fact I'm on my second one, not so impressed with the Naked Basics 2 as the colours are lighter and I don't get much use out of them but I probably need to give more of a try.  

The thing about the UD eye shadows is that they are really good quality, not much fall out, if any, and really good to blend.  They also last a long time particularly if an eye shadow primer is used and don't tend to smudge if you rub your eyes accidentally!

So ... this palette is now on my wishlist.  I don't need it but I will use it.  

Thanks Urban Decay!

**Photocredit Urban Decay

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