world according to sam

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Tag: anti-ageing

 Do I look 60?

A Saturday meander through Boots skincare department to look for a new face cream that would hopefully iron out some of those wrinkles …. And what an array to choose from. So when I was approached by an assistant with the offer of a sample and perhaps a test on the back of my hand I was drawn in … Like a moth to a flame (sucker!)   On closer inspection a new L’Oreal cream was being trialled with the divine and ever youthful  Helen Mirren as the figurehead. Proffering a wrinkly hand I was massaged first with a liquid serum (Glow Re-Activating Essence) followed by a calamine pink cream – L’Oreal Age Perfect Golden Age, Rose ReFortifying Day Cream. Who wouldn’t be drawn in with the promise of ‘re-cushions’ and ‘glow activating’ ? 

Ever the optimist I purchased in a frenzy,  hopeful that my next ‘new to market’ skin cream purchase would truly contain the elixir of youth. On returning home I headed straight to the L’Oreal website to check out the details … And there it was … Skincare for 60 year olds! How rude!

Anyway I have had it for a while now and have been using it diligently. The serum is cooling on the skin but does not feel particularly rich or nourishing, though it is flecked with tiny rose gold particles.  The cream is super thick and almost ‘stiff’ but moisturises well. The packaging and feel of the products are pure luxury but fortunately not the price… And like so many of these large companies nearly always on offer in some form or another at Boots. 

Results – no outbreak, moisturising and gorgeously glamorous packaging   Not sure I am a full convert and can probably be tempted by the next ‘big thing’ however having now finished the moisturising cream and being left with nearly half a bottle of the serum I will probably buy another of the moisturising day cream as I like my skincare to ‘match’ which is totally at odds with many beauty bloggers who have a plethora of products in their bathroom cabinets which they rotate throughout the week! Thinking what to wear takes long enough, introducing a choice of skincare to the fray would be a disaster!


Bobbi Brown Longwear Eye Base

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Channeling my inner Vesuvius, namely the hot flushes that abound, erupting with little or no warning (or warming for that matter …. straight to the heat of Hades!), I am increasingly finding keeping my make up intact a real issue …. Now my make up routine, as I may have mentioned before is scant although I love all things new and cosmetic and often purchase with no intention of using the items but rather like a magpie I must gather these beauty finds nonetheless and line my nest (bathroom cabinet) with them and each day when I reach for my eye-shadow (used as a liner), mascara (lashings of) and observe my jewel like acquisitions , feel them, smell them, sometimes try a little lip or cheek colour before I climb into my bath to remove it again before I start my day. Its an odd thing to do I know but something I have indulged in since I was a child when I would steal into my gorgeously cool aunt’s bedroom, where I would sit on the upper level of her kidney-shaped G plan dressing table and avail myself of her top-notch make up finds (its in the genes, that as a family we all love those shiny, golden compacts, phials, pots and lipsticks of the luxury cosmetic market). There I would sit for hours dabbing a little Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass behind my ears, perfecting a cat flick with a Lancome stylo eyeliner and then a swathe of All Day Roselit Beige, a highly scented creamy nude by Estee Lauder on my lips before sweeping my hair to the side in a Lana Turneresque side pony and using every blonde Kirby grip I could get my hands on to make sure it never strayed back to my nape. There I would sit for hours chatting to myself in the double width mirror, discussing the merits of the beauty booty I had discovered there. And then as a final parting gift, lest she may not realize that I had been kind enough to test on her behalf all her new make up and skincare, I would peel out, one by one every Kleenex tissue from the lacey covered tissue cube and create tissue flowers as a little thank you – though frankly she should have thanked her 6-year-old niece for taking it upon herself to quality test every item in her boudoir on her behalf. I would wait hopefully sitting at the breakfast table on a Sunday morning (as this was the morning after a sleepover at my grandparents) awaiting everyone (anyone, please?) to notice how simply gorgeous I now looked and really how unreasonable they all were to not allow me to wear this look all the time. Looking back now, how my long-suffering aunt didn’t commit blue murder is beyond me ….. her cosmetic stash was worth a king’s ransom, then and now – and I have to confess I still enjoy a rifle through her still well stocked make up bag with its many pockets, organised brushes and currently Giorgio Armani and Laura Mercier swag.

Anyway, as usual I digress …. My recent find and one that I am using more frequently is the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Base in Medium, a creamy textured base in a biscuit colour that provides the perfect even toned, slightly glossy but non-greasy underpinning for eye make-up – the wand like applicator is soft on the eyelid and gives just enough colour to neutralise pink tones and create the perfect platform for any shadow or liner. Personally I prefer a shadow to a liner because the colour and line is a little diffused and less harsh. I still can’t quite get to grips with smudging a pencil line, not sure if I am too heavy-handed, but I tend to apply, smudge and then remove all but a dirty smear. Also I have lash extensions so have to be careful using any pencils or liners that are too liquid or wax based and require heavy-duty removers.


So how long is Longwear? After recently dancing into the early hours on a steamy evening at a friends garden party, imbibing one too many Tom Collins and falling into bed in sloooothenly slut mode (ie no make up removal whatsoever, the trail of clothes from the bathroom to the bedroom testament to a the mmol/L of alcohol levels in my blood ) my eye make up was still pretty much intact at lunchtime the next day. I know the make up removal police will be baulking at the very idea of nearly 24 hours in the same make up but I actually LOVE my make up the next day, that slightly slept in, perfect smokey eye is actually what I aspire to when applying my make up, in fact if I could master the art of power napping (I can’t, I need to be in bed mostly, with my clothes off!) I may well build this into my occasion make up routine, though now when I sleep I tend to fall asleep with my hands tucked around my face which leaves an imprint for three or four hours after waking – gone are the days of my youth when I would wake up with a gentle flush to my cheeks and sexy bed head hair – now it is more akin to having had a bit of a run in with Freddie Kruger


So try the Bobbi Brown Longwear Base, (£19)  it really does keep your make up looking fresh and prevents slippage during those hot and sticky days and night, especially if like me you are heading off for a September holiday AFTER the kid’s school holidays!! Or with the deluge of rain that has just swept in over the weekend this will help to keep make up there for a little longer if you get caught in a downpour!



Fifty Shades of Grey From Silver Fox to GoldiLocks

Fifty Shades of Grey

I have been lucky enough, for most of my adult life, to have had my hair cut, coloured, conditioned and styled at The Daniel Galvin Salon in London’s Marylebone, and this week is no exception before I head off to Ibiza for a few days next week …. My badger hued hairline has once again got the better of me. As I head off to the Island of beautiful, (firm) young things the very least I can do is cover my fifty shades of grey!

An appointment with the lovely Lily (who trained under the legendary Daniel Galvin OBE King-of-Colour himself) took my shimmering silver halo back to that multi-tonal sun-kissed YOUTHFUL blonde of days gone by. This is the Daniel Galvin Salon’s USP in my opinion. Every member of the DG colour team have served an apprenticeship for three years under the watchful eye of Daniel and his senior colour educators …. So each and every one of the colourists from graduate through to Daniel himself uses the same  prescriptive colour technique.  What do I mean by prescriptive?  Imagine an old fashioned apothecary, the colour dispensary at the salon is not dissimilar – carefully blending a little of this, a smatter of that melded together with a huge chunk of colouring talent to create your own unique and personal colour formulation perfectly matched to your skintone, eye colour and your own hair’s natural base colour. The result? Seamless ie., no tell-tale bands of old colour and new colour. golden locks that look natural and make maintenance easy.

My hair grows at a rate of knots (tenuous hair pun) and as a consequence so too do my grey-ing roots and whilst my follicley challenged brother-in-law tells me to be thankful that the hair stays on my head long enough to go grey it is tiresome to have to have to head off for a cover up every 4/5 weeks.  Louise Galvin as my oldest friend, confidante and also celebrated hair colour guru has bestowed  her Midas touch on my hair since we were in our late teens (lucky, lucky me …. ) and as a consequence has guided me along the gradual (not so gradual, galloping more like) road to managing my transition to grey.  The upshot of her knowledge is that to keep maintenance to a minimum I have had to go lighter gradually  so the regrowth of those pesky Brillo pad textured greys is more subtle and the demarcation between grey and blonde less noticeable.  Louise is off for a Summer break at the moment and Lily is my go to girl at the salon in Louise’s absence, I will undoubtedly need a touch up in a little over a months time but if I can’t quite make it, I know that I am not going to have to hide myself away until I can make it back up to London.  To refresh the old colour I also had a Louise Galvin Vitox Treatment which is a Vitamin C detox that dissolves any product, mineral or environmental build up.  Comment below if you want to know more about the Louise Galvin products, I worked on Louise’s products for nearly 9 years so they are now in my DNA!

Finally my hair was cut and dried by the gorgeous AND brilliantly talented Frankie who also does my Keratin Permanent Blow Dry (review another time)

PS If you are not a blonde they turn out polished, beautiful brunettes too!!

Disclaimer – I have ‘shared’ that I have worked for Louise and she is my friend but our friendship has not influenced my writing – I would also like to ‘share’ that my photography is pretty shocking but I do promise to try harder …. but it does give you an insight into the dramatic change in colour

Base Jumping – Garnier Miracle Skin Cream


Steps taken : 3401 (in the absence of a FitBit, Jawbone etc these were manually counted-again)

Green Juice drunk :  0 – still – am building myself up to this

HIIT Mins – its too darned hot


 miracle skin cream


As a more mature (those words actually stick in my throat!!), I have to reconsider my make up on a regular basis as my skin condition changes with the seasons and my own internal ‘seasonal’ changes. I have developed higher colour on my cheeks (for that read RED!) which is heightened when I experience one of those rather annoying core power surges, coupled with dry patches and some congestion around my nose area .


I have never worn foundation other than when I have had my make up professionally done for an event or a wedding. On the odd occasion I have ventured into the realms of bases I find that every wrinkle and blemish (to me) looks deeper and more pronounced. I missed a trick here I think – perhaps I should have slathered myself with full schlap from a much earlier age and remained ageless like the incredible Joan Collins who looks no older now than she did 35 years ago. That really is AGELESS beauty.


So when I have jumped from brand to brand and left my brain addled with the conflicting information from the sales assistants I am still no closer to finding ‘The One’. I have sampled the BB’s and CC’s but the coverage on these seem a little too dense for me– I am wanting to achieve a more even tone but don’t want to have to rebuild every contour and colour tone on my face so perhaps a tinted moisturiser is where I should be heading ?– but I have discovered Garnier Miracle Skin Cream Anti-Ageing Skin Transforming Cream – not sure which part is the ‘miracle’ but fascinating to see a white cream turn into a sheer natural base that adjusts to your natural skin tone.



What the Garnier website says


An innovative self-adjusting formula protected by 9 patents combines the power of advanced optical correction with excellent skincare performance.

At first contact its unique formula with encapsulated micro-pigments transforms on contact with skin to self-adjust to your skin tone. Instantly, your skin looks awakened, more luminous and even, as if corrected.


Everyday, its anti-ageing formula with SPF20 acts to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. Skin looks younger and feels firmer.

Result – flawless looking skin: your complexion looks more even, your skin texture appears improved. Your skin looks more beautiful as if transformed



A small amount goes a long way, I use a moisturiser underneath as I don’t feel the cream is hydrating enough on its own but it does have a lovely, floral fragrance and does feel light on the skin – a must for me. The cream will certainly not give enough coverage for someone who is used to using a true base or foundation but the sheer colour (which automatically colour matches your own skintone) definitely evens out colour, not sure I achieve ‘flawless’ but good to know there is an SPF in there too. I don’t think I use it regularly enough to comment on its firming properties as I tend to use it when I am applying full make up rather than every day. I do believe if you use any foundation every day people get used to seeing you with it and then you have the inevitable “you look tired” on the days you decide to go au naturel.


I bought the product in Boots when it was first launched at a promotional price – incidentally it is a lot cheaper now on, but didn’t use it for ages as there simply were not enough instructions on any of the packaging (it is a tube sold in a box), to really understand when I should be using the product and how. The information is available online but given that this product is being marketed to the ageless category I don’t think a web based tutorial is necessarily your first port of call for instructions for use. I love a face to face with a well trained sales associate but this is usually confined to the more premium brands and so with the masstige brands I expect clear defined instructions on the product, albeit in a leaflet, on the outer or on the packaging itself – Garnier Miracle Skin Cream certainly retains an air of mystery until you do click through to the product website where there is a demo and a comprehensive guide to the product.


I do like this product but I think after my summer glow has diminished I will probably be ready for something with a little more coverage? Any ideas?


Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour,

although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured.

Not real glamour, it’s based on femininity

Marilyn Monroe



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