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Middle-Aged Beauty Tips And Never Saying NeverI’ve never been interested in make up, until now. But my skin has recently changed with the onset of middle age, which is a bummer because I used to have a clear white English-rose complexion.

Skin a girl could rely on.

I stumbled upon a blog post the other day where the writer named three products every middle-aged woman needs for her face: a good concealer, mascara and blusher.

I’ve been using concealer my whole life – well, since about the age of three – because my skin tone is pale. I’m one of those ghostly-looking people who always looks tired and would have had a great career in Michael Jackson horror videos, due to ugly black rings under my eyes.

Mascara would be my desert island must-have, because without it, I look dead.

But when it comes to blusher, I don’t think I‘ve put blusher on my cheeks since the eighties. We all use a lot less make up these days, since a more earthy, ‘natural’ look came into fashion. In my twenties I used to apply a thick line of dazzling blue metallic eyeliner on my lower lids – we all wanted to look like Diana in those days and were yet to be taught that lower lid liner makes your eyes look smaller. I also wore enough of the thickest, clumpiest mascara to make my lashes look like falsies, thick foundation and a veritable war paint of blush with matching bright pink lipstick.

Since marriage and children, my make up has become less heavy, mainly due to the constraints of time and not really giving a f..ck. Although I have had to use foundation for the past few years to even out an uneven skin tone.

I was always lucky with my complexion when I was younger. I never suffered from acne during my teenage years and never went near what I considered to be over-priced moisturizer in my life, until the past six months. In fact, I used to sneer at my friends who spent their salaries on the white-coat ranges like Clarins and Clinique, appalled that they could spend so much money on makeup when there were so many clothes to buy. I never GOT make-up brushes, at all.

Until six months ago, like I said, when I woke up one morning with the fugliest, flakey red rash all over my face and neck. I still don’t know what caused it to this day, but it is only beginning to calm down now. It might have been due to a change in medication, or stress, or my skin complaining about the cheapness of my beauty products, or even an excess of alcohol, but it’s more likely just fucking hormones at foul play again.

But whatever caused it, at a time when self-esteem linked to my appearance has been knocked sideways by other symptoms of the ageing process, I didn’t need to wake up to a faceful of acne that even my kids have grown out of.

 

So I panicked and like the hypocrite that I am, bolted straight to the Clinique bar in David Jones in search of an instant fix; I didn’t care what it cost me. I had read somewhere that Clinique make a foundation to conceal redness and so off I went, make-up free to demonstrate the extent of my problem, to demand a new face.

Surprisingly, the ‘Redness Solutions’ foundation didn’t cost half my monthly salary, as I suspected it would, although the old man did question why it had been put in the ‘medical’ column of the family spreadsheet. The lovely Clinique white-coat was very helpful and showed me how to work the foundation expertly into my hot, irritated skin, using a very expensive-looking brush – a trial I managed to sit through without scoffing impolitely. And yes, of course she tried to sell me a gazillion other products that she told me I needed but I stood fast in my resolve in spite of my face’s obvious need of a complete rather than a partial revamp.

And the foundation is a miracle-worker in terms of concealing the rash. (cue scary music)

Which leads me to the last new product(s) I want to recommend to you – because it could be the reason my rash is slowing disappearing. It’s the Therese Kerr Divine range of products, some of which were given to me by a friend for my birthday. It’s a chemical-free range and once again, I might have scoffed inwardly when aforementioned friend told me about them, she being one of those born-again, anti-toxin insurgents of the Pete Evans ilk and me being a complete philistine when it comes to natural foods and natural beauty products. But since I’ve used the moisturizer, my face has calmed down to more of a flushed (than permanently angry) look and can look almost normal in the right light. Added to which I smell gorgeously natural, rather like a perfectly-ripe lemon, and I suppose it’s comforting to know that one area of my body is not toxic.

I’m wondering if Therese makes a similar range for the liver.

I haven’t braved the natural deodorant yet, but I have learned to never say never.

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