We moved house six months ago to a completely different kind of property. Having lived in a medieval barn for over fourteen years, we found a small cottage with thick ironstone walls and a manageable wraparound garden. It has a welcoming feeling and we are delighted to have downsized.
One of the very best things about our new home is that I have my own bathroom. Well, it’s a tiny shower room actually but glorious nonetheless because it is ALL MINE! This is the first time in all the hundreds of years I’ve been married that we have had the luxury of a bathroom each. So it is a precious space to me and I have it just the way I like it, with my favourite toiletries, bath linen and room fragrance.
Classic white towel bale At £18 this is a no brainer if, like me, you aren’t keen on very thick velvet pile type towels. Personally I find ‘thinner’ towels more absorbent. Soft and stylish, they are made with responsibly sourced low twist cotton and feature StayNew™ technology which keeps them looking fresher for longer. MORE INFO
While on the subject of showering, I am hooked on Aesop bath/shower products – they are super luxurious, lather beautifully and really get you clean as a whistle. The understated packaging protects the ingredients inside. Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser 500ml for £33 and the Reverence Hand Wash £27 which has microscopic petitgrain which exfoliates and softens your hands. Glorious.
Shibumi dressing gown: I can wake up bleary eyed, with my hair sticking out all over the place and all I have to do to feel a million dollars is slip into my luxurious reversible cashmere dressing gown. It is so flattering, the material so beautiful and flowing, that it was worth every penny I paid for it. Have a look on their website – there’s 10% discount when you place your order by phone (01453 832 098) and mention Annabel & Grace.
At almost 66, I am very interested in skincare. I watched a TV programme a few months back that said that all women (of any age) need for their skin is a combination of SPF and retinol. Which means that, according to those particular scientists, moisturiser is not required because, by wearing it, we teach our skin to produce less sebum, getting trapped in a cycle where we need to keep using creams. This is all well and good for younger women but for us post-menopausals, our sebaceous glands function differently and our oestrogen levels drop, so we lose oil and water and our skin becomes more dry. Apparently, after the age of 30, we lose around one per cent of collagen a year (the stuff that keeps our skin looking elastic and youthful). So I continue to use moisturiser but I have a new routine which seems to be working well.
Each morning, after I’ve cleansed my face with micellar water, I apply Boots No.7 SPF50 cream. £15 per tube. While the age at which you need to start wearing moisturiser is debatable, the importance of protection against the sun’s powerful UV rays is not. 90% of skin damage is down to the effects of the sun; exposure to UV rays causes wrinkles, collagen and skin damage. It’s a sensible price and does what it says on the tube.
Then I dip into my Lancome Renergie Multi-Glow. It was a gift (and a generous one as a sneaky look at the RRP told me it costs £64). Anyhow, it is fabulous because it’s tailor-made for 60+ women and does what it says on the jar – a moisturiser that nourishes and gives you a radiant complexion.
Each evening, after I’ve cleansed my face with micellar water, I apply The Ordinary’s 5% Retinoid. There are various strengths of retinol available, as you are supposed to gradually work up to using the highest, which is the one I’m currently using. My laughter wrinkles have definitely softened and I’m a big fan of this stuff, not least because the ingredients are very high quality and prices start at around a fiver.
Aveda Chakra 5 is my new fave fragrance. I was introduced to this body mist by a friend who teaches yoga – as she came into the room, she brought this heavenly waft of perfume with her and I went out and bought myself a bottle the very next day… thank you Emily.
Lastly I’d like to recommend a gadget that I have wanted for ages – God knows why I haven’t bought one before now but I am like a cat that’s got the cream now that I lashed out less than £7 for not one, but two of them. It’s a nail varnish pump dispenser (exactly like the one your manicurist uses). I’ve filled the second one with micellar water – just hope I don’t get the two lotions mixed up! Click here to get yours – delivery is free.