Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding 50 and Fabulous....on skin care....

Well, you know I've always been torn on the skin care issue.

I'm an Aussie so I've done my time in the sun. We used to literally bake ourselves in the midday sun with Reef Oil slathered generously all over to achieve the deepest tan we could in the 70s.

I've made oatmeal masks and toned with water and honey in my teens.

I've made treatments from egg white and avocado and almond meal and rice flour and other things that belong in baking and salads.

Now I'm over 50 and thanks to a Mum who was fascinated with beauty products and skin care, I've always looked after my skin, and it's paid off. It's just that my modes and methods have varied according to whim, fashion and budget.

Yes, this is me. A long way from perfect, but not bad for someone nearly 55.

In my skin caring lifetime, I've used Clinique, Estee Lauder, Ella Bache`, Shiseido, Simplicite`, Avon, Yves Rocher (my first French range!), Loreal, Nutrimetics, Nu-skin, Mary Kay, Dermalogica, Elizabeth Arden, a Guthy-Renker one that was effective, but I don't recall the name of it and getting it in the mail after I'd run out, really annoyed me.

Some others were locally produced or home made even, and I've even tried the oil cleansing method, Vaseline as moisturiser, Macadamia Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil all either straight up or in home made products.

So I think I'm well qualified to make a judgement call.

Look, all these things work. Some of them work better than others, and any of them are better than doing nothing at all, obviously.

But frankly, and I'm going to absolutely go against the anti-marketing, anti-beauty flow here, the high end products just do a better job. I'm a bit tired of hearing that it's all rumour and innuendo when it comes to 'good' beauty products.

Yes, yes I know. The 'you're paying for the packaging and the advertising and it's all Voo Doo' crowd will lampoon me for sure.

But here's the thing. I've come to realise as I grow older, that the one thing I have to wear day in, day out, is my skin. Not just my face but all of my skin. I want it to look good. I want it to look smooth and polished. I want to not have to wear makeup at all or at least minimal makeup to look good.

You can't buy new skin. And a new handbag or pair of killer shoes, does nothing for your complexion. Botox is NOT the answer. It's about making the most of what you already have.

So it's about priorities really, isn't it.

My priority these days is well cared for skin. No ifs, buts or maybes. That is where my me-money goes. Mum would be proud ;0)

I find myself in a somewhat enviable position of late. The Musician Husband and I are seriously contemplating a new business venture, and part of this will mean sourcing lovely beauty products.

So I've contacted a few well known and a couple of lesser known brands, outlined our ideas, and asked for some information. Well the information all comes with lovely samples, doesn't it. So I've been having a ball.

At this point I've narrowed it down to two French lines, one more organic and one that claims marine extracts.

Both are so effective that I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't got free samples to play with....hehehehe!

My forehead is smooth and velvety, some little blemishes I had have simply dissolved, my skintone is even and clear, and I saw a friend yesterday who declared that I looked 'fresh', and asked sotto voce, if I'd had 'work'. Hell no to that!

Here's what I think.

If you're on a budget, and who isn't from time to time, then you can do worse then cleanse with Dove Soap or Ponds Cold Cream, and moisturise with a generic neutral cream or oil. THAT really is better than nothing.

Personally, I've tried all of the supermarket brands at least once, and I'd rather use the Dove soap and my homemade organic serum in preference to a supermarket brand. If we're talking voodoo, then this is the price bracket that I believe suffers from 'inferior product in pricey packaging'. I've never had results that were any better than the most basic, from a Loreal, Olay or Nivea product. Sorry. Maybe it's just me.

I've heard from a good friend who manages dual careers as a teacher and an Avon representative, and who has insanely beautiful skin, that Avon have some incredible new products that are equal to many of the high end brands, so perhaps if you're looking for results, but not the label and accompanying price tag, then good old Avon is worth a looky see.

The best results I've ever had were from Dermalogica, Clinique (in my younger days), and the two which I now have the luxury of holding in my hands to preview.

One brand is Phyt's. A well known brand in France, lesser known here in Australia. Gorgeous products, simple packaging, eco-friendly.

The other is Thalgo. Marine essences and other goodies swirling together to give skin a real boost.

I can't decide. But certainly both ranges are amongst the best I've ever used.

So what's your skin care solution, how much do you spend, how often do you indulge in additional treatments or visits to a Spa, and what do you think works best?

And if you had the choice of Thalgo or Phyts or another brand (perhaps locally produced), which would you choose?

Do let me know.




  1. Mimi, I am excited for you. You know, I have never spent much on skincare. I use Clarins orchid oil slathered on my face over winter, and a clarisonic with a bit of cheap of cream cleanser. I moisturise with Loreal during summer, and I also like the toner to streak around my face on a cotton pad. About two months ago I did an experiment where I did not wet my face for about six weeks!! I used makeup wipes only. It was interesting because my eyes looked clearer. Not sure if water irritates them! Thalgo would be my pick if I were going to buy.
    Btw I have seen you in person and you are fresh faced and beautiful. Xx

    1. Flora, I shall tell all when next we meet. Very exciting times ahead. I would kill for your complexion! Envy this end that you generate it so easily. I do love the Thalgo, but I love the ethos and packaging of the Phyts. A difficult decision. Perhaps both? ;-)

  2. Mimi, you look amazing, ten years younger than your age. I would choose the Phyts brand because it is organic and doesn't contain any potentially harmful ingredients.

    1. Thankyou Ronniie! A lovely compliment for an old duck like me...hehehe! Yes I love the Phyts brand for that reason too. Thanks for stopping

  3. Hi Mimi, I have never heard of either creams before! You look so good for your age and look at least 10 years younger! I use makeup wipes to take off makeup and then Clinique cleanser on my face and Clinque moisture surge cream for eyes and Clinique moisture surge cream on my face or CerVae cream on my face and they all work great for me. Good luck with your new business venture!
    Julie's Lifestyle

    1. Julie you are such a sweetie! Clinique was always my favourite in my 20s. Great that it's working for you. It's such a trusted brand. I don't know CerVae but I'm off to Google it. Thankyou!

  4. Oh my goodness, I would never have guessed that you were even 40! You look amazing. Whatever you've been doing, you've been doing it right! Now I have to check out these new products.
    And I know about the baking in the sun. We used baby oil back in the 80s and baked at Coney Island when I was a kid.
    ~Jenise @

    1. Jenise what a lovely compliment, thankyou! Ahhh....the baby oil. Yes, we used it as suntan enhancer, lip gloss, eye makeup remover, body lotion, and hair! Must have been THE product to have in it's day. But then I was wearing blue eyeshadow and nailpolish back then too. Hang on....they're back in fashion! Maybe it's time to drag out the old Baby Oil!

  5. Hello Mimi. I am new here on your blog. I saw that you visited my page and wanted to learn a bit more about you. I do love to make new friends and I am glad that I stopped by because skincare is one of my favorite subjects. I do have to say that you look amazing. Your skin is radiant, healthy and youthful. All signs of a great skincare regimen. Besides efficacious products, a healthy diet and hydration are all very important for the skin. Sleeping eight hours too but who has time for that these days.. I am a self admitted product junkie. I have tried it all and I think it is all about what works for ones particular skin. I find that the natural oils, such as argan oil and the very expensive La Mer soft cream work best for me. As you previously mentioned, it is the only skin that I have and I will make the investment as long as I can.

    Good luck with your research. Let me know of your progress. And thank you for visiting me. I do appreciate you stopping by.


    1. Janet, I couldn't agree more. Exercise, hydrating with water, a good nights sleep, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol are an enormous influence on how our skin looks. My natural oil of choice is Macadamia. I use Argan oil on my hair and can't imagine putting it on my As for Le Mer, well, maybe in my next decade I'll treat myself to that one. I'm so happy you stopped in. I love communicating with a fellow beauty product addict. And thankyou for your lovely compliments....x

  6. Thanks for sharing your beauty secrets, you look AMAZING! I know you are still researching, but whatever you are doing is working marvelously!

    1. Thanks Patti. I have to watch that all these lovely compliments don't turn my head, as my Nanna used to say ;0) You are so sweet to stop by and leave such a lovely comment for

  7. G'Day from Oz! I just wanted to let you know I am featuring you at my blog this week as one of my Friday Favorites.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. Mimi you look truly fantastic for your age. Beautiful, glowing skin. Like you I sunbaked my youth away in the harsh sun with coconut oil slathered on my face and body. Paying for it now with many wrinkles and uneven skin tone. I am 59 and wondered if you could recommend a night cream for under $30. I truly can''t afford a more expensive cream so hoping you can give me some guidance to save me wasting money on useless brands. Also Mimi have your ever done a tutorial for a fabric cover for little single packs of tissues in a French print fabric? I would love to make some to add to my Christmas gift packs but wasn't sure which blog I have seen them on. Best wishes, Lorraine

    1. Hello Lorraine. As I said in my post, anything is better than nothing. I swear by Coconut Oil as a cleanser, massaged in and removed with a muslin cloth and warm water, followed by a lush cream or serum. My favourites vary according to budget and mood! I love L'Occitane, Rosehip Oil, and my own serum. My current faves are ALDI Caviar Serum and a product recommended by my Thai sister-in-law called Smooth-E Cream. It's available on eBay for around $20 for a generous $100 tube. It's brilliant. I'll look into that tutorial for you. I haven't done one but I will. Love, Mimi x

  9. Hello Mimi thanks so much for all that information. I will definitely be busy looking them all up. How do you make your own serum? Mmmmm, intriguing! Do you change your creams up so your skin does not get too used to one type? It would be great is you do a tutorial on the tissue covers- I can just see them in your beloved French printed fabric. Many thanks for all your help, best wishes Lorraine xx

    1. Hi again Lorraine. If you use the 'search' box on the left hand side of my blog, you'll find my home made serum recipe. It's truly divine. I do use different creams according to season. But often it depends upon what I can afford at the! Mimi xxx

  10. Hmmm.... three years later....
    I can't imagine any bottle will take the place of a veg-heavy diet and healthy lifestyle. I use dove soap, a washrag or a clarisonic, and L'Oreal Future e lotion for my face. I get compliments all the time. That being said, maybe it's time to up the game and see if I can get rid of the minor issues I get from time to thanks for your suggestions :)


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx