Friday, March 31, 2017

A New You....Beauty Essentials...this is not an ad...Know what you need!

I know right. We've all seen these posts come up on our blog following lists and invariably, they're one big long, sponsored post. This one, however, is not, so never fear!
This is more about knowing what your needs are, in order to tailor your products to your budget, stage of life, schedule, and personal preferences. I've divided my list into categories, so that you can perhaps (if you don't already!), tailor your list in a similar fashion. I'd certainly be interested to hear what you consider your essentials. It's also about not being swayed by the 'latest thing' and knowing what works for you. I don't use a serum (except for my own DIY one), or a primer (I use Aloe Vera Gel instead), a body scrub, exfoliators, cuticle creams, eye creams or any one of a plethora of other things the beauty industry tells me I need. I eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, drink herbal tea and lots of water, and take gentle exercise every day.
I'm 57. I look okay for 57. I've looked after my skin. My European mother taught me that from an early age. She knew that teen breakouts were a blessing because my oilier skin would stand me in good stead later in life. She was right. I have few lines, although I do wish I'd stayed out of the sun more when I was young. That's life as an Aussie of the 60s and 70s!
I'm not pretending for a moment to be a Glamour Girl. I'm well past that thanks. I am however, trying to show you, that no matter your age or circumstances, you CAN invest a little time and money in self, and it will reap rewards for you in the longer term.
Here's me *shock horror* with freshly washed face and hair, no makeup, just a bit of lip balm. Not too scary for an old girl.
I've gone through stages of using the high end skin care, plummeting to using supermarket or DIY when the mood takes me, or when the budget dictates a nip and tuck of the bank account. But I have always, always looked after my skin. And by that I mean face, neck, arms, hands, legs, and feet.
I'm a fan of the DIY foot scrub and a bright pedi. I love a good lemon scented hand scrub and a pretty manicure. I treat my hair with good products for dry, curly, silver hair, and if anything, this is where I'll splurge. I cannot stand a bad hair day. I adore a nice faux tan for a flattering bit of colour, a face mask once a week, a DIY eyebrow tint fortnightly, and a scrub with a loofah mitt, in the shower at least that often too.
This makes me feel good, in control of my life and the way I look. It makes my family feel good to see me look after myself. If I care about me, then I am better equipped to care for them, right?
Feeling in control of your own life, is a skill and a talent not to be underestimated. If you feel you can at least control how you present yourself to the world, the rest of life can often fall into place more easily. Even when terrible things have happened in my life, I've felt that this was one area that nobody could steal from me. It's been a godsend in many respects, I can tell you that.
So without further ado, here are my Beauty Essentials. No advertisements I promise.
Hands and Feet:
Light moisturiser applied several times a day
Heavier moisturiser for bedtime application
Nail wraps and applicator kit or nail polish and accessories
DIY olive oil, sugar and lemon essential oil hand scrub
Face and Neck:
Age appropriate cream cleanser
Day cream
Night cream
Sunspot cream
Loofah mitt
Moisturising body wash
Body moisturiser
Quality razor
Shimmer Tan Oil and application mitt
Moisturising Shampoo
Moisturising Conditioner
Leave-in Conditioner
Curly Mousse/Gel
Toner to remove brassy tones from silver hair
Hair dryer with diffuser attachment
Mineral makeup powder and Kabuki brush
Eyebrow palette
Blush and brush
Eye pencil
3 lipsticks - daytime coral red, nightime blue red, natural shimmer gloss
Lip balm
Toothbrush changes every six weeks
Whitening toothpaste
Dental picks
This may seem like a long list to some, and one not long enough for others. But I wanted to give you an overview of what I use, to keep my Self-Maintenance programme up to date.
My early morning and before bed evening routine pretty much revolves around my Self-Maintenance Programme, as it has for 44 years. I don't stray too much, because I have a certain paranoia that if I neglect myself for one night, it may well become a habit. That's highly unlikely, but clearly my Mother drummed this into me, and it's stuck!
Okay, so this next bit is not an advertisement. It's merely a way of making a point. I'm not saying you should personally race out and buy any of these. Stick with me.
Of course, one cannot mention self-maintenance without mentioning a lovely scent. I adore Chanel No 5, Ombre Rose, Red Door, Emeraude (now discontinued), Far and Away Gold, Femme by Rochas (now discontinued too), and Shalimar. I know that I lean towards gorgeous heady Vanilla-Rose-Oriental based scents that I wear in moderation, each and every day.
Knowing your favourite scent 'notes', can help you choose wisely from the thousands of fragrances available these days, and prevent you making costly mistakes. Make sure you know your favourites. Don't buy a single floral (Rose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Violet), if what you love is Orientals (Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla, Nutmeg), or Woody (Mossy, Earthy) or Fresh scents (Citrus, Green, Grassy, Water, Oceanic). Go and try a few. See what you like most, and ask the salesperson what the 'notes' are in that scent. Then do some research and find a fragrance with similar notes, that suits your budget and your 'nose'. When I couldn't afford Chanel No 5, I bought Panache. When my budget did not stretch to Red Door, I made do with Tabu. When for years, I could not find Femme, I used Vanilla Fields (which I actually still love!). They're not the same, but they are similar enough for you to feel you're treating yourself.
I consider all of these items absolute essentials. The brand and price of them varies enormously from time to time, but I am never without them. It's worked for me, and perhaps it can for you too, no matter your age or stage of life.
So tell me. What are your beauty essentials? I'm dying to know.


  1. I don't own one single bottle of perfume, but want to purchase one soon. I spray samples in the store, but can't bring myself to pay those prices! I remember my best friends mom wearing Shalimar and I loved it. Maybe I'll look into that. I have recently begun my own manicures and pedicures. I'm still trying to figure out the rough skin on my heels, but I'm getting there. You look great and I love your silver hair. Is the toner a rinse or is there a 'process'? I recently moved to a new area and have not found anyone who can replicate my former hairdresser's color. I hate looking brassy, which is where I seem to stay these days. I'm thinking of going gray! I'm tired of the upkeep and we aren't fooling anyone with constant color. Lol

    1. Little Penpen, let me share my secret for department store scents on a budget: The most recent scents I loved were $75 and $56 at department stores and Ulta. I got one of them for $34 at Frangrancenet and you can buy sample bottles for about $8 which have enough scent to see you through a month most likely.

    2. Thank you! I will check that out!

    3. Penpen, thankyou for your lovely comment. The toner is a purple conditioner or rinse that simply 'tones down' the yellow in the brassy look. It works brilliantly and has you looking lovely and silver always. Try Schwarzkopf toner mixed with your usual shampoo and conditioner. It works a treat. And good luck with the fragrance. I think Terri's advice is excellent. Thanks Terri! Mimi xxx

  2. Love this post!
    My Mother always took care of her skin too and I do to this day. A daily routine.
    I love your fragrances. I lean toward the heavier fragrances myself. My first experience with rich fragrances was when I graduated from high school, at my grad party I received a gift from our neighbours of Estee Lauder Youth Dew. It has stuck with me every since. Whenever I wear it I receive many compliments so I know that is my signature scent. Even if some people might think it's and old lady smell, lol.

    1. Laurie, yes looking after your skin should be a lifelong habit. Good for you! And sigh on the Youth Dew. That was one of my own first purchases, and the saleslady, very wisely advised buying the 'bath oil', which had a higher concentration of the fragrance, and as a perfume, lasted literally years! I love it too. Mimi xxx

  3. I definitely need primer, a good face cream now that I'm 50 which doubles as eye cream, mascara and brow pencil. I also love coconut oil for cuticles, body moisturizer, and occasional leave in hair conditioner. The one thing I must have is good hair gel, as my curly but thin hair looks both stringy AND frizzy if I use drugstore brands. Oh, and C.O. Bigelow lip balm - I'm addicted!

    1. Try Aloe Vera Gel as a primer Obscure. Just a small pearl of the gel, smoothed over your moisturiser and allowed to dry before applying makeup, provides a perfect base at a budget price. And it's good for your skin too! Mimi xxx

  4. It's funny, but I don't do much different than when I was young. At about 18, I read that one of the most important things you could do was to remove make-up, cleanse, and moisturize your face at night. And to floss and brush. I still do that every single night. In the morning, I only splash my face a couple of times with cold water and put on a light moisturizer with SPF 30. My biggest mistake was spending hours on end at the beach/by the pool. But that's the SoCal way and we just didn't know. Considering that, my face doesn't look half bad.

    A funny story about cologne and my little *ad* of advice. This still gives my friend and I a giggle after 30 yrs. In my 20's, I stayed at her home when we had been out late one night. I had clothes and cosmetics, but I had forgotten my Georgio, my fave cologne at the time. She often wore a fragrance called Anais Anais and smelled wonderful, so I asked to borrow it. We were going out to a movie and the farmer's market in the city. As we were driving, she said, "Do you smell something funny?" I had noticed, but didn't mention it cuz I assumed she had tooted. It smelled like a heinie air biscuit. I told her I did and that it wasn't me.
    We opened the windows and it definitely wasn't from outside. When we got to the theatre, I turned around to retrieve my purse from the backseat and ended up leaning next to her. "It's you!" she said. I tucked my chin down and smelled myself and IT WAS ME!! I smelled to see if it was my clothes or what was causing that stench!
    When I hit my wrist, I realized that it was the cologne!! It was AWFUL. As heavenly as it smelled on her, there was something about my body chemistry that made it absolutely reek on me. We ended up going home so I could shower. Once I did that, I was fine.
    After that, I learned to always get a sample of any new cologne and wear it a few days. I would have been sick if I had spent such a sum only to find out it made me smell like a toilet!! For me, musk isn't any better. I'm a fruity/floral lady.

    1. OMG Debby. I nearly cried laughing! That is hilarious! As an aside, I adore Anais Anais. It was a favourite at 25, and remains so now. So sad it doesn't suit you! Mimi xxx

  5. Dear Mimi,
    Oh, I just can't stand it when I'm drawn to a blog post via Pinterest only to find they are advertising something! Thank you for not doing that :)
    I have been quietly following along on this journey. My body type right now is pregnant, so figuring out my shape will have to wait a while lol! I do need to come up with a better routine for my skin though, and this post helps. I like that you encourage us to do what works for us, as I don't even know what half of the stuff the "experts" recommend is or does. Your advice to eat the right food and get plenty of sleep and exercise does the most good, I think. I do not like to use chemicals on my skin, and I have sensitive fair skin anyway, so I am searching for some good natural products, even if they are DIY. I love Annabel's exfoliant, but I need a good moisturizer. Unfortunately, I am one of the rare people whose skin is dried out severely by coconut oil. I can't use any product containing it, which is a real bummer since it works wonders for so many people!
    Debby in KS, your story is hilarious and I have a similar one. For the longest time, my bedroom always smelled like cigarette smoke for some very strange reason. I've never smoked in my life, and the people I lived with didn't, either. Neither did any of my friends, yet any time someone came into my room, they would say how it smelled like cigarette smoke. I could smell it too, but could not figure out why! When I got married, my husband and I were about to go somewhere one evening, and when I climbed into the truck, he said, "You smell like cigarette smoke!" Well he knew I obviously had not been smoking, but I had just put on my favorite body spray, the one I had been wearing for a couple of years! It smelled great in the bottle but apparently had a bad reaction with my body chemistry, causing me to smell like smoke. It took me long enough to figure that out lol!
    Mimi, I think you look lovely naturally, by the way! Thank you for sharing your picture with us.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Kelsey, I thought I was the only one that had such a bad reaction! I mean, we've all experienced the sensation of just not liking a fragrance, but to literally stink?! That was new.

    2. Dearest Kelsey, there is no better 'body type' Sweetheart. How exciting! I'm not sure about the coconut oil hype either. I grew up in an era where it was considered evil! Jojoba oil is lovely if you like the oils. And thankyou for the compliments. I'm flattered. Mimi xxx

  6. You look fabulous with nothing on your face. When I was growing up an older woman told me to always moisturize and since age 13, I'm now 55, I have twice a day made sure I moisturized my face, neck and chest. I'm glad I did I have no wrinkles, but I've never been a fan of the sun. I'm a make-up junkie so I can spend a lot of time on putting make-up on. Very nice post.

    1. Thankyou tealady. I hope all is well with you? Certainly staying out of the sun is the best strategy, but try telling an Aussie! I love my makeup too, but it's subtle these days. I just don't have the time for complicated routines! Love, Mimi xxx

  7. I can't say that I have reached my 50's with good skin. I regularly moisturise but have to be careful what I put on my skin. Like Kelsey coconut oil and my skin do not go together. I have found that I can use QV cream only. My psoriasis is currently out of control but once this hot weather passes will calm down once more.
    I grew up doing many outside activities. Sunscreen became a part of life from my mid teens, along with shady hats. Even so my skin is such that I have already had several BCC's removed and have several more to be be cut out. So I use QV cream at night and Cancer council 50 sunscreen in the morning.
    I love Red Door. I was given a small bottle of this by my MIL when my son was born, 27 years ago. It is one of the few perfumes I can wear that does not cause asthma issues. I also like Opium. However Red Door fits into our price bracket and Opium does not. I wear this when we go out, so not very often. At home I have some patchouli oil and I will put a smear of this on my clothing for a pretty scent.
    I use and Olive oil salt scrub once a week just before I shave my legs. I use Annabel's brown sugar scrub once a week. My hair is generally wash and go. I'm gradually going light in my slow transition to grey. I have lots in the front of my hair and very little in the back. Going fully grey right now would not look the best so it is a transitional process.
    On a side note, Bluey has noticed that I am wearing the diamond studs he bought me, much more often. He rarely notices anything like this. There are more changes than just a set of earrings so it my efforts must be having an effect.

    1. Jane, I remember a Dermatologist telling me that Aquaeous Cream was great for cleansing and for moisturising. I didn't find it perfect for my skin, but it's worth a try! Funnily enough, Opium gives me a headache, but Red Door is fine. Go figure! Persevere with the silver transition. Hopefully it will be worth it. I'm glad that you are taking the opportunity to wear your diamonds. It's like using your fine china every day. Why wait for a special occasion. Mimi xxx

  8. I've finally decided to go natural with my hair color (salt and pepper) and my most recent haircut yesterday removed the very last of the dye from my hair. I have to say honestly I feel very comfortable with my silver highlights and the grayed temples. At 58, it just felt right to let the gray have it's way.
    My Granny told me at 12 to make sure to use a good moisturizer every morning and night and I followed her advice faithfully. I have few wrinkles, but do have sun spots. Too bad I didn't follow her example of using a sun hat and wearing long sleeved cotton shirts outdoors! But tan was in at our youthful ages and we did our damage didn't we?

    Love your list which is manageable on any budget. I'm trying to get back into the habit of being faithful in my overall body skin care and doing pedi and mani regularly once more. Yes, you can lose the habit and it takes a lot longer to rebuild it than it did to lose it!

    1. Terri, isn't that the most liberating thing, when the last of the dye is cut out! And yes, the tans of the 70s are our downfall now, but we loved it. I'd like to think that my list can be adapted for any budget too. I'm glad you agree. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. I am going with less makeup all of the time. I am allergic to everything. I think God likes me natural. Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

    1. Sherry, go with what works I say. Thankyou for the visit. Mimi xxx

  10. Hello again, Mimi. I found the serum recipe! It sounds wonderful, and I will give it a try.

  11. My essentials are a good conditioner. Redwin Vitamin E cream with a little bit of good sunscreen mixed in as a moisturiser and a heavy moisturiser at night.
    I usually use Avon make up as it is affordable and reasonable quality and I don't wear much. An eyeline across the top of the eyelid and mascara on the top lashes and nothing underneath. That's a good a tip for women our vintage as under eye makeup makes you look older.

    I took 2 of my sons Christmas shopping last year and they ganged up on me saying that I had to let them buy me something that I really want. Well, I don't really want much but I decided to indulge them and me in my first bottle ever of Chanel No. 5 except in the end it wasn't No. 5 it was Chanel Allure. We all did the smell test on various Chanels and decided Allure was the one for me. The sales lady told my sons they were lovely for buying this for me and my 16 yo said 'She deserves it'. The sales lady and I looked at each other and both welled up.

    They are shockers some days but this day was great!

    1. Janiebabe, how very special. Your sons are worth bottling! Mimi xxx

  12. Hi Mimi, it sounds like you have a great routine for daily maintenance. It's a lot of work to look great like you! Thansk for sharing your tips.
    Enjoy the week.


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