Friday, March 9, 2018

A French Coal Scuttle, my Simple Anti-aging Beauty Routine, and 1 week Diet Update

Lets start off with something French and vintage, shall we?  
A French coal scuttle in hand hammered copper and brass was a recent auction score.
  I imagined it to sit by the hearth in the lake cottage, as we have an old cast iron stove up there. 
 For now it looks pretty holding some faux hydrangeas next to our gas fire place.  
It will make a great container for seasonal decorating, holding twiggy branches, sprays of forsythia, or these summery hydrangeas.  I am still looking for unusual copper pieces, 
and since this was an old French piece I couldn't resist.  
My rule of thumb is buy what you love, and it will find a place.
Winter is still full on in the Boston area, and the dogs favorite place is right 
next to the fire in this enormous dog bed that fits the both of them.  
Real life at the moment includes the Aubusson rug still rolled up, 
I have yet to unroll and look at this gorgeous thing. 
 Because the morning I was planning to unroll it, 
I spotted a leak coming from the ceiling.  UGH.
Hubs got right to fixing it, and we spent all of last weekend repairing the thing together.  We also had started our low carbohydrate diet, following mostly the original Atkins diet.  We started on March 1 and the diet plan involves an "induction phase" of two weeks where you stay below 20 grams of carbs.  Counting carbs is pretty easy, and in the past this diet has worked well for me.  But now that I am over the age of being able to have babies, my body responds slower to dropping weight.  However I have had decent results this first week,  losing 3.5 pounds, and hubs dropped 6!  The hardest thing to get used to for me was skipping my glass of wine at night.  No alcohol for the first two weeks helps get the ball rolling with putting your body into fat burning mode. The first several days were a test of my will power but I am feeling like it will be worth it if I stay the course, as spring is coming, and I don't want to fight with my closet anymore.  You know.....those pants that used to fit that are too tight now?  If everyday I hate picking out my clothes, then I tell myself it will be such a pleasure to not have to deal with that unpleasantry anymore. 
 And I will look so much better! That is my inner self talk. 
 Pumping myself up by reinforcing what I am giving up to gain in only a few months ahead. 
 Spring will arrive, and I will be ready!! 
I also wanted to talk about my "beauty routine".   
Hahah! It feels weird saying that.  I am not much of a makeup person at all.
As a matter of fact my mother always tells me that I should put on lipstick. 
 I think lipstick is my least favorite makeup and I don't tend to use it. 
 I favor a more natural look, and I want the makeup routine to
 be simple and fast, and help with anti-aging if possible. 
 I snapped these pics this morning to share what my routine involves.  
(Ignore the heavy foundations in the upper corner, I save those for special times 
when I need more coverage.) But pay attention to the eyebrow stencil and the bronzer.
  Also, every morning I spritz Channel No 5 and without fail 
my hubby tells me how yummy I smell when I come downstairs. 
Not shown on the vanity are these two important creams that I use daily to start my routine.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream is my moisturizer, which firms and tightens and has anti-aging properties. I follow that with Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB cream, both purchased at Costco.  The BB cream is a foundation that works with EVERY skin tone, so I didn't have to worry about matching my skin tone.  It basically is light coverage that enhances your skin, giving it some color, covering up and adding anti aging essentials like SPF 40, brightening and radical reducing ingredients.  I love knowing that I am fighting aging effects and getting some natural looking coverage on my face in one fell swoop!  
 The other miracle product I found that really made a big difference for me, was this simple eyebrow stencil that comes with an eyebrow powder.  I found it at Marshall's, and it has three stencil shapes to choose from.  My eyebrows have been wonky ever since I started to pluck them, and I kind of ruined their shape.  Sure, I have read about "getting your eyebrows done", and I have them waxed when I go to the hairdresser, but they cannot add hair, only take away hair.  And I have been noticing how strong women's eyebrows are when I watch TV and read magazines, and just resigned myself to having wonky mismatched eyebrows.  Well ladies, if you can relate and want an easy way to do your brows, look for a stencil kit like this one! 
As a young mom at 21, I had Brooke Shields kind of eyebrows.
Over time, they were over plucked, and I wish I had been told: 
Fast forward almost 40 years!! Where is the time going?

Anyway, I have been so happy with how this simple stencil has reshaped them, 
and if you have this issue, or no eyebrows at all, get one of these stencil kits!
After  I use after moisturizing and applying BB cream, I apply some black pencil eyeliner to my upper eyelid, do the eyebrow stencil and then quickly brush on some Clinique bronzer to my cheek apples, nose and forehead.  And I am set for the day.  
This routine takes me 3 minutes and it fits my natural look and unfussy lifestyle.
 At night I remove it all with facial cleansing wipes, 
either the Neutrogena or Kirkland from Costco facial wipes. 
 It is simple and I have been loving the products I found late last year.  
I wanted to try them out for a few months before sharing them with you.
(This is not a paid sponsorship, its just something I am very happy about).
  1.  Olay Regenerist Micro Scuplting Cream (moisturizer)
  2.  Hydroxatone BB Cream (foundation)
  3.  Brow Stencil and Powder by Max Studio found at Marshalls
  4.  Black eye pencil 
  5.  Clinique Bronzer
  6.  Chanel No 5

I know a lot of my readers are probably like me, not into makeup or worry too much about how
they look.  I love decorating and family life, but I want to look good without a lot of effort.
That is where the diet and this simple beauty routine come together to hopefully give me some
results that make it easier as I head into the next decade!!
And for fun, how about this fun "FaceApp"? 
Using a photo of my face without any makeup and a pimple on my nose (gah!) 
you can see how you look as a cover model!! 
All they do is add eyeliner and plump up your lips and then remove your neck wrinkles 
and facial laugh lines and you end up looking like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. 
Well that is NEVER going to happen unless I have a facelift, which I am not.
But by using my low key makeup routine I feel pretty good. 
Its pretty important to me to have a loving attitude towards myself as I age,
and not let it get me down.  If this helps my women of a certain age readers in any way 
or even just to laugh along, I am happy to share my struggles and discoveries. 
 Spring feels like a world away after yesterday's March storm, 
but when it finally comes I plan to be down a pant size or two!
I will be sharing weight loss results each time I blog as I continue this 
journey of fighting the pounds.  And how about some easy and yummy 
lo-carb recipes that have been key for getting hubby on board and fighting off cravings?
I will get a list together of our favorites. 

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  1. I hear you about the dieting. Having my own struggles. Your home always looks so cozy and inviting.

    1. I guess a lot of us do as we get older, and I am hoping to turn the tides before I get too far behind. Thanks Anita!

  2. Can you share the name of the stencil kit? Thanks!

    1. HI Penny! The stencil kit is by Max Studio. Marshall's has a big makeup department of all kinds of odd things mixed in, and that is where I found it.

  3. Good luck with your diet. I sympathize. My daughter and I both have FitBits. We are the same height and weight, but the 43-year difference (yup, I had her late) means that she routinely burns 2500 calories and I burn 1800, even when we do the same number of steps. That's a slow metabolism for you.
    While it's great psychologically to get a quick drop in weight, to keep it off it's best to lose slowly. Your body will fight losing weight if it happens quickly, which makes for that boomerang effect. A couple of articles in the New York Times lately (eating well leads to more weight loss than restricting calories; Jane Brody's column) argue for eating lots of vegetables and fruits--basically changing one's diet for good.

  4. My daughter is a Rodan and Fields consultant and I have been using that for about 6 weeks. It has made a big difference and I love that I don’t have to wear makeup but my skin looks great. The diet on the other ha d is kaput!

  5. We started the low carb thing on March 1 also...but I have a whole lot more to lose than you 🙁. Have you heard of Chef Stella? He used to have a show on Food Network called Low Carb and Lovin It. I just bought two of his cookbooks on Amazon (he has at least seven). I got “Low Carb Essentials” and “The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook.” The recipes are amazing! Some will have to wait until the two-week induction period is over, but I’ve already made several and they are delicious. My husband gives the recipes a big thumbs up. It helps so much to enlarge my repertoire of low carb meals.

  6. Thank You so much Amy! Your attitude toward aging is so positive and inspiring.....just like everything else you do...Thank You for helping us "women of a certain age" to put it all into perspective in a simple, practical, positive way. You look beautiful by the way! S Roche

  7. Have you thought about microblading the brows? As far as the diet I hear you, I recently lost 34lbs with intermediate fasting, light exercise and switching food to only organic, and grass finished meats only. No diet soda either-more toxic to the human body than reg soda. Drink some Kefir and Kombucha your gut will thank you!

  8. Your words speak right to my heart, thank you for sharing your journey. I never thought I would EVER be in this place where my daily thoughts revolve around 'giving up' on my health and appearance because it's the easy thing to do. I've always looked far younger than my age, I've always been fit and active, and I've always cared a lot about my appearance. I'm 64 yrs old now and find that my weight just keeps creeping up, my list of health concerns keeps growing longer as does my list of aches and pains. Now when I look in the mirror I don't recognize myself anymore. I struggle daily to accept myself as aging or aging gracefully. So, just this week I decided that I'm not going to give in without a fight. Instead, I'm going to give my self-esteem some tough-love. I started "The Whole 30" plan to eat healthier and get healthier, and yes -- I gave up wine, carbs, and dairy for 30 days! I also invested a little time and energy in finding appropriate age-defying skin care products, along with simple makeup products that will give me a quick routine to enhance rather than mask my age. This week I am starting daily walks, 5 minute meditations, and a weekly Yoga class.I'm really looking forward to following your progress and to seeing mine, please keep us posted!

  9. Now that I'm 65 + the mirror is no longer mi amigo, I think back to when our mom was this age! She NEVER expressed any sort of emotion re: aging, + of course, I was a clueless younger person who didn't wonder a minute what Mom was going through! DOH! Wish I had a do-over! Good luck with the diet. I, too, am trying to drop a few lbs. 5 lbs. on me is like 20 lbs. in someone of 'normal' height!

  10. I had to chuckle when I saw that eyebrow stencil. When I was a little girl, a lot of ladies used them, and since I think I popped out of the womb a cosmetics junkie, I attempted to make myself some. The results were hilarious to say the least! I am sure that brow powder works a lot better with an actual stencil than my mother's old Maybelline eyebrow pencil. Hypothyroidism wreaked havoc on my brows, and while they have grown back (now that I am on Synthroid) they are totally colorless. I like the Charlotte Tilbury eyebrow color products: one is a pencil with a brush on one end, and the real game changer is a product that is like mascara in a tube called Legendary Brows. You won't believe the difference this stuff makes!

  11. I can so relate to your eyebrow issues! I'm 60 and always had great eyebrows until about 15 years ago when a deranged waxer ripped my eyebrows out and I was left with thinner and very uneven brows. Nothing I have tried would make them grow back or looked good until about 6 weeks ago when I found a product on Amazon which is actually growing the hairs back at an amazing rate!! It is called Rapid Brow and is a product in a mascara type tube that you brush on twice a day. It might be worth a try. I am almost to the point where I'm ready to go to an eyebrow "artist" to have them re-shaped.

  12. How did I miss this post? the copper coal scuttle..great find! are a natural beauty, so it is fitting that you use little product!


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