Summer-ready me

Having commented recently on the need to get the garden ready for summer, I’m now focusing my attention on me.  It’s been maintenance week.  I’ve had my hair colour lightened to start going a little blonder. Standard highlights with Charles Worthington’s Ultra Violet shampoo has been keeping the tone very silvery . I prefer this to a permanent colour because now I’m choosing to be blonder, the colour fades after a couple of ‘Charles-free’ washes. I shall probably revert to silver in the winter.


The gym that I attend regularly has different offers each month and recently offered a  Crystal Clear micro-dermabrasion facial for half price. I’ve had this facial a number of times over the years and it does a great job of exfoliating and addressing the effects of winter as it hydrates the skin by using tiny crystals to remove the dull top layer of cells. Skin is left feeling really clean and fresh.

Gone (until October) is the winter foundation. It’s been replaced, as for the last few summers, by Bare Mineral’s Complexion Rescue which is lighter, more like a tinted moisturiser, though with slightly more coverage and an SPF 30.


On Wednesday it was manicure day. I’ve been going once a month for a manicure to the same lady for over thirteen years and I recently posted about how I look after my nails. During the summer I tend to leave the rich purples, plums and red behind and opt for brighter colours (and one ‘nude’ for occasional use).


The colour I’m wearing at the moment is OPI Senorita Rosa-lita. I like this because it can look rose pink or terracotta and has a slightly gold sheen to it. Very versatile, it depends on the light and what I’m wearing.


Now I know from experience (friends have expressed their envy) that this next bit will infuriate some of you – I rarely need to shave my legs! The hairs are very fine, very fair and absolutely minimal in quantity. How lucky am I? I’ve shaved them this week but won’t need to do so again for at least couple of months. Really!

The legs have been bronzed a little too. I have extremely fair skin and have never liked to sunbathe but I do like to see a bit of colour. I tried a spray tan once but didn’t like the experience, the smell or the colour (and who could afford to keep it up with a re-spray required every few days?), so I returned to what I have been using since I was seventeen (and saw a demonstration in what was then Birmingham’s most prestigious store, Rackhams ) –  a daily wash-off bronzer. It started off as Coty Sunshimmer, but is nowadays sold under the Rimmel brand. The colour is water resistant doesn’t come off in the rain but it can be easily washed off each night in the bath and re-applied within two minutes each morning… literally – 2 minutes. I’ve tried a few others over the years but it’s the best I’ve ever used and (bonus), one of the least expensive. I use a car washing mitten to smooth it over my legs as the ones sold for the purpose are too thin and let the colour through onto one’s palms. A quick rub with a smooth, dry cloth to buff it up and I’m set for the day. I have to admit to not being thrilled by the list of ingredients but it doesn’t contain parabens, SLSs and phthalates (at least, not in the ‘Light’ colour version; I can’t say for the others) so that’s in its favour.

Rimmel Sun Shimmer 125ml, , large

In the summer when my feet are going to be on show (I love sandals) I enjoy an occasional professional pedicure. Having looked after my feet during the winter, it’s not a great problem to do it myself but who doesn’t love a bit of pampering?  Lots of my favourite geranium & lavender foot balm from The lemon Tree keeps them soft.

I’ve also had a back massage. I started having regular deep massage on my shoulders and upper back when I used to regularly drive long distances for work, and fortunately the company paid for physio sessions several times. As I now spend quite a lot of time hunched over a computer , I find it very beneficial to continue with the massages so I book one for about every sixth week. The masseur has 30 years experience and does a great job of un-knotting the muscles around my shoulder blades. I can actually feel them ‘popping’ as she kneads. The stretching exercises I do at the gym help in between times.

A new Benecos eyeshadow in a lighter shade that I usually wear completes the ‘summer-ready me’ job.  A total devotee of Bare Minerals, I have been getting annoyed at their rising costs (£16 for an eyeliner pencil – outrageous) and looked around for a replacement.  I discovered Benecos, cruelty-free, organic products at a very affordable cost. For a blog that is usually advert-free, I’m doing a lot of recommending today!  Incidentally their range of nail colours are 8-free. See my earlier post if you’re not sure what this means: Nailing it  . I’m reluctant to buy nail colour online without having actually seen the product but the number of Benecos stockists is growing so I hope to track some down soon. For the same reason I’d never buy foundation online as even a slight variation in tone can look totally wrong, but I’ve been happy with the eyeshadow and also a lipstick in watermelon shade that I bought previously. Unfortunately I can’t recommend the lip colour pencil in Rusty Rose – too wishy washy in colour and rather dry in texture.  Do I like the range as much as Bare Minerals? No, but for products where it doesn’t quite matter so much and which cost a quarter of the price, I’m willing to compromise.

It must sound as though I am very costly to maintain – not so! I reached a stage many years ago where I struggled to know what to suggest when asked what I wanted as gifts. Now husband and children know just what to get – either the products I like or vouchers for the cosmetics or treatments I like. Rarely do I pay for a manicure as husband pre-pays for a certain amount for birthday or Christmas.  And, of course, some of you already know that my daughter-in-law and I have a barter system in place where I do a basket of ironing in exchange for some of my hair dos!


  1. I love the concept of being ‘summer ready’. I couldn’t say that I am ready for summer particularly but I do feel I need more maintenance as I get older. I like to adjust the shade of the ‘lights’ in my hair, according to the season; darker in winter, lighter in summer and with more copper in autumn. I really need to get my eyebrows shaped and tinted but luckily I have a fringe! I’m also tempted to try semi-permanent eyelash extensions or an eyelash lift. I have never worn foundation. I’m also one of those annoying people who don’t shave their legs! I have olive skin which is useful in the summer but I can look sallow in the winter, so I love a bit of blusher. I’d like to have a make over as I feel as if I might be stuck in a beauty rut. Unfortunately my last experience, in a large department store, was so awful that I had to come home and remove the lot!


    • An olive skin often doesn’t need foundation – you lucky lady! I did once have my eyelashes dyed but it wasn’t very successful. They still looked too fine. I wish mine were thicker. I’m going to try one of the two layer mascaras I’ve read about – a white undercoat to enhance thickness then topped with black or brown. I’ve been ‘made-over’ a couple of times but didn’t like the result either time. I said I wanted smokey eyes but ended up looking more like a panda. Yes, the maintenance increases as we fight away the ravages of time!

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        • Not heard of it, June but will look into it, thanks. I did read about something on another blog and need to go back and make a note of it. I’d love long thick lashes….who wouldn’t?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh you are well prepared, Eloise. Your hair colour is lovely and I so admire your strong nails. I shall also aim to try that Rimmel tanning lotion as that is my biggest worry in summer – the colour of my legs. I too tried a full body salon tan and it was an absolute disaster as instead of even-ing out my blemished skin it made all the already dark age spots and blemishes go almost black – it was truly awful!!!! So after that I don’t show my legs at all nor the rest of my body tbh – will try again as I have heard of this product but not bought it. Thanks for reminding me 🙂


    • I think it’s a great product, Penny. IT come.s in a darker shade too, but I feel the lighter one is more natural looking. It comes in matte or shimmer. I use either as the shimmer is subtle. Don’t be put off the extremely dark colour when you squeeze the tube! It’s around £6 in the shops but I get it online at the start of summer (six tubes!!!) for less each which last the summer. This year I bought it from Fragrance Direct for £3.99 each and free postage.

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  3. Eloise, I love your hair colour! I tried going blondish a few years ago, but I hated it. I had originally been blue-black so I think that it was just too much difference. I’m down from black>dark brown>mid-brown (number 5), and in summer I go to number 6 which is light brown. And I do ash shades as the golden look is very unflattering on me. I think that was also what was wrong with the blonde- it had caramel and warm tones. I went gradually lighter over many years, from the black down through all of the browns.
    I also love how you go lighter with make-up in summer. I have make-up which I was advised would take me from summer through to winter (which it is now in NZ), which rather surprised the lovely lady who advised me what products to buy. For over 20 years, I am always given variations of the same colour for lipstick! Lighter, with the years, but still the same colour.
    And, I think that what you do is great. I find it sad that so many women stop looking after themselves, as the years go by. Looking good makes us feel good, to me.


    • Thank you, Ratnamurti. I think blonde has to be the right shade for a person’s skin tone. Also, with a very dark natural hair colour it’s probably better to go lighter gradually to avoid the shock! My natural colour was a darkish brown with red tones but there’s lots of grey now and a almost white bit at the temples. The summer make up is a bit more dewy than the winter one. In the scheme of things it’s all rather trivial but if making an effort with our appearance makes us feel good, then why not?

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  4. I also am very lucky with the hair shaving on the legs,I’m hard pushed to find half a dozen hairs on each leg and like yourself only have to shave them once a month if I can find them! I was just dropping by to really say that your hair looks a wonderful colour and an interesting blog today,memories of Sunshimmer. Have a wonderful weekend.


    • Ah, thank you for that kind comment, Margaret. I think th over the many years I have been using sunshimmer, they should award me shares in the company!


  5. My goodness, you pay a lot more attention to your looks than I even know how to! I do use the Charles Worthington shampoo and conditioner to keep the ‘yellow’ on my highlighted grey hair at bay, but other than that and my manicures (and a one-off pedicure) I’ve never had a massage, and I didn’t even know you could colour your skin for summer unless it was permanent and ended up looking orange. Obviously I have a lot to learn!
    I might get some lighter shades of nail polish, but I do love the deep plum ones and they suit my elderly mitts. Pale colours look truly ghastly on my hands. And I’ve never changed my makeup for summer as I wear little as it is and my foundation is very pale, too. I might go for some new eye shadow, but other than that, I think I’ll just have to do!
    Like you, though, I don’t have to shave my legs. Where has the hair gone in old age? My leg hair is virtually non-existent.
    Margaret P


    • Pale nails don’t look the greatest on me either but occasionally, if I am in a hurry, it’s easier to do a quick job with a pale colour because any little mistakes are less easy to see! Now you know, I don’t always pay quite as much attention as I should!


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