After my last post someone said to me, ‘you could stain your legs’, and described how her mother used tea, and then a brown pencil to imitate the back seam of those old-fashioned stockings. Wow, that was an evocative glimpse of the past that brought memories of my mother to the fore.

And yes, I could do that, not with tea, but with a good fake sun-tan. And I will, but I did think, that’s another maintenance thing to do of an evening before I get to bed. The list is an ever-increasing one. But on t’other hand I believe that a little effort pays dividends. Here’s a few things I consider essential – as far as I’m concerned, that is:

  1. Moisturising the face There’s no face cream ever, anywhere, that will prevent ageing or take away the lines from your face, but you still need to moisturise. I’ve tried a few in my time, including expensive ones, and I can never see any reason to buy expensive, as the cheaper, but really excellent, Boots No 7 products (and especially Protect & Perfect Intense) are just as good as any of the more costly moisturisers. The website says it’s all about anti-wrinkle technology. No, seriously, no need to say that – it’s a good moisturiser, end of.
  1. Serums I do like a good serum – they’re extra to moisturisers and their ingredients are so good for dry, mature faces. You put them on in the morning, and at night, before you moisturise. I use two serums: the first, which I use in the morning, is the Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum. On the website, again, there’s a lot of text on how anti-ageing it is. Actually, it’s just a very good thing to put on your face.  In the evening I used to swear by Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. I still recommend it. But I now use the slightly cheaper, but really lovely, Decleor Aromessance Neroli Night Balm. You need just the smallest amount so it lasts for ages.
  1. Tanning my legs Ah yes, the legs. Ok, Sali Hughes has written about self-tanning and she recommends Dove’s Summer Glo, which I’ve used. She also recommends Clarins Radiance-Plus Body Golden Booster, which sounds rather ingenious as all you do is add a couple of drops to your body lotion and a subtle tan appears – might try it. And as it would combine two procedures: applying body lotion and applying fake tan, it could save time – great!
  1. Nails and nail varnish varnish My nails used to crumble to the quick – awful. But this stopped since I’ve been getting the occasional Gel nail varnish.   This is a stronger version of varnish, but not in any way damaging as I don’t use it all the time – my nails are so different since I started this.  I also put organic almond oil (obtained from NHR organic oils – they ship worldwide) on my nails every night, and that’s helped my dry nails and cuticles a lot.
  1. Exercise – twice a week to the gym plus daily yoga plus walking All the creams and moisturisers in the world will be of no use if, like me, you’ve got pronounced tilt forward first thing in the morning, and don’t exercise to walk a bit straighter. Gosh, the joints are stiff (and slightly worse now after twisting my back in April) and I have to work really hard to loosen up. But I’m doing the yoga most days and intend to increase the (senior) gym sessions to twice a week.

No charity shop finds this post as, truly, I don’t go buying stuff every week. But I did go to London for a second visit to Savage Beauty (you’ll hear more about that in another post). So here’s a photo you’ve seen before, but it was exactly what I wore to the V&A.

pale-coat-webIt was a wet drizzly, mizzly day, but the beige coat (bought at £5) has a slight sheen to it, which I wore with a sparkly black scarf over my black Primark skinny jeans (£11).

Remember my ethos – that as we age there’s no need to spend buckets of cash to be smart and stylish.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. This and last week’s post will, on my new-look blog, be put in a Health & Wellbeing page.  The new-look will be launched in early autumn after I’ve returned from my summer holidays (I’m having a week in Scotland and a week in Suffolk).

And if you’re just dropping by, hi & welcome!  Do sign up to get my regular weekly blog post – thank you!

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7 thoughts on “A few maintenance things I do

  • 17th July 2015 at 7:58 am

    You look amazing Penny, an inspiration
    For me to start doing maintenance before too late !

    • 17th July 2015 at 8:26 am

      Thank you so much! I suppose I have been moisturising since my teens – even when I had acne! Nothing will change the lines and wrinkles of the advancing years (you can see mine in that photo above!) But whatever skin you have, you can make your skin feel good, and even look good, with the right moisturiser. And it’s never too late – for anything, I think!!!

  • 17th July 2015 at 8:08 am

    Hello Penny, I recently started using moisturusers from two small UK firms, both producing in the UK, because neither of them use anything ‘suspicious’ eg parabens and the like: they are both great! One is actually made for women undergoing treatment for cancer, and who still want to look after their skin and appearance, but it sounded so good I decided to try it, and it is brilliant, and a small amount of the cost is donated to their local cancer service (, and which you might also like as they have then expanded to include fashion advice for women with cancer).

    The other one is based in Penzance,, also paraben etc free, some of their products also ok for vegans: a broader range, including things for the bath, face, hands, hair etc. I ordered lots of samples, intending to give some as small stiocking present fillers: not c a chance. They’re staying with me 🙂

    • 17th July 2015 at 8:18 am

      That’s so interesting Lorna and yes, I will try these products because one of the reasons I switched to the Decleor serum is that it feels very pure and has very few ingredients – it also had a better result. Will definitely try both and report back – thank you so much x

  • 17th July 2015 at 8:27 am

    A really helpful blog Penny, thank you. I had been looking at my very white legs and thinking – oh dear, where do I start. Do come and stay with us again soon as I can’t wait to show you all my great charity shop finds inspired by your blogs.

  • 19th July 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Hello again, Penny and thank you for the recent blogs…I do value them. They are support for my personal style, and a reminder to keep on keeping on. I could scarcely believe your wearing of the coat…how I wish Western Canadian weather had not succumbed to climate change…our temps are record highs…daily, and our state of drought is a concern… Summer is the hardest season for me to dress well..and I think a lot of women our age may find that to be true…dresses are consistently made these days for the young and very slim…so thrift shops are the only place one might find one…I am reduced to skirts and tees. I think serums are the best…some of us don’t need a moisturizer (truly) but a serum? It feeds the skin. One question, Penny…your hair is never mussed…any tips? All the best, Margaret

    • 21st July 2015 at 7:24 am

      Hi Margaret. Yes, I haven’t bought a dress from the high street for a long time – all the cruise frocks and the ones I wear in the hot weather are from charity/thrift shops. As for the UK climate, it’s not really changed that much, it rains quite a lot, but when it is hot it’s that muggy heat, which isn’t all that pleasant. Whatever the weather you can be sure we complain about it!!! I’ll write about hair soon!

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