March 26, 2020

My favourite skincare products- Beauty after 40

I am often asked about what products I use on my face so I thought I'd share some current favourites with you. I am lucky to have inherited my Mum's good skin and when I was younger I confess to not really having a proper beauty routine, although I have always made sure to take my make up off each night. In the last few years I realised I needed to step up my skin care routine and I am definitely feeling like I want to use more natural beauty products on my skin.

I was kindly gifted some Clockhouse Beauty products to try and have really been impressed; I've noticed a real difference in my skin. Clockhouse beauty is a Yorkshire based company set up by a mother and daughter to provide 100% natural, organic, cruelty free and vegan products. I think there is a real shift in demand for natural products and they have a good range for men too.

I've been using the Signature Cleansing Balm alongside the Signature Facial Serum and my skin feels really soft and looks healthier. I banned myself from resorting to make up wipes after so many make up artists told me how damaging and drying they are so I'm a big fan of cleansers that you remove with a muslin cloth and warm water. The Cleansing balm has a lovely scent of Eucalyptus and Chamomille and is packed with natural ingredients such as the anti-inflammatory Tamuni and Watermelon oils. A little goes along way so the balm turns into oil on your face quickly and dissolves the make up and dirt.

I'm also using the award wining Signature Facial Serum morning and night, using a few drops on my palms and gently massaging on to my face and neck. I've not used oil serums regularly before so I wasn't sure show my skin would react but it absorbs well and leaves my skin feeling really soft.


My other long term favourites are No.7 Lift & Luminate range. I've used them for a few years now, they are aimed at 45-60 year old women and really suit my skin and at £25, is more of an affordable price.


I once had the pleasure of testing some Augustinus Bader face creams and I have to say they were my absolute favourite and if it wasn't for the hefty £205 price tag they would be my go to product as my skin has never looked fresher, healthier and at it's best.

I recently found this old Vogue body & Beauty Book from 1978 and I remember spending hours with my older sister reading this book and trying out the natural beauty recipes. Considering we might be in lockdown for sometime and as I have already run out of face scrub I thought I might try and make some of my own.

Fast forward to 2020 and Liz Earle has some great suggestions using products that you're most likely to have in your cupboards, visit for more homemade recipe inspiration.

I've started making Liz Earle's Zesty Lemon Skin Brightener.


30g/3 Dessertspoonfuls Ground Almonds

20g of Fine Oatmeal

Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon and

8 tbsp Runny Honey

The bonus of this mix is it's also yummy mixed with yogurt with any leftovers!

Liz Earle's Homemade Facemask


1 Tbsp Finely ground oatmeal (I used a pestle & mortar to grind them finer)

1 TBSP Live Plain yogurt

1/2 Apple finely grated

2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

I'd actually forgotten how nice it feels to make your own products and it's been a pleasant edition to my first week of lockdown. I love using Garniers Moisture Tissue Mask and always use the night before a shoot.

It all helps!

Lastly I do drink lots of water and I am sure that plays a major part in healthy looking skin.

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x




February 14, 2020

The Acupuncture Place with Samantha McNamara

Move over botox there's a new treatment in town, except it's not exactly new but an ancient Chinese acupuncture treatment that all the celebrities are raving about.

I’m not one of those women that religiously books in for facials or beauty treatments, which considering my profession might come as a surprise. It seems so hard to keep up with the latest ‘best’ beauty product that will apparently make us all look more youthful and usually come with a hefty price tag. The truth is I don’t want to look younger anymore, I’m 50 this year and I’m comfortable enough with my face to accept the changes that come with age. What I do like the idea of is anything that helps give me the look of a great night’s sleep which is currently lacking in my life.

When I first met Samantha McNamara at an Enterprise Collective networking meeting, I listened with great interest about her acupuncture practice The Acupuncture Place in Pocklingotn, I was intrigued to find out more. What appealed to me about it was the links with ancient natural practice, whilst I was a little anxious at the thought of having needles all over my face, I was keen to give it a try. Samantha has had an extensive career in the beauty industry, what impressed me most was her dedication and passion for Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal treatments which led her to gaining a BSC Hons degree in those subjects in her early forties. I think most us would associate acupuncture as an alternative treatment for pain and injuries but Samantha tailors her treatments to help with your general health and the less obvious beauty treatments.

As soon as I arrived the surroundings and Samantha made me feel relaxed. We started the session with Samantha taking my pulse with the conclusion that my body was tired. She was spot on! I’ve had a busy time since Christmas and have not really stopped and allowed myself any time to relax. Menopausal night sweats and disruptive sleep have left me feeling tired in a way I’ve not experienced since pregnancy. Those damn hormones! Whilst examining my tongue she told me my digestive system was struggling and I was dehydrated. Again, spot on, I have been regularly skipping lunch then snacking early evening or eating snacks on the run which has ultimately left me feeling bloated and gaining weight. I do drink a lot of water but maybe as my body travels through these changes I need to re-address how and when I hydrate. Samantha has suggested trying coconut water to help so although I’m not a huge fan of the taste I’m going to give it a go. All this before we’ve even got started!

Lying down on a warm bed with soothing music, Samantha started placing needles in various parts of my body; at first I didn’t even feel them. The needle by my right ankle initially throbbed, it wasn’t painful, more like a dull ache, but it quickly disappeared. The needles were placed in my ankles, knees and wrists before moving on to the face.

This was the part that I’d been nervous about as you imagine your face to be more sensitive to pain. The needles are varying in size and meant to help bring fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to your skin which encourages collagen and elastin production. The only area that I felt a bit of sting was around the middle of my brows where my frown line is getting deeper, but it can’t really be described as pain just a quick sting. In total Samantha placed around 50 needles of varying sizes all over my face and I wouldn’t have known where they were.

Next came the Dermalux LED therapy mask for half an hour. This process is a non-evasive treatment that uses therapeutic light energy to help trigger the skins natural rejuvenation and repair process whilst you relax. Within the first few minutes of the goggles and mask being placed over me I had a sudden rush of anxiety which I felt rising up to my chest. What I quickly realised was my body was totally relaxed but my brain was still working overtime and there was a battle going on as my body forced me to switch off. A few minutes later this passed and I fell into a deep state of relaxation. During this 30 minutes Samantha worked on reflex points on my feet and due to my relaxed state, I was hardly aware of what was going on but felt very grounded.

When the needles are removed you don’t feel it and Samantha then followed with the cupping. I’ve heard of cupping as a body treatment, but I’ve never seen it seen it used on the face. It’s another way of boosting the circulation and removing any build-up of fluids. It’s a strange sensation, I could almost feel the tension being sucked away from my face.

This session felt like I was having a full MOT and I’ve come away really thinking that I need to take more care of my skin. For me it felt like a holistic treatment as well as a practical beauty session.

The ancient Chinese Gua Sha tool gently scrapes over your moisturised face with a gentle pressure and again improves lymphatic flow and circulation. Samantha used the Jade tool on me, which is the most traditional stone associated with rejuvenation, but other stones are available with differing properties. I’ve seen skin rollers in shops and wondered what their benefits are, so I’ll definitely buy one to add to my skin care routine. Not only does the roller aid absorption but it has a cooling effect on the skin which is perfect for helping the menopausal over heating symptoms.

I had to force myself to come back around once we’d finished. A couple of things surprised me, A) there were no signs of where the needles had been all over my face and B) my skin was glowing.

I am really interested to find out more about alternative treatments to help with my general health and well-being, so this has been a positive start. I would definitely recommend and I can see how having regular acupuncture facials could make a real difference. It's 3 days since the treatment and although no one else would notice a difference my skin feels a bit tighter and looks more refreshed. To gain the full benefit of this treatment it's recommended to have a couple a week over a 6 week period.

I can recommend popping over to Samanthas Instagram page as she has some very informative IGTV videos explain all her techniques and some helpful home tips too

To find out more about Samantha McNamara and The Acupuncture Place

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x

October 10, 2019

My favourite products for Silver, White and Grey hair.

I stopped dying my hair 5 years ago and have fully embraced my silver hair now; I've found the whole experience liberating. There are so many different shades of grey you don't know what hair colour you will end up with until you stop dyeing. My hair is very white, almost silver, except at the back where it is a darker grey. People seem to assume because you don't have to colour it any more, you also don't have to worry about hair maintenance but it's not as easy to manage as people think.

Many women with grey hair have a constant battle with yellow tones which can be caused by so many different factors including air pollution, heat from styling, exposure to the sun, and a build up of hair products. I have tried and tested so many different silver shampoos and treatments in the last few years, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favourites.

Why use a silver purple shampoo? I think it can seem quite scary at first washing your hair with a dark purple shampoo, there's the fear that you will end up with bright purple hair. If you imagine a colour wheel, purple is directly opposite yellow which means they can cancel one another out. When you tone your yellowing hair using purple, it cools down the tone of the yellow shades and removes the brassiness.

I have been fortunate to have been given certain products to try and had the opportunity to attend the Philip Kingsley hair clinic in Mayfair for an analysis and treatment session. I had already been using their products and was a huge fan of the deep conditioning Elasticizer but at the clinic I was shown how to really get the best out of the product. I've now started using it once a week, leaving it on for at least 20 minutes before I wash my hair with a silver shampoo.

I have fine hair but lots of it and since using Elasticizer I've found my hair feels and looks fuller, has more bounce and generally looks healthier. It's not a particularly cheap product but I think it makes a real difference and one I would recommend to invest in. #gifted

Pantene also brought out a new Grey and Glowing range this year and I was fortunate to work on their social media campaign so again was gifted the range to try. Silver shampoos all seem to be different and in the past I confess to trying some that have left me looking like I've had a purple rinse! This range seems to banish most of my yellow tones without any build up but I particularly like the illuminating mask. I usually wash my hair twice a week and alternate between the Elasticizer or a mask. It's an affordable reliable product which I use regularly.

I've also been introduced to the Sachajuan Silver shampoo and conditioner professional haircare range by Samantha Sweet at Sweet Squared. I had never heard of it before but have used it a few times now and it seems to really cut out those brassy tones; if you like cooler grey white tones I think it's perfect. Be careful not to leave the shampoo on for too long, 1-2 minutes only; I left it on for 5 minutes and the result was an icy white colour with a hint of purple. It's available to buy on Amazon, at £20 it is quite pricey but it does work well.

If you've never tried any of the White Hot Hair products then I highly recommend them. I really like the whole ethos behind this brand and love the products.The shampoo leaves my hair with a healthy looking gloss. My absolute favourites from this range are the Lifeshine Oil (£14) to keep the frizziness at bay and the Whooshing Creme (£13) is always in my handbag for that last minute boost of oomph when you need it. The prices are reasonable too. It's brilliant! #gifted

If I'm going for an evening out, I sometimes like to give my hair an extra boost and have used the Milkshake Silver shine whipped cream mousse for years. Not only does it work well, without leaving your hair feeling sticky, but it smells amazing too.

I don't think you can beat the Pro:Voke range for Silver Dry shampoo and hairspray for reliable results and great value for money. I have also tried their silver shampoo but found it was too strong for me and always left a strong purple shade in my hair. I also found it stained the bathroom more than any other products. I once had a terrible purple shampoo experience in a nice white bathroom in a smart hotel. I've never used it since!


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