Thursday, 23 March 2017

A Review of Esthederm Skincare and Bioderma Hand Cream.

I'm becoming increasingly interested in different skincare brands and I'm fortunate, via my blog, to have the opportunity to try new ones from time to time. I'm also becoming ever more interested in the background of a product, specifically, the inspiration and technology behind it; I want to know why and how it works. I'm not a beauty blogger nor can I claim to be any kind of expert but what I can, and always will do, is write honestly about whether or not a product worked for me, if I enjoyed using it and if I'd buy it for myself. 

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

So I'd like to tell you about The Intensive Hyaluronic Serum and The Intensive Hyaluronic Face Cream by Institut Esthederm, a brand founded by French pharmacist and biologist Jean-Noel Thorel, a specialist in cellular technologies. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found naturally in the skin and the connective tissue of the body. It's a major component of the extra-cellular matrix, (the framework in which our skin cells sit), and it helps to retain moisture because each molecule can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. This makes it a a very valuable ingredient in creams and serums because in essence, it acts like a sponge holding water in the skin, so plumping it and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Simply, it acts as an effective moisturiser because of its ability to attract water into the skin to keep it hydrated and supple.

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

The Intensive Hyaluronic Serum (£49.50), can be used by itself but I've been using it on my face, neck and decollete under the cream. It is recommended that it is used as a two-month intensive treatment for best results and although I haven't been using it quite that long, I can see that my skin is responding well to it. The serum has a lovely delicate, almost velvety texture and only a small amount is needed which is easy to control due to the pump action bottle.

The Intensive Hyaluronic Cream (£49.50) combines three different forms of hyaluronic acid and is ideal for use both day and night. It feels luxurious and rich and is thick without feeling heavy or looking greasy. It glides across the face and melts into the skin easily, leaving my skin looking radiant and feeling soft. I recommend both of these products and will definitely invest in them myself.

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

It is widely accepted that the hands are the biggest giveaway of one's age and I cannot agree more. When looking through my blog photographs, I do sometimes cringe at just how disloyal mine are in revealing my age. In fact, they look a lot older than my years. It's not something I lose sleep over but it is something that I'm self-conscious about, particularly when trying to show off rings and bracelets, so I am always, always on the look out for an effective hand cream. It must feel rich yet sink in quickly without leaving a residue. The Ultra Repair by Bioderma (available from Boots for just £4.90), ticks all of those boxes. Like Esthederm, Bioderma was founded by biologist Jean-Noel Thurel. Formulated for dry, sensitive and atopic skin , it's a functional product rather than an indulgent one, but that being said, it does have a luxurious feel to it; it is thick and nourishing. I've noticed a significant improvement in the skin tone on the back of my hands- it's smoother and appears to be plumper and my nails (which I paint at least once a week) are benefiting continuously from the moisturising properties of the cream and as a result are smoother and have been less prone to breaking.

Bioderma hand cream review, over 40 blog

I will continue using the Bioderma handcream partly because it has a very accessible price point but mostly because it feels very comfortable to use; and because it works!

Love Lizzy x

Double star ring in silver) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
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Photograph of me: Poppy Johnston

Disclosure: *These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Perfect Transitional Jacket (For Spring).

March heralds the official start of spring and finally, finally, the days are beginning to lengthen. The delicate, pure beauty afforded by blankets of snowdrops has been replaced by an unapologetic and brazen cheeriness, courtesy of the carpets of bold yellow daffodils that seem to be everywhere and suddenly, we begin to look forward to summer holidays. These photographs were taken yesterday, during the late afternoon, yet as I type, it's hailing and it's this very changeable weather that makes dressing between the seasons, so difficult. We want to wear brighter clothes and embrace the new season, yet, in reality, there are morning frosts on the ground until May. It still feels quite wintry and cold outside, despite the sun's best efforts.
Layering is a good option and I find that a lightweight jacket like this longline jacquard open jacket, which can be layered over dresses, or jeans and tops with either long or short sleeves, is an invaluable transitional piece. It can be worn quite casually with boyfriend jeans and pumps as I'm doing here, or in a smarter way, perhaps over a shift dress with a pair of slingbacks. It's heavy enough to add warmth but neat enough not to add bulk and the colours leave me in no doubt that it is a spring-summer piece.

kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

I love the design details; the edge to edge shape, the three-quarter length sleeves and the patch pockets. 

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

The colour combination of blues and pinkish-reds is surprisingly versatile too; it whispers rather than shouts about making a statement, meaning that not everything else needs to be kept plain. I like that even when juxtaposed with the lace cuffs and neckline on my blouse, it doesn't look overly fussy.  

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

It's beautifully made and doesn't crease, (which makes it a practical choice for travelling in), and is machine washable. It's the little things which in combination make this a rather perfect transitional piece.

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

My jewellery is in a soft rose-gold hue with faceted rose quartz, the colours of which compliment the tones in the jacket beautifully. The matching pendant, earrings and ring are subtle enough to be worn together and I'm looking forward to wearing them with summer clothes when I tend to choose lighter and more delicate pieces of jewellery.

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

I don't think the wind ever stops here in North Yorkshire though in any season, and maintaining a smooth, neat hairstyle when taking photographs outside has proved to be nigh on impossible... but at least there's now a little sunlight on my windswept hair. 

Kaleidoscope jacquard jacket, boyfriend jeans,silver Superga trainers, over 40

Love Lizzy x

I'm wearing:
*Longline jacquard open jacket, £45, Kaleidoscope
*Rose quartz faceted drop earrings, £35 Pia 
*Faceted rose quartz ring, £35, Pia
*Rose quartz faceted pendant, £39, Pia
*Superga 2750 Cotmetu pump, silver, £55, Aspire Style. There is still time to get 10% off everything at Aspire Style with the code OVER40
Boyfriend jeans, Next, past season. 

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Disclosure: *These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 


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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Rhubarb Restaurant at Herriots, Skipton: A Review

Rhubarb at Herriots in Skipton is one of my favourite restaurants and I dine there often. I always enjoy the excellent food, friendly staff and smart, yet relaxed atmosphere so it was an absolute pleasure for me to visit last week with my boyfriend Ian, in a "work" capacity on behalf of Aspire Magazine. We received the warmest of welcomes from Naomi, the wonderful restaurant manager who remembered us from a previous visit.  She's a true asset and is knowledgeable and attentive yet never intrusive and it's always lovely to be served by her.  

For his starter, Ian ordered ham hock terrine which came with a perfectly poached duck egg, Hollandaise sauce and walnut bread.  I tried a little bit of everything, of course, so can confirm his comments that it was fresh and beautifully cooked and was an exciting mixture of textures.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

I love all seafood so as I often do, I ordered from the Fresh Fish Menu and chose pan fried scallops with olive tapenade, croutes, tomato salsa and Parmesan. The scallops are always faultless at Rhubarb and the saltiness of the tapenade and the slight sharpness of the tomato salsa was the perfect foil for their mellow flavour. A particularly lovely thing the restaurant has is a board, which names the trawler off which the seafood was caught, so ensuring its provenance.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

For his main course, Ian chose sirloin steak cooked medium-rare with a coarse-grain mustard and cream sauce served on the side. All steaks and grills are accompanied with fresh plum tomatoes, onion rings, a roasted field mushroom and beef dripping chips. Head chef Paul Deakins,  takes great pride in the quality, taste and tenderness of the steak and the beef is locally sourced and grass-fed; something apparent from the melt in the mouth texture.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Again, I chose from the sea and had seabass served with green beans, black olives, pancetta, celeriac puree and basil oil (£17.95). The sea bass was delicate in flavor and texture and contrasted perfectly with the stronger flavour and texture of the pancetta; a match made in heaven. 
We had a Spanish white wine, Ochoa Calendas, which complimented both surf and turf perfectly.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

After we'd finished the main courses, Naomi asked if we wanted to move from the dining room to the lounge area for dessert, which we did. It was lovely to relax further and to sit side by side on a squishy sofa. 

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Desserts are of course mandatory so Ian ordered syrup sponge pudding with winter fruit compote and crème anglaise and I decided upon honeycomb and chocolate cheesecake with chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream. The syrup sponge was feather light as was the cheesecake and both were artfully presented.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

I cannot recommend Rhubarb at Herriots enough. The food is faultless and the service is outstanding and the location directly opposite Skipton's railway station, (which also has taxis), make it an ideal location for those wishing to enjoy the excellent wine and cocktail menu and for those visiting our town.

Rhubarb at Herriots
Broughton Road
Skipton
BD23 1RT
01756 792781

Love Lizzy x

Disclosure: *Ian and I were guests of Rhubarb at Herriots and reviewed the restaurant and meal as part of my role at Aspire Magazine.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Review of The Arbonne Anti-Ageing Genius Device.

I'm not, nor have I ever been, a gadget girl. I don't buy into gimmicks and I'm sceptical about so-called wonder products and devices. However, I always listen to friends and their opinions and my friend Alison is an Arbonne consultant and has previously given me some skincare samples which I was very impressed with. At one of our lunch meetings, she was very excited about a new product, called the Genius Ultra, a device for massaging skincare products into the face to improve their performance. She offered to lend one to me at our next meeting so I could see for myself.  By complete co-incidence, a few days later, the Arbonne team contacted me to see if I'd like one to try which of course I did and I have been using it for more than two months.

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

Here's the science bit: The Genius Ultra is actually an award winning product that uses ultrasound technology to ensure skincare products are applied more evenly. It uses gentle circular movement to smooth products onto the skin for one minute per area (it switches off automatically after one minute). It has a three-setting temperature control and vibration level and can be used daily for intensive, visible results. It works because our skin has microscopic ridges causing the surface to be uneven. When applying creams and serums with the fingertips, they are unevenly spread so can't penetrate each layer effectively. The ultrasound waves of the Genius device gently push the skincare product into the outer layers of the skin, so maximising performance.

Ultrasound is widely used for diagnostic purposes and routinely during pregnancy but it's also used therapeutically. About ten years ago, I had a series of treatments on an elbow injury, the rationale being that the ultrasound waves would penetrate thorough to the damaged tissue to accelerate repair. It worked within about six sessions and after trying every other kind of treatment for more than two years, I was both incredibly relived and impressed. Because of that proven outcome, I understand and appreciate the science and technology behind the Genius Ultra and accept that if it is safe to use on an unborn child, then it is must be safe to use on my face. 


A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

The device charges via a lead into a USB port, so I plug it into my laptop. I have used it for at least three minutes per session, approximately sixty times and have only just had to recharge it. I have been using it as part of my daily evening routine to help smooth Arbonne Intensive Renewal Serum into my skin around the eye area, my neck and around my lips and nasolabial area. If I have time, I use it for a further minute on my forehead and on my cheeks too. It has a very smooth contact surface which glides over the skin and because it gets warm, it is both comforting and relaxing. Although I've had a good skincare regimen for as long as I can remember, it's one born out of necessity. It's thorough, but functional and time-efficient. This device makes me stop for that little bit longer and as such, it's as soothing for my mind as it is for my face. It feels like I'm indulging in a little "me-time" and that's something many us need more of. The physical sensation is one of warmth and comfort and without question, the serum sinks into the skin quicker than it does when using my fingertips. Not only that, it relaxes the facial muscles which can only be a good thing. 

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

So, has it made a difference?
Yes it has. My skin looks more even in tone and texture and definitely feels smoother. Using the Genius has become part of my daily routine and I now actually look forward to the whole palaver of removing make-up, cleansing, toning and moisturising before bedtime. At almost £300 it is a significant investment but it's like having a mini-facial everyday- calming, relaxing, soothing.
I love it.


Love Lizzy x


Disclosure: The Arbonne Genius Ultra was gifted to me for purposes of review. It is available from www.arbonne.com and retails at £296.
I was not obliged to blog about this product nor did I receive payment for doing so. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is my own. Thank you very much for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

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Photographs: Poppy Johnston


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Monday, 13 March 2017

Clothes Designed to Re-Inspire: The Finery London Striped Godet Dress

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

"Clothes designed to inspire" This is the mission statement for Finery London. 
A young brand born in 2014, the company's goal is to put the excitement back into shopping and to make modern, inspiring and sophisticated styling accessible without compromising on quality. I'd say they've hit the nail on the head. 

Along with the rest of The Over 40 Collective, I was excited to be given the opportunity to select some pieces from the latest collections. As always, I went straight to the dresses and was completely spoiled for choice. I ended up selecting three in total along with a top and some fabulous leather mis-matched earrings which you may have seen a week or so ago on my Instagram feed.  I'll share the rest of my choices on my blog in due course but it was this, the Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress that I wanted to show first. You know by now I love stripes so this caught my eye immediately, but it was the midi length and the godet detail though that set it apart from the numerous other ubiquitous striped tunic-style dresses available from so many other places.  

It's a very flattering shape, designed to skim the body in a mid-weight jersey. It is beautifully finished and is excellent quality. I can't believe the price point either, £69. I think it's a very wearable, comfortable and striking statement dress. 

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

I love the chunky zip detail at the back. A simple touch that makes a big difference.

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

The godets, a key detail this season (and set to be the same for Autumn Winter too), add interest, contrast and movement to the dress. I teamed it with slingback sandals but I plan to wear it with high-heeled ankle boots and also with flip-flops later in the season too. 

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

I have worn a few things with fluted sleeves of late, another key design detail this season. These are super-long which I like and they make the overall silhouette rather more slinky. I love this brand and really do feel re-inspired.

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

You can get a 15% discount with the code LIZZY15 at Finery until 13th April, so you have a month to go and be re-inspired like I was! It can only be used once per customer and there is no minimum spend. The service is excellent and there really are some stunning pieces. I have a few more things from Finery that I'll try to put on my blog as soon as possible so you can see them.

This is the first collaboration for The Over 40 Collective since launching our website last month. here is what the other ladies chose, so do go and visit their blogs for more details and photographs. I will add all of their links and images them as and when their blogs are published.

Finery dress, over 40 collective collaboration
Nikki Garnett, Midlife Chic
Over 40 collective collaboration with Finery
Michelle Tyler, RetroChicMama
Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, The Barefaced Chic

Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Lisa Lenkh, The Sequinist
Finery jumpsuit, Over 40 Collective
Annette, Lady of Style
Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Catherine, Not Dressed as Lamb

Love Lizzy x

I'm wearing:
*Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, £69, Finery London
*Ferncroft Slingback Shoes, Finery London, past season

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Photographs: Poppy Johnston

Disclosure: *These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 


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