1. Miss Selfridge has some hidden classics
I’m pretty sure the Miss Selfridge marketing department doesn’t have the 50+ market in mind when they target their content, but, while looking for a present for Daughter Away At Uni, this classic pair of checked trousers caught my eye. I missed out on this season’s amazing high-waisted Top Shop heritage check trews (sold out everywhere I looked in a 12) but these are pretty close. They come in at a perfectly reasonable £35 and are easy to dress up for work and down with my tomato-red New Look hoodie. For cake and coffee, obviously.
2. A sparkly highlighter can glow rather than dazzle
About five years ago, in my mid 40s, I realised makeup with a sparkle wasn’t doing me any favours. Eyeshadows, foundations, nail varnishes and especially highlighters looked wrong and seemed to draw attention to all the bits I wasn’t so keen on. I have nothing against my lines (honestly), but I’d prefer them not to be the first thing anyone notices. Then I tried Benefit’s dandelion twinkle (or ‘borrowed’ it from Daughter Still at Home). Swept across the top outer edge of my cheekbones and down the centre of my nose, this nude-pink powder seems to sink in and just sit there looking quietly glowy rather than shouting disco queen on New Year’s Eve. At £24.50, it’s not a cheapie, but it’ll last for ages and comes with a mirror and brush.
3. You can bag an & Other Stories shirt for under £15
I’m a sucker for a sleeve detail and I adore & Other Stories. This cream shirt was sitting on the 70% off sale rail and came in at a rather pleasing £13.50, down from £45. It’s a good shade if white next to your face makes you look tired and washed out and THE SLEEVES. All stiff and starchy. It has press studs and will work over a swimming costume in the summer. I presume it was reduced by so much because it’s reasonably snug for a 42 (a 42 is a 16 and I usually take a 12 in & Other Stories shirts). It’s been out for lunch already, paired with skinny black jeans and H&M tassel earrings.
4. Glossier Cloud Paint looks great on lips and lids too
Daughter Still at Home is 16 so obviously a Glossier order was going to be made on the day of the cult American brand’s launch. I’d heard lots about Glossier’s Cloud Paint, the cream blusher you blend without brushes (like Trinny, I’m all about applying makeup with fingers). I chose DUSK, the most natural-looking of the four shades. The texture is silky but matt on the skin and, unlike some cream blushers, it doesn’t sink into your face and disappear. Even better, it’s the closest match to my natural lip colour I’ve ever found, covering up the white scar I have on my top lip without looking too ‘done’. I’ve worn it every day since and it even adds a pretty nude tone to lids (though Glossier don’t say specifically Cloud Paint is suitable for lips or lids specifically). At £15, it’s a great all-rounder.
5. A pleather skirt can work…for work
I’ll start by saying this ASOS leather look midi skirt with zip and pockets (£45) is going back, but only because I’m beyond fussy and can’t get a creasy fold mark out of it (you can see it in the pic below). It’s also very heavy. A lack of waistband is flattering on those of us who don’t really go in at the middle and it skims over a (ok, my) flat bum and not-so-flat tummy area. I’ve styled it with a more formal shirt (H&M, another bargain and wardrobe staple at £17.99 ) to offset the playfulness of the heavy zip and pleather. The boots are this season’s Next. I’d wear this for a client meeting or a more formal evening out with my vegan sister. Mr HTWW describes the skirt as ‘a bit scary’. I quite like that. But not enough to keep it.