More on Less is More. Taking the Jones Road to Beautyland!

Over the summer I wrote a post regarding less-is-more in makeup.  And I’m still on that train of thought. And so, I thought I would share a brand that I’ve begun to use. I’m pretty pleased.   It isn’t the only brand I’m using these days but it is one of a few that have made the cut from many.

PAUSE!!! Before I go on about the makeup brand I’ve been using, I want to address the condition of my skin. After the summer, I had another skin cancer removed from my chest near my collarbone. I might have written about it but I can’t quite remember. It was taken care of and I’m now stressing because I’m going for another skin check next week..

Anyway, after the summer, my skin started looking pretty nasty.  The tan that was once glowing and dark and quite possibly adding even more damage to my skin, faded and I was left with more lines and dryness and very dull facial epidermis.  It wasn’t pretty.

This is not a good look. At all.

Needless to say, I reflected and thought back to when I was happy with my skin. I’m not talking normal happy. I’m talking happy happy. It’s been a while. A long while.   And my thoughts took me back a few years to a Korean skincare line, Mizon.  I ordered items from the brand on repeat then for some reason that I cannot remember, I stopped ordering and moved on to other products.

Back in 2018. During the time I was using the Korean Snail Skincare. My naked face looked much better.

I purchased the brand’s serum snail ampoule—a gel textured serum that is applied with a dropper, and snail cream and these golden under-the-eye pads with snail gunk that were very relaxing as well as working to smooth my skin and just make it nice.

I’ve returned to this Holy Trinity of skin care. Thankfully Amazon still has it in a kit–and I subscribed for every four months!

With fingers crossed, I headed back to Amazon and recited a Hail Mary in hopes that both Mizon and the three products would still be sold.  With a streak of good luck and the wish that Mary wanted me to look better, the brand was still being sold—and popular.

I’m pleased to say that my skin is actually beginning to look a lot better.  The snail cream is incredibly hydrating and feels great when I apply it.

Dry skin? This snail cream is incredibly hydrating!

The eye pads are fun. Just plain fun. They feel cool and refreshing and don’t take the wrinkles away but do leave a slight healthy glow.

These eye patches are just plain fun and refreshing. Do they take wrinkles away? No!!!!  But they refresh me enough to help me look bright eyed!

The ampoule?  I’m not a gel or serum person. Honestly, I ended up trashing most of the serums I’ve in my bathroom with the exception of one or two–but the snail serum is the keeper.   And, as it does do something good to my skin, it makes makeup apply and look better.

Onto the new makeup.

The iconic makeup artist, Bobbi Brown, has always been a source of intrigue to me. Mainly because she’s always made that natural, no makeup look really work.

Actually….I purchased this double-decker palette a few years ago and I still use it.  YES. I use expired makeup!

The thing is, I was never able to wear any of her Bobbi Brown brand foundations because no matter what the light shade range, it was too yellow on my skin.  My daughter, Oona, loved the makeup because she was able to wear it and it was beautiful on her.

Bobbi Brown Reflects on Launching Clean Makeup Brand Jones Road

The Bobbi Brown. She looks so natural and nice! And might I add, I love her taste in clothing!

I always thought it was too bad that I couldn’t be friends with her brand but—well, not all brands are made for all skin or people.

Then came Jones Road Beauty.  It’s a brand by Bobbi Brown but a different kind of makeup. It’s actually created with the mature woman in mind! What a concept! The most intriguing items for me, at first, were the Miracle Balm and the WTFoundation.

My collection thus far….

From Left to Right:  The Face Pencil in Shade 5; WTFoundation in shade Porcelain; Face Pencil in Shade 2; The Best Eye Pencil in Black;  Just a Sec shadow in Pewter; Just a Sec shadow in Golden Peach;  Cool Gloss in Pink/Gold; Miracle Balm in Bronze. Not pictured: Miracle Balm in Dusty Rose and Blush in Pop.

 

Bare faced.  After my morning routine of snail skin care and a light application of Embryolisse Lait Creme as primer, I’m ready to take my damaged and aged skin to a higher lever on the Jones Road Highway!

I did use the Face Pencil in Shade 2 today as a concealer of sorts but it’s difficult to see in the photo–it’s because it blends very well with my skin tone. I also used it as a primer for my eyeshadow.

If you zoom in on my incredibly textured face, you can see the pencil under my brow bone which I used as eye shadow primer.

Next was the eyes.  I used the Golden Peach all over my lids to brow bone then went into the crease with the Pewter. What I love about these shadows is that they are not ashy or chalky and not overly-pigmented which is great for building up color. On my brows, I used Trestique’s Brow Crayon because it is my HG brow product!

Just a Sec shadow in Golden Peach. TBH, it’s a great satin shade and one that I’ve been looking for forever. It’s not orange-peachy, it is just a light hint of peach that blends beautifully..

…and let’s discuss Pewter. It blends into this little throw blanket but doesn’t show up as a gray shadow–it’s a very unique shade and looks fantastic on the eyes.

Next was a thin line of pencil liner with The Best Pencil in Black. It is creamy and the line will last all day.  For a precise line, you really need to keep the pencil sharpened.

Lining the lid for me is the most challenging–it’s because I’m cross-eyed.

Here we are. Eyes done. The shadow is just so subtle and for every day it works beautifully. My brows and mascara are different brands. Onto the face!

The WTFoundation is also wonderful. The shade I have is Porcelain and to tell you the truth, I should have gone with a shade or two darker. No worries though because it still manages to fall within my shade range—and with other products still looks great.

It’s like a whipped marshmallow cream for your face. I’ve tried using my Leila beauty blender to apply but I prefer using my fingers and tapping the foundation into my face—then I’ll take a stippling brush and lightly pat the foundation onto my skin and finally, placing my hands over my face to “set” the foundation.

WTFoundation in Porcelain. It’s a bit too light but still within my range. Next time I’ll order a shade darker. But can I tell you–this is one of the best foundations I’ve ever used. As whipped and lightweight as it is, it stays put all day. ALL DAY!

I pat the foundation in with my fingers. Then ridiculously lightly will rub it in then place my hands over my face. The warmth of my hands kind of melts the foundation into my skin.

A little more patting and rubbing and we’ll be onto the Miracle Balm.

TheMiracle Balm is just what it is. A balm for the face. The two balms I have in ownership are the Dusty Rose, which I use as a blush, and Bronze, which is a great way to warm up the face They come in rather large container/tubs and are best applied with the fingers.  I especially have a large amount of fondness for the Bronze Miracle Balm simply because it adds a nice warmth without looking like a heavy powdered bronzer or a contour. It’s truly lovely.  The Dusty Rose balm adds a flush of color and on days when I want a bit more blush, I’ll use a regular blush and apply the balm over it.

It might look very bronze and golden but it goes on completely different.

I prefer to apply this with a little silver spatula/spoon that is available. It makes it easier.

Miracle Balm patted in with fingers. See? I’m not all bronzed out. It simply adds warmth.

Next onto the blush. I prefer a powdered blush over the balm.  The balm seems to intensify the blush and I love that.  I’m using the Jones Road blush in Pop!

Pop is very, very pretty pink blush. I love this one!

With blush on and cheeks flushed, all I need is lip color, hair, and regular clothing!

Because my lips are very naturally pigmented, I have a difficult time with lipstick and gloss. So under this gloss I applied a very pale pink matte lipstick by another brand and applied the Jones Road Gloss in Pink/Gold over it.

I put hair on. But still haven’t gotten dressed yet. See how natural the products are. Do I miss applying a ton of makeup on my face? Well…. not on my face. I do miss putting a lot on the eyes but as I’ve aged,  a lot of eye makeup just makes me look older.

You may have seen reviews on social media where young influencers do the nasty and place a ton of product onto their face. WTF do they do this anyway?  And those same influencers who load the makeup on, don’t have positive commentary.

How Jones Road Beauty 'What The Foundation' Became The Most Divisive  Product On TikTok – Centennial Beauty: Internet Culture, Creators & News

Really? REALLY? Look at the one on the left? What a joke. Don’t even get me started on the over-filtered, over blurred one on the right. HTF is one supposed to see how the products work in real life if you depend on these influencers for a review? I can’t even anymore… It breaks my heart that companies send these women products to try.

In the first place, this makeup really isn’t for them (Why then does PR send them the products—can we talk about that for a moment? In addition, WTF are mostly young women on the JRB site showcased. More old ladies please!). This makeup is for those of us who have really dry skin. Its for we with the dermis of age.  And lines.  And uneven skin tone.

From the Jones Road site. This girl is freaking gorgeous. Gor. Jis. But I wish cosmetics sites would start to show real women and especially those over 50 with no filters so we could see just how this makeup works!  

It is not for those with very oily skin. There. I said it.

Thank God for good house lighting. Here’s another face full of Jones Road Beauty. The Golden Peach and Pewter shadows look stunning here because I built the colors up to wear to the office.

And I’m not gonna lie either. The foundation, upon being applied, does creep into those fine lines and crevices. But..if you just wait a few moments and tap the makeup out of those fine lines, you are good to go—for the day!

Oh look. I got dressed. And before leaving the house, I’ll go in and wipe excess off my face. Trust me when I tell you, my skin is dry as the desert and this stays on all day and really looks wonderful.

It’s so funny because I’m in the middle of a cosmetics purge. Makeup that worked for me pre-pandemic just doesn’t work anymore. That’s the funny thing about the aging process. You age for decades and notice slight differences and then over the course of a few months—it’s BAM! And it seems as though your face aged overnight! Am I right??

And when I look at photos from a few years back, it’s almost shocking to see the amount of makeup I wore on my face whereas now, it’s just that I want less. And what I have less of I want it to be of better quality.

Me. Five years ago. I LOVE the eye makeup but these days, I cannot wear any eye makeup on my bottom lid. My skin is more wrinkled too.  What I wore then, I cannot wear now. It’s reality!

Now I’m wearing less.  Speaking of less, what do you think of this sleeveless top from J. Crew Factory? I bought it for the Holidays but couldn’t resist wearing it to work!

So that’s it. Let me know if you’ve tried Jones Road Beauty—and if you were users of the Bobbi Brown makeup brand! It’ll be nice to see what you think!

 

Posted in Beauty for Older Women | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

On Fakeness, Dishonesty, and Pro-Aging!

Okay. I’m going to get a bit “real” with this blog post.  There’s a lot I have to say. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea. Or, depending on what time of day this is, grab a bottle glass of wine and curl up on your sofa to a decent read.

Read Saturday Night GIF by HULU

Curl up and read!!

Back in 2015 I started this blog. It was basically to keep my sanity whilst in between jobs. The company I worked for disbanded and I was in a slight panic.  And, if you have been reading this blog, you know that it’s somewhat evolved from talking about my life into a sort of “Style” (trust me I use that word lightly because I’m no pro), Cooking, Makeup, Wig, …and basically a “Whatever” blog.  January 12,th blog post 2015 for your reading pleasure

me-and-the-kids-wythe-hotel-brooklyn

The first photo to ever appear in my blog. Me, Oona, Jake and Roman –and my photography skills have not improved since then!

My delusions were rife with hope that I would not have to return to an office job because I foolishly thought I would become an internet sensation for the “mature” group.  After all, how many “mature”, in reality—old ladies have blogs and other social media accounts?   Well..a lot of ‘em do!

And they have great little studios with great lighting and great cameras and even people to manage them. They use filters when reviewing makeup. And even when they tell you they don’t—trust me, they do.  A number of these older women pose as though they are fashion models—the good thing about that is they are more delusional than I.

Create a YouTube studio in your home - Videomaker

This will never be me. There’s too much stuff to crowd my house. My iPhone will have to do.

I’m nobody special.   And I’m fine with that because over the years I realized something.

‘Tis true. The only person I’m special to is me, myself and I!

The majority of people do not want transparency nor do they want honesty. They want to see over-filtered faces with no texture. I’ve come to the conclusion that human beings prefer a filtered photograph of a face without a nose.

The fading nose. It’s the new beauty trend. Do we really need a nose anyway?

And while I realize that some noses aren’t all that attractive, we need them. We need them to breathe. We need them to use the sense of smell—to smell the scent of danger as well as the beautiful scents of flowers, fresh bread cooking, little baby heads and even puppy breath. Apparently, that’s all for naught.

Climate is a driving factor for human nose shape

Save this photograph for reference dear friends–because at the rate over-filtered selfies on social media are going, the nose will become extinct!

And in our present day of social media, from Instagram ads, to Facebook groups dedicated to everything from reselling luxury items to handmade goods, and TikTok videos. Social media is a huge part of the human comedy—or drama, or even of human bondage!  But what bothers me the most is the lack of honesty among “creators”, “influencers” as well as cosmetics companies, skincare companies and clothing companies.

The Bachelor Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

This SNL skit says it all. The glamorous dress. The basic long wavy hair do. The content creator!

It’s all about the disclosure and the dishonesty.

Let me put it this way. I love cosmetics—there’s no way around it. I simply cannot go a day without mascara or brow products or lipstick or gloss.  On days when I want a little extra there’s CC Cream and foundation—running the gamut from extremely light to bare coverage or to full-on coverage when a wedding or special occasion calls me.

It's a Cream Makeup and Mature-Skin Friendly! Maskcara Beauty Review | Atypical  60

Yup! I need all of this so I don’t scare people away. Seriously. I love my makeup and skincare because it makes me look better and feel better!

And the thing is..I can no longer trust reviews on YouTube or Instagram because of the filters that creators/influencers are using.  When I’m interested in a product, I want to see how it looks on textured skin. Skin with lines. Skin that’s sun damaged. Skin that is old!

Kylie-Cosmetics-Kylie-Jenner.jpg

YouTube, Instagram, TikTok…I can’t trust any influencers or creators–and this one is still in her 20’s and using filters!

Sadly, I have to rely on my own devices to try the products out because I no longer trust any social media creators nor do I trust cosmetics and skincare companies because they continue to send products to these people fully knowledgeable about the fact they filter.

Please don't Lose Face — I Love You Just the Way You Were! | Atypical 60

The photo on the left-hand side shows how I looked in real life at my daughter’s wedding. On the right is how I looked with a FaceApp filter.  As ridiculous as it is, many older women–especially those showcasing wigs are using this app and filter to completed de-age their faces. Even the fake hair looks more fake!

Which brings me to yet, another discussion regarding pro-aging. I’ve been on this bandwagon for years—since my fifties. And at the halfway point this very day (October 16th) to 68, it’s even more important to discuss this.

One of my Instagram followers sent me this photo from one of Jamie Lee Curtis’ posts. She’s a proponent of pro-aging. Now, usually I don’t put much stock in what celebrities have to do or say, but Curtis is a different kind of animal. I love her. I follow her on social media. She is herself and in no way is she at that “I’m-so-ashamed-of-aging” stage. She embraces aging.  No fillers or surgery. Her short-cropped hair is a beautiful shade of gray and she’s happy to showcase her person as she is.

I simply adore Jame Lee Curtis. She’s aging so gracefully. She is what REAL LIFE aging looks like. She. is. greatness!

Take someone like Madonna.  I’m constantly flummoxed as to why she cannot embrace aging? I honestly don’t know if her social media posts are meant to be a joke or if she’s serious.  But it bothers me.  She is a gifted, talented and iconic musical presence.  She could, as Curtis does, embrace her age but yet, she doesn’t seem to want to. I must say though, no matter how many filters she uses, her hands give her mature age away.

It’s Madonna. THE Madonna. WTF is she doing this? She is in her 60’s. She should be more relatable to her demographic.

How beautiful is  she in real life? Madonna is stunning! She’s gorgeous and THIS is how she should be showcasing herself!

But even young social media presences don’t seem to want to showcase their true age.  Mikayla Nogueira is an internet sensation. She does makeup tutorials and reviews—on Instagram and TikTok.  She’s all of 24 years old. And she filters the bejezus out of every post. It’s ridiculous. How on earth can someone look at the products she has plastered over her face when her skin texture is smooth as glass. And it’s a shame. It’s a shame because she has admitted to acne and skin issues. If she showcased how the products really worked, it would be not only beneficial, but also helpful to all those out there with the same sort of skin issues.  She’s incredibly successful and has amassed a fortune in charging cosmetic and skincare companies to “advertise” their products.

She is incredibly talented with makeup. But the filters. For the love of God, she filters her face even without makeup. It’s disheartening and dishonest–especially for young women.

And what’s upsetting about that is the false advertising. Use a filter? You’re not being honest. The companies are not being honest. All to make a buck. The other upsetting thing is Ms. Nogueira is every girl. She really is, without her filters, she’s a normal, average 24-year-old. She’s cute and perky. And she knows her makeup stuff. So why hide who you are?

 

It’s disturbing because, as women, we need to be proponents of our bodies and our minds. We can’t allow ourselves to be set up for self-hatred. It starts at an early age. What about all these young girls who think they can use a product and be as beautiful as the perfect creators and influencers they see on the internet?  These people also photoshop their bodies into thinness. What are these young girls thinking when they see this?

And let us not forget the impact the Kardashian family does have when it comes to advertising. Although I’m not a fan, I always thought Khloe was the most attractive of the sisters. But look at the left–she’s photoshopped her face to the point she does not resemble herself.

And what about older women? Jesus H. Christ!  For any women over 50 who sees an over filtered visage on any social media platform then feels bad because of her own lines and wrinkles—that is sinful. And it should not be.

24 Photos Of Women Over 40 In Makeup That'll Make You Smile Uncontrollably

The woman on the left is beautiful and doesn’t need to filter her face. Seriously. She’s really stunning!

The woman on the right? She has texture! She used good lighting but she’s got texture. Her lips have normal lip lines. Thank you!!!!!!!!

24 Photos Of Women Over 40 In Makeup That'll Make You Smile Uncontrollably

Guess who’s wrinkled face is on the right? It’s an old Buzzfeed article.

Aging is a gift. Ask those who have lost a loved one at a young age and they will validate that.   Aging isn’t pretty. Our faces and bodies are not the ones we had in our twenties.  We sag, we drag, we’re lined and our features have faded.  Our tummies are akin to cloudy marshmallows. Our feet are stiff in the morning. Some of us have difficulty walking down and up the stairs. Some of us fart when we walk fast while other get leaky pee-pee and need to wear special undergarments.  Our teeth change. Our hearing is different. Our eyes don’t see as well.

But it’s ok!  Put some makeup on (My favorite mature-friendly brands are Subtl Beauty, Trestique, Mob Beauty and Jones Road Beauty).

Wear the makeup–but let the wrinkles and freckles and age spots show through!

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Better lighting. Darker wig. Same makeup!

Don a nice outfit for the day.

Maybe not this dressy but I’m attending a wedding this coming Friday so it was a new-dress-tryon!

And go strut your stuff. You deserve it!

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Cathe Cat, Cathe Cat—Where Have You Been? Well..I Have Not Been to London..But I’ve Been Baking Croissants!

….to see the Queen. That’s for sure.

Queen Elizabeth II: 15 Key Moments in Her Reign - HISTORY

Overall, and as an outsider looking in, I think the Queen was a good egg.

And although I’m not British and the only familiarity I have with the Royal Family is the tea that’s been spilled lately about all of them.  Despite the sensationalism, I was a bit sad when Queen Elizabeth passed.  She was the longest-ruling monarch and overall, she seemed like a nice lady.

Queen Elizabeth's Death Certificate Reveals Cause and Time of Death - The New York Times

And when it came down to it, she was Granny-to-the-World.

I shan’t tell you what I think of King Charles.

The alleged love-child of King Charles III and Camilla claims to be the Prince of Wales: It's a kick in the face | Marca

Ugh. King Charles and the Step-Queen. (I was a Diana fan)

So, moving on. I had a “thing” removed from just under my collarbone. It was another skin cancer but it was taken care of.  And I used sunscreen but from years and years and a lifetime of beaching, it caught up with me.  I took a lunch hour to go to my dermatologist, it was taken off, and I went back to work.

Then The Frenchman and I headed out to Cincinnati to visit my new grandson, Bennett. And of course, Owen.  It was a good weekend.  I’m fascinated that my baby is now the mommy of her babies and she’s doing a better job than I ever did!

Welcome Bennett, with my maiden name Wynne as his middle name. Nine pounds of love!  He was huge and Oona had him two weeks pre-due date!

Work?  I’m now happy to say that my hours are 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. And I’ve never been happier! No more overtime. I have my routine down pat and it is a pleasure!

Bitmoji Image

Yay! Now I can head home to work on blog posts!

And with that being written, I resumed baking this past weekend.  Yes. I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday to prepare Croissants and Pain au Chocolat.  It’s a process. I don’t want to say that it isn’t for everyone because that sounds cocky. But I realize a number of people just don’t like to bake because of the time, sometimes intimidation, and lack of shortcuts.  However, I highly recommend that if you are tired of what mass-market bakeries have to offer and you want a tasty pastry –try this.  You’ll be so proud of yourself!

Even if they don’t turn out looking all that great, the taste will prove otherwise. It took me a while to get comfortable baking these at home but you feel more at ease with each time you bake.

A bit of my own back story (in case you are not familiar with this blog):  My husband is Parisien. He is very particular. He is extremely particular when it comes to bread and pastries.  The bread people at Wegmans run away from me when the see me approaching because I squeeze the bread and my husband, because his accent is very heavy, has me relate his complaints.

french bonjour GIF

I am NEVER greeted like this at the bread department of Wegmans. Never. 

Forget about his beloved croissants.  You do not want to be with us when someone recommends the greatest croissants on Philly’s Main Line.  He has never liked any and they end up in the trash.

And so, I tried making my own.  The first time was a total disaster.  I tried laminating the dough and just couldn’t get it right.   Things improved when I took a croissant class at Cookin’ With Class in Paris last year. (click this to head  to my paris blog post)  I learned how to properly laminate the dough and it was incredibly helpful.

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My very first attempt at croissants. I think this was in 2017 0r 2018.  They turned out so friggin’ tiny, they never had that “rise”. It was awful. I can’t even remember the recipe I used. I do remember that the taste was better than the Pillsbury cresent rolls but it was not a true croissant.

The recipe the class provided proved to be too large a recipe for this home cook, so I perused the internet and found The New York Times Croissant Recipe.  It is excellent.  In addition, I found Claire Saffitz’ tutorial on YouTube.  Both have assisted tremendously.

What the video and written instructions do NOT tell you is that you need to use a rimmed cookie sheet—like a Jelly Roll pan.  I used a regular cookie sheet the first time and almost set the house on fire because butter leaked and smoked up the kitchen. All the fire alarms in the house went off and didn’t subside for an hour.  The oven had to be cleaned and it was a mess. Although the croissants tasted really good!

Do not do this!  Butter will leak.  Unless you are a professional with years of training and you work in a Paris establishment, butter will leak. You WANT to use a rimmed cookie sheet. My house almost went on fire because I had no idea. I learned my lesson!  But the croissants turned out great!

Another thing—you have to work with a chilled dough. The dough is a challenge to roll when your counter space is limited and once the dough warms up, it becomes resistant.  Chilled is better—so when you find the dough warming up, stick it in the fridge for about 15 minutes then take it back out.

Freezing Cold Weather GIF by filmeditor

You want your dough chilled. It’s amazing how quickly dough warms up.

So, we are ready to start. Make sure you read the recipe well. Honestly, every time I bake these, I still read the recipe carefully.  (I also watch and rewatch Saffitz’s video over and over).  You do not want to miss anything.

Episode 5 Reaction GIF by PBS

Read that recipe and read it until you comprehend EVERYTHING about it!

Day One:  And I did this on a Friday evening: Get your ingredients at the ready.  First of all, I don’t use American butter.  There is less butterfat and our USA butter contains water.  The FDA amazes me at times—but that’s another topic.  I use Kerrygold unsalted butter is the butter I use.  President butter works just as well but any European butter will work.

Next—the flour. I use King Arthur All-Purpose Flour due to the 11.7% protein content.  If you can’t find the King Arthur, any AP flour will do but I’m a fan of the brand.

I swear by King Arthur Flour. The higher protein percentage is stronger for all those delicious but delicate layers in the croissants and the pain au chocolat. And Kerrygold butter is readily available at supermarkets these days. A few years back it was difficult to track down–no more!

Whole Milk—and I wouldn’t substitute either. I’m very compliant.  Yeast, not instant. I use the powdered yeast.  Sugar. I use plain white Domino granulated.  Kosher salt.

For the Pain au Chocolat you will need chocolate batons. They can be purchased on Amazon or..if you get a sudden urge to be economical and make them yourself, buy an inexpensive mold from Amazon like the one below that I bought.  Dark chocolate chips and make the biggest mess of your life—but they will turn out just fine!

This mold, at $8.99 was an excellent buy. I may have made a mess (scroll for pics), but at the end, the chocolate batons were the perfect fit!

I used a pastry bag and tip to place the melted chocolate into the molds. It wasn’t until later my friend Doreen told me to go to Michael’s for a squeezy thing-like a mustard squeezer and that works much better–ya live–ya learn!

I kid you not. I went through a plethora of tips and made a most incredible mess.

It was a chore to clean…but..

…the batons turned out great.

And they went into a plastic bag until I needed them!

We have our ingredients at the ready.  Because I made both croissants and pain au chocolat, I made two batches of the dough—otherwise known as detrempe.  To be honest, when it comes to baking, I do not want to mess with the recipe and double it. Baking is a science and it takes only a few extra minutes to make a second dough.

You also want a good rolling pin and a ruler. Add to that a pizza roller which will be used later.

Mixed in my Kitchen Aid on low speed, it takes a while but the end result is so worth it!

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Atypical 60 | A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With  An Atypical Twist! | Page 37

Sorry that I don’t have a better photo but here’s the detrempe. It’s resting before rising.  I made two of them.

While the detrempe was mixing, I made the butter slabs.  Measuring out the butter on my scale, I cut it into pieces, placed it on parchment paper that I drew an 8X8 inch square, pounded the butter gently until it softened then rolled it out to the desired shape and measurements.  Back in the fridge it goes.

BTW, this is the scale I use. I couldn’t stand it at first but now I use it all the time.  Exact measures are needed for baking and I find this works so well.

To perfect 8×8 inch squares of buttery goodness!

With the detrempe (both) made, I let them rise till doubled in size.  Then shaped into a rectangle, covered in plastic wrap and placed both in the fridge overnight.

Day Two:  I got up early. This is the day that most of the work will be done.  I was fortunate that it rained because my motivation was at it’s lowest. Having to roll and rest, really isn’t a bad thing when you don’t want to do much.

It’s roll, freeze, rest. Repeat.

Okay. I had my coffee. I took one of the doughs out of the fridge.  I’m ready to work it!

Laminating the dough.  This is the most intense part—I don’t care what anyone says, laminating the dough is key. If the butter is too cold, it’ll break.  That’s why the European butter is great—it’s pliable when cold.  Roll out the dough, place the butter in the middle and fold both ends up to the middle of the butter slab. Pinch to enclose and pinch on the sides.

Note the ruler on the left. It’s needed! But this mat that I ordered from Amazon has been a godsend. I can take measurements off of it and  it stays put!  It’s a dream:  Here’s a similar one (I get a small commission from Amazon) for sale. Silicone Baking Mat. Mine is so old I don’t think it is available any more

Then roll out into a rectangle.  Turn the block around so that the seam looks lengthwise and beat the dough. This is the first turn to create layers. Not hard but a nice softer beat. It will help to lengthen the dough. Next the dough gets rolled out to a long slab.  Trust me, this isn’t easy when you have limited kitchen counter space. And the dough gets soft so it needs to be placed in the fridge to cool off.

More rolling.  My one slight “issue” with the rolling process is none of the experts and professionals stress how quickly the dough warms and starts to resist the rolling.  

After it’s rolled, fold into another rectangle. But fold both ends up to the center of the narrow slab. Then fold crosswise like a book. Actually, it is referred to as a book fold. Now you’re making more layers.

Here’s the “book” fold.  There’s lotsa layers in there!

Time to go back in the freezer for twenty minutes then in the fridge for an hour.

Now it’s time to relax for a while and say to yourself “I really should get up off my ass and close that cabinet door”. But you don’t. You play Candy Crush instead.

Rolling out again. The next turn is the last.  Some more beating with the rolling pin. Any air bubbles you can pop.  Roll and if the dough gets too warm, place back in the fridge.  Roll out then one more fold.   Fold the dough like an envelope then back in the freezer then fridge. Roll back out and fold like a letter.  Wrap it in plastic and roll in the plastic for even ends. Freezer then fridge.

Roll the dough out to a longer slab. Not too long just enough to place on a cookie sheet after it is wrapped in plastic.

Both my dough slabs are laminated, turned , rolled out more, wrapped in plastic and are going to be placed in the fridge overnight!

Place in the fridge overnight.

One other note. Look at the photo above.  The wooden rolling pin is tapered at the ends.  I found this to be annoying for the croissant/pain dough. The sides were thicker due to the tapered ends. I really had to move that dough and the pin around.  I ended up ordering another straight rolling pin from Amazon. Here is the link–it arrived yesterday and I cannot wait to use it. It’s going to be great for Holiday baking:  Amazon Extra Long  Straight Wood Rolling Pin.

I can’t wait to use this. Maybe I’ll make a tarte later! See the difference? It’s long and nice and straight!

Day Three:  Okay. Wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee. Don’t get dressed yet because you will be working with the dough and shaping and proofing.

Can You Tell Me What I Wore This Winter? | Atypical 60

When we bake, we dress like a little piggy in her pajamas. I even take the hair off!

CAVEAT:  The recipe that I linked makes eight croissants. My husband does not like oversized croissants. He prefers his croissants smaller—and trust me, these aren’t that small.  So, rather than measure out eight, I shaped 16!   I worked on the croissants first. And kept the pain au chocolate dough in the fridge.

Take your ruler. Make sure your rolling surface is floured. Start rolling. And rolling.  To make ends even use the pizza roller—it’s so much better than a knife! Place the shaped dough on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment and into the fridge while you prepare for proofing.

Buy KitchenAid Pizza Roller Cutter

I use this pizza cutter from Kitchenaid. It works like a charm to trim the edges of the dough!

Formed and ready to proof.   For this step, turn your oven light on but do NOT turn the oven on.  Simmer water into a pan and when bubbles start to form, open the oven and place the pan with the water, on the bottom of the oven. This will create steam and move the proofing along.

Take the croissants out of the fridge. Gently brush with a mixture of one teaspoon of heavy cream or milk and one beaten egg and place in the oven. Here’s a tip that I want to pass on to you.  All instructions I’ve read and followed, say to cover the dough lightly with plastic but be prepared to take the wrapping off very gently to prevent deflating the croissants.  Instead, I went to Michaels and purchased two plastic storage bins that fit over my jelly roll pans perfectly.  I place the bins over the croissants and then put everything in the oven to proof.

The dough isn’t risen yet. It’s shiny because I brushed (with a light touch) the egg wash on. 

Don’t judge me for not washing the labels off the storage tubs. I’ve had these for almost a year. How lazy can one be?  Anyway, these storage tubs, turned upside down are great for proofing!

This will take about 2 to 2 ½ hours. You do not want to overproof. If you aren’t sure that your dough is proofed—wait an extra half hour.  The dough should be jiggle like little Michelin tire men or the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man!

DEC208879 - GHOSTBUSTERS STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN ACTION PIN - Previews  WorldHow the Michelin man logo came to be – Creative Review

The croissants should be jiggly and wiggly like these guys!

And they will get larger as they bake!

Turn the oven on to 375 degrees (my oven works best at either 375 or 350). Do another egg-cream brushing and let the dough rest whilst the oven heats.

Place in the oven and bake!  I bake for ten minutes then set the timer. When the timer goes off, I rotate the pans and cook for another twelve to fifteen minutes. I want to make sure these are done. Again—you know your oven and what works for you.

And, as the croissants were proofing with the plastic tubs over them, I did put some plastic wrap on the pain au chocolat. I’m going to buy two more tubs. Notice there’s a small bit of butter leaking out. It’s fine. Didn’t affect the bake or the taste!

After taking the croissants out of the oven to cool, I did place the tubs over the pain au chocolat to proof in the oven. See those little “rolls” of dough on the silicone mat?  I don’t believe in throwing scraps out. It’s a sin.  So I brushed egg wash and sprinkled with sugar and..

I made a little snack for The Frenchman whilst he watched soccer. These ended up to be a sort-of poor man’s Kouign-Amann

As an aside, Trust me. This is well-worth the effort. Take a weekend when you have absolutely nothing else going on because it takes time and patience. And look—will they taste like they came out of a famous French patisserie?  No. It’s a home bake but they will turn out wonderfully tasty, buttery, flaky and light.  And—my husband who is extremely critical absolutely loves them.

I could improve on the shaping. I managed to use all the dough. Check out that little one on the bottom left!

That was for me and it had a nice crumb!

I got 14 pain au chocolat but honestly, next time I’ll make these smaller!

Look at those layers! Just look!

Give it a try—you’ll want to make them again and again!

It won’t be the same as enjoying a croissant at Cafe de Paris in the 6th–but it’ll come close!

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What This Baby-Boomer Did in One Day!

First of all, before I move forward with this post, I just want to give remembrance to 09/11/2001. It affected too many of us to forget. It took a toll on friends and family we lost.  For me, it was sickening because people I knew were murdered. I worked in Two WTC and my aunt in One WTC.  We were no longer working in those buildings when the incident occurred but it still had an impact.

What is the purpose of 'never forgetting' 9/11? - Quora

21 years later, I still find it difficult to look at photographs of the twin towers. I honestly believe this is one of the most beautiful and tragic reminders. 

So yesterday, being the “first” Saturday we were home since late spring, I decided to tackle a few chores that needed attention.

Carrying out these chores was so cringe-worthy for me. No makeup. An inside-out nighty, but I menaged to put on a cheap pair of earrings to keep it glam!

Our living room:  We have two off-white sofas. Each has removable slip and cushion covers. This is key for washing. However, I don’t like to wash them too much because I don’t want to ruin the fabric. Between family gatherings, spilled beverages, the dirt from Chippy and normal wear and tear, I decided to begin the project of washing them.

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I know. I know. I’m very “beige” and neutral. I really need window coverings but I can’t find any that I LOVE. And I cannot find a handy-man to instal curtain rods.

Because this process takes days for the slipcovers to dry (i.e., today is rainy and humid—no dry down). One sofa at a time will be taken care of.  Yesterday, after my morning coffee and Wordle, I traipsed downstairs to the living room and stripped the one sofa of its coverings.

Naked and stripped. The covers must be cleaned. Ugh. Don’t even get me started on the bane of my existence–the carpeting.

No money was found in the sofa’s crevices. However, a petrified corn chip was discovered and quickly devoured by Chippy!

While Chippy searches for more petrified crumbs, I ponder if I should leave the sofa naked until November.

In the meantime, I decided to multitask by ironing clothes whilst the first load, the cushions were in the machine.  Then I spot treated the filth off the second load and let me tell you, I was shocked at how dirty the bottom of the slipcover skirt was.

Time to iron and spot-treat. Thankfully, this sofa is rarely used so I’ll let it get dirty before entertaining the thought of washing the covers!

So, after three hours of wash loads, I turned the house into a mess of sorts by air drying them.

24 hours later, this still isn’t dry but it’s created an eyesore..

These will be hanging out for a few days too!

Why am I doing this now?  Because I’m preparing for Thanksgiving.  Next week I’ll wash the covers from the other sofa. The week after we’ll be in Cincinnati.  The last weekend in September I’ll move on the So, loveseat in the sunroom.

The Refined Slob Style. And I Created It! | Atypical 60

The covers on this loveseat will be cleaned last.  This loveseat is filthy and it’s going to take two washes to get it clean. Ugh.

Okay. All that done, it was on to chore Number Two.  Switching out the summer clothing to the autumn/winter clothing.  Yeah. I realize it is still hot and humid and the mid-day temperature rises to the mid-80’s.  This is where the transitional clothing comes in.

Here we go. Quite possibly, next to cleaning a toilet, this is the most annoying chore. Twice a year. But once it is done, I’m okay with it.

Sweaters at the ready to place into drawers..

Heavy ones in this dresser..

…lighter sweaters in this dresser.

Outfits such as my beloved leopard-print skirt that defies the seasons will be worn with a light jersey tee until that crisp day where the frost makes its annual appearance on our miniscule front lawn.

This skirt never leaves my closet.  A “go-to” for years and it is still going strong!

Gretchen Scott Designs printed pants will make a fun appearance from now till the bowels of winter and onto early spring.

What I absolutely LOVE about the Gretchen Scott GripeLess jeans other than the patterns is the stretch. They stretch across the gut. And, the fabric is lightweight–perfect for this transitional part of the year.

My years-old collection of J. Crew Pixie Pants has also been hung in the closet. And they will, once again, be happy to adorn my ample thighs and calves like a nursing newborn rested against its mother’s bosom.

All those black pants hanging up? J. Crew Pixie Pants..

The black pants folded next to the jeans? MORE Pixie Pants. BTW. I have three pair of jeans for the winter.  None of my other jeans fit across the belly. Time to cut the bread and macaroni! 

Thankfully The Frenchman lugged the tubs of clothing up and down the three flights of stairs in our home. That’s another thing.  There’s the misconception that Boomers and “old people” can survive only in a home without stairs. Not true. I think of it as exercise—at least for now while my knees are working!

Family Guy Stairs GIF

Actually , I’m the one who needs to hold on to the bannister due to my lack of depth perception. But we are both lucky to be running up and down three flights of stairs.

With sweat pouring off me, I dismantled from hangers, folded, placed into tubs and repeated in opposite form. The closet was organized and ready for the coming season.

Pardon the lack of decent lighting but this closet isn’t the largest…

Blazers in the back..

Shirts up front. I need to keep it organized!

Next was to take the winter shoes from one side of the closet to the other. That was a royal pain-in-the-ass.  But it was completed.  And might I add, you don’t need a huge closet—just be mindful of how you hang the clothing.  Pants together, dresses together, skirts together…etc.  It works.

All my winter shoes are in place. Jesus is watching over them. Actually, my Catholic superstition will not allow me to move the Crucifix. Jesus fell off and I can’t find the nail that kept him on the wood–and I’m afriad to glue him. Some of you will totally understand this reasoning.

Is my closet immaculate? No. I have purses that I don’t use crammed into shelves. I would love to sell them on Poshmark or Mercari but I can’t deal with people if they want to return one of them. I would rather deal with the purse pile.

What was next?  Turning the faucet to the bathtub on. My stinky, sweaty, gross body needed a soak and a scrub—not to mention shaved legs. So, after a twenty-minute gig in the now dirty water, I got out, got dressed and off I went with The Frenchman to Rite-Aid to see if I could get my next and third Covid Booster.

RITE AID among pharmacies that have COVID-19 vaccine

Another superstition. I received both my boosters from Rite-Aid so I’m afraid to go anywhere else!

We arrived at the pharmacy only to be told that I needed to make an appointment on line.  Yet another misconception about Boomers—we don’t, we can’t or we refuse to use the internet or iPhone to make appointments or whatever.  A few clicks and I had the appointment for Sept. 24.

Oh. Wait. We’ll be visiting my daughter. Back to the site to reschedule. And in a matter of seconds, I was confirmed for the following Friday. Yes. I am a Boomer. And I am on a computer all day, 8, 10, 12 hours at work. At times I assist those younger than me in using certain applications.  Remember that.

Season 2 GIF by BBC Three

Yessssss. My reschedule was confirmed. YESSSSSSSS. I’m old and have better computer skills than some younger coworkers!

Back to the clothing in the closet. I needed more skirt and pants hangers. Do you know how difficult it is to find these things in real life? Stores don’t have the kind I want. And the last thing I wanted to do was to sleuth out hangers—the thought of looking for a parking spot and the mall or Target or Walmart, then having to deal with people in the store did not make me a happy camper.

As I write this, I’m awaiting the delivery . They should be here momentarily. Nature Smile Wooden Hangers. They’ll do the job!

Back home. It is afternoon.  What next?

Gougères.  My husband, through autumn, winter and spring, lives for these little cheese-embedded orbs of choux pastry.  I do not bake in the summer. It is too hot. I am not a fan of my oven (I need a new one), and, I just don’t have or want to make the time for summer baking.

The mise-en-place for Alain Duccase’s easy and always great to have on hand Gougeres!

And so, yesterday, I whipped up three batches.  Next weekend I’ll go back to baking his pain-aux-raisins and next month, it’ll be croissant time!  With gougères cooled, they were placed into freezer bags and put to rest. They need only a couple of minutes in a 350 oven to reheat.

Ready for the oven..

Ready to cool, bag and place in the freezer!

At this point, it was around 3:45 in the afternoon.  I needed a break. I headed to dirty sofa and reclined my not-aching body. Turned the TV on to Netflix and started watching Chef’s Table—the season is about Pizza. I can’t stand Pizza. Honestly, it’s one of …maybe four foods I don’t like. Gummy candy and mint candy such as peppermint bark and York patties, and tomato sauce and ketchup are the others.

Chef's Table: Pizza' on Netflix will feature this famous Phoenix chef

I need to finish the season but ….I just might try to make a special pizza–even though my oven sucks.

I watched anyway because I love stories about food. Now I am ready to try real artisanal pizza. Not the gooey, smothered in tomato sauce.

At about five, I realized I needed to get dressed. Nicely dressed, that is.  We were headed out to our favorite restaurant for a belated fifth wedding anniversary dinner.

Okay. So the wig (Ocean by Estetica) needed a bit of manipulation. But this dress from Amazon is incredible comfortable and is great for this time of year!

Thrifted J. Crew Leopard print Dulci Pumps. I love these!

I fixed the wig a bit. Cleaned up well after a smelly hog day!

We drove to Springmill Café in Conshohocken and enjoyed a wonderful meal and lots of good wine.

Our absolute favorite restaurant. I can’t believe we’ve been dining here together since 2005!

Someone is very serious about fixing our aperitifs..

We started off with the Country Pate Tasting!

I had rabbit. And although boney, I ate it with my hands. It was outstanding! My husband had filet mignon but the camera was shakey and the photo didn’t turn out..

Dessert was Orange Cake A La Mode and I had a strong coffee. I still fell asleep early!

Was it the wine or was it a day filled with activity that had me falling asleep at 9:30 PM? It was the wine.

wake up sleeping GIF

On second thought, perhaps it wasn’t the wine. Maybe I was tired from a 60 hour work week or just the activity of the day!

So, the next time when someone younger than you pontificates about how “Boomers” are worthless, about how they need to retire because they are taking jobs away from the younger generation (which is complete bullshit because most corporations participate in ageism against older people), about how we know nothing, about how lazy we are—remind them a bit about a few things.

Our generation has a stellar work ethic. We were raised with good values. We know the value of a dollar. We actually work hard and go the extra mile because we have a mortgage to pay, car payments, household utilities, food, clothing and our activities.

Laziness comes in all ages. All genders. All cultures.  Boomers should not be the objective of snark, of disrespect or hate.

David Spade Boomer GIF by CTV Comedy Channel

Show ’em what you got!!!!!!!!!!!!

I rest my case!

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That “Less-is-More” Summer Makeup Process Will Now Be My New “Pro-Aging” Normal

There’s a lot I have to say about this “less-is-more” makeup vibe that has come to be my new normal.

Glow Up Make-Up GIF by BBC Three

Even the host/makeup artist from Glow Up Makeup on the BBC agrees that less is more! I’m in good company!

And there’s good reason: at 67, which is soon to be veering more towards 70 and less from my 60’s, my skin has changed over the years. A lot. And I’m sure yours, if you are around my age, has too.  Even in the past seven years since I started this blog, the change has been quite profound.

Me. At 32 when Roman was a year old.  I miss my hair.

Mo’ hair. Mo’ Makeup’ Less blotchiness. Great Glasses! I’ve definitely aged. A lot! It happens.

My skin is blotchier. I’m not gonna go all out and say I have rosacea, because its one of the few aging skin processes I don’t have. However, there is an unevenness in my skin tone that has become quite noticeable.  I have, due to sun exposure, more freckles and age spots. I have lines—not deep set but definite lines and the one thing that really makes me cringe are the cracks around the edges of my mouth and towards my chin.

No makeup. Mo’ freckles or age spots–whatever they are, they are there.  Mo’ uneven skin tone. Mo’ wrinkles. It happens. It’s aging!

But..it’s life. It is the ageing process and unless you can afford fillers on a regular basis or a very excellent face lift (as in checking in to NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery) done under the expertise of Dr. Andrew Jacono, which most of us cannot afford because we are not wealthy nor are we in the socio-economic grouping of the mega-rich, you gotta learn to deal with the aging face with a French shrug, and work around what aging has done to your face.

I know I’m being hypocritical and I am not ashamed; however, if I won a few million in the lottery tomorrow (or next week), I would be plopping my ass at this guy’s office and getting a face lift–because I could afford it!!

Ain’t gonna lie. I have abused my skin. And whilst abusing my epidermis, it’s been an enjoyable abuse.  Summers of my entire life spent at beaches from Rockaway Beach, New York, to Long Island’s Robert Moses; Fire Island and Montauk. Returning back to NYC to live and spending weekend Saturdays on Long Beach.  To annual summer visits to the Côte d’Azur enjoying the beaches along the Mediterranean Sea.

something about mary old lady - dress up | There's something about mary,  Beauty, Autumn skincare

Yes. I have done this.  I am not ashamed.

I’ve paid a price in the form of MOHS surgery on my face and have to make a dermatologist appointment this week for removal of an epidermoid cyst. It’s so gross and infected and, I did use sunscreen)

episode 9 surgery GIF

..I’m pretty sure the surgeon was thinking this with an “…I’m making a ton of money because of your stupidity”

I shan’t apologize for my love of the summer. I grew up on the beach and to this day, I am most relaxed when I am sitting at ocean’s edge with a good book.  And winter can be just as damaging to skin.

What can I say except that I love the time we spend at the beach–whether in France or the States!

Alas! Let’s not dwell of our shortcomings but let us move forward as to how I am taking a new approach to my face.

I have stopped wearing foundation. That is the greatest and probably kindest thing I can do for me at this juncture in my life journey.  You see, where I used to be able to wear foundation to even out my skin tone, I can’t do it anymore.  Any and every base makeup will settle into the cracks, crevices and wrinkles of the aging face. Some more than others.  On special occasions I’ll carefully stipple a bit of foundation or face makeup where need be, but I won’t allow it to travel further than the small portion of my visage that is smooth.

Bare faced. nothing except moisturizer. My lips are very pigmented. My nose got larger as I’ve aged. I have odd things on my face. My eyes are wonky. And I have wrinkles and cracks–just like old leather. I’m not even gonna discuss the turkey neck!

Instead, I’ve learned to apply a minimal amount of makeup yet achieve quite nice results.  I’ll show you how below.  But first, I want to tell you about products that I stand by.. At the end of this post, I’ll add a link to a new list on my Amazon Storefront. It’s essentials for mature skin. Some of the products, such as Subtl Beauty are not sold on Amazon so I did not add dupes or substitutes because I use only this particular brand.

I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again. I have a love/hate relationship with makeup brands. The majority of them pontificate equality by showcasing all races, all genders with one exception—the wrinkled, aging person. And even the young models are blurred and photoshopped.

Beauty Dress Up GIF by FX Networks

Yes. I must put my face on and I use a lot of cosmetics but the majority of cosmetics companies are afraid of me and my aging!

As “mature” woman it is my mission to show you the reality. The ugly truth and turn that into something more pleasing without smoke and mirrors—without blurs or filters.  Today it is indoor light near a window because it is bee season and I’m allergic to bees. I don’t want to end up in the ER today.

So, let’s move on–again, here I am in my bare face!

No photoshopping. No filters. No blurs. Pure, aging, old-lady skin. Real life ladies. Not some overly processed, filtered Instagram pic.

I have used “Goldies Natural Beauty” Orange Cypress Lotion on my body and face! I’ve been using this every since it was placed in our hotel room at the Wythe hotel in Brooklyn some years ago. It is liquid, hydrating—and it multitasks. One lotion is all I need! Especially for summer!

This. I use this religiously over the summer and just reordered. I cannot be without it. Although I use other moisturizers, this is my favorite because I use it on my face too!  It isn’t too heavy.  Doesn’t irritate my eyes and does the job!

My skin is a bit blotchy because the tan is beginning to fade. And, as my face was constantly in a book during our time at the beach, the sun didn’t hit the areas that my sunglasses covered.  In order to “even” out the tone, I took Seint cream bronzer—it was the first cream bronzer I reached for, and stippled it on the areas that needed to be evened out—then I blended with my Leia Beauty blender. Honestly, this is the greatest blender of all time. I used it this summer to apply sunscreen to my face. I apply cream, blush, whatever. I love this little naughty-looking tool.

It might look a bit wonky but I’ve had this for almost two years. Lasts forever and if it expired so what–it still does the job.

I swear by this. For blending foundation or cc cream or sunscreen or blush or cream bronzer, this is the greatest little tool–even if it looks a bit naughty!

Next, I took concealer and a small Real Techniques mini blender to use as a primer on my eyes. Experts recommend not doing using concealer as primer but you know what? It works for me and you need such a tiny amount!  I’ve been using the Tarte brand for almost a year and there is still plenty left—that’s how little you need.

This mini blender from Real Techniques is perfect for blending concealer-as-eye primer on lids and in corners.

The “experts” say don’t use concealer as eye primer. Don’t listen to the experts.

The concealer gives a good base and acts like the glue to hold the eyeshadow. My eyeshadow lasts all day.

Next are the brows. My brows are not identical twins and I am not going for that effect. I’m going for a more natural look. And, again, contrary to what the “experts” say, I love a dark brow. I was born with dark brows and I shall spend my days with my brows entering the dark side.  I use Trestiques’s Brow Crayon which is my Holy Grail—I have a subscription to this product. That’s how much I love it.  It stays on all day—even during the sweatiest, most humidity-filled dog days of summer.  I have one in each of my Trestique travel sets and mini versions in my mini-travel sets. I love this.  I also swipe elf brow gel in an upward motion to achieve that natural, fuller brow.  At five bucks the elf brow gel is wonderful!

And at five dollars, the elf brow gel is steller. Just as good, if not better than Glossier’s Boy Brow.

Now its eye shadow.  I have weird eyes—since my eyes are naturally crossed due to amblyopia and strabismus, they are two different entities and two different shapes. It used to bother me when I was younger. And, truth be told, even into adulthood, I’ve always felt “ugly”—especially when people made fun of me. Yes. From grammar school into adulthood, people made fun of and added snark about my eyes.  These days it doesn’t bother me anymore—at least I can see out of one eye so it’s all good.

A perfect neutral duo, Subtl Beauty’s Cruise duo is wonderfully pigmented. I’ll use the darker in the evening when The Frenchman and I go out. But for day, the lighter shade is all you need!

I’m using “Cruise” powdered shadow from Subtl Beauty. I swear by this brand. The eyeshadows contain no talc. They are smooth as butter and pigmented like nobody’s business! I love the shade of the lighter of the two shadows in Cruise because it is reminiscent of the discontinued MAC shade Quarry that I loved so much.  It gives a nice definition to the eyes.

Okay. We’re getting there!

And, as with Trestique, I have a stack of Subtl Beauty’s makeup in my travel bags and purses.

I suppose you could say that I’m well-stacked!

I curl the eyelashes with an inexpensive eyelash curler. I don’t use Latisse anymore because, quite frankly, I forget to apply it.

My eyelash curler is used every day. Even when I don’t wear mascara!

Besides, mascara does the job.   Today I’m priming the lashes with Milk primer and using Thrive mascara. I usually use L’Oréal primer and L’Oréal Voluminous mascara but I grabbed these items first.

I purchased the Milk brand eyelash primer at TJ Maxx in the sale bin. I don’t even know if it is still made. The Thrive mascara is incredible–but pricey. I use it for special occasions.

A swipe of Trestique blush in pink. Oops. I spot a lady whisker on my chin. Time to get the tweezer out.

The minis!  I don’t know if the brand makes mini sets any  more but I used this mini-blush and mini eye liner crayon today. I will say that next to the brow crayon, the eyeliner crayon is superb! Another HG of mine!

Done!  Lastly, the lips. Okay. You know how I’m a sucker for multi-tasking. The pink shadow due from Subtl Beauty, Wanderlust just doesn’t work on my eyes. Any pinkish eyeshadows make me look as though I’ve been crying or my allergies are acting up.  So, some days I use this pretty pink eyeshadow as blush but today, I’m using it as lip color!

The Wanderlust eyeshadow duo doesn’t work for me on the eyes but as blush and lip color–it’s great! And a swipe of Biossance Vegan Lip Balm  gives the lips a nice shine!

Yeah. You read it right. Lip color!  I tap the color into place then go over it with a clear lip gloss.

Yup! Eyeshadow-as-lip color. Who’da thunk?  I thunk–that’s who!

And here we go! The finished face with a head o’ hair plopped atop my noggin. I’m wearing Ocean by Estetica Designs. I don’t recall the color but I love the blondeness!

 

Sweet mother of Mary. I always feel better when the glasses are on!

Sigh. I’ve been told, from my reviews on YouTube (which I rarely do anymore because nobody watches me) that I need to use more lip color. I despise red lip color on me simply because I feel that red doesn’t look great on some mature women. For me, it’s a miss.  However, I do have a bright lip balm from MOB beauty that I’ll glide on over a clear gloss when a little “oomph” is rarely needed.

I never noticed how much this lip balm by MOB Beauty resembles my OPI Cajun Shrimp nail color!  I do dab this VERY LIGHTLY on my mouth for a touch more color!

See? Very discreet–just a hint more color.

And when all else fails—sunglasses are the greatest beauty accessory!

I’m in love with these glasses by Sojos. They are polarized and mirrored. And they look so darn good–very  Byrds-inspired!

One can never own too many pairs of sunnies. These readers are always at the beach with me.

Here’s my Amazon List: Mature Beauty Essentials for you to shop. (Yes. I’m shilling—but I’m shilling products I use and love)!

Remember. Wrinkles. Lines. Other imperfections–they are what makes you YOU! Embrace aging (even though I would get a face lift if I had the money). 

Last words. Do NOT, and I repeat do NOT allow any of the influencer photos on Instagram that are filtered and blurred make you feel less about yourself. Those photos are smoke and mirrors. They are not real.  All you need is a bit of makeup. And if you don’t want to wear any makeup–that’s fine too!

Hope your holiday weekend was wonderful. XOXOXOXO

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What I Wore This Summer! And Will Those Clothes Get Me through Autumn?

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reads this blog for sticking through and reading during the summer.  Your comments and support are incredibly appreciative—especially since I just did not have the time to devote to writing.  So………. onward and upward!

The Value Of A Well-Written Thank-You Note

Seriously. Thank you!  Merci! 

Technically, it is still summer until Thursday, September 22nd! Ohhh, and I should be in Ohio babysitting my grandson Owen whilst Oona goes in to the hospital to give birth to grandson number two—unless she goes in earlier.

How much grandma pays attention:  I ordered the book Owen is reading in this photo because I want to bring “Big Brother” gifts to him. Now the book is in my sunroom so we can read it when he comves to visit. Let’s hope I pay more attention to him when I see him. I think this could qualify me as one of the worst grandmothers on earth!  Nah. I love my li’l ishkibibble!

Okay—so as it remains summer for less than three full weeks, mentally, I’m in a summer-to-autumn frame of mind.   Days are definitely getting shorter. I wake up to darkness and by the time The Frenchman and I finish our dinner—it is no longer light out nor is it that magical hour of twilight. It’s freaking dark outside. Nighttime dark! Early morning and evening coolness adds a conundrum of what to wear and the reality that (skip Autumn altogether) the bitter-cold is on the way.

Season 1 Rod Sterling GIF by Paramount+

You are now entering the Twilight Zone–and that is how I feel about Autumn!

Don’t even get me started on the Pumpkin Spice obsession that people have. WTF is the matter with these people?  August 26th hits and they are pumpkin spicing and Halloweening while the temperature is in the 90’s!

Pumpkin Spice Happy Dance GIF by Starbucks

Speak for yourself. That stuff tastes nasty. N.A.S.T.Y.!

Not gonna lie—I experience seasonal depression. And my husband is here to get me through it.  It is simply because I love certain features and particulars of summer. The long days. The hot weather. The barefoot driving.  The beach. The number of books I get to read when I’m sitting at ocean’s or pool’s edge being carried away to an imaginary world—pure escapism.

On our last day of summer beaching, I finished this classic masterpiece! Rebecca Sharp is now one of my fictional favorite characters–right up there with Bernadette from “Where’d You Go Bernadette”, Ignatius Reilly, Miss Havisham and Holden Caufield! 

Barefootin’–at the beach, in the car, at work, in the house. Summer is the time for airing the dawgs out!

I’m getting off topic (sort of) here.  What I want to write about is what I wore this summer.  Two weeks in France had me gloriously living in swimsuits and casual wear. I was thrilled.

Fear not the two piece. It can actually be more flattering AND comfortable then the one-piece swimsuit.

This, along with the two-piece in the top photo were my most-worn bathing suits this summer!

The weather was hot as balls but not humid. And as hot as the mercury rose, there remained a level of comfort.  Granted—at times that level was thin but the comfort remained.

Yes–it was incredibly hot but there was no humidity!

Then we arrived home. And arrived to heat and humidity which is the usual summer weather for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states, air-conditioning has been a must.  Ahhh—the conditioning of air. When we were in France, it wasn’t needed simply because our apartment had the greatest cross-ventilation. In addition, the Mediterranean Sea breeze kept the temperature at a pleasant level.

Who needs A/C when you have a Sea Breeze entering into your dwelling every day?  And, might I add, one that is NOT humid!

I’m not a fan of A/C to make a room/home/office cold. It’s more preferable for me to use it to cut the humidity.  I rarely drive with the air conditioning on. For me, rolling down the windows of my vehicle work better because car air-conditioning is just …cold.

Basically, I am the “she” version of Steve Martin in Father of the Bride.  The office airconditioning has me freezing to the point I really should have winter outwear on hand!

Why do I keep veering off-topic?  This post really is about what I wore this summer—especially to the office!  My wardrobe frame-of-mind completely changed.  I came to the realization that the majority of workers in our company are working from home. They can work in their pajamas, only in underwear, or even naked if they want—as long as there isn’t a Zoom meeting!   However, working in an office environment, has, in past summers, had me dressing up in a more professional manner.

Not a fan of shirtwaist dresses but I had this hanging in the closet. We had “Executive Guests” a couple of weeks ago at work.  The memo said to “dress professionally”.  Guess what? The “Executive Guests” never even encountered me. I was pissed.

This summer I changed up my game and ……………………. dressed for comfort—and many days that meant shorts. Yes. Shorts!  My productivity is greater when I’m comfortable.  Here’s a look-see!

Yes my loverly friends–I wore this get up at work and loved every second of comfort!

And I wore this–I did manage to slide into sandals before leaving the house. But allow me to say that it doesn’t matter HOW old one is. Who cares about the cellulite or veins or crepey skin (which I have)–being COMFORTABLE is more important!!

A fancier version with Lilly Pulitzer shorts! These stretchy shorts are wonderful–too bad they are discontinued!

I believe this outfit was worn to work on a very casual Friday!

I continued to wear dresses, however, due to the comfort level–especially maxi dresses on the days I was too lazy to shave my legs.

Hands down, my most-worn dress of this summer. It has a built-in bra so I only need two articles of clothes. Panties and the dress! I wore this all over France, to the office and my go-to-weekend dress. I’m wearing it today as I write this!

And with decollete is like shoe leather, I’m not stopping that from wearing comfortable clothing!

Can’t go wrong with a LBD during the summer. This is from Old Navy–I think I paid $12.

Here’s another cutie. This bodycon dress from Amazon is very curvy and belly friendly!

This purple frock matches our front-lawn flowere!

And the sleeveless maxi will always step in when too lazy to shave the legs!

I did wear the skirts as well!

Ultimately, will these clothes get me through Autumn?

Yes…

This jumpsuit was purchassed to bring to France but I found it was just too much clothing for me to wear. I wore this to work and felt like toast. Plus it was a bitch to go to the bathroom in.  This will be great for Autum with ballet flats and a blazer!

I am a fan of the sweater-and-shorts combo. This is perfect for those cooler beginning of Autumn days. No longer summer but not quite into the crispness of Autumn!

Another transitional piece is the blazer. This linen blend from J. Crew is befitting of end-of-September into early-October weather. Replace sandals with loafers and you are ready to go!

This pleated skirt was worn once over the summer because the material was just too heavy for my comfort. But with a navy blazer during Autumn, it’ll rock. BTW, this is a thrifted skirt I paid $2.75 for!

One item of clothing that I keep away from during the summer is pants (and jeans too). I just cannot stand how long pants feel against my legs in the summer. It’s like fingernails on a blackboard–it gives me the creeps!

A fun Autumn look! Long pants, a sweater and blazer. In my opinion, this is one of my favorite pants looks!

Closed and point-toed shoes, a blazer over any summer frock will bring the outfit to a very Autumn-friendly level!

One last thing–please do NOT allow age or any imperfections stop you from wearing what you want to wear or what y9ou prefer.  Remember, influencers and the fashion industry want your money. They want to dictate to you how they want you to dress.  Wear what you are comfortable in!

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We Haven’t Seen Each Other In Over Thirty Years? You Never Know Who You’ll Run into in France!

If you have been reading about my summer adventures in France, you might remember that I received a message from one of my old friends stating that she and her husband were in Marseilles.

Wait. We were in Marseille at the same time and didn’t know it? 

Well, we connected and ended up spending this wonderfully, delightful and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day in Villefranche! And without going into detail, my friend Joanie was a bridesmaid in my first wedding. We had a wonderful friendship but over the years, and with life changes, we lost touch.

You have no idea how much fun it was to receive that message and it was even more delightful to meet up with Joanie and her husband Greg!  It was such a case of “Small Worldness” of the greatest!

Animated GIF

But I ran into my friend Joanie–and that was better!

So anyway on Thursday, July 7th, we drove to Villefranche to meet them and, here’s the funny thing—we couldn’t find the train station. Actually, we did find it but we didn’t realize we found it. What ensued was Vincent parking the car and us walking down seemingly a million steps only to find a parking lot at the bottom.

I swear to God, we were driving in circles for a good amount of time–we passed this place at least four times..

We could have parked here…

We finally met J and G, headed back up the steps, which made me realize just how out of shape I am from sitting in front of two computer monitors at work for ten hours a day, but also gave me some welcomed and well-needed exercise.

Tee hee. We walked steps from here to up there!

….luckily I managed to take a photo of where we were parked. Besides–The Frenchman needed to get some sort of medication for a sun sore he had on his lip and a pharmacie was nearby!

So off we headed to Villa Euphrisse de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat!  It’s hard to put into words just how great it is to reconnect with a friend you’ve lost touch with. It was astounding to realize we had children all the same age, each had a pregnant daughter…and, well, it was just magical to be together after all these ….decades!

Nobody changed over the years! We still look the same and I’m having this pic framed!!

We took a leisurely stroll around the grounds, Vincent and Greg getting to know each other and overall—the visit was terrific. But it didn’t stop there.

I never tire of this Villa. It’s a pink palace that is filled with the coolest furniture and stuff!

I didn’t take pics of the interior because we were having too much of a good time but these flowers..

and speaking of which–these flowers, seemingly a million, were all being prepared for a wedding that night!

This Banyan tree was quite magnificent!

Lots of greenery too. The flowers were too bee-inhabited and I’m alergic.

We headed back to Villefranche to enjoy a fun-filled luncheon!  We met British friends of theirs and spent a few hours at a dock-side restaurant with food, drink and animated conversation.

We enjoyed lunch at La Baleine Joyeuse. What a great place to spend an afternoon with old friends and meeting new friends!

Again, I was having such a grand time that I didn’t take pics but I’ll tell you that the Calamari with Aoli sauce was excellent!   The Frenchman said later on that he would have loved to spend dinner with Joanie, Greg and their British friends!

And at the end of the visit toward late afternoon, we vowed to see each other again.  Presently, I am going over our weekends and, hopefully, we will be headed to visit them for a New England weekend in early October!

Back at the apartment it hit us. The next day would be our last day here. How did the time fly by so quickly?  For two weeks, I didn’t have hypochondria. Or in PC terms—health anxiety.  For two weeks I was relaxed and moving.  I was happy and comfortable.  The Frenchman and I were like two young adults.  It was wonderful.

Friday, July8th  was our last day. We took it very easy and just hung out at the pool, made our last dinner at home and packed for our return home.

A last day just admiring this view from the terrace..

Then heading back to the pool and glancing over the fence at the little marina–it’s so mignon!

Our last breakfast on the terrace because tomorrow it is up to a very early rise!

I realize this is going to sound crazy but one of the highlights of staying at this apartment is that I can do laundry and dry it outdoors. OMG–it’s so fresh and clean!

The hours spent on this terrace over the years are countless. Seriously. In 11 years we ate indoors once–and that was the night this summer that it