How can I look nice again : marriage ending, 40s and feeling fugly

(94 Posts)
strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 06:25:19

Hi all I'm a regular name changer!
My marriage has come to an end and may self esteem is on the floor after years of neglect!
I'm 41, perimenopausal, other health problems which cause chronic pain plus two small children and working 3 days per week.
I have coarse curly/knotty dry hair which always needs root touch up no matter how often I dye it.

I have age spots and wrinkles, the beginnings of jowls and a crepey neck and cleavage. People always tell me how tired I look, I'm still sharing a bedroom with my 'h' (but not a bed) and I stay up late every night until I'm sure he's asleep and I have trouble with insomnia.
My upper eyelids are very puffy which is a byproduct of my illness but makes me look older and more tired.

I have a grey front tooth following root canal surgery and no amount of cosmetic bleaching can change it.
My boobs are saggy little sacks and my belly is an overstretched mess.

The chronic pain and inflammation makes waxing /epilation difficult and I rarely have time or energy to pamper myself.

I am at least half a stone overweight and only 5 feet tall so every pound counts., my arse and thighs are huge and my feet are dry and cracked.

I have much younger sisters who are stunning and I work with some very beautiful women. I used to be a 'headturner' and pretty low maintenance. I just don't know where to start. I have no time, energy or money.
In short I feel like a dried-up snaggle toothed husk.

Please help me out with a starting point, I need to get out of this rut.

PastaandCheese Mon 30-Dec-13 07:05:12

OP I'm sure you are making this out to be worse than it is..... I'm sure you can pull it all back.

There's a lot of questions there and there are some really knowledgable ladies who can help but in their absence I'll add my thoughts.

Half a stone is nothing. I work with a lady who is 5ft. I'm 5,7 and I'd need to lose 1.5 stone to drop a dress size. I am constantly amazed at her ability to transform herself in a matter of weeks. Check out the weight loss board and consider low carb or 5:2 and you could drop half a stone in weeks.

I'm not an insomniac so I don't know what that is like but perhaps a bit more fresh air and exercise would help with that? I did couch to 5k last year and it was fab for making me feel fitter and healthier. Perhaps it would help you sleep too and improve your skin?

Do you get on well with your sisters? If they have an eye for fashion perhaps they could take you to the sales for a few new things? You could start a thread on here about updating your wardrobe and people will pitch in with ideas for a capsule wardrobe.

It sounds like you need a bra intervention. Have you read those threads? I bet you are in the wrong size......?

I really hope 2014 is a better year for you OP.

BitchyHen Mon 30-Dec-13 07:07:15

Strong I really feel for you. I split with xh three years ago and had to continue sharing a house with him for a while it was awful. Any chance of this changing soon? Living with someone you don't love anymore really kills your self esteem.
I know how the insomnia and chronic pain feels too. I find I'm exhausted in the evening and awake around 3-4 am. Any chance you could go to bed first to get some sleep in during the early part of the night?
Apart from that I'd suggest some form of pampering for yourself, a new lipstick, some deep conditioner for your hair, whatever makes you feel good.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 30-Dec-13 07:32:12

strongurge - I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time and feeling so low. I would recommend having your colours done by House of Colour, then going shopping for new clothes. I went for a colour analysis in December and am now building a wardrobe based on colours that suit me. The session also covered make up, so I now have more flattering lipstick and blusher. If you wear the right colours for your skin tone, it is very flattering - minimises lines and bags under the eyes, warms up your skin tone, etc.

House of Colour also do a style day and a half-day on make up.

What you are going through must be incredibly upsetting and stressful and it must be so difficult to find time for yourself with work and two young children. Is there any way you could carve out a little bit of time for yourself every week? Maybe to meet up with a good friend (one who doesn't tell you that you look tired, maybe!)?

FrugalFashionista Mon 30-Dec-13 07:38:21

OP, could you see your GP about the insomnia or talk with your ex to change the sleeping arrangements? It might be easier to deal with the other things when you feel better rested.

I'm your age and right now it seems that it's not easy to be effortlessly pretty - I feel I'm becoming more invisible. It's both good and bad. My advice would be, be as kind and gentle to yourself as you can. Right now it's all about surviving and slowly figuring out who you really are and what you really want.

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 08:09:34

Oh you lovely women thanks so much for your early morning replies!
I wrote a huge reply to all your points but my fingees/phone malfunctioned and I lost the reply before posting. I can't write much now because of the kids.

I have a great wardrobe following a HoC type consultation last year. I know my colours and shape but am getting too fat for any of the clothes plus I can't be bothered to accessorise.
I also followed the beach intervention threads (32dd) but could only afford one bra!

I'm working on the living arrangements but 'h' is in denial so I'm trying to do it all on my own and the Christmas period isn't great for this process.

I got sleeping tablets from GP but was only allowed 14 which have now run out.

I have to dash now for children, sorry I lost all the individual replies to you.

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 08:46:36

I think part of the problem is comfort eating and the knowledge that my husband didn't find me attractive.

Bonsoir Mon 30-Dec-13 08:56:15

Deal with your feet. Humans receive many sensations through their feet - soft, properly cared for feet will make every step more pleasurable.

Can you get a professional pedicure to get started?

FuckItLifeIsTooShort Mon 30-Dec-13 08:58:37

I could have written your post op, except i am three stone overweight and nearly ten years older! My h has moved out though we did have six months or so of living together when children did not know. That was bad for everything, a horrible time I hope you get sorted.

My new year plan, stop alcohol when on own (you don't mention that so perhaps does not apply to you, I have chronic pain and while alcohol should make no difference it does, I have done some 'practise' dry nights and I am sure I hurt less the next day).

Having stopped alcohol (almost ��) I am going to address diet, reducing carbs is my next thing. Seriously these two things will make a difference to how I look and may do for you too?

Short term, find a light reflecting foundation that matches skin tone, a blusher or bronzer that looks natural. A semi perm colour, even if close to your own hair colour will soften hair. The Pantene colour saving conditioner in a tube is as good as some very expensive ones.

Getting rid of the dead weight sharing your bedroom should be top of your list but I know it is not that easy. 2014 will be better...

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 09:01:44

Bonsoir that's a lovely idea. I'm craving physical affection although I have lots of cuddles with the children. I lost a lot of weight after my second child and the husband still ignored me which is why I paid for style and colour consultation.

I have very broad shoulders and a small head plus a visible curvature of the spine which is why I've kept my hair long, but it's so much work because I'm in poor health my hair condition has suffered.

arfishy Mon 30-Dec-13 09:17:05

I'm in the same situation as you OP (except I'm older!) and I lost several dress sizes last year. I found it absolutely liberating and I know it has stuck in DP's throat (he hasn't mentioned my weight loss once and has gained many of the kilos I lost).

I won't deny that it wasn't hard but I stopped comfort eating, ditched the wine, stuck to 1200 calories each day and went to the gym.

I am so much happier for having done it and feel more in control.

If you only have half a stone to lose then you can do that easily and with it your self esteem will grow.

Can you get a keratin treatment for your hair, or a straightener? My hair used to be lovely (well, in comparison) in the UK but in Australia it's a frizzy mess because of the humidity. I have to use irons here but they do make my hair look much better.

Healthy living and lots of water will help improve your complexion - is there anything you can get to help with the puffy eyes?

I bet with a great outfit, good hair and make up and good self-esteem your tooth won't be noticeable.

So for a starting point - good food and exercise (walking will do but some resistance training will tone you, it doesn't have to be gym based). You have such a small amount of weight to lose you will get a win very quickly and feel great about yourself. If you've already got a good wardrobe then you're halfway there.

cupcake78 Mon 30-Dec-13 09:17:45

You sound like you've hit or are on your way to rock bottom. This is a horrible place to be but can be used to make changes.

Firstly get your hair done! You wear your hair each day and it can make such a difference to how to feel. Think about the colour, maybe it's too dark now if your having to get your routes done so often. Dark hair can also be harsh on your skin colour. Find a good hairdresser and go for it!

Secondly you start to think about losing weight. It's getting started that's the really hard bit. I have a lot to lose and am gearing up to starting in a matter of days. I've started having lemon water each morning, no alcohol and no carbs with two of my main meals. Processed foods have gone!

Are you able to do much exercise or is this a struggle? Maybe swimming or a short walk would help you feel more positive.

Get your dh out your house ASAP! Where he goes is his problem, your priority is the children and they require a home. How you ladies live with your partners after you've split up I will never know. I couldn't stand to look at mine.

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 09:26:33

* FuckItLifeIsTooShort* great post thanks. I don't know if i could do 6 months in the same house. He's doing my nut in! It's difficult because he works long irregular hours so if he's on earlies he's in bed way before I'm ready and if he's on nights he's in the room most of the day so I can't take time getting ready etc. It is nice when he's on nights at least I have the house to myself but I'm too fucked to do anything in the evenings!

Sorry to hear about your pain as well. I don't think sugar or gluten help but I have been drawn to both with a vengeance! Alcohol isn't really great for me, I tend to overdo it and lose inhibitions and I have decided that during this split I will only drink in moderation ie one or two glasses before I start feeling reckless and end up in a state!

I will look out for the pantene conditioner, I've never heard of it!

Plumpysoft Mon 30-Dec-13 09:43:52

Kerastase masque intense is the only thing I have ever found that changes the texture of my hair from wire wool tangles to something silky. I think a pedicure is a great idea, really makes you feel so much better. I would also recommend a makeover at a Mac counter. It's £25 I think which is redeemable against products and you just won't believe how beautiful they make you look! Wishing you lots of love x

Saurus72 Mon 30-Dec-13 09:48:54

A few specific recommendations:

Feet - Flexitol foot cream twice a day for 10 days will transform them - not bad for £10.

Hair - a quick fix might be Aussie 3 Minute Miracle. I had a similar issue with my hair due to an illness and 3MM really helped it be less straw-like.

Make-up. I don't think make-up's transformative powers can be over-estimated. If I had to look at my newborn rabbit eyes and deathly pale dace in the mirror every day I would feel totally defeated. If you're feeling crap, and have insomnia a bit of colour in your cheeks can only make you look better, while you can start to work on actually feeling better. So, at a minimum, foundation/tinted moisturiser, loose powder, blusher, mascara and lipgloss, plus possibly under eye concealer and eyeliner. Bobbi Brown/MAC if you can stretch to it, Body Shop/No 7 if not. MUA at Suoerdrug if really no money. I do think some make up is essential for the vast majority of women past early 30s. A quick 5 minute routine every morning can't help but make you look better.

Good luck fsmile

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 10:48:31

Thanks all so much information and support. It's interesting how many people stay in the same house as 'partners' after the split. If it weren't for the children and the mortgage I'd be gone like a shot. He's doing my nut in and it drags me down!
Sadly we don't have a MAC counter here, the nearest one is nearly 2 hours away! The closest we have is benefit. Tbh I have lovely make up and pretty much know what I'm doing but I just can't get it together.

I have hit rock bottom a few times in this relationship, I truly be I'm on the way up and out but it's just this stage of the journey that's really tricky, I know if I felt less hideous I'd be able to hold my head higher.

ShineyBlackShoes Mon 30-Dec-13 10:53:01

Bio-oil is meant to be great for age spots. I am using it to help heal some facial surgical scars, and have been using it on my neck too and it appears less crepey: a little bit but it all helps.

The bottle last ages so worth to price.

hermionepotter Mon 30-Dec-13 10:57:28

OP once things are better on practical/emotional level you'll feel better anyway, but s&b things:
start regular exercise - DVD/ running/ join gym/long walks - what ever you can afford and enjoy. this will really improve your self esteem

eva fraser face exercises (book on amazon)
take a mulitvitamin
drink more water and cut back on carbs (more protein)
get sleep

above all just be really kind to yourself as much as possible

good luck

ChristmasStrumpet Mon 30-Dec-13 11:10:26

Am in a bit of a rush but your thread resonated with me because you sound like I feel. Just quickly wanted to say....

I am also 41, 5ft but currently 2 1/2 stone over weight. For me bread and pastries are what make me fat. I get the same full feeling from porridge and can loose significant weight by changing this alone. Its a small simple change that wont get all my weight off its a small change with good fast results. Obviously a healthy eating plan or a diet club and excercise will get more off in the long run but this for me is the lazy way to shift a few pounds with minimum effort.

I have horrendous feet. I bought a Soap and Glory foot file after all the threads on here recommended it. It is fab. When I actually put the effort in and use it for a few minutes on my feet daily the results are amazing. I use it before my bath or shower then smother my feet with a rich moisturiser and put bed socks on and leave it to soak in. A few weeks of this and the difference is amazing. My problem is keeping it up.

Hair colour - in recent years I have found a fab hairdresser. She has transformed my root issue by not doing a solid colour on my hair (she refuses to do this). I have foils for my colour and use 3 or 4 shades/colours along with my natural and grey. This means when it grows out the roots are alot less obvious than when having a solid colour.

Deathwatchbeetle Mon 30-Dec-13 11:23:38

Sorry to hear your news but this could mean that 2014 is your year for self improvement-not because the waste of space does not find you attractive (bet he is no George Clooney or Johnny Depp!) but because YOU are worth investing time and (some) money in

If you cannot afford a hairdresser and are not sure what t do yourself see if there is a local beauty school/hairdressing academy which lets trainees practice (supervised). You might also get a facial and /or mani and pedi there too! Most salons have occasional free/very cheap dates when a trainee wants a model.

Depending on our colouring go for the cheeriest colour you can . It can double up as blusher too if you want to save some money. 2true and MUA in superdrug have cheap make up. MUA in particular is fab!! Concentrate on foundation and concealer if you have stuff like age spots to cover up.

If you need any help look on you tube re mature make up tutorials, or ask a sales assistant to give you a new look (you don't need to buy anything though I guess they will try to encourage you!!!).

polyhymnia Mon 30-Dec-13 11:31:01

Just a few small practical suggestions.

As others have said, you won't take long to lose half a stone.

Meanwhile, if you've already identified your ideal bra, buy a new one. It's worth the investment

After that, next thing is hair, I reckon. Those (your hair and your bra) are the two things that are with you all the time. Find a really good hairdresser, explain the problems and ask them to sort cut and colour - even if it means a complete change. Better to do this than spend money on expensive home treatments, IMO. Ask for a consultation with one or more new hairdressers so you can decide if you'd get on and they are listening to you.

Also sort feet. If it's just dry skin, Flexitol will do the trick as long as you put it on every day/ night. If anything else, go to a chiropodist initially rather than a beauty salon for a pedicure - they'll get rid of all the hard skin, etc and leave you with lovely soft and super comfortable feet.

I also think your dentist should be able to advise on the grey tooth - or, if not, I'd change my dentist. Don't think they should just expect you to accept that nowadays. I've had root canal on 2 or3 teeth and they don't look grey.

You're obviously already well clued up on clothes and make up. Only tip I have there is that, if applying mascara seems to much faff, get lashes - and brows if necessary - tinted.

On 'age spots', there are lots of products now aimed at this very problem. I use Clarins Vital Light which is good but there are lots of more reasonably priced versions available you could find in medium sized Boots. I'm sure L'Oreal do one, for example. Again, it's just a case of using regularly.

While in Boots, a good multivitamin and mineral tablet - eg, Multibionta -certainly wouldn't do any harm.

Agree on necessity of lots of water - and some sort of exercise, for the endorphins.

Good luck.

Pigsinablanket Mon 30-Dec-13 11:53:59

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I second the above posters, soap and glory foot file and flexitol are miracle workers.
Is there any way you could change sleeping arrangements, get the kids to share for a while and you could have your own space ? I know if I'm not sleeping well or enough the world seems a darker place. I've also tried Bach remedies night rescue ....I'm normally sceptical about herbal/ homeopathic remedies but this really seems to work for me.
What about going for a walk in your lunch break on the days you work? half an hour 3 times a week would really help with your low mood, give you time to think and help drop the pounds.
Your dentist should be able to help with a veneer or crown to mask the discoloured front tooth. Good luck

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 12:02:40

* polyhymnia* I'm on the way out now will take it all in later, I have some boots vouchers. Just as an aside, galvanised by everyone's suggestions I put on make up today and was reminded what puts me off doing it more often: it's my big droopy upper eyelids (under the brow) they are so fat and they smudge everything from eyeliner to shadow and mascara. It is so minor but it really gets me down

Funny enough I'm the most image conscious of all my friends, most of whom only wear make up on high days and holy days. I've always been the one who made the effort for nights out while everyone else is in jeans, jumpers and trainers or docs. I do enjoy dressing down as well but I think as I get older I need to make more effort to get the same effect!

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 12:02:57

* polyhymnia* I'm on the way out now will take it all in later, I have some boots vouchers. Just as an aside, galvanised by everyone's suggestions I put on make up today and was reminded what puts me off doing it more often: it's my big droopy upper eyelids (under the brow) they are so fat and they smudge everything from eyeliner to shadow and mascara. It is so minor but it really gets me down

Funny enough I'm the most image conscious of all my friends, most of whom only wear make up on high days and holy days. I've always been the one who made the effort for nights out while everyone else is in jeans, jumpers and trainers or docs. I do enjoy dressing down as well but I think as I get older I need to make more effort to get the same effect!

GinSoakedBitchyPony Mon 30-Dec-13 12:46:13

OP I don't think I've got much to add to the great advice.
I was your age when my exH and I decided to divorce, and we had to live together for the first 6 months. Was hell. It soon showed on my face. But within 5 days of me moving into my own place I looked so much better, proof to my own eyes of how stressful it was living together apart.
I think you're being very hard on yourself in some ways, overscrutinising etc. You're saying your upper eyelids are 'fat'. It's more likely to be a side effect of ageing, our eyelids tend to become more hooded (ie droopy!) as we get into our early 40's.
Definitely try to eat healthier, that will make you look and feel better, and get some daily exercise.
Good luck!

tyaca Mon 30-Dec-13 12:55:47

power lash by clinique won't smudge. i didn't wear mascara for years because i panda'd after half an hour. Even waterproof etc just rubbed off.

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 17:19:21

GinSoakedBitchyPony I know you are right. I absolutely cannot wait to be apart from him. I have appointments set up for this week and am starting to get the ball rolling.

ProjectGainsborough Mon 30-Dec-13 20:15:25

Definitely worth getting a second opinion on the tooth. I know someone who had this and they managed to get it bleached - I think at the root (?). They were delighted with the difference.

Also, I loathe my droopy upper eyelid (on one eye only - am a freak of nature) and have been using eyelid tape, which makes my eye look so much more open. According to Michelle Phan's blog, if you wear it continuously for a few months it will re-place the crease (this is possibly deluded, but the instant effects are good, anyway...check out the blog)

HappyHugs Mon 30-Dec-13 20:43:14

Strongurgetofly I beg you to invest in Boots Footner (£20 ) with your vouchers, it was my revelation of 2013. Use as instructed and for a few days you will see no change then, all of a sudden your feet start to shed all the old hard skin and you have baby soft tootsies. It's a single use product and you may need to repeat in a month or so but it's better than any pedicure I've ever had.

Also I can lose half a stone easily in 5/6 weeks on theg5:2 diet, another revelation and not v hard at all! Good luck, here's to your new beginning!

strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 23:12:39

I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to reply to all messages. I have had a low carb, high protein day today and have drank a fair bit of water/herb tea and lots of veg which will definitely improve my health. I will try and get some exercise tomorrow too.

My self image has taken a battering over the years and I really think that the winter light doesn't do me any favours.

StyleOverSubstance Mon 30-Dec-13 23:34:53

Poor you, must be a horrible situation to be in right now and very, very stressful. Some really good advice from other posts, so will add my little bit by saying join the Easter Renovators thread on S&B and follow some of the princessing posts on there and hopefully you will start to feel better and rediscover the old you. 2014 could turn out to be your year!!

mcgilly Tue 31-Dec-13 00:22:09

How about listing your strengths and good points? You've done a detailed list of the negatives, now how about the positives? We've all got some!

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 08:33:54

Erm... Good points and strengths...
I am strong and determined in the face of adversity
I have a cracking (black) sense of humour
I am creative and imaginative
I make nice jewellery
When my hair is going well people say they like it
Ditto my face
I'm a good mother
I'm open and honest
I'm principled
I'm good at research (obsessive)
I'm thrifty

I think that's a pretty good list for starters, if I do much more I'll start adding ifs, buts and provisos so I'm quitting whilst I'm ahead!

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 08:37:05

happyhugs a few people have mentioned footner I'll give it a whirl! I have seen a lot of people talk about 5:2, is it sustainable? I lost nearly 4 stone last year but I have let about 3/4 creep back on which I never believed would happen. I feel that my perimenopausal state makes it hard to shake the excess.

KristinaM Tue 31-Dec-13 08:44:26

Great list of strengths ! If you are strong enough to live with your ex for 6months and not kill him to you strong enough to deal with all the beauty /weightloss sh*t

tugamommy Tue 31-Dec-13 08:50:21

Just some advice on the hair colour. I also feel that i need my roots done every week when i use supermarket dyes so now i buy salon ones and do it myself. Inoa is amazing! The colour is so natural and really lasts. And it's cheaper than the others. There's just the small investment of buying the developer and a brush at the begining and that's it.

Just google inoa and salon websites will come up.

Good luck!

HeinousPieTrap Tue 31-Dec-13 09:04:53

hello lovely, some great advice here so I'll just add a little bit: I think you're still seeing yourself through his eyes. Stop that! You sound a strong and really kind and friendly woman, you must value yourself for that. All these other things are just peripheral; what makes you a worthwhile person are the things that are coming through in your posts: your honesty and friendliness. Best of luck, I hope you can get your life back on track very soon.

niceupthedance Tue 31-Dec-13 09:14:39

My tip would be to download a free hypnosis app to boost positivity and/or aid restful sleep and listen to it while lying in bed at night. Also check out the headspace app for 10 min meditations.

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 09:18:31

I have an appointment to discuss housing this week, I'll have a better idea after that what will happen longterm, if it means we still have to share for a while I will definitely put the kids in together and enjoy the luxury of my own room. I cannot sustain this staying up late every night to avoid him. He's still umming and aahing about going out tonight so I can't make any plans. Hmm probably should be posting in relationships!
Anyway today he's taking the children to his mum's so I will enjoy some me time during which I will chill, pamper, exercise AND purchase some healthy food!

HappyHugs Tue 31-Dec-13 09:33:48

Hi again strongurge, imho the 5:2 is the only sustainable diet. I do it from 8pm to 8pm so technically i eat every day I just have a late supper on 2 days and never go to bed hungry. The other benefit is you can set your days in advance and still change them if some wonderful invitation comes up! I drink lots on the 2 diet days to keep me full but eat virtually nothing because as soon as I eat anything the hunger is worse.

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 10:58:50

niceupthedance I like your screen name.
I have hypnosis cds stored on my phone plus the headspace app! Both which I've never used, I was thinking about them yesterday, I will pull my finger out and start using them.

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 11:10:47

* tugamommy* I have briefly researched Inoa, there seems to be two or three types: deep cover, and natural basics and I think another one, do you mix them or buy one particular type? Is the application process the same as usual home dyeing? I'm sure I could get my head around it (no pun intended) so you buy developer, and application brush, do you mix shades? Thanks

mcgilly Tue 31-Dec-13 12:24:39

OP that list already describes a very attractive person.

strongurgetofly Tue 31-Dec-13 16:50:58

Thanks mcgilly I went out today with a bit of make up and nicely done hair. I took a shortcut across the park and effing well slipped up in the mud straight on my arse. Seriously shocked and totally covered in mud from the waist down. Luckily the there's a pub nearby where I rinsed the worst off my black wool coat so nobody could notice it was wet. My jeans didn't fare so well, toilet roll doesn't clean mud so I ended up turning my jeans inside out and wiped off my boots and continued my journey.

Is that classed as hitting rock bottom or do I still have a way to drop?

Snog Tue 31-Dec-13 19:32:50

can you ebay some of your old stuff and get a tooth veneer?

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 20:08:45


For insomnia (I suffer after DS who got up 10 times a night for 18 months confused and pain from SI joint issues). I've tried lots of things inc zopiclone which I don't rate. Not a nice sleep really.
An over the counter antihistamine works better for me.
Also try Nelsons Noctura. I didn't rate homeopathy until I tried it. No drowsy after effects at all. Really worth a try.
Otherwise try Kirkland Sleepaid (amazon). It's doxylamine which is a first generation antihistamine so drowsy.
The FDA in the US rates Doxylamine more effective than Z type sleeping drugs!
All worth a go. Sleep is so important for how you feel and how you can cope with everything.

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 20:14:49

Sorry posted too soon.

Chronic pain and your spinal issues. If they are causing you pain or discomfort. Get your GP to refer you for physio unless you can pay for it yourself.
I solved my SI (hip joints at the back) issues with physio privately after NHS have up on me and offered a wheelchair and opiate based pain killers. I am now 90% pain free which is most of the time really. And I can do everything I used to do.
Explore this! It can change everything! It did for me! I really thought I was on the scrap heap but not so.

Others have given good advice re your H etc. listen to them.

For weightloss join us on 5:2 threads. We are a friendly bunch. And 5:2 is easy and flexible. No special food to be bought. No cutting out of food groups and no "banned" items. It's a winner really.

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 20:29:53

Argh. Posted too soon again! grin

Makeup. I have what you may describe as hooded lids. I've always had this.

I don't use a lot of eyeshadow as its pointless. I use some along the lashes like eyeliner but softer because its eye shadow (lighter shade for day and darker for going out). And mascara. Voila problem solved. smile

For skin rejuvenation. Various things to try. I recommend buying some Retin A cream, often recommended on here, and using that once or twice a week. You can buy on amazon sometimes but there are other sites.

Oil cleansing. Just oil. I use rice bran oil or hazelnut oil. Put it on and wipe off with a muslin soaked in very hot water.

Avoid creams etc with chemicals in. It's made a massive difference to me.

Hair: hazelnut oil. I apply some like a serum after washing and conditioning. Any nut oil will do as they are high in protein which helps your hair.
M hair was always crap. It's now shiny and swishy for the first time in my life (I'm 40!). Wish I had known this when I was 20 hmm

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 20:33:53

Oh and foundation brush.

I was recommended the Real Techniques brushes on here.
They are amazing!! Makes my face look smooth and perfect. And that's no mean feat these days wink

As for your grey tooth. There are solutions. Cheaper than having it capped is the sort of stuff dentists can paint on. Back in a mo with a link.

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 20:39:08

This is where I get my facial and hair oils:

They are brilliant and inexpensive compared to others.
Try the pomegranate oil too. It really smooths your skin and makes you look fresh.

Apparently you can whiten some grey off teeth but it won't be perfect. So I guess a cap is the only way for full restoration. Sorry. sad

mcgilly Wed 01-Jan-14 00:55:49

The falling down incident? That's called picking yourself up again!

mcgilly Wed 01-Jan-14 01:02:44

Hair roots - Clairol Nice'n Easy root touch up is dead easy and gives a very natural result - avoids that "block of color" effect.
Hooded eyelids - Charlotte Rampling has deep-set hooded eyelids - I believe they are known as bedroom eyes. My eyes are sinking in with age so I just think I look a bit Rampling-esque. Im sure you could find other famous beauties with similar features. It's all how you view yourself.

strongurgetofly Wed 01-Jan-14 13:00:29

Happy new year stylish and beautiful ladies.
mcgilly you are a great optimist. I must confess that I did laugh when I found myself in the mud. I reminded myself of the chumbawumba song when they sold out to the man: I get knocked down but I get up again...

MrsFlorrick thanks for all your tips. I am reading everybody's in between various chores and commitments and I will take it all in and try to follow as many as I can manage or afford.

PottedPlant Wed 01-Jan-14 13:05:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

strongurgetofly Wed 01-Jan-14 13:38:25

pottedplant Glenn Harrold is what I have on my phone! I listened to it in bed, it takes a bit of getting used to his accent but I went to sleep quite easily and without any drugs! It helped that H was out of the house.

ChristmasStrumpet interesting you are the same age and height as me, do you mind if I ask your weight? I'm just over 9 stone and am so much happier at 8.5 bit I'm wondering If in 'middle age' I have plateaued at my 'ideal' weight. The trouble is when I did the wardrobe intervention I was 8.5 so now everything is squooshed in!
I am a huge porridge fan. There is a suggestion that I should go gluten free because of my various conditions so I'm looking into that at the moment.

deathwatchbeetle he is a bit of a George Clooney but a complete cold fish. All style and no substance. I feel as though all the colour has been sucked out of me!

MrsFlorrick Wed 01-Jan-14 13:50:55

Retin a creams are supposed to be on prescription but that would involve a private dermatologist and a private script (in the £200 range).

You can buy online via amazon and there are EU pharmacies where you can buy without script and they ship to UK.

The sellers on amazon change all the time although I suspect its the same people who set up new amazon shop fronts.

I've bought this twice. It's the strongest kind so you could only use once a week or once every ten days until your skin got used to it.

There are milder formulations which are worth a try but you need to have a trawl of tinternet to find it.

Ideally you'd start with 0.025% solution.

You can post in Style & Beauty and ask Ggirl and others as they know other sites.

It's an economical way to zap ageing.
Buying expensive anti wrinkle creams from beauty counters won't do much for you other than make you poorer. Retin a creams work but use sparingly.

And try a small £3 bottle of the pomegranate oil from Akamuti. It's amazing. One of those small bottles lasts me about 2 months and I apply to face, neck and chest every other night. I do sometimes mix it with hazelnut oil. But still for £3 you have about a months supply for daily(nightly) use.

I don't know what advice to offer re your H.
I think the best thing you can do is pick yourself up and improve yourself and sort out the insomnia and the rest will follow.
I hope you and your DC are ok. thanks

tugamommy Wed 01-Jan-14 14:14:05

Hi strongurge. Re inoa, I don't usually mix colours but don't see any reason why you couldn't. I know my mother's hairdresser does.

You need to buy a bottle of developer like this and then whatever shade you like here. You mix 1:1 in a small bowl just before using and just apply with a brush. The advantage of this is that you can use as much or as little as you need and there's no waste. 1 tub is usually enough for 2 applications if it's roots only.

The great thing about inoa imo is that browns are browns, not progressively nearly black like most supermarket colours. I usually use the 6.0 shade and it looks really natural.

Hope this helps smile

strongurgetofly Wed 01-Jan-14 21:17:38

MrsFlorrick I have looked into retin a treatments before, the thing that put me off was the thought that it makes you look red and sore, is that right or have I misunderstood? I'd love to improve my complexion, when I gaze at my beautiful children their baby skin is so luminous and plumped up. Oh they're truly scrumptious!

Well tonight I have painted finger and toenails, deep conditioned with the last of a very expensive keratin treatment bought in France. I don't particularly rate it but I'm trying to follow some of the frugal guidelines as well and aiming to use up all my cosmetics before buying more (other than the essentials)

I have the Soap and Glory footfile already, I have temporarily mislaid it but I will hunt it out over the
next few days and get to work on my plates of meat

I didn't do any exercise today, it rained all day and there were a couple of cracking films on, I did some impromptu dancing with the offspring so I hope I sleep tonight. H is back in the bedroom tonight, he starts nights on Fri I cannot wait!

strongurgetofly Wed 01-Jan-14 21:20:06

tugamommy thanks for all the Inoa information I will check it all out and get shopping.

I ordered a couple of bras today which are supposed to be good for 'smoothing back fat' do I hope they will help lift my self esteem (as well as my boobs).

MrsFlorrick Wed 01-Jan-14 21:56:48

Strongurge. Retin a only makes you red and sore if you over use. Ie too often or apply way too much.

Ou apply a pea size amount for your entire face! And only once a week/every ten days to begin with. Then max every third night.

I use retin a and I suffer from rosacea so I have skin which is far more sensitive then normal and prone to redness and soreness anyway.

I can use it no problem as long as its a small amount once a week. It actually helps my rosacea.

Glad you spruced yourself up tonight. grin

mcgilly Wed 01-Jan-14 23:01:22

I cant really use Retin-A because of babies etcamd din sensitivity, but i get good results from mild acid products, especially lactic acid-based products. There are many around at all prices ... Maybe s&b board could recommend?

I have read that the new Indeed Labs vit A product is good , but haven't tried it myself yet. I'm currently using Pepta-Brite and Hydraluron - hydraluron is the best! But is for hydration rather than skin refining.

mcgilly Wed 01-Jan-14 23:02:13

Din sensitivity? Sun sensitivity! Though I am sensitive to din too!

strongurgetofly Thu 02-Jan-14 08:21:37

Interesting re the creams. I will get using up my old products first.
Incidentally I removed my wedding and engagement rings yesterday. It will be interesting to see if anyone notices. There were no rocks in them so I doubt I'll lose any weight after taking them off but it all helps with the transition.

MrsFlorrick I also have SI joint problems. I have got the Kirkland antistamines as well! I found they were making me feel 'hungover', maybe I should just take one instead of two/three.

strongurgetofly Thu 02-Jan-14 08:21:38

Interesting re the creams. I will get using up my old products first.
Incidentally I removed my wedding and engagement rings yesterday. It will be interesting to see if anyone notices. There were no rocks in them so I doubt I'll lose any weight after taking them off but it all helps with the transition.

DziezkoDisco Thu 02-Jan-14 08:28:42

Strong, Just read your thread, you are doing so well.
why not try acupuncture good for both joint pain, anxiety and insomnia?

strongurgetofly Thu 02-Jan-14 08:34:15

Hi DziezkoDisco thanks for your kind message, I am doing well but there are dark days!
With regards to acupuncture, I have tried it before and didn't find it helpful although that was a few years ago. I have spent a lot of money on mainstream and alternative therapies, at the moment I need to watch the pennies depending on what will happen re house, cost of divorce etc.

strongurgetofly Thu 02-Jan-14 12:55:50

Ooh! Totally out of the blue I received a package today from John Frieda containing hair repair shampoo and conditioner as well as an intense masque! I vaguely remember joining the John Frieda 'club' years and years ago to receive some free samples but these are full sized products, woop woop!
Really pleased and looking forward to using them, hopefully they will help sort my miserable barnet!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-Jan-14 13:52:39

Brilliant timing, strong grin. Am using a John Frieda Frizz-Ease spray product on my hair at the moment. Am pretty certain it's full of silicone, but I don't care - it works!

HoneyStepMummy Thu 02-Jan-14 14:23:49

I've always said looking good doesn't take a lot of money, it takes a lot of effort. Luckily the two best things for your health are free- exercise and water smile

No wonder you haven't been feeling great, going through divorce is hideous. I too am perimenopausal (at 40) and can relate to problems sleeping. Whatever you do don't take a hot bath at night. Baths make me flush and sweat for hours and dry my skin out. Better to take a cool shower.

Have you tried facial/eye exercises for your eyelids? Sounds silly but I find it helps a bit. There are plenty of tutorials on You Tube. For your face and neck you could try doing a sugar scrub. Cleanse and rinse your face and neck. Pour a teaspoon of sugar on your hand, add a few drops of water, mix and rub on your face and neck until dissolved. Rinse and apply moisturizer. I've been doing this for years and the results are amazing!

MrsFlorrick Thu 02-Jan-14 22:45:26

Strongurge. Commiserations on the SI issues sad.
There are lots of physio (ie clinical Pilates) moves/exercises which help.
I will go and find some linkys and post them later.
If you do them every day, it makes a massive difference.

The Kirkland sleep aid. I think you're only supposed to take 1 at a time. I actually break them in half. Half is enough to get me off to sleep.

I'd feel hung over if I took 3 of those as well!

Also "plan" your sleep. It sounds stupid but it works. Ie take your Kirkland sleepaid very early ie 8pm so long before you go to bed.
That way by the time you get to bed you sort of collapse into bed rather than that unpleasant tossing and turning.
It also gives the sleepaid time to wear off so you feel fully fresh in the morning.

I know its hard to plan ahead but if you plan to take the sleep aid say for a week to catch up on rest and go to bed reasonably early. Then do take it at 8pm and you're ready to fall asleep long before 10pm.

It's boring but it works.
Back later with exercise linkys.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 09:26:55

Morning MrsFlorrick. I don't know why I thought taking 3 was recommended, I think I read it on somebody's Amazon review. I took one in the early hours of this morning when I was wide awake.

Fortunately H is on nights the next few days so I can practice The Sleep Plan! I can listen to relaxation stuff and read etc without fear of bothering him plus when he's finished nights I'm going to reclaim the second bedroom and put the littlies in to share. Unfortunately I need his help for the room swap because I can't physically do it on my own.
I spoke to housing people yesterday they will consider buying more shares of the house but need to decide whether I can afford to stay here with the children once they've decided then we can start orally rolling. Woop woop!

I have pilates this afternoon the classes were shut from 18th Dec until today n, I don't know how long I can continue going as I have to rely on him to watch the children and if he's not free I can't go plus it's very expensive so I don't know how much longer I can afford it. I really struggle to do the exercises at home alone.

MrsMarigold Fri 03-Jan-14 09:46:24

Believe in yourself a bit more it seems you are constantly seeing hurdles and justifying why you can't do things - look at what you can do.

I reckon you should make the tooth and hair a priority - go to several dentists and get quotes or get a veneer - even if you have to sell a few things (wedding and engagement ring could be sold to contribute to the tooth fund). Wear make-up even if you are just going to the corner shop.

My mum has spine curvature but has short hair and always wears collars which make a difference. Short hair could be worth it - cropped close to thew head if you have a good bone structure.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 13:40:31

HoneyStepMummy thanks for your reply. I will check out the eye videos. Wrt being perimenopausal :does your GP acknowledge / support this? Do you take any supplements or follow specific nutrition guidelines?

mrsmarigold you are right, it's easy to be negative, I do try to keep positive but sometimes it's overwhelming. I'm very much looking forward to starting counselling though. I'm sure it will help my mindset. I am being very strong, I know a lot of women in my situation would stay married and just put up with the situation to keep the status quo but I just can't live a lie anymore. I'm quite proud of myself but at the same time I need some support. I don't have a conventional family, I have nobody I can run to and hide with I have to face it all alone, I have friends but they are all busy with their own busy lives and nobody is going out of their way to see I'm ok (self pitying emoticon)

I thought I should save my rings in case the children want them later on? one is an heirloom on DH's side.

MrsFlorrick Fri 03-Jan-14 14:18:54


If you PM me with an email address, I can email over all the exercise sheets I have from my private physio. They were geared ttowards recovering from SI joint issues and building core stability.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 14:29:06

MrsFlorrick consider yourself messaged.

Thank you

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 22:00:06

Uh-oh I started off well on the sleep plan when I found out liz jones is in the big brother house and now I want to watch it but I'm starting to feel sleepy.

The best laid plans....

yourehavingalaugh Fri 03-Jan-14 22:22:19

I am going to suggest a tooth veneer too. If your teeth aren't quite right, it makes you so self-conscious. After my separation, I had my teeth whitened and a couple of veneers which I had always wanted. It cost a fortune but has made me feel so much better about my image. A year or so on and my teeth are still lovely!

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 22:48:47

yourehavingalaugh thanks, the general consensus seems to be tooth veneer. I already have the bleaching kit, trays etc from when I got married so I can start the treatment bleaching anytime. When we discussed veneers he seemed to say that it wouldn't last on this tooth (a front side one) I can't remember if it was due to the way I 'bite'. He has since left the practice and since having kids I can't afford private anymore and the bleach doesn't work on this type of greying.

I will bleach anyway just to brighten the rest up. I have been taking divorce /separation advice and was advised not to spend any unnecessary cash right now, there will be a lot of legal fees coming up.

I did buy three bras (two for daytime and one black multiway for all occasions to supplement my existing cream multiway) but they are all decent and in the sales. One bra is not enough for any woman!

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 07:35:56

Well done on buying more bras. It makes such a difference to how your clothes sit and how you look.

One bra is definitely not enough! All my bras are generally sale ones as the wonderful thing about the intervention is you know your size and get to know the decent brands that suit you so sale shopping on line is easy.

strongurgetofly Sat 04-Jan-14 09:12:48

Yes PastaandCheese I was wrongly measured on numerous occasions and rather than being 'frivolous' I have been wearing a variety of sizes, all of them too big and it hasn't done a thing for my shape and has probably made the poor buggers sag even more!

Once I started to come back to the land of the living postnatal lying and stopped breastfeeding the bra interventions were a godsend. I had been to several shops for fittings, some even had me as a 38 d/e I'm a size ten for goodness' sake!

Another specialist store explained that the copious backfat which appeared when I wore their bra was to enable me to move my arms around and If I didn't have it then I wouldn't be able to lift my arms!

I have become quite evangelical about the bra interventions, it's amazing that some people don't care at all, or maybe I'm just a bit shallow!

polyhymnia Sat 04-Jan-14 11:00:30

No you're not shallow. If your bra isn't right, nothing else will look right either. That's why bras - together with haircut, which is also always with you - are top of my priority list for investment.

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 14:58:25

Definitely not shallow!

strongurgetofly Sat 04-Jan-14 15:53:23

Yay for not being shallow and well fitted bras! I love mumsnet!

I have made a real effort with my appearance since posting on here and reading everybody's replies and comments. It has really helped to have people to talk about it with and not feel that I'm being a bimbo, I'm so not bimbo-ish , I'm quite natural with a teensy bit of hippy throwback but I like to look like I care.

I have felt much more confident the last week or so just putting on a bit of make up and doing my hair.
I haven't made great inroads yer but I'm doing little bits here and there. I will keep aspiring and will try to get on the eastern renovation thread at some point, I have all the tools already.

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 17:34:48

I can well imagine looking after your appearance helping. There is a lot to be said for it. I took a few bits of make up in my labour bag. It's the sort of thing people react to by going 'oh, don't be so vain. You'll never wear make up again once you have a newborn' etc etc.

I felt so utterly shit with my hormones / baby blues / tiredness after a hard birth I couldn't stop crying and my in laws were coming to see us. I wheeled DD into the bathroom, put clean clothes on, brushed my hair, washed my face and put a bit of make up on. Deep breath and all that and I felt so much better and just less 'vulnerable' if that makes any sense?

If that's vain then so be it. It helped me massively at that point and if you feel even a little bit better about the hard times you are having by taking care of yourself then that's great and very worthwhile.

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 12:39:11

Hi I just wanted to update: not much has changed in the scheme of things but I now have my own bedroom which is a blessing for however long we have to share our home.
I have dyed my grey roots, done a face mask and a fresh manicure as well as buying some carefully chosen basics in the sales.
I have been listening to meditation / relaxation daily and have counselling lined up.
My body is still a mess but it is a work in progress.
Thanks again all for your great advice.

OBehaveMaeve Tue 07-Jan-14 12:46:05

Just saying I'm on the 5:2 today and I'm not finding it too bad. I have half a stone to lose. Ok, ten pounds! you see, I'm fatter than you are, and older too.

horrible situation you're in. that would suck the life out of you for sure. I hope you have your own place soon.

cloudskitchen Tue 07-Jan-14 13:00:36

Well done you. I'm pleased for you about your room. Space to breath smile

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:12:48

Thank you ladies. I'm just awaiting a decision from the landlords (shared ownership property) Once they've come back to me with a Yay or nay I can start the next phase.
Well done on doing the 5:2 OBehaveMaeve I hope it works for you, so many people rate it.
Onwards and upwards.

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:12:50

Thank you ladies. I'm just awaiting a decision from the landlords (shared ownership property) Once they've come back to me with a Yay or nay I can start the next phase.
Well done on doing the 5:2 OBehaveMaeve I hope it works for you, so many people rate it.
Onwards and upwards.

KristinaM Tue 07-Jan-14 14:25:53

Well done strong, that's a lot of progress in a few days. You are obviously a woman of action!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:40:10

KristinaM when I get the bit between my teeth I'm quite tenacious.
I tend to let things stagnate for a period of time and then I open the curtains and let the light in then when I'm brave enough I open the windows to encourage the fresh air to flow through.

Deep maaaan...

Etainagain Tue 07-Jan-14 15:09:56

Sorry, I haven't read all the replies to your post and I don't know your financial situation, but would Botox for the wrinkles and laser treatment for the age spots be something that you would consider? Maybe even surgery for the droopy upper eyelid? If these options are unaffordable, perhaps you could take advantage of cheap treatments offered by students on hair and beauty courses at FE colleges. Also, giving up sugar would probably help your skin. A friend of mine gave up all sugar in her diet a couple of months ago and she looks years younger. Wish I could do it, but I've given up fags and booze and not sure I'm ready to give up my sugary treats just yet!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 16:00:55

Hi etainagain thanks for your reply. Currently my financial situation wouldn't allow for expensive cosmetic treatments. I used to be dead against them but we have moved on a long way and they seem quite acceptable now. I know a lot of people who have had something 'done'. I'm a very earthy type of woman (or I was until I started visibly ageing) but I wouldn't rule it out if money was no object
I never thought of getting that sort of treatment through a college but I guess nowadays beauty students news to know this stuff!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 16:01:55

I am trying to give up sugar, it will help when I have eaten all the Christmas snacks and there's no more temptation!

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