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What have you done / bought recently that has made you feel better about yourself?

(35 Posts)
Cyclingandriding2016 Fri 10-Feb-17 12:36:41

I'm mid-30s and its really hitting home that I'm no longer the naturally pretty, slim, 20-something I once was.

I do exercise when I can (although that's not as much as I like) and although I'm still (fairly) slim I'm definitely noticing some changes from my 20s such as my expanding bum. I know I need to start to eat better, my diet is pretty crap.

My face just looks tired. I look in the mirror and I just think wow I look rough. My skin tone is uneven, blotchy, I get a few spots. I hate being photographed as I just look yuk.

I don't get enough sleep but unfortunately I can't do much about that at the moment.

I'm starting to get grey hairs and I do dye my hair, but then two weeks later I will notice a load more greys, so I am clearly doing something wrong there. I have been dying it myself not going to the hairdresser. I use L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss.

So I'd like to know what you have done / or bought that has made you feel much better about yourself? It could be a miracle-product or a lifestyle change or a change to your beauty regime.

My make up bag is full of pretty cheap stuff, such as Rimmel etc. I wouldn't mind investing a bit of money on make up or products if I knew they would make a difference but I'm never sure whether you are just paying for the name with expensive goods (I bought an Estee Lauder lipstick for my wedding which was around £20, worst lipstick I've ever had it only stays put for a few minutes!).


MrsT2007 Fri 10-Feb-17 12:45:52

I hear you!

Though I'm not convinced yet that expensive make up is worth the premium. You're as well spending money on good skincare and tools.

I bought the Wilko foundation recently. It's fabulous. It's £2.80. Applied with damp foam teardrop thing it looks great, & lasts all day. The mascara is great too.

I finally seem to be getting somewhere with my skin, which is scarred from cystic acne and sensitive too,

I take my eye make off then use the Liz Earle c&p which some don't like but my skin seems to like it a lot. Hot cloth using that. Then a nip + fab glycolic pad a few times a week or some tropic toner I bought.

Biggest difference has been using Vichy Normaderm moisturiser. It's anti age and anti spots and my skin is definitely softer, clearer and I'm converted to Vichy.

Ilovecaindingle Fri 10-Feb-17 12:47:49

Garnier wake up facial scrub is great for tired skin!!

Underparmummy Fri 10-Feb-17 12:52:19

Blocks of yoga and pilates classes?! Seriously, they are changing my body and my self confidence massively.

Redken super soft heavy cream is my miracle hair product, I use it every hair wash. Discovered it a year ago and my thick hard to tame hair is so much better.

DD1 (and dh) got me the two faced chocolate eyeshadow palette for my birthday and it is brilliant. M and S sell a rose micellar water as well which is my current cleanser and Im very impressed.

Still on the hunt for a moisturiser myself!

cosytoaster Fri 10-Feb-17 13:00:08

I came on to say that I've just got some Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation which is good....but the Wilko one sounds pretty similar! I use Root touch up between full dyes - only takes 10 minutes once every three weeks. However, the main thing I've done to feel better is to start exercising regularly.

ImYourWomanJonSnow Fri 10-Feb-17 13:12:00

I'm pregnant (and late 30s) and just getting into the heavy stage so not feeling particularly great about my appearance.

Doing yoga five days a week (four sessions at home or over my lunchbreak and one proper prgnancy yoga class) has made a massive difference to my posture and the way I carry myself.

I stopped improvising with too tight clothes and bought a couple of dresses, jeans and a jumper that actually fit, and a pregnancy parka (a cheap but warm thing from New Look) that I can actually button. Now that I have right size clothes I don't look so massive if that makes sense.

Also eating healthily and drinking lots of water. I started a food diary app and it helps me think twice about indulging as I will have to log it and see all the calorie numbers go up up.

I find it's making the effort and taking time to look after yourself already makes you feel better.

20thCenturyGirl Fri 10-Feb-17 13:13:34

I had a professional keratin type blow dry treatment. My hair looks so much better and is much easier to style.

Whaddapalaver Fri 10-Feb-17 13:17:24

Yy to yoga, I also love running. Are there any yoga classes near you? If you're in a city then I swear by hot yoga. It's hell but you will feel amazing afterwards and relieved.

Ulysses Fri 10-Feb-17 13:18:12

Another vote for daily yoga. I've been doing the 30 Day Yoga Revolution on You Tube. I haven't managed it every day but doing it several times a week and I feel better all round.

Makeup wise I bought Estee Lauder Double Wear a few months back and it gives me great coverage on my otherwise grey and tired looking skin. A little goes a long way as well.

Swimminguphill Fri 10-Feb-17 13:48:57

So two things have made a massive difference to me (I have dry skin btw):

1. I started washing with a hot flannel - I know, basic, but! I use the Body Shop Camomile cleansing balm or Origins "Clean Energy" cleansing oil - and it is like a resurfacing treatment for me, I can't use any of the glycolic acids etc as I have a reaction to them

2. Gillian Michaels 30 day shred. It's a 20 minute high intensity workout that has seriously changed my body shape. I have toned arms and legs and an 'in control' tummy. It also gives me energy and makes me feel empowered.

With regards to make up, I tried a sample of Hourglass hyaluronic skin tint. Oh. My. God. I can't wear doublewear etc, it's too heavy for me, but this is a total dream. People literally told me how great I looked every time I wore it and it lasted all day. Only problem is it's £50!!! I am not buying it now but I am saving up because it's just the best foundation I have ever tried.

Oh and finally, I went through my wardrobe ruthlessly culling things I had bought because they caught my eye like a magpie (massively guilty of this) and now have a pared down co-ordinating wardrobe of things I have chosen because they make me look good, not because they look so pretty on the hanger.

Underparmummy Fri 10-Feb-17 14:06:07

swimminguphill - a better coordinated wardrobe full of things I actually feel comfortable and stylish wearing is my NYR. I have always purchased things based on finding them pretty! Not such a good way to do things.

Haven't managed the proper cull yet though, have just started to reform buying habits for now.

Swimminguphill Fri 10-Feb-17 14:45:54

Underparmummy I think i just fundamentally misunderstood what clothes were for - i.e. making you look good, rather than being like artworks or jewellery, which you buy just because they catch your eye. When I was a teenager I lusted after a velvet patchwork duffel coat with huge twisty copper buttons and my mum got it for me for my birthday. I looked like a giant teacosy in it. It kind of went downhill from there...

Handbag101 Fri 10-Feb-17 15:12:09

Definitely buying quality clothes and not clothes in quantity. I've recently had a massive clear out and will be replacing anything I need with a quality item - even if it just means buying one thing a month.

Also exercise as much as possible and drink loads of water.

Be kind to yourself. I'm mid 40s and totally get the greying hairs. 💇🏽

Laiste Fri 10-Feb-17 15:54:32

I have found that discovering S&B here has given me a welcome kick up the backside to restart some old good habits - like washing my hair at least every other day, toning the brass out of my blonde regularly and exfoliating my face every day - AND begin some brand new ones.

Brand new ones are - using a serum under my moisturiser everyday, using a hair mask twice a week and buying clothes which are ... a little more classy and age appropriate shall we say.

I know i'm going to sound nutty, but sometimes, when i feel i've let my personal grooming slide a bit (and self esteem is suffering because of it) i start watching QVC. During lunch, or any stray hour. Don't laugh - i rarely buy anything, although i have been known to, but i find seeing all the clothes and products being discussed both relaxing and inspiring. I'll almost instantly begin keeping my nails nice again, for eg., and will dig my heels out the wardrobe and wear them out and about instead of sloping about in flats.

mrwalkensir Fri 10-Feb-17 15:59:35

Good liquid concealer for under the eyes and the lines between the nose and lips (the details have worn off the packaging on mine - think it was Bodyshop). That and Double Wear are a great start to feeling like I look human even when knackered

Lottapianos Fri 10-Feb-17 16:05:23

Re products, Clarins Instant Concealer is marvellous for dark under eye circles if you're a pale person. It makes your under eye area look lit up.

Having a good skin care routine - you certainly don't need expensive products, just a cream cleanser and (ideally) a balm cleanser, warm water and a flannel, followed by a serum and moisturiser that suit your skin. I have dry skin and the best facial oil I have ever used is rapeseed oil from the kitchen cupboard smile

I agree with others that some of the best things you can do for yourself are either free or very cheap. Plenty of water, fruit and veg, fresh air, exercise, as much sleep as you can manage - they all boost your self esteem as much as your physical well being.

carrotcakecupcake Fri 10-Feb-17 16:09:09

I'm pregnant atm but some things I started doing before include something a PP mentioned about clothes and investing in quality items. I feel so much better when wearing them and I am actually looking forward to wearing certain things again after I've had the baby.
I recently had a bra fitting and bought some beautiful bras that fitted and made me look great - definitely worth the investment if you can find somewhere that does decent fittings locally.
I've also started doing a face mask weekly. I too am a fan of Liz Earle c&p but found myself getting lazy and sometimes just using cheap wipes in the evening. Making an effort to wash my face properly, then doing a brightening mask weekly has made a real difference to my skin tone.

Laiste Fri 10-Feb-17 16:18:38

Your wet wipe comment made me think carrot (i've done exactly the same re: nightly thorough Liz Earl cleanse turning into nightly 30 seconds of baby wipe).

I think it's important to be realistic about starting new routines. Be honest about what you are likely to keep up with, otherwise you set yourself up to fail and risk feeling even worse about all the money you've spent yourself than before.

greeeen Fri 10-Feb-17 18:23:21

I use Aurelia cream cleanser with a proper flannel and then their nightcream for day and night (dry ish sensitive skin). It's not cheap but it has transformed my patchy, red and dry skin. I no longer use any type of foundation at all. Oh and I make sure I do my decolletage as well and the difference is very noticeable, never something I had to worry about in my 20's sad!

HereBeFuckery Fri 10-Feb-17 19:21:14

Quite a few things grin
Found a great hairdresser, who actually advised me on how to deal with my over highlighted fine hair, gave it a great cut, and now does regular protein (? olaplex? I don't question her) treatments. My hair looks nice again. Started washing every other day, and therefore improving condition more, and actually being arsed to blow dry since it's not daily.
Lost 2 st (3 more to go) and started to fit better in nice clothes again.
Drinking more water.
Started using LRP anthelios sunscreen gel under makeup (I acid tone).
Bought new foundation from NYX, which is a powder one, and really works to keep me not shiny. Started experimenting with occasional lipstick wearing.

I like looking after me. It feels lovely.

Heatherbell1978 Fri 10-Feb-17 19:56:20

I hear you. I'm 39 and heavily pregnant (due in 2 weeks) plus have a 2 year old too. I used to turn heads in my 20s and early 30s and was quite the party right now I can't do much to feel good. recent months I had a full make over thing at Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis and another one at No 7 counter in Boots on a different day. Both gave me great ideas and products to use which do make a difference (on the days I want to make an effort). I've also started buying quality clothes rather than a heap of disposable cheap stuff. Or at least I will once baby weight has gone. Bought a bunch of stuff from Boden (first time) in the sale which I can wear once I'm slim again....and also planning on investing in a few pairs of Levi jeans rather than owning about 10 pairs of cheap skinny jeans that don't fit me properly.

Snorfig Fri 10-Feb-17 20:35:52

I started wearing earrings daily again, after 4 years of avoiding them due to grabby little fingers. I finally found a good concealer - Clinique airbrush something or other - which I use literally every day. Discovered wedge boots and comfy heels, so I'm always over 5ft now. Discovered pretty, enormous, comfy pants which cover my wobbly arse and make me feel more confident. Run or do HIIT workout basically every day. Found a job that makes me excited to go to work.
I probably look slightly better as a result, but the confidence and happiness I'm now feeling is absolutely transformative and I'm sure it shows in pictures.
The baby years are brutal on ones self image. I struggled with my image and identity for four years.
I've finally let go of my 20s youthful ideal and no longer expect to see it in pictures/the mirror. It used to devastate me when I saw my reflection a year ago, but turning 35 has been a turning point.
Good luck!

Hopefully Fri 10-Feb-17 20:53:43

Several things over the last few years:

- buying decent skincare and (crucially) using it every single day. Double cleanse (I love the Aurelia cleanser for second cleanse, am less fussy for first one), NIOD copper amino isolate (£££ but has done wonders) and a good night oil, a couple of other The Ordinary products that work well for me. Interestingly I find little difference between cheap and expensive moisturisers for my skin.
- a wardrobe of clothes in my colours (and a limited palette even within that 'season' palette) and style. I am basically enormously lazy and wear the first clothes that come to hand, so making sure they all mix and match and are a good fit on me means that I always look pulled together.
- daily yoga. I do ashtanga, not always a full routine every day, but something 6 days a week, a full hour's practice at least 3 days (I used to do an hour every day and it was even better, but I physically don't have the time at the minute).
- drinking loads and eating loads of veg - I fake it with decent green smoothies or a run of veg soup if I feel I'm not eating enough of it. Really makes a difference to how 'bright' my skin looks.
- a high speed make up routine that I can do easily every day - good tinted moisturiser (I like the Giorgio Armani one, but it is a PITA to get hold of), brow pencil, mascara, blusher, nude lipstick, done. I add red lipstick and a 'proper' foundation for work.

dementedma Fri 10-Feb-17 20:58:20

Discovered Nip and Fab skincare. This is the best my skin has looked in years!!!

humanfemale Fri 10-Feb-17 21:38:16

Love this thread, even though it's made me realise I'm also struggling with getting older. For me clothes are the main problem. I was looking forward to going shopping yesterday and finding just a couple of things for everyday wear that made me feel great. Found not one thing and the mirrors in the changing rooms made me feel like total shit. Honestly, the size of my arse in the H&M three-way mirrors...! shock

I have always been into skincare but have recently started doing targeted exercise to try and tone my body. My diet is okaaaaay but extremely carb-heavy. But I'm veggie and there are only so many eggs one woman can manage!

Inspired by some of the comments here, I have ordered a wrap dress online which costs more than I'd normally spend, the fabric looks lovely and is very classic cut and appropriate for my life (mid thirties, mum, self employed, homebird!).

Loved the QVC idea! I'm definitely going to try this smile

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