At 40 we realise that we need to take care of our selves and our skin. We love our laughter lines but would like to keep them under wraps naturally for as long as possible!

We’ll  love trial most new cosmetics and products on the market, but be warned, we’re honest about the results.

bodhi and birch

Suzanne and I have known Elijah Choo the founder of Bodhi & Birch  for many years and the products within his great British brand are up there amongst our favourite skincare.

The beauty industry is a competitive world but Bodhi & Birch have maintained their ethics and principles; namely using the very finest ingredients which are ethically sourced without cheap additives.

The fragrances in this skincare range all natural. You can tell the difference between them and other brands who favour synthetic counterparts; they just smell real! The oils in all the products are the very highest quality and they’ve been formulated to relax, invigorate and match (or improve) your mood.

‘Eco-luxury bath, body and skincare designed to awaken your mind, indulge your senses and enlighten your skincare ritual to produce a range of luxurious skincare products.’

A little goes a long way with Bodhi & Birch skincare, so whilst the prices don’t match your average supermarket off-the-shelf products, they’ll last a long time. And there’s nothing just average about this range!

It’s difficult to say which is my favourite. The Ginger Brew Deep Tissue Massage and Body Oil is fabulous, neither too masculine nor feminine in fragrance, its superior quality means it doesn’t run out mid way through your massage. Our skin was left supple and soft for the following 24 hours after use and all of the niggling shoulder pain disappeared.

I adore the zesty Lime Blossom Hand Serum, the lime really awakens the senses and now a firm favourite. (I have a bit of a hand cream obsession, there are tubes in every bag, on my desks, in every bathroom…).

The Siam Ginger Bath and Shower Therapy is another vitalising product, not over-powering ginger just enough to help make getting out of bed and off to work a more pleasant experience. And it’s not too feminine a fragrance either, so if you have a man in your life they’ll probably want to . It doesn’t dry my skin and leave me itchy and scratchy. Just clean.

Neroli may not be my favourite fragrance but I love using high quality facial oils as part of my morning routine, and this one is absorbed so easily. It’s a real treat for tired skin. I think Suzanne will commander this for herself as she adores Neroli .

Bodhi & Birch was founded by the lovely Elijah Choo, who brings together Eastern and Western skincare and well-being philosophies in each of his expertly blended products. Each ingredient is ethically sourced from sustainable origins and are made in England.

At the moment there is a special offer on the Body Oil & Shower Therapy Duo – pop over to their website to check it out.

Nic x


Using green CC cream to neutralise red

Me and my 40 year old face are doing just fine. I’m very comfortable with my happy lines. Smiling is just so good for you and everyone looking at you! So the happy lines can stay. But I’m not keen on the redness in my cheeks or those pesky brown spots.

I’ll admit to being late to the “Use Green To Tone Red” show. But anyway, I’m catching up now so I’m trialling some alternatives to see if the redness really does get masked. I’m not going to write about the science of the colour wheel and what colour product you need to cover what, as this fab blog at Behind The Scenes Makeup does that and frankly, I just want to know if if works (No Patience Nicola).

I have very specific red patches in my skin, with a couple of brown patches for good measure so I pondered (for all of one second) using this product all over my face. But you can only really tell by having a go, so using my foundation brush, I set to it.

I was fairly happy with the toning down; what do you think?

Once I’d recovered from the “ghostly shock” and blended the CC cream, the redness was definitely toned down and, an added bonus, it stayed put all day too. The coverage in the end was a little darker than the products I use normally, so it took a bit of blending but overall, I was really happy with the evenness of my entire face.

The product I tried was from the L’Oreal Nude Magique range. I’d definitely give it a 4/5 as the price isn’t off-putting at £9.99.

Nic x





So I popped into the Kiko Cosmetics store in Eldon Square the other day because they had a sale on. I am easily swayed and this was my second visit.

On the hunt for nail varnish remover, I was distracted by lip scrubs, cream blusher, eyebrow fibres and finally owning some cleanser that would remove their eye-liner.

*Note to self: DO NOT waste ££s on cleanser or raid Suzanne’s multitude of stock but buy the product that’s designed to compliment, it saves a whole load of time and effort.

Kiko Cosmetics are such an inexpensive brand but really are rather good. Of the products on show, I particularly love the Rebel Bouncy Blush. Using fingers to apply, the coverage is great, natural and lasts all day. The case is very pretty and with 50 percent off it was £4.90*.

The Power Pro nail lacquer is almost gel-like in appearance and the wide brush means you cover all your nail in one go. I love neutral colours and this is lovely for work.

The eyebrow fibres fill in missing spaces and set your brows. Be careful not to get too vigorous with your application or you’ll end up with streaks up your forehead!

Scrubbing my lips for the first time was really weird. I didn’t enjoy it and used too much product so my lips were sore. The second time was better; just use a little bit and don’t over-rub. And use some lip balm afterwards. I’ll definitely only need to do it once a week.

All in all Kiko you lured me in due to your sale but you’ve now gained a repeat customer, now isn’t that what every brand wants?

Nicola xx

*Prices correct  February 2016

Handmade soap

Having very fussy skin means that I have to be really careful what I put on it. Anything rammed with loads of additional ingredients which I can’t read, just irritate and make me itch.

Natural soap tends to cause fewer problems, so I was excited to try these bars from Oakwood Soaperie. My favourite fragrance is definitely the Carrot & Orange which surprisingly is also packed with Greek yoghurt as well as fresh organic carrot and citrus essential oils.

Mike preferred the fragrance of the Honey & G’oat which is particularly suitable for sensitive skin like mine as it contains no essential oils, but is packed with Northumbrian Honey, Goat’s milk and oats.

The soap isn’t drying and has left my hands feeling smooth and lovely. Looking at the size of the bar on the sink in the bathroom,  I reckon it will see me through to the autumn!

£3.95  for 100g

Nic x

Nicola's Murad skin analysis

Murad Skincare. Heard of them? No, I hadn’t either until we attended the Murad event launching this new-to-us beauty brand in House of Fraser at the Metro Centre, Gateshead.

First things first, there were lots of the usual claims pronouncing the actual and real difference these products would make to our skin. (I’m jaded. I need skincare evidence).

Keeping an open mind, it was a good start learning that the products were developed by Dr Murad, a dermatologist, for his clients as a direct response to their individual skincare needs.

Having my skin analysed via the Murad Youthcam, I was told it was in pretty good shape, great to hear given all the sunbeds and excessive sun bathing of my youth.

The analysis gives a glimpse into the future, projecting what my skin might look like in 5 – 10 years time if I did nothing to protect it. It wasn’t that much of a surprise, in ten years time I’ll be 50 and won’t look like a teenager. But it did make me consider a better beauty routine.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting ShieldStep in the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. I’ve been using this product for about 2 months now and I absolutely adore it. The texture is gorgeous, it basically is a one-stop product to “replace your treatment, primer and SPF” whilst “immediately blurring and correcting whilst combating the signs of ageing”.

I always use it over my facial oil (once that has had some time to sink in) and I do notice a slight smoothing of the pores and the texture of my face.  Knowing it is SPF 30 is one of the best things about this product as I’ve always had trouble finding a nice moisturiser that doesn’t irritate my face with a high SPF factor.

But slight blurring and SPF aside, the thing that I really love most about Inivisiblur is that my make-up stays put all day long when I use it. It just seems to cling to my face and there’s no need for top ups throughout the day.

The product isn’t an everyday buy. At £55 it’s expensive compared to many high street brand products. But that’s the thing, it isn’t just another high street product that goes to waste. I use this everyday. I think I’ll get 4 months out of one tube, so at £12.50 per month (and saving money on not buying a primer and SPF moisuriser) it’s one I am definitely sticking with.

Nicola x