I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
For my overseas readers -GOOGLE TRANSLATE:


Wednesday, 24 June 2020


CHANEL Les 4 Ombres in Warm Memories, Rouge Coco Flash in Flash and Le Vernis in Mirage
Back in late January, anticipating the Spring season ahead, I bought a new eyeshadow palette, CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES in Warm Memories (354) and a new nail polish, CHANEL LE VERNIS in Mirage (739).  I wrote about them in my post, "CHANEL Spring Makeup - Soft Tones of the Desert".  Here's a handy link to that post:-

I hadn't decided then on a new lipstick💄 and was taking time looking at new shades and textures.  Then Covid19 and the lockdown followed.☹️ Initially, Boots the Chemist had barriers round "non-essential" items such as makeup. (Is make-up "non-essential"? I hear the protests!🤗).  When they did open up the makeup section, obviously for health and safety reasons there were no testers on the CHANEL counter but the products weren't even on display, just printed out display guides showing the shades.  In the meantime I had looked at the CHANEL on-line website, with its helpful descriptions of products and displays of colours and decided on CHANEL's ROUGE COCO FLASH in Flash (74).

CHANEL Rouge Coco Flash in Flash

CHANEL had replaced one of my old faves, Rouge Coco Shine, with a new lipstick, ROUGE COCO FLASH. Described by them as "Hydrating Vibrant Shine Lip Colour", it contains waxes from natural origins (mimosa, jojoba and sunflower).  Colourwise, I wanted something in an orange/peach or coral shade and Flash (74) seemed the right one.  I eventually went to Boots to buy it and I'm delighted with it.  As they promised, it is moisturising and hydrating with a glossy oil finish and a high shine.  The shade, Flash, is a very pretty, light orange peach - just what I had in mind!  ROUGE COCO FLASH has a transparent cap, to show the colour of the lipstick inside!

At the same time, I needed a new eyebrow pencil as I had used up my CHANEL STYLO SOURCILS Waterproof Defining Longwear Eyebrow Pencil. 

Double-ended, STYLO SOURCILS WATERPROOF has a retractable tapered tip pencil at one end and spiral brush for grooming at the other. The pencil is designed so that the side of the tip can be used to define the line and then the flat side is for filling in and intensifying the colour. Using little strokes, a natural or more intense effect can be achieved. Then, the spiral brush can be used for blending the colour. There are 6 good shades to choose from, varying from lighter browns to dark brown, auburn and black:-

804 Blond Doré
806 Blond Tendre
808 Brun Clair
810 Brun Profond
802 Auburn
812 Ebène

I had been using it in the Blond Tendre(806) shade (a very light brown) but this time I decided to buy Brun Clair (808) (light brown), which is deeper, with a light chocolatey tone.

CHANEL Stylo Sourcils Waterproof in  Brun Clair
Since my trip to Boots, the "non-essential" shops have been allowed to open but of course with the necessary restrictions in place. I have ventured into a couple of them briefly but, to be honest, I didn't feel relaxed about it and I didn't linger. It wasn't the enjoyable experience that it normally is for me.

It's now very hot and sunny out and I am looking at my clothes and accessories to put together a summer look with a black and white and silver theme - and a straw hat of course!


Saturday, 9 May 2020


Hi everyone, I hope you are safe and well.  Here in London we have been in lockdown for seven weeks.  Whilst it might have become a bit monotonous, I have been very glad and grateful to be safe in my own home and breathing!

Yes, as a fashion/beauty blogger, I have really missed those little pleasures like looking at the clothes in the shops, discovering new makeup colours and textures at the beauty counters, going to fashion and beauty events and often working on my blog in my favourite coffee shops but of course, as always, there is still a lot happening online.  I admit that the highlights of my life now seem to be things like eating nice food and watching "Killing Eve"! I find that television series so exciting with an edge of comedy and interesting fashionwise too.  Villanelle, is mad and murderous but cheekily comic - she's so beautiful and all those clothes she wears that go from ultra feminine to gender fluid!  Eve, has a sort of laid-back, casual, often untidy glamour.  Carolyn, Eve's MI6 boss, is impeccable in her smart, casual, classic pieces. I can just imagine her ordering her clothes on-line from Net-a-Porter whilst eating her "peanut butter sandwiches"!

I feel very sorry for the retail fashion business.  They had been through a tough time, what with austerity and the uncertainty of Brexit but as we began 2020, they must have been feeling more hopeful.  Bravely, they started to fill their shops with lovely new Spring pieces and then this happened and their shops were closed.  True, most of them have an online outlet (sadly not Primark) but I can't imagine that most people are buying many clothes at the moment.  

Back in February, before things got bad, I was looking at the new season's clothes.  I was getting very excited about puffed sleeves (yes, another of my nods to Miu Miu) and I began by buying this little black, long-sleeved top in a silky, crepe type knit from H&M's Divided range.  The puffed sleeves are not very exaggerated and it can be worn quite casually now in lockdown style.  I am still thinking about ordering online one of those beautiful summer blouses with big puffed sleeves.

Black puffed sleeve top from H&M
It looks as if some aspects of the lockdown might be eased a little soon but there's not likely to be an end to social distancing in the near future.  I don't visualise me personally doing much dressing up and clothes buying this season.  Somehow I think I will be looking back come Autumn and saying "Whatever happened to Spring 2020 Fashion?

Stay safe.

The puffed sleeved top shown above was NOT GIFTED.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020


Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and safe from this horrible virus. Here in London we are of course in lockdown and  many of us are working from home.

Back in February, before this all turned really bad, I had begun to refresh my Athleisure collection with a few new pieces.  I mentioned my new hoodie in my last post:

I also went on to buy two new pairs of leggings.  Being very petite, I usually avoid anything baggy but I did buy these black joggers from Primark.

Black Joggers from Primark

Black Joggers - Details of Waist
They are actually quite a neat shape and fit nicely around the waist and hips. Made in a lightweight 96% Polyester and 4% Elastane jersey material, they are not bulky at all and I'm very pleased with them.

I also bought a new pair of my usual slim style black leggings from the H&M Divided Basics range.  These are made in a 95% Cotton 5% Elastane jersey material and have an elasticated waist.

Black Jersey Leggings from H&M Divided Basics
Athleisure was my everyday work style anyway but now in the lockdown it's become even more relevant.  As you might expect, retailers have been promoting their Athleisure pieces and pyjamas on line! After all, dressing up at the moment would literally be "all dressed up with nowhere to go"!

A key feature of lifestyle at the moment is undoubtedly the constant handwashing.  This of course can be very drying and it goes without saying that a very gentle, moisturising soap is essential.  Whilst I know that some people with allergies need to avoid using perfumed soap, for the rest of us the combination of a lovely texture and a beautiful fragrance can make this necessary ritual a pleasurable and even holistic experience.

For quite some time I had been washing my hands with Marks & Spencer's Floral Collection Lavender soap.  Enriched with moisturisers (including glycerine), it's delicately fragranced with Lavender. It makes a lovely creamy lather and leaves my hands feeling soft and hydrated.  I  feel as if I am using soap and hand lotion at the same time! Now, the way things are, I appreciate it even more and I quickly stocked up with two boxes!  The soap comes as a set of 3 bars in a box.

M&S Floral Collection Lavender Soap

I would add that this soap is not tested on animals and has been approved by Cruelty Free International. Also, it's suitable for vegetarians.

Meanwhile, whilst  we have been in lockdown, Spring has crept in making our permitted daily walk very pleasant!

Keep safe everyone!

None of the items mentioned in this post were Gifted.

Saturday, 22 February 2020


For the last year or two, I have enjoyed reading blogs by lovely ladies, Gail  www.isthismutton.com and Anna www.muttonstyle.com and by the lovely ladies that share their posts on their linkups.  These ladies are over 50 and write about fashion and beauty. They explode the myths and assumptions generated by the media (and some retailers too) about how women over 50 dress, how they like to dress and what they should and shouldn't wear.  These ladies wear what they want to wear, whether it's very trendy or more on the classic side.  It's all about personal style. 

For me personally, my only "rule" (whatever the age is, be it 16, 66 or older still) is to
look candidly in the mirror and ask one's self:
  • Does this suit me as I am NOW?
  • Does it suit my face and my body?
  • Does it suit my personality?
  • Does it suit my lifestyle
  • Is it chic?
Being small in both height and build (size 6), I normally wear neat pieces.  Colourwise, I do often like to wear black.  I also like new fashion and update my style to reflect new trends.  In recent years I have been inspired by designer brands like Saint Laurent and The Kooples.  Their collections include a lot of iconic basic black pieces, often with a "rock chic" touch but with a sophisticated look.  For everyday, my "uniform" has become an easy athleisure style.

I never thought too much about age but recently I've noticed certain changes to  my  face, body and hair - Petite Panache has finally come of age!!!  Does this mean that I need to change my style? No, but there are things that need some extra help or are better concealed and I am making some little adjustments. Also, I find that I want to "adorn" myself a little bit more with makeup and jewellery.

In a nod to greenness,  declutter and a tight budget, I have been buying less lately but I've started 2020 - a new decade - with just a little shop for some new everyday essentials:
  • An essential black nylon t-shirt bra from Primark's Secret Possession's range - silky at the front with transparent sides and back.

  • Black Swiss Embroidered High Leg Knickers from M&S Autograph collection.  I like their knickers because they are always comfortable (both the fit and the soft materials).  The silky cotton/polyamide blend and the transparent parts make them a good match with the bra.

  • Hoodies, always a key piece in an athleisure wardrobe, are extra trendy this season. This one, from the H&M Basics/Divided range, is made in a black cotton blend sweatshirt material. I like the cropped style, the hood with the wrapover front, the raglan sleeves and the soft, brushed warm fabric inside.  

Some other basic essentials:

In the photo above:
  • Black shoulder/crossbody bag in a polyester fabric with a sheen from H&M Divided.  It has two handy little zipped compartments at the front.
  • Black mock-croc wallet and essential touchscreen gloves, both from Primark.
  • My favourite perfume (ultra essential!) Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau De Parfum.  A blend of black coffee, white florals and vanilla, it really is addictive!  YSL describe it as a "glamrock fragrance"!
Gail recently published the results of her Is This Mutton Survey that she put to her readers.  One question she asked us was how we felt about having grey hair and  25% said that they were happy to be grey.  I colour my hair with a very gentle semi-permanent product that also acts as a conditioner. You can read about it on my page, "How To Do Chestnut Hair" (see the tab at the top of my blog).  I've certainly no plans to go grey at the moment or in the near future.

In the News! Sharon Osbourne has stopped dying her 100% white hair red and is now platinum blonde! 

None of these items were gifted

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

CHANEL Spring Makeup - Soft Tones Of The Desert

It's been cold January and it didn't seem that Spring was near.  Spring must be on the horizon though because last week it was Spring/Summer 2020 Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris.  That's always my wake-up call that the new season isn't so far away!  

The Spring/Summer makeup is appearing on the beauty counters too.  Readers of my blog must think I'm very predictable as I always begin a new season with new makeup. There are good reasons for this - some of the new season's beautiful  shades are limited editions and can sell out fast. Also, I  do find that buying the new makeup helps me to get into the mood for the season ahead.

CHANEL is always one of my favourite brands.  For Spring 2020, Lucia Pica (CHANEL's Global Creative Makeup & Colour Designer) was inspired by muted tones of the Desert - soft shades of mauve, pink, peach combined with a soft golden glow.  I think these are beautiful colours for Spring and will give a soft, pretty and healthy look.

I bought 2 pieces from the collection - Les 4 Ombres in Warm Memories (354) and Le Vernis in Mirage (739).

Les 4 Ombres is a palette of 4 eyeshadows in a smart, shiny black CHANEL compact with a large mirror.  I love the soft mauvy theme of  the Warm Memories palette and the contrast of matte and iridescent finishes.

 Les 4 Ombres in Warm Memories (354)
Photo above: The shades, clockwise from top left - matte rosy mauve; a lighter, rosy mauve with a slight shimmer; metallic, iridescent orange/pink/gold;  darker muted plum with a slight shine.

CHANEL enclose a helpful little 2-sided card with the palette suggesting 2 looks:-

Look 1: using 2 shades - light and medium
Look 2 - Using all 4 shade

I mostly use 2 shades on my eyes - a light one above with a medium or dark one on the eyelid.  As I need definition, I usually use an eyeliner or eye pencil to outline the eye.  With this palette, instead of an eyeliner, I might use the dark plum shadow close to the lashes to rim the eyes as suggested in Look 2.  I'm looking forward to wearing these eyeshadows in different ways.

Le Vernis in Mirage (739) is a very beautiful muted mauve nail polish and perfect for this look.

CHANEL Le Vernis in Mirage (739)

As usual with CHANEL nail polish, it's easy to apply smoothly.

I'm really delighted with both of these products. I do find new season's makeup exciting!😊

On My Wish List:

To go with this theme, Éclat Du Désert is an illuminating powder.  It combines a golden shimmer with a satiny, rosy beige base and because of the pink tones, CHANEL suggest using it both as a blusher and a highlighter (on cheeks, bridge of the nose and the Cupid's Bow.)

None of the items mentioned above were Gifted.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


It's cold and dark - the darkest time of the year now, leading up to the shortest day on 21st December!  Yet it isn't gloomy because, as always, the season brings a festive warmth and light and glitter with decorations, parties, family gatherings, gifts........

That's going to be the theme for my holiday season dressing. As my occasions this year are informal, I'm going to focus on wearing warm, easy pieces, but I will add the contrast of a bit of sparkle and glamour.

So  here's my Mood Board:-

On the Mood Board:-
Burgundy Jumper (H&M) - NEW this season
Pearl Drop Earrings (Accessorize) - NEW this season
Soft Black Jumper (H&M)
Diamante and Pearl Drop Earrings (vintage Monet)
"Slinky" Diamante Earrings (Accessorize)
Pearl Beads
H&M Nail Polish in Bordeaux - NEW
Pearl Hairband with Diamante Bow (Accessorize)

I had promised myself that I would buy a new jumper in a colour that wasn't black!  I kept my promise! This one is from H&M (Divided) in Burgundy.  It's in a soft bouclé knit with ribbed neckline, cuffs and hem.
Burgundy Jumper from H&M
Bouclé Knit and Rib detail

Their nail polish in Bordeaux was just right too.

I like the burgundy jumper worn with my black skinny jeans.  You can read about them if you click on the link below:


I also like the trend this season to wear a soft jumper over a satin slip dress.  I have a black satin slip dress in my wardrobe (bought a few years ago) and a soft, quite wide shaped black jumper, bought earlier this year.  I will complete this look with sheer or semi-sheer black tights, possibly dotty ones (but definitely not opaque!) and black suede boots.

I'll add the glamour and sparkle with a pearl and diamanté hairband, pearl drop earrings or diamanté earrings.

You may be wondering what the little round box of pearl beads on the Mood Board is all about!  I found them in my drawer and I am going to sew a few on my little black beanie.  I'd been looking at the pearl-trimmed hats and scarves in the shops this season.  That's a little task for me to do!.

That's it now until January.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Seasons Greetings (whatever you are celebrating) and of course a Happy New Year.

None of the items mentioned above were gifted.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019


At the moment, the most worn piece in my wardrobe has been a black, nylon, light-weight, padded jacket with a hood.  Although it's light-weight, the down padding has made it warm enough in cold weather over warmer layers.  So it's been a jacket for all seasons, come rain or come shine!  As I bought it 4 years ago and it's been my everyday jacket, it is beginning to get a little worn and jaded and I had been looking for a possible replacement.  I decided to buy this one below - like many of my clothes, it came from H&M!       

Light-weight Down Jacket from H&M

Again, this is a lightweight down jacket with the shell and lining made from nylon (polyamide).  Although it is a fitted style, I  find that it's roomy enough for warmer clothes underneath.  The jacket fastens down the front with press-studs and the small stand up collar can be folded in and secured with a press-stud to form a v-neck.
Light-weight Down Jacket front details

I found the jacket hanging up in H&M's Sports section (it certainly looks good with sports leggings and athleisure pieces) but it doesn't actually come from their Sports collection.  It's part of their Everyday Fashion range and also bears their Conscious and Premium Quality labels.  Now the reason for it being one of their Conscious pieces is because the filling consists of 70% recycled down and 30% recycled feathers, so it is part of their efforts to support sustainabie fashion.For me personally it has a sustainable quality in that I will be wearing it such a lot and for a very long time!😊

I would also add that it is easy to pack the jacket into the small storage bag supplied (10x22cm) - really handy for travel.  It doesn't have a hood like my old jacket, so in cold or damp weather, I'll be wearing my beanie with it!  

H&M offer a recycling scheme for customers.  Just take along a bag of old clothing (they don't have to be H&M clothes) and you will get a £5 discount voucher off a  minimum spend of £25. 

The item featured in this post was NOT GIFTED.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019


I think that when I was young, I probably took my good sight for granted. Now I am very aware that sight is a precious gift to value and that we should look after our eyes. We are advised to go for routine eye tests, protect our eyes from the sun by wearing good sunglasses 😎and to be careful with our use of screens.💻📱. The last one is easier said than done when we have desk jobs or are bloggers!

Even those of us who are lucky enough to be born with good sight find that when we get to about 50, very small print begins to seem smaller and we are holding the newspaper or book a little further away!  Soon we are going to need reading glasses.

I don't need to wear glasses or contact lenses for long sight but I definitely need glasses for reading or close work.  Whilst there are lots of ready made reading glasses in the shops, (okay perhaps for the quick glance at print when out and about), it's advisable to go to the opticians for an eye test and get properly prescribed lenses that exactly suit our individual needs. Anyway, an optician can spot problems that may be developing in our eyes or even notice indications of other health problems as our eyes can be a mirror of our general health. 

It was time for my routine test and I had been aware recently that I was straining to read some small print etc, even with my glasses on.  So I went along to my opticians, Chatoo in Kensington.  They are excellent, well established opticians offering expertise in eye testing, glasses and contact lenses and carry a good selection of frames, including designer brands. A very thorough  test  revealed that the close sight in my right eye was a little worse and I needed a slightly higher prescription for just that eye.

Chatoos recommended thinner lenses which are not only lighter and more comfortable but look more attractive. They also advised an anti-reflective, scratch-resistant coating.  I thought it was well worth spending a bit extra for those benefits.

Now for new frames.  I'd kept the same very expensive designer frames for ages but they were really worn out now.  I was shown a range of attractive frames by a Danish brand called NIFTIES, especially designed for "fine facial features".  By this they meant slim, narrow or even petite faces.  "Nifty" means stylish and smart so the essence of their brand is "small and chic" - I like that concept!!! 😍

I chose these brown tortoiseshell effect frames below.

I liked the slightly cat eye shape, which gave a little lift to my face and the size seemed just right for my small proportions.

The sides look nice too - gold and tortoiseshell effects.  The glasses come with a nice NIFTIES hard, protective case.

I'm really happy with my new reading glasses and it's so much easier and more comfortable to work now!


Tuesday, 12 November 2019


A faux fur, or teddy bear jacket, was a must have on my list of new pieces to buy for this Autumn/Winter, so I was very pleased with this black, faux fur, hooded jacket I found at Primark.

Black Faux Fur Jacket with a hood from Primark

I thought it was just right for me because it wasn't too long or bulky and the shoulders were not too big and overpowering.  It seemed to be in proportion to my size. It buttons up neatly and invisibly inside with large press stud buttons.

Now the first winter chill is beginning to hit us, this snuggly and hooded jacket is very inviting.  

Inspired by the very pretty Miu Miu collection for Autumn, I was also looking for some pearl and gold earrings.  At Accessorize, there was a very tempting "3 for the price of 2" offer on a selection of items.  I bought a pair of gold/pearl drop earrings, gold hoop earrings with little pearls and a fine gold/pearl chain necklace.  (These pieces are of course inexpensive costume jewellery and are faux gold and pearl!) 

Gold & Pearl Drop Earrings, Gold & Pearl Hoop Earrigs, Gold & Pearl Chain, all from Accessorize

Whilst at Accessorize, I also bought a pair of Uber Skinny Alice Hair Bands in Black and Tortoiseshell effect (sold as a pack of two) - another nod to the Miu Miu look!

Hairbands from Accessorize

Inspired by my favourite designers, I have been building my look for the season with inexpensive little pieces from the high street.

None of the items mentioned above were gifted.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


In my last post I wrote about my essential black basic - black skinny jeans.  Here's the link if you would like to see it:


I've now been back to H&M to buy three little basic black tops:-

Black Fine Knit Cardigan from H&M Divided
Above: I love this cardigan with long sleeves, a v-neck and nice bone buttons down the front. Made in a soft, fine polyester/viscose knit,  it has a silky texture and is slightly transparent. The shape is unusual - dropped shoulders, quite full and flaring out prettily at the back.

Black Turtleneck Top from H&M Divided/Basics
Above: The short, fitted, turtleneck top with short sleeves is made in a soft cotton jersey.  I really like this worn under the cardigan.

Black Henley Style Top from H&M Divided/Basics
Above: A  ribbed cotton jersey top with long sleeves and a round Henley style neckline with a placket and press-studs.

I think these are good tops to mix and layer with other pieces in my wardrobe.

I often look at the accessories in Primark, especially the bags and when I saw this black mock croc mini bag with silver clasp, it seemed just right for my fashion mood this season.

Black Mock Croc Bag from Primark

The strap can be worn double as a short shoulder bag, or longer to wear cross-body.

What else do I want to wear this season? Little hairbands, pearl and gold earrings, gold chains, pearl and diamanté jewellery, a faux fur or teddy bear jacket (preferably with a hood) a jumper in a colour other than black!  I'll wear these with my basic black pieces.  I'll be writing some more soon, so please stay posted! 

None of the items mentioned above were gifted.