We don't want them to go into care - grandchildren
Is she overcharging me? - cleaner
11-year-olds don't need a prom - AIBU?
Remember when you were in your 20s? You really didn't have to think about what clothes you were going to wear because everything looked pretty good. Now that you are in the second half of your life, looking after yourself can feel like a full-time job. Clothes just don't fit the way they used to and along with the extra kilos, we have wrinkles, grey and thinning hair on the head that coincides with unexpected hair growth everywhere else.
It might not sound great - but all is not lost. We've put together some tips on how to look your best...without going under the knife.
The cold reality is that the older we get, looking our best can feel like a very lengthy and difficult (and expensive!) process. But the good news is that we can dramatically improve the reflection in the mirror by simply eating well and exercising regularly. Perhaps now's the time to join the Gransnet 10,000 steps club or find out why so many of users swear by the 5:2 diet.
Looking your best needn't mean having the face of a 35-year-old - even supermodels don't look like supermodels in the flesh. There are loads of beauty products on the market that can help brighten and tone your skin. Choosing what's right for you needn't be a minefield either - don't miss these superb tricks of the trade and down-to-earth advice from beauty industry expert Caroline Hirons.
'How can others love you if you don't love yourself?' you might be fed up of hearing this, but it's true. It goes without saying that we would rather not wrinkle, but an obsession with superficial beauty stands in the way of self-awareness and even self-liking.
The following items will help you look your best every day - you'll wonder how you ever survived without them!
Power pants are the number one fashion 'must' for the over 50s' woman. If you don't know what they are, Google 'slimming shapewear' now! Power pants hide a multitude of sins and reconfigure any flab for a sleeker, slimmer shape.
Bras that fit properly
Several studies have concluded that at least 70% of women wear the wrong-sized bra, which can cause not only back and posture problems, but also damage the fragile ligaments of the breast. A perfect fit is achieved when the centre of the bra sits firmly on your chest, the cups hold your breasts without any overspill or ruching of the fabric and the band is comfortable. Wearing the right size can often help with fat bulges on the sides and back of your bra! You can read more about choosing the right bra for you here.
Shaving, plucking, waxing - there are endless choices when it comes to dealing with the dreaded 'wires on your chin' - but the humble pair of tweezers is our go-to. When we were younger, tweezing was necessary to keep our eyebrows well-shaped and tidy. Now we need tweezers to deal with the other hair sprouting on our chins, cheeks, moustaches...caused by decreased oestrogen. Although there are regular treatment options out there, it's always a good idea to have a handy pair of tweezers just in case.
Cleanser, toner and moisturiser
The reduction of oestrogen can also mean skin that is thinner, dryer and less supple. Find the products that work best for you - you might need to try a few before finding the perfect one. Many retailers have smaller or travel-sized products for this purpose - sometimes given away for free. Don't forget to look after your hands and feet with an intensive moisturiser.
Makeup rules of thumb
Taking care of your hair
If you are lucky enough to go white, it can be beautiful and elegant. Grey hair, on the other hand, can feel like it ages you overnight, no matter how youthful your skin and body look. If you do not want to colour your hair or use highlights, a great haircut goes a long way.
Looking after your teeth and gums becomes increasingly important with every passing year. Changing hormones mean not only are you more susceptible to osteoporosis, but also to tooth decay and swollen and bleeding gums. An electric toothbrush will stimulate your gums and help to address the areas where plaque and bacteria tend to build up. Don't forget to floss too. Your teeth may stain more easily as you get older too, largely due to thinning and more porous enamel. Whitening toothpaste can help remove unsightly stains.
Sunglasses - as well as doing what they were designed to do (ie reduce glare and protect the eyes from harmful UV rays) can cover up the fact that you haven't slept well or you're having a bad day. What's more, if you suffer from dry, itchy eyes during your menopausal years, you can wear sunglasses to protect them from the wind. They can also help prevent headaches and migraines caused by bright light which are common during 'the change'.
Reading glasses - from around the age of 45 your eyes start to change. The lenses begin hardening and hormonal fluctuations can also cause problems. Reading glasses are invaluable.
Accessorise, accessorise and then accessorise some more.
A new handbag or an eye-catching necklace can be mood-altering. It doesn't matter how many kilos we may be over our ideal weight, accessories can make us forget the extra pounds - and you don't even need to try them on.
Black never goes out of fashion - ask any French woman. It slims as well as proffering a certain dignity and elegance.
Always buy clothes that fit properly. This will instantly make you look slimmer. Wearing baggy clothes will make you look heavier than you are. Clothes that are too tight (so you can tell your friends you can squeeze into a size 12) will make you look bigger than you are and emphasise any lumps and bumps.
It's best to have a few basic pieces like the perfect black dress, white trousers, navy jacket, cream blouse that are easy to wear and you know you always feel good in when you put them on. It eliminates those moments of panic about not knowing what to wear. Stick with a look in your comfort zone and that suits you and your personality.
Other things you might like: