Hi, my Name is Cat and I’m your typical run of the mill ‘forty-something’ single mum of two man-boys, Sam, aged 19 and Conor aged 15, affectionately known to me as ‘Kevin & Perry’ (anyone who’s seen this film and has two teenage boys, will understand why I call them this!) and my Miniature Schnauzer, Gerrard (this little dog is my baby and completely and utterly spoiled and definitely runs our household!) and yes, he’s named after a football player (would rather it was Gerard Butler!).
By day, I’m a Director of a B2B Telecoms company, i-ComSolutions, that provides Mobile devices, landlines, vehicle tracking and lone worker support devices. For me, being in business is all about building up a long standing relationship with a client (they have no choice with me, ‘cos boy can I talk!). I also help out some of our clients with their social media platforms and also do some blogging for them too!
I’m also a hardcore networker, who’s day sometimes starts at 5am (due to the networking and the time it takes me to get ready and at least try and feel human enough to talk business with other professionals!).
This project I was (nicely) cajoled into through Bethan, who I actually met through Twitter, chatted to for a while and then bumped into each other at the local supermarket! Needless to say, Bethan recognised me by my hair colour!
By night, I’m a Bokwa instructor, running 3 evening classes a week. Running the classes ensures I keep up my training routine, otherwise I may be tempted to sit at home in a onesie drinking coffee!
After my Bokwa classes, I’m then doing all the usual run of the mill housewifey things! Trying to spend some ‘quality’ time with my boys went out the window ages ago! The 19 year old is either in work, playing football for the local team or out socialising with his mates and the 15 year old gets in from school, either goes to Army Cadets, out with his mates or is locked into the Playstation 3. We do try and grab some time though and we do call ourselves the ‘dysfunctional four’ (including the dog!) as we all realise we are not perfect, can make fun of ourselves and also act ourselves without worrying what others say about us! Doing Bo’ Selecta impressions in the Supermarket is one of our favourites!
When I do then find the time, catching up with my mates has to be done. We all have socially defunct calendars as one friend runs a pub, another is a Policewoman, another is a Doctor and the other is a manager for a well known Swedish store (blue & yellow in colour), you can imagine how different our work schedules are, so arranging a social night for us all to be able to attend is like asking Mohammed to move the mountain!
I drink way too much coffee but otherwise only drink water, so in my mind I balance it out………… I also don’t sleep enough! Nowhere near as much as I should, even at weekends, my brain clicks into gear and I have to get up. 8am is a lie in for me!
I am a lover Kurt Geiger shoes….. I know nearly all women love shoes (and I hate to be stereotypical) but these are my weakness, fuelled by the constant bombardment of emails from Kurt Geiger when there is a sale on! My finger just clicks that link and off I go into my own little world of shoe porn!
I also love the colour red (as you can tell by the photo!). There’s a story as to why my hair is red, short version is because I can now!
So what do I keep in my make up bag? I’d love to say I have a great skincare routine….. It’s getting better as I get older as I do not want to grow old gracefully! Waking up every morning and staring at the female version of Animal from The Muppets in the mirror kick starts me into action!
I’ve recently been introduced to Theraderm Skincare and wow! What a difference to my skin! It feels fabulous and it seems to have taken on a new found glow all of its own! I got given a travel pack trial (around £30 retail price) and after 3 weeks I was a convert! The full size pack costs around £100 and does last 7-9 months, so this is now part of my daily regime! The Theraderm skincare comprises of, a cleansing wash, Fruit Acid Exfoliant, OPC Reparative Gel and Enriched Facial Moisturiser. Since I’ve started using it I have had quite a few comments on how good my skin looks, so that’s good enough for me, even though I know I have a long way to go!
Since hitting 40, I’ve started to REALLY worry (I only did a little before) about getting old, how my skin will fare as I’m on the wrong side of 40, will my face look like a pair of Nora Batty’s tights (I hope I’m not showing my age too much by Quoting ‘Last of the Summer Wine?’).
For years I’ve used Boots No. 7 make up. It is my make up bag staple. I find their products stay put all day and I don’t have to carry around a full make up bag for ‘top-ups’ throughout the day, especially when I’m leaving the house at 6:30am and have to carry on until 8pm at night! I start off with the No.7 Primer and My favourite foundation is No. 7 Protect and Perfect and I top it off with the No. 7 Bronzer. Being a red head with the complexion of a pint of milk, fake tan is a must for me. I refuse to use sunbeds as I don’t want to damage my skin or have the threat of skin cancer hanging over me, so for me Unreal fake tanning mousse is my MUST HAVE beauty product. I’ve used fake tan for years and have found some great ones and some seriously bad ‘tangoed orange look’ brands but for me Unreal is perfect! It’s reasonably priced, dries instantly and doesn’t have that awful ‘burnt biscuit’ fake tan aroma. I met Liz who is the owner of Unreal at a networking event and she sent me a few samples and from that moment on, I knew I would never use another fake tan brand. I never look like an oomp-loompa and know I can put it on last thing before I go to bed and within minutes, jump into bed without having to do the ‘tan dance’ to dry it off! As I do use so much fake tan, I do exfoliate a lot using Soap & Glory Sugar Scrub and body moisturiser afterwards (and a cold shower to close the pores back up!)
The rest of my make up bag is made up of an array of No.7 Blushers, Eyeshadows, eyeliner and Long lash mascara, as I have the worst eyelashes EVER! I have no length or curl on them and I they seem a little sporadically placed around my eyes, so if I use too much mascara I look like I have spiders hanging off my eyelids!…… I’ve only used fake eyelashes once, by the end of the evening they were hanging off my eyes, which resulted in me ripping them off in the middle of a pub!
In my quest not to grow old gracefully, I am going to admit that I do visit The Heaven Sent Day Spa based in Newport for a treatment called CACI on my face. I’ve just started having these and CACI is a non-surgical Botox for any part of the body. The CACI Machine was originally invented for people who suffered Bells Palsy or a Stroke as it puts electronic pulses into the skin to re-train and stimulate the muscles. My weathered face is having the CACI treatment at the moment and in a few sessions, my winkles, frown line and lip lines are all looking so much better. It’s also making me feel good, which is what it’s all about for me! It’s all part of me feeling good, trying to look (relatively) good for my age and all part of my health and maintenance, which for me is paramount. It’s also a relaxing experience, doesn’t hurt and leaves me feeling quite serene. The sessions only last about 20 minutes each, so doesn’t even take up a lot of my time (not that I have much spare anyway!).
I suppose all this boils down to how I perceive myself and how I think others see me. You see, I was one of the ‘ugly kids’ at school, you know the ones, buck teeth, terrible hair, chubby. I did however have a sister who was beauty personified. This obviously made me feel a lot worse and I was always being compared to her. She was stick thin, gorgeous long flowing thick dark hair, beautiful face….you get the picture? When you stood us together, we looked like the number 10 (she was the number 1, I was the big round 0). I suppose in a way I’ve always had to compete with her in the looks department, so for me, now having treatments at the spa is my way of making me try to look and feel the best I can with what I’ve been given. That’s all part of why I train too, I don’t want to look or feel my age!
I’m not sure if being single has something to do with how I look after myself too? I’ve been on my own for 2 ½ years now and not that I’m complaining, as my second husband wasn’t the mot charming of men……. He is one of the reasons my hair is red. Silly as it sounds, he stopped me having a life, going out with friends was not an option, dying my hair brown was ok, he liked to destroy the house a lot (ripping doors off was his speciality!) and made me feel completely worthless and trapped, so now my confidence has suffered and my beauty regime is being reflected in this. Does this make me vain, or just another victim of manipulation and bullying by a man? I can’t even go to the local shop without make up on! We’ve all been there….I can go out all made up and see no one I know, yet the minute I step out the door without a stitch of make up on, hair all over the place, looking horrific, I bump into my Ex or a person I don’t get on with!
I do think however, the beauty magazines and industry have a lot to do with it. You pick up a glossy brochure and spy a model or actress with perfect skin, no blemishes, no marks, just pure. Stick thin and long legs (I do have those!) I am under no illusions that I will ever look that good or have skin like that but do those models have it either? The media are so good at airbrushing and touching up photos now that I do look at them and think, are these real people? Do they look like that all the time? Catwalk models are so painfully thin, it’s unreal! The pressure put on those poor young ladies to be that thin must be immense! Is any woman naturally that skinny? It’s the young teenage girls who see these pictures that it affects….. They think they HAVE to look like that in order to be loved or noticed. Not the case!
WOMEN NEED CURVES! Bust and hips are a must!
I do love it though when you see photos in magazines of these models and actresses without the make up, lighting and fabulous clothing, all looking a little more ‘natural’ and more like us!…… Makes you realise that they are all human after all! Can we have more of these please?
Social Media is changing the boundaries of photos too…. Instagram for instance…. Filters….to make your face look better. Ok, so we all use a little one now and again to enhance our features…… There is also an app called ‘Perfect 365’ which can completely alter your face! You can slim down your face and jaw line, smooth skin, change eye colour and even add make up, which to me seems pointless! I did one as a comparison (I did however take it to the extreme) and put the two photos side by side, my natural face and the made up face. I looked like a mannequin! Completely un-natural and plastic! Why would anyone want to make themselves look fake? Or is that what I do anyway by having treatments, dying my hair and wearing false nails? Am I not being true to myself or just trying to give myself a confidence boost?
Someone told me recently, you’ll never look as bad as your passport photo or as good as your Facebook photo and I think they may be right!