SPONSORED FEATUREOver the last decade the beauty world has undoubtedly become obsessed with the concept of 'anti-ageing', but when did ageing become such a bad thing? When did wrinkles and laughter lines become something to be ashamed of, rather than embraced and celebrated? When did a grey hair become the end of the world, rather than a badge of honour that you’ve made it that far in one piece? In other cultures age is associated with wisdom and wrinkles command respect. In the western world fine lines and grey hair are often met with apprehension and dread; it seems that past the age of 25 we lose our social equity entirely, because if we're not beautiful in the traditional 'Victoria Secret model sense' do we have value at all? With the launch of their new #BetterThanEver campaign, L'Oreal Paris aim to celebrate women in all their forms by saying you can look and feel better than you ever have done - no matter how many candles are on your cake.
L’Oreal Paris understands that, although our skin changes as we age (losing its fullness and elasticity,) we feel good about ourselves when our skin looks good - and that means a smooth, full, plump and hydrated complexion. Their Revitalift Filler Renew day and night creams provide an injection of moisture and their highest ever concentration of hylaronic acid (an essential ingredient that holds 1000 times its weight in water to plump the skin,) leaving skin looking radiant. Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, the range helps contours to look fuller, skin to look plumper and fullness to be restored. (Read my original post and review here. LINK) We associate the way we look so closely with the way we feel, but as we age those associations move from focusing on our imperfections to embracing them. From my experience, and those around me, when we leave behind our twenties we also learn to leave behind the majority of our hangups and insecurities. As we move from being an unsure twenty-something with the weight of the world on our shoulders, to a new period of self-assurance and confidence, the focus moves from looking perfect to just looking like ourselves. So it got me thinking... As a 30-something year old, do I look and feel better than ever?
At the age of 33, I've definitely learned to accept myself for who I am. It's taken the best part of two decades, but with age comes experience and an ability to focus on the important things in life - and a wobbly bum, grey hairs and fine lines around the eyes are really not that. Looking back at pictures of me from when I was a teen and into my twenties, the emotions that were connected to those snapshots were almost overwhelming. I can remember those moments in time and how I felt, and unfortunately the memories are all associated with how I look. I can remember, even from a very young age, feeling like I had lumps in all the wrong places and picking clothing to cover them up; I can remember being super aware of my skin, the changes it was undergoing and the impact of one measly spot on my day; I can remember spending most of my wage packet on makeup to help conceal my imperfections and create the look I thought I wanted. Most of the pictures have me wearing some kind of baggy top or oversized coverup as I attempted to hide away (physically and metaphorically) as I was just embarrassed about every element of who I was. All of the photos of me as a child were happy and carefree, but as soon as I hit puberty they change into a representation of a grumpy teenager who just didn't know who she was. As I moved into my late teens I lost a huge amount of weight, but I can remember as if it was yesterday that I still felt I was larger than most of my friends; I was insecure about everything from my wonky knees and curly hair, to my blemish prone skin and flaking finger nails. Looking at the photos today, it's clear to see I was a fresh teenager with pretty good skin considering the amount of rubbish I used on it - but at the time I just didn't have the confidence to believe I looked good: sixteen years later, and three dress sizes bigger, I just don't have those insecurities anymore.
My beauty and skincare regime has always been incredibly important to me, even as a child. I grew up on stage (I was a ballerina from the age of four) so one of my first memories is applying bright pink lipstick and corresponding blue eyeshadow (and then battling to remove it after the show)! My mum always had bottles of moisturiser, makeup and perfume on her dresser and it would be the ultimate place of discovery for me - something that's never changed. However, my relationship with beauty products was always about creating a persona I thought I wanted to be; whether that was dying my hair a dodgy shade of 'blonde' (that was actually more ginger,) applying copious amounts of mascara and even regularly using a sunbed. (The innocence and stupidity of youth.) Over the years that's evolved into a relationship that's based on making me feel good and ensuring my natural radiance shines through - and that always starts with great skin. For me, two things are non-negotiable when it comes to my skincare regime: makeup removal and effective cleansing at the end of the day, plus lots of moisturiser (both morning and night) to keep my skin feeling soft, plump and looking better than ever. If there's one beauty regret I have, it's not understanding earlier the benefit a great quality (and regularly used) moisturiser can bring to the way your skin looks and feels. It’s the foundation of a great complexion, no matter your skin type.
Looking back on old photos and reigniting old emotions has reminded me of how great I feel today, and how I've left behind those feelings of insecurity. I spent so many years worrying about whether my bum looked too big, if my hair looked too curly, if my blemishes were too visible or my dark circles too prominent, but now I just don't care. I'm happy to be seen without makeup, I don't feel pressure to perfectly coif my hair before popping to the post office, I'm not bothered about what other people think of me, and I don't feel that the way I look defines who I am. In my thirties I've learned to accept myself wholeheartedly. I'm not perfect, but I have friends, family and a partner who love me unconditionally - and that's not got anything to do with how many fine lines I have around my eyes. As I've aged my waistline has filled out, my hangovers have gotten worse and my complexion has lost a touch of its plumpness, but I've also seen that the key to me looking and feeling good is taking care of my skin. Just because we hit another age milestone doesn't mean we lose our value or should hide away; women should be celebrated no matter their age or how many wrinkles they have around the eyes. I'm wholeheartedly on board with this campaign from L'Oreal Paris and hope that it encourages women (and men) to look at themselves and feel better than ever.
In that respect, we want to know what makes you feel #BetterThanEver. To help you look and feel fabulous, we've got three sets of the L'Oreal Revitalift Filler Renew day and night cream to give away to ensure your skin is plump, smooth and fresh. If you want to be in with a chance of winning one of them, just enter via the widget below and tell me why you feel #BetterThanEver - no matter your age.
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The L'Oreal Paris NEW Revitalift Filler Renew day and night creams are available nationwide, priced £19.99 each. Get a very special bundle exclusively at Superdrug priced £13.29. (Full T&Cs of the giveaway in the widget.)
This is a sponsored post on behalf of L'Oreal Paris; all opinions are my own.
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