Many of us are experiencing a desire for change right now, and if you’re not might I suggest that you should be. 

September is the moment not simply to take up again where you left off pre-summer, but to alter your life, try new stuff, switch things up.

Think of it as a kinder, less apocalyptic January: not beset by all that new-resolution guff, but with actual hope of transformation.

This is never more essential than in mid-life, when getting stuck and staying stuck is only too easy. 

Self-presentation-wise, every now and then you need to throw a spanner in the works so that everything else has to be adapted around it. Shake things up a little and you’ll look less tired because your look is less tired.

In the realm of beauty, embrace one or more of the following...


Rejigging your hairstyle is the simplest and most striking means of (constructively) blowing everything up. 

At 41, the Princess of Wales hit the headlines last week for sporting a new ‘butterfly fringe’. 

It’s basically a 1970s flicky shag à la Farrah Fawcett, plus a big 1990s blow dry à la Claudia Schiffer, concocting a diamond shape to bring out the eyes, and granting hair — and face — a lift.

I’d gone long, and had started to feel it was dragging my features down. I begged genius Michael Van Clarke for a chop (cuts from £80,

The result: a wavy, 1930s-style bob that has diminished my number of chins and forced new approaches to skin, slap and clothes. 

If you can’t face a cut, then shift your parting, invest in grips, or deploy the hair tuck (length hidden in your collar in the manner of French fashion mavens).


September is the month that yields hundreds of new scents, in order that they can gather steam by Christmas. The pick of the crop is Frédéric Malle’s Heaven Can Wait (from £185,

Created by living legend, Jean-Claude Ellena, it is a subtle symphony of spices — clove, carrot seed, ambrette — fused with iris and vetiver.

The epitome of Ellena’s complex understatement, it is comforting and seductive. Or just dig out something you haven’t worn for a while. 

I’ve returned to Cabochard by Grés, on sale for £14.97 at


I am not easily impressed on the foundation front, but Glossier’s new Stretch Fluid Foundation (£34, has bowled me over. 

Created to accompany the brand’s cult Stretch Balm concealer (£22, or £50 together), also magnificent, it delivers a luminous, bouncy complexion. 

The key is its 89 per cent skincare base, a gel-cream featuring squalane to boost suppleness. 

Pigments coated in amino acids help the colour fuse to the face for long-lasting, yet springy coverage, that looks spookily akin to (perfect) skin. 

Available in 32 shades.


Pat McGrath Labs new Mothership XI: Sunlit Seduction eye palette (£120, will delight those yearning to carry summer’s gilded tones into autumn: ten gleaming shades inspiring playful innovation. 

Budget beauties hungry for bolder options should seek out Morphe X Meredith Duxbury 35 Pan Artistry Palette (£35, — a winning array of ultra-brights and neutrals.


A new lip colour or texture (google ‘buffed lips’ versus ‘bratty lips’) may be all it takes to mix things up. 

Lisa Eldridge Velveteen Liquid Lip Colour (£21, promises both: eight high-octane hues to concoct a blurred, just-bitten stain, or full-whammy, kapow pout. 

I’m relishing the latter in Jazz, a staggeringly vampy magenta.


Nail vogues to conjure with include chocolate and cinnamon, syrup (shiny, saccharine, sheer), glossy black, green (olive and forest), moody purples and chromes. 

Short is in style — good news for those of us going DIY to save funds.


Or opt for more of a technique-based re-jig, be it softer brows, differently draped blush, even merely a new shade or style of lash. I’ve taken up Zara’s cornflower blue Bright Mascara (£11.99,

A single application lends my eyes cunning focus and depth that seriously wakes up my face, rendering everything fresher — change secured.


Baylis & Harding Goodness Oud, Cedar & Amber Body Wash 

With the cost-of-living crunch cutting ever deeper, Baylis & Harding Goodness Oud, Cedar & Amber Body Wash (now £3 for 500ml, is this autumn’s cult buy. 

Eco-conscious, made of plant-based cleansers, this and its matching hand wash smell fabulously, woodily high-end. Snobs, decant if you must.

£3.00 Shop


Soho Skin Face Oil (£60 for 30ml, 
(£60 for 30ml,

A lightweight, nutrient-rich face-feeder to protect, stimulate collagen and repair.

£60.00 Shop
de Mamiel Autumn Facial Oil 

(£90 for 20ml,

The latest cult aromatherapy blend with Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Jasmine.

£90.00 Shop
Erborian Skin Therapy Night Oil 

(from £21 for 10ml,

Powered by potent plant extracts so skin looks plumply restored by morning.

£21.00 Shop
Indeed Labs Clearify Facial Oil 

(£23.19 for 30ml,

A mattifying, non-greasy oil for acne-prone skin requiring nourishment.

£23.19 Shop
Jurlique Rare Rose Face Oil 

(£55 for 50ml,

An exquisite, organic, dry-finish oil to hydrate, grant glow and destress.

£55.00 Shop

How I’ll miss my friend, smile guru Dr Uchenna Okoye

Dental expert and much-loved pillar of the beauty industry, Dr Uchenna Okoye, passed away last week after a sudden illness at the age of 53.

She left behind the seven-year-old daughter she adored, her mother, and four siblings.

Known for her wit, warmth and compassion on television programmes such as 10 Years Younger and This Morning, Uchenna revolutionised the sterile world of dentistry.

Her London Smiling clinics created a spa-like haven where her artistry transformed lives. She made visiting the dentist a joyous experience leaving confidence brimming. 

Ever a high-flier, who put patient happiness first, she spent her early career at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, where she treated difficult cases referred by dentists from around the country.

Later, she was invited to lecture in America by practitioners eager to acquire her natural aesthetic. Her MySmile products took on the big brands to carry off awards, and she was a stalwart champion of diversity.

No smile was ever as big as Uchenna’s own. I will remember her kindness, strength, and a laugh that was the loudest, the longest, the most infectious. I will miss my friend, Uchenna, immeasurably. She was loved.

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