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We loved talking to the fabulous beauty ‘insider’ and champion of all things mid-life Genevieve Nikolopulos. After working in the beauty industry for 25 years, Genevieve is a freelance beauty communications consultant and also runs her own super-relatable IG platform @this_is_fifty where she talks about everything from eye flicks for hooded eyes to the inside track on nailing a post-50 glow. Genevieve is 59 and lives in London with her husband Thomas.
Finally being on top of my hormones! As an endometriosis sufferer I endured intense PMT (along with very painful periods) for years. All that changed when I started taking HRT. Now, my hormones are stabilised I don’t get the huge anxiety and anger I experienced through my youth. It’s also the stage in life where you have the confidence and wisdom to be able to make life-changing decisions. As I approached menopause and before I sorted my hormones out, I suffered terrible anxiety and left my job as MD of a PR agency as a result. Now, I’ve got a wonderful and rich freelance career and I’ve fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a home by the sea on the Greek Island of Paros. I wish we’d done this earlier, but it was only really in my 50’s that I had the confidence to act on it.
Hot flushes aside, the anxiety and depression, and general low mood can be really overwhelming. Particularly if you don’t understand why you’re feeling that way which is what happened to me. I remember this one time when I left my office in floods of tears after a tricky conversation with a client – something I would have normally been able to deal with. I also struggled with putting on weight around my middle. Once my bloods were checked (and I was told I had the oestrogen level of an 80-year-old woman) and I was diagnosed with the right dose of HRT I was literally a new woman. It was like a huge cloud had lifted – and the weight soon dropped off (with a little bit of work!).
Realising that I had the power to recalibrate my life – and that started with me leaving my job. My husband was hugely supportive which really helped me take the step. He also thoroughly enjoyed the ‘new’ me. So much so, he used to remind me to take my HRT in case I slipped back into ‘mad angry hormonal woman’ mode! Seriously though – taking control of that work-life balance was the best decision I ever made. It also meant I could spend more time spreading the word to other women about not being afraid of this decade but to grasp it by the hands and dance with it and, above all, to seek help where you need it.
I think it’s so important to keep moving. I’ve always exercised – for health and wellbeing rather than a love of it – but I can genuinely say that I have fallen in love with yoga these past few years. Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube has been an absolute saviour and whatever your mood – or however much time you have – she has a session for you ready and waiting. And its free!
My facial oil. I am blessed with quite good skin and I attribute some of that to genes, but also to the fact that I’ve used an oil every night since my late 30’s. I’m currently using Tea & Tonic’s Saving Grace Rich Face Oil. Also D++ bikinis and my ‘Sulfree’ anti-sulphite drops which allow me to drink a glass of Rosé without getting a migraine!
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