Friday, 30 December 2016

Sharing 10 Good Things That Happened in 2016 + the Saturday Share Link Up

Sharing 10 Good Things That Happened in 2016


As it's the last post of the year and it's the last link up I thought I'd share 10 GOOD things about 2016!

The past 12 months have been hailed by many as "the worst year ever" so I thought I'd publish my own Good Things That Happened in 2016 - I purposely haven't included amazing things that have happened in terms of science breakthroughs or endangered animal numbers increasing (you can read those here if you wish), but I included things that affected me personally.

Some are things that happened to me directly, some are things that happened in the world that made an impact on me or made me happy... You get my drift. So yes, while we lost some truly awesome people (I'm still reeling from George Michael, Carrie Fisher and then her mum) and there have been some horrible things happening in the world, we shouldn't forget the good things because there have been many.

10 Good Things That Happened (to me) in 2016:


1. The Over40Collective was formed at the Blognix Retreat and I made the best friends a girl could ever hope for

2. My earnings were up on the year before, despite the financial problems I had over the summer

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Best of the Blogosphere - 14 Unmissable Links (Dec 2016)

The Best of the Blogosphere - 14 Unmissable Links (Dec 2016)

My Best of the Blogosphere - Unmissable Links post is a monthly round up of things I've seen, watched and liked in the blogosphere that I'm sure you'll love too. 

This month I'm sharing DIY disco pom pom shoes, amazing comebacks for street harassment and the perfect bar cart. As always there are loads of things to read and digest - if you're still in Christmas mode why not pin this post or save to your Bloglovin feed and have a read later?

A little reminder: Don't miss my annual Bloopers and Outtakes post on New Year's Day - it's going to be a good one again this year :)

WHAT LINKS DID YOU LIKE - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

(Photo credits: Top left | Top right | Middle left | Middle right | Bottom left | Bottom right)

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This gorgeous Advanced Style fashionista is everything I want to be when I'm older.

DIY disco pom pom shoes? Yes please!

Sacramento knows 10 things you didn't know about true fashionistas.

You don't want to miss how this awesome girl combats street harassment in this short video.
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Monday, 26 December 2016

A Christmas Day Jumpsuit and Frilled Choker + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

A Christmas Day Jumpsuit and Frilled Choker

Happy Christmas, lovelies - hope you had a wonderful day yesterday full of love and happy stuff! 

Just a very quick outfit post today for the #iwillwearwhatilike link up and to show you what I wore for Christmas Day.

I chose a winner of an outfit where Christmas dinner practicality was concerned: A burgundy jumpsuit with a tie-waist. The bathroom issues didn't bother me when I had an expandable waist to be my friend come mid-afternoon - in fact by the evening, instead of putting my "comfies" on as we say in our family (pyjamas or sweat pants), I just undid the tie on the waist altogether and plonked myself onto the sofa...!

Simple dressing: Plum/burgundy jumpsuit \ pink suede block heel shoes \ frilled choker | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Thank You, Happy Christmas and a New Year Preview

Thank You, Happy Christmas and a New Year Preview

Time has run away with me this week - I'm sure you know what that's like! - 

but I thought I'd take one last chance to wish all my readers a very, very Merry Christmas and to thank you all for your unwavering support.

Not Dressed As Lamb wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun without the amazing feedback I get from so many of you, and I wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for reading, tweeting/talking about and supporting this blog... Like once again voting for me in the UK Blog Awards (I'll know on 2nd January if I'm one of the 8 finalists) - you lot really came through for me, I can't tell you how much I appreciated it!

2016 hasn't been a great year for a lot of people and for a lot of reasons (though every time someone mentions the "dreadful" 2016 I do think about how great the summer Olympics and Paralympics were, so we did have one amazing highlight), but here's wishing everyone a safe and happy festive period and a hopeful look to the New Year.

Want to know what's coming up?


Bloopers and outtakes


Forget a round up of my best outfits of the year (you can see all of them on my Outfits page any time you like), the annual New Year's Day Not Dressed As Lamb bloopers and outtakes post will be live in 1st January. I've looked especially hideous/goofy/unfortunate many, many times this year, so this one may be the best yet.
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Thursday, 22 December 2016

11 New Year's Eve Party Outfit Ideas For Over 40 Women


11 New Year's Eve Party Outfit Ideas For Over 40 Women | Not Dressed As Lamb

Not that I want to panic you or anything, but New Year's Eve is only nine days away... Have you got your party outfit sorted yet? 

If you haven't then don't worry - I've picked out 11 of my own party or date night outfits that I've worn over the last few years that would be perfect for your New Year's Eve celebrations, whether the dress code is casual, dressy or formal.

I've featured jeans and a sparkly top right through to formal gowns - and everything in between. I've got combinations you've maybe not tried before (a dress over kick flares). I've got vintage dresses so that you're guaranteed not to turn up in the same dress as someone else. I've got statement tops and funky clutches and beautiful dresses.

USE MY OUTFITS AS INSPIRATION FOR PUTTING SOMETHING TOGETHER FROM YOUR EXISTING WARDROBE, OR USE MY SUGGESTIONS OF SHOPPING LINKS IN CASE YOU WANT TO GET SOMETHING JUST FOR THE OCCASION.

In other words, all bases are covered. Use my outfits as inspiration for putting something together from your existing wardrobe, or use my suggestions of shopping links in case you want to get something just for the occasion. Hopefully there are a variety of styles, colours and shapes to suit all budgets and tastes.
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Monday, 19 December 2016

How to Style an Embroidered Bomber Jacket Over 40 + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Smart casual weekend wear \ floral embroidered bomber jacket \ emerald green peg leg trousers \ black block heel shoes \ white shirt \ black tie-up choker necklace | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

It doesn't happen to me very often, but sometimes you find a bargain so amazing that you absolutely have to have it whether or not it suits you/fits you - but the risk is worth it! 

Last week I was at my local Tesco supermarket (which has the smallest range of F&F Clothing I've ever seen in any branch anywhere) and walked past a rail of sale items. This embroidered bomber jacket caught my eye because it looked exactly the same as the one from ASOS I've had in my Saved Items for ages, you know the ones you save for a rainy day (otherwise known as a 30% off voucher or a mega sale)?

This F&F bomber jacket really did look like the ASOS one, so I checked out the price and nearly died from shock: Reduced from £29.00 to £6.80.

Yes you read that right: SIX POUNDS AND EIGHTY PENCE*.

You can imagine just how fast I went through all the jackets, frantically looking for my size - to no avail (all far too big). Then in my desperation (does anyone else do this?) I proceeded to check all the labels on the inside of the jackets, just in case any of the hangers (marked with sizes) had been put inside the wrong jacket, you know when the sizes don't match?

MY GAMBLE PAID OFF! ONE EMBROIDERED BOMBER JACKET WAS MINE FOR ABOUT THE PRICE OF A BASIC LUNCH FROM PRET. SO IF THAT'S NOT THE BARGAIN OF THE CENTURY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS...!

*Note that the jacket is only reduced to £9.00 online - my local store had put it down to £6.80. Still a total bargain, though.

Smart casual weekend wear \ floral embroidered bomber jacket \ emerald green peg leg trousers \ black block heel shoes \ white shirt \ black tie-up choker necklace | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Sunday, 18 December 2016

18 Christmas Dinner-Friendly Dresses For Women Over 40


18 Christmas dinner-friendly dresses for women over 40 | Not Dressed As Lamb style blog

Christmas Day is one week today (eek!) but fear not if you haven't sorted out something to wear on the big day. 

If you want something that's comfy, won't show up too much mess from cooking (or eating!) Christmas dinner and will actually hide your inevitable food baby (all round Christmas dinner-friendly, in other words) - you're in the right place. I've picked out 18 dresses that will hide that turkey, mince pies and Terry's Chocolate Orange-induced bloat that we all want to hide.

And if you really go casual on Christmas Day, why not think about these for New Year? Many of us also over-indulge on that night too, though if you're anything like me then you will have probably been eating an average of 8,000 calories on every day from Christmas to New Year, so a comfy dress would be most welcome...!

Scroll down for my picks, and please don't forget (if you haven't yet) to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards - it closes 10am UK time on Monday (5am EST) - thank you so much!!

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE!

UK Blog Awards 2017 - Vote now for Not Dressed As Lamb

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Friday, 16 December 2016

Sharing My New Eyelash Extensions + Link Up

Eyelash extensions: The process | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

I've had them done a few times in the past but never featured them properly on the blog - I'm sharing the stunning new eyelash extensions I had done this week! 

I'm very lucky in that one of my nieces is trained in doing eyelash extensions, and she kindly does my eyelashes (with a little family discount, of course) every now and then when I need them for an event or a party.

Christmas and the winter is actually a great time to get them done because those of us with pale skin tend to get very pasty in the winter, and I'm someone who needs some colour in my face or I pretty much look like death warmed up without any make up at all once the colour from summer has worn off.

THE GREAT THING ABOUT EYELASH EXTENSIONS IS THAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EYE MAKE UP AT ALL - AND YOUR EYES LOOK AMAZING.

The great thing about eyelash extensions is that you can get away with absolutely no eye make up at all - and your eyes look AMAZING.

I've taken these photos wearing only a little base, a tiny bit of colour in my eyebrows to fill in gaps and a bold lip - however there is absolutely zero make up on my eyes... scroll down to see the full effect!
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Thursday, 15 December 2016

My Teeth Makeover Part Two: The Reshaping That Followed the Whitening

A total teeth makeover: The result of teeth whitening and reshaping (with before and after pictures)

Here they are in all their sparkly white, straight glory: My new teeth after their full makeover. I promised a follow up post to part one when I had them whitened - here are the final before and after pictures! 

At the end of November I wrote a review of the Philips Zoom teeth whitening process, and I couldn't have been happier with how beautifully white (but not scarily white) they turned out in the end. But when I had the initial consultation at Devon Teeth Straightening in South Street, Exeter*, I asked the very lovely Dr Grant about the possibility of having my teeth reshaped, meaning filed down a little.

*this post is not sponsored - see the end of the post for a full disclosure.

The reason the idea was in my head was because my 26-year-old niece had been to the same practice a few years ago to have her teeth whitened and filed, and they looked absolutely beautiful. She and I have almost identical teeth, typical of our family: Quite big teeth with pointed canines. She was conscious of her canines - as I've always been about mine - and the difference that having them filed down was amazing.

She'd ended up with teeth that were all the same length (meaning level along the bottom of the top teeth, hopefully you know what I mean!) and for ages I'd been meaning to book an appointment. So when I was at the practice for the pre-whitening consultation I asked about the filing - and to my delight I was told it would be very easy to do.

Being conscious of my pointy teeth permanently affected the way I smile: I couldn't bear seeing them in photos, so I trained myself to smile without showing the canines until I did it subconsciously.

Here are the before and after pictures (always the best bit)!

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

7 Last Minute Christmas Party Outfits From the Over 40 Collective

Christmas party outfit \ sequinned palm print kimono \ burgundy cropped flares \ high neck white top \ bronze, gold high heels | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

It's that time of year when most of us are guaranteed some sort of party or gathering to go to - which begs the question: what to wear to the Christmas party? 

If you've got a last minute invite then fret not - here are 7 last minute Christmas party outfit ideas for you. Together with the rest of the Over40Collective I've created a perfect party look... Lots of sequins and rich colours!

I came up with an outfit from things I already owned - we set ourselves a theme of "last minute", so we could either create something from what's already hanging in our wardrobes or make an emergency purchase (so many retailers do next day delivery, and for example ASOS will deliver next day in the UK if you order before midnight. That's amazing.)

MY OUTFIT WOULD WORK FOR AN INTIMATE PARTY, A LARGE GATHERING, A GLAMOROUS SHINDIG, A DINNER PARTY, AN OFFICE PARTY... ANY TIME I'M NOT SURE OF THE DRESS CODE (OR IF THERE ISN'T ONE), I GO FOR TROUSERS, HEELS AND SOME SPARKLE.

My outfit would work for an intimate party, a large gathering, a glamorous shindig, a dinner party, an office party... Any time I'm not sure of the dress code (or if there isn't one), I go for trousers (not jeans), heels and some sparkle. Your sparkle could be jewellery, glitter or sequins: Just make sure it looks at least a little bit glam.

Christmas party outfit \ sequinned palm print kimono \ burgundy cropped flares \ high neck white top \ bronze, gold high heels | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

SHOP PARTY KIMONOS:



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Monday, 12 December 2016

How to Make an Outfit Look Expensive With a Cheap Accessory + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Autumnal casual outfit of faux fur collar \ red tartan jacket \ denim flares \ snakeskin boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

This week I've come to realise that a faux fur collar is an absolute life saver when it comes to saving a bland outfit. 

I saw this beautiful green faux fur collar online and added it to my basket while I was doing some Christmas shopping. I have one already in a warm browny-beige colour but I'd forgotten just how fabulous they make a winter outfit look (see this outfit from last year as another example).

In other words, if your outfit needs tszujing up then try a fur collar - it's an inexpensive way of making your outfit look much more expensive!

IF YOUR OUTFIT NEEDS TSZUJING UP THEN TRY A FUR COLLAR - IT'S AN INEXPENSIVE WAY OF MAKING YOUR OUTFIT LOOK MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.

I wore mine over a jacket I rediscovered when getting my winter wardrobe out - the red plaid jacket from a couple of winters ago (this one is almost identical). I don't think I actually wore it once last year as I didn't go out that much due to my leg injury, so I wore very few of my winter coats.

Autumnal casual outfit of faux fur collar \ red tartan jacket \ denim flares \ snakeskin boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Friday, 9 December 2016

Sharing My Medical Misdiagnosis and the Importance of Getting a Second Opinion

Medical Misdiagnosis: Why it's so important to get a second opinion |  Not Dressed As Lamb

A couple of weeks ago I went to see a spinal therapist about my leg after being referred to her by my GP to find out why it was still sore nearly a year after my injury. 

I'm sharing my medical diagnosis this week because I wanted to highlight the importance of getting a second opinion where your health is concerned... I've just had a bit of a shock!

A quick recap: In November last year I went to Paris for 24 hours for a blogger event. After catching a train to London and carrying my overnight bag around on trains and the tube and the Eurostar I went to the doctor the following week with what I thought was a torn hamstring. She told me I'd slipped a disc and had sciatica, a condition which causes the sciatic nerve (the one that runs from your bum all the way down your leg to your foot) to be nothing short of, well, f*****g painful and debilitating.

And so I was unable to walk unaided (without help or a stick) for about six weeks, which made Christmas not much fun at all (and neither was I much fun at Christmas). I wrote about the experience explaining why you should never take being able-bodied for granted if you wanted to read more about it.

Fast forward to Spring 2016: I was pretty much healed, back to running and exercising and my usual jumping about (yes, I'd still run around like a 6 year old if I had the energy of a 6 year old... I try, but forgot I'm more than seven times that old and get tired incredibly quickly). I had acupuncture, I had physiotherapy, my leg felt better by a tiny bit every day so it was very, very gradual - but it did get better.

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Thursday, 8 December 2016

A Warm-But-Super-Smart Outfit of Pinstripe Coat and Stylish Accessories

Smart cold weather layered outfit \ navy pinstripe wool coat \ moss green wool scarf \ bobble hat \ white backpack and Adidas Stan Smiths \ deep hem straight leg jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

This last week may have been our coldest so far this year, so I really, really needed to up the stakes where warm clothes and layering were concerned. 

Continuing our weekend with friends where we had a Christmas gathering/party on the Saturday, we spent Sunday taking a long walk down by the Thames at Richmond in the brilliant sunshine.

But oh BOY was it cold... I'm talking just about as cold as it ever gets in the UK (with the exception of a few freakish "10 below" instances that I can only remember about two or three times in my life, ever). However the sun shone, we worked up an appetite on our way to the pub for an amaaaazing roast dinner and we stopped to take a few outfit photos on the way.

WHOEVER SAID THAT YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE MORE THAN THREE COLOURS IN AN OUTFIT OBVIOUSLY NEVER HAD FUN WITH COLOUR. TO BE HONEST I DON'T SEE THIS AS A PARTICULARLY "COLOURFUL" OUTFIT - IT'S QUITE MUTED AND GROWN UP.

It may not look like it would be, but the Jaeger pinstripe coat (I think because it's wool and so very long) is actually very warm when worn with lots of thin layers. Although it was a comfy but pretty nondescript outfit of grey sweatshirt (woo-hoo! so exciting!), white trainers and jeans underneath for the walk, the gorgeous moss green scarf and bobble hat did all the work of keeping me warm alongside the coat and added a bit of pizazz.

In other words, stylish accessories FTW.

Smart cold weather layered outfit \ navy pinstripe wool coat \ moss green wool scarf \ bobble hat \ white backpack and Adidas Stan Smiths \ deep hem straight leg jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The 2017 UK Blog Awards: Please Vote for Not Dressed As Lamb (Best Fashion & Beauty Blog)


2016-12-07 Not Dressed As Lamb 002

I have to start this post with an apology and say that yes, I am a hypocrite... A year ago I vowed I wouldn't enter the 2017 UK Blog Awards. 

But here I am, asking if you, my dear readers, would be good enough to vote for me yet again. Your support earlier this year for the 2016 awards was amazing - I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated it (especially as I was shortlisted as a result of your voting and wore my dream Cinderella-style outfit to the awards ceremony and felt like a fairy princess for a night).

So why the change of heart?

When the voting opened for the last UK Blog Awards, it allowed for daily voting, and many of us [bloggers] were really cross (and embarrassed) about it. It meant you either had to badger people every single day for nearly three weeks in order to stand a chance of being nominated - or you didn't, and were then up against bloggers who were prepared to badger people for votes every day.

HERE'S A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE... VOTE FOR ME BY CLICKING HERE

I'm glad to say that this year, it's changed - I'd like to think that myself and another nominee at this year's awards, Michelle of The Barefaced Chic, had something to do with the change... We spoke to the organiser at the ceremony and begged her to change it to one person, one vote.

UK Blog Awards 2017 - Vote now for Not Dressed As Lamb

And our intervention made a difference - it's now one vote per email address, which is more than fair. A year ago I said I wouldn't enter in 2017 as I wasn't prepared to badger people to vote for me every day again, but the new voting system made me change my mind, as did one other thing...

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Monday, 5 December 2016

How I Styled a Pyjama Shirt For a Christmas Gathering + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Glam casual party outfit: Mixed patterns \ pyjama style shirt \ graphic print cropped flares \ Gucci-inspired pink suede block heels \ mini black box bag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

The festive season is well and truly upon us, and I've worn my first Christmas party (more of a gathering) outfit. 

Though this outfit has a funny story to it - if you've ever ended up keeping something that you absolutely weren't going to keep because you either didn't like it or you thought it just didn't look right on you, then you may appreciate what happened with this outfit...!

THE PYJAMA SHIRT WAS AN ASOS BLACK FRIDAY PURCHASE THAT WAS ORIGINALLY IN THE "DEFINITELY NOT" PILE TO SEND BACK.

So here I am again, doing some full-on pattern mixing (because I just can't seem to stop at just one any more - one on its own seems wrong, like it needs a friend in the way that rabbits and guinea pigs need someone to keep them company. And yes, I am likening my dress sense to guinea pigs.)

You may have seen the trousers in my photo shoot for the Over40Collective that was featured on our Instagram account the other week, and I talked about the shoes last week, but the patterned pyjama shirt was an ASOS Black Friday purchase that was originally in the "definitely not" pile to send back.

Glam casual party outfit: Mixed patterns \ pyjama style shirt \ graphic print cropped flares \ Gucci-inspired pink suede block heels \ mini black box bag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Friday, 2 December 2016

Sharing a Unicorn Christmas Gift Guide + the Saturday Share Link Up

Check out this ultimate Christmas shopping guide to unicorn gifts for the unicorn lover in your life, from jewellery to cushions to phone cases.


This week I'm sharing a unicorn Christmas gift guide, because everyone knows someone who likes unicorns, right...? 

And by unicorn gift guide I don't mean gifts for unicorns 😉

I've been trying to blitz my Christmas shopping this past week or so I've inevitably come across loads of lovely things that I've seen and loved, and one thing I've noticed is that unicorns are more popular than ever.

They pop up on everything - from slippers to tea cosies to masonry drills (okay so maybe not a masonry drill, but I reckon it's only a matter of time. A white drill with a gold drill bit in the shape of a horn... I can see it now).

I've selected a few of my favourite unicorn things that I wanted to share with you... After finding that pink head table decor and featuring it in my unusual gifts from indie sellers post last week, I'm all over these magical creatures!
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

How a Whiter Smile Can Take Years Off Your Looks | Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening Review

How a Whiter Smile Can Take Years Off Your Looks: | A review of Philips Zoom teeth whitening | Not Dressed As Lamb, over style blog
NDAL banner

Are your teeth ageing you? I've discovered that a brighter, whiter smile certainly helps to make you look more youthful...

Anti-ageing - or as I prefer to say, "optimum ageing" - is one of those topics that's usually concerned with skincare and how to zap wrinkles and crows' feet and tighten jawlines... You know what I'm talking about. But one thing that I think makes a huge difference to your appearance at any age (giving you a much more youthful appearance overall) is your teeth. Dark, stained teeth always have that association with ill-health and ageing: Whoever saw a portrayal of an old witch in the movies with bright, white sparkling pearlies? Exactly.

As a 44 year old with teeth that are in pretty good nick, I'd lately become concerned that my teeth weren't quite as white as they once were, or as white as I wanted them to be. So when Philips contacted me to try out the in-house Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening, it was like Santa had come early. Although I definitely didn't want plastic-looking white teeth, I did want a brighter smile.

DESPITE DOING/NOT DOING ALL THOSE THINGS ASSOCIATED WITH GOOD DENTAL CARE, I STILL HAD TEETH THAT WERE LESS WHITE THAT I WANTED THEM TO BE.


Why I decided to have my teeth whitened

I'm one of those people that looks after their teeth religiously: Brushing and flossing twice a day. Avoiding excess sugar (I don't touch fizzy drinks or add sugar to anything). Not smoking. Not consuming many things that are known for staining teeth, like coffee or red wine (I don't drink either). I go to the dentist for a checkup every year. All of these things, as we know, are vital to looking after your teeth - especially as you get older.

However, despite doing/not doing all those things associated with good dental care, I still had teeth that were less white that I wanted them to be.

I will say now that I have whitened my teeth before, but it was eight years ago and the effects hadn't lasted. It was a home treatment that I carried out myself over the course of a couple of weeks, and as I was being offered an in-house treatment this time I was very interested to have an almost instant result within the space of an afternoon.

Before picture of Philips ZOOM! teeth whitening treatment - Read about the full process | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog
My teeth before: Not terrible, but not brilliantly white either!

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