October 20, 2022

A Good Night’s Sleep

One of the things I really struggled with during the peri-menopause and at the start of my menopause was a lack of sleep. I went from sleeping happily through the night to suddenly having insomnia, night sweats and an anxious mind. There’s nothing worse than starting the day feeling tired and cranky, and after a while it can really get you down.  It’s no surprise to hear that 1 in 10 women leave the workplace due to menopause symptoms.

I’ve been working on my evening routine, making small lifestyle changes and finding what works for me.

Here’s some of the things I’ve found helpful.

  1. I ditched caffeine and after the first month, I started to notice a difference. I wasn’t craving that sudden coffee rush first thing in the morning.
  2. I’m still working on reducing the time I spend with my phone in the evening, easier said than done if I’m completely honest, but I don’t have it in the bedroom with me anymore.
  3. One new habit I love is 10 minutes of relaxing yoga before I go to bed. It’s not only good for soothing any aches and pains, but I find it helps clear my mind and calms me.
  4. I schedule in 30 minutes of exercise a day, to get some fresh air and be outdoors. If I have to miss one day, I notice a big difference in my mood and how I feel in the evening.
  5. If I do wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve stopped stressing about it because that used to make me even more anxious. I used to lie awake staring at the ceiling which made me feel even more frustrated. Instead, I get out of bed, have a herbal tea, read a book and I drift off again.

All these lifestyle changes can make a difference, but you also need to get your foundations right. When was the last time you changed your mattress and pillows and really assessed the bed you’re sleeping on?

We moved houses last year, so it was a great opportunity to change our mattress. When it comes to finding a brand that provides the perfect comfort and support, I always choose TEMPUR® UK. Their mattresses respond to your body’s shape, weight and warmth, which has really helped my aching hips at night (that’s another thing they don’t tell you about menopause , new aches and pains!)

I suffer with neck pain and often wake up with cramps so I was keen to try the Ergonomic  TEMPUR® pillow, recommended specifically to relieve neck pain, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The unique shape makes it so much easier to fall asleep in comfort and I’m sure my husband Mark is relieved I’m not as restless, tossing and turning, waking him up every night too.

( TEMPUR® are so confident about their pillows they allow you to take a 30-night home trial too).

There’s a reason why this brand is recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation. It’s clever stuff!

I think the most important thing to remember when it comes to our sleeping pattern during this time is to be kind to ourselves. Find the things that work for you, take the time to rest when you need it and make good night’s sleep a priority.

‘Let her sleep for when she wakes she will shake the world”

#napoleon bonaparte

#sponsored attribute.

This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.

September 1, 2022

Grey Hair Do Care!

Your body your rules.

That's what women keep being told, but we still have a long way to go before that really is the case.

To ditch the dye and embrace the grey, or not, has to be ???? a woman’s choice, without fear of judgment on both sides.

The fact that the award winning news anchor Lisa LaFlamme has recently been ousted from her job at Canadian CTV News shortly after ditching the dye appears to be no coincidence. There is obviously more to this situation but it does raise the on going question around sexism and ageism in the workplace.

With reports that a male senior executive questioned "who had approved the decision to let Lisa’s hair go grey?’”. Would this ever be asked about a ‘silver-fox’ man in the same position? LaFlamme is a successful, award winning anchorwoman with a 35 year career at CTV, why does the colour of her hair have any relevance? 


Grey hair, do care!

I don’t care what women do with their hair, it’s not our job to have an opinion on anybody else’s appearance but I do care when women feel pressured into making choices about their own bodies based on ageist and sexist pressure in the workplace, by peers and society's outdated expectations. 

We have to start questioning and challenging this outdated, damaging narrative and empower women who do want to let their hair go grey with confidence.

The grey hair movement is still pushing forward but at a very slow speed! That's why Annie Stirk and I started Silver & Sassy, because we know all too well from our own experience of going grey how other peoples' opinions can knock your confidence. You can find out more about Silver and Sassy in a previous blog post here

Why does grey hair cause so much discussion?

I'm still surprised how much controversy the grey hair debate can cause amongst a group of women, it's very divisive and it really doesn't have to be. I'm all for women doing what they want with their hair, if they want to keep dyeing it until they're in their 90's because it makes them feel good, then fantastic, do what's right for you.

The problem arises when a woman who would like to embrace their grey hair is talked out of it because of other peoples expectations. When I decided to stop colouring my hair at 46 , I put a post on Facebook and all the comments except one were negative, albeit tongue in cheek but there's always a true word spoken in jest! Comments like "Don't do it, you're too young"; "It will make you look older" or  "You're too young to let yourself go" was the common theme of the conversation. Fast forward 6 years and now everyone loves my grey hair and I couldn't imagine it being any different colour.

I feel 100% like my authentic self and that's been liberating.

Old and Grey

How many times have you heard the words "old and grey" together, whether it's song lyrics or in conversation. We have a deep fear around ageing that is ingrained in our society, that grey hair is a visible sign of the ageing process that seems to scare people. We are judged by the colour of our hair and grey is still equated to being old and 'grannyish' which is probably why you'll hear that women are "brave' for ditching the dye so often, because we're going against the grain.

So, who created this narrative in the first place? The haircare industry is worth billions of pounds so it suits those brands to sell us those insecurities and promote hair dyes at every opportunity. If you look back to previous hair brand adverts it's easy to see how they've perpetuated this negative narrative.

Starting with a shocking 1920's advert saying" Decline to be grey as long as youth beats in your heart" along with Clairols 1980's Loving Care advert with the  "I'm gonna wash that grey right outta my hair" ditty and you get the picture!

It's interesting to see Dove's response a week after LaFlamme's departure with their #backthegrey social media campaign. We need more brands like this to be committed to breaking down the stereotypical views of beauty to create real change in the industry.

Where are the grey-haired role models?

There are famous women in the film and media world, like Andie McDowell, Dame Judy Dench, Jamie Lee Curtis and of course the fabulous Dame Helen Mirren, who are starting to fly the flag which is great to see but if you look on mainstream TV for women in their 40's and 50's, you will be hard pressed to find any grey haired women cast as role models. I was pleasantly surprised to see Melinda Messenger share a post recently about her own decision to ditch the dye.

"It's taken me 51 years to see that I was always good enough, so I don't want to spend the next years of my life feeling I have to be anything other than just myself. I have finally given myself permission to just be"

I love this sentiment and can totally relate. With this in mind perhaps it really is time for women to take back control of our bodies. Let's make decisions about our own appearance; based on what makes US feel good and not to keep anyone else happy!

Whatever you decide to do with your hair...

Keep being fabulous!

Rachel x

For more grey hair inspiration visit the blog here

You can also listen to Liberte Free to Be Ep. 47 with Jayne Mayled, founder of White Hot Hair and champion of silver haired women.




October 19, 2021

Silver & Sassy- Grey Haired Women Are Not Invisible

Men are silver foxes but women are letting themselves go if they decide to ditch the dye?

When Annie Stirk first came to me with the seed of an idea to celebrate grey, white and silver haired women which we'd planned to be part of York Fashion Week 2019 I completely got it.

Silver & Sassy

I started going grey as a teenager, not really a shock as my grandmother was completely white at a young age.  Dyeing it every colour of the rainbow, from Navy Blue, Blonde, Bright Red and Plum , the list goes on.  I don't really remember anyone batting an eye.  Fast forward to age 45 when I decided to ditch the dye and embrace my grey hair and people suddenly had an opinion. Comments , which all came from women, included "You're too young" , "Don't let yourself go" and "it will make you look older".

I'm sure it's too do with societies conditioning around the fear of ageing. Grey hair is another sign along with wrinkles that we are ageing, and to be honest thank God we are lucky enough to still be here to show them when so many others aren't! There is still so much fear around the whole subject. We wanted to create an uplifting fashion event that challenges those outdated stigmas  and celebrates women embracing their grey hair. Reminding women that may be feeling a bit lost that we are most certainly not invisible!

Silver & Sassy event

The event, held at the beautiful Goldsborough Hall, involved 13 models who all volunteered to join Annie and I on the catwalk. These women had never done anything like this before but completely embraced everything we threw at them. With a fabulous styling team; Sara Anson and Trudy Fielding, behind us showcasing 7 brands from small independents to well loved high street names. It was important to Annie and I that not only did these women leave feeling more confident about themselves but so did our 90 guests. After the last 18 months there was a really positive energy coming from the audience and their support for every women that stepped out was palpable.

Our models ranged from late 40's up to 77 and indeed our oldest model Heather Sandler often stole the show with her sass and personality.

Why we need better representation in the media and fashion industry.

Although we have started to see more older women included in media and advertising campaigns they are still token gestures and  yet to be included in fashion campaigns on a consistent basis. Deciding to ditch the dye often comes at a time of great change in a womans life, children leaving home, adjusting to an empty nest, caring for older parents, the menopause. All these can have a huge affect on your body confidence. Add to that the lack of visibility in the images we are bombarded with daily and it's no wonder that women often feel invisible and lost.

When you consider that the over 50's spending power is one of the largest and fastest growing in the UK it makes you wonder at what point will brands start really listening and learning how to include us in their marketing. We were delighted to have high street brands John Lewis Leeds, Figleaves swimwear, Fenwicks and Jigsaw in York involved in the show alongside independents Copper & White, Cabi Clothing, My Vintage Beau, Natalia Willmott jewellery, Molly Titfer hats, The Yorkshire Handbag Company and Yorkshire Eyewear.

Seeing our models of all shapes, ethnicities, heights and at different stages of their grey journey really felt like a powerful statement. The women in the audience clearly enjoyed seeing the clothes on women they could relate to as they enjoyed shopping after the event after being inspired by what they'd seen. This seems to be a perfect way to shop and target the older market and perhaps we'll see more in person fashion events as an after effect of the pandemic. I really do hope so! I’d love to see more brands creating live fashion events to really connect and understand their midlife customers better.

Is the tide turning?

It does feel like the tide is turning with celebrity role models like Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell and most recently Dawn French embracing their grey hair in the public arena. You often hear women described as being brave for going against the ‘normal’ and these women are under so much scrutiny in the spotlight but owning it. I completely agree with Andie MacDowell when she told Vogue she’d never felt more herself,  able to embrace where she is right now and completely comfortable in her skin,  I feel exactly the same and its freeing.

I’m sure that comes with age as much as embracing the grey, I’ve started to care less about what other people think of me. Deciding to ditch the dye can be a very positive experience and so many women find it liberating, stepping out of your previous fashion comfort zone can be a real part of that change.

Women supporting women

With award winning presenter Christine Talbot as our host we knew we were in safe hands and it was a pleasure to have Jayne Mayled, founder of White Hot Hair and Tricia Cusden from Look Fabulous Forever as our guest speakers to share their pro-ageing wisdom too.( I have to say our award winning hair and make-up artist Sonia Schofield and her team did an amazing job enhancing all the models natural beauty using Look Fabulous Forever make up).

There’s never been a better time for women to support women and this event really showed that as we also raised money for the York based women’s charity Kyra.  The event was kindly sponsored by York Gin and Figleaves.

Enjoy a few of the images of all our gorgeous models, all at different stages of their own grey haired journey, different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages but all Silver & Sassy!




Annie and I are already planning what's next for #Silverandsassy and we want to reach as many women as we can with our positive message. The icing on the cake came from being featured on ITV Calendar and then going national on All Around Britain.   (watch from 31 mins in)

We are Silver & Sassy!

Huge thanks to everyone behind the scenes who helped make the day the success that it was.

All images @Olivia Brabbs Photography

March 26, 2020

My favourite skincare products- Beauty after 40

I am often asked about what products I use on my face so I thought I'd share some current favourites with you. I am lucky to have inherited my Mum's good skin and when I was younger I confess to not really having a proper beauty routine, although I have always made sure to take my make up off each night. In the last few years I realised I needed to step up my skin care routine and I am definitely feeling like I want to use more natural beauty products on my skin.

I was kindly gifted some Clockhouse Beauty products to try and have really been impressed; I've noticed a real difference in my skin. Clockhouse beauty is a Yorkshire based company set up by a mother and daughter to provide 100% natural, organic, cruelty free and vegan products. I think there is a real shift in demand for natural products and they have a good range for men too.

I've been using the Signature Cleansing Balm alongside the Signature Facial Serum and my skin feels really soft and looks healthier. I banned myself from resorting to make up wipes after so many make up artists told me how damaging and drying they are so I'm a big fan of cleansers that you remove with a muslin cloth and warm water. The Cleansing balm has a lovely scent of Eucalyptus and Chamomille and is packed with natural ingredients such as the anti-inflammatory Tamuni and Watermelon oils. A little goes along way so the balm turns into oil on your face quickly and dissolves the make up and dirt.

I'm also using the award wining Signature Facial Serum morning and night, using a few drops on my palms and gently massaging on to my face and neck. I've not used oil serums regularly before so I wasn't sure show my skin would react but it absorbs well and leaves my skin feeling really soft.


My other long term favourites are No.7 Lift & Luminate range. I've used them for a few years now, they are aimed at 45-60 year old women and really suit my skin and at £25, is more of an affordable price.


I once had the pleasure of testing some Augustinus Bader face creams and I have to say they were my absolute favourite and if it wasn't for the hefty £205 price tag they would be my go to product as my skin has never looked fresher, healthier and at it's best.

I recently found this old Vogue body & Beauty Book from 1978 and I remember spending hours with my older sister reading this book and trying out the natural beauty recipes. Considering we might be in lockdown for sometime and as I have already run out of face scrub I thought I might try and make some of my own.

Fast forward to 2020 and Liz Earle has some great suggestions using products that you're most likely to have in your cupboards, visit www.lizearlewellbeing.com for more homemade recipe inspiration.

I've started making Liz Earle's Zesty Lemon Skin Brightener.


30g/3 Dessertspoonfuls Ground Almonds

20g of Fine Oatmeal

Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon and

8 tbsp Runny Honey

The bonus of this mix is it's also yummy mixed with yogurt with any leftovers!

Liz Earle's Homemade Facemask


1 Tbsp Finely ground oatmeal (I used a pestle & mortar to grind them finer)

1 TBSP Live Plain yogurt

1/2 Apple finely grated

2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

I'd actually forgotten how nice it feels to make your own products and it's been a pleasant edition to my first week of lockdown. I love using Garniers Moisture Tissue Mask and always use the night before a shoot.

It all helps!

Lastly I do drink lots of water and I am sure that plays a major part in healthy looking skin.

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x




February 14, 2020

The Acupuncture Place with Samantha McNamara

Have you tried acupuncture?

Move over botox there's a new treatment in town, except it's not exactly new but an ancient Chinese acupuncture treatment that all the celebrities are raving about.

I’m not one of those women that religiously books in for facials or beauty treatments, which considering my profession might come as a surprise. It seems so hard to keep up with the latest ‘best’ beauty product that will apparently make us all look more youthful and usually come with a hefty price tag. The truth is I don’t want to look younger anymore, I’m 50 this year and I’m comfortable enough with my face to accept the changes that come with age. What I do like the idea of is anything that helps give me the look of a great night’s sleep which is currently lacking in my life.

The Acupuncture Place

When I first met Samantha McNamara at an Enterprise Collective networking meeting, I listened with great interest about her acupuncture practice The Acupuncture Place in Pocklingotn, I was intrigued to find out more. What appealed to me about it was the links with ancient natural practice, whilst I was a little anxious at the thought of having needles all over my face, I was keen to give it a try. Samantha has had an extensive career in the beauty industry, what impressed me most was her dedication and passion for Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal treatments which led her to gaining a BSC Hons degree in those subjects in her early forties. I think most us would associate acupuncture as an alternative treatment for pain and injuries but Samantha tailors her treatments to help with your general health and the less obvious beauty treatments.

Trusting the process

As soon as I arrived the surroundings and Samantha made me feel relaxed. We started the session with Samantha taking my pulse with the conclusion that my body was tired. She was spot on! I’ve had a busy time since Christmas and have not really stopped and allowed myself any time to relax. Menopausal night sweats and disruptive sleep have left me feeling tired in a way I’ve not experienced since pregnancy. Those damn hormones! Whilst examining my tongue she told me my digestive system was struggling and I was dehydrated. Again, spot on, I have been regularly skipping lunch then snacking early evening or eating snacks on the run which has ultimately left me feeling bloated and gaining weight. I do drink a lot of water but maybe as my body travels through these changes I need to re-address how and when I hydrate. Samantha has suggested trying coconut water to help so although I’m not a huge fan of the taste I’m going to give it a go. All this before we’ve even got started!

Lying down on a warm bed with soothing music, Samantha started placing needles in various parts of my body; at first I didn’t even feel them. The needle by my right ankle initially throbbed, it wasn’t painful, more like a dull ache, but it quickly disappeared. The needles were placed in my ankles, knees and wrists before moving on to the face.

This was the part that I’d been nervous about as you imagine your face to be more sensitive to pain. The needles are varying in size and meant to help bring fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to your skin which encourages collagen and elastin production. The only area that I felt a bit of sting was around the middle of my brows where my frown line is getting deeper, but it can’t really be described as pain just a quick sting. In total Samantha placed around 50 needles of varying sizes all over my face and I wouldn’t have known where they were.

What is Dermal LED?

Next came the Dermalux LED therapy mask for half an hour. This process is a non-evasive treatment that uses therapeutic light energy to help trigger the skins natural rejuvenation and repair process whilst you relax. Within the first few minutes of the goggles and mask being placed over me I had a sudden rush of anxiety which I felt rising up to my chest. What I quickly realised was my body was totally relaxed but my brain was still working overtime and there was a battle going on as my body forced me to switch off. A few minutes later this passed and I fell into a deep state of relaxation. During this 30 minutes Samantha worked on reflex points on my feet and due to my relaxed state, I was hardly aware of what was going on but felt very grounded.

A holistic MOT

When the needles are removed you don’t feel it and Samantha then followed with the cupping. I’ve heard of cupping as a body treatment, but I’ve never seen it seen it used on the face. It’s another way of boosting the circulation and removing any build-up of fluids. It’s a strange sensation, I could almost feel the tension being sucked away from my face.

This session felt like I was having a full MOT and I’ve come away really thinking that I need to take more care of my skin. For me it felt like a holistic treatment as well as a practical beauty session.

The benefits of Chinese Gum Sha

The ancient Chinese Gua Sha tool gently scrapes over your moisturised face with a gentle pressure and again improves lymphatic flow and circulation. Samantha used the Jade tool on me, which is the most traditional stone associated with rejuvenation, but other stones are available with differing properties. I’ve seen skin rollers in shops and wondered what their benefits are, so I’ll definitely buy one to add to my skin care routine. Not only does the roller aid absorption but it has a cooling effect on the skin which is perfect for helping the menopausal over heating symptoms.

I had to force myself to come back around once we’d finished. A couple of things surprised me, A) there were no signs of where the needles had been all over my face and B) my skin was glowing.

I am really interested to find out more about alternative treatments to help with my general health and well-being, so this has been a positive start. I would definitely recommend and I can see how having regular acupuncture facials could make a real difference. It's 3 days since the treatment and although no one else would notice a difference my skin feels a bit tighter and looks more refreshed. It's recommended to have a couple a week over a 6 week period.

I can recommend popping over to Samanthas Instagram page as she has some very informative IGTV videos explain all her techniques and some helpful home tips too

To find out more about Samantha McNamara and The Acupuncture Place




Keep being fabulous
Rachel x

October 10, 2019

My favourite products for Silver, White and Grey hair.

I stopped dying my hair 5 years ago and have fully embraced my silver hair now; I've found the whole experience liberating. There are so many different shades of grey you don't know what hair colour you will end up with until you stop dyeing. My hair is very white, almost silver, except at the back where it is a darker grey. People seem to assume because you don't have to colour it any more, you also don't have to worry about hair maintenance but it's not as easy to manage as people think.

Many women with grey hair have a constant battle with yellow tones which can be caused by so many different factors including air pollution, heat from styling, exposure to the sun, and a build up of hair products. I have tried and tested so many different silver shampoos and treatments in the last few years, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favourites.

Why use a silver purple shampoo? I think it can seem quite scary at first washing your hair with a dark purple shampoo, there's the fear that you will end up with bright purple hair. If you imagine a colour wheel, purple is directly opposite yellow which means they can cancel one another out. When you tone your yellowing hair using purple, it cools down the tone of the yellow shades and removes the brassiness.

I have been fortunate to have been given certain products to try and had the opportunity to attend the Philip Kingsley hair clinic in Mayfair for an analysis and treatment session. I had already been using their products and was a huge fan of the deep conditioning Elasticizer but at the clinic I was shown how to really get the best out of the product. I've now started using it once a week, leaving it on for at least 20 minutes before I wash my hair with a silver shampoo.

I have fine hair but lots of it and since using Elasticizer I've found my hair feels and looks fuller, has more bounce and generally looks healthier. It's not a particularly cheap product but I think it makes a real difference and one I would recommend to invest in. #gifted

Pantene also brought out a new Grey and Glowing range this year and I was fortunate to work on their social media campaign so again was gifted the range to try. Silver shampoos all seem to be different and in the past I confess to trying some that have left me looking like I've had a purple rinse! This range seems to banish most of my yellow tones without any build up but I particularly like the illuminating mask. I usually wash my hair twice a week and alternate between the Elasticizer or a mask. It's an affordable reliable product which I use regularly.

I've also been introduced to the Sachajuan Silver shampoo and conditioner professional haircare range by Samantha Sweet at Sweet Squared. I had never heard of it before but have used it a few times now and it seems to really cut out those brassy tones; if you like cooler grey white tones I think it's perfect. Be careful not to leave the shampoo on for too long, 1-2 minutes only; I left it on for 5 minutes and the result was an icy white colour with a hint of purple. It's available to buy on Amazon, at £20 it is quite pricey but it does work well.

If you've never tried any of the White Hot Hair products then I highly recommend them. I really like the whole ethos behind this brand and love the products.The shampoo leaves my hair with a healthy looking gloss. My absolute favourites from this range are the Lifeshine Oil (£14) to keep the frizziness at bay and the Whooshing Creme (£13) is always in my handbag for that last minute boost of oomph when you need it. The prices are reasonable too. It's brilliant! #gifted

If I'm going for an evening out, I sometimes like to give my hair an extra boost and have used the Milkshake Silver shine whipped cream mousse for years. Not only does it work well, without leaving your hair feeling sticky, but it smells amazing too.

I don't think you can beat the Pro:Voke range for Silver Dry shampoo and hairspray for reliable results and great value for money. I have also tried their silver shampoo but found it was too strong for me and always left a strong purple shade in my hair. I also found it stained the bathroom more than any other products. I once had a terrible purple shampoo experience in a nice white bathroom in a smart hotel. I've never used it since!


More from the blog

Social Bubble - On Instagram

Wrong or no access token.


Liberte Free to Be champions women who are embracing life and leaving a trail of inspiration along the way. Inspiring others to become more confident in body and mind.

We all have a story to tell.


If you're looking for a safe space to share experiences, challenges and successes with a global community of women finding their own way through midlife, then come and join the group.

Join Now


Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!