My Midlife Survival Kit: Helen McGinn

It’s no surprise that wine writer and author Helen McGinn picks a good bottle of white when she’s asked how to deal with a mid life crisis.

Look no further for how to deal with a mid life crisis. If you’re author and wine expert Helen McGinn, all  you need is Gwynnie’s favourite beauty tool (our midlife complexions deserve it), a great pair of jeans and a good bottle of wine (of course). Sorted.

We love Helen’s Midlife Survival Kit – and her excellent tip to keep a facial roller in the fridge. We also know exactly what she means about a thickening middle: been there, got that.

Next time we’re asked how to deal with a mid life crisis, we’ll know exactly what to say. Pass the wine.

Rose Quartz Facial Roller, £30

Quartz facial roller

I first saw one of these being used by Gwyneth Paltrow a few years ago but it cost about the same as a mini break. Then I spotted one from The White Company for £30 and honestly, it’s the best thing.

I keep mine in the fridge (next to my wine, natch) and roll the cool stone over my eye bags and down my neck first thing in the morning. Imagine being able to iron your face and cool down at the same time. Exactly.

I have to start rehearsals for Saturday Kitchen at 6.30am via Zoom at the weekends (I’m doing it remotely for now) and using this means I can actually open my eyes properly. That’s how to deal with a mid life crisis.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Falke Cosy Wool Socks, £16

Falke cosy wool socks

I really didn’t appreciate the power of good socks until I was given a pair of properly cosy wool ones for Christmas by my husband (not my only present, see below).

Putting them on for the first time was like cushioning my feet with warm marshmallows. He’d bought me a couple of pairs but I’ve since ordered more so I can wear them every day.

The colours are gorgeous, adding a real shot to any outfit. Which, let’s be honest, is mostly joggers right now. 

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

BEATS Solo Pro Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling Headphones, £179

BEATS noise cancelling

This was the other present (I know, spoilt). Again, game changing. I’ve got three children at home, two of them teenagers. Having five of us trying to work from home at the moment is, well, interesting. And sometimes really noisy, especially when the broadband is stretched to its very limit.

I put these on and honestly, I’m in a world of my own along with guests ranging from Barbra Streisand to Bach depending on my mood. I’m writing my second fiction book at the moment and I just don’t know how I’d do it without them. 

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Wyse Turn Up Jeans, £160

Wyse jeans

I’d been pretty much the same clothes size for years but then it happened. You know, the thickening around the middle. But still I bought the same sized jeans I’d always bought and tried to fit into them, only to return them feeling a bit rubbish.

Then I ordered a new pair from a different brand and went a size up (they were 1 – 5 rather than the usual jeans sizing). I put them on. Dream fit with a bit of room to spare! No more angry red marks around my middle, no more feeling bad about my thickening waist. And they got me out of my joggers.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Pian del Bichi Vermentino, £7.49

Waitrose white wine

This is a survival kit, after all. I was a wine buyer for a big supermarket for almost a decade. Then the kids came along and I shifted into writing about wine instead. It really is one of the loves of my life.

What I really love is that after all these years, there’s still so much to learn. And taste, of course. Just don’t ask me to pick one because that’s like picking a favourite child. But right now, I’m loving the perky Pian del Bichi Vermentino from Waitrose, currently on offer at £7.49. From the coastal Maremma region in Tuscany, it’s brilliant wine for the money. 

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Helen’s debut novel This Changes Everything is out on 9th February and available to pre-order here. For more wine recommendations follow her on Instagram @knackeredmother or visit her blog

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