My Midlife Survival Kit: Jennie Brown

Every middle aged woman needs grapefruit gin, turbo hair conditioner and a great face cream in her life, says personal trainer Jennie Brown. It’s our kind of Midlife Survival Kit.

We think a middle aged woman is a glorious creature. We are, we believe, in our prime. We arrive at midlife with a wealth of experiences, our fair share of triumphs and knockbacks, and a level of self awareness that our younger selves would be amazed at. Yes, a middle aged woman rocks. 

To celebrate these midlife powers, we’re asking women who inspire us to share their midlife survival kit. What are the things that keep them sane and happy in their midlife years? What does it take to be a middle aged woman at the height of her powers? 

For Jennie Brown, personal trainer and founder of Meet You At The Barre, essentials include both collagen powder and grapefruit gin. Plus a magical face cream. Our kind of woman.

Chase Pink Grapefruit Gin, £38.49

Chase gin

I don’t drink very much any more as my hangovers are too brutal, so if I’m only going to have one drink it has to be special. This gin, with Fever Tree tonic and a good squeeze from a real pink grapefruit is just Next Level. Pretty much everyone I’ve ever foisted one upon has declared it to be one of the best gins of their life, and no family get-together is imaginable without a round of these – all my sisters and my dad are as dedicated to it as I am.  

Olaplex No.3, £26


I have really thick hair – the kind of hair that whenever I get it cut the hairdresser always says, “This is the thickest hair I’ve ever seen”. However, a recent change in hormones and the fact that I’ve started to dye it, left it really brittle and straw-like. But I really didn’t want to cut it shorter.

I saw someone saying how great this stuff is and, although I initially baulked at the price, I bought it.  It’s worth every single penny.  It’s like a miracle in a bottle. I didn’t realise how much I’d taken for granted having soft and shiny hair until it was no longer soft or shiny. This has restored it to its former glory (when I remember to use it).

Bare Biology Skinful, £35

Bare Biology

I had my first baby at 30 and my fourth baby at 40.  I put on about 20kg each time, and the skin on my tummy was looking pretty sad and traumatised by all of it.

My friend is a midlife nutritionist and she recommended I try this collagen powder. I can’t believe the difference it made! The elasticity of my skin improved so much, and my hair and my nails are much stronger.  I drink it in a herbal tea before I go to bed and I swear it’s improved the quality of my sleep too.  Sleep is a more precious commodity in our house than gold, so every single thing that helps it is elevated to a higher status here. 

The Bee’s Knees Journal, £35

Bees Knees Journalling

This is a new addition to my life, but a brilliant one. I am one of the very privileged few whose business exploded during lockdown, and for that I am, (and always will be) eternally grateful.

I have four kids, including two who haven’t started school, and it’s been a white-knuckled ride at times.  I have really tried to slow down, and largely failed. However, I have found keeping this journal has really helped me be more aware and more present in everyday life, and to take pleasure from the everyday tasks. It’s a bit quirky, quick to fill in, and gives me pause to reflect on the day rather than just rush through life in a kind of chaotic whirlwind.  

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme CC Cream, £49

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme

I’m never going to be a make-up maestro, and I’ll also never understand how this cream comes out of the tube blue then disappears into my skin and makes me glow – but hurray that it does.

I don’t need to follow the science, I just know it makes me look like I’m well-rested, well-hydrated and have great skin: none of which are usually true.  An easy win.  

To find out more visit @meet_you_at_the_barre on Instagram, or to see Jennie’s classes visit  

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