Hi, my name is Helen Brookes and I am @40plusnotgivingupyet

I am a SHOPPING ADDICT who craves the opportunity to help women get back their mojo and feel the very best they can.

I love sharing my high street finds (and fails!) on my Insta feed and you can tune into my honest try-on sessions anytime, anywhere via my daily Instagram Stories @40plusnotgivingupyet.

I’ll share stuff I love, bargains and discounts and answer your burning fashion questions such as;

  • Which SIZE should I buy? (size 12 in one store? size 16 in another? or can I size down)
  • What does the material FEEL like? (itchy? cheap? silky? Do I need to iron?)
  • Will it show my BULGY bits? (we’ve all got them just what to wear to make you feel as confident as you can)
  • What kind of UNDERWEAR will I need? (I love a bit of control underwear but also let’s talk practicality if it’s see through you need to know)
  • How can I DRESS IT UP or down? (insta style with heels don’t always transfer well to the real world where you’re probably just going to Lidl)
  • And of course….does it have POCKETS?!

We’ve all ordered online and been bitterly disappointed when the garment arrives, usually in the wrong size or fabric. Don’t think it’s you. My mantra is if it makes you feel rubbish, or it’s all wrong then IT’S NOT YOU IT’S THE DRESS!

I’m also a hungry bargain hunter and definitely not into designer clobber (I don’t have the cash and even if we did, I think a trip to Mauritius would be more my bag!). I’ll share the deals and discount codes and if I can I’ll try and wrangle a code for you! I share the beauty products and fake tan secrets that I can’t live without too, anything that helps my mid 40s!

I’m also pretty random and share lots of the stuff I love; family life, VERY simple foolproof recipes, and travel and just life as a Mum of three – my two girls Lola and Poppy, and George my nephew.  I’ve been hit hard by loss in the past having lost my sister, and my Mum and Dad and I will talk about grief sporadically as it’s a huge part of my life and I’m happy to normalise it and share. Oh and there is also  a very tolerant husband in the wings but he NEVER appears on insta.


Let ME try before YOU buy!

It’s a lottery buying online. Let me road-test your purchases – before you click buy! I take the best of the current high street fashion and feed back to you about it’s cut, sizing, quality and how best to style it. Time saving reviews delivered straight to your phone!

My Instagram @40plusnotgivingupyet

Love them or scarecrow vibes?!??!

Jeans @zara nabbed off my pal @ukdanielax who looks amazing in them. On me not so sure but the lesson is try on every pair and keep trying don't despair. Jeans trying is SOUL DESTROYING but it is for everyone and I'll just keep trying on whether they look good or not. And remember even my favourite jeans don't work all month round to cope with my own body fluctuations (and mood!).

Personally I still favour slimmer fit but gonna keep trying...


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We hadn't even got to our hotel when we got this pic. But then a bird pooped on me and I arrived at our hotel less than pristine (understatement). Still it meant I got undressed within seconds of arriving at our hotel room; just not for the right reasons.. 😂😂😂

Shirt @bershka Trainers @nike
Jeans old @hm Bag @coach

#romanticweekendawaywithme #coveredinshit

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Oh yeah... (imagine sexy Barry White voice talking this pure filth to me)..

I'm not *on* here but this is it 😍. Thanks for nailing it @spoonfulsofchronic


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Last weekend we went with the kids to Covent Garden. Tomorrow my husband and I are going for a night *just the two of us*. NO PRESSURE THEN!!!!

Those couples that go away on social media and come back telling you how loved up they are having spent *quality time* in each other's arms. Mostly Facebook *loved up* but some insta nauseating public declarations of love well they don't work for me...

We are not going to put that pressure on us. Marriage is hard enough. So we have booked pizza not fancy dining. And the hotel with breakfast (oh jeez I am excited about that!). Then we shall mooch and try to chat beyond the kids. And we have sworn to not be on our phones too much (okay me). Or Sky sports (def him). And if we get 8 hours sleep too then it'll be a winner.... wish us luck..


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AD | Whenever I recommend a skincare product I always trial it first. And I have to admit I was pretty excited to get to try the Murad Trio - I mean it's called the Retinol Youth Collection WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO TRY THAT!  Plus the trio features the #1 Retinol eye serum in the US and #1 Retinol night cream in the US so hell yes I wanted to try it. And.. the results are in I am VERY impressed and so I am happy to report back but also with a discount code for you guys HELEN20 for 20% off for you to try if you wish!
I'm already a fan of retinol but of course the above stats and the fact that this is a Retinol Trio intrigued me - serum, eye serum AND night cream. As with any retinol you incorporate these gently into your routine to build up your skin's tolerance although this trio has been especially formulated to work fast and deliver results while minimising irritation so although I was wary it seemed to start working very quickly with no sensitivity or breakouts.  I'm now using all three products 3 times a week at night time and my skin is actually loving it. It feels like a glow up and who doesn't want that?!  
There is a lot of science behind this Tri-Active Technology developed by Dr Murad. Of course I don't understand the magic behind this wizardy but here's what you need to know about the retinol:
* Fast acting retinoid - goes to work IMMEDIATELY for rapid visible results
* Time released retinol - ongoing beneftits and minimising irritation
* Retinol booster - amplified retinol's ability to increase cell turnover.

HOW DO THEY DO THAT? I don't know. Forget what we all thought about % in retinol this trio knock that out of the water by penetrating the skin and I've been using all three together I am VERY happy with the results. My skin feels smoother, more even and maybe even fine lines are less obvious (touch wood please I don't want to say it out loud!).  I'm not going to turn back the hands of time of course but this has given my skin a boost and I feel I've upped my skincare game and for that I am very happy.  If you want to give it a try then my code HELEN20 is live now and running until 21st October link in  stories.

@muradskincareuk #retinol

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Last hurrah wearing my @theshoegirlsuk sandals . It felt tropical... sort of.. OK I had cold feet. I'm on the hunt for boots.. and it's soooo hard. Anyone found any they love love love this year that go with jeans and dresses? I'd love a tan pair. Or grey. Or just not black black black 🙄. Answers below pls!!! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

For those that have been asking Lucy @muddyfrogs and I are working on boots (and have been since May!). NOTHING is finalised yet we have had samples made and we are not there yet.. but I'm now starting to think I need them ASAP! It seems a bit extreme making your own 'cos you can't find them on the high street (but damn it if I can why not) ?!


I don't want great big clumpy ones that make me look like Olive Oil - WTAF are they all about?!?. And I want ones that go with jeans AND dresses. Oh AND of course comfort and leather.

Why is it so hard to find that?! If you have found any answers below with description 'cos I can't do any more sandals.. much as I love them my feet are blue!

Shirt @massimodutti
Jeans @mandco_fashion previous paid partnership
Belt @johnlewis last year
Earrings @ashianalondon
collab with @stealmystyle40 code 40plusnotgivingupyet gives 15% off the site
Sunglasses @gucci

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You can see our #smallmumtallmum reel on our Instagram highlights so check it out!

A hashtag born from an Instafriendship with Abi @stealmystyle40!
We shopped, we storied, we shared our try-ons and laughed at the differences in sizes.  Our followers told us they LOVED it and asked for more. #smallmumtallmum was born!