Ana 1Ana Hanslow is a serious bargain hunter. This woman is mad about car boot sales, charity shops, local Chinese shops and of course the sales in general. She is a woman after my own heart! I love that about her. Not only that, but she’s also got a great sense of style, good taste and is lots of fun to be around. She’s one of those happy people who are always smiling.

Ana Hanslow 2When I asked her where she does her shopping, she grins and tells me about a couple of great charity shops in her local town of Lagos and another in Praia da Luz, just down the road. “It’s amazing what you can find sometimes but it is pot luck, being there at the right time,” she says.

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Ana 8“What about your amazing boots?” I ask her after eyeballing the most gorgeous pair of deep blue boots. “These were from a car boot sale. Brand new,” she grins again. Man do I need to go car booting or whatever you call it.

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Ana 24“It’s a great way of buying clothes,” she says, “because you can easily afford to change your wardrobe without feeling guilty.” She has a point.

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Ana’s family originally came from Madeira (which explains why she looks very Portuguese), she was born in Jersey however, but she moved to Norwich when she was six then on to Stourbridge at 16, before moving to Portuguese soil nine years ago with her husband and two sons. Liam, 20, graduated from Faro University in June following 3 years on a Business Management Degree and working at the Tivoli in the Accounts/Marketing Dept. Steven, 17, is one of the top Trampolining Gymnastics and a budding artist, still at school.
Ana 28It’s hard to believe that Ana turned 50 earlier this year. With the most amazing skin that she credits with moisturising day and night since she was a teenager; and a figure to die for which is clearly more to do with good genes than an avid fitness routine because she says she’s keeps fit just by doing daily activities. “My job as a waitress at Oasis Cafe at Lagos Marina and daily housework keeps me fit in general.” Like I said, good genes 😉

With such good skin, Ana has no need for heavy make-up, so she settles for a little bronzer (she’s a fan of H&M’s own brand), blusher, lipstick or gloss and eyeliner. Oh and she clearly looks after her brows. “I’m not one to spend a lot on makeup so tend to use some of the products from Kiko which are very good value.” I happen to agree. If you’ve not shopped at Kiko, get yourself down there. It’s a fabulous shop.

As for ageing, Ana believes it’s important not to hide how old you are but to age gracefully. “I don’t agree with cosmetic surgery, I much prefer to see women age naturally, to a certain degree. I believe in making the most of what you’ve got – don’t be frumpy, even around the house. It lifts the spirits to know that you’ve made some effort with yourself!”

Her number one piece of advice for looking, and feeling, good, is to get plenty of sleep. “It’s very important for the skin and for the metabolism,” she says. “I’m not a worrier, either. And that’s something that can really take its toll on you. But I’ve always been an optimist and I have a strong Christian faith. If I feel a bit down, I’ll just have a little word with God while I’m doing the housework and feel much better for it. It helps to release any stress I might have,” she says. Ana frequently attends her local community English church in Lagos (ICC). “It really helps the way you look at things in every day life. Kids, marriage, friends. It gives me peace and hope, and that has a lot to do with health. I can snap out of things much quicker with my faith”.

I ask her what her guilty pleasure is and she struggles to come up with something… other than chocolate, “I enjoy food. I have a bit of a sweet tooth but a few bites is enough to satisfy me. Most things in moderation is fine and I rather choose food over alcohol as I don’t drink much so that helps keep my weight stable.  I’ve never followed a diet and believe they don’t work in the long term. If I have put on a few too many pounds I cut back on the rubbish for a while. I try to eat healthily but I’m not very rigid with the rules. It’s more about respecting yourself and body throughout your life, not just for the short term. I enjoy being with my family and friends, but I also enjoy my own company and I don’t feel guilty about taking time out for myself. It’s great to slow down at times, look around you or think about what you have and appreciate it all.”

Well, I couldn’t have put it better myself!

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I love interviewing interesting women with style. Check out my post with Pia, a former fashion model. If you live in the Algarve and would like to be featured, drop me a line! (You’ll find my contact details on my pr & contact page)