By CAROLYN DONOVAN
I was always a firm believer that makeup, a well cut dress and a pair of gorgeous heels fixed everything. Until I turned 40.
I also believed the rumours that this was the age when you, er, well, fell apart. I awoke on the morning of the big day, ran my hands carefully over my face, patted myself down, placed my feet ever so gently on the floor…and realised I hadn’t!
Fast forward three years. And I still haven’t.
Refreshing, Boosting, Plumping, Smoothing: I read the words off a menu of injectables in a skin care brochure on a friend’s kitchen bench over a mug of coffee. Call me backward, but doesn’t skin that needs refreshing benefit from a little rehydration? A lacklustre complexion in need of a boost is going to positively glow after taking the stairs, instead of the lift. And surely a face that’s lost its plumpness could do with an extra chocolate? Don’t even start me on the importance of moisturiser in my life!
“Before you go and fork out perfectly good shoe money on asking someone to jab needles in your face, why not give these a try?” I suggest to her.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to a good conversation on medical advancements in the beauty industry any day – especially if there are before and after pictures! There are, however, some definite youth elixirs I am putting into practice. (And, joy of joys, I can still move my face when I talk.)
1. Moisturise. Moisturise. Moisturise. Don’t stop at your jaw line – just pretend your face ends at your nipples so you don’t forget your neck. (See, I warned you I was passionate about this!) I spent my first ever pay packet on a trusted pink bottle of Oil of Ulan – which is now known as Olay to an estimated 60 million women who use it the world over (they must be doing something right) – and have never looked back.
2. Drink lots of water. We know how important fresh water is for our overall health but I am astounded by how many of my girlfriends still struggle with it. I drink two to three litres every day and immediately notice when I don’t. Train yourself to love water, if you have to.
3. Don’t over pluck your eyebrows. Here’s the best trick I ever learned for perfect eyebrow shaping: Using an eye brow brush, or clean dry mascara wand, brush your eyebrows downwards and fill in the spaces with an eyebrow pencil before brushing them upwards again. This gives you your true eyebrow shape, regardless of how much damage you may have done to them over the years. Eyebrows can really age your face. Or not.
4. Luminescent eye-shadow. Going crazy with sparkly eye shadow only highlights dry or aging skin, but here’s a simple, yet effective, technique: Finish off your usual make up with a quick dab of luminescent cream or silver shadow in the very corner of the eye (either just near the inner tear duct area, or both inner and outer eye corners for an evening make up). The subtle touch of sparkle freshens up the whole effect.
5. Ponytail. Well, it’s the one minute facelift really.
6. Fringe. You can hide a multitude of things under there.
7. Put on some weight. This always works wonders for my face. Check your healthy height-weight range and if you’re underweight, quick, go and eat a massive sandwich. Run! Gaunt, emaciated cheeks age your face quicker than a ciggie ever could. (Speaking of which – I don’t even need to list that do I?
8. Limit sugar. Well that puts a dampener of sorts on the last tip. But I didn’t say you had to do all of them all the time. Sugar is known to seriously damage collagen which leads to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines
9. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is a luxury most extreme. But it’s cheap. Painless. And vitally important for our cells and skin to renew itself.
10. Exercise. Boring (…sorry for the extreme honesty, but we already know exercise does wonders for the skin!)
Please don’t send me hate mail on the last tip. After 40+ years, I still don’t love exercise. But I do (almost) like walking my dog. Or, rather, he likes walking me.
You will never be as young as you are this year, this month…today. Enjoy it to the full!
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What changes have you made to your beauty routine as you got older (and wiser)? What’s your best sharable tip?