Ageless Beauty: Simple Tips for Looking and Feeling Your Best



by Susie Galvez

Notice how many of the following tips are not about heavy makeup and elaborate beauty treatments? That's because beauty—real beauty—has more to do with attitude than expensive products.

Skin sense for the fabulous 40s and 50s.

You have more confidence and more desire to experiment. After all . . . it's only makeup! Skin renewal tends to slow to 23-25 days. Fine lines and more mature skin appear.

·       Take advantage of your well-defined tastes. Play up your assets.

·       Enjoy the fact that finally, you are comfortable with who you are.

·       Skin becomes thinner. Moisturize your eyes before applying eye shadows.

·       Watch for color changes and uneven skin tone. Conceal what you don't want to reveal.

·       Use a sponge to blend foundation flawlessly.

·       If your skin is dry, begin to use a moisturizing foundation. A custom blended foundation is definitely worth the investment.

·       Although most sun damage is acquired before the age of 18, a sun protection product is very important to keep the sunspots and wrinkles at bay.

Skin sense for the sensational 60s and beyond.

Your skin may be thinner and dryer, but your beauty style is confident and personalized. Skin renewal takes 28 or so days, bringing deeper character lines and drier skin.

·       Superior moisturizing and hydration are necessities.

·       Eye makeup needs to be elegant, rather than dramatic. Use subtle shades and matte colors.

·       Foundation coverage needs to be lighter. Use a moisturizing foundation as well.

·       Use loose powder lightly. The drier the skin, the more it shows.

·       A pink-based powder deflects the light rather than reflects. This will

·       offer a soft-focus effect, perfect for softening lines and wrinkles.

·       Go for a more dramatic lip color, use a lip-lining pencil and lip stay to keep it from straying.

·       Experiment with sculptured brows for shape and polish.

·       Sun protection is a must.

Brighten that smile.

Nothing ages you faster than unsightly stains on your teeth. Brighten your smile and teeth by using a whitening tooth polish. If that doesn't work, consult your dentist about bleaching. Have metal fillings replaced with white natural looking ones. Also flesh colored, brownish mauve, or terracotta hued lip color make teeth look whiter.

Want more eye contact? Try this.

Place a dime-sized dot of a golden or light reflecting color of eye shadow on the center of your eyelid, then blend softly. When you are blinking, people will notice the light area but won't know why. Humans are naturally attracted to light. Try it and see if you don't have more eye contact during the day!

Conquer insomnia.

Who doesn't look younger with a good night's sleep under her belt? If you're having trouble sleeping, one or two of these ideas are sure to give you the z-z-z-z's. Establish a regular lights out time and stick to it. Sleep on soft, lightweight sheets and a lightweight blanket instead of yards of heavy covers. Set your bedroom temperature at the ideal nighttime temperature of 60-65 degrees F for optimum relaxation. Taking a warm bath within two hours of going to bed is another way to catch a few extra winks.

Give your hair a spa session.

Do this every other week: Instead of rushing the conditioner on and off the hair, leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wrap the hair in a towel, sit and relax with a cup of antioxidant tea. Rinse your hair and style as usual. Your hair will feel like silk, and your scalp will be hydrated.

Don't get stuck in a "looks" rut.

Just because it "worked" for you at 25 doesn't mean that it will work at 35 and beyond. Update your look—hair, makeup and clothes need to keep up with the times. A dated look is a dead look. Besides, changing your appearance is a natural mood-booster, and feeling good makes you look good!

Practice good humor.

Good moods are contagious. Smile and say hello to everyone you meet. Give a sincere compliment to three people every day. Your facial muscles will relax, you will put some pep in your step, and your compliment will make someone's day. Think about how you feel when you get one. Go out and give three a day!

Give yourself the Cleopatra treatment—take a milk bath.

Create a rejuvenating spa with a sensuous milk bath. Mix one cup of powered whole milk with one tablespoon of grapeseed oil and add to running bath water. Just before you slide into the water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The milk contains lactic acid, which helps remove dead skin and grapeseed oil contains powerful antioxidants while the essential oils create a wonderful mood lifting fragrance.

Grapefruit: it's not just for breakfast anymore.

To keep elbows soft and pretty, exfoliate while bathing. Then cut a grapefruit in half and place half under each elbow. Remain in this position for 15 minutes, letting them soak while you read your favorite book or telephone a friend. The grapefruit will soften the skin while removing dark areas.

Detox daily.

Start the day with a quick and effective body detox drink. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime into a mug. Add hot water and drink slowly. This daily ritual will help flush out all the impurities that your body has managed to pick up overnight and prepare your skin for a new day.

Nibble more blueberries.

Did you know that blueberries are excellent collagen promoters? Skin collagen helps reduce wrinkling. So just maybe 1/2 cup of blueberries a few times a week could keep the plastic surgeon away!

Make a luxury appointment.

The payoffs for indulging in beauty treatments are much more than skin deep. Spa experts now realize that if you consciously include some extra me-time into your schedule, you start to feel more powerful and more in control of your life. Make an appointment with your favorite spa for a facial, manicure or massage-or all three, and enjoy the benefits.

Take a time out.

Give yourself permission to take naps once in a while. There is nothing more delicious than an after Sunday brunch nap. Cover yourself with a silk throw and drift off for an hour or so. Awake refreshed and wonderfully relaxed.

Give yourself a hand facial.

Apply a facial mask to back of hands once a month. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Remove, rinse, and hydrate. Your hands will be smooth and wrinkles lessened. Hands are the third place to reveal one's age. (First is the face, and second is the neck.)

Sleep sans makeup.

Your mother was right: going to bed with makeup on takes 10 days off the life of the face. The tossing and turning grinds the makeup into the pores and causes clogs and grime to go deeper. The eyelashes also take a beating by being squished with dried, cakey mascara, causing them to break off. Just two minutes is all it takes to preserve your skin.

Practice nighttime lip Rx.

Lips can dry out during the night, especially if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping or if the bedroom is warm and dry. To keep lips their softest, line free, and most kissable, nourish them nocturnally. Keep some moisturizing, vitamin-enriched lip balm on the nightstand.

There is strength in numbers: repetitions, that is.

Adding a strength training session to your weekly running, cycling or aerobics program (you do have one, right?) will dramatically increase your anti-aging efforts in all of the good ways!

Always remember the number one anti-ager.

Confidence. It is smart, sexy and sassy. Learn to shine with your confidence and not only will everyone totally believe that you are gorgeous, but younger than your years. Strut your stuff—confidently.


Excerpted from Hello Beautiful by Susie Galvez. Copyright © 2003 by Susie Galvez. Excerpted by arrangement with MQ Publications Limited. $12.95. Available in local bookstores or click here.