So I had a reader write to me and say..
(using the You Rock Lizzie choice in the drop down menu on my contact page)
Lizzie! I can’t believe you are over 40. How do you do it? You look so much younger. Can you tell us what you do to look so fantastic?
Truth of the matter is, I just finished waxing my eyebrows. I am always amazed at the difference a little eyebrow grooming can make in your ..uh my, appearance. And there comes a point where tweezing the stragglers doesn’t cut it. It’s true.
Barbaric but true.
It got me thinking about some of the weird and somewhat barbaric things that we, women, do to be pretty, to stay pretty, especially as we age.
And so I thought AHA! I will not only give you my slightly cracked observations on beauty rituals but add, as a bonus, unsolicited advice and my little tips and tricks. Oh boy I know you are on the edge of your seats.
My favorite stupid beauty philosophy is something my mother always told me. Especially when it hurt.
You must suffer to be beautiful.
Oh really? Says who?
I have done my fair share of suffering in the name of beauty and did not reap the rewards.
The home perm in 4th grade? Oh yeah I suffered mightily with only a minimal amount of bitching because the pay off was going to be a beautiful head of curls.
Didn’t quite work out that way. I suffered all right. for a lot longer than was humanly bearable. We aren’t going to talk about anymore it’s painful. I mean if you must suffer to be beautiful than it makes sense that the amount of suffering should reflect the payoff. Should being the pivotal word. Things don’t always work out the way we plan.
Allow me to be completely full of myself for just a moment, if you will
If you won’t then cover your eyes or do what you have to, because I am going all out big-headed full of myself.
I am pretty (witty too but that’s for another day)
I have never really had to work at it. Sorry it’s just the truth. In fact, I went through much of my young adult years (that would be chronologically not mentally – don’t confuse me with a real adult ) completely oblivious to the fact that I am, or was, pretty easy on the eyes.
I got lucky with great genes. I didn’t have to do a thing. I never had acne, my hair has always been amazingly thick and fast growing and I have cheekbones. Yes they are built-in.
The women in my family age amazingly well and the worst skin problem, on my face I have ever had to contend with is pregnancy mask. And a scar from a chicken pock that we thought was a zit because I only had like three on my entire body. I was 12, we thought it was the beginning of the dreaded teen skin issues.
I didn’t earn it, being pretty. And I took it for granted.
I have never been about, correction, I was for a bit but I lost that need for, girly girl beauty stuff. I think it was probably in the Army. I had to keep my nails short, could only wear makeup in Class A uniform and was allowed a simple wedding band and a pair of stud earrings for jewelry. That’s it.
You do – or don’t do something for 6 years and it gets to be ingrained. I used to pride myself and delight my significant others that I could get ready in less than 10 minutes and look damn good (by their standards).
I didn’t have to put makeup on to got to the store. I didn’t have to do my hair to go anywhere. I could get out of bed in the morning and look, maybe a little rumpled.. but that can be sexy, or so I’ve heard. more than a few times, and pull it off with no problem.
No problemo. Zip. Zilch.
I just didn’t , and didn’t have to,worry about how I looked.
Yea well, I am here to tell you that it can bite you in the ass and catch up to you really fast.
Like as soon as you turn 40.
And I admit that while I wasn’t trying to look good, I was living pretty rough. As in all the things you shouldn’t do to keep your looks when you get older. I drank, smoked and partied hard. Lack of sleep, which is still troublesome, and abused my body in ways …I don’t want to even think about, nevermind discussing them here. Although there might be one or two good stories.
Ok enough. It is catching up to me as it will to each one of you if it hasn’t already. And to combat this inevitable droop, because it really is all about gravity finally getting a hold on your less than elastic skin and um….other parts as well, bottom line, I have succumbed to a little suffering to be beautiful.
Lizzie’s Head to Toe Fabulous after 40 Beauty Secrets.
(secrets sounds so much better, don;t you think like I have something everyone wants.. hee hee )
Since I have an easy breezy wash and go style haircut, I don’t subject my hair to the heat of styling devices or product on a daily basis. I do occasionally, but it has served me well as my hair is still thick and healthy when some women are starting to see theirs thin and become brittle.
I color it because I have this grey streak, just one streak that was really really cool in my mid-thirties, but let’s face it ladies and gents, when women get greys they start to look old. Men look distinguished, women look old.
I was the most earthy and natural girl out there, loudly proclaiming I would grow old gracefully, but as soon as I saw how much older I looked, I am not doing it.
Color. And highlights. Worth every bit of time and money you invest in them.
I buy whatever box color is on sale that has low and highlights built-in. Bam. Done.
I never needed foundation, and hated wearing it. I don’t get the whole complete face mask part of makeup. Make up should enhance our looks not change them to something they aren’t, so much so that you refuse to be seen in the morning until you put your face on.
Ok so I am not really happy that the creases from the pillow takes three times as long to disappear in the morning, but make up will not help the matter. And a lot of make up has a funny smell. A glamour night is one thing, daily plaster is another. To each their own but for me, less is best.
Unfortunately after 40 none is not working anymore.
So I use the bare minimum everyday, lipstick and mascara, eyeliner if I have 2 extra minutes, a face perfecter that bounces light to reduce the appearance of A.G.E. and anything I can find to cover up the damn black circles that never go away.
More importantly, I finally have come to realize the benefit of washing with a gentle cleanser twice a day and moisturizer with a SPF 25 or higher, product during the day and a restorative concoction at night that fights fee radicals and all the other junk it is supposed to do.
The power of suggestion is strong with anti-aging stuff and you really can tell a difference in the morning.
Oh to get back all those years I neglected this important step, the days I slept with make up on. With my anti-aging, restorative stuff I use now, I would look 12.
Sure I could put boobs in with body, but I really wanted to point out something important about boobs.
36 DD may be smoking hot at 23, but at 43 after a couple a kids – actually just one is enough to do it – you end up with the equivalent of 2 old gym socks with sand in the bottom.
I kid you not.
I, fortunately, do not have this problem but for the first time in my life,… no that’s not true.
I have never worried too much about my boob size. At all. It is what it is, and I have run the gamut from a minimalistic A to generous DD due to weight gain and loss, and babies and all kinds of stuff.
You would not believe how big boobies get during pregnancy and wow hold your hats during the first few months of breast-feeding. My body naturally wants to stay at a reasonable handful (each) and where I was going with that was …
All you women that are worried about your smaller boobs and feel inadequate in some way – stop. When you are my age.. it will be YOU that has it going on. Not the buxom babes of our youth. Sorry buxom babes.
But I can offer this advice... Support support support. And after 40, wear a bra when you go out. Nothing gives away your age like your boobies peeking out below your shirtline. Just saying. If I had big boobs, they would be properly encased at all times, in public.
If it makes you feel any better, I have problems with my ass. Ok? I got lucky in the boob department but when it comes to my ass.. I got one that just won’t quit. And not in a good way. Although is still is looking pretty damn good for my age, and 6 kids.
Drink lots of water.
Stretch. I do it at least once a week.
Body and facial hair
I wax my eyebrows. I didn’t discover the awesomeness of this until I was 34. It hurts. There is suffering and I am one of those that puffs up the instant the wax is ripped off. Which is why I limit waxing to my eyebrows. I, again luckily, have no facial hair to contend with except one hair on my chin that keeps coming back. I pluck that puppy the instant it appears.
As far as eyebrows go – the pain is worth it. We don’t like angry eyebrows and nothing says angry like a unibrow and bushy brows. I don’t care how happy you are. Wax. I can’t say it enough. Wax.
I shave my legs when I think about it, or on special occasions. I have been called a hippy chick, I have been in positions where I wish I had done it. But it’s not the end of the world, and guys the only thing I have to say to any of you that are thinking eww right now?
If you are gonna kiss me with that 2 day facial hair growth then you shouldn’t have much to say about me wrapping my legs around you with 2 or 3 days worth of stubble right ?
In fact. I tire of talking about beauty so I am just going to tell you;
my number one secret to staying fabulous and pretty after 40. (and in fact being more so than I was at 20)
Confidence. and Knowledge
It isn’t all about how I look, its a package deal. I may not be a beauty queen but I got it going on from the inside out. All these little tricks I have told you before, they only work because I have the confidence to pull it off.
Yes I had to suffer a little (ok, a lot) to get here. So my mom was right. But it was worth it.
I am smart enough, I am good enough and I am pretty enough and gosh darn it… that makes me beautiful.
Let’s hear someone argue with THAT beauty philosophy?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
Lizzie Cracked (never broken) but still fabulous and over 40.
- Summer Beauty Travel Essentials (thefashionablehousewife.com)
- Beauty Wishlist (kimberleyheather.wordpress.com)
- My Eight Favorite Beauty Products (mandibelle16.wordpress.com)
- Time Management Beauty Tips: Getting Pretty in No Time (savings.com)
- From The Vault: You’re Beautiful, Naturally (ecosalon.com)