Introduction: 8 Ways to Look Younger As You Age (Gracefully I Hope!)
Hi I am a true artist as I love to work in many medias, not just pencil and paper. My latest adventure in the art world is cosmetic & medical tattooing, from permanent makeup to camouflage work, such as cleft lip and areola reconstruction. In order to learn tattooing, I attended a school for permanent makeup where I also picked up some interesting anti-aging information including skin care. Being an RN, an artist and a Christian, these 3 worlds collide into me! I absolutely love all of my work, and I also like to share the knowledge I've gained through research and education.
Why is it important to look young in our society? When she was young, my daughter would laugh and tell me "Ain't nobody gonna get your man!" So? I'm a little high-maintenance, lol! With all the more important social issues that face us today, we have to keep a balance and not let the inevitable uglies of aging absolutely consume us- some of the plastic surgery disasters of the rich come to mind! Having said all that, there are some things we can do to stay younger-looking as we get older without breaking the bank. Looking our best is a huge confidence-booster. It gives us an advantage in the work force, as many of us baby-boomers who are working well into our senior years can testify! When I was a 21-yr-old nurse, I felt I was not taken seriously because of my age. In the "senior years" it's deja vu!
We've all heard 'dressing for success'; well, there have been news reports of late that also examine the advantage of wearing makeup. Reports show that wearing more makeup actually garners better wages! People size you up; if you are neatly dressed and your makeup is attractive, you are well-groomed. People automatically think you will give the same attention to detail in your work as you do in presenting yourself professionally. So, here we go, but use your brain and don't let your NEW LOOK go to your head, cause sister you are going to look younger after you apply these steps!!! To quote a friend of mine, she says "I may be 49, but I'm a HOT 49!"
Step 1: Brows Are Important!!!
One of my beautiful clients before and after permanent makeup and skin care. Regular makeup works just fine ladies, but for those of us with a crunched schedule and/or bad vision/arthritis/can't draw a straight line challenges, etc. permanent makeup is well worth the $.
Think about all our eyebrows do; they express a whole range of emotions, from surprise, to joy, questioning, to disapproval & anger! Not only do they serve the important function of communication, but they are a FRAME to the windows of the soul- our eyes! As we age, we gradually get used to our brows getting thinner, grayer, and disappearing, so we don't really realize how much a lack of hair or color ages us. Get a photo of yourself at a younger age, and compare your eyebrows. In general, you should go a shade or two lighter, that goes for hair color too, than you did at age 20! What's your darkest base hair color? Let that be your guide. If gray is your thing, then go for a taupe or gray shade of brow. Do you have a stylish friend that can give you candid advise? She should be your best friend lol! Ask her opinion on your brows. Another helpful tool is to take selfies, and choose your favorite color & shape. It will take years off your face- a great tutorial on brow shaping: https://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-Eyebrows/... A little eyeliner is great too, because it gives some definition to the eyes- same advise on the color, light colored eyes will look best with a brown, and dark eyes will look good with a soft, smokey dark gray as we age, depending on our natural skin color. You can certainly go for just eyelash enhancement upper & lower rather than a thick eyeliner like we like in Texas, lol!
Step 2: Your Smile Is Important!
I knew a lady that would not smile as she got older, I think she was afraid she would get a wrinkle! Actually studies show that frowning causes wrinkles around the mouth, and a lot more muscles are involved in frowning vs. smiling. Smoking and/or drinking constantly through a straw will cause mouth wrinkles. But don't stop smiling! It takes years off your face when you smile. I don't want wrinkles, but smile lines around my eyes and mouth do not bother me at all, you see how it makes the bags under my eyes disappear! The hair in my photos is different too, but focus on the face. Take some selfies both ways, you will see what I mean :) And you are more approachable if you are smiling (hmmm sometimes you don't want to be approachable.. if you're busy at work lol). I'm not against a little nip and tuck, but doubtful I'll be able to afford that as I age- so I'll stick with the simple stuff. More about combating lines/wrinkles with derma rolling & skin care another instructable if you are interested!
Just a side note, if you can afford botox, just the fact that you can't wrinkle your eyebrows together will prevent a crease from forming. I haven't had the injection, but I have a nurse friend who has no wrinkles between her eyes, just because she started using botox in her late 30's. Another wrinkler is the way you sleep. Yup, I can tell you which side of your face you sleep on, just by comparing the lines! Remember grandmother always said to sleep on satin? Yes there is a reason for that- helps prevent sleep wrinkles. Even better is silk. Look up the benefits of sleeping on silk- if you use skin care (which absolutely you must be!), you will feed your face vitamins and not your pillow! Cotton is like 5-6 times more absorbent than its weight. Don't throw your hard-earned $ down the toilet girls!
Step 3: Keep Your Teeth in Good Repair
Now that we've covered smiling as anti-aging, have you ever noticed that a 6 year old's new teeth have a saw-tooth edge? How quickly do they lose it with use? Well think about those pearly whites; how long are they going to have to last, chewing & biting throughout a lifetime? We just get used to seeing the cracks, chips, yellowing, missing, and before you know it, you have old broken down teeth that exude 'ancient of days'!!! Make it a priority to keep them in good repair. I know dental work is expensive, but there are ways, such as dental schools, and even if you set aside a certain amount per month for nice-looking teeth, you can have that winning smile. There are whitening strips and toothpastes on the market. And don't eat ice, nothing cracks and breaks teeth as badly. We thought it was cool as teens to have some snaggle teeth, but it ain't cool when you're 60! I don't care HOW much $ you spend on creams, makeup, etc, if you have broken down teeth, that's what the focus of your face will be, not the beautiful new lip color you are wearing. If you opt for veneers or dentures, please listen to the dentist; don't get commode white teeth! At least get natural colored ones. All teeth are naturally gray or a yellow cast. Why would you want them to look like false teeth?
Step 4: Posture
Ha when I was a girl my mom was always ragging on me to stand up straight! "Pretend you have a string running through your head that holds you to the ceiling! Practice walking with a book on your head!" As a teen I was of course taller than the boys in my grade, and I didn't want to be! Thankfully that phase doesn't last too long before the guys catch up with the girls. If you have noticed, as we age, we slow down, we may be bent over with arthritis or just feel tired, and our posture suffers. Ugh our bodies have taken a beating through the years. If you can work on your posture, it does give you a younger persona. Don't let it ruin your life though, if your body won't let you stand up straight, make up for it with that beautiful smile!! My grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 96, and when people would ask her what the secret is to living a long life, she would reply, "I take a vitamin every day!" So take your vitamins and calcium ladies, to help you stand tall.
Ok while I'm at it I think I'll meddle a little bit. Our family has always enjoyed eating a lot! Our mother was slim, but she enjoyed cooking fantastic gourmet meals and watching her family eat. And so we certainly have struggled to overcome the habit of overeating. If you are overweight, I will tell you like I told my own family once they were grown: you can be overweight, and still look nice! You can still be well-groomed, and dress professionally. I'm not saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater and eat all you want. We are all aware overeating takes a toll on the body, and I won't go into the diseases that our family fights, including type 2 diabetes because we choose to eat more than our body needs, and the wrong type of foods to boot. If you are overweight, you can dress nicely and you can walk straight. Don't waddle- that, plus slouching, makes you look much heavier than you really are! I've noticed, that when people are ready, they will take the initiative and find ways to reduce their weight and eat healthier. But that's another instructable!!!
OK, for the skinny minnies in our family- don't walk like Olive Oyl either. Walk gracefully, take a video of yourself and see if you can improve on your gait. Research what kind of clothing your body shape should wear. I am an apple shape, so I avoid belts around my waist accenting my girth! Skinny minnies can wear lots of gathers around their waist which frequently balances out their figures.
As you age, keep in mind that some fashions are for the young! My grandmother always looked beautiful well into her 90's, and she eventually chose to wear longer sleeves, because her arms were just too saggy to look good in a sleeveless outfit. Same goes for the mini skirt. If you like the short skirt look, and you are older, try pairing it with leggings. Believe me, those saggy thighs and varicose veins are not cute. They only make you look like an old lady who is trying to look like a teeny bopper! Hey I have them too lol! Clothing and accessories should bring attention to your 'hot' features- and sister you still have some to feature!
A note about breasts. Keep the girls up! I had a friend who reminded me that this one needs to be added. Even us small-busted girls need to remember that 'perky' translates 'young' lol. Support those breasts, and stand up straight! Takes years off of you. You don't want them to look like fried eggs hung on a nail now do you?
Step 5: Hair Does Matter
Don't get stuck in a decade (see my first photos). Permed hair was in, and I was all about the aging natural look, so I got stuck! I had a sweet friend who went to beauty school, and she said "Janice your hair ages you!" Good friend. Ok she whacked it off and blow dried it, gave me a little color, and it is said that one little hair-do took 10 years off. I've seen beautiful gray hair, cut and styled modernly. So you don't have to necessarily color your hair. But the long tresses of the teen years can really drag your face down and accentuate the 'south-going' face. A beautician can help you 'lift' your face. Don't draw attention to a crepey neck- sweep the hair up, glue it with gel or spray, and you'll instantly look younger! A note for the guys: comb-overs really age you. If you are rich, and you think you look good with a comb-over, you are deceiving yourself, 'cause the rest of the world jokes about your comb-over! I'd rather see a bald head, myself. Having said that, girls we need to be careful about that too- ask the hairdresser if it's time for a toupee. Ha, that's what I'm gonna do, cause Texas is too hot to wear a wig! Seriously, there are hair pieces that can be strategically clipped in, and other solutions to the problem if Rogaine doesn't work.
While I'm on hair, opt for a couple shades lighter than your original natural color as you age. I read an anti-aging book once that said to go a shade lighter every 10 years if you color. I know I cringe sometimes when I see jet black hair on an older face. It really looks harsh, unnatural, and ages us. The roots have to be colored every 3 weeks too, in order to hide the fact that you are coloring. I'd rather see gray! Lately, I've been adding some low lights in a dark brown to my almost-white-hair at this time in my life. Above, a dear friend before and after permanent brows, liner, skin needling and makeup. She may be 65, but she's a HOT 65! Just ask her husband-
Step 6: YOU NEED a Little LIPSTICK.
Nothing worse than the 'faded' look. Faded hair. Faded brows. Faded lips. They all say, Faded glory. Ha, just a little lip color will do wonders for your new timeless look. A little color on your cheeks; something moist. Love a 'glow' , a little moist sheen on the skin- it says 'young, healthy!' I think as we age, less makeup is better. Lip stain. Colored lip gloss. Make sure it's the right color for you, and doesn't make your teeth look yellow! While we are at it, drop the powder ladies. Thick makeup and powder cakes into any lines or wrinkles. It says 'dried out' and 'dried up'. Have a skin analysis. I was always oily-oily. But as I've aged, I've had to add moisturizer, and switch to liquid foundation. I've lost some of my rich olive coloring, and so I am using a lighter shade of makeup. No need for powder, except just a very light dusting on my nose and center of my forehead to knock off the excessive shine. If you've always been normal or dry, you will most likely be drier. Find makeup that won't collect in any lines you may have. They just accentuate lines, wrinkles, sags. If you are like me, and struggled with acne most of your life, there are clays that will cleanse the pores and prevent pimples. Wheat and sugar contributed to my acne; once I cut out the wheat and cut down on the refined sugar, my acne miraculously disappeared!
I observed my mother and grandmother as they aged, and they aged beautifully. A little lipstick took the focus off of the lines, it was amazing. Everyone always commented on how young they both looked, how beautiful their skin was. Photos top to bottom: Mom, age 75! Grandma, age 85! My baby girl, age 21 :)
Step 7: Sunscreen Is the Best Anti-wrinkle Cream!
A tan is beautiful! Those gorgeous brown shimmering young bodies on the beach. Frank Sinatra sang: "Tall and tan and young and lovely The girl from Ipanema goes walking And when she passes, each one she passes Goes "A-a-a-h" When she walks she's like a samba That swings so cool and sways so gentle That when she passes, each one she passes Goes "A-a-a-h" ". But face it ladies, that tan is an indication of sun damage. Even sunscreen can't prevent the radiation from passing through the epidermis to the dermis where the DNA of cells is changed, so much so, that the cells cease to function properly as God made them to function. Premature aging, and cancer can result. A wrinkle is caused by the dermis and epidermis losing the 'glue' that holds them together- elastin and collagen. It's a direct result of sun exposure. When I was young, I lived in the sun. We did not know the dangers or the aging result of tanning. I have a Fitzpatrick 4 skin type; so I thank the Lord that the time I spent in the sun did not do as much damage to my skin as if I was higher on the scale! I always protected my face with thick makeup trying to hide my acne. Even when I swam, I wore the thick makeup, so my face did not suffer like my arms, neck & chest have. There are measures you can take with skin care products to reverse some of the damage, if you know what to buy based on science, not hype (another instructable!). Prevention is always better than cure though, and a lot cheaper! Now-a-days, you can find great spray tanners (just don't overdo it girls). Yes, you need about 10 minutes a day of sun exposure to make vitamin D, depending on your latitude & longitude. But ditch the hours laying in the sun and on a tanning bed. Your face will belie your age if you can protect your skin! I can look at the skin on my body that was never exposed to the sun, and there are NO lines or wrinkles there. No discolorations or 'liver' spots. And btw, freckles are really liver spots from the sun! Cute on a young person, but they aren't cute when they run together in your senior years! There are a lot of good sunscreens on the market, look for a broad spectrum, SPF 30. A block would be even better, or wear long sleeves, floppy hat and sunglasses. Clothing is the most effective sunblock. Have fun at the beach, but use an umbrella and reapply sunscreen frequently, especially if you are in and out of the water. If you have porcelain colored skin, be thankful. It's beautiful too! My daughter does not tan beautifully. She got her dad's Irish heritage, and she is pale! She's finally accepted that :)
Step 8: Be Your Beautiful Self.
Last but the most important: We ALL know people in the world that are stunningly beautiful on the outside. But they are ugly on the inside, no matter how rich they are, and how much they spend making the outside look good. On my studio wall, this scripture is written to keep us tethered to the truth: "clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." I Peter 3:4. It truly is what is on the inside that makes a person beautiful. As wrinkled as she was, Mother Teresa was one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen because of her great love for God and others. I'm a nurse. I'm an artist. I'm a Christian. If the beauty of Christ within me radiates outward toward others, I feel beautiful. If you feel beautiful, if you know what is important, you are going to radiate it outward. Each person is valuable, and is a gift to the human race. A positive attitude will make you beautiful, especially as you age! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT YOUR OPINION ON ANTI AGING STRATEGIES YOU LIKE. We are all in this together lol!!!