It's inevitable...getting old. We all grow older every single year and, although our genetics play a part in how we look as we age, our habits can help play a big part in the process. While some of us have the means for "medical" treatments, there are the lot of us that aren't financially capable. I, for one, am embracing my aging - I think I look better now than when I was in my 20's.
There are the celebs that get better with age - JLo, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Angela Bassett...(this list goes on) and I aspire to look just as good!
I still learn tricks each passing year to help me look and feel my best and it's an on-going process. Almost every time I get to know someone a little better, they're surprised when my age comes up - I still get carded, people think I was a teen mom (still weirds me out), or people assume I'm inexperienced in...well...life in general.
Here I am - a 40-year-old woman who has learned the importance of skincare, self-care, and the magic of makeup and I'd like to share what I've learned with you. Let me remind some of you these are just things I've learned that helped me these last 20 years and should be taken with a grain of salt! With this said, I invite you to sit back and read up on my 9 tips of achieving youthful beauty...
Having a daily and nightly skincare routine should be well-established for every person and even more so when you're older. My regimen has changed every few years depending on the needs of my skin. Since I'm older, I find myself moisturizing a bit more and using under-eye cream and serum. My number one MUST in my skin care routine is taking every last bit of makeup off no matter what. There are tons of great products out there - whether from the drugstore or department store, so get your sampling on!
I think most everyone knows that this is a beauty (and skin-health) must and should be in every person's repertoire, no matter what age and gender you are or what skin tone you have. It's surprising to me that I know some who think that SPF isn't really necessary because they're already dark enough to shield themselves from the sun's rays. Even people that are trying to achieve a tan view SPF as just a hindrance in achieving desired results. Not only can forgoing sunscreen contribute to premature wrinkling, you're also more prone to skin cancer.
For SPF, make sure you choose one that complements your skin type and where on your body you're applying it to - SPF made specifically for the face may feel different than one made solely for the body.
Also, SPF is most often found in our foundation, usually at a lower setting (i.e. SPF 8) but know that this does not add to whatever SPF you're wearing underneath (e.g. SPF 8 foundation + SPF 15 lotion does NOT equal SPF 23). The SPF with the higher number is what you should rely on as your main source of sun protection.
3. Diet & Exercise
If you're in the process of developing good habits developed, diet & exercise should make it on your list. It's no secret that, as we age, our metabolism is slower and we aren't quite as limber as we used to be (well, at least for most of us). To sustain a bit of that youthful energy, exercise should at least make it in our schedule 3 times/week. Find something active you love so it doesn't feel daunting. For me, I found my love in Zumba and every time I'm at a (good) session, I imagine that I'm a dancer in some music video.
Of course, exercise is only half the battle. For me, this means being wary of bad carbs, fried food, and sugar. When I'm on a role, I ensure I am consuming less calories than I what I actually burn. This doesn't mean starving yourself - making healthy choices in what you eat every day will make a big difference in the way you look and feel. Also, look to lose 1-2 lbs a week so you're not shocking your body (the faster you lose weight, the faster you add the pounds (and more) back on)! It's the little steps made daily that make a big difference in the long run.
WATER - the best drink for our bodies. DUH, right?! It couldn't be any more true. When I was younger, I hated water but I really did find it to be the best source of hydration for my body. I noticed that my skin felt smoother and it really did keep me from consuming more than I should. Plus replacing my soda and juices (which are so packed with sugar) with H2O helped me shed a few pounds without having to stress over it!
5. Less is More
When I say "less is more", I'm referring to makeup. For me, I love wearing makeup - from simple to dramatic! However, I like to dial it down for everyday.
Since wrinkles start to show, the more makeup that's applied to the face, the more that it'll settle in the cracks of the skin. Doesn't sound so attractive nor does it look it. For a more natural look, try a tinted moisturizer. Or if you're partial to more coverage, look for a foundation that's buildable. To highlight eyes, a couple swipes of mascara as well as eye shadow used as liner (or smudged eyeliner) usually does the trick in bringing out your eyes. Cream blush and gloss or lip tint in place of lipstick to finish off your overall look makes for a natural and light finish.
6. Peach/Orange Concealer
Years of lack of sleep can really take a toll on our bodies. Our eyes become sunken and are rimmed with a purplish-blue hue. To correct this, a peach-toned concealer under your regular-toned concealer typically does the trick! Not only is this a more natural color than yellow, you won't get overly bright under-eyes when taking a photo. The peach is good for fair to medium tones while orange works really well for darker skin. Yellow concealer is often the go-to for color-correcting but can sometimes look ashy especially on darker skin. Plus peach/orange tones cancel out the blue hue much better. .
To apply, lightly tap the peach/orange concealer under the eyes using your 4th finger (it's the most delicate in pressure) until blended. Then apply a skin-toned concealer on top blending away with a finger or beauty blender using the same dabbing motions. This will get rid of any of the peach/orange color and you're left with a more even and natural finish.
7. Avoid a One-Dimensional, All-Matte Face
This really can apply to any age. If you look closely at our face, it's not just one color - some areas are darker/lighter than other parts of the face. Depending on the makeup look I want, I like to use a contour shade to define or recede certain areas of my face (cheeks and nose) and/or a bronzer in areas of the face where the sun would normally hit. As a finishing touch, I use a bit of natural cheek color to give me life.
Also, a myth that I run into many times for older women is that they only need to use matte colors. I highly disagree! Think about it...as we age, our skin starts to become drier...why would you resort yourself to wearing matte products only to look even more dry? Plus it's such a flat finish that it's not too attractive nor realistic, if you will. Most faces have some kind of sheen to them - whether sweat, or oil. Doesn't sound appealing but it's true.
As long as your products have a subtle sheen, you are good to go. Anything with heavy flecks of glitter or sparkle is a no-no.
To achieve that youthful dew, start with a good moisturizer and primer so that your base makeup goes on more smoothly. Cream facial makeup (blush, contour, highlighter etc.) are great alternatives for those with drier skin types. For people that still have oilier skin (like me), adding a little bit of powder highlighter in areas where light would normally hit further adds to that glow-from-within look. Lip gloss is a better alternative than lipstick because it gives the appearance of more plump lips, which, we seem to lose a bit of as we get older.
8. Thicker Brows
9. Get Regular Trims
Congratulations if you've made it this far - you've reached the end of this blog!
No matter what, you'll always get critics saying it's frivolous to do these things but there's nothing wrong with self-care especially if it helps you feel good about yourself and is beneficial for your well-being. We should all take some time to ourselves to recharge!
I hope that, regardless of your age, you were able to pick up some tips to incorporate into your daily routine. You'll thank yourself for starting good habits and being mindful of your health sooner than later.