What makes you look younger? Didn’t most of us start asking this question when we were in our 30s?
Yes. We all have a bit of an obsession with looking younger, don’t we?
I mean as seniors we’re not trying to look 20, 30 or even 40 again. Hopefully.
But, it’s not just the actual age thing we’re so concerned about now, is it? Isn’t it just wanting to look and feel fresh and vibrantly alive? Happy, full of life, and good energy?
That’s entirely possible.
When you look in the mirror each day, who do you see? Do you see the person you want to be? Or, do you see some kind of tired worn droopy person (who you don’t recognize) staring back at you?
Personally I’ve seen both. And, the droopy tired one (who scares me sometimes) just does not belong in my house. So, after my friend Norma gave me a few lessons on what makes you look younger, I got rid of him!
What makes you look younger after we've become seniors?
Have you noticed that some people begin to look old and worn out even though they’re only in their 30s or 40s?
And, there are those glorious 80 and 90 year olds that, although maybe a bit frail, who always seem to just sparkle with a delightful energy and charm? We just want to be around them. We aspire to be like them someday. Right?
Their skin looks better than most their age. Their hair is almost always neat. As are their clothes. And, even if they are a bit weaker than they used to be, they still seem to move gracefully and with enthusiasm. Stiff bones and all.
How do they do it?
I used to live in Hollywood California for many years. And, for those of you who have never been there, no it’s not as cool as it seems.
But, you do see a movie star now and then. And, if you hang out in the dog park regularly you might even befriend a few.
In the park, I happened to have been friends with a very nice lady who used to be a top model. A real Vogue cover model. Yes, top top.
For months I had no idea who she was until one day she mentioned it in passing.
She looked to be in her mid-late 50s. She told me she had just celebrated her 72nd birthday!
I finally asked who she was. She didn’t look at all the way she did 40 or 50 years ago. I didn’t even know she was the same person until we had known each other for quite a while. But, she still looked so fresh and lovely all the time. Even in the dog park where we are all usually a bit dirty from playing with the dogs.
I contacted Norma a couple of months ago and told her I was considering writing an article called “What Makes You Look Younger” for this website. I asked if she would be willing to give us all some pointers. She agreed to help me with it as long as I didn’t reveal her true name.
So, here are some things we can learn from “Norma” about "What Makes You Look Younger":
“Above all things”, Norma told me, “what makes you look younger, and better than anything else, is a nice smile that generally permeates your face.” Just the opposite of the perpetual pout the 18 and 20 year old models wear all the time.
“Not a big stupid grin all the time.” She continued, “But, what makes you look younger is always having just a delicate smile that seems at home on your face and that easily transforms into a wide warm smile whenever you speak with another.”
She also told me to try a little something. She told me to look in the mirror. Relax, and just take a look at what I see.
I was a bit horrified. Personally, for whatever reason, when I totally relax my face, I look a bit angry. I never knew that. And, it made me laugh because I never think of myself as a generally angry person. When I added just a small smile, everything changed. And, I actually looked younger.
If you want to find the simplest and easiest "what makes you look younger" technique in the entire world, try this little experiment yourself and see what happens. I think you'll be just as amazed as I was!
Have you noticed that young people can wear raggedy torn and sloppy thrift store clothes and look absolutely gorgeous, hot, and sexy?
When we seniors do that, we simply look homeless. Am I right?
Norma said you don’t need expensive clothes either. You don’t need the newest fashions. You don’t even need especially good quality clothes. What makes you look younger is to make sure your clothes are neat, pressed, and clean. You won't look old and worn out. It'll make you look fresh! Younger.
So, for a couple of weeks, I studied the way different seniors dressed and found she was exactly right.
She explained hair was the same thing. You can’t wear the styles of a 20 year old and do anything to yourself except look a bit ridiculous.
She said a woman must pick a more conservative style. Long, short, in between, it doesn’t matter. Just make it age appropriate and always keep it neat.
And, men, that goes for the 2 day stubble on the face too. The young men, with the dark beards, look super good and quite handsome with a couple of days growth. That bit of greying whiskers on senior skin simply make us look like a sloppy old guy who forgot to shave.
If you sport a mustache or beard, keep it neatly trimmed.
“Bathe”, she said. Every day. You don’t need to use a lot of soap. It will dry your face out. Just plain water. Cold water for your face to bring up the circulation and rosy cheeks. Soap on the armpits.
Just keep clean. Smell good. A little cologne never hurts. Not necessary. But, it never hurts.
Keep you fingernails clean. And, ladies, a manicure (even at home with simple nail clippers and a file) and a little nail polish or just clear gloss will give your hands elegance. Same for your toenails. Add a bit of hand cream for nice skin.
Men, clean those finger nails and keep them trimmed. No one really wants to hang out with some old geezer who looks like Howard Hughes.
Yes many seniors, especially our elderly, stoop a bit because the bones have changed.
Pay that no mind, she said. Just hold yourself as tall and proud as you can. Hold your head up proudly. It will take a decade off of your appearance.
Here is a VIDEO by Meg Stickl at AIM Fitness that shows you some wonderful posture exercises put together just for us seniors. I tried them out myself and not only do I find myself standing straighter, I feel more refreshed all over:
Make up is a model’s stock in trade. Norma explained that too much make up for seniors is worse than none at all.
She explained that a young face can hold all kinds and volumes of make up and really look spectacular. But, the older a face is, the less make up a woman can wear, the better.
Some is better than none. It gives some refreshment to the look of the face (even for a twenty year old).
Pick subtle colors for eye shadows. A softly colored lipstick. No hot pinks. No bright oranges. A gentle red is always best. And, worn sparingly.
Eyeliner? Yes. The eyelashes diminish with age and no longer frame our eyes the way they used to. But, no black eyeliners! She said you’ll look like you’re auditing for a horror movie.
Lighter color eyeliner, a very diffused line at that, will work best and give you a more defined natural look.
Same with eyebrows. Use almost nothing. Almost. Just a touch. And, nothing dark. Let some grey show through.
(She’ll give more specific make up instructions in just a moment.)
“Oh no….. We were hoping this wouldn’t come up.” Right?
That’s because so many of us only remember how hard and tiring exercise could be and we are in no mood for that anymore. Isn’t that true?
And, that “Oh no!” feeling is only with us now because we have not yet learned that senior exercise is different than exercise for young adults.
Our exercise is gentle and pleasant. Take a look: “Doing the Fun Stuff!”
With exercise, our muscles stay firmer. It’s easier to stand and sit straighter. We have more youthful energy. Things hurt less. And, the enhanced blood flow adds beautiful color to our cheeks and a sparkle to our eyes and our spirit.
20-30 minutes each day is enough. And, even just 5 minutes a day is 1,000 times better than none at all.
Those were the basic answers to "What Makes You Look Younger?" And, I must tell you that once I took Norma’s advice and started wearing a little smile on my face, everyone seems to be a lot nicer! I must have been scaring them off before.
OK. Beauty secrets…
Remember this: As we get older, our skin loosens. The more make up we apply, the more it can can crack and move around. A potential disaster! Less make up will adhere better and keep looking fresher all through the day.
Now, for our lovely senior ladies (that’s ALL of you ladies!) let’s have some fun and get to some Beauty Secrets just for seniors from Norma, our former Vogue Cover Girl.
She’ll talk about regular daily highlighting as well as make up for a night out.
The #1 make up rule for senior women:
Keep it very simple!
OK. Here we go:
If you use only one make up, make it a lip tint. And, using it lightly, wear it daily. It not only makes you look good, it will lift your spirit.
Old fashioned Lipstick is OK for an evening out. But, lipsticks can be a bit heavy and old fashioned looking. Especially on an older face. So: don’t use a lot. That only dates us and makes us look older.
Forget about lipstick all together for normal daytime use. Switch to a Lip Tint. And, as with all beauty products, always use a quality brand.
If your lips tend to be dry, go over the lip tint with a small amount of your favorite lip balm (uncolored).
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on these things either. Just a get a good brand like Sephora. These products last a long time and you’ll never regret using something nice each day. Using something nice each morning always makes you feel how special you are.
Avoid matte formula foundations. They make older skin look even drier and older.
Our goal as seniors is to mimic young, soft, hydrated radiant skin. So, we want a foundation that is hydrating and will finish with an almost invisible moist look. Sometime using only a moisturizer is even better.
Again, that means use it sparingly. And, always avoid getting that oily face look that too many middle age women get when they are nervous about looking older and being to pile on the creams. That only says, “I’m getting old and I hate my drying skin.”
Remember: There is nothing wrong with having older skin when we are older. We just want it to always look fresh and vibrant.
And, don’t worry about every little splotch, dark spot, light spot, line, wrinkle, etc…. Leave them alone. We’re not 19 anymore. And, all those little changes look just fine and natural. They can even add a bit of delightful character.
Men: A drop of moisturizer on your face each morning after you shave can really freshen you up too!
As we age, we lose eyelashes, the lashes become lighter, and our eyes don’t stand out the way they used to.
Eyeliner is actually a wonder tool for looking younger if you use it sparingly. Too much, or too strong, just looks like…. terrible.
It’s time to get rid of the jet black pencils and liquid eyeliners. Way past time… They give a harsh severe look us seniors.
Soft “kohl” eyeliners are the best for seniors. They blend in softly and the most naturally. They have just the right amount of shading for a mature eye.
Then, just a little mascara!
Eyeshadow highlights your beautiful eyes. It adds sparkle, life, and a little fresh pizzaz!
But, as with the rest of your make up, you want to stay light. Just a touch on the eyelids.
That means lighter colors also. Quartz, light blues, light greens, champagne, etc…
Use a pearl formula. Not high shimmer, glitter, or on the other extreme, matte. Pearl formulas suit us seniors perfectly.
If you’re going out for a dressy dinner, a touch of concealer (a tiny bit) under the eye will really take years off. But, don’t use this during the day. In daylight, it looks like “make up”.
Everyones teeth get darker as we age. All of us. But, they don’t need to be brown and “old” looking.
If your teeth are a bit dark or very yellow, all you need is a little bleaching. No, not with laundry bleach. There are inexpensive strips that you can buy at the your local Walgreens that are made especially for this. Or, if you prefer, your dentist can do it also (a bit pricy, but a good job).
Remember: You don’t want to make your teeth so white that they seem to glow in the dark. Everyone else will think they look fake. Even if you’re only 30. Just get a little nice brightening up will do the job nicely.
A brighter smile, with clean teeth, takes years off your appearance.
Did you know our skin is actually the largest organ of our entire body?
Even when we don’t sweat, water is constantly evaporating from our skin. So, we need to keep well hydrated to avoid looking dry, dull, and wrinkly.
Being well hydrated really can help keep our skin looking more plump and youthful looking.
Drinking plenty of water also increases circulation and energy levels. That can put more of a youthful spring in your step!
If continence is a problem, drink plenty at night when you are home and can be comfortable with it.
Yes. We constantly hear about eating less fat.
Well, the fact is, those low fat and no fat diets aren’t doing your skin any favors.
If you don’t get enough good fats like butter, avocados, cold water fish, nuts, and yes, meat fat, your skin dries out and loses it’s suppleness.
What makes you look younger? Rich, soft, nicely lubricated skin for certain!
So, be sure you’re eating some good fat each day.
We wanted to include this VIDEO for you, by the wonderful make up artist Sona Gasparian, in case you're really want go all out sometimes and look especially amazing for a special night out. It's a complete tutorial where you'll learn how to do perfect make up for any special occasion:
What makes you look younger?
Try Norma’s secrets.
Those secrets you just learned are all the things our 72 year old former Vogue Cover Girl says are her own personal secrets to looking younger. And, at 72, she still looks fantastic!
Always Remember: You Are Beautiful! Yes, YOU are! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte