Monday, November 24, 2008

How to Age Gracefully

How to Age Gracefully
by Dawn Papandrea

Getting older is a fact of life, but looking older—well, that's your choice.

While there's nothing wrong with growing old gracefully, there are also

simple things you can do to defy aging that do not involve surgical

enhancements. Take a look through 10 expert ways to keep your fashion, beauty

and style sense young at heart.

Zap Wrinkles
The secret to youthful skin is keeping it moisturized, says Christine

Rodgers, Denver-based plastic surgeon. "By adding more moisture to the skin,

wrinkles are naturally reduced and the face appears fuller and younger."

Also, slough off dead skin cells with a light microderm scrub to give skin a

healthy glow, which will increase blood flow to the face.

Pucker Up for Anti-Aging
Dr. Macrene Alexiades, NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist advises to stick with

sheer lipsticks and glosses. "Glosses are especially youthful and give lips a

healthy, moisturized appearance." On the flipside, she says, matte and brown

lipsticks can make teeth look discolored and add years to your look.

Revitalize and Brighten
It's a fact that older women have a harder time sleeping, but that doesn't

have to show on your face. For an instant brightener, apply a chilled wet

washcloth to your face before applying your makeup, says Farah Reid, stylist

from Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar. "The cold will brighten your complexion

and shrink your pores."

Get a New, Sophisticated 'Do
Women think longer hair keeps them looking young, but that isn't necessarily

the case, assures Valery Joseph, owner of New York City's Valery Joseph

Salon. Young hair is all about healthy shine and bounce. "Cut off dead hair

for a super chic bob. Bangs also create instant youth to hair and face."

Not sure what style works best for you? Try on hairstyles using

Makeover-o-Matic before you hit the salon.

Lash Out Against Old Eyes
As we age, lashes become thin and sparse, explains Eugenia Weston, celebrity

makeup artist and founder of Senna Cosmetics. "Curling your lashes both makes

them appear fuller and helps to open the eye." To take this concept a step

further, line the inner eyelid to give definition to the eyes without looking

like you’re wearing a lot of makeup.

Flash a Youthful Smile
A fairly quick and inexpensive way to look younger is to show off your pearly

whites... after a whitening treatment, that is. "It’s amazing how a brighter,

whiter smile can really take years off of your face," says Laura Kelly,

dental ceramist and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

"While dentists offer some of the best whitening treatments in-office, there

are tons of over the counter products that work well, too." She recommends

getting a full cleaning and consulting your dentist prior to using any


Loosen Up Your Locks
Nothing says I'm over the hill more than stiff hair, says hair artist Kenneth

Darrell. "Make sure your hair moves! When hair is combed, sprayed, teased,

and set firmly into place, subliminally it says to the observer you're stiff,

inflexible, and unyielding."

Dress Your Age
Even though you're still years from retirement, you should think about

retiring your tights pants and short skirts. "If you don't, it looks as if

you are trying to be younger than your real age, so it ages you," warns

Stefanie Gutierrez, senior wardrobe stylist for Urban Darling. "Wear clothes

that are age appropriate, fit well, and most important, make you feel good."

Avoid Product Overload
Anti-aging products can work wonders, as long as you don't go overboard, says

Kimberly Sayer, a London-based Esthetician and Organic Skincare Expert. "If

you pile an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) over a retinoid over a Vitamin C, for

example, you could be left with irritated, inflamed skin. Figure out which

anti-aging product works best for you and stick to it."

Less is Young
When you see signs of aging in the mirror or hit a big birthday, don't panic

by trying to change everything about yourself, says Wendy Lewis, beauty and

health author and aesthetic consultant. "Try a new anti-aging skincare

product, new hair style, or new makeup palette." Just don't do everything all

at once, or your makeover plan can backfire and reek of mid-life crisis.