Saving face

How do you face the passing years? With dread? Or are you deeply philosophical about the whole thing and realise each year or indeed decade brings something extra to your life, a new awareness of yourself, of your sense of style and attitude to life?

If you want to greet age gracefully it may be best to avoid trying to look younger than you are or aping current fashion trends.

A better approach is to look at ways of enhancing nature’s endowments. If you are keen to improve your image start a self improvement plan. Begin by analysing your body shape and size. Examine your facial features and hair then look at ways of accentuating your good points and playing down any perceived imperfections.

Check that you do not look older than your years. Outdated make-up, a hairstyle that no longer suits you or bad posture can add on years.

Style experts say as women get older they tend to either become fed-up with the way they look or go into total denial. The fed-up ones bemoan their disappearing youth, figure, porcelain skin and glossy hair. Why bother, they say as they embrace dowdy outfits and turn their backs on cosmetics and hairdressers.

Those in denial tend to get trapped in a time warp and refuse to accept that they cannot dress the way they did when they were younger.

Here are some tips to help you look your best as you get older:-

1. Exfoliate your face and body regularly to help refine mature skin.

2. Use a daily moisturiser preferably one with sunscreen to protect your skin all year round. The harmful effects of the sun can cause you to develop wrinkles and dull and blotchy skin.

3. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water each day.

4. The skin on your hands and neck will be drier than your face so keep those areas well moisturised.

5. Do not smoke, it ages your skin.

6. Wear sunglasses when you are out in the sun. Avoid frowning or you will get wrinkles long before yur time.

7. Accept you may not be able to make wrinkles and fine lines disappear altogether. However, a good skincare routine can slow down the ageing process. Skin gets drier with age so moisturise liberally. Do not forget your neck - it needs special attention because it is often the first part of you to get lined.

8. The first signs of ageing appear in the mid twenties and those with dry, fair, sensitive skin age fastest. Peopel with normal or combination skins show signs of ageing in their mid thirties - they age more slowly than those with dry skin but faster than those with oily skin. Women with oily skin may have been plagued by spots in the past but as they get older they now enjoy one of the rewards for their skin type. Fortunately for them their skin ages slowly and they may get to their late thirties or early forties before their first wrinkles appear.

9. Reshape your eyebrows. Tweeze away straggly hairs and fill in a replacement line if your brows are sparse. If this task appears daunting go to a beauty salon for a professional touch.

10. Define your eyes. Keep eye-make up soft and subtle. If you do not like wearing mascara and have fair lashes consider getting them tinted.

11. Lips should be defined with a pencil outline, lifting the outer corners of the lips minimally above the natural line.

12. Use loose translucent powder with a powder brush once in the morning to set your make-up. Re-applying it again and again is not a good idea because it can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. Use a fluffy brush for the touch-up.

13. Use a non-frosted powder under your chin to draw attention away from a saggy neck. Choose a shade slightly darker than your natural skin tone.

14. A foundation with a lighter-textured base that matches your skin tone is a must.

15. Use concealer generously to cover any blemishes.

16. Use cream blushers in golden almond and copper tones and blend them gently from cheeks to temple in an arc for a soft transparent effect.

17. Blends of pink and grey eyeshadows soften greying hair.

18. Use soft matte lip colours in pink, berry, coral or peach shades to make your lips fuller.

19. Avoid frosted eye shadows if your eyelids are slightly crepey.

20. Good posture is vital so look after your spine and walk tall. Keep your shoulders back and your tummy tucked in.

21. Get plenty of sleep so your body has a chance to regenerate and recharge.

22. Learn to relax your mind and body. Deep breathing and massage can help to reduce stress and tension.

23. Experiment with new cosmetics and hairstyles and regularly review and update your wardrobe.

24. Manicure your nails weekly. File them and gently push back your cuticles to reveal the half moon. Then varnish them in one of today’s prettiest shades.

25. If your hair looks dull and lifeless try one of the semi-permanent hair colours in the shade nearest your own or be brave and try a slightly different colour.

26. Avoid clothes that are too tight. These will make you look heavy.

27. Take care of your teeth. Visit the dentist at least every six months for a check-up and be sure to clean your teeth after meals.

28. At the end of a long day soak your feet in warm, salted water. Remember it shows on your face when your feet are hurting.

29. Take care of your hands when doing household chores. Wear rubber gloves for washing or gardening and use hand cream liberally.

30. If you want to slim down avoid snacking between meals for a start. Cut down on starchy foods, such as bread and potatoes, and close your eyes to cream cakes. Opt for fresh fruit and vegetables instead. Do not drink too much tea or coffee and try to exercise daily.

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