Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and real, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.
– Mandy Hale
Croning My Way Through Life
This blog is mainly for my GFs, my BFFs, my Peeps, and my YTBM (yet-to-be-met) gal pals. Yes, it’s another “list” for us women who haven’t enough sense to come out of the preverbal beauty rain. It’s a list to remind us girls over 40 not to look like 80 – unless we are 80 – and then we just don’t need to look our age.
So from Yahoo to you, here are six beauty mistakes that make us look like an antique lamp:
Dark lipstick – Deep shades make any surface look smaller, and that includes lips. I wonder if I should wear a dark shade all over my body, then…
Too-sleek hairstyle – This can make your face look drawn and emphasize every pore, wrinkle, and imperfection. Also, keep in mind that helmet-headed updos can be disastrously aging. Stay away from too-voluminous bouffants. Seems the flat head is dead. Too bad no one seemed to tell my thinning hair that. And voluminous bouffants — I thought the boof was the dead head of the 50’s…
Over-concealing dark circles – We want to hide those bags and under eye circles, and sometimes we get carried away. What happens if I’m one BIG bag – not only under the eyes but on the other 99% of my body? Can I over-conceal THAT?
Cakey foundation – Heavy foundation sticks to and emphasizes wrinkles. Oh, come on now – who would want cakey without ice creamy? That sticks to EVERYTHING…
Lower lash mascara – This packs a double aging whammy by bringing attention to crows feet and making eyes appear smaller and more tired .I have lower lashes??!!
Short necklaces – Chokers are a bad move as they bring attention to your neck – an area that begins to show aging early on. Ever notice that actresses of a certain age end up wearing scarves and choker necklaces and turtlenecks? Choking is bad for you in general. Leave my neck alone.
Now, just to show you that I am all about beauty, I made up my own six beauty mistakes – and the remedies for them.
Red eye – Cameras are notorious for bringing this malady into the forefront. Ideas to reduce this bloodshot look include eyedrops, sunglasses, getting to bed before 1 a.m., and enlarging the type on your computer.
Upper lip hair – Some of us can’t help we inherited Uncle Stan’s mustache genes. Besides plucking and depilatoring, you can be super chic and drink a lot of milk. After all, look what a milk mustache did for Trisha Yearwood.
Thin lips – Except for Botox, the easiest thing you can do to enlarge your lips is to either suck on a straw all day, or walk around and pooch them as if you are in deep thought. You won’t look strange, because everyone knows the older you get the harder it is to think.
Mummy skin elbows – Dry, crinkly skin making you want to hide your elbows? No need to wear long sleeves to the beach. Rub a little RumChada or Malibu Coconut Rum on the rough parts – you’ll smell great and everyone will know what you are drinking.
Flat hair – Flat hair makes you look shorter (I should know). To get that “tall girl” look at any age, turn your head upside down. Hang whatever hair you have towards the floor, and spray with hairspray. Without touching a brush or comb, go drive around for about 20 minutes with the car windows open (preferably down a highway or freeway). You won’t believe the height that results! Width too!
Dry, winkly skin – Even the best moisturizers can’t keep our skin as smooth as a baby’s. So besides slopping on the goo, you can dip yourself in chocolate (and become a Raisinet), or soak in the pool, hot tub, lake, or bathtub, and plump up like a grape. Better yet, forget the soak – drink the grape. Trust me, you won’t notice one more wrinkle.
To conclude this beauty lesson, never forget: those who refer to our well-worn and well-loved bodies as snake skin, pigeon toes, crow’s feet, cat claws, chicken neck, raccoon eyes, and spider veins, know diddle about animals OR women. Rejoice in the fact that you are here today, proudly representing the animal kingdom in its bare naked finery. Your wrinkles, your skin, are just that – yours.
Wear your jungle with pride.
When I was in high school, charm bracelets (along with getting “pinned”) were the big thing. Some girls had wads of charms so thick they would leave dents in the wooden desk tops. Others, like mine, had a half dozen mementoes of graduation, birthdays, and a few others that, to this day, still make me wonder what they stood for.
These days there are expensive, modern versions of the charm bracelet. Some have bead-type charms you string on sterling bracelets, everything from baby carriages to roses to moms charms to birthstones. There are token charms hanging in displays in department stores, shopping malls and internet jewelry stores, still an ode to the special moments of one’s life.
I no longer have bangle jangle charms around my wrist, but I do have a handful of sparkles on a simple, long, not-gold necklace that I often wear. What’s on my necklace? Well, I’ve got rings that my kids bought for me when they were in kindergarten, a ring that symbolizes my role-playing days, a silver “coin” for money, a rune with “enlightenment” carved on it, a dream catcher that used to be an earring, a plastic blue unicorn with his horn broken off, a faerie holding a blue globe (also a remnant from a pair of earrings) ― all sorts of nonsense that brings back memories and keeps me in good spirits.
Do you have a charm bracelet or necklace? What hangs from your life’s testimony? What kinds of charms do you wear? Of if you could put one together, what charms would you add?
If you ever want to go to a place that is a cornucopia of faces, bodies and energies, there is no more an entertaining place to lose your money or your mind than Las Vegas. Forget this Mecca’s main thrust — gambling — and slip around the edge to the weirdness that permeates the city that never sleeps. It’s magical in its own sparkling way — gambling and lights and music and shows and people. Lots and lots of people.
The first time I went to Las Vegas I was very family-conscious. My husband and I took his parents and our two kids to the land of decadence and sunshine. One child was 12, the other seven. This was the time of the “family friendly” Vegas — acrobats flying across the ceilings at Circus Circus, knights jousting at Excalibur. Besides stopping now and then to throw a quarter or two into a slot machine, we also rented a van and toured Hoover Dam and Death Valley. I left the world of lights with a blue glass from Excalibur and most of my gambling money in tact.
A few years later and my husband and I got the urge to go again, this time leaving the kids with the afore-mentioned grandparents. I went out and bought some sexy dresses and a couple of those individual liquor bottles to mix with my soda on the plane. We caught a topless show and dared to walk the length of the strip drinking strawberry margaritas right in the open. The lights and nights were magical. I stayed up a little later and got up a little earlier. I left the world of lights with a winning jackpot and a gold glass from the Hilton.
The third time it was my 25th wedding anniversary, and what better place to renew our vows than in the land of drive-thru churches? We almost said “I Do” in front of Elvis, but decided we’d rather buy Elvis dice instead. I wanted to stay up late, sleep late, lie around at the pool, win money, and get kitschy with Liberace and his museum.
But my best laid plans sooner or later became parodies of themselves. My biological clock just didn’t want to kick into glitter time. We burped up dollar hot dogs and cheap beer. I got sunburn at the pool, put too much wasabi on my sushi, and developed a painful blister on my foot. I went to bed a little earlier, slept a little later, and didn’t go through as many quarters as the last time. I wasn’t interested in the shows, and the restaurants were less designer chef names and more all-you-can-eat buffets. I moved a little slower and sat down a little more frequently.
What happened to the magic? Where was the glow of the child, the carefree gambler, the woman who wanted to rub elbows with Wayne Newton and Celine Dion? This time the glitter felt different. The energy that permeated the casinos and lounges had turned around on itself, slowly becoming more a part of me than something outside of me.
Once I let Vegas be Vegas, I was able to experience the myriad of energy levels that constantly billowed around me. And I realized I didn’t have to buzz through that world 24/7, seeing all, doing all. I just let the world of sparkle sparkle.
Once I got away from the mad desire to throw one more quarter into the slot machine, I found Vegas a world filled with all sorts of faces and personalities, all ages, all races. All dreamers were equal. Farmers, secretaries, and corporate presidents shared fantasies of castles and pyramids, Italian palaces and French towers. Grannies sparkled as much as show girls, and cowboy boots walked right next to tennies.
Winners and losers were all the same here: both sides of the fence existed at the same time. Einstein’s theory of relativity threads through it all, rewarding some, cheating others, and sadly, caring not what you leave behind.
People were always laughing, whether at themselves, the crowd, or each other. There was a constant flow of bodies moving between casinos, a maze of colors, heights and textures. We were all merely specks of glitter in the galaxy of life, sharing a moment or two with others in a reality not our own. We became part of the throbbing heartbeat of a city that swallowed us all, spitting us out when it came time to go home.
When the vacation was over, I left the city as I found it. I left the sparkles, the glitter, and the dreams of fortune and glory to those who would follow. I had all the glory I needed back in my little town in Wisconsin. What I did bring back, though, was a glimpse of my other side ― the kooky one who peeks out now and then, daring me to follow. That side assured me I would be back.
I forgot to get my glass.