If I only knew then...what I know now! Beauty tips and more beauty tips!

That saying applies to pretty much everything in life, with health and beauty being no exception.  Why, oh why, didn't I listen to some of the things my mother told me?  Well, in part because when you're young it's hard to imagine that age, along with the things that accompany it, will ever be an issue.  And you believe that by the time you have to deal with those things, that you won't care...but you will!  All of a sudden, you wake up one morning and see that things are changing.  So with that in mind I thought I'd share some things I wish I had done, in hopes that maybe someone else could still benefit from them.  Additionally, I'm throwing in some extra things that I do now, that are easy yet helpful tips that DO make this "growing old gracefully" thing a little easier to handle.  Again the idea is to do things that are easy, inexpensive and as natural as possible.
If only I had....
1)  Stayed out of the sun...all of those deep dark beautiful tans have not been optimal to my skin all these years later.
2)  Used sunblock on my hands...hands are one of the first major places to show age outside our face--and they are always exposed--sunblock with (or in) your hand lotion is a no brainer!

3)  Not been so quick to thin my eyebrows quite so much...while bushy brows are not a good look on anyone, over thinning can leave you wishing you had a little thicker brows as you age--they really do add to your face.
4)  Not gone on crazy diets...the only time in my life I had to extreme diet was when I was a stewardess.  The weight restriction was 105 pounds and I could never maintain that.  The fast, crazy diets never worked for long and were horrible for my health.
Easy tips that work now...it's never too late to share...and start today!!
1)  Stop sleeping on your face...much the same way I shared how to get rid of your forehead lines.  If you are a side or face sleeper--you can make a huge difference in your facial wrinkles if you can sleep on your back.  Just like your forehead wrinkles, if you stop "reinforcing them" they will lessen.  And a little water before bed, will keep you hydrated so that in the morning you will wake up looking as good as you did when you went to bed. :)  If getting on your back and staying there is hard for you, try the memory foam pillows, because you sink in a little that may help you stay there.  Oh, and a satin pillow case is also a great help.
2)  Wrinkled neck issues seem to come up a lot in talking to female friends, and while we are in the midst of a fun product for that, here are some quick ideas for now.  One easy fix, if this is really an issue for you, is to help hide the problem by having your hair length come to at least your collar bone...movement around your neck really helps take away from the direct issue.  They say the bob haircut, because it's so versatile, is a look that almost anyone can wear so if you prefer short hair, perhaps that can be the best of both worlds...shorter in the back with some movement around the neck.  The right necklace never hurts either...be careful though to wear one that draws the eye away from the neck (usually longer) and not right to the problem area unless the neckace (something like pearls) covers the area.
3)  More on Hair...as we age, for both men and women our hair often starts to thin.  When I was in my 20's I did try highlights, but never very successfully, and I gave up.  Now at 58, I still don't use any harsh chemicals--the longer you can go without using harsh chemicals the better I think.  Should you decide to color your hair, if you start to get gray, one option would be the level 1 colors.  They have no ammonia and no peroxide...of course they don't last as long so you have to do it more often but your hair will be super healthy.
4)  In the never too late category...again, start that sunblock on your hands!  Age spots will just keep coming so the more you protect your hands even now, the better.  And less sun on your hands, means less wrinkles on your hands too.  A great one is the Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer with SPF 30.  And you can just keep it in your car to help you remember to put it on as you head out for the day!
5)  Fill in those eyebrows...for me, I have found it's way better and a much more natural look to use an eyebrow brush and a nice matt eye shadow.  I go a shade lighter than my brows.  The eyebrow pencils can look less natural where as the powder brushes on easy and fills everything in so nicely.
6)  Sunglasses...wear them!!  They not only protect your eyes, but you will find less wrinkles around your eye area if you wear them.  Any protection from the sun around that sensitive area is really helpful in fighting wrinkles.
7)  Elbows...don't forget those elbows when putting on your hand lotion.  I think they are often overlooked but a little extra lotion, (of course I love Ponds for everything) will really help soften and make them look so much smoother.
8)  Teeth...so I'm not sure when teeth start looking old but they do.  And aside from thinning lips, nothing affects our smiles more than unattractive teeth.  Of course checking with your dentist is important first, but if he agrees, whitening at home can be a great option and it's less expensive than the office procedures.  White teeth make a major difference in our smiles.  As I have shared before I really think smiling and being happy makes us look younger than anything else we can do.  And if you have tooth sensitivity like me, I have also found that the Crest 3D 2 hour Express whitening strips are faster and don't seem as harsh.

9)  If you still want a little sunkissed look, or at least some color on your legs after the winter cover-up, the lotions with gradual tanner, such as the Jergens Natural Glow for body and face, I've found work pretty well without looking too orange.  And, if any of you are trying to cover those troublesome varicose veins the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs works great!  Kind of like makeup on your legs.  Start with the Light color one first if you're more fair.  There's also a product called Liquid Nylons Sun Glitzed Legs that adds just a little shimmery bronze if you need it.

So, that's all I have for today...but please DO share any other tips that you might have that will help us all look a little better while aging as gracefully as we can.  Women helping women is as good as it gets because who knows these issues better than we do!?  :)
Just comment below!

The Simple Things...

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can make a huge difference in our appearance! A smile for example can take ten years off your face, and when people are happy, they look their best.  Look at brides and first time mothers – whether all glammed up in a gown, or sleep deprived in pajamas, they both look beautiful.  When I'm laughing with my granddaughter I know it doesn't matter how much make-up I have on, or what I am wearing.  This of course doesn't change the graying hair or wrinkles, but the right attitude in our approach to getting older can be huge.

As I am about to celebrate my 58th birthday, I recognize more than ever how much I have changed!  I certainly didn't appreciate my 20's like I should have.  When I look in the mirror, that is not my 20 year old self staring back.

So our first official segment will focus on the face.  There are so many changes it goes through - dry skin, wrinkles, thinning eyebrows, thinning lips (try fullips!) and so many more!

This particular section is in regards to forehead wrinkles.  These may not be an issue for everyone, but I personally felt they really aged me.  I considered going the bangs route, but I have never been able to wear them.  And even then, if your hair begins to thin the wrinkles still show through.  So many years ago, when a much younger friend began going in for Botox injections, I was curious how they worked.  She explained that paralyzing the muscles helped to prevent any forehead movement allowing the wrinkles to relax.  Well, not being too crazy about needles or side effects, or for that matter keeping up with appointments, I decided to just train myself to prevent the movement that causes the wrinkles in the first place. This may seem kind of crazy, but stay with me here.

On many occasions, people have asked me if I've had Botox injections.  I have not, and it is because of this awareness--which keep in mind also happens to be free and easy to do at home.  It does take some practice and a little patience, but it is worth a try and has worked for me.

I'm naturally a very animated speaker, both with my face and hands, and I know this had caused the forehead lines, but I have realized that I can still get my point across without doing it.  So the first step is to figure out when you make them, both across the top of your forehead, and at the brow line.

The easiest one to recognize, and stop, is furrowing the brow.  It is usually made when we’re squinting, concerned, or angry.  The wrinkles in this area also make us look like an angrier person in general.  Additionally, if you’re a side sleeper, sometimes these lines get deeper at night if your pillow pushes your face into that position and then stays that way all night.  This is a problem for me because I prefer sleeping on my face and side, neither of which is good if you’re concerned about face wrinkles.  So I’m also trying to get myself to sleep on my back as it's really the best position to ease the wrinkles on our face.  Also, if you use moisturizer on your face at night, your pillow does a pretty good job at wiping it off.  So if you can sleep on your back with no health issues, your face will likely look much better in the morning.

Now for the horizontal lines, there are a couple of things you can do.  The first is to become aware of when you express yourself by raising your eyebrows.

First, try chatting on your cell phone in front of a mirror while watching yourself talk.  It’s pretty easy to see which expressions, or even phrases, make you raise your eyebrows.  I know it sounds silly, but you might be surprised.  Once you identify it, you can still use your words and your voice to express that same emotion, without raising your eyebrows.  After a short while you will notice those forehead lines softening.

Another great way to be able to “feel’ when you are making those raised eyebrow expressions is to use a facial mask when you are home and it’s convenient.  I like to use the clay kind, but choose one of course that is beneficial to your skin.  Once it dries, pay attention to the forehead and eyebrow expressions that cause it to feel as if it may crack. In the same way we often try to keep our faces from cracking while having a mask on, use this to train yourself.

Once you are aware of making the facial expressions that cause the wrinkles, it will become easier to stop doing it and in a short period of time, the lines will soften and hopefully go away completely, depending how deep they are.  And if you use a moisturizer, continue to use it, maybe a little more than usual, to really help soften them.

Lastly, as a side note, I don’t personally feel it’s a good idea to completely stop using any of our muscles.  The beauty of erasing forehead wrinkles, without doing anything permanent, is you can, and should, raise your eyebrows from time to time to keep those muscles strong.

And the most important thing about not permanently losing the ability is every so often you might just get a piece of news so wonderful that it really calls for full facial expressions, raised eyebrows and all.  Like what you might wonder?  Well in my case, it’s when my 2 year old granddaughter shares that she has used the big girl potty…now that is worth being able to raise my eyebrows. ;)