How to look 10 years younger
In our heads we are always about 27 years old, so sometimes it's a shock to look in the mirror and see someone older.
Most of the time, if you look middle-aged and frumpy, it's down to not taking the trouble - you've got caught up with life, kids and the rest of it and have simply stopped paying attention to how you look. Others have just given up and decided they can't be bothered anymore. But you don't have to buy expensive anti-aging creams and treatments to look younger - it's actually possible to look a lot younger than you are using just making a few changes to how you groom yourself. Here are a few simple tips:
Get rid of the gray hair
Dyeing your hair can be expensive if you have it done at the hair salon, and a messy process if you do it at home. But nothing makes you look older than gray hair (and gray roots).
The only people who look good with gray hair are the really old (in their 70's and older) who have gone completely white and whose hair complements their skin. For everyone else gray looks awful. In particular, women in their 40's can look about 55 with gray hair, but the same woman can look like she's in her mid-thirties if she dyes her hair.
Choose the colour you dye your hair carefully. Don't go for the extremes - dramatic black or ash blonde. Lots of people seem to opt for reds, but it's a hard hair colour to pull off, you need a particular creamy skin tone. Being blonde when you are older is also a difficult look to pull off, especially if your skin isn't flawless. Most people are natural brunettes or have mouse colour. Stick close to your natural colour, and get highlights put in to brighten it up.
Don't get too thin
When you are young, you have a lot of puppy fat in your face (that's what gives young faces that smooth roundness). But as you grow older, the face thins. This means that if you try to maintain the same body weight as when you were in your twenties, your face will look gaunt, your throat stringy and yes, you will look old. Carrying slightly more weight means the face doesn't thin so much.
When you are over forty, you need to choose between your face and your figure. I would choose the face - that's really what people look at when they meet you. There is nothing worse than seeing someone with a thin body and an old face. Better to have a slightly plump body and a youngish looking face.
Stay out of the sun
Sunlight can destroy your skin, and this tendency is worse when you are older because your skin isn't able to renew itself as well.
If you don't want old-looking leathery skin with brown spots, stay out of the sun and use heavy duty sunscreen when you venture out. If you live in a warm climate, buy a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself.
Take care of your hands and feet
The skin on your hands and feet are a dead giveaway of age. Start using hand cream to ensure that the skin on your hands looks as smooth as ever.
Don't stand like an old person
Body posture is an immediate giveaway of age. Old people hunch and look frail and unfit. the best way to counter this is exercise. Exercise will strengthen and tone all your muscles, and those muscles will hold the skeleton upright.
The type of exercise you do as you are older will be different from that you did in your twenties. Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that in order to look younger, they have to exercise they way they did when they were younger too. But of course your body is not the same in it's ability to renew itself. Don't jog or do anything that puts strain on the joints or ligaments (they don't renew themselves, so once they are gone, they are gone). Instead do gentle exercise such as swimming and walking. The point is simply to keep the muscles toned, not to prove to some twentysomethings that you can take as much physical punishment as they can.
Change your makeup
Most women experiment enthusiastically with make-up in their late teens and early twenties. Then they settle on a "look" and stick to it. But sometimes the look can become outdated. In addition, because of changes in your skin, the type of make-up you wear needs to change as well.
Don't wear heavy foundation when you are older - it settles into the lines and wrinkles and emphasises them. Instead use a normal moisturiser and go for a slightly dewy look rather than matt.
Don't use harsh lipstick - in particular, the classic red lipsticks only really work with young flawless skin. Older people also have a problem with lipstick "feathering" - creeping outside the mouth via the lines around the lips. Use a gentle or neutral colour or simply use a little lip gloss.
Make sure your make-up isn't stuck in the rut of the previous decade. Buy a couple of magazines and check the latest trends. You don't need to follow them all, just pay attention to general things like the style of eyebrows, whether the eyes are being emphasised or the lips this year, and the colours that are moving into vogue.
Update your wardrobe
Sometimes when you are over forty, you just want to feel comfortable. So it's tempting to just think, l don't care anymore, I'm going to veg out in my comfy tracksuit bottoms and old T-shirts.
However the style of clothes you wear ages you much more than your actual wrinkles. As with make-up, don't look as though you are stuck in the previous decade. Update your wardrobe regularly and pay attention to current fashion trends, while being careful not to overdo things.
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