my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Vigilant Beauty: Fighting Frumpery, Letting Go, and the Odd Spot of Nude Sunbaking

I was digging through some stuff in my beauty file (Yes, I have a beauty file. Your point?) and found this article by Anna Johnson (an Australian writer who wrote one of my favorites: Three Black Skirts is All You Need to Survive. Seriously, I love that book.) that inspired me (LBOS isn't the only one divinely inspired) to share with you (I added a few comments).

And remember: those of us under 40 won't always be.

Style up. Turning 40 is the perfect occasion to take inventory on your wardrobe, your makeup drawer and beauty routines that have become outdated. The difference between elegance and frumpery could be as subtle the wrong hemlength or a laquered up-do that needs to be ditched. Soften your makeup by learning how to blend, flatter your face by wearing color and a more forgiving hairstyle. The uniform we all had in our 30’s of hair pinned up and basic black (I'm not giving up black. Forget it.) becomes limiting and simply severe 10 years on. Now is the time to refine the looks that suit you and let go of timeworn habits masquerading as personal style.

Beauty mantra: Older is wiser and a hell of lot more chic.

Fat. It just doesn’t budge so easily over 50. Now is the time to reduce your intake of calories and break away from comfort foods. Tempting as it is to "let go" and form a menopausal cake fixation (oh honey, you have no idea), I urge you to burn your plus-size catalogues (bela?) and start pumping iron. Weight bearing exercise controls the pounds and helps protect your bones from thinning, a critical health issue for women in middle age.

Beauty mantra: Vitality is a woman in motion.

60s plus
Sex seems a good idea for senior beauty. (HAH, it's a good idea! I'd like to see some statistics on how much sex is being had among age groups. Just wondering.) Making marmalade all day (yeah, there's a whole lot of marmalade making going on out there) just won’t give you the same glow. If a blazing affair isn’t on the horizon (you might be surprised), then at least indulge in some beauty regimes that focus on sensuality: pedicures, oil baths, massage, sea bathing and an odd spot of nude sun baking (I guess she figures this far down the road you don't need to worry about wrinkles? Or melanoma? Please rethink this) remind you to be a goddess, not just a grandma. By now you know how to eat your vegetables, stretch your limbs and spend peaceful time alone, but don’t forget that the spice of life (and vibrant beauty) is variety.Have your feet done up with a henna tattoo, find a lush new scent (we're here to help) and double your intake of raw foods.

Beauty mantra: The most striking women are always a little shocking.

Ladies, please consider this a public service announcement.

Today's fragrance: speaking of sex, if you need any help, I suggest a little Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood. This oriental features notes of viburnum, marigold, orange blossom, orris, rose, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, amber, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli. Variously described as "saucy and racy" and "a scent for a woman's private space." There's some truth to THAT. Try it. Find out what we mean. Heh.


Blogger dddragon said...

lol - and here I've been contemplating shaving my head because I'm tired of my hair!

3:43 AM

Blogger Bela said...

Fun post!

I have a beauty file too - and a perfume file and a health file and a literature file and... Filing is my favourite occupation. LOL!

6:22 AM

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I enjoyed every single word of this. But I keep coming back to Beauty File. You have a beauty file? I gotta get out more. I need a beauty file.

Well, I'm sure that sex is good for a woman's "glow." Here's the major problem: Women of a certain age are most often married to even older men. I don't care how many men there are in the news who are new fathers at age 80 or something, most men have, er, .... some problems as they age.

6:23 AM

Blogger Val said...

Thanks for the advice, M! I told my husband my next birthday will be "29 and holding" since I don't even want to hit 30, but these tips sound like great fun! Except for the doubling of raw veggies... not very good at that yet =/ And where can I find today's fragrance? I think I'd smell like an Indian dish w/ all those spices in it- a guaranteed plus as my hubby loves Indian cooking ;) Do tell!

7:00 AM

Blogger clearing said...

At 46 I AM rethinking my hair and makeup. What hair? What make up? Yes. This old sprout-headed naturalist is actually considering *glamour*.

So far it's just the incubation stage. (I bought some new lipstick!)

Thanks for the tips. I guess I know where to head for quick advice on troublesome beauty areas.

:::takes marmalade off the stove and heads to the bathroom:::

8:13 AM

Blogger Tom & Icy said...

It's nice to see that you are interested in keeping the body and mind vibrant and young.

11:25 AM

Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Crap. And here I was, seriously considering a lacquered up-do for my mid 40s. I've finally got the gall darn hair long enough.

I have to go contemplate my timeworn habits that are masquerading as my personal style. Suggestions welcome.


11:28 AM

Blogger Fred said...

Since I've been growing my hair, I find myself having strange conversations with my female friends about conditiners, split ends, hair styles, etc.

Being a girl is hard work!

1:32 PM

Blogger still life said...

I love this post. But I think they should also add that there can be a little crossover. 50s don't have to stick to the 50s and so on... there are some 60 year olds that would put a 40 year old to shame.
And rubbish with the thought that once a person turns a certain age, the long hair has to go. I say whatever complements.

3:41 PM

Blogger AP3 said...

Um. A beauty file?

Needless to say, I don't have one.


4:24 PM

Blogger actonbell said...

A beauty file! What a wonderful idea:) I'm just now getting into a tad of makeup, and I've been coloring my hair for a few years now, and I don't know what I'm doing. Good idea!

I think maybe I could manage shocking. And raw food--sushi, right? Good stuff. Thanks for a great read!

3:29 AM

Blogger ParisLondres said...

LOL! Such a lovely post. Have favourites on my computer but no beauty file etc.

It seems like hard work can pay off - so I may give some of these suggestions a try without giving up on comfort food (never!) ;D


5:35 AM

Blogger Jonniker said...

You mean when I turn 40 I'm going to have to get rid of my lacquered updo? Say it isn't so!

7:21 AM


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