“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
My husband, Shelly, and I flew out of Florida this week to ‘my beautiful Chicago.’ I am delighted to be home. My mom lives in the city and in the same building, and that brings me to my story today.
But, first, some thoughts on patch-patch-patch!
Millions of us run to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for patch-patch-patch! They promise to hand us back our youth. “The Fountain of Youth is at our doorstep, step inside,” they say.
Darlings, some of us financially can, some of us financially cannot, and some of us prefer not!
The point of today’s story is that those of us over fifty that cannot afford face work or choose not to touch their faces may be better off in some ways than those of us who do!
Every brand, from soap to ‘nuts’ promises youth. Brands are telling us you have to look young to be beautiful, to be visible. I take issue.
And, unfortunately, I feel that is why a young woman in her mid-thirties is running to her beauty maven to fill her face with injections of Botox and collagen. After having a child, she has her first tummy tuck and a little liposuction. From exhaustion, from her “mothering” or “careering” she has her eyes done and by mid or late forties she is off to the best plastic surgeon for her first facelift. Am I right?
So now that I have established that younger women are just as crazed with who they see in their mirror as us older Grande Dames, I want to tell you the story of one 94-year-old, beautiful woman: my mother.
Her story may open your eyes to, unfortunately, our limitations!
Recently, Shelly and I were leaving our building for an evening out with friends. There were four very elderly women in the lobby, one of them, my mother. Every Saturday night she and her girlfriends meet for their night out with the girls. They are all widows and childhood friends. I have known them since I was a little girl. The youngest is 90 and the oldest is my mother in her later 90s… and thank God, holding!
I could not help staring at this group of elderly Grande Dames as I walked over to give each of them a kiss! It was so obvious that all of them had one or more facelifts… except for my mother.
My mother has never had a facelift. She still swears by Maybelline face cleanser. She says, “Soap on a woman’s skin is taboo. Too drying!” Her night moisturizer is Olive Oil.
My mom had her eyes done when she was in her forties and told me, “The puffs under my eyes are hereditary. They have nothing to do with age.” I knew better and so I just smiled to myself and nodded.
You may assume I am biased, but I swear my mother was the most beautiful of the four women. It was so obvious. Her girlfriends’ faces were pulled and smooth. But, their hands were old. Their hair was thinning. Their stature was that of a much older woman.
My mother’s face showed her life. The crinkles around her eyes and her smile lines made her face soft: her blue “unbagged” eyes sparkled! Her face matched her hands!
She looked regal and so much more natural than her friends with all their tucks and pulls. She is truly a beautiful Grande Dame with the same smile I remember as a little girl.
So to my younger friends at fifty and under and to us older women over fifty who choose the docs, be careful what you wish for. A little nip here and a little tuck there, a little Botox and collagen and even a peel to rid yourself of sun-induced lines + spots are uplifting as we deal with aging in a society that places so much emphasis on youth. Just do not overdo because your face one day will not match your body!
The moral of this story is two-fold. If you prefer to visit the youth docs, realize you can’t win the aging game. So know when to draw the line. At some point, you have to become comfortable in your own skin. A stylish woman is a whole package, not just a face!
If you have the courage or cannot afford to visit the face docs and go through the natural process of aging, like my mom, you now know how you will look at ninety. And that ain’t all bad.
One more tip: Oil your face. And everywhere else…
I remember when I was in my early twenties, my mother took me to a plastic surgeon. I had and still have, on the left side of my face, what my mother calls “my beauty mark.” My mother was worried that it may be dangerous. The plastic surgeon told us it should be left alone. Before leaving his office my concern was…what line of skin products should I purchase for my face so I would not age? I was under twenty-five years old.
I will never forget his answer: “Dear, my advice is to stay out of the sun, away from the cosmetic counters where you will be enticed to buy expensive facial products that don’t work and just buy olive oil! It is a natural product.” I listened.
That wise plastic surgeon gave me great advice because not long ago my make-up saleswoman at Neiman’s approached me and informed me of a new product being hyped in makeup lines! Well girls, what do you think? I describe it as olive oil with chemicals. It looks like olive oil but it is not a natural product.
Though I’m not a plastic surgeon, I suggest you run out and buy your olive oil! Just put it in your shopping cart when you go to the market. Grape seed oil is now my choice. It is sumptuous and natural and makes your skin “feel” yummy!
Tell your friends and relatives that the secret to a beautiful skin does not have to come out of an expensive bottle… a little olive oil will do!
Now I’m off to walk the new pup with sunblock and olive oil!
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