I remember reading a quote from BFF (Best Fashion Friend) Catherine Deneuve*, that "A30-year old woman must choose between her bottom and her face." The thought being, that as we age, we lose that youthful fat in our faces that plump up apple cheeks and smooth wrinkles.
We haveall had that shock of walking behind a slim babe in tight jeans and a figure revealing top only to have her turn around and see a face of a much, much older women. I call it the "Janice Dickinson Syndrome." These women try to remedy this Skeletor-like appearance with injections of collagen and facial implants that just look stapled on.
All evidence will support that as a "woman over 30" (and then some!) I have chosen my ass. In fact, I'm dribbling Thin Mint cookie crumbs into my laptop keyboard even as I compose this post! (The new Girl Scout Cookie Campaign: Saving your face for tomorrow.")
So rather than sacrificing infant farmer animals to inject into my face, I'm opting for drinking lots of water and green tea, wearing sunscreen, and sinking the majority of my 401K into anti-aging, plumping, refining skincare projects. (What's left in it will go to my colorist who will assure that when I'm in my late 80's, I will still mysteriously not have any gray hair.)
Thanks to my newly found all-things-beauty Yoda, Lisa Eldridge (who wields a mascara-wand like a light sabre), I have discovered Dermalogica. I've been using their Skin Resurfacing Cleanser each morning. I love it -- I feel like it has helped reduce uneven pigmentation and generally makes my skin seem smoother.
Now I've discovered this little gem. I like to smile. A lot. Until I look at a high-def photo and notice a growing spider web under my eyes and at the corners. Ahh, so that's what they mean by "crepey." Crappy is more like it. I've only been using this product for about a week and already my lines seem much softer and finer. I use a rice grain-size amount of cream and pat it in with my ring fingers, twice a day. Did you know that your ring finger is the wimpiest digit on your hand? Even your pinky could take it in a fight. So use your ring finger anytime you're applying a product around your eyes.
Okay, okay. Saying I love Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil is kinda like saying that an Hermes Birken is a timeless classic or Audrey Hepburn is a fashion icon. I mean, "Duh?" Yes, fashion models bathe in the stuff but they're 17 years old and have practically newborn skin and are genetically engineered to look gorgeous. Listen to this middle-aged lady - the stuff works. Just three drops, smoothed over slightly damp clean skin and your skin starts glowing a little. Some days, so much so that I can skip my moisturizer and just go straight to sunscreen or primer. I'm a sucker for packaging and scent and this has both -- elegant and expensive. Speaking of which, the stuff lasts for months and months. Seriously. Like you may need to buy a bottle every 6-8 months.
I had about 1/6 of a bottle left that I brought along on my recent trip 12-day to Dublin, London and Paris. Unfortunately, the stopper came unstopped somewhere between London and Paris and so I was encouraging my travel companion to use it as well, as I knew I'd have to leave the bottle behind. I hope the hotel maid enjoyed it!
Considerably less expensive and almost as much of a cult product as Rodin Oil is Caudalie's Beauty Elixir.
The official description is that this was inspired by the "elixir of youth" used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary and that it "smoothes features, tightens pores and gives skin a boost of radiance." It can be used under makeup, but I prefer to use it after I've done my makeup to give it a softer "lived-in look," as Lisa might say. It also smells divine. Shake it well before you use it as the oils in it tend to float to the surface.
review of this next Caudalie product from the stunning Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss. I mean, look at that girl, she couldn't be lovelier if she were made by Mattel. (And even then her skin would be smoother.) So despite the 100-year age difference between us, I went on the prowl for this product while I was in Paris. Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid. I didn't pay enough attention to that last word and got so excited when I found it on a shelf, maybe $1 less than it cost in the States. Thus I have Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Creme. It was only when Rumi Neely of FashionToast was referring to it as a tinted moisturizer (mine was white) that I took a good look at my tube. Not Fluid, Creme. Still, it seems to do just what the fluid promises. I really love how nicely foundation goes on when I use it as a moisturizer/primer.
No need to fly off to Europe or forego paying the electric bill for this next product, a simple trip to CVS will do. This is more revigorating than a 4:00 pm espresso. Just the coolness of the roller ball applicator makes it a treat to apply. (A friend actually asked if I'd just taken it out of the fridge instead of my handbag). It's packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins to refresh and hydrate your undereye area. But mostly, it just feels damn good! Keep it in your makeup bag with your lipstick for a quick pick-me-up that brightens your eyes almost as well as a YSL Touche Eclat!
In addition to bi-focals (or "progressives,"the more politically correct name) and flats with good arch support, the other necessity that comes with being over 40 (damn, now I've done it!) is a prescription for a retinol product. Made from Vitamin A, retinol products help stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen, so they help reduce wrinkles and age spots. It's also been known to help reduce blemishes in teenage skin. I've had a very expensive prescription of Tazorac, but I couldn't keep using it with the constant flaking and peeling and how it dried my skin out, even when I was using moisturizer before hand. This Avene product is over-the-counter, thus it's not as potent as a prescription retinoid, yet it still softens lines and—yes—restores radiance.
As an admitted product junkie, I like to rotate products so my skin doesn't get so accustomed to them that they stop working. I've been using this retinoid product for a couple months now and I really like it. Feel like my skin is clearer and lines are softened - now this could just a culminative effect from all these other products that are making the same claims...
I like to layer this over this OM Aroma's Pumpkin Seed Night Organic Serum. OM Aroma is a wonderful organic spa on West 11th Street in the West Village. I had one of the best facials ever there, one that does what it promises, instead of sending you out the door with a shiny red and blotchy face. This loads your skin up with a boatload of vitamins before you go to bed and it smells just dreamy. Again, a little bit goes a long long way. Just a few drops massaged into your skin after cleansing feels like a treat.
And it all started with this Incredible Hulk Green mask. Put on a thin layer on clean skin, then don't answer the door for a few minutes while the enzymes go to work! Gently wipe off with a cloth (this may take awhile, especially as the product dries) and pat dry. You may be quite red for 15-20 minutes or so, while the enzymes settle in, but after that your skin will be baby-soft and a-glow.
I was introduced to this exotic product at the very first Fashion's Night Out at the late, great Takishimaya. You spoon out some of this actual gold-flecked gel and smooth it onto your clean face, then gently massage it into your skin until the gold dissolves into your skin. Wait a few minutes until the gel gets a bit watery, then start rubbing away and watch - half in wonder, half in disgust - as dead skin literally peels away. It's immensely satisfying in a creepy kind of way. Once you've revealed your new skin, wash off any remainders of the mask and revel in how brand-new your skin feels. Products sink in better than ever and the silky softness lasts almost a week. Here's more information about this than you'll ever want to know.
Okay, so your bathroom cabinet is now overflowing, your Amex is maxxed out, and your skin is glowing like you swallowed a flashlight. And since you've wisely chosen your face over your ass, go ahead and order that pizza!