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The Biggest Beauty Faux Pas

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I have had the privilege of working with some of the most beautiful women in the world. It's not unusual for me to receive a last-minute phone call from Vogue to ask me to change the hair color of a gorgeous model for a special fashion spread. Models who seem totally unaware of their beauty will come in for a hair color change to help create a new look for a shoot. Often their final look is so beautiful that you forget they are mere mortals. Their beauty is intoxicating. You can almost feel yourself melt in their presence. With their gift of great beauty, they almost seem to come from another world.

On August 26, 2008, the world lost Jerry Ford, one-half of the most influential beauty and fashion team in the world. Together with his wife Eileen, he created the most famous and longest-lasting modeling agency we have ever known. Mr. Ford was respected and admired by all in the fashion community. He created the new standard for models. He made modeling into a legitimate business that generated millions of dollars and he was savvy enough to create some of the most lucrative contracts in the modeling world. The man was a genius whose personality oozed southern charm.

As you can well imagine, his memorial service was attended by a Who's Who of the fashion and beauty world. Every famous beautiful face of the last decades came to pay their respects. It was the oddest feeling to walk through a room and feel like you knew everyone. I grew up seeing many of their faces and I felt like I should be greeting them with a big "Hello," only to realize we had never met. It took me a few minutes for me to recognize some of them. It had been years since I had last seen some of the older women in print or commercials. Time had taken a toll even on these gorgeous specimens. They had started to become more human.

Don't misunderstand me. They are still beautiful women. But even with the modern technologies of hair color, facial creams, Botox, fillers, and some of the best plastic surgery in town, there was now a difference. Many of the women had lost the ethereal look that had fascinated us for years.

Here is a list of some of the biggest beauty faux pas that even some of these famous beauty icons made:

Hair Color That is Too Light

Many of the women made their hair progressively lighter. This is usually an attempt to maintain the color they had during the peak of their careers. Most women think that lighter hair brightens their face. Hair that is a shade or two lighter can brighten your face and even disguise a few wrinkles or darkness under the eyes. Many women come to the conclusion that if a little lighter is prettier, then still lighter will make them look even younger and more beautiful. This is a huge error. Hair that is too light will wash out your complexion and make you look older. I often think that women remember their hair color to have been lighter than it really was. Look at pictures of yourself when you were younger. You might be surprised to realize you were not the shade you thought you where.

Complexion, Skin Color and Texture are All Different

Your skin has become progressively lighter and thinner. This is another reason why you should not try to maintain the hair color you once had. As your skin color changes, so should your hair color and makeup. They should work together to define your features. If you wake up looking like you have to run for your mascara and lipstick, you have picked the wrong hair color. Fine lines and crinkles start to appear. I'm not suggesting that anyone run to the dermatologist for Botox, but creams do temporarily help to make skin look moist and dewy. Remember the most basic skin rule: The more wrinkles you have, the more minimal your makeup should be.

Face Goes Thin

Remember those cheekbones you always wanted? Most likely you have them now. Even if you've gained a few pounds, your face is most likely thinner. This is when the right hair style becomes vital. The right style can help to hide flaws and accent your best facial features. If your face did become more round over the years, the right style can also make it appear thinner with well-placed layers. Talk to your stylist. Do not get the same haircut year after year. Vary it slightly. Your hair style should constantly be evolving.

Borderline Non-Existent Brows

Sometimes the most subtle changes can make us look older. An example of this is the thinning of the eyebrow. As the aging process continues, our eyebrows become thinner. Creating the illusion of a fuller brow will take years off your appearance. I suggest using a powder to fill in your thinning eyebrow. A pencil can easily look harsh and artificial.

Inconsistent Weight

Don't over- or under-eat. Any weight loss or gain can lead to hanging skin, which causes skin to stretch. This will lead to wrinkles and those dreaded stretch marks later in life.

No one escapes the aging process. Even the most beautiful people must face the fact that their appearance will change over time. Acceptance of this change is most important. Live a healthy life style. Avoid obvious attempts to erase years. These almost never work. As time passes, it is the great reminder that we are all mere mortals.

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