I was just thinking of the old saying that youth is wasted on the young. If this were true, it would be a crying shame. As anyone past 30 knows, youth lasts a relatively short time. When we are young and beautiful, we don't appreciate it and foolishly fail to realize that it's just a fleeting moment in our lives. Unless you are an incredibly smart, young person, you don't realize the power of youth and beauty. Most people are attracted to the vitality of youth and often find themselves living vicariously through the young. Usually the young are the center of attention, have boundless energy, and the ability to recover from any escapade after only a few hours sleep (as we've seen on episodes of The Hills). They take this all for granted. It all seems so natural. Little do they know that the lives they live and the passing years will soon start to take their toll.
The perfect glow of our skin, the shine, texture and color of our hair, and even our bodies change. By the time we realize that youth is fleeting, the decline has already begun. The pores of our skin suddenly seem larger. Our hair color is less vibrant. The effects of gravity on our body have begun to show. Our energy levels have dropped.
Don't despair! It does take thought, time and effort. But with a little endeavor, many of the signs of aging can easily be diminished...
• Linda Wells, the editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, observed in her book "Confessions of a Beauty Editor" that most of the women in her office have shoulder-length hair. This is a magazine whose main focus is beauty. Her observation strongly insinuates that this is universally one of the most complimentary hairstyles. Hair with body that is cut at a length between the chin and shoulder with side-swept bangs is terribly sexy and erases years from almost everyone.
• Most people think that you should make your hair lighter as time passes. This is not always true. Clients will often bring in pictures to show me how their color looked when they were younger. Most of the time in the photograph, their hair was a deeper and richer shade than they are presently wearing and it almost always looks more flattering. I know the pictures are often prettier because they were taken years ago, but the vibrancy that hair color provides for the skin cannot be denied. As I've said many times, your hair color and skin color should never be the same shade. I promise this will make you look washed out and older. The secret is to find a shade similar to your original color, but softer and usually a warmer shade. This will help to keep you perpetually young. If you chose a shade other than your own color--if you decide you want to become a redhead or even a blonde--try to stay within the same depth of color.
• Thinning hair is a problem usually associated exclusively with men. While many men experience male-pattern baldness, many women also have thinning hair. Women's hair generally becomes thinner throughout the head. Most women avoid talking about thinning hair. I think it's an embarrassment to most women and this makes it a taboo subject. The first sign of thinning hair is a noticeable lack of body. This can even begin to happen to young women in their early thirties.
There are solutions to this problem. The first is having the proper length haircut with the right amount of layers. The appropriate haircut will make your hair look thicker. Hair color can give the feel of thicker hair. Hair color coats the hair and opens the cuticles, giving the illusion of more hair and body. If your hair-loss problem is more severe, I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist. A doctor can put you on a regime of biotin and other vitamins that will help your hair to grow, or at least will prevent your hair from becoming thinner. At this point I must mention your eyebrows. They naturally become less dense over the years and subliminally make you look older. This is especially true for all those who over-plucked their brows at some point in their lives. Most brows don't grow back or grow very slowly. Fortunately you can easily fill them in with a brow pencil.
• Perhaps one of the key components to looking young is the quality of our skin. Unfortunately, many of us ignored the damaging powers of the sun in order to look bright and vibrant for as long as our tans would last. Better late than never, most of us now know the ravaging effects of the sun on our skin. The sun robs our skin of its youth and vitality. Fortunately, the skin will slowly repair itself to an extent if we change our bad habits. There are also a number of skin care products that can help to restore the quality of our skin. The right hair color and a minimal use of makeup also help to give a more youthful appearance. Keep makeup light and creamy. Heavier makeup settles into the fine lines, making them look like deep creases. Remember, less is more!
As ironic as it may seem, of all the information I have been giving you to look young, the best tip I can suggest is to not become obsessed with aging. Nothing will make you appear older. A dear old English friend once said to me, "There is nothing worse than mutton trying to look like lamb." No truer words have ever been spoken.
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