Watching This Is 40 recently, I really related to Debbie's (Leslie Mann's) dilemma. She's a busy working mother/wife struggling with turning the big 4-0. In fact, she hates the idea so much she hides the truth, telling everyone she'll be 37 or 38 instead depending on her mood.
Like Debbie, I found 40 daunting. This difficult birthday is much more traumatic than becoming 30, 50 or even 56 like I did in April. However, revealing my real age never bothered me and doesn't to this day. As a breast cancer survivor, I'm happy to announce I've rung in another year. (What a gift!) But I certainly don't want to look the part.
That's why I'm wild about these 5 quick makeup and hair fixes. They can help you appear fresher and younger in minutes.
Starting with a light foundation prep like these multitasking picks from Smashbox (after moisturizing, of course!) is an everyday must as we get older: Both help fill in fine lines so your complexion looks smoother and ensure foundation lasts longer. In addition:
Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer - Provides a moisture boost great for anyone like me who struggles with dryness. Made with a desert plant extract called Hydraplex, this skin-quenching, oil-free formula also helps lock in moisture so you can look fresh for hours.
Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer - Evens out skin tone with a silky blend of antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and soothing botanicals like lemongrass, aloe, soybean oil and orchid complex. Of the three problem-camouflaging shades, green works best for me because it reduces redness. Try apricot if you need to douse discolorations and dark spots or lavender to brighten dull skin.
$42 for the hydrating formula; $38 for the color correcting version at Smashbox.com, Ulta and Nordstrom
Few things are more aging than tired, circle-rimmed eyes. For some, drinking water and getting more sleep can help. But no matter how much aqua and shuteye I get, I always wake up looking like a raccoon. I blame heredity because my sister Pam shares the problem.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum - A top-rated, anti-aging eye treatment that perks up your peepers by lightening circles and smoothing and preventing wrinkles. It includes Deep Sea Water from Japan, which is said to have remarkable anti-aging properties. Plus, the super-concentrated formula is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and botanicals geared to provide instant benefits.
Besides working on lines and crow's feet, this lightweight cream moisturizes the under-eye area. I've been using it in the morning after cleansing. Afterwards, my skin looks refreshed thanks to light reflectors that gloss over problems. It also responds better to concealer.
The serum absorbs quickly so you don't have to wait before applying cover-up and you just need a dab so a bottle goes a long way. ($80 at LauraMercier.com, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue)
Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer SPF 30 - A handy, do-it-all stick for camouflaging under-eye circles as well as bruises, blemishes, age spots, scars and freckles.
True to its name, easy-to-wear, allergy-tested Quick Fix has made it much simpler to deal with even my raccoon-like discolorations. I like using it underneath my eyes as well as on my eyelids as a shadow primer. The coverage is buildable so you can tap it on lightly or layer it like I do and still look natural. Either way, it doesn't dry out or call attention to lines, wrinkles and pores. No wonder it's the #1 dermatologist-recommended coverage brand.
To hide under-eye circles, you want a concealer about one shade lighter than your natural skin tone so I opted for the Light color. But with 10 shades, there's one to complement just about every complexion. ($22 at Macy's, Ulta and Dillards; Dermablend.com for more information)
When it comes to foundation, you want to think light. Anything too heavy can settle into lines and actually make wrinkles look worse. Yikes!
To avoid adding years to your look, go with something sheer like the Pür Minerals' new 4-in-1 formula. It's made to smooth away the look of fine lines, combat visible discoloration and encourage a brighter, even-toned complexion. It also includes SPF 15, which is a BIG plus since wearing sun protection is one of the best things we can do for our skin.
Although 4-in-1 comes in a liquid, I LOVE the pressed powder because it contains good-for-your-skin minerals ground to an ultra-fine texture and bound with organic Shea butter and vitamin E. Whisking this fast fix on with Pür Minerals' Chisel Brush gives me amazing coverage with no worry of dryness or cracking. ($40 for the pressed mineral foundation and chisel brush at Purminerals.com, Ulta and Ulta.com)
Eyelid lifts are one of the most talked about procedures among my friends. That's because our lids often start to sag as we get older.
Not ready for surgery? You can still improve your look by taking three easy steps to take the focus off your lids.
1. Keep eye shadow simple. For summer, I'm obsessed with the warm neutrals in Merle Norman's new On the Boardwalk trio. This pretty, mirrored compact includes a subtle, matte brown (Thanks a Latte) and two, eye-lifting peach accents. The lighter Sarong has a hint of shine that works well next to your brow and in the corners of your eyes while golden peach-hued Bonfire makes a nice backdrop in combination with either of the other two shades or on its own for a natural look.
Besides being right on trend, these shadows are ophthalmologist tested, safe for contact lens wearers and fragrance-free. ($20 at Merle Norman Studios; visit MerleNorman.com for locations)
2. Line the entire eye. Since heavy eye shadow can be aging and look hard, makeup guru and Skinn Cosmetics founder Dimitri James says "It's better to line the entire eye keeping the lower liner lighter because the shape of eyes blur with age." Liner can improve this so you can use less shadow and still look terrific.
To get a precise line that's right next to your lashes, you've gotta have a powerful magnifying mirror (how can you line your eyes if you can't see them?!), an eyeliner that's as close to goofproof as possible and a stash of cotton swabs just in case of a mistake.
Although I'm normally one for liquid liners, I've started using Merle Norman's Age-Defying Eyeliner pen because it combines eye care with great colors like my go-to Black Onyx. It includes moisturizing hydrators plus natural extracts to soothe sensitive eyes and vitamins C and E to minimize signs of aging. In addition to being easy to apply, the color goes on dry so you don't have to worry about unintentional smudges and doesn't budge because it's waterproof.
Since you don't need water, this eyeliner is ideal when you're on the road and have limited vanity time. When you run low on color, you just turn the sensitive-eye friendly pen to extend the tip and sharpen it with a removable shaper. ($14 at Merle Norman Studios; visit MerleNorman.com for locations)
3. Reclaim your brows. When we're not admiring the latest lid lift, my girlfriends and I commiserate over our thinning and, sometimes, graying eyebrows. On the upside, there can be less need for tweezing. On the downside, using makeup to reclaim your brows is essential because they help draw attention up and away from your lids.
Laura Mercier's Eye Brow Pencil does a fantastic job filling in the irritating gaps and making my brows look fuller. The firm, slightly waxy texture makes it easy to add color without lines looking harsh and blends easily. And you don't have to worry about your brows doing a vanishing act on hot summer days because it's water resistant.
A Boomer-rific value, this brow beautifier includes pencil on one end and a brush on the other, is larger than most, comes with a sharpener and doesn't tend to break when sharpened. I keep my brown hair loaded with highlights so the Blonde color gives me a natural look. ($22 at LauraMercier.com, Neiman Marcus and Sephora)
Although I don't use it every day like the pencil, I also like Laura Mercier's Eye Brow Gel. It goes on clear and holds brow hairs in place without making them stiff. It comes in a mascara-like tube with a spiral brush for easy application. ($20 at LauraMercier.com, Neiman Marcus and Sephora)
After losing all my hair to chemotherapy in 2009, it took two, L-O-N-G years to grow it back. I didn't have a lot of hair before but, since that nightmare, it seems even thinner and more prone to breakage. I don't know if that's from the treatment (I'm still on an oral chemo drug), my age (hair can get thinner and more brittle after menopause) or a combination.
To toughen my tresses, I've vowed to eat more proteins like eggs and lean red meat (for the iron), spinach, beans and other foods that can give your hair a boost and drink lots of water. I'm also big on protecting my crowning glory with nourishing treatments like:
Phytodensium Anti-Aging Shampoo - This gentle cleanser includes botanicals that strengthen hair while encouraging growth and increasing thickness. Besides leaving my locks in better condition, it adds nice body and super shine. As a bonus, my hair also feels soft and touchable after using this revitalizing find.
Phytodensium Anti-Aging Serum - A few drops of this leave-in treatment is all you need to beef up your tresses. Just the thing for thin, fragile or over-processed hair, it includes pro-vitamins B5 and B6 to help fatten hair fibers and make them more resilient. This nourishing serum also restores lost minerals and helps slow the appearance of gray hair by boosting melanin production.
No gray? Although I wanted to try this serum to improve my hair's health, the thought of preventing gray hair really had me sold. The bottle includes a built-in dropper that makes it easy to put this serum on your scalp after shampooing. Although I haven't been using it long, it's already helped my hair look healthier. And I love that it's light enough to use in conjunction with my normal styling products.
$19 for the shampoo; $32 for the serum at Sephora, fine salons and department stores; visit Phyto-usa.com for information.
You might also enjoy: