Updated 3/11/17. Looking younger and great for your age is not just about wrinkle reduction. It is the way you present yourself to the world. The way you walk and talk and the way you dress and act. If you want to look fabulous for your age (and younger) you must make caring for yourself a priority. Those that do this well will always light up a room and have people ask them for their secret.
Being around my celebrity clients, who are constantly scrutinized for their appearance, I’ve picked up some tricks along the way that I too practice. At age 47, and as someone who wants to age gracefully, here are my tips for looking youthful, vibrant and full of life—without cosmetic procedures.
1. Exercise your facial muscles by smiling. It is easy to smile when you’re excited to see someone or when you’re laughing but how about smiling when you would normally not? With age, the skin drops and sags. If you look at your face when standing in the mirror with your face at rest, for most people, the corners of the mouth will turn down giving you a sad look on your face. This expression does not make anyone look their best. A smile will instantly lift the skin and cheeks giving you a brighter, younger look. My secret is that when you’re having a conversation with someone, when smiling wouldn’t be necessary due to the nature of the conversation, just raise your cheekbones a bit and gently give a subtle smile without showing your teeth. It will not look weird it just simply turns back the clock a bit and makes your face look happier. I also believe if you continue to do this, even if you’re just at work sitting at your desk, you reprogram your face muscles (and make them stronger), so it becomes natural to have this facial expression without even thinking about it. I have made a conscious effort to do this for the last few years and recently had a high school friend ask me if I had cheek implants because she never remembers me having such pronounced cheekbones. Crazy, but true! It’s simply because I changed the expression on my face to smile more often. Free facelift? I’ll take it.
2. Stand up straight. People who stand up straight exude confidence. You feel more confident when you do this and you’ll appear more confident—which is a beautiful thing.
3. Never dress your age and shop at clothing stores where those younger than you shop. Certain stores have an age demographic for which they cater to. While I think it’s important to dress appropriately for your age (women in their 40s never look good dressing like their teenage daughters), if you want to look ten years younger why not dress ten years younger? But never go it alone. When shopping in a store, find someone who works there, that looks fabulous and whose style of dress you admire—even if you don’t think it’s your style. Ask them to help you pick out some new clothes. Let them be your personal shopper. If you specifically say, “I’m in a rut with my clothes and want to update my look”, they will work their magic on you. They love outfitting other people and giving them a new look, so be open to some new clothing ideas. Don’t fall into the “Oh, it’s not my style.” Change is not easy but we get in a rut with our clothes and look the same old, same old. It’s time for a fresh new look with a new set of eyes. Trust me, you’ll look fabulous for it.
P.S. My go-to stores for some of my easy day-to-day wear include Madewell and H&M. They are fun and stylish without breaking the bank.
4. Whiten your teeth. Yellow, stained teeth will age you. In this day and age when there are so many whitening and brightening options, it makes it easy to get a dazzling smile that you’re proud of. Be sure to pay attention to your bottom teeth too because the bottom lip drops with age and eventually your bottom teeth become more noticeable than the top. Just because they may be hidden now, doesn’t mean they’ll hide forever. Treat both the top and bottom the same.
In addition, considering getting your teeth straightened. I went through Invisalign a few years back to straighten my teeth because even though I had braces in my teens, the teeth will always shift with age. I am super happy with the results and wear my retainer faithfully every night to maintain the results.
5. Wear a brighter blush. When the skin ages, it fades since less oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the skin. For example, by the time you are 75 years old, you have about 50% less blood vessels in your face. So with less vessels, it means less blood is flowing to the skin and therefore less color in the face. (Check out this amazing Glow Enhancing Cream.) While it’s important to focus on keeping good circulation in the skin so nutrient-rich blood can deliver what it needs to keep it glowing, the simple addition of a bright blush color will instantly improve the brightness in your skin. I love using a really bright pink or coral color but just a very small amount and only on the apples of my cheeks. Looking like a clown is never a good look, so you have to go easy.
While you’re out shopping for a brighter blush color, take advantage of the makeup artists who work at the department store counters and get a makeover. Similar to clothes, choose someone whose makeup look you admire and be open to a new look.
P.S. The late stylist, Charla Krupp wrote two great books that I found really helpful called How to Not Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again. If you want to look your best at any age, she offers helpful tips. It’s a fun read and it quickly makes you realize how much of a rut you’ve fallen into with your look.
6. Get a new haircut—and let the hair stylist decide on the cut. Sound scary? Sure it is, but we all are creatures of habit and, as such, we look the same day in and day out. How many times now have you gone to your stylist and said, “I just need a trim.” How about saying “I need a fresh, new, updated look!” And let them decide what it should be. Change is good—and it’s just hair.
Note: Bangs are in style now and they really create a more fresh, youthful look. They can also cover forehead wrinkles, which is a great alternative to Botox. For my own hair, I changed my color from blonde to a pinky-, purple-y rose gold a while back and I believe it makes me look more youthful and fun! Check out this recent picture of me and my oldest sister. She is six years older than me and often times I’ll get mistaken for her daughter!
7. Start using a product with retinol on your skin—NOW. Aside from sunscreen, the best, scientifically proven ingredient for smoothing the texture of the skin and making lines and wrinkles less noticeable is retinol, or a prescription retinoid. As you can watch in my video here, in 1988, I met a dermatologist who was instrumental in getting this ingredient FDA-approved for reducing wrinkles and to this day, it is still the only FDA-approved anti-wrinkle treatment on the market. Trust me, this ingredient works and you need to be commit to using this type of product regularly from now until the rest of eternity. If you have sensitive skin, then use my personal favorite, Advanced Resurfacing Serum. It will not cause redness or dryness which is typically associated with the prescription versions, but it will give the wrinkle-reducing results, with continued use. I use it four nights a week—faithfully.
So there you have it. My tips on how to look younger and fabulous. Do you dare?
Read some more of my personal skin care secrets that I share with More Magazine.
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”