Friday, 5 February 2010

Coming Down To Earth

I went to see the movie Up In The Air and I really enjoyed it. Aging delightfully, gorgeous George Clooney was just that (refreshingly grey haired instead of the ubiquitous auburn glow men-of-a-certain age so often sport these days), there's a bit of the unexpected and some of the lines were laugh out loud, in a good way. I don't want to spoil the plot but there's a bit where the young girl says to the old girl something like: 'I hope I look like you when I'm your age'......which had me rolling in the aisle because I've heard that phrase myself. More than once. What do you say? What is the correct response to the back-handed compliment, made with all the naive vim and vigour only the young can get away with?

To miss-quote The Eagles, the lines on the mirror are the lines on my face, there's no getting away from it. So I suppose there comes a point, it would seem, when looking good eventually gets tacked onto 'for your age'. As the years pass it's unavoidable. I do it myself with Dames Judi and Helen, Marianne Faithfull, Julie Christie and many more top women who look great....for their age. Although right now, with the temperature dropping and the threat of more snow overhead 'you look alive for your age' might be more appropriate. I scrutinise necks, jaw-lines and upper arms, counting the lines like rings on a slice of aged oak. I applaud the 'laugh-lines' of others and salute the celebrity brave enough to wear a frown. It doesn't help to be confronted by my bathroom shelves, buckling under the weight of age-defying lotions and potions apparently able to stop the 7 signs of aging. Only 7? Suckered into buying toning, tinting, body-sculpting creams that promise a younger, smoother brand new me.

But I'm not up in the air about that. Who doesn't enjoy a bit of pampering, a soak in a rejuvenating seaweed bath, or the heavenly scent of body oil infused with Moroccan roses, whether they work miracles or not. We're all grown-ups, do we actually believe that the lovely Liz Hurley is really a stranger to the needle, and maintains her radiant look on just a thimble full, albeit a highly nutritious, organic, grown-in-her-garden thimble full, of watercress soup? Looking good, or the belief that one is making oneself look good, does raise our spirits. So we feel better. So we look better. It is of course different for men though. For them old, fat, grizzled equals shaggable (see Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, imagine Cathy Bates pulling Jake Gyllenhaal in a similar roll....) as the song says, 'Keep young and beautiful if you want to be loved.' Apparently, lipstick sales surged after 9/11, a phenomenon first noticed during the Great Depression. Red lipstick, heels and a great rack, mad men are mad for it.

Top tip: Laura Mercier's Poppy lipstick will put a smile on anybody's face.


  1. Every post hits the nail right on the head for us gals over 50. Thanks for helping us create more laugh lines! :-)

  2. Great post, good read. Have to say I don't buy into all this anti-ageing creams and lotions and potions just don't do it for me. I use a soap made with natural ingredients locally, that has rough bits in which help rub off the dead skin. I don't use anything on my face other that Olay daily renewal cream or beauty fluid, whichever I have. I am not interested in looking younger... I have lived a life that was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, sorrow and joy, and serious health issues... all of which show, all of which make me who I am. A woman approaching 60 who looks it and doesn't give a damn!

  3. I have my favourite lotions and creams which, despite what pharmacists may say, I *know* make a difference to my skin. Yes they are expensive but psychologically they make me feel as though I am pampering myself and I, and others, do see a difference when I use them. My only complaint is that as I age getting ready for the day generally seems to be taking longer and longer!