[By Tania Hui]
From makeup to highlighted hair, fake nails to shape-enhancers, adorning and enhancing our bodies is a habit, a way of coping with our flaws and shortcomings in the beauty department. Everyone knows that better looks lead to better things in life when all things else are equal. Doors are opened more readily and we are presented with more choices and opportunities. I’m not dishing on the plastic surgery. But before you take that giant leap, why not consider baby steps that can give you plenty of mileage especially when done in multitude?
There are plenty of ways to change your look without subjecting yourself to cosmetics surgery which is expensive and not without its risks. This article outlines eight ways you can successfully cheat on looking younger and better without having to undergo plastic surgery or making drastic lifestyle changes. Read on to find out more…
White or grey hair adds at least ten years to your look. If you have grey hair either go to a beauty salon and have it dyed or do it yourself. A box of hair colour costs $10 and might effectively knock ten years off you. Try to opt for a shade that’s one or two tone lighter than your original hair colour and unless you have the personality and style to match, steer clear of any that clearly belong ( and look better ) on the rainbow. A common mistake many women made is to crop off their gorgeous locks once they turn 40. If you have NEVER had short hair all your life, this is as good as hanging a placard round your neck declaring, “Look! I am 40!” Always choose a hairstyle that’s flattering for your face shape and matches your personality and not one dictated by age.
The average look for young women is long hair; the average look for older women is short hair. So just think. If you go with the look that is normally associated with younger women, you are going to make it appear that you are one of those young women. How long should the hair be? Anything past the jaw bone is long enough to make your appearance more youthful. Consider soft wispy bangs for a change. It is less severe than having hair pulled back and a great way to hide pesky forehead wrinkles as a ‘poor girl’s alternative to Botox’. Have you seen Michelle Obama’s sassy new bangs? If it’s good enough for the first lady, it’s definitely good enough for you!
It’s more about habits and consistency and not just good genes alone that give you clear, flawless skin. Even when a face is lined with wrinkles, it will look better with skin clear of pigmentation and blemishes. Follow a strict skin care regime as soon as you start menstruating. It is pertinent to wear sunscreen and end your day with cleaning, toning and moisturizing creams. Go for regular facials and invest in light and laser therapy to ‘age-proof’ your skin. The Divine Whitening and Brilliant Skin Programs offer by The Sloane Clinic are two great options to consider.
“By using Pigment Laser and Fraxel Light Therapy, we are able to refresh dull, fatigued complexions and radically correct skin discolouration and texture irregularities without significant downtime,” explains Dr. Chua Han Boon, consultant physician with The Sloane Clinic. “Besides busting pigmentation, these laser treatments when performed regularly will also help stimulate collagen regeneration to give more youthful and supple- looking skin.”
Colour Me Beautiful
Make up when apply skillfully serve the duo purpose of hiding flaws and enhancing your features. When using eye shadow, avoid blues, greens, and purple colours as they tend to pull the eyes deeper into sockets that had already widened with age.
“Use powder, not cream eye shadow because cream will only make your wrinkles more noticeable as it settles into the lines,” says Janet White, a freelance makeup artist currently based in Los Angeles.
Janet also advocates the use of white or brown eyeliner instead of black. “White opens your eyes and makes them look more alert while black can draw attention to dark circles under your eyes, another common aging factor,” explains Janet. “And do use mascara but don’t be too heavy-handed. A couple of light swipe is all that you need to look fresh and youthful without the rocker’s chick spidery lashed out look.”
Enhance Your Features
It’s common knowledge that sharper features are more arresting and make a face more interesting and beautiful. How many times have we wished for a sharper nose, higher cheekbones, fuller lips or a more prominent chin? Thanks to recent advances in the field of aesthetics medicine, it is now possible to enhance one’s facial features without the need to go under the knife. This comes in the form of natural fillers which is hyaluronic acid in an injectable form. The outcome is largely dependable on the skill of the injector and the type of fillers used so it’s pertinent for one to keep these in mind while considering fillers injections. The good thing about natural fillers is that results are immediate with minimal to no downtime. Most importantly, if for some reason you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the procedure, the fillers can always be ‘melted’ away safely with an enzyme preparation known as Hyaluronidase.
Contour Your Face
Do you know that besides getting rid of unwanted wrinkles, Botox can be used for facial shaping? When Botox is injected into the superficial masseter/ jaw muscles, they will shrink in size over time resulting in a slimmer face shape and giving rise to a more desirable profile. Heavy jowls and double chin can now be treated with non-surgical FDA approved modalities such as Ulthera and Thermage. Ulthera employs selective miconized ultrasound therapy to cause deep tissue lifting to correct heavy and saggy skin while Thermage utilizes radiofrequency waves to stimulate collagen remodeling and regeneration that translates into skin tightening. For both procedures, gradual improvement is build up over the next 2 to 3 months following treatment with results lasting for 12 months or more.
A good posture gives grace and poise and standing tall is one sure way to exude beauty and confidence.
Our waistline and dress size may fluctuate more than the stock market over the years but our shoe size remains loyal forever. Therefore one can never have too many pair of shoes— good flattering shoes. Avoid flats because every woman looks better with a height boost.
Stay away from sandals as much as possible especially if you have blue veins running through your ankles and feet. High heels make women of any age look young and sexy and if your feet can’t handle height, go for stylish kitten heels. Flats with pointy toes are a viable option too.
Clothes make a man and clothes define a lady. You don’t have to be on the frontier of fashion but always be updated, not outdated. If there are items hanging in your wardrobe for the last 3 years, chances are they will never see the living daylight for the next 3 years so pack, toss or donate them to Oxfam. Pick a key trend each season and tweet it to work for you. Update with one or two items at a time and you will successfully transform your wardrobe into a more youthful look and as a result make you look and feel younger too. Never attempt to be mutton dressed as lamb so pick only styles that work with your body shape and personality. Fashion is fun and irrelevant so loosen up and experiment!
Having good dietary habits and exercising regularly will keep your body looking trim and fit which takes years off its biological age. When previously liposuction is the only way to get rid of targeted, unwanted body fat; we can now opt for non-surgical methods such as Ultrashape and Coolsculpting to transform your body from flab to fab.
Ultrashape works by delivering focal, high intensity ultrasound energy to a precisely controlled depth to blast away unwanted fat cells painlessly without harming surrounding tissues, vessels, nerves or skin. The free fat is then drained away by our lymphatic system to be metabolized and eliminated naturally. Coolsculpting otherwise known as cryolipolysis is essentially ‘fat freezing’ whereby cold energy is delivered via a special system to the fat cells causing aptosis or destruction of the walls of fat cells while sparing the skin surface from frost bite. Both procedures have virtually no downtime and do not require anesthesia.
* Selected as Editor’s Choice Feb 2013*