Spring Clean Up
Spring Clean Up
by Nancy Martin
You already know this is not my first rodeo. So it shouldn't shock you that I broke down in a moment of weakness and bought the book HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD while I was on tour last week. If you have refrained from buying this book, I admire your self esteem. But I bet you're dying to know what's between the covers, right?
Take this warning from one who's in the know: Crow's feet hook their claws into you long before age 40. And if you have a baby or two, other things besides your eyelids start to sag--things you assumed would be perky for at least another 25 years. And I'm not even going to discuss chin hair, varicose veins or fallen arches, but really--they're probably in your future. It's not to early for you to buy this book.
Have I drunk the Kool Aid as written by Charla Krupp? Yes. Gallons of it.
Here's some of the skinny, according to Ms Krupp's book, if you want to make the world think you're a long way from Social Security:
Cut yourself some bangs. This suggestion caught me off guard, since bangs tend to make me look like a turtle. But I've been studying bangs for a week now, and I think she's right.--Bangs lift a face that might otherwise need a forklift.
Next up: Throw away all your dark lipsticks. This advice comes with photo examples of no less a fashion icon than Sharon Stone. OKay, okay, she's a nutball, but she looks great and she gives major money and effort to AIDS research and curing malaria. Plus it's spring, and what could be more springlike than shopping for pink lipsticks? I forget the rationale explained in the book, but I bought some, and the author is right.--Pink is better. My new shade is the same color as Britney's bubblegum. That's got to lift the level of serotonin in a girl's brain after a long winter.
This one's old news, but here goes: Start whitening your teeth. The book shows so many photos of celebrities with Chiclet smiles that I have to think the real advice is to start saving for veneers, but for lesser beings who are still paying our kids' college loans, break out the baking soda. Yellow teeth make us look like villains in old episodes of Gunsmoke. (Steady, William.) But white teeth make us look as if we just need a pair of black leggings and we're all set to go clubbing with Lindsay Lohan. Which is a good thing, right?
For the under-40 set, this suggestion comes around like the cycles of the moon: Once again, it's time to reduce eye makeup to the bare minimum. The book shows you how to apply a thin layer of liner that is now de rigeur unless you're Phylis Diller. For those of us over 50, no more "smokey eyes" or thick swaths that look like they've been applied by a Bollywood makeup artist. (Guilty!) But somebody tell me what a girl's supposed to do if I can't see to draw a microscopic line around my lashes? My bifocals don't help because I can't manipulate the pencil around the glasses. But I'm working on it. The alternative is to get the line tattooed on my eyelids, but I'm already nearly blind and besides, what happens if the fashion changes and I'm stuck with last decade's style? Meanwhile, I get my lashes dyed at the salon, which is illegal in most states, but I'm not going to turn anybody over to the local Barney Fife. I do tip really well--which could be considered a contribution to the bail fund, I suppose.
The book also provides a long, helpful list of clothes I need to throw away, but since the list includes many of my wardrobe staples, I'm resisting. But also on the list are full-length fur coats, cargo pants and acid-wash jeans, which just added J-Lo to my fashion purgatory, so I'm in good company. (Hey, I like salsa music! And really, those babies are adorable. Admit it.)
And those of us who have been known to wear our hair long and parted in the middle? We're definitely looking older than we need to. Me, I've spent the last couple of years flashing back to the days when I wished my VW bug could make the trip all the way to Woodstock (see photo above) but I gather that hippie hair is gone, baby, gone.
So I spent the weekend cutting out pictures of middle-aged celebrities with age-appropriate, yet flattering haircuts. And I took them to the salon.
Well, all right, that's really Jenna Elfman, but our digital camera isn't working at the moment. This is the picture I took to the salon, and Laura did a great job giving me the same haircut.
Okay, a new haircut and pink lipstick won't change the world, won't elect a good president, won't end a war, but dammit, it makes me feel better about me at a time that's really hard for a writer----the weeks when my agent is showing my new book proposal around New York. I need all the self-esteem points I can gather. No, I'm not wishing I looked like Britney or Lindsay, and I have no desire to go back to that time of my life. (Hey, I really do think 50 is the new 30!) But it's spring, and I feel plenty perky. I'd like to look as good as I feel.
I hear you, TLC readers. You're asking, "Nancy, is that HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD book worth the cover price?" Uh . . . yes. I love this book. I also bought the new book by my favorite TV personality, Tim Gunn. But his book is a real disappointment. (Sorry, Tim. But a book about fashion with no pictures??) Check out Charla Krupp's book at your favorite bookstore. I bet you buy it. (Well, maybe not you, Josh. And please don't pick it up for your wife. It would not make a good gift.)
And although we discourage publishing house publicists from sending the Tarts books that we might mention here, I will gladly accept more like this one. And please hurry. I'm not getting any younger.