Put On Your Lipstick and Age Gracefully!

In the words of fashion designer Coco Chanel…
“Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young.”
In the words of 90 year old style icon Iris Apfel…
“I’m not good at putting on makeup.  But you have to be a moron not to be able to put on lipstick!”

{How ridiculously cool is Iris at 90?? I want to be her – bangles, bright lipstick, and all!} 
photo Via
There are two things I’ve read recently that have got me into some deep thinking about how I honestly approach the idea of aging and my everyday beauty routine.  Should I approach the idea as wanting to reverse or stop the aging process – anti-aging, or if I’m okay with just embracing what time gives me and working with it, then I would probably consider it pro-aging.  These are my own definitions, obviously.  *By the way, this is not a makeup tutorial post, but if you want to check out an oldie but goodie post on my “5 makeup tricks for looking younger” (no needles necessary), then click HERE.*
The FIRST read that got my wheels turning, was this blog post on IntoTheGloss about a woman 56 years older than myself, who is a style icon, accomplished textile and accessories maven, and recent MAC Cosmetics muse with her own collection, Iris Apfel.  After reading about her tenacity and spunk as a 90 year old, she totally blew the doors off of what I picture that age woman to look and act like. I fell in love with the idea of growing old and actually looking forward to it after reading more info about this woman. And after seeing photos of her, and how she adorns herself with more baubles than a Christmas tree, I knew someone had finally figured out the art of growing old gracefully.  It’s not through Botox and face lifts, it’s through the art of distracting the eye from the wrinkles with more accessories and brighter lipstick!  
Iris has some fantastic quotes I’ve read all over the web and in recent magazines, but one I really enjoyed was…“I know people who are old at 40 and young at 90.  I think a mirror, rather than a calendar, should be your guide.  It’s common sense.”  
As harsh as she might sound, I like her approach that even though she is old by most standards, she doesn’t have to act like it if she feels younger on the inside.  She goes on to say how she kicked a 4 pack a day smoking habit, drinks wine only at dinner, rarely sits still, and thinks all older women need to wear bright colorful lipstick on their colorless lips bc white lips look “insane and unattractive.” Ha!! Gotta love a strong viewpoint.
{Via Allure.com on Botox}
The SECOND piece I read was the letter from the Editor in Chief of Allure magazine, Linda Wells, in their April 2012 issue.  (Yes, I do read these because I find this position of power in a beauty magazine to be fascinating.  Hello, The Devil Wears Prada??!!)  This issue was devoted to the topic of “anti-aging” and in this introduction to the pages that followed that topic, Linda brought up some interesting thoughts from Vivian Diller, a psychologist and coauthor of “Face It:  What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change.”  I’m sharing an exert from this letter that really got me thinking in regards to aging gracefully with all of the beauty and skin care products and procedures currently out there, and if that’s even truly possible or what it means.  
“There is so much that can be done, but it has to be done calmly without panic.  Acceptance is complicated for women, in part because we were raised to believe that looks shouldn’t matter this much.  But this is not a superficial experience.  By all means, see your doctor and buy the skin products, but find a way to LIKE WHO YOU ARE NOW TOO.”

I cannot deny that I put on my makeup in hopes of hiding blotchy skin and that I apply retinol cream at night in hopes of erasing the fine lines in my forehead.  I feel like I’m always a work in progress.  And honestly, I’m okay with that.  I try to look at is as I’m thankful that at least I have makeup to fall back on to help me improve the small things that bother me.  Even though I use most of the available skin improvement products out there, (and I will probably give the ole Botox a try!), I would still consider myself a “pro-ager” over an “anti-ager.” I’m not about trying to hang with the 18-21 year olds anymore or even looking like them.  That would be silly…and it would probably scare and confuse my kids.

So where do you stand? Are you an anti– ager or a pro-ager?