In our multitasking world it sometimes seems it was only yesterday we were changing diapers and now our little one is about to enter middle school, high school, or maybe even go off to college. We have been to the mall hundreds of times, the pharmacist is our best friend, and Friday nights are celebrated only because the morning rush to get them school is not there on Saturday! So it may happen to be that we have not recently taken a long deep look at ourselves. Is frumpy mommy rearing her ugly head? We do love or babies, and our family life, but keeping that spring in our step, and looking fresh and perky just takes a little extra time nowadays. Here are some quick tips to make certain that by your next birthday, or if you're going back to work this fall, you can look and feel 10 years younger!
1.) Go to a store that has a special section for young professionals and middle age professionals. I love Ontario Mills in Ontario and Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. These two San Bernardino shopping meccas have great selections. The sections should be two distinct sections or two different stores. If you are 45, don't aim to look 25. Your goal is to look mid-thirties. If you are 35, you want to look fresh out of college, not 16. Take time to ask the clerks for the age group you want to fit into. Find a couple of pieces that you can fit into your wardrobe. Not the whole outfit. But maybe your mommy stretch jeans with a top that is younger looking than you would normally wear, or maybe a suit with a new textured and fitted jacket for your regular slacks. Something needs to say "hip" and not "boring".
Talk to your hairdresser
2.) Talk to your hairdresser. Have your hairstylist show you what's popular with the younger girls. Remember, your aim is to update your look to enhance your beauty and freshen up your style. Not to look like a teenager. Pick something easy to care for and young.
Stay within 20 lbs of ideal weight
3.) Stay within 20 lbs of your ideal weight. Yes, it's always good to be inside your ideal weight. Our goal is health first. Experts agree that even 10 minutes of exercise can do great things for your body and mind, eat right, and find time to relax, read, meditate, or just go for a walk alone. However, if you are more than 20 lbs over your ideal weight, you should discuss a plan with your doctor.
Drink Plenty of Water
4.) Drink plenty of water. Dehydration happens quietly and quickly. It'll harm your heart, and destroy your kidneys. You may not even know you are dehydrated. Water keeps our organs functioning well, and plumps up our skin, our lips, and brightens our eyes. Make sure you get the water you need daily.
Stay out of the Sun
5.) Stay out of the sun. I love the look of a fresh tan with a hint of pink! However, I get mine nowadays from a container. Ensure you wear a strong SPF of at least 30 when you are outdoors. Keep sun exposure to a minimum, and use the beautiful self tanners out there. I love bright pinkish sparkly bronze on my cheekbones and the crest of my upper lip. It makes us look like we just came home from the beach!
Brighten up your make-up
6.) Brighten-up your make-up. Before we realize it a lot of our natural young girl "glow" is "gone". Hormones fluctuate after babies, and peri-menopause can drain a lot of "glow" from our complexion. I love a good BB cream with SPF, some cream blush and just a hint of white under the brow, with a little lip gloss. It only takes a little color to brighten up our complexion and make us look great in person and in selfies! The secret is to moisturize before make-up, cleanse skin nightly, sleep with a good moisturizer every night, and wear light make-up. Don't go for matte make-up which will show every wrinkle in your face.
7.) Update jewelry. Young women wear newer jewelry pieces. You can almost date a woman by the style of her wedding ring set, or her favorite ring on her right hand. When we get married our rings usually are the latest and greatest style, or when we first buy an expensive piece of jewelry it usually reflects our generation. Which in turn will be an obvious give away. I'm not saying give up your wedding set, or throw out that lovely piece you bought when you got your first real job out of college. But, instead add newer pieces, costume jewelry that will compliment your new wardrobe. Don't go overboard, just one nice piece at a time. It should make a statement, but not overwhelm the outfit.
Stay away from prints
8.) Stay away from prints. Don't get me wrong. There are some beautiful prints out there. However recently, on a trip to Paris, I noticed most women of all ages wore monochromatic styles or color blocking. They accessorize beautifully with printed scarfs and jewelry. It made an enormous difference! So I came back determined to keep prints to a minimum. Maybe a blouse here and there under a jacket, and of course my scarfs!
Don't forget the eyeglasses
9.) Don't forget the eyeglasses. Yes, it's true my prescription has not changed in 5 years. But since then I have updated my frames twice. There is nothing more aging than seeing wire rimmed bifocals on a woman. There exists a beautiful selection of young and hip frames out there! Why not take advantage of that and get something that does not scream "grandma".
Remember your pearly whites
10.) Remember your pearly whites. If there is anything that makes us look younger immediately, it is a smile. Make sure you have your teeth cleaned and polished at least once a year. I go twice a year, but I also recommend a home whitening kit to keep that smile dynamic. Yellowish or missing teeth will make you look older and can cause wrinkles. Make sure you practice good dental hygiene and use that smile often!
Eugenia Prada is working mother, author, speaker, counselor and career coach. You can write to her at email@example.com, suscribe to her column here or purchase her new inspirational book for women starting over "A Girl's Guide to Greatness: Mystical Paths for Magical Women on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.