Recently I attended a wedding where the bride was 30, the groom 55 and two days later, a celebratory divorce lunch for a girlfriend who is 54 and dating a guy who is 37. Neither hook-up is shocking anymore, but this is: You’d have sworn these women were the same age.
Both are smart glammy brunettes who resemble Eva Longoria Parker. The bride is a lovely first-timer with no baggage. My divorced friend (let’s call her “A”) is currently dealing with unexpected job loss, six pounds of menopausal weight gain, and the major downsizing and relocation of her entire life.
Six months ago “A” made a conscious decision to use all this adversity to fuel one of the best makeovers I’ve ever seen. Looking good is clearly the best revenge as divorcees Tory Burch, Christie Brinkley and Ellen Barkin demonstrate.
“A” looks better now than at twenty (and yes, a little dermatological intervention helped). She says starting over calls for “ruthless assessment of your appearance and no looking back.”
Your new to-do list starts here.
The Comeback Plan:
• Ditch all extreme and hi-maintenance fakery (with the exception of fabulous chunky costume jewelry and the occasional high heels!). On the gotta-go list: your tanning and flat-iron addictions, the eyelash extensions, artificial nails, bright highlights that scream dye-job, vampy eye and lip makeup that’s too bright, too dark, too frosty.
• Also over and out: trout pout and egghead faces. Overdoing it on the fillers and Botox is sadder than those tattoos you now regret. Stage an intervention and seriously get your skin and hair back on a healthier track.
• Get a skin cancer screening head to toe, and use a broad spectrum UVA/ UVB sunscreen daily, even in winter. If it contains avobenzone, Helioplex, or Mexoryl, apply to bare skin. If it’s zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, apply over a moisturizer. Just do it.
• Reverse sun damage with the Rx Renova if you can tolerate it or be faithful to an OTC de-ager with retinol, AHAs or vitamin C.
• Get your glow from new super-natural foundations like Revlon Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15 ($12.99 at drugstores) or Olay Definity Color Recapture ($24.99 at drugstores). If you get the urge for sunny warmth, binge on Nars The Multiple in Orgasm ($37 Sephora), a peachy-pink creamy stick blush.
• Switch to a looser, more relaxed blow-dry with subtle texture and use only moisturizing hydrating products to enhance shine and flexibility.
• Keep up appearances. People notice your grooming or lack of it (yellow teeth, moustache, and shabby cuticles)… not your “IT” bag! Do it yourself or go to a pro, but schedule time for teeth whitening, manicures, root touch-ups, and facial hair removal.
• Keep emergency kits in car, desk, and home. Include a nail file/buffer and repair glue, a salicylic acid zit gel, a bra-converter (Hollywood Hook-Ups Bra Converting Clip is a lifesaver), lip exfoliator/balm, and a lint roller.
• Use downtime as spa-time. Gastric bypass surgery can shed serious poundage, and Thermage can firm up saggy skin, but honestly, don’t you have anything else to spend money on right now? Drink plain water not soda, sip green-ginger tea instead of vanilla soy lattes, and you’ll minimize bloating and ultimately banish those “fat jeans” to Goodwill.
• Make a deal with your body and do some kind of exercise every day. Do Pilates with workout bands, rescue a shelter dog for long walks (very good way to meet men, FYI) or run at dawn with a friend and friendly iPod.