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Anyone else feel they have a decision to make about their looks?

(35 Posts)
butterfly133 Tue 09-Jun-15 10:31:38

My thoughts are a bit muddled but that’s how I feel I guess!
I am feeling as if I have a decision to make in whether or not I want to engage with keeping up style & beauty etc.

I have never been someone who bothers much about their looks, I don’t go in for beauty rituals. I do have a basic skincare routine and am reasonably groomed, mostly as a work-related habit - e.g. nails longish and polished (I do them at home), eyebrows plucked, take the shine off my nose with powder etc, but definitely not a high maintenance person.

I have historically had a baby face and was ID’d often till last year but now that’s going and I have a few grey hairs, which will multiply fast if my sis and mum are anything to go by. Also, have suddenly developed the dreaded cleavage wrinkles (the only jewellery I wear is a small pendant on a chain so it's doubly annoying).

I have probably responded to all this in a stereotype way – put a semi on my hair, looking for solutions to cleavage wrinkles etc. But I am very aware that I don’t really want to get into a big thing about what I look like.

I do feel the “pressure” – never thought I’d say that either – not because anyone is pressurising me but I have so many older friends who put in effort and money and look fab – which in a way, really means “don’t look their age”. But then I wonder why I say that, there would be nothing wrong if they did look their age. If someone said “yes, she looks forty” it makes no sense for me to be offended by that.

My mum regrets dyeing her hair and wishes she’d let it go gradually grey because it would have been less shocking for people if she had eventually decided not to bother. I totally see her point. My sister is dyeing hers, has seen a stylist and spends a lot – in my view – on her clothes, hair and skincare regime. I think that’s fine if you want to do it. I just can’t work out whether or not I want to do it. I might just be having a middle-aged woman panic. Also, when does it end? I don’t think I want to be 60 and fretting over a skincare regime. I don’t see it as a treat and I like to save as much money as we possibly can.

I work out a lot (for enjoyment) and I’m willing to be more careful what I eat as I get older but I think that might be it for me - sticking with the health stuff rather than the beauty stuff. I was just wondering if anyone else felt like they needed to “make a decision” about how they want to handle this sort of thing?

Sorry for waffling. Thoughts welcome.

squizita Tue 09-Jun-15 10:47:36

In terms of skin, it's so genetic if you don't want surgery a good clean and moisturiser is all you need. I looked to my (young looking) mother and use quite basic products - Nivea and Astral, plus a clinique face wash.
I have always worn make up and dyed my hair so those dilemmas slightly pass me by ... The hidden greys are a side effect of my chosen colour.

One thing I did do was allow my body to be a little rounder (though still healthy bmi) ... though recently breastfeeding has made me size 8 again and there are lots of fine wrinkles apparent. These are still there when I'm a little bigger but look softer.

I'm not too bothered about anti ageing stuff so much as not losing my personal style. However it's tricky in terms of wanting so vain to look like a Debbie Harry or Madonna type not a sad old rocker who never grew up. grin shock grin Unfortunately for me (or fortunately ) I've found the answer lies in quality of clothes and make up. A smokey eye using urban decay and chanel is more polished than a flaked collection 2000 mess ... leather boots much better than New Look 1 season wonders.

I think I'm tge opposite to you in thar societal pressure would say to tone down the make up approaching 40.
Hell no.grin

JamForTea Tue 09-Jun-15 10:57:00

I think it's a very personal choice but you sound like a thoughtful, emotional mature person who knows who they are! That to me is worth more than insecurity about looks. Not that everyone who is into hair, make up, grooming etc is insecure of course! But if it doesn't particularly interest you and you are fit and healthy, there's nothing wrong with opting out of it all. I wish I could be more like that myself - I go through phases of being into grooming but at the moment I have just come to the end if a really stressful period of my life and I am enjoying not stressing about what I look like beyond basics!

GobblersKnob Tue 09-Jun-15 11:05:26

I think the exercise and sensible eating that you are already doing/propose to do, will do far more for you appearance, than anything you can put on your skin, skincare or beauty.

I stopped dying two years ago and am so glad I did, I have been asked a couple of time where I get my highlights done and what shade they are ;) but I think I am lucky as I have cool toned ashy light brown hair so the grey streaks tone in well, I really love it, it looks individual and suits my skin so much better than the dye.

Other that that I do what I want, I wear make up because I love it, but also often go without, no time or atm too sunny. I wear what I want. I think it is about being comfortable with your own decisions and choices and making sure they are something you have chosen rather than something you have slipped into, or habit, or lacking the confidence to try whatever it is that you want to.

butterfly133 Tue 09-Jun-15 12:28:19

thank you for all the replies, I appreciate them. I guess part of my question is - if I don't do all this stuff but my peers do, then when I am 50, am I going to look 50 - which should be fine! - and they are going to look 40 - do you see what I mean?

I think part of it is also that bits of me aren't matching!! Cleavage and hands suddenly look old. I'm mostly a jeans and t-shirt person, the fact that I have to now buy round-neck instead of scoop or V represents enough shopping hassle (I will post about that another time!) I can appreciate a lovely dress on someone else, I just don't care for fashion much myself.

good to hear that skin is mostly genetic. I tend to think that myself. I was in a posh skincare shop recently with my sis. We got chatting to the shop assistant, who was astonished - (trying to sell!) that I don't use a serum. Then I told her I was 39 and she said..."oh, I would not have known. But don't you feel your skin needs one though?" I really don't. We have a joke in the family about how long sis spends in the bathroom with all her skincare but in the end, we do have similar skin.

Also, the hair thing - silly confession. I bought the semi in the first place because I bumped into an acquaintance in the supermarket and she said "OMG you've got grey hair" as if I'd committed a crime. I said, "well I am nearly 40" and she said "but you can dye it!" as if I were a total fool for not having done it before daring to show up in the supermarket with half a dozen grey hairs. My hair is dark, so they do show. they are bright white silver too.

I suppose I'm going to have develop a thick skin if I can't be arsed to go in for all this stuff. Eyeliner, lippy and face powder is the extent of my make up bag and half the time I only put that on because I feel I have to.

Thanks for listening to me waffle. I feel quite silly to even be thinking about this. It's really an "imagined pressure" thing isn't it? and the more of us that give in to it, the worst it will get, esp for the next generation.

GobblersKnob Tue 09-Jun-15 13:10:04

i don't know, I think it depends how well your peers look after themselves on the inside wink If you are all exercise and healthy eating junkies then maybe. Atm I am starting to look considerably fresher then my friends (all 40 ish) as I have been been teetotal for 11 years, eat very healthily and exercise like a demon, the others, not so much.

There is nothing, nothing, wrong with a 50 year old woman looking 50, just societal crap, no-one attempts to pass a baby off as a 10yo or a 19yo as five, why should we wish to look any other age then the one we are?

Good for your age is also rubbish, best for you is better I think.

All that said my current beauty love is this a tiny slick leaves your lips looking like the colour they used to be while looking like you are wearing nothing at all, lasts for hours and hours, lots of it makes for an attractive lipstick too so duel purpose, if they discontinue it I will be bulk buying, it's great.

knackeredknitter Tue 09-Jun-15 13:56:08

I turned 48 today. I've decided to do whatever the hell I like, but I'm not very adventurous anyway.
I eat ok, exercise a little. My mother has decent skin. I use spf50 on my face, moisturise and cleanse properly.
I might get a fringe cut in tomorrow, who knows

TheEmpressofBlandings Tue 09-Jun-15 14:11:39

I'm 42 this year and don't go in for makeup/beauty products/anti-ageing guff. I think it's utterly ridiculous that it's somehow not acceptable for me to look 42 but no-one would bat an eyelid at my DH looking his age.
I dye my hair because I've always dyed my hair, I like trying out new colours and styles, but also I'm happy to let the grey show through when I can't be arsed to dye. I moisturise my face because I tend to get dry skin, but nothing in the world will stop wrinkles developing (short of going down the road of surgery/Botox etc) .
I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of person too, stick with your v-necks, who says you have to change!

SpecificOcean Tue 09-Jun-15 14:40:34

If you look good at 40 50 or 60 or whatever, then you look good. That's more important than trying to look younger.
I love all of it- clothes, make-up, hair, it's part of me. I won't be fretting at 60, but I bet I will have ideas how I want to look and how I don't want to look. It may take a bit more effort as we get older but I have decent skin and cheekbones on my side and anyway I'm not a slave to it or scared of a few wrinkles or grey hairs.

Btw lots of easy things you can do- drink loads of water, use sun cream, take make-up off every night, don't over eat on rubbish, a bit of exercise, fresh air and laugh.

quirkychick Tue 09-Jun-15 14:48:26

I'm 44 and wear makeup because I like it! I have adjusted it to my (changing) face, probably softer and slightly different angle of eyeliner etc. I'm like squizita in that I like a smoky eye. Debbie Harry is fab, too.

My skin etc. is probably quite good, but I agree that it's more because of what you put into it than on it. Until recently I used to wash with soap, now I use oil and a hot cloth. Good diet and exercise are always better than lots of creams.

I dye my hair, because I started to at 16 when I got my first greys shock and the rest of my hair was then very dark. It is a lot of effort, time and money, so I really wouldn't unless you want to commit to it. It is quite cool to have silver hair now, too. I will probably stop sometime, when I can face the growing out!

IKnowRight Tue 09-Jun-15 15:04:04

I've just had my hair cut short as I cba to dye it any more. Ironically it's the grey that's stopped me dying it, I got sick of having to touch up the roots every four weeks to avoid being stripy. I used to dye my hair to change the colour every so often, now it's changing colour all by itself grin. I've been told that my new hair takes years off me, the cut rather than the colour was aging me it would seem.

I've never really been one for makeup, I go through phases and find myself increasingly reliant on a bit of mascara but other than that I don't bother unless I'm going out. I'm lucky in that my skin is good - now - was awful as a teenager.

I try not to feel the pressure to make myself look younger but I must admit now that I'm 41 and the signs are becoming more obvious, it does bother me a bit. Not enough that I'd spend ��� or time trying to hold back the tide though. I aim for groomed and presentable with a sense of style that is me rather than 10 years younger - it's too easy to get it wrong and end up looking a bit tragic imo. DH makes more of a fuss, he used to always look 5+ years younger than his age, people used to be genuinely shocked when they heard his age, but now that his hair is almost white it never happens any more grin

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 09-Jun-15 15:21:55

I'm 40 and look every day of itgrin

I have never been especially slim or more than average looking and my genes are crap so I've accepted looking older. My mum has never looked good for her age, neither did my nan or Aunt so I really don't have a hope in hell of aging well.

I'm going grey slowly, my hair seems to be fading in terms of the vibrancy of colour which I do feel sad about, but I can't bring myself to get into a cycle of dyeing it every few weeks.

I have wrinkles, they bother me less though. I use skincare products but gave up on serum. It costs too much and doesn't make any visible difference. I wear make up for work, rarely outside of work.

It is important to me to be fit and strong and active and that's what I am focusing on. As well as enjoying life. I run and walk a lot for my mental health as much as my physical health. While I'm not especially slim, my body is strong and I'm almost at my optimum weight.

I think because I've never had much in the way of good looks, the aging process bothers me less possibly than someone who has had more youthful or striking looks iyswim.

Truckingalong Tue 09-Jun-15 15:29:10

I'm feeling a rising panic just now about how I look. I'm mid 40s and everything is suddenly changing. My eyes have wrinkles for the first time, my cheeks are sagging and I no longer pass as 30 something. I don't mind admitting that I loathe it. I had a breast reduction 3 years ago and have fabulous perky firm breasts, even if I do say so myself!!! I think it's eyes next. I think end of this year or early next, it's an eye lift. I don't care much if I'm shallow and vain.

squizita Tue 09-Jun-15 15:53:47

Butterfly I don't think anyone matches tbh. My hands and feet look quite bony and gnarled. I sort out dry foot skin and do my nails but I'm not going mad on expensive anti aging hand creams, I work with kids and have a baby, my hands get washed a lot and are naturally boney, such is life. grin I doubt that many people notice what seem to us to be enormous differences.

quirkychick Tue 09-Jun-15 16:44:46

I think there's a quote from Cindy Joseph (silver-haired model) saying something like I don't want to look younger, I just want to look healthy and radiant.

I definitely don't want to look 20. I'm
not! I will definitely go for healthy and radiant

YorkshiresAndGravy Tue 09-Jun-15 16:48:27

Yes, I've made a decision to stop dying my hair. I'm 34 and stopped colouring a couple of years ago.

I only have a few greys at the moment, but I'm slowly getting more and more.

I didn't see myself keeping up with the hair dye for the rest of my life and don't like the idea of having to grow my grey hair out when it is 100% grey compared to now when I just have a few.

quirkychick Tue 09-Jun-15 16:48:55

Ah, stupid phone! *radiant if I'm lucky!

I don't think I need to come to a decision, as such. I feel I am constantly reassessing what I wear, makeup, hair etc. But it is something I'm interested in. I think I just aim to have a style that suits me but that will inevitably change a little over time.

butterfly133 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:36:43

The usernames here get better and better! Thanks to all for replies.
I guess I am finding this weird because I’ve never been one to assess my looks much at all. Perhaps I have been lucky, but the only time I had skin trouble was in my mid-20s when I was off the Pill for a while. Fine as a teen as well – very lucky I guess. And in other ways, I am not interested and don’t find it fun or interesting.

Perhaps it’s that thing, you notice one sign of ageing and suddenly notice a bunch more, which in truth, have probably been here for a while but I just didn’t notice

YorkshiresandGravy – yes, the transition with grey hair will be super-awkward won’t it? My hair grows fast so I will be doing the roots a lot. It’s a lot of hassle. It will definitely be easier and cheaper to just have grey hair accumulating over time.

Re the high neck t-shirts, my cleavage wrinkles are bugging me so I do think I will be buying some of those. I can’t imagine having surgery. I can imagine having IPL for the chest wrinkles if it works but no one’s replied to my query on that – I have a feeling nothing really works for chest wrinkles!

I feel like standards have gone way too high but I will just have to be brave enough not to compete. If I look awful at 50 then I think that’s probably the way it was going to be – let’s hope I don’t start wishing I had invested in lots of lotions and potions later on in life….!

Itsalldramarama Tue 09-Jun-15 17:41:59

I used to have botox but gave up as its too expensive and when do you stop !!? My botox practitioner told me we age most between 40 and 47 !!!! I'm 48 now so hope it slows down a bit now ;)

GinnelsandWhippets Tue 09-Jun-15 18:00:00

I have this year noticed 1 or 2 greys and am still deciding whether to dye or not. My instincts say not. I met a friends new girlfriend for the first time recently - a groomed, very attractive lady in her 30s with noticeably greying hair (she's Indian so the silver stood out). My first thought was how fab she looked, and how confident her greying hair made her seem. Don't know if that makes sense but I think I want to be like her rather than trying to keep on top of roots for the next 40 years.

Octopus37 Tue 09-Jun-15 18:22:29

I am 40 and trying to fight the ageing thing with limited success. I have found recently that I put on weight more easily so I am doing SW even though I only have quite a small amount to lose. I started doing a proper skincare routine last year (nothing expensive) and I am trying to find time to go to the gym. The denial comes in dying my hair pink or purple and also the clothes I wear. I really don't feel ready for Boden and White Stuff and I probably dress quite young for my age, still wear short dresses and skirts, that said unfortunately I only have a teenage budget for clothes so it makes sense. That said, I can easily get into cba mode, have been through a very stressful period recently and it has been a real effort to diet and a lot of nights it is an effort to do my skincare routine. Will see how I go I guess.

RoganJosh Tue 09-Jun-15 18:29:49

I have darkish hair and have a few grey hairs appearing (well white, I think grey is a euphemism?). Anyway. I don't want the dark to white transition or the endless root maintenance. My hairdresser suggested that highlights are the way around this. So that's what I'll be doing when I need to.

Floisme Tue 09-Jun-15 19:36:46

I'm 58, love clothes and I'm also pretty vain. At the same time, I'm trying not to fight the ageing process. Partly, I think it's pointless -as soon as you zap one symptom, another will appear; eventually you will lose. Also I don't see why I should deny my age when it's part of who I am.

So my skincare regime is: cleanse, moisturise, use sunscreen and try and live healthily. That's it.
I pay for a good haircut but I don't dye they greys. Admittedly my hair's going a silvery colour and I like it.
I think about what clothes suit me rather than what's deemed to be age appropriate.

I wrestle with this every day because if you're into clothes and fashion then the pressure to try and look younger is intense.

quirkychick Tue 09-Jun-15 22:28:16

Oh, Floisme I think that's true that wear what suits you not what is age appropriate. Obviously, what suits you may change! For instance, I like the summer look of denim cutoffs; but age and pregnancies mean my legs aren't what they were so I would adapt it by wearing a longer denim skirt or jeans. Adapting fashions and trends to what you look like now.

But, yes, I love fashion but you need to tailor it to your personal style.

GatoradeMeBitch Tue 09-Jun-15 23:17:29

Something that works for chest wrinkles is building up your chest muscles, specifically the muscle under the area that wrinkles. I found this out by accident. I'd just accepted my cleavage wrinkles but had been going to the gym to work out. One day I looked down, and the wrinkles had pretty much smoother out, because the area had been built up.

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