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Are you starting to look like your mother? Are you watching "Extreme Makeover" with extreme envy? A little common sense now can help prevent extensive, expensive cosmetic surgery later. Maintaining a youthful appearance can be easy and fun - and needn't break the bank. Our handy tips will have your friends begging for the secret of your "fountain of youth."
Wrinkles are just fold lines. To keep your skin smooth and line-free, never smile, frown, pout, grimace, sneer, wink, pucker, squint or grin. Small nods are okay. Think of your face as a blank canvas and bring out your inner artist by using cosmetics to change your expression instead of your muscles. Then pretend to be Gwyneth Paltrow and learn how to talk without moving your lips.
Stay in the dark I
Sunlight not only ruins that enchanting, sickly pale look women once needed arsenic to achieve, it's got those nasty letters (like A, B, U, V, and possibly others - Q is a definite suspect) that damage your skin. Limiting exposure to harmful rays is critical to preventing premature aging and skin cancer. Remaining in the womb to emerge only at night will not only avoid those harsh adverse effects, it's sure to give you a feature headline in the tabloids.
Stay in the dark II
The right lighting can make you look years younger. A soft, indirect glow, especially when combined with an out of focus lens or alcohol, is the most flattering. Try replacing all the light bulbs in your home with a lower wattage, preferably something with a number less than five. The best and most effective option is to turn off the lights - no one will be able to guess your age in the dark! (If an emergency requires some light, try candles - just be extra careful if performing surgery.)
Stay in the dark III
Unflattering mug shots can add years to your appearance (just ask Wynonna Judd). Bright and/or harsh light should be avoided. Also try not to be drunk. Talk with the photographer beforehand about lighting and camera angles. If he appears resistant, flirt shamelessly and offer him mind blowing sex. After all, this is a permanent record so you'll want to look your best.
Get fat, not fit
Ever seen those emaciated old ladies that remind you of "The Mummy's Curse?" Or former fatties whose skin folds make a Sharpei look good? That's because even with those wonderful, rejuvenating, deep-pore, sea kelp, bovine-placenta enzyme facials at that fabulous clinic outside Berne, your skin still ages, and when it does, it stretches and sags.
The key to keeping your skin in prime condition during this process is keeping it taut with weight gain. By inflating the skin with fat, the wrinkles "plump" out and your face maintains its youthful look. Chubby cheeks are what put the "babe" into baby.
Learn how to apply the laws of physics
Gravity can be your friend. Look at yourself in a mirror while standing. Now lie down and look into a mirror directly overhead. Voilà! Your stomach is flatter, the turkey wattle is gone, and your face is suddenly years younger. When a body remains at rest on a level surface, gravity works like an instant facelift, smoothing loose, sagging skin by pulling it back instead of down into unsightly creases. The secret is knowing how to let the laws of physics work for you instead of against you - by learning how to live flat on your back. If the brain dead can do it, you can too!
Choose your friends well
In life, as in art, contrast adds drama and visual interest. As you age, ditch your friends and search out people much older than you. Hang out in bingo halls and nursing homes or learn to play canasta. The contrast will emphasize your youthful appearance. With only old farts around, you're bound to look better by comparison - and you may find some senile, rich guy to marry as well.
Use these simple tricks and any friends you have left will soon be calling you "Ponce de Leon!"
©2004 SB Shoemaker
Other HW articles by Susan Shoemaker:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan, a former flight instructor and air traffic controller, now spends most of her time looking for her car keys. She lives and writes in southern Wisconsin, but would much prefer to spend winters drinking and writing in the south of France. If you bothered to read this far, please contact all the publishers you know and tell them to send her money. Or you can cut out the middleperson and just send it to her directly. Or wire it, because it isn't safe to send cash through the mail. And ever since that incident involving the Fantasy Chippendale League, she no longer trusts the staff here at HW. Even though it was just a joke and she got her money back.