Age Before Beauty, or Beauty with Age?

Oct 13, 2010 | Beauty and Style, Fashion | 32 comments

How old are you?
Forever 29?
Forever 59?
A mon avis those are too obvious, when I joke about my age I say I am “28.” Twenty-nine is the dead giveaway… that or the grey wire-like hair sticking out of my chin that I missed that morning in the mirror.
Clean the coffee off your computer screen if you have to.
Yes, we all have them… if you don’t… you will.
Let’s just get it out of the way and let me say I would like to become Godlier and wiser as I age but that is not what this post is about.
The other day someone gave me the most wonderful compliment and I scoffed at them.
 It was rude.
 I should have accepted it graciously but I wanted to say,
“Do you know what goes into this?”
Hand frantically making open palmed circles around my face.
Morning eye cream
Evening eye cream
Face primer
Eye brow pencil – can’t live without it.
Concealer – read: tatoo concealer to cover nasty liver spots that come with pregnancy
Mascara, mascara and more mascara
You get the picture and that’s not the half of it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE MAKEUP – in fact, I fancy myself quite the makeup artist and give me 15 minutes of you in my chair and we could have some fun. (You know how I feel about those girls at Sephora with their creepy over-made faces coming at you with a makeup brush, I promise it would not be anything like that) But, dang, the older I get… well, I realize how much work it takes to look mildly presentable and how much MONEY it takes. Holy cow! There are amazing products out there that can do wonders… whiten your teeth, grow your lashes, shrink your pores…
But I am a blue collar baby… remember, Cristale on a Coors Light budget. Sometimes I honestly freak out that this is my window to really attend to slowing the aging process and I just plain can’t afford to the way I would like to!
Again, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with getting older. I would just like to look better at it every year! Take for instance, this photo of Drew Barrymore.
but I think she is just about or exactly my age, now I know there is a whole TEAM of people behind this photo not to mention a couture dress… but DAMN (pardon me) she looks HOT! Granted, she has not had three children, her boobs are probably in a completely different hemisphere than mine. And it looks like she had the fat sucked out from under her cheekbones… where can I get that done?
She looks AMAZING!
I suppose I am kind of weird in that pictures like this don’t depress me.
Au contraire, I have no illusions about ever looking like anyone in Hollywood, I am fully aware of all that goes into making those people look the way they do… but they inspire me. They inspire me to simply do my best, stay active, drink water, not give up on trying to keep some semblance of a figure whether I have three kids or thirteen, keep up with new makeup products and techniques…
Keep the “Parisienne” fully in tune while the “Farmgirl” continues to learn all her urban homesteading stuff she is so into right now.
And then maybe, someday when I am old and gray, can slaughter my own chicken and go for sunset rides on my horse I will look like this beauty by day… (This would of course require a French country home with an R.E.R. station nearby so I could pose for this photo on the streets of Paris)
Holy chic, talk about keeping it together!.
That’s got to be me at Ninety Nine, crabby scowl and all!!!
What’s your favorite Beauty before Age tactic?

Photo credits:
Drew – Harper’s Bazaar.
Chic “old” Lady – The Sartorialist.


  1. Sherri

    You had me giggle through most of this post!! I couldn’t believe that was a picture of Drew Barrymore! I am 51 and I don’t really have any wrinkles. My Mom is 73 and has only 1 little wrinkle by her eyes and my grandmother was 85 when she passed away with no wrinkles at all! I think they have/had very good genes! I have been lucky to have those good genes too!

  2. Liesl

    Well I have just turned 41 in September and have decided to stop dyeing my hair,(I am very grey)I cut it short (as in pixie style) and LIKED it so much! My husband words were that I looked so sexy! So you see,sometimes you get the desired reaction in the most unexpected way!

  3. Adrienne

    Chin hairs? If I could be paid by the hair, I would be a wealthy, wealthy woman. This after electrolysis in my 30’s and laser 5 years ago.

    Anyhoo – I’m soon to be 65 and IMO look great (except for a tiny bit of extra adipose padding.

    It’s about attitude and not succumbing to “old folk” thinking. My husband has instructions to shoot me if I come home with a lime green polyester pants suit with top stitching. You know the one with solid as well as checked pants so people think you’re wearing a completely different outfit. Ugh!

  4. à la parisienne

    I don’t have any age fighting techniques and it looks like we’re the exact same age. If you have any affordable ones please share!

    I do feel a little shocked when I see the crow’s feet around my eyes in recent pictures of me, and I think “I must have aged 10 years since Amelia was born!” And then I realize, the wrinkles must be from all of the smiles.

    You are beautiful Angela, inside and out.

  5. myletterstoemily

    the greatest beauty secret i know . . .
    is gratitude and contentment mixed
    with a little excitement and holding
    hands with the man of your dreams,
    who you fell in love with 35 years ago.

    vitamin E and la mer helps, too!

  6. Joannah

    You look gorgeous, Angela!

    I must admit that being a pregnant widow has changed my outlook on my appearance. It’s just not a huge priority right now, but I’ve always loved clothes and makeup and hair stuff. I’m sure it will come around again in another season of life.

    This post was so fun to read, and I just thought how enjoyable it would be to hang with you for an afternoon. Someday!

  7. Jane, Naples, Florida

    Loved this post! I am 62 and still
    feel like a young girl at heart!
    My favorite beauty secret is a
    great big smile! Nothing better!

    Flora Doora

  8. Mrs. B.

    My tactic: Laughter.
    I know I’m going to get wrinkles…there’s no getting around it; so they might as well be smile lines instead of frowny ones.

  9. Stephanie

    When I look at that last picture, all I can think about is “I want to know what she knows”. The wisdom that comes with age is something I look forward to, but the age that comes with age is well….interesting. I freak out because my skin can’t tolerate strong anti aging ingredients so I just try to keep it moisturized with soothing creams and hope for the best.

  10. Alice

    Hey, try finding makeup when you have rosacea, an allergy to fragrance, and sensitive to most synthetic substances in makeup. After spending a fortune trying to find makeup I can handle, I’ve decided it is impossible. So I don’t wear any.

    Thanks for the giggles, and the reminder to check my chin with the magnified mirror.

  11. Hilary @ Sweet as June

    Love this post!;) and I am with one of your previous commentors… Laughter is the ticket.

  12. Steve

    My secret is Mexican cuisine. Grilled arrachera (skirt steak) seasoned well with fresh squeezed lime will keep you young, Angela. (J/K) 🙂

    I guess us men don’t think about how we look too much – maybe to our detriment sometimes – but we don’t.

    We’ll leave “pretty” to you ladies since you do it much better than us men!

  13. Julie

    I’m 49 (but sometimes say I’m 39.95plus shipping and handling). But anyway, I think the best secrets to looking younger are to keep laughing and to keep learning. The people I know who look younger than they are still have the ability to laugh at themselves and are still interested in the world around them. These qualities keep you from having an old attitude.

    As for the chin hairs (or as I call them, stray eyebrows), I’m never sure if I should be glad or depressed that the pitch-black chin hairs that I pluck every week are now going gray.

  14. Ashley DeLen

    Well I just have to say that I feel like the old lady at the end of the post!!

  15. Lorilee

    A perfect post for me to find on my 45th birthday. I just came in from a day of teaching 4 year olds, then clogging for 2 hours and picking up a few things at the grocery store. My guys had flowers and a cake for me!
    I think dancing keeps me feeling young.

  16. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    I for one think you look absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in your new photo.

    Drew got her look in photo shop I’m sure.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I am off to pluck my chin hair. 🙂

  17. Janelle - The Farmer's Wife

    Girl, I just had my 35th on the 10th (I share the date w/Dale Jr!) and as depressed as I get about age at times, I think that I am better than ever! It really is all in your attitude! I have tons more confidence than I did when I was in my 20s! AND, my boys make me feel awesome every day, so why would I care about my age?

    I would be lying if I said that I have never considered botox or any of that stuff, but instead I use my knees – I get down and pray to God for no wrinkles! 🙂 LOL! AND, there’s nothing that a good outfit and some rockin shoes can’t fix! 🙂

  18. Victoria

    You know my internal dialogue about this whole aging thing… I think I’ve concluded that the trick is threefold: 1. Moisturize, inside and out. 2. Wear clothes that FIT right and you love. 3. Don’t obsess about getting/looking older.

    It’s this last one that gets me. But I think the more I scuntinize myself and appearance, the less I see that I like, and the more unhappy in general it makes me. We can only do/afford/feel ok with so much. So we do the best we can. THAT makes me keep feeling young – feeling free, at least some of the time.

  19. Rosemary

    That was funny!
    I walk every morning, that keeps you young. I have good Italian skin, no wrinkles in my family.
    Have a happy weekend,

  20. Cynthia's Cottage Design

    What a fabulous post! I laughed and yes, practically spit out my coffee too!

    I could relate to all of it and perfectly written. Right to the point and all soooo true! I’m almost 49 and it takes a village in the morning to raise me , lol, but I’m loving every minute of it!

    Thanks for giving me a morning giggle with the coffee! Hugs, Cynthia

  21. Jenny

    YOur a doll…honesty and all.

  22. Cathi

    It is definitely all in the attitude and eating and exercising properly. I am 53 years old and am the happiest I have been in my life (and probably the healthiest too!)

    “Taking joy in life is a woman’s best cosmetic”.

  23. Cathi

    P.S. I have seen many actresses up close and personal here around town and they don’t look anything like they do in the magazines, believe me – that is the work of a make up artist.

  24. paperbird

    ouch- I am fifty!
    It just sounds old but I don’t feel that way and right now I am laughing out loud…. we were on vacation this weekend and i made my husband stop at the grocery store so i could purchase a eye brow pencil!!! Nope I can’t live without one either.

    Microdermabrasion has been my best friend this year- and a good workout three times a week!

    You are GORGEOUS!

  25. Tina Leigh

    ROF!!!!!! And can I say that the web site I looked at JUST prior to yours was “BareMinerals”!! LOL…perfect timing! So let me unload……
    I have had long hair most of my life…I cant do it anymore! Its not practical b/c I am so dam grey/white haired it makes me want to scream! So the bob I have sported over the past few years is much easier to manage & keep colored…so I have given up my long hair so I can be “mildly presentable”, as you call it.
    I have never worn much makeup, eye makeup and lip stick has been it for me most of my life……but now….I have to work harder.
    I was skinny for most of my life…the last 8 years has been hard!
    So you darn right Sister….I am so feeling this post!!!!
    I have never thought much of cosmetic doctor visits….but now…Im just sayin….I want to look my best too and within reason.
    I have no secrets or beauty tips. I know from what I see at work everyday that trying to live a good healthy life makes a difference in our faces. I am thankful for not being a drinker, drug user, smoker….the things that tell all in the face!
    So, I will wait for your help…and BareMinerals! LOL!
    In the mean time….my husband still thinks I’m hot so I’m gonna relish in that a while longer!! LOL!!! Thank GOD for the love of a good man!!!!!!

  26. JBeaudetStudios

    Your post is great! I just turned 40 and can totally relate! I really don’t have enough money to keep it up! Thanks for the laugh! Jennifer:)

  27. Tamra

    I so wish I could afford the wonderful creams and tonics, lotions and lathers that are supposed to make our cheeks resemble those of a newborn baby’s bottom, but alas mon sucree soeur, I too am on the budget of a bag lady albiet a reusable Trader Joes bag still not the budget I would dream of.

    I turned 47 this year and I have to admit over the years I have become a soap and water girl with a little moisturizer thrown in now and then with a little eyeshadow, brow pencil and mascara but that’s as fancy as this face gets.

    I will say though that as I read your post I think your beauty comes from the place that any true beauty gets hers. Within. I think you were raised with parents like mine who although appreciated a beautiful woman always reminded me that it always what’s inside that comes through. I think your happiness shows. The gardening, the mothering, the cooking, the loving the laughing, these are the true beauty makers IMO.

    BTW your new header is beautiful. Lookin’ good chickie!

  28. Olde Tyme Marketplace

    Oh to be finally free to talk about chin hairs! WHEW! It’s about time! They are yet another cruel little annoyance that goes along with being a gal! Hate um!
    Love LOVE love your new header pic!

  29. Privet and Holly

    Reminds me a little
    of my beauty rant
    this summer on P&H,
    called I wanna be Aunt Bee!
    It is certainly not
    easy to age gracefully
    in our times. I think
    it is important not to
    dress or choose make-up
    that is too YOUNG because
    that ends up making you
    look OLD….You know,
    a granny in a mini or
    with blue eyeshadow…You
    have to know when to say
    when. My biggest weapon
    is sunscreen ~ if I’m awake,
    it’s on. Wish I’d known
    better in THE DAY; I’ve got
    sun spots to prove my stupidity
    in the sun! Love your honesty
    in this post, Angela : )!
    BTW, YOU are gorgeous.
    xx Suzanne

  30. Beth Hazelton

    Age is just a number…I get up everyday and try to laugh every chance I get. That’s the best anti-ager I know of!

  31. Fashion, Art and other fancies

    I giggled whilst reading this post.
    Beauty with age. I make a green tea mask with natural mud every forthnight and apply to face.

    But before the homemade mask I exfoliate with homemade brown sugar and lime scrub, add face cream. Done. I laugh, smile, sing, dance ( Ballet ) and walk in the woods daily.

  32. CIELO

    Just simply be you–let gorgeousness shine from inside out… that’s me now and that will be me then. Nice meeting you!



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