I Need to Pull-Up My Pantyhose, But I’m Not Wearing Any!

Posted: 646 days ago in Mirror Mirror

pantyhoseThere is a large mirror in my front hall.

After a run one sunny day, I caught a glimpse of myself in a tennis skirt. — (I don’t play tennis, but I wear tennis skirts to run in. Reference my post, ‘To Go or Not To Go…Commando” and you’ll understand why). — Anyways, my immediate thought was that I really needed to pull up my pantyhose; never mind that I haven’t worn any since 1990 when I’d taken my last National Board exam.

Though I was looking lean that day, my thighs were sagging. That’s right, SAGGING! Who knew thighs could sag?

Boobs? Sure. Neck? Yup. But my freaking THIGHS?!

As far as my share of life’s stages go, I think my thighs went straight from the “so plump the heat index rises when you walk” look, to the “blown-out balloon” look. I don’t think I even got one bathing suit season worth of, “wow, she’s got some great legs!” Life can be so unfair (and God, I know there are much bigger burdens than saggy thighs, and you know I’ve juggled my share of those, so let me just say… I’m grateful I don’t have more).

We all need to resign ourselves to the fact that as we age, the supporting structure of our skin – a.k.a. collagen – starts to wane. You ever lay eyes on an individual pushing one hundred-years-old? They didn’t go from baby bottoms to saggy drawers in one day; it’s a part of life!

Things like sun exposure, smoking and a poor diet can accelerate this. Yo-yo dieting also contributes to saggy skin, hence the balloon reference. In my case sun exposure and weight fluctuations over 4+ decades have taken their toll. But would I trade my life for tighter thighs?

Let’s see…

Although my weight has been up and down all throughout my life, pregnancy was by far the greatest contributing factor to my chubby thighs. Bring it on. I have two beautiful daughters because of it. How about the sun exposure? I’m sure to take some hits for this, but I love the sun. My dad was Italian and thankfully, he passed on his olive skin to yours truly. My dermatologist gives me a once-over annually, and I wear sunscreen…most of the time. But I love the beach, and maintain that tan fat is way better than pale fat. So, all things considered; no. I wouldn’t trade my countless days of loving life at the beach with my family for skin that doesn’t resemble a Birkin bag.

Like most things in life, I strive to find a happy balance, but you can be sure that when given the choice between sitting on the sidelines and diving in, you won’t find me on the bench. And I take the repercussions of my choices with a big smile, sunspots, saggy thighs and all.

I suggest you do the same!

Ooh-La-Lashes

Posted: 761 days ago in Mirror Mirror

 

Beautiful Women Eye Close Up

Beautiful Women Eye Close Up

Hello, Gorgeous Lashes.  Where’ve you been all my life?

Have you noticed that every woman in People magazine seems to have mink eyelashes? Every. Single. One.   And a few of the men, too.  What’s the deal with all the lush lashes?

I’ve been using drugstore mascara since forever.   A friend of mine has been raving on Facebook about this new mascara she was using.   And frankly, she was getting a little annoying about it.

“It’s just f*cking mascara!!!”, I’d thought a time or two.   (Sorry, Aimee). Finally she reached out to me personally and told me she was sending me some, and that I should shut up and try it.

The only reason I even cracked it open was because, along with other horrible and unsightly things that happen when you approach a certain age, I seemed to have a case of disappearing eyelashes. Yes, girls.   Something else to look forward to.

Oh, sweet mama!

There’s really only a couple of products that get me juiced up about my lashes.  Now, mascara by Younique is one of them.

The first day I tried it someone said my eyes looked “Ah-mazing” – without solicitation.   The second day, two of my friends seemed to be looking me over a little too closely.   I got a little “Jersey” on them, and was like – “What the eff are you staring at?”.   “We’re trying to figure out what’s different about your eyes.   They look Ah-mazing.”  Again with the Ah-mazing.

I guess there is something to this stuff.

The Younique mascara is a two-tube kit (sold in a cute little case for $29.).   You put on a coat of the gel, immediately followed by a coat of the lengthening fibers, and then a final coat of the gel.  Voila! Kardashian-worthy eyelashes are yours.   The instructions say you can put several coats on, but truly, I was really impressed after just one coat.   I did get a little wigged out after I first applied the fibers; it looked like little black dust-bunnies were camping out on my eyes.   Immediately after the second coat of gel, though, those smoothed into the longest, thickest lashes that had ever graced my eyeballs.  I’m a show-me-don’t-tell-me kinda girl, so here’s a tutorial:

The three coats went on in a quick minute, didn’t make a mess on my cheeks, and stayed on all night.   They washed off my lashes quickly, but I did have to scrounge around under my sink for some eye makeup remover because it did make a bit of a mess on my skin.

All in all – I’m pretty darn impressed with Younique mascara. You get the look of false lashes or extensions at a fraction of the inconvenience and cost.   Give it a try.   And if you order here by July 3rd, Aimee will send you a FREE lipgloss ($15 value!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanity Sizing Can Kiss My…

Posted: 985 days ago in Mirror Mirror

vanity-sizing

Numbers don’t define me. Not my age, my weight or net worth.  

My clothing size, however, stumps me. Not so much because I care what that number is, but because on a given day, I can fit into pants that are a size 8. Or 4. Or possibly 6.

What’s up with that?

Why is there no standard in clothing like there is in shoes? Do some manufactures really believe that if they put a Size 4 tag on a size 8 pant that I’ll somehow feel thinner or sexier, so that I’ll buy more?

In reality, it just pisses me off.  

I don’t care for shopping to begin with, and don’t really have a favorite store. With that being said, is it really necessary for me to bring 3 or 4 sizes of every piece of clothing into the dressing room? Just to be sure?

Let’s get real; vanity sizing is enough to make me run for the hills.

On a recent trip to Athleta — and I love Athleta I bought two pair of yoga pants. After trying on my two favorite styles in every freaking size, I ended up with a small in one style, and an XL in the other, and they were the same brand! Wait, what?

And then I had the bad sense to go jean shopping. I know, I know — I said I don’t like shopping, and I don’t.  I just had a few free hours sans responsibility, and truly, the last time I bought workout pants and jeans was circa 2012, so don’t judge me.

Back to the jeans. I was happy to wiggle my way into a size 27 Hudson jean, and pulled a pair of Seven for All Mankind‘s in the same size off the rack just to see which ones made my booty look better. Couldn’t get those over my knees. The 29’s? Nope. Finally, I got into a size 31, but that still gave me a muffin top. What the hell?  

Can someone please give this girl a break?jeans

2-4-6-8. How many sizes at this weight? 8-6-4-2. I have not a clue, do you?

The takeaway here? Don’t get down because you’re a size 31 in one brand and a 27 in another (respectively). How you feel about yourself and where you are in pursuit of your individual health goals, is all that matters. At the end of the day if you love how you look in a pair of pants, well then, that’s the end all be all.

PS: I ended up with the Hudson jeans, and to their credit, my hot hubs wolf-whistled me when I wore them that night. Mission accomplished!

Spanx It Up, Baby!

Posted: 990 days ago in Mirror Mirror

SPANXBABY

I heart you, Sara Blakely! 

sarablakely_png

No offense to all my lovely, curvier ladies out there but I originally thought Spanx were for women on the plus side of the spectrum.

That was, until I tried them on — and in that moment, the angels sang!

Well Hell-oOo, mama!! Who knew I could look so smooth?  

If you have an outfit like that – that makes you like how you look, but not love – Spanx are your new BFF. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know my back fat woes – and that’s just the beginning. Even at my thinnest, I’ve always been a bumpy-bulgy kind of girl, but I’ve learned how to dress to complement my body. Every once in a while, I put on an outfit that looks good but not great because of a little muffin-top or tummy bulge – so I Spanx it! And even the back fat that I loathe so entirely, goes undercover.

There are so many variations for pretty much any kind of outfit – pants or dress, short or long. My favorite piece is a long tank, as it hits all of my least favorite areas without needing to deal with the peekaboo crotch.  I’m glad they have that little peephole too, because lord knows once you peel those things down, you may never get them back up… especially after a cocktail or two… in a bathroom stall… balancing on your Manolos. Not a pretty sight. 

I digress!

Spanx can’t transform a size 16 into a six; the woman who comes up with that idea will be the first self-made trillionaire, I’m sure. They can, however, give the illusion that you’ve shed those last few stubborn pounds or took up pilates. Truly glorious.

Invest in some smoothing undergarments like Spanx and you will be very happy you did.

Spanx for reading!

Unkempt Fingernails Gross Me Out

Posted: 1091 days ago in Mirror Mirror

unkempt-fingernailsdivider2

Here I go with another rant because I just can’t take it anymore.  

Funky fingernails. Dirty fingernails. And nail polish that has been chipped or even gnawed off.

The above three? Gross. Me. Out.nailclippers

I’ve had my share of days where I roll out of the house with bedhead or sheet marks gracing my face. I may even be sporting some gnarly toenails in the dead of winter inside of my boots. But never, ever, will you see me with funky fingernails.

Maybe it’s because I’m a chiropractor and have worked with my hands my entire life. Or perhaps my mom drilled this basic hygiene item into me (over and over again!). However I got here – I stand here proudly.

It just makes me want to gag when a waiter plunks down my soup with remnants of who-knows-what jammed under his nails. And the girl at the check out counter who taps away with her ragged nails? Please, please, just clip them nicely.

removerFinally, to all the teenage girls – including my own! – who tire of the latest Essie or OPI color – please, just swipe it off with some remover and a cotton ball, instead of gnawing and picking at it until only bits and pieces remain.

cottonballsTrust me when I say, unkempt fingernails cheapen your whole look, even if you are sporting a great outfit, smile and hair.

Wash. Clip. Remove. It’s pretty easy. Got it?

Tattoo You

Posted: 1103 days ago in Everything Else Mirror Mirror

tattoo

divider2I got my first tattoo at age 18.  

heartsThree tiny red hearts on my hip, and I’ve loved it ever since. Flash forward 18 years to when I got my second: a ring around my second toe. I loved the look of toe rings, but they pinched inside my running shoes, and I always seemed to lose them – so it made sense.

That second made me yearn for a third, so a few years later I got the words “True North” inked on my left foot. It’s a little thing my husband and I feel for each other – like our inner compasses lead us to each other. He put it on my wedding ring, and I put it on my foot.

I’ve been jones-ing for more ever since.

But – and this is a big but – I’m not crazy about how tattoos look on aging skin, and my skin is not going to get any less wrinkled, is it?

I didn’t think so.

I’m pretty okay with aging gracefully – the alternative stinks, btw – so I choose to love aging instead of hate it. I’m a little sad, though, that some things are just better on the young. My nurse friends confirmed this for me, explaining that they see all kinds of tattoos that have seen better days, and it ain’t pretty.

Maybe I’ll feel better about my decision to stop at three tattoos when all the Gen X’ers start to sag and droop like the rest of us, and their ink starts to resemble a Dali painting.

Until then, I’ll just be a little envious.

Graying Gracefully

Posted: 1111 days ago in Mirror Mirror

graying-gracefully

divider2Graying Gracefully – I can’t do it. Can you?

Several of my friends have the most gorgeous white-gray hair. It looks like they were born with it, and I can’t imagine them any other way since they wear it so very well.

And then there’s me. 

Hair color never intimidated me. I’ve been blond, brunette, and a few shades of magenta and orange that have never before occured in nature. It’s been a very long time since my natural hair color has made an appearance. Which is why I shouldn’t have been surprised when my hairdresser made the offhanded remark that I was growing in at about 50% gray; alas, I was.

Fi-fi-fifty percent? Gray? ME???

At the time I was barely forty. I quite literally, almost had a stroke.

I’d been playing with hair color for most of my life because I wanted to; now that it seemed I had to, I was freaked out. Like, majorly freaked out.  

Suddenly, I started inspecting my hairline for any sign of growth. My colorist had to [figuratively speaking] talk me off the ledge, suggesting I really only need touch-ups every 5-6 weeks, not the 2-3 weeks I was tempted to get. It never fails though – a few times a year, I swear to myself, “f*ck all this time and money I’m spending on coloring my hair. I’m going au natural!”.

Yeah, that lasts for all of about 5 minutes.

My mom was totally gray at about age 18, thanks to the stress of escaping Nazi Germany as a young teen. She still sports her trademark ginger curls, though, courtesy of Clairol’s Blazing Sunset, which earned her the nickname, ‘The Red Baron’.

It would be weird, wouldn’t it, if I were gray before my mom? So, I guess I will follow in her footsteps, and though I hope to age gracefully, I will probably never, ever age grays-fully.

Will you?

Bushwhacked

Posted: 1118 days ago in Mirror Mirror

BUSHWACKED

divider2If you’ve read The Hair Down There, then you know I take a middle-of-the-road approach to personal grooming.

However, in preparation for a week-long beach vacation with my hot husband, I decided to cash in a salon gift card I had for a bikini wax. When I made the appointment, I asked how long I should forgo shaving before my appointment, and was told not to shave or wax for 2-4 weeks.

%^&(#!@^*???! — Translation: Wait. What???!

I rarely go 2-4 days without shaving! Now in order to get a smooth, hairless muff, I had to go rogue?

This was totally and utterly against my better judgement, but I did it anyway. By week two, I couldn’t stand ‘the jungle down there’ so I tried moving my appointment earlier. The aesthetician sent me home, saying, “my hair wasn’t long enough”. I waited another two weeks (making my wait a total of four weeks – hence the bush in bushwhacked) as per her instructions, then endured the most painful 30 minutes of my life after having had two natural childbirths.

Are you kidding me? The deal is, I have to look like a hippie for a month to look like a 10-year-old for a week, and be tortured in the process? Sure waxing has its long-term benefits like slower, finer and sparser regrowth. But the cons? It’s pricey, messy, and extremely painful. Not to mention, your waxer gets an up-close and personal view of your hoo-ha, over and over again. So, if I do some simple math… carry the two… yep, definitely not worth it in my opinion, so I’ll pass.

My razor and I have a standing date in the shower, and that’s juuuuuust fine by me.

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Posted: 1132 days ago in Mirror Mirror

BURTSBEES

Don’t you love to kiss? I most definitely do.

I found out recently that there’s actually a support group for lip balm ‘addicts’. I can pretty much relate because I’m so acutely aware of keeping my lips soft. A truly nourishing product like Burt’s Bees lip balm (or it’s generic cousin, Trader Joe’s) will be therapeutic, and not just gloss over the dry skin temporarily.

What do I mean by that, you ask?

Unfortunately, many of the lip balms on the market are made with petroleum products. So, though they may make your lips feel better when you first put them on, pretty quickly you feel the need to reapply. And hello, do you realize that much of what you put on your lips ends up IN your body, and not just ON it?  How much petroleum do you think is safe to eat?  Uh – none!

Next to petroleum-based products, there’s not much worse than dry, chapped lips; whether you’re the kisser or the kissee! It feels bad and looks worse, doesn’t it?

divider2Enter Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (excuse me while I gush for a moment).

I love the glide, flavor and slight tingle that I get after I apply Burt’s or TJ’s. The best news is that once I apply, I’m good for the entire day! I apply my lipstick over it, and hours later my lips are still soft and smooth. The only time I need to reapply is after I brush for the night.

Since my editor was shocked when she read that I wear lip balm to bed, I’ll elaborate. My bedtime routine includes a good teeth-brushing and face-washing. When I say face, I include my lips. I use my washcloth to scrub off any remnants of lipstick or dry skin. Then, just like I use an eye cream and facial moisturizer, I use a little lip balm to moisten the old kisser, since I just stripped it of any natural moisture.

kiss-markNext time you’re out and about, hit up the lip balm aisle and read a few labels. At $2-3 each, you can try a few and see what suits you best, just make sure it has the ‘good stuff’ – like beeswax and olive oil –  and not petroleum products in it so you can be healthy and kissable.

XO!

At Some Point You Must Choose (Your A$$ or Your Face)

Posted: 1143 days ago in Mirror Mirror

atsomepoint


I’ve certainly chosen my face.

Let me explain:

As we age, the supporting structures – mainly collagen – of our skin break down more quickly than our bodies can build them up. Nowhere is this more apparent than on our faces, with all of the contours that make up our eye sockets, cheekbones and jawlines.

For a brief moment, this thinning of our faces results in beautiful, model-like angles. You have cheekbones! And a jawline that even Maria Shriver would envy!

And then it all goes to hell.

We’ve spent 3 or 4 decades trying to get our backsides small enough to fit into our favorite jeans, and now, being lean makes us look like a hag. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true.

If your ass is tiny, your face is likely haggard looking. And if the skin of your face is filled out with just the right amount of adipose tissue (read: fat), your ass is likely too big to fit in into those jeans.

So decide if you’d rather look better coming into a room or leaving it, and act accordingly.

Which one have you chosen?