Everyone wants to look younger or better or maybe even just more rested. Don’t you just hate it when you see yourself in a photo, and you just feel like you look terrible. Instead of a smiling happy face, all you can see are the lines, splotches, and sagging skin.
But there is another reason that I decided to write this post. My high school is getting ready to have a mass class reunion of all grades between about 1950 and 2000.
As many of you know, I post a lot of photos of myself on this site, on the Old Age Is Not… social media sites, and on my personal social media sites, too. These photos are of me mostly wearing Stitch Fix clothing, so I want to look my best. That is to say, I doctor my looks and my photos. Chuck says that what I really do is commit fraud–the fraud he says is trying to look younger. Well, duh!
So I figure I had better come clean and let my classmates know my little secret. Otherwise, we will all show up for the reunion; and they will wonder if I have been under the weather lately. As in “Gosh Cindy, what happened to your face?”
So here are some ways to make yourself look better or look younger. The following tips are how I make myself look better for the photos, especially for Stitch Fix.
1. If you are taking a photo, lighting is key. Overhead lighting is your enemy, especially if you are my age. Overhead lighting accentuates your wrinkles, under eye bags, red splotches, and anything else wrong at the moment with your face. You can forget being able to look younger, if the lighting is coming from above.
The best place for me to take my selfie photos is in my bedroom, where there is an entire wall of floor to ceiling. This is where I take my Stitch Fix photos using a full standing mirror. What you see in my photos is actually a mirror image.
A large oak tree to one side of this bank of windows diffuses the light just enough. Also, this is a north facing window so I never get direct sunlight into this room. It is always bright, indirect sunlight.
So if the lighting is overhead, run for cover for your photos. Be careful with dappled shade, though. It can cause the same bad effects. Best case scenario is earlier in the day or later in the afternoon when the sunlight is coming in from the side.
2. Don’t hold the camera too close to your face. Your nose and anything else closer to the lens will appear larger. I put this tip in so you can see that anything that you want to minimize should be farther away from the camera. Maybe you don’t like your arms. Maybe your bust line bothers you. Use clothing and camera angles to accentuate or minimize. Your choice.
I learned this when I worked for the state game and fish commission and for an angler’s association. If you want the fish to look bigger in your photo, hold it closer to the camera in front of your body. The closer you push the fish to the camera, the bigger it looks.
3. Tanned skin makes you look thinner. White pasty skin is not flattering in photos. Everyone likes the porcelain look but not too many of us can pull it off. My sister Linda being one of the exceptions.
So get a sunless tanner and learn how to use it. I wear one everyday–having to reapply it every 5-7 days. Not everyone will want to do that, so just remember to wear it for special occasions when people will be taking photos, such as weddings, birthday parties, family gatherings of any kind, or class reunions.
Use it on your face, décolletage, neck, arms, shoulders, legs and anything else that the camera can see. You’ll be glad you did. It will make you and your skin look younger.
4. If you are older like me, apply a good makeup base with a neutral eye shadow over the lower lid and into the crease, eye liner over the top eyelid (especially if you are older like me), mascara (can be top and bottom), blush in all the right places, and a good lipstick with color but not too much. I’ll explain below.
A good makeup base removes the splotches. I wear one everyday, because that is what my Mom did. I was just raised that way. Turns out that it really helps when I’m photographed. It will make you look younger without the splotches and discoloration.
As we age, we should drop the colored eye shadows. They don’t look that good in photos anyway. Leave all of these for the young women. Also, putting shadow over the crease up to the eyebrow accentuates the wrong area of the eye and causes a shine where it isn’t as flattering anymore.
Mascara and lipstick are my necessities in life. My grandmother taught me that a lady wasn’t dressed until she put on her earrings and her lipstick. I never leave home without them. As I’ve aged my eyes tend to no longer stand out. Mascara is a must.
The other necessity in life is a smile. I try to wear one everyday.
Speaking of a smile, I just found out from my Yoga instructor that a smile relaxes your face and in turn every muscle in your body. So for all us stressed out ladies, the secret is to smile even when we don’t feel like it.
With the blush you’ve chosen, apply it to contour and create apples on your cheeks. We older ladies need those apples. Most contouring diagrams, though, are for younger people; and they leave this out as you can see below. In fact I’m wondering if this ultra thin model would have had enough facial definition to have apples on her cheeks anyway.
Once you’ve placed blush where they suggest contouring (contouring is the darker shading), go back and place some blush on the apples of your cheeks. Blend and remember that practice makes perfect.
5. Wear something that fits but does not tug or cling. You don’t want any rolls showing around your middle. Remember Maude on TV, played by Bea Arthur? She was known for her tunic and vest wardrobe which she also wore on the tv series “Golden Girls”.
Notice how it floated away from her body. The layering and draping worked. She found something very flattering for her, and the designers just stayed with it. She became a fashion icon to many older women. On the “Golden Girls” you will notice that all of the characters mostly wear clothes that pull away from their bodies.
But Bea Arthur did it best and became a fashion icon because of it. When asked about her clothes, she would simply say that she just liked to be comfortable.
Hide that which you are embarrassed about. My knees are getting bony so I try to stay away from shorts and dresses above my knees. I also have a spider vein problem up on my right thigh. I do wear tunics, but I’ve found that the secret is wearing blouses that pull away from my middle. You can hide a multitude of sins under there–rolls, lumps, a pooching stomach. Chuck says that this is fraud again. I just tell him that it is simply female “camo”.
6. Which brings me to my final tip. It is called Facetune.
As I said before, my husband accuses me of fraud all the time. He is really talking about the clothes and makeup that I use to camouflage all my shortcomings. But Facetune is my biggest fraud.
It is a photo editing app that I use to retouch my photos. It smooths out crows feet and other wrinkles. It does the same thing for splotches and liver spots. I’ve even removed wrinkles from clothes with it. Just because it is called Facetune doesn’t mean it can only be used on the face.
Here’s a video below that shows how the “smoothing” feature works.
Also, here is another example–two photos of myself. One before Facetune and one after. I think you get the picture.
So now you know how I commit fraud, and why I thought it important to come clean before the class reunion.
These steps can make anyone look younger, rested and happier. So it is ok to smile in your photos. Facetune can fix the lines and wrinkles for any picture you have.
Oh, and now you know why my husband says that I commit fraud everyday!
I look forward to seeing some of you at the class reunion! Too bad that I won’t look younger.
Too bad that Facetune doesn’t come in a bottle!