“Second-Class Citizen” in Hollywood – At 38?

Do you have personal beauty icons? Those people who have a “look” you love and would want for yourself – and a lot of times, it’s not just their physical attributes, but rather, this unexplainable glow or draw they possess. Though they evolve, my beauty icon mainstays are Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler…

So, I was really disappointed to read an interview with Liv Tyler in the October issue of More magazine. Not because of her, she’s as awesome and lovely as ever. No, I was disturbed by something she said about being a woman in Hollywood.

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Liv Tyler

In the article, she says that thirty-eight “is a crazy number. It’s not fun when you see things start to change. When you’re in your teens or 20s, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend — a sort of second-class citizen.”

Ack. I think Liv Tyler is undeniably gorgeous. I would imagine most men from age 18 and up would agree. And so, while not surprising, I think it’s sad.

Maggie Gyllenhaal also recently said this to the Hollywood website The Wrap, “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

The big problem for me is that we’re not going to see a richness of women on screen if this doesn’t change. I don’t want to spend my 30s going to movies about gorgeous 22 year old female protagonists. I want to see more women like me on screen, especially as I head into my mid-30s.

What’s Your Skincare Routine?

Now that you’re in your 30s, has your skincare routine changed at all from your younger years? Do you take better care of the LARGEST ORGAN IN YOUR BODY now that you’re older? Sorry for the caps there, but it boggles my mind that our skin is indeed the largest organ in our bodies.

I certainly have changed my routine. Well, now I actually have a routine whereas in my twenties it was wash and go, with a little Clean and Clear acne cream when needed. I’m in preservation mode these days. I want to keep the wrinkles at bay and keep my youthful glow (I’ve still got it, right? Right?!!).

So, here are a few of my favorite products in my bathroom cabinet.

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Starting from the right hand side, I love L’Oréal’s Revitalift Miracle Blur – it’s a primer that smoothes out pores, wrinkles and any other imperfections you may have. You can wear it under makeup or in lieu of makeup. The best part is that it’s seriously like velvet on your skin. It’s very similar to Benefit’s POREfessional, but a bit cheaper, so Miracle Blur is what I’m using now.

In the middle, is Olay’s Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir. The name of the product basically says it all, but it’s a exfoliating treatment with glycolic acid. My skin feels clearer and more glowy than normal when I use this consistently before bedtime.

Then, there’s the Zinc tablets. Not only does zinc possibly boost your immune system, it helps make your skin look dewy. If you take zinc for two days straight, you’ll definitely notice a certain glow. I only take zinc tablets when I’m feeling saucy because they tend to give me an upset stomach. Maybe it’s because my zinc tablets are high-potency.

And last but certainly not least. I’m loving the Face Yoga Method. I have a very expressive forehead, which is awesome (I guess? People know how umm…emotional I am.), but I have forehead wrinkles already and it drives me bonkers! A few months ago I researched all-natural ways to reduce your forehead wrinkles and I found this amazing website: Face Yoga Method. Okay, yes, the whole thing may seem a bit kooky, BUT, I can honestly say I’ve seen results. You may feel a little silly doing the exercises, but they work.

These are my tips and tricks. Got any to share?

Playing Dress-Up In Your Thirties

My good friend and coworker, Natasha, is checking on the status of her new dresses as I type. But these aren’t just any pretty  dresses- they are Lolita. And, at 32 years old, Natasha rocks out Lolita fashion.

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This is Natasha as a Lolita.

Playing dress up isn’t just for kids. It never has been. But I never understood just how much dressing up is for adults too… until now.

Natasha is in her thirties and works tradeshows and autoshows with me. She’s always been great with makeup. She puts on false eyelashes perfectly before work in barely a minute- I’ve watched her in awe. She’s an amazing make-up artist- brilliant with shadows and all sorts of contouring.

Natasha sans special makeup:

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Natasha travels to a tradeshow

Natasha’s makeup masterpieces:

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Halloween

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Way too real latex makeup work…

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Natasha is top right

I knew Natasha had recently gotten into Lolita dresses, but I never understood what that meant until very recently.

Lolita is a Japanese street fashion–  an alternative fashion subculture that originated in Japan and is now all over the world. The original Lolita shaped dress is knee length or slightly above the knee and is A-Line, cupcake or bell shaped with petticoats. These dresses are usually worn with OTKS (Over The Knee Socks) or tights. The dresses are extremely modest and the whole Lolita culture is actually based around femininity and modesty.

Since Natasha has always enjoyed playing with really fun make-up, I just thought she’d gotten into playing with fun dresses as well. I didn’t understand that there’s a whole Lolita culture actually based around rebellion. Yes, these cute little dresses are actually a Japanese fashion trend that says ‘screw the way I’m expected to dress. I wear what I want.’ It’s about wearing a pretty dress because you feel like it. Lolita culture doesn’t care what other people think.

Natasha says that sometimes she wears the dresses out to Lolita meetups and on the way people ask her what the special occasion is. Her sweet reply is basically that she felt like wearing a really pretty dress. Because why not? It’s awesome! And she’s awesome!

Lolita fashion says you don’t have to dress to attract anyone. So many times I’ve felt I need to dress the way I feel a man will like…whether I’m single or in a relationship. A lot of my women friends agree- we end up feeling the need to dress for men all the time. With Lolita, you dress to impress yourself. It’s freeing and powerful. One Lolita said:

“We certainly do not do this for the attention of men. Frequently, female sexuality is portrayed in a way that is palatable and accessible to men, and anything outside of that is intimidating. Something so unabashedly female is ultimately kind of scary – in fact, I consider it to be pretty confrontational. Dressing this way takes a certain kind of ownership of one’s own sexuality that wearing expected or regular things just does not.”

Lolita is about having fun and feeling pretty – not for others, but for you.

Lolita is creative and wild and it gives zero fucks. Kind of like the thirties, right? 🙂

So thanks, Natasha, for introducing me to the fascinating world of Lolita. And for being amazing, bold, passionate and just so very YOU!

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1669808_890319297656593_6854195036141353387_oYou’re awesome!

Help I’m thirty!

The other day, I googled “help, I’m thirty” and found a bunch of strange and scattered articles about the “Big 3-0.” Many left me with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. The urge to both to go running and eat a pint of Haagen Daz came over me.

Then I found one article consisting of a woman named Dorian (you’ll see the irony of her name in a second) asking a question to an advice columnist. The almost-30 year old Dorian was extremely worried about losing her looks to aging. She described herself as beautiful to the point of self-obsession, staring at herself in the mirror and becoming completely enraptured with her own beautiful face. She wrote about people on the street gazing at her longingly, because “there truly is nothing like a beautiful face.” Dorian was completely devastated about the inevitable doom of her declining good looks.

Dorian’s letter depressed me thoroughly, not only because it scared me, but because I wanted to hate this woman and couldn’t. What I really hated was my jealousy of her…how was she so beautiful that everyone gazed at her longingly day in and day out? How could she stare at her image in the mirror and obsess over her beauty?  Then I worried about the looks-obsession that had completely permeated society. And then I worried much more about the looks-obsession that had completely permeated my own life. Damn it- how did I let this happen to myself?? And why couldn’t I shake it??

The advice columnist (a woman by the name of Polly) fired back a thoughtful response that hit me like a bucket of cold water. Polly told Dorian: “What are you going to lose, exactly, when you get older? Even when I picture you as Giselle, I remain unmoved. The enraptured gazes, the shimmering whatever… It’s so hard to imagine. It makes me tired just thinking about it…The world is so much more engaging and incredible than you’re making it seem. What’s kept you in this two-dimensional realm of the mirror? Who trapped you there? What’s at stake?”

I thought about these questions. Something shook in my heart.

Polly asked “Haven’t you ever met anyone who wasn’t conventionally attractive, but who was incredibly charismatic and enviable? If not, you really need to get out more. …Instead of gazing at your own heart-stopping face, you should throw out your mirror and dedicate yourself to something that feeds your soul and makes you feel even more alive than, I don’t know, admiring your own image? It’s a bad habit.”

I thought of the people in my life who had grown enormously hot as I got to know their gorgeous personalities. Or, sadly even more common, I thought of the incredibly hot people who quickly turned hideous after I found out they were rude, flaky, vacuous, or just plain bad at being generous human beings.

Sometimes I have a rough time shaking the feeling that looks mean more than anything else. Society bombards me every day with messages about the utmost importance of physical beauty. But then occasionally I notice beautiful things that strike me way beyond their physical look. And I observe beauty growing with age.

My fears release for a second with Polly’s wise words: “You say there’s truly nothing like a beautiful face. That statement makes me imagine a giant plate of delicious nachos, a good book, and a cold beer. It makes me think about dogs with weird personalities, and funny children. It makes me think about the sound of rain on the roof when you’re taking a nap in the afternoon. Pretty faces can go fuck themselves, compared to peanut butter cups.”

Yes indeed, Polly. Yes, indeed.


Read Polly’s words for yourself here: http://www.theawl.com/2013/07/ask-polly-im-almost-30-and-im-terrified-of-losing-my-looks

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