by Chrysa Smith

I’m feeling a little bit playful. All this New Year, Father Time, Auld Lang Syne has sent me to the salon and the clock.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and although I’ve got not a whole lot of partying scheduled for tonight (or ever, really), I decided to treat myself to a manicure today (a few days before my new two week cycle, which I say is sorely necessary in the cold, dryness of winter). So, I went and sat next to the rows and rows of colored polishes, thinking about the ads for the new colors I’ve seen in the beauty mags.

Now, I’m all for being fashionable; even trendy—but I draw the line when trendy looks unattractive or ridiculous. Fitting into a too tight outfit? Unattractive. Wearing clearly teenage/junior clothing at 50? Ridiculous (although I am wearing leggings and boots this winter; but with long tops to cover the middle/upper thighs) Throwing on a trendy accessory with a nice outfit? Perfect.

So, as it is with a hip handbag that boasts bling, a pair of funky, dangling earrings—it is also with nail polish—to a degree. Alright, get this logic: Wearing those newer dark shades

of purple, brown, deep burgundy on a pedicure is fine. I think most anyone, with decent feet can do it. I went for a deep denim color one pedi and it looked great with jeans. But try the same thing on 50+ year old hands? I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t cut it. Actually, I don’t really like the blacks and dark purples on the 20 year olds. It’s just reminiscent of Morticia Adams or Elvira, Mistress of Darkness. Instead, even on the pedi, I’d opt for the blues and greens, grays or mid-range browns. You can have lots of fun with that. But on the mani, I say less is more. Lighter shades, especially French Manicures look beautiful even on aging hands—–Essie has an incredible selection of pink, peach and neutral sheers that, while not trendy, look good, groomed and most importantly–YOUNGER.

Along with the polish is a good, regular exfoliation, followed by a good moisturizing. It’s amazing how much younger hands look just after that alone. Dry just looks old, so butter up.
Also, get out the bleach for lightening of any spots that might take away from a great looking hand, and right about NOW, I’m pulling out my combo moisturizer/self-tanner to smarten up that pale, putrid winter skin. A little color always looks healthier, fresher, younger. I almost fainted when I put on a short sleeve sweater—for cripes sake, I looked like the Pillsbury Dough Girl in the mirror!

Next time, it’s onto other body parts that need some attention—the list keeps getting longer. Darn that Father Time—-he’s making me work twice as hard to look half as good. Maybe he can lengthen the day so by dinnertime, I’ll look decent enough to begin the day.

** Favorite exfoliation: fill a jar with kosher salt, mix in a bit of olive oil to mix well and coat the salt, then add your favorite scents (either an essential oil or some seasonings from the pantry. I like lavender and rosemary. Mix in, stir and let the mixture set. Keep it in the shower for daily scaling).

Favorite moisturizer: Burt’s Bees Honey & Shea Body Butter the formulation, I can slather this on after a morning shower and still feel soft and honey-smelling well into the evening. Other moisturizers I have to constantly reapply throughout the day, but this one seems to have ‘sticking’ power.