I happened to be watching a Rick Steves show on Denmark and in the show they were describing a way of living that they had. It was called hyggelig (hoo.gl.ee). This hyggelig meant you always have a drink, some food, and at the very least a candle between you and your company. It meant feeling cozy at the very base translation of the word but actually much more, it was your surroundings without anything that would make you feel ill at ease or emotionally overwhelmed. It was actually the pursuit of serenity, of comfy, of homey, of anything that brought that warm fuzzy to your soul.

My jaw dropped at this Danish discovery of self. That one single word summed up the pursuit of my entire life. Hyggelig!!! This blog is about just that, all the things that make me feel hyggelig. My only hope is that they inspire you to find your own hyggelig too. Imagine a world full of hyggelig, just imagine...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Top Ten Things That Can Make You Look Lots Younger

Don't you doubt yourself for a second! 
Yes, looking younger than your years is part genes but it's also about 80% calculated formula. No matter what your age from teenager to your eighties and beyond this it solid stuff that works. How do I know? Well, no one has ever guessed my age correctly... ever! And I'm just a weirdo! I think about this stuff constantly only second to fashion. It makes people watching a whole lot more fun and educational. I'm constantly absorbing my surroundings trying to think what could improve them. It's kind of an addiction or hobby or whatever but it helps me learn lots about what does and doesn't work.

1. Soft natural pretty hair in a collarbone to mid back length with longer bangs that blend into the side below the cheekbone. Some subtle layers and thats it. Too many layers and it's all off. No flippy wingy pieces all sticking out anywhere. If you like to color your hair keep it within one to two shades of your natural color and never let the roots show and never do a flat allover color. You need subtle highlights to bring out your skin tone and highlight your eyes. Think Victorias Secret model but with less length. It works on just about anybody from 12 - 72.

2. Like my friend Catherine said yesterday "just enhance what god gave you." The de-aging trick with makeup is to definitely wear it but make it just enhance your features. Eye shadows in tones that blend in with your skin but bring out your eye color. Try applying a deeper shade of your eye shadow color as your eyeliner. Bare minerals has great ones or if you use a pencil liner smudge it into the lashes. Mascara is a must always. You definitely need some natural looking coverup, I use a combo of FX concealer under my eyes and a light powder from bare minerals topped with a powder blush lightly smoothed onto the apples of my cheeks (not the high sides of my cheekbones which will only make you look way OLD, forget what they told you 15 years ago). The idea is to look slightly flushed. Then this is BIG- avoid dark mat lip colors. They may be fine for a night out and all that but if you really want to go for the golden youthful bullet it's all about gloss with a subtle pinky hue. Your lips need to look edible! Victorias Secret has really great ones that smell absolutely yummy! I could go on for ages about makeup but perhaps thats for another post.

3. Nails - keep them relatively short and naturally rounded. No long real or fake things here and if you really want that youthful look you are gonna have to keep it very simple. Pick very very very light shades of pink that almost look like you haven't even had your nails painted. OPI has superb ones. Understated and elegant will de-age you in seconds flat! Trust me! If you are just craving some deep red on those fingers of yours you better have them cut very short indeed. I hate to say it but those french manicures aren't gonna do you any favors here either. Sorry, but it's just how it's done. You had all those teen and twenties to play now is the time for  classic and understated. It will work every time! And if you are a teen or twenty something reading this it is great advice for you too!

4. Skin - keep it well hydrated and never totally tanned. A light natural sunny glow is one thing, but those deep dark tans are actually making you look beyond your years. A nice sunny glow enhanced with some light bronzer dusted over your forehead, down the nose and chin, across the apples of the cheeks, and then a bit over your collarbone. Keep well hydrated and use lots of creamy yummy smelling lotion. Youthfulness isn't just about looks it's also about smelling delicious! Not too much but enough to elicit comments from close passerby's that you smell "SO GOOD' or "SO DELICIOUS". I get those and it's because of my perfume mixed with the scent of my lotion.

5. Alright, now that we have the beauty part covered we can move onto getting dressed. Again the same rule applies here as it does to all the rest. Understated elegance!! It's gonna take you far into the land of looking well below your age. Clothing should never be over the top as in bedazzled, lots of shiny, lots of frilly, or lots of anything. It sounds weird but going for the simple is going for the youthful. We aren't trying to dress like we are a youth, we are just trying to give the impression of one. Two completely different things. If you have any problems with this I think the easiest thing is for you to get ahold of a J.Crew catalog for some perspective. Ignore all the nutty accessories and focus on the clothes. It's not my favorite store but if you are clueless then thats a good place to start learning.

6. Jeans - they are magical youth makers! Yes, they are and I hope you will give them a chance. Not the ones from LL Bean or J. Jill. Please, no mommy shops on this one. You've got to get hip in this area. Gap has very affordable ones that will take you miles and miles away from your old mom pants. Go in there and tell the sales girl you want hip jeans. Absolutely, no comfort fleece, velour, or stretchy comfort old lady stuff. I once was standing behind a very chic lady with the hippest jeans I was wishing I had a pair of, and very cool fitted jacket, wearing big sunglasses and a very simple good quality handbag hanging off her lower arm. I  was thinking, "oh, a hip chic California lady" (we were in Trader Joe's in L.A.), then she turned around to walk out with her bag and I realized she was way over 60. She was probably in her 70's and at that moment I vowed to aim for that classic chicness for the rest of my life. It's possible. She blew my ensemble away and I knew it! A lady way beyond me in years was hipper than me! Sometimes you have to be humbled in order to learn.

7. Jewelry - do not wear jewelry on every single available part of your body. I know this is sounding like a broken record but keep it simple and never ever ever wear matching jewelry sets. Youthfulness is wearing your favorite piece and then downplaying the rest. Avoid big chunky necklaces and crazy earrings. Do not wear loads of rings, do not wear earrings all the way up your ears, and do not wear toe rings. I know you might want to but it's not gonna help with the de-aging.

8. Accessories - No fakes here! Meaning no faux designer bags and the like. This is the one place only second to shoes that you should invest some money. Your bag should be such good quality and understated enough that it will last you many seasons without going out of style and aging you. I see so many older women carrying around the fake stuff thinking that they will look young cause it's what the kids have. Remember we aren't copying the kids we are just trying to give the impression of youthfulness. And although it may seem to go against what seems logical this works. Get an idea of whats current by looking in some fashion mags or window shopping. Ignore the blingy, bright over the top stuff and go for simple, classic, toned down. If you are on a budget and really can't afford it then you need to hit up Forever21. They have great bags in faux leather that could very well take you through until you get that dream bag. Please, try really hard not to wear the fake designer sunglasses. If all you can buy is cheap then get the ones that aren't trying to copy a designer logo on them. Cheap and tacky will be your enemies of youthfulness. It's just how it is.

9. Shoes - this is the one thing that could kill all your efforts from one through eight if you get it wrong. Shoes tell all your secrets when left unattended. This is surely the most complicated part of the whole thing. So, listen carefully and maybe we can get you walking to your goal with victory. First of all crocks are a death kiss, second so are running shoes, thirdly nothing clunky from the 1990's. I can't stress this enough your shoes need to be in style to now and not bought on the sole purpose of comfort. Yes, they should not kill your feet but thats only after they have passed the fashionable test. Yet again if you are clueless about where to even start Banana Republic and J.Crew are a great place to learn by looking. They are basics that keep to what is current and to all ages.

10. This is the most important one of all and it's the most fun. It's you! Yes, you and your spark for life, that twinkle in your eye, your ability to ejnoy talking to anyone from ages 2 to 100. You aren't saying stuff like I'm too old for that or I'm too young. You are always the right age to jump right in and have loads of fun living your life with anybody who just happens to be around you. Hey, I used to walk to the mall when I lived close by it before we moved. Only kids do that right? Nope, I do that cause it's fun and I'm getting exercise and I'm not caring that I could easily drive. This kind of thinking is the secret to youth. In this one thing acting just like a youth is totally and completely just the thing to do. Play! Have parties and get silly, indulge in your inner child and then indulge in your inner woman and then indulge in your passions. Do fun things you love. You have to let the old fuddy duddy go. Just let it go and feel the freshness of life burst in. It only ever stops when we take our last breath until then we have the ability to feel as a fresh new youth as long as we keep ourselves constantly breathing in all those fresh new opportunities to live!  When you feel youthful you unlimately will look youthful too. It's probably at least 30 - 40% of the equation.

I hope this was helpful and I hope you don't dismiss it as vain or something like that. This is about bringing happiness to you on the inside and out. Confidence will open all those doors to the unknown you might have kept shut otherwise. Where do they lead to? You'll never know until you walk down that hallway and turn the knob. It just might lead to something like self fullfillment.

I'm so in love with being a girl even though I know I'm a woman... self fulfilling? You bet!


  1. I tried to make a comment on this post a couple days ago but I must've missed a step because it didn't post....so, if my first comment does show up, I apologize that this is mainly a repeat. I just wanted to say that these are all great tips and I really like your underlying message of letting the real you shine through with some subtle enhancements. I think the media puts enormous pressure on women to look a certain way. It's important for all of us to embrace our individuality and differences. Nature is pretty good at putting us together with combinations of features and parts that fit together pretty well. Work with what you have and just add some polish and enhancement as you age.

  2. Catherine, thank you so much for adding to this post with your comment! I love your down to earth insightfulness. I love reading everything you have to offer.

    I just want all women to know that there is a pretty thing inside all of us just waiting to come forth if it isn't already. When I see it being covered up or taken and tried to turn into something else when it's already perfectly great on it's own or not even being given a chance to shine I just want to grab them and help them let it come out naturally. We are all worth that care and effort. I've seen it turn shy wall flowers into busy bees of beauty!