Hello My Darklings,
Some of you have asked what is my beauty routine, especially for an elder/elderly Goth.
Well to have a good beauty routine when you’re “old” means to establish a good beauty routine when you’re young.
From an early age my Mother instilled into me and my sister a good beauty and health routine, even when we were going through a difficult time, by maintaining that routine helped give us a measure of stability in our lives.
Lets start with teeth, teeth helps us to chew and digest our food, so having good, healthy teeth is important, proper diet to help build strong bones is the basis for it, brushing in the morning and after every meal, flossing and gum massaging is also important, regular check ups with the dentist as well.
But keeping sweets to a minimum is very important, as well as acid foods and drinks; candy, soft drinks and even acidic foods are damaging to the tooth enamel. Staying with fruits, vegetables and a health portion of protein helps.
Now this is in keeping with diet, and I don’t mean you should go vegetarian or vegan, I’ve encountered too many people who have been on those types of diets and frankly quite a number of them come across as very weird. Of course for many people being in the Goth culture may seem weird to others, but I’ve come across those not in the Goth scene who were Vegetarian/Vegan and frankly I have a tendency to stay away from them, especially when they become extremely militant about food and drink. There are limits My Darklings.
The body needs to digest a certain amount of animal protein to encourage natural insulin production and many on a Veggie diet have to take too many supplements to do that and in the long run is not healthy, so a balance diet that has a lot of fruit, veggies, some grains, a little fat and a certain amount of animal protein is important. Sad to say I’ve been acquainted with a few people who were militant vegetarians who attempted suicide with some succeeding …Mother use to say to me “If they only had a bit of cake or ice cream or a nice hamburger maybe they’d still be here”
Staying away from fast food helps, especially when they want you to super-size it, but there are times when one has no choice, but places like Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are now offering salads with bits of chicken or tuna and that is a good alternative, I have to admit when I’ve been in a rush and only a Burger King is around I get their Chicken/Cranberry salad with the apple cider vinaigrette. Avoid fried foods if at all possible.
Once every two weeks (and usually on a Sunday) I’ll prepare a number of foods and freeze them for quick cooking, but sometimes Doyle will do a meal or my sister, and having a slow cooker helps as well, so if you don’t want to always order pizza and have to work a bit late doing something like that to have healthy meals is always good, I’ve even prepared meatloaf the night before to just pop into the oven the next evening. Giving a bit of thought on food preparation helps to eat healthy.
When I was attending school, we didn’t have a school lunch program; Mother packed a healthy lunch for use, tuna fish or eggs salad sandwiches, if we had pot roast for Sunday we almost always had left over pot roast in our sandwiches, or a meat loaf sandwich or chicken salad sandwich, and it was always from something left over from a meal or two before, nothing was ever wasted, our thermos always had milk.
Mother always cautioned us to shake the thermos, if it rattled it meant that the glass lining was broken and to not drink the milk, a few times I was stuck with drinking water because some nasty boy would knock over my lunch box to break the thermos, I’d tell Mother and she would go to that child’s house and tell the parent they owed for a new thermos and tell them why. Each one of those boys never deliberately knocked over mine or my siblings lunch boxes again. It was not nice to mess with Mother.
Desert would be sliced apples, dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from browning, and everything wrapped in wax paper. Because of such hardy lunches, when we got home the only thing we’d want would be an apple or pear, and when they were in season, nectarines, apricots or peaches. We learned to love fresh fruit. But we had to brush our teeth, Mother could be a strict taskmaster.
I frequently will pack a lunch from home, it saves money, and time and I know what I’m eating. At my desk I have a pretty cosmetic bag that contains travel size toothpaste and mouthwash and well as those dental picks, I keep a toothbrush in a travel container.
When I go out I have a very small travel toothbrush that I keep in my purse to do a quick brush of my teeth in the ladies room, I’ll wet it down, go into a stall and do my brushing privately. And no matter how late at night I would come home from a date, brushing my teeth was and is mandatory. I still have my own teeth and except for the root canal work being done now, hardly any cavities.
Many people feel that if something is labeled organic or range free that it is, not necessarily, almost something that is not organic is involved, know your food source is the best motto. And if you can, get organic, if you can afford it. Process meats like hot dogs and the packaged cooked ham will have too many nitrates, so always check the ingredients on the packages.
Now that is not to say you can’t on occasion indulge in KFC or some of the others or a family/friends Bar-B-Que, you should really, as a treat, but then get right back to eating healthy. And this needs to start in childhood.
Avoid sweets such as pastry, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream and again the soda’s even Snapple, by avoiding sweets will result in the best in terms of health and prevent as much as possible weight gain…but in celebration or family gathering its fine, and again get right back on healthy eating. Now once in a while I will come down with a tremendous craving for something sweet, even a soda, but just a small amount will suffice, I’ve seen for sale those small 8 oz cans of soda and even ½ of that will tame my craving. I look upon that as an occasional treat, in celebration of something but not an every day thing.
Mother loved to bake, so if there was a bake sale, my siblings and I were guaranteed a cookie or cup cake for dessert that evening----after we did our homework.
Exercise---I cannot stress that enough, I’m not talking about running or even bicycling, just good old-fashion walking works very well, getting into a dance class to do ball room dancing is fun, fantastic and very healthy, doing some weights for the upper arms is helpful to avoid flabby under arms, if you don’t gain weight the under arms do not become flabby, exercising the abdominal and gluts as well are important. Swimming is good aerobics with mild resistance and builds up your breath in take.
I was lucky to get involved in dance, ballet and ballroom are the best and helps with being able to move elegantly, I’ve even done belly dancing as well and found moves that I didn’t know I could do. Personally it has made things interesting for me and Doyle.
Avoid exercise that can cause greenstick fractures or what is called shin splints, running does that, although at times with ballroom you could develop that, but less so because you are not dancing on hard street surfaces that you do in running or endangering your life with auto traffic when bicycling.
Getting plenty of sleep is important to allow the body to replenish itself, although many parents bemoan the fact that teens especially boys will sleep all day if they could, there are studies that show that teens, because their bodies are growing do need more sleep, but it is up to the parent to make sure they go to bed at a reasonable hour and then get them up and outside to do yard work for their health----I know a lot of you are thinking “yeah, right!” But you as the parent are the one’s to create boundaries, limits, duties they must do to earn benefits, and responsibilities, as well as being involved in family things and events..
Sleep is also important to allow the mind in the dream state to help with problem solving, and lowering blood pressure and helping with your heart rate, Meditation is excellent to relive stress, as well as living a life style that reduces stress, my parents always said to never live beyond one’s means, only have 25 percent of your income go to debt, preferably less. As one person puts it, income $20.00, expenditures $19.90 equals’ happiness, expenditures $20.10 equals’ un-happiness.
For many years I worked nights and slept days, my body eventually got use to it, but in time I discovered especially as I got older that was not a healthy routine for me, but at the time I had no choice. Trying to sleep during the day could be difficult I had to prepare my bedroom in a way so that I would not be disturbed, sleep masks, ear plugs and putting a note on my door that said “Day Sleeper, do not disturb upon pain of dismemberment and death” helped but there are some Jehovah Witnesses that discovered my wrath when I was disturbed.
When I was able to get day work my health improved, and although there are nights when I will stay up late to “howl at the moon”, at my age I can’t do that much any more and it is a wise Elder/Elderly Goth to realize that.
So being out all night and then working all day is not a good healthy routine, but if you are a natural night person, that is fine, but do take vitamins to compensate for the lack of sunlight and for the fact that your hours are reversed.
During my work day, no matter what I allow at least 15 minutes to relax to do my prayerful meditation, no calls, no conferences, this is especially good in the afternoon after I do that I will eat a bit of fruit to appease the “hunger gods”. I’ve also found that by taking time when I get home from work to do the rosary, before I do anything else, also relieved the stress from work, if you are not Catholic then 15 minutes of quiet meditation and deep breathing will help clear your mind but your life partner also needs to be on board with this. Lots of times when allowing to do that it avoids angry confrontation and any disagreements can be talked about in a calm manner. Those 15 minutes can be vital.
Avoid tanning, or being out in the sun too much, a lot of people love to be in the Sun especially during the summer but if you are then use a wide, wide brim hat, long sleeves, a parasol and high SPF sun screen. Neutrogena has sunscreen that is up to 100 and 110, I use it and I swear by it.
When I want to work outside in the garden I get up early and work out there until 10 a.m. then I do not go back out until after 4 p.m. This is especially true during the late Spring, Summer and early Fall hours.
I also wear gloves, light cotton gloves for summer, heavy ones during the cold months, to protect my hands, I use dishwashing gloves when I’m hand washing anything, gardening gloves for working in the garden and I wear the cheap cotton throw away gloves that are used by photographers and archivists, when I am dusting or cleaning house, although I do have a batch of them, what I do when they become too dirty is I wash them like I’m washing my hands, rinse and hang them to dry. I also use a good hand lotion on my hands during the day and at night.
Having a good mani-pedi cure even without using nail polish is important especially to work cuticle cream into the areas around the nails, I work cuticle cream into my nails as part of my nightly beauty routine, and one should always be watching for any signs of infection or nail fungus especially with the toes is important to keep healthy nails. I make sure to avoid calluses on my feet especially the heels, using a pumice stone and massaging a foot cream designed for the heel area is always good.
I use Dove soap for sensitive skin for bathing and Aveeno skin cream, for facial lotions I use products by Estee Lauder and their Clinique line.
For hair I have used Pantene products, but once when I was on a business trip (I was forced to fly) I could not pack my hair products, the store that I went to did not carry Pantene (how primitive) but only cheaper products. They did have Suave, and I found that they worked just as well if I bought the upper line of Suave products, since I had to travel light on my return trip, I left them in my hotel room with a note to House Keeping that I could not travel with them and keep my luggage under the weight limit and they were welcome to them.
In cosmetics I’ve found products by the Estee Lauder and Clinique line to work very well, I do use Almay and Physicians Formula, Physicians Formula also has a pearlizing powder that does very well to soften the face and give a glow to it. It is especially good for the evening and gives a shimmer effect. Just be careful of the amount one puts on one’s face.
One cosmetic line that I’m very fond of because they are naturally made is Besame Cosmetics, all of their face, lip and eye products reflects the colors and packaging of the 1930’s and 40’s although they have come out with two lip colors that reflect the 1920’s, their Black Licorice lip gloss is wonderful, as well as their Red Noir. Their products were used for the latest “The Great Gatsby” movie. I’ve included their link on my side bar. Their packaging is so wonderful and elegant perfect for a Goth, or a Film Noir Fan.
I cannot tell you what is a good face cleaning program but I have used facial scrubs and astringents when my face becomes too oily, but as one gets older the face does change, and I make sure that I change my facial program as well.
There is one thing that I use that my Mother use to use and that is a product called “Porcelana” to lighten any brown spots on one’s face and give even skin tone, but I noticed that for Mother it seemed to keep her face youthful even when she was well into her 80’s. I started using it in my mid-teens with Mother’s permission and it seems to help me. It is also important to apply a moisturizer to one’s neck area to lessen the look of a crape neck.
In applying makeup---I do use red lipstick but I stay with colors that work for me, the lighter brighter reds were fine when I was young but now I seem to be using the deeper darker reds, it all depends upon one’s complexion, the Berry reds can look good on some women but not all, even though they maybe the current fashion.
Always remember to apply makeup to look natural and lightly if possible, too heavy a makeup on an elder/elderly Goth looks clownish or overly theatrical. And remember what looks good on a 20 or 30 something may not look good on a 50 or 60 something, unless it’s Halloween or a costume party then the sky is the limit.
On eye shadow I only apply color to the crease of my eye, keeping the area under the brow a light color as well as the eye lid, during the day I use a matt color and in the evening an iridescent, as long as it does not collect in any creases. If that starts happening then it is time to consider something else. A color that complements your eye color is always good.
I also apply a moisturizer that is geared for the delicate area under the eye as well as the lid; I do under the eye in the morning and both the lid and under the eye as part of my bedtime routine; I’ve been doing that since my late teens.
On eye liner, again one has to consider the shape of one’s eye, a cats eye line may not work for everyone, I’ve found that if I do a slight lift just short of the outside end of my eye that seems to work for me.
I did talk about nail polish in another post for Elder/Elderly Goths as well as in home decorating for those who are now reaching a point in their lives when being mobile is difficult. Please check my back posts.
Keeping hydrated is very important, I try to drink almost a liter bottle of water everyday; because my special indulgence is coffee with hazelnut creamer I try to offset the dehydrating effects of coffee and even when I drink wine by keeping hydrated.
Because of my back injuries it has been hard for me to exercise, but my therapists has come up with exercises that I can do and since my back is much stronger I can start swimming again, and hopefully in the next two months go back to doing my dance classes, but I’ll have to go back to beginner again to get back the tone that I have lost, I was able to keep up with the upper arm exercises. Doyle will be glad; he’s been missing our date nights for dancing.
Have I ever had a face lift? Well so far no, but that is not to say I haven’t considered it, but even now I don’t feel the need for it. Except maybe for a little upper lid eye lift, and a slight neck skin lift, nothing extreme just a little, sometimes the upper eye area will start pouching down and a little removal is not bad, also under the eye pouching, like saddle bag pouches, now I do not suffer from that but a friend of mine did. She went to a highly recommended plastic surgeon and he said “just a little, remember you are mid-50 something not 20 something, it will be just to make you look better but not necessarily younger” and he was right, the saddlebag pouches were removed and she did look better, and although he cautioned her that it was not going to be a youth renewal, she did look younger, I think by cautioning her to not have great expectations, her realization with the final outcome was much better for her.
Extreme cosmetic surgery for Elder/Elderly Goths I do not recommend, and I do not recommend liposuction. The mother of a rap singer did that when it was recommended that she not do that and the poor woman died because of her vanity. And look at the face of Kenny Rodgers, one can hardly recognize him. No, if one is considering surgery just a little lift to look a little better, but remember your age.
Even Joan Collins at age 79 looks FANTASTIC! But she doesn’t go to extremes.
So when I’m ready I’ll consider it.
I think by following what I do, keeping well covered, using hats, parasols, sunglasses and sunscreen has been very helpful for me to keep a youthful looking skin. I’ve had people mistake me for being in my mid-forties, and in the evening with very soft light I’ve had a few young men think I was in my late 30’s, although I think that might not happen so often anymore, but when it does I’m flattered.
I do take vitamins and Iron, my doctor has also increased my vitamin D3 intake to 2000 units once a day for my bones, since I do avoid the sun.
I am tall about 5’ 7”, slender, with dark almost black hair with a little gray although I do have a natural gray streak over my right side, my hair is straight and still thick, my eyes are greenish with some brownish flecks, and yes I do have to use glasses now a days for reading. And Sunglasses with a good high UV rating is a must, I wear them anytime I’m outside, it reduces the chance of developing cataracts.
My eye lashes use to be thicker but over the years have thinned a bit, my eye brows are almost shaped like Gloria Holden’s in “Dracula’s Daughter” I started shaping them that way when I was a teen and they’ve remained that way though all the fashion changes. Why? Because for some reason the style seems to suit my face, but its always wise not to have one’s face “frozen in time”, one has to make reasonable changes.
It is wise to always know what sort of shape your face is, is it square, diamond shaped, round, rectangular, triangle, or oval shaped, is it long or short, is your forehead and chin broad or narrow, are your eyes, large, small, too close together or far apart, is your neck long or short, thick or thin, as well as the shape of your body, one make-up or hair style maybe fine for one shape of face but wrong for another. So as you age check the shape of your face, neck and body.
And that is another thing I recommend, besides regular check ups with your dentist also have regular check ups with your doctor and eye care physician, by doing that you will always have a base line for your health as you age and can take steps to keep yourself healthy.
I wash my clothing in any hypo-allergenic laundry soap that is fragrance free, I started with “All” but “Tide” and “Gain” has come out with laundry soaps for sensitive skin as well. Although I do know of people who have extremely sensitive skin and need to get their products from a specialty source.
As one gets older things do begin to sag a bit, and there can be a little weight gain, it is not unusual for women who have been slender all their lives to have anywhere from a 5 to 10 pound weight gain, I’ve been able to keep close to my college weight, but there are some women I’ve encountered who are angry they cannot get down to their high school weight.
Wake up I say to them, even in High School you have not attained full growth, I was surprised when I grew another two inches in college, that surprised me. It also explained why my bone joints ached so much in college. I do use a light weight garter belt support for my tummy area, even though I do abdominal work on that area. And I never wear pantyhose, or thong panties, they are an invitation to an infection in an area one does not want to have.
I’ve had some people ask me about dying one’s hair, I feel that is a personal preference but I do recommend that you have a professional do it, especially if you also perm your hair, then the professional can time when to do your color and your perm. Mother kept dying her hair until she turned 80, then she said she might as well “Let it all hang out”, but Dad got upset and asked her to start dying it again and so she did “as long as we can afford it” she said.
I’ve never dyed my hair although my sister does, but she chooses a color that matches her original hair color to not be so obvious. And she looks younger than me well she is younger by 5 years. But because she follows the same routine as I do she has been able to keep her youthful appearance, in spite of having lovely two daughters and they too follow the same routine as their mother.
Most of my maintenance beauty routine is at night, I have my favorite programs, but since I have to get up early in the morning, I’ll be watching my later night programs in the bedroom while I’m doing my beauty routine, and since my bathroom is adjacent it is not a problem for me, even Doyle is use to it. In the morning it’s cleaning and preparing my face for makeup, everything is laid out ready to use, in the evening, if we are not going out or having visitors, I will remove my makeup and clean my face to allow the pores to breathe. On days where I’m not going any where special, I will only use moisturizer and Sun Screen and lipstick. And I always wear perfume, it is my signature. The only time I avoid perfume is if we are picnicking in the wilds, don't want to attract mosquito's.
And I will do some exercises to keep my body toned; one can do it while watching T.V. or the news, but before my back injury I would take a dance class at least one evening a week just to keep myself in shape, during the summer I go to an indoor pool for swimming, and take at least two dance classes during the evening, I walk to and from the bus stop, to BART or go bus to the Ferry and then walk to my job, even in the rain. Walking in the Evening with Belladonna is also good and on the weekend I walk her early in the morning and at night. Doyle has gotten into the habit with me, especially at night.
Being in a routine is very important for health, beauty, maintenance of one’s clothing and one’s mind. Taking time to enjoy the simple things in life helps keep a mental and physical balance as well, living within one’s means is important as well as saving for emergencies, to prevent stress, for I believe that besides not enough rest, an improper diet, the biggest killer of one’s health is Stress, so relieving that stress is so very important.
But I think I inherited excellent DNA because I hardly have any gray hair except for that streak and very few wrinkles.
Another thing one should consider, and it can help to make for healthy choices, some women are not meant to look like twigs, and some are naturally “jolly” in shape, but it’s always best to be at the weight that is healthy and best for you. If being overweight runs in the family, accept that but avoid becoming obese, accept the fact that you are a size 14 or 16 and will never be a size 2, if you are a healthy size 14 or 16, stay in shape, eat healthy then you have no complaints.
One of my favorite programs is “Criminal Minds” and I love the character of Penelope Garcia, she is not a size 2, more of a 14 but she is smart, lovable, compassionate and quirky. I like that. I’m glad that they chose an actress to display those special qualities is pretty and is not a size 2.