Budget-friendly ways to turn back the clock

Look Younger

by Tricia Goss

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It can be upsetting when you look in the mirror and your parent stares back at you. There is nothing wrong with aging (consider the alternative!), but looking a bit younger than your years can improve your self-esteem and overall optimism. You do not have to resort to drastic or expensive procedures like plastic surgery to feel better about your appearance. In fact, there are a number of age-defying tips you can employ that cost little to nothing.

Start at the top. The right hairstyle can subtract years from your appearance. For women, hair that is longer than chin-length looks more youthful than a cropped bob or a short, severely angled style. If you prefer a shorter do, select a style with longer, softer layers. Snipping bangs can snip years off your face, and pulling hair back into a high bun or ponytail can give it an instant lift.

If you are a man experiencing extensive hair loss, consider shaving your head. A smooth shaven head will take some effort to maintain, but costs no more than shaving cream and a razor and can shave ten years off your appearance. Plus, think of all the money you will save on shampoo and other hair care products!

Many products in your kitchen can help your hair look younger, too. Coffee and tea can enhance the natural color, cover some grays, and remove brassiness or dullness. For darker hair, pour some strong black coffee onto the hair. For lighter hair, use strong chamomile tea. Make sure the brew is cool before applying. Comb through, let it stand for about twenty minutes, and then rinse.

Dull, dry skin can add years to your face. Exfoliating sloughs this skin away and can reduce the appearance of fine lines. There is no need to purchase a pricey facial scrub or abrasion machine to achieve this affect. Chances are that you have an exfoliating tool in your bathroom right now: a plain, ordinary washcloth. For best results, dampen your face with warm water. Take a clean, dry washcloth and rub it in a circular motion all over your face, avoiding the fragile skin around your eyes. Make this a weekly habit for fresher, younger looking skin.

Guys can look younger instantly by shaving off facial hair, especially if it is graying. Not only will clean-shaven cheeks, chin and upper lip give you a more youthful appearance, but shaving also exfoliates that skin, warding off dryness and wrinkles.

Give your eyelids a lift by tweezing brows into a nice arch. If your brows are over-plucked, let them grow out for at least six weeks. Do not touch them, no matter how tempting! Once they are full again, tweeze only hairs underneath and between the brows, enhancing your natural arch. Fill in any thin areas with eye shadow in a matching shade, which looks softer and more natural than pencil.

While on the subject of makeup, when it comes to looking younger, less is more. Too much face makeup will sink into fine lines and wrinkles, making them more prominent. Stop spending money on foundation and powder and opt for a tinted sunscreen in your natural shade. You should be using sunscreen daily anyway (you are, aren't you?), so this will save you money and time. If you use blush, choose cream over powder for a dewy, fresh look.

Only line the tops of your eyelids with eyeliner to make them look wider and brighter. Cover lids with a light neutral eye shadow and add an arched swipe of a darker shade just over your natural crease for a more open, lifted appearance. Eyelash curlers can be had for just a few dollars and will enhance the look of wide, bright eyes.

Perhaps the best advice of all is to face the world with a smile. Nothing makes you look younger or more attractive than a sincere, cheerful grin.

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