Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

 We all have the desire to look and feel young, especially once we hit our thirties and forties.  This is the time when the physical aging process begins for many, and typically those with lighter skin and eyes.  I suppose I can call myself one of the lucky ones to possess the resilient olive skin of my Mediterranean blood.  I can only imagine how much better my skin would look today if, even despite my genetically blessed skin, I believed that I would actually age one day. I’m not complaining because I definitely look around and see other women my age and boy if I didn’t know them, I would mistake them for someone’s Grandmother. 

I’m not writing this to criticize as we all know that beauty is only skin deep….or is it, if we are all so concerned about it?  The bottom line here is; what should we be doing now to, “save face?”  I decided to share some family secrets and some of my own personal experience.   

Looking back, it was no secret that my late Father had a love affair with his cameras.  We not only have thousands of photographs but we even had a dark room in our basement to prove it.  My father caught every Kodak moment with his 35 millimeter Nikon camera collection (which explains why I am not camera shy).  When my parents were still married, my father photographed my mother’s every waking moment.  It was evident from the photos he took and the way she looks at 72, that she always coveted her skin.  My mother religiously wore a hat and still wears one to this day.  I can recall a photograph of my mother watering the lawn, hose in hand in an elegant sunny yellow pool cover up and a big straw hat and chic oversized Diane Von Furstenburg-esque sunglasses (as a child, I hated those hats my mother wore and begged her daily to take them off).  I have endless photos of my mother on my dressing table, nurturing and putting on her “face.”  I aspired to look as good as she did and secretly; even better.  I watched her every fashion and beauty move, I relished those photographs.  In her heyday, my mother was glamorous.
My Mother
My Mother
As I was approaching my forties, I began to look back even farther.  My grandmother Josephine (my mother’s mother) was beautiful.  My mother was her spitting image.  I can recall when my grandmother would sleep over she always had a special pillow.  I remember how she would sleep.  She had two positions, one on her side with her two hands gently clasped resting on the pillow and her hands under her ear. The other position was flat on her back.  I remember my Grandmother saying, “A woman should always sleep on her back.”  (At the time I thought it was just to protect her neatly jet black, fresh out of the “beauty parlor” coiffed up-do). I didn’t get it then, but I definitely get it now.  My grandmother, God rest her beautiful soul, was preserving her beauty. 

When that light bulb finally went off in my head, after reminiscing over my mother’s photos and recalling my grandmother’s unusual sleeping positions, I began to ponder and do some experimenting myself.  I started wearing big straw hats daily by the pool and an athletic cap as I ran, played tennis or golfed.  I realized that the sun, although a friend providing us with vitamin D, was really public enemy number 1. 

Well guess what?  My experiment was a success and my face took on a whole new meaning.  The cute freckles that began setting in from the sun were never to be joined by any new ones because of the hats and my squinting was minimized so much from the addition of the sunglasses that my expression lines began to disappear.  When it came to sleeping, I changed my pillow to a down one that I could form fit with my neck if I slept on my side and didn’t allow my face to touch the pillow or bed at all, only  my ear.  On other nights, I slept on my back. 

I woke up each and every morning without those scrunched up lines on my face and a crooked lip I would get from sleeping on my face so hard (that sometimes took hours to go away).  You know those mornings when you look in the mirror and question if you had mini stroke (God forbid)?   Oh and I left out something I saw in the Mommy Dearest movie that has stuck with me until this day.  Joan Crawford would submerge her face in a pool of ice and water in the bathroom sink to shock it.  Well, I don’t go to that extreme but it did inspire me to only wash my face with ice cold water.  Think about how dehydrating hot water is.  I wash my face and hair last in the shower with cold water.

What is the moral of my story?  Take my advice and protect your assets, especially if you think your best asset is your face.  Don’t wait until it’s too late and the damage is irreversible.  Don’t let your lack of self confidence stand between you and your hat. Take cover now because imagine how much more insecure you will become with a face full of wrinkles and sun spots.  Think about your sleep habits and how they are affecting your face and follow my plan.  It really and truly gave me miraculous results.  But what I want most for you is to be able to say to yourself everyday when you look yourself in the eye, “mirror mirror on the wall, I AM the fairest of them all!”

I would love to hear about your results and share them as part of my blog testimonials!
Time for my beauty sleep,

Jamie Gottschall

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