Friday, 1 April 2016

On a roll with Helen Mirren

So, my new routine has been Helen-ised. Sort of. I have been so busy, not getting enough sleep, & of course this has been aided by the mosquito plague that seems to be happening. Who can sleep hearing that awful zooming sound that they make going in for the kill? I am a pacifist by nature…..however, I must confess that I absolutely do not include kamikaze mozzies in my “no kill” credo. And I do not approve of flyspray & chemicals. Alas, as I write I am doing the toxic flyspray routine in my bedroom.

And with not enough sleep, & being busy, busy, busy…my own exercise routine has lapsed. Mine is yoga sun salutes & a few poses. Some arm waving in the evening with a weird dumbbell that rattles, an exercycle that my wee legs have a hard time with (can’t reach the pedals properly!), & a plastic tubing thing for waving my legs around with. The exercycle is a loan, the tubing & dumbbell are op shop finds. The idea is to be relaxed & do them whilst I watch telly. Of course, this means that I am now watching some tv………..Plus of course, I do the odd walk each day (in theory).

But, as Helen does do exercise, & does not, I am thinking that perhaps this wee lapse is ok. She recommends starting, & it sounds as though she has simplified her xbx exercises, by doing, say, 3 sit-ups to start, the next week, do 4, increasing by 1 each week. A highly intelligent way to unstress exercise. I am thinking that this creates such tremendous guilt at only having a few exercises to do, that you actually end up doing it.

So, I shall go back to less sun salutes & build them up again…..slowly. And recommence the arm waving & stuff in front of telly, just a few times a week.

Helen says that as you get older, you need to wear less make-up, especially around the eyes. I know what she means – it can look really weird seeing someone past the first flush of youth, flouncing around with tons of make-up & eyeshadow. We need to look like ourselves, only better, which means maintenance, & staying current.

I recently went to the Body Shop (I do not like nor approve of testing on animals nor of using products that might have animal bits in them, like collagen) & told a gorgeous young woman that I wanted some youthful make-up. I said that I just wanted to look great (for me!), not “great for my age” (one of my pet dislikes). I was adamant that I did not want old-lady makeup. She sold me creamy foundation to look “dewy”, told me to keep away from powder as it looks “old”, told me I didn’t need blusher as I had cheek colour & definitive cheek bones, She said to use bronzer rather than blusher, if I wanted to go that route. And my new lipstick is a creamy, lighter, slightly softer, version of the fuchsia shade which looks so flattering on me. The new me looks younger & better. I still have wrinkles & sun spots, but I still look better. And I still wear a thin line of black eyeliner above & below my eyes. My eyes would disappear if I didn’t.

In comparison, last year I bought a full set of make-up, with blusher & powder, eyeshadows etc. All colour co-ordinated. Whenever I put it on, I felt a bit depressed. And it was because it made me look “old”, just by virtue of being old fashioned. I felt “old” too, wearing it. I bet I then acted “old”. I simply could not keep wearing it.

For our hair, Helen recommends “being bold with your cut. Really look at what young people are doing, & copy them. Don’t copy what old people are doing”. I agree. As we know, I am a hair clutz, but I sneak around hairdressers looking for younger people to do the deed with my hair. With an older person, I have had amazing cuts that just look tragic a few days after. And it always gets cut too short!! With a younger person, I have learnt that I get a better, slightly longer, & more manageable, more current, cut.

The last time that I bought clothes, a lovely young woman ran around the shop getting trendy flattering clothes for me. I bought them, because they made me look nice, And current. Last year, a stylist tried to glamorise me with floaty clothes & chunky necklaces. Both are 2 of my pet clothing dislikes, & I got quite upset. To me, they are the sort of things that “old” people wear. And floaty is just not my thing.

I so agree with Helen to be bold, look carefully at what younger people are wearing, their make-up, their hair, & step into a more youthful way of life. Helen says that she is not gorgeous, she never was, that she is just ok looking, & keen to stay that way. I like that philosophy.

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