Wrinkles, droopy skin, heading south, we have all heard the metaphors for ageing and unfortunately as an older member of WATC, it saddens me to reveal that most of them are true. One true sign of the inevitable ageing process is deterioration in what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror. If you are around the age of 50+ and have found yourself looking in the mirror first thing in the morning and marvelling at the miracle of how you have started to look younger it could mean 1 of 2 things. The creams you use are actually working (and if that’s the case we all want to know what they are) or your eyes are not giving you the honest picture they once did. Now, some women in their 50’s are lucky enough to have looked after their skin throughout their life and through their own genetic make up remain youthful, however sooner or later, through sun, smoking or just years of wear and tear will mean the inevitable ageing process will catch you in it’s grip.
Over the years I have experienced the obvious signs of my face maturing, however sometimes it takes something quite unexpected to realise just how far down the line of the ageing process you really are. For me, a true sign that I had reached that so called “later in life milestone” was my need to purchase a magnifying mirror. I bought it to pluck the newly acquired white nylon eyebrows that had started to spring above my eyes like some crazy barbed wire fence. Little did I know my newly acquired purchase would reveal far more than I ever imagined. What had probably been there for the past few years was about to stare me (literally) in the face and in larger than life detail.
Upon first use, I found myself examining (in minute detail I might add !) large open pores, deep tramlines and eyebags. Eyebags so big they could easily carry a months shopping from Tesco! I had several immediate questions to my particular “mirror mirror on the wall”, who was the ageing harridan that peered in from this monstrosity of a mirror? Where was she hiding the youthful laughing girl that once was ? and why had she replaced all my good bits with failing, failed or downright ‘not fit purpose droopy bits and bobs’! Disappointed that my religious routine of 50 years of moisturising had clearly not paid off and even more upset as I realised I had finally been caught by the age monster. More worryingly, had he caught me years ago and I had only just noticed. In rebuke at my findings I sharply became a follower of anything and everything that might make a difference to the map like parchment that was once my beautiful youthful face. Determined modern day technologies could come to my aid I promptly purchased everything that contained “age re-generous”, “renew”, “defiance” or containing “pip de pip tides”.
First to sort out was those ghastly eye bags, the little pot I purchased promised to smooth the under eye skin with an elixir thus avoiding that hooded look for the upper eye area, I don’t know about hooded, more like caped and cowled. Nevertheless, I continued to use my little finger as directed and smooth and uplift, every day for 4 weeks, smoothing and lifting, however, it did not appear to make the blindest bit of difference.
I also invested in lip creams, 2 were needed to address this particular problem, an outer and an inner cream (not to be confused or you end up with a tightening effect on your lips that resembles Wallace and Gromit !) guaranteed to get rid of or at least minimise the old biddy lines, once again £20 invested and still nothing, not even a smidgen of a trout pout.
To go along with the eye cream and the now enhanced formulas of moisturisers was the terribly fashionable ‘serum’. This hopefully would provide the same sort of service as a builder uses with a one coat plaster skim to cover the cracks. Again, a major investment in terms of time and money, and yet no sign of the youth it promised to deliver.
So on reflection, almost 2 months on from buying that hideous mirror, I am sat here bathroom contains plump and prime, smooth and shine, however I am sad to say that none of it has worked. I have no other choice but to admit defeat.
I have since decided that my lines have actually become me, and despite not looking like the girl I once was, no amount of slapping on the cream at this stage of my life is going to provide a miracle I once thought I needed. My distinctive features (as I have now decided to call them) map out a 55 year old journey along life’s up’s and downs that I am just going to have to learn to live with. In fact, this little experiment has taught me something very precious. It’s made me realise that I am in fact quite happy living in this shell, and that I am just going to have to learn to love me for what I am, glorious, wonderful, beautifully maturing, me.