Just because I don’t talk about being forty very often doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten—far from it. I don’t make a big deal of it, but it would be a shame not to share with you the secret all women end up discovering one day or another—a secret being forty has taught me: life is right now.
And beauty, since that’s what I want to talk to you about today, is also right now.
It’s surprising. I’ve never paid more attention to my beauty and health as I do today. It’s probably a combination of things—a desire to feel good, to make my guy happy, and the awareness that ultimately, whichever way you look at it, beauty counts. That the connection between what you are inside and outside counts. That when you feel comfortable in your own skin, as superficial as it might sound, you’re better. Happier. And the time spent taking care of yourself is never a waste. Well, unless you’re doing contouring. Ha! I’m kidding.
And as time goes on, the more I observe. Young people, less young people, gorgeous people and people who are less spoiled by nature. Perfectly manicured people and people who barely wear any makeup. People who move with ease and people whose every movement seems restricted, like they’re apologizing for existing.
And every time, what I remember isn’t the details. What I remember is their glow. You can have a glow at any age, at any weight or type of nose, but that glow is what changes the energy of a room as soon as you walk in. You can be glowing at sixty or your light can be out at twenty—and even though it’s true that youth has its own, special, beautiful thing, it’s time to stop glorifying it and freaking out about every birthday: unlike what people want us to believe, youth isn’t everything.
This year, I started taking better care of myself. I don’t know if you remember, but it all started with my trip to LA, which profoundly inspired me. I think subconsciously, I started cultivating my own glow there.
So there you go! Today I wanted to share what I learned with you, and the little things that make me feel (yes, already! And it’s only just the beginning!) much better and yes, sometimes even feel like I’m glowing.
- I got into Pilates and I’ve stuck with it. I’m that annoying girl who’s super into it. I go two or three times per week and do videos at home, and after two months, I already see a huge difference. I’m much more toned, of course. But the thing I like the most is that my posture has completely changed and I’ve even gained a sort of self confidence I never knew I had. It’s like Pilates subtly changed my whole way of doing things—it’s actually what made me realize (more than yoga for some reason) how much what’s on the inside is deeply connected to what’s on the outside.
- I’m learning to say no. Notice I didn’t say “I’ve learned” – I think it’s going to take some time for me to really learn how to protect myself from my desire to please everybody. But even just that – knowing how to say no, “I’d rather not”, saying when something doesn’t work for you, getting some distance from people who don’t feel right – it’s a micro-revolution. Because when you have the courage to say no, you realize that, rather than being put off, people actually soften around you. They don’t leave, they don’t get angry. They do things differently. They develop a more respectful relationship with you. Everyone comes out of it a better person.
- I’m learning to listen to my body. It’s crazy. I never, never knew how to listen to my body. I’m a big girl, I’m solid, inside and out, or at least that’s what I thought. Until I let myself get eaten up by work. Until I hurt my back. It’s much better now, and I’m learning to listen to my emotions and sensations. Anything from scanning my body to see what physical reactions I have to certain foods (hello third coffee and heart beating 200 miles an hour!) to listening to my sadness, my anxiety, or my joy. Little by little, I’m realizing my body has its own, more intuitive intelligence, and it’s often superior to my intellect which is saturated with all kinds of preconceived ideas, analysis, and obligations.
- I’m learning to sleep. I’ve always been a light sleeper: I fall asleep like a log, but I’ll wake up if there’s even the slightest light, or the tiniest little creak. And when I sleep badly, I’m the opposite of chill. First of all, you can see it in my skin, and also, I have zero patience, and I can’t concentrate as well…it makes me want to drink coffee & stuff myself with sugar to feel energized – it’s not great. So I’m trying to get organized. Amazing sheets, black-out curtains (heaven), earplugs…
When I sleep well, I’m two thousand times more myself, two thousand times more present, two thousand times calmer, two thousand times happier.
- I look at my skin. No, really. It’s another thing I hadn’t ever taken seriously. I used to think I had really sensitive skin. But actually, that’s not the case at all. It’s just sensitive to certain products, that’s all. Shirley, my dermatologist, noticed right away: “there are way too many active ingredients in the cream you’re using, your skin is tired!” and that’s especially true when you try out tons of different beauty products all year long. I still test different products, but I stop at the slightest sign of redness or discomfort. When that happens, I always come back to rose oil (Kypris – Beauty Elixir One) or Pomega capsules, which have only two or three ingredients and one simple mission: hydrating your skin. And now I can honestly say, my skin is less irritated, softer, and more luminous.
- I’m learning how to do my makeup. It’s all thanks to Tatyana, my makeup artist (I don’t have someone do my makeup every day, okay, but when I have a photo shoot, she’s the first person I call), who’s been teaching me little by little. She is incredibly talented and every time she does my makeup, I feel like a top model and send everyone selfies, super annoying. In the series “I get yelled at by professionals” the first time she saw me, she said: “no, your makeup isn’t right at all – you’re hiding the texture of your skin, it’s weighing everything down! Let me show you.” Since then, I’ve changed the makeup I’m using and the way I do my makeup – everything. I wear makeup every day. And I’m super happy with it.
- And one really, really silly thing that works every time: I try to stay on track with my mani-pedi-wax schedule. Yes, even in the dead of winter, feeling polished makes me feel good. Add to that a little teeth whitening once a year, and a skin treatment every now and then, and I feel strangely amazing.
I feel like a woman! Like, a real woman who respects herself. Or something like that, it’s hard to put your finger on, but I recommend it highly. And honestly, all of this has just come from deciding to take my beauty and health seriously. Crazy. All of these things are really slowly changing me, and I think it’s giving me a lot more presence, and a lot more glow. It’s really easy to see in photos (with the work I do, I often have my picture taken, which is, eeeeeeeehhh not something I wanna complain about but) but it teaches you a lot of things about yourself. You can see it right away on the screen — the days when your face is closed off, and the days when you’re glowing.
I still have a lot of things to figure out, and the first one is how to eat better. It’s incredibly difficult to do, especially because I hate anything that seems extreme, and I hate diets. And I’m addicted to chocolate and peanut butter. And I eat when I’m stressed. I’ve already quit smoking, and I drink three times less, but with food, it’s not easy. Especially with a boyfriend who cooks like a God (couldn’t wait to slip that one in!)
Except when I’m partying, of course. Then, I don’t try to listen to myself too carefully – and that’s a good thing. I don’t want to become a monk, I just want to feel good and honor my temple (hahhaha just kidding. nah. I don’t actually talk like that. YET.)
So we’ll see about my eating habits. All things in good time, balance can’t be forced. And the important thing isn’t really the result. It’s what you do—the action you decide to take, right now in this moment.
Translated by Andrea Perdue