Happy 57th To Me

I turned 57 a couple of days ago. I feel damn good, and feel like I look pretty good too. Like many women around my age I see on the internet, I am highly interested in keeping myself as young-looking as possible. I don’t stake my entire identity on looking young, but it is something I work toward. But not just being young-looking, but young-feeling.

So, I eat well, but I do not eat absolutely clean. There is an occasional sweet – or lots of them, but I temper those with fairly clean-healthy eating most of the time. I love to go for walks with my husband and my dogs. This gives us low-impact, cardio-vascular exercise to help keep slender and heart-healthy.

I love yoga. Particularly the meditative aspect of it. The combination of meditation with movement in yoga I find particularly powerful in keeping me centered and serene. Along with yoga, I do a series of whole-body stretches (my own routine) to keep all my limbs and joints limber and supple. I think this goes a very long way towards looking young.

Having fluid body motion with graceful-moving arms; being able to rotate my head far to the left or right without having to move my whole upper body with it, walking gracefully, go a very very long way towards having an overall youthful appearance.

I used to think that specific makeup tricks and skin care potions had the strongest impact on my overall looks. I was wrong. I now know that overall body carriage, movement, posture and demeanor, have the biggest impacts. Hands down.



UPDATE:  It has been two days since I wrote this blog and six days since I had the derma-plane procedure done. I am not happy that I still have Derma-plane “streaks” on my face (see picture below). My all-over skin appearance is good, but I don’t think it is worth the embarrassment of looking like I have pink ski-trails and blotches on my cheeks.

Six Days After Derma-Plane Procedure:


I tried derma-planing a few days ago. This is a procedure where an aesthetician uses a medical grade scalpel and scrapes off the top layer of dead skin.

I tried it at the suggestion of the aesthetician who I visit regularly. It didn’t hurt – until she put the enzyme mask on afterwards. That was painful. Fortunately she gave me a fan to keep my face cool and far more comfortable. After the mask, she performed some other magic – like another hydrating mask so that my skin was plumped before I left.

She finished with a whisk of a Japanese mineral make-up that changes color to match yours. My skin was absolutely glowing when I left her office. Out in the world the rest of the day I received compliments on my skin and how good it looked.

But then I washed my face at night and saw the raw and pink streaks that I hadn’t seen before. That was unexpected and not a pleasant surprise. I texted the aesthetician who told me that it was expected and, in fact, the procedure will have more lasting effects due to the intensity of the procedure. Hmm.

I have been looking online to corroborate her story – yet have not been able to. I trust her, she has done great things for my skin in the past, so I am definitely open to the possibility my skin will be better off once it completely heals.

I will revisit this blog page in a day or two once the healing is complete to give my final verdict.

Two Days After Derma-plane Procedure:


Dry Body-Brushing for Smoother Skin and Overall Invigoration

I get excited when I find a new beauty practice (at least new to me) that has substantial beauty benefits. Dry body-brushing is one of those which I started about six months ago and will be continuing indefinitely.DryBrush.pptxHere’s why: 1. It feels great on my skin 2. It is invigorating and “wakes-up” my whole body 3. Has resulted in my skin looking and feeling smoother, softer and more beautiful, 4. My overall health has been improved (I was the only person in my family this winter NOT to get sick) 5. It sloughs off the dull, dry dead top layer of skin, revealing a vibrant, dewy and fresh layer and 6. If done correctly, it creates excellent lymphatic drainage.

I have watched videos of how variety of people perform their dry brushing. I have developed my own style – which is different from most.

Using a very stiff natural bristle brush, I start at my feet, and work my way up each leg. But, when I start at each foot, I scrub hard in back and forth and circular motions, moving all the way up my leg. This just feels so darn good – like getting a good scratch – and is invigorating – waking up my skin.

Once I have finished the vigorous scrubbing motions on a leg, I change to fluid, straight-line motions, moving from the lower part of the leg, to an upper part. Doing this entrains the lymphatic fluid towards my heart and center of the torso – which is the natural direction of lymphatic fluid flow. 

I will do the same on my arms – beginning with the scrubbing motion, ending with fluid straight line motions from the outer parts towards the center of my body – again following the natural path of lymph fluid.

Lastly is my torso – neck, shoulders, waist, breasts, chest, ribcage and lower abdomen. Again, I scrub vigorously first, then move the brush in fluid motions from points farther away from the center of my body, or my heart, towards the center.

I do this as often as possible – at least three days a week – and then I jump in the shower or a bath. Once out of the shower/bath, I finish with a slathering of moisturizing lotion or cream all over my body.  Mmmmmm.

Orange Eye Shadow? Yes!


I am an old-fashioned lady. My makeup is almost never trendy or hip, but classic. My goal with makeup has always been to look lovelier and healthier – which usually entails looking more youthful. So I tend to stick with classic makeup colors, like browns, beiges, oatmeal, ivory, charcoal and sometimes black.

So orange was not on my radar – until now.

I met a consultant at Sephora who prevailed upon me to try this bright and unusual color. I absolutely loved the look, and have continued with it.  Orange really brings out the blue of my eyes.  It is the opposite color from blue on the color-wheel, which means it provides a perfect contrast to blue – thereby intensifying and accentuating the color of blue eyes.

My favorite palettes are Huda Beauty Coral Obsessions, and Morphe James Charles. Both palettes have beautiful, rich pigments with perfect shades ranging from coral, to orange, to golden yellow. They also combine ample matte shades with some really special shimmers and metallics.

I like to dab the metallic or shimmers in the middle of my eyelid for a brightening effect. It really makes them “pop.”

Vivid Color palettes are the most fun of all makeup – in my view. And who knew they could be so flattering.

Water Gels – My New Favorite Skin Care Products

I have been using Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel daily and it has made a significant difference in my skin. It looks plumper and more dewy – you can’t beat that! I have also tried Tatcha Water Cream – a very similar product and it is also excellent – albeit more expensive. This seems to be a genre of product that is increasing in popularity and for good reason.hydroboost1

I use my water gel at night, after my retin-a application, but before an occlusive moisturizer. After applying retin-a, I wait about 10 minutes for it to thoroughly absorb, then I pat on the Water Gel. After a few minutes, I mist my face one more time with distilled water, and apply the moisturizer.

In the morning, I apply the water gel after my vitamin C serum and my peptide-plus serum (peptides plus stem cells, ceramides, niacinamide, growth-stimulator and other results-proven goodies). This is where I enjoy the water gel most. It really softens, plumps and makes my skin look dewy and young. I then lock the moisture and the dewy look in with my tinted moisturizing mineral sunscreen.

The results: a more youthful face and a happier me!

Effects of Depression on Looks

A word about depression – which many of us sometimes fall into. It does have an unfortunate effect on our looks. Especially as we get older.nikkidown

I had a bout of depression which I am just coming out of. I was trying my best to hide my blues. I was smiling, trying to keep an upward inflection in my voice, being positive-sounding (so I thought). I stepped up my makeup application – adding extra color to help enhance my grey mood. Apparently, it remained visible to my friends and colleagues, despite my best efforts to hide it. All week people were asking me if I was sick, if I was all right, etc.

I went to my doctor after a few days of depression. It is not a condition to play around with. Especially with a family and three kids relying on me for guidance, comfort, and security. She was able to help me with some talking and a tweak of medication.

Gladly, I maintained my meticulous skincare routine. Being blue is no reason to let my maintenance routine fall to the wayside. I was sort of on auto-pilot. When I feel depressed or sick, I still have to feed the kids, clean the house, feed the animals and keep my skin healthy. So now that I am beginning to feel better, I don’t have to back-peddle to catch up on missing anti-aging and beauty rituals.

My Morning Skincare Routine

I follow my morning skin routine religiously. My choice of products is based primarily on science (as a cosmetic chemist who reads scientific journals about skin and hair care daily – and applies that knowledge on my own skin care). I also use tried and true as well as cutting edge ingredients and agents proven to improve skin.

In the morning, I start by gently rinsing off my face with a clean, wet washcloth. I let my skin air dry. Then I apply a vitamin C and hyaluronic acid combination serum. Vitamin C is an anti-aging superstar and Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that gives skin an infusion of moisture.

Afterwards, I apply my killer serum of antiaging peptides, apple stem cells, and skin-identical ceramides and a little more hyaluronic acid. I make this myself – and make it strong. One day I will get around to marketing it.

On top of this, I spritz my skin with distilled water. The water attaches to the humectant hyaluronic acid, and absorbs into my skin to infuse my skin with moisture. Next, I lock the moisture in with a moisturizer with dimethicone to lock the water into my skin.

Lastly, I apply my tinted sunscreen. It is a zinc and titanium oxide based sunscreen with a tint almost identical to my own skin to give a final lock on the moisture, and protect my skin from sun damage. It also provides a smooth and even canvas on top of which to apply the fun make-up like lipstick, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, undereye concealer, and blush.


It is an antioxidant which slows the rate of free-radical damage – free radicals are unstable molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles – it also has been proven to reverse DNA damage. which is a substance that draws moisture from the air to it. Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, give your skin an infusion of moisture. This shot of hydration is key to filling in dry lines and keeping skin supple and healthy. This combination serum (vitamin C and hyaluronic acid) is an absolute must first layer that promotes beautiful, healthy skin, and defends against damage. Next post, I will share my second layer of skin repairing and aging defense.