Last month at Forever 21, I had the scare of my life. I accidently saw myself in the mirror. The irony was not lost on me. Something was very wrong with their mirrors, I thought, these are fun house mirrors. When did my cheeks start sliding below my jawline? I had too much neck and not enough upper lip. I was horrified, seriously. Something had to be done.
When I got home, I tore into Google with a fiery passion. I discovered I had four options:
- Ignore it
- Plastic surgery and injections
- Disguise it with makeups, hairstyles and accessories
- Get busy improving it and slowing the process with diet and exercise
Obviously ignoring it was no longer an option (darn it). And, I’m not ready to embrace plastic surgery or injections. What about a disguise? Reluctantly, I visited a stylist. She cut, colored and contoured my hair to suit my face. Next, I threw out unflattering necklines. Then, I sucked it up and, for the first time, visited the makeup counter (ugh). I learned how to line my lips to make them look fuller and contour to make my eyes look brighter. Not being a big fan of makeup, we took a minimalist approach. It will help to disguise my aging while I make some lifestyle changes.
On to option number four. I made the necessary diet modifications by decreasing processed foods and sugar while increasing water intake and rest. I also added vitamins C, E and Omega 3 to my diet. Then, I found Face Yoga. It is mind blowing and so simple. Anyone can do this, and in a month, I discovered you really can lift and tone your face and neck.
Fumiko Takatsu, author of the Face Yoga Method, suggests that some of our facial changes might be caused by our unconscious daily habits. Study yourself in a mirror throughout the day. I’m not going to lie, it was awful, but it was enlightening! I noted my unconscious expressions and posture. My “resting face” was not resting at all. I squint, causing crows feet and brow lines. I purse my lips when concentrating, causing lip lines. I’m even causing chin lines and droopy jowls by looking down at my computer or cell phone. I was doing all of these things without realizing it!
We have 42 facial muscles that hold everything “up” and in place. Danielle Collins, known for the 10 Minute Natural Face Lift, says Face Yoga works the hypodermis, the dermis and the epidermis. They increase blood circulation and release toxins for a healthy glow and better moisture retention. They also stimulate collagen and elastin production for smoother, tighter-looking skin. Exercises can be found in her DVD or on YouTube.
Here are a few:
- The Smile Smoother, for cheek lines and sagging skin.
Stretch the lips over the teeth while making an “O” shape with the mouth.
Then with teeth hidden, smile wide, release to “O” and repeat six times.
For additional training, hold the smile shape, place index finger on chin, move jaw up and down while gently tilting the head back. Relax, and repeat two times.
- Smooth the Brow, for forehead lines.
Invert hands on head so that fingers are splayed across the forehead, above the eyebrows. Gently sweep fingers outward to the hairline while applying light pressure to tighten the skin. Relax and repeat 10 times.
- The Giraffe, for lines and loose skin on the neck.
Look forward, place fingertips at base of neck. Lightly stroke the skin downward while slowly tilting the head back. Bring the head all the way down, chin to chest and repeat two times.
Next, stick the lower lip out as far as you can, and allow the mouth corners to pull into a frown. Point the chin up while keeping fingers lightly on the collarbone. Hold for four deep breaths.
Practice these exercises once in the morning and once at night. Naturally, this will take a little time and self-discipline. As with any exercise, results vary. Some people will see results in two weeks and others in four to six weeks. I’m excited about the improvement I’ve seen in less than a month, and I don’t intend to stop. I hope you will try this too and let me know how it goes. Stay fabulous!