Q & A about being 42, wrinkles and plastic surgery

Monday 14 December 2015
beautyroutine1 beautyroutine3

Oddly enough, I've been getting a deluge of comments about my "youthful" appearance in the last two years. It all started when I hit the big 4-0. I'm not sure whether it's because I'm now considered properly middle aged or that there's a certain expectation of what a 40+ year old person is supposed to look like. It feels a little presumptuous to cover this topic as I have friends who look way younger than their actual age (check out their interviews here). In any case, let's go straight into the list of questions I've been getting.

1. Have you had any plastic/cosmetic surgeries done?
Nope. I avoid being poked and prodded unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. Some of my friends have had botox, fillers and minor surgeries with good results. Personally, it's not for me unless my face collapses overnight or something to that effect.

Here are my personal thoughts that some of you may agree or disagree with me. Cosmetic surgeries are a slippery slope unless you are disciplined and not become overly obsessed with tweaking every so called minor flaw on your face. I've seen those who started off with getting the eyes done and before long, they think their nose needed some work too. Oh heck, why not throw in some facelifts and fillers while I'm here….. It's awfully strange talking to someone whose excited voice doesn't match her expression.

2. Are you sure you're 42? Can I see your ID?
You're welcome to see my driving license though the photo with my pissed off facial expression may not be all that appetizing to look at. Don't say I didn't warn you. I'm 42. I'm getting as blind as a bat and am one step away from getting varifocals so yes….I'm definitely ageing.

3. You don't seem to have any wrinkles. 
I have fine lines. They're not too obvious at the mo but they're there if you want to eyeball my face. I'd be worried if I didn't have any lest I accidentally discover that I've been made a vampire.

DNA certainly plays a part. Asians tend to age slower but after menopause…..KA-BOOOOOM. God is fair. My grandmother, mother and I share one similar feature. A moon shaped face and very chubby cheeks.  On a good day, we look like cute chipmunks. On a bad day, we look like greedy chipmunks that had overdosed on nuts.

4. You don't behave like a 42 year old.
True. From time to time, I succumb to an intense desire to prank others. You've been warned.

Secondly, I have friends of different ages, from late teens to early 90s. It's fascinating to explore and understand the minds of different individuals regardless of their age. They keep me curious, up to date with the latest trends and push me to try a new challenge that's outside of my comfort zone. How boring is it to be proper and serious all the time?

When you've dealt with deaths, serious illnesses and trauma in your life, you learn not to sweat the small stuff nor be overly concerned about what others think of you. I'd rather be the best me that I can be.

On that note, I don't care much for labeling age with personal style either. It's like hashtagging Carine Roitfeld #over60style and Emmanuelle Alt #over40style. Why bother? Dress according to your personality, lifestyle, body shape and budget. Age has nothing to do with it.

5. What skincare products do you use?
I try to stick to natural products as much as possible. I've covered most of these in my previous posts but here they are again with a few new favorites.

I have oily T zone and dehydrated cheeks and lots and lots and lots of open pores. I finally caved in and bought the Foreo Luna Mini (15% off here with code XMAS15). It's been nearly two months and I'm so pleased with the results. I use it once a day (mostly at night) and it's reduced my breakouts and blackheads drastically. My skin's baby smooth as the tiny contraption exfoliates gently which means I no longer have to spend ££ on AHA acid. My complexion is clearer and surprisingly brighter. It's so economical as I don't have to keep replacing the brush (there isn't any) and one charge lasts for months.

I'm loving Korres White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser (15% off here with code XMAS15). It does a fantastic job of removing make up but doesn't dehydrate the skin. I tend to double cleanse at night, using Bioderma Sensibio H20 to remove my make up and then Korres White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser  with Foreo Luna Mini.

Serums and Masks
I have noticed that my cheeks and the area around my eyes are getting dryer as I get older. The lines get deeper if I'm not moisturizing enough. In winter time, I swear by Apivita Prickly Pear mask and Apivita anti wrinkle eye mask. I slather on the prickly pear mask twice a week and the eye mask every night. All the expensive eye creams that I'd bought in the past were utterly crap with the exception of this Apivita eye mask. With one application, both masks plump and hydrate my skin so much so that they actually reduce the appearance of fine lines in 15 minutes. They work like a magic eraser. The two masks are ridiculously difficult to buy outside of Greece so I've resorted to getting them via eBay.

I've been using oils on my skin for years now. They're fantastic on mature skin but may be a little too rich for those in their 20s and early 30s. Right now, I'm flip flopping between REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Skin Oil  and my all time favorite, Trilogy Rosehip Oil.

I tend to spend more money on serums than on moisturizers. I've used different ones but none gave as good result as Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizer.  My skin stays hydrated all day and actually looks brighter and dewy. I also give myself a mini facial massage every night when I'm applying the serum and moisturizer. I haven't been to a facial in years. They cost a fortune here in the U.K and frankly speaking, I can't lie still for 15 minutes without fidgeting.

6. Anything else? 
Yup. None of this is any good if there's a lot of sun damage on your face. I've always believed that prevention is better than treating the damage. Make sure you pay attention to your neck as well.

Oh and finally, Photoshop was used to increase the exposure of the photos as it was rather dark in my bathroom. I was vain enough to use the healing brush to remove a stubborn zit. As for the rest…..what you see is what you get.


  1. All my life I had chubby cheeks and a round face which I hated.... Until now! I'm 56 and look much younger because of that genetic trait! Thanks for the tips, I genuinely believe beauty comes from within as well. Be loving and kind and it will show on your face. Xx

    1. Who knew chubby cheeks are actually a blessing in disguise? You're absolutely right about being kind and loving showing on the face. There's so much pressure to look good especially now when we're inundated with beauty tutorials, that building a good character is lost in the mix.

  2. Loved this post Marlene - NO time for those stupid age related got an 'Amen Sister' when I read that. Also totally with you on the natural skincare - it's been my secret too....until the oestrogen leaves the building though...fully expecting a face fall at that stage....after which I'll be straight in that aestheticians chair lol x

    1. I'm actually really disturbed by these age related hashtags. I don't see why we need to bang on and on about age when we're putting on clothes??? I simply can't go back to using chemical laden skincare now. Hahaha….let's hope our faces don't collapse after menopause.

  3. Great post Marlene. It could be my profile and interview, I agree 100% with everything written down here, are you my twin (asian version as I am your mixed métisse version)??
    Luv ya!
    Sorry, didn't make it to London this time, events making it a bit difficult although I did go on my planned family weekend in Paris a week ago. I hope to see you next year! Bises flower71:) the forty something pal from France

    1. Freida!! Just messaged you via FB. Hope you got it. Haha…yup, I'm your Asian twin. Hope to see you sometime next year. After planning for several years, we really REALLY have to meet up.

  4. I honestly thought you were in your mid 20s! WOW!

  5. You are gorgeous and you do look very youthful. Not jealous at all!! :0) xx

  6. You look absolutely amazing! I definitely thought you were in your thirties. And bless our (in my case part) Asian DNA. You're right about getting older and no longer sweating the small stuff. I feel much more confident than I was in my twenties.

    1. Thanks so much, Jessica. Each year, we learn a little more about ourselves and others. I'd hate to go back to my 20s.

  7. You always look very fresh-faced, Marlene! I've only recently started to properly care for my skin, but I also think diet has a lot to do with it. Can't change your genes though, you lucky thing :-D xx

    1. Thank you, Becky. You look fantastic as well. I'm so envious of your lean and tall figure.

  8. Lucky you but also beautiful you!
    By the way, wish you to have some wonderful new challenges and opportunities this year. Yeah I know I am very late.
    Having met you not so long ago, I remember talking about age and ageing together. I will turn 50 next year and well, this happens!
    Yes you still look young, younger than some, but older that others, as we all do.
    I feel comfortable with my age, my skin, although well, sagging is not what I prefer obviously. But having some Botox or, heaven forbids, surgery, is not at all on my list. Even if I had, what would happen with my hormones, would they have also Botox or surgery? What about, for example, stiffer joints or less supple body or, sorry for this unglamorous but all so true, thicker and coarser hairs and thinner and less hair? Yes this happens also.
    Of course I do try my best to slow the process of ageing with, sometimes, too much stuff but, most important for me, is the way I think and to keep my balance. You have a lot of years ahead of you with different steps that are all as interesting to live as the younger ones. And sleep, and moisturise... I'll be in London next month and intend to go back to Pearl Liang: yes, although not a fan of chinese food, I owe it to you for wanting to have more.

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