The more I help people who want to look better for their age, the more I realise the answer to looking younger does not lie in that expensive pot of miracle cream that promises you the earth but fails to deliver.
The real answer I believe is inside each and everyone one of us and I will teach you how.
It’s all about reclaiming your younger self
Firstly, we need to have an open and honest conversation with ourselves. Our friends may often tell us what we want to hear when it comes to how we look or a new hairstyle but only we hold the truth.
In order to achieve this, we need to be entirely honest with ourselves, ask difficult questions and give truthful answers.
Find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and then another from when you feel you looked your best, this could be at any age.
Finally a recent photo from today. Draw up a list of things you like and don’t like about how you appear in each photo. It may not be a place you want to go but believe you me, it’s useful.
Often, we have all the answers on what suits us best and the easiest way to do this is to compare any changes. By looking at ourselves now and then it’s easier to spot those things you need to change but equally important to celebrate those things that you are getting right.
Always look at what suits us individually rather than change for change’s sake
Take your hairstyle for example. Be critical and honest with yourself. Does your current style still suit you? How does it suit your face shape which may have changed? What does the colour do for you?
Maybe you have changed your hairstyle but by looking back realise you prefer how you were, well then change it back! Sometimes we look back and realise that we hit on the perfect style with our hair or clothing but somehow it got lost along the way.
Be ruthless with your wardrobe
It’s so easy to hang on to items that make us feel younger. That dress you wore which is maybe a little tight but you are convinced you will get back into it one day? Yes, you might but your body shape may have changed.
Be honest does it still flatter your figure? Does it hide your weaknesses and enhance your strengths? What are your strengths? We all have them but it’s so much easier to see the negative.
Be critical and honest with yourself. Does your current style still suit you? How does it suit your face shape which may have changed?
Find outfits that enhance the positive, be that your legs for example. Hide the negatives like a tummy by keeping it stronger around the neck area and sleeves.
Distraction is a great policy. If the outfit does nothing for your figure but you feel young in it, be strong and bin it! Looking fabulous and receiving compliments is what will make you feel younger and not some emotional attachment to an outfit from the past. It’s tough love I’m afraid, but it works.
Use colour wisely
As we age colour is so important, it lifts our spirits and our face. However, it can also drain our face if you select the wrong shade. Next time you are shopping try a simple test, hold the colour up against your face and notice what it does. Some colours will drain you and make you look more tired others will soften and brighten your face and you will immediately see the effect.
There are no strict rules when it comes to colour and ageing and it’s all down to our skin tone. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with colour, if it suits your face then be bold! When wearing black, try a suitably coloured scarf or a brighter warmer lip colour to help lift things. There are companies who will charge you a fortune to select the right colours for you. With an honest critical eye, you can easily do this for yourself.
So, next time you reach for that expensive pot of miracle cream, stop and think. Are you really making the best of yourself?
It may be uncomfortable for some of us to look back in this way but by laughing at the mistakes we made and embracing the positives, we can all learn. It will become an empowering and honest journey and one you will come out of feeling stronger and more self-confident about your looks and style as you get older.
Stuart Miles is the UK’s leading ageing expert and the founder of miles younger.com