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  • JD Harper

How To Look Ten Years Younger & Ten Pounds Slimmer: Techniques I Use To Trick the Eye!


Photo credit: Constant Contact

Recently I was “on the town” with a friend, and we had a young gentleman approach our table and strike up a conversation. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will share with you that he believed me to be in my early 40’s, gray hair and all: this from a close to but not quite yet 30 year old. I won’t mention that it was a low light venue, nor did he appear to be inebriated. My friend and I had a good laugh once he was far from our presence which was quite quickly when we shared with him that we were in our early 50’s. I share this story with you because I’m not gonna lie, it was fun to have a much younger person appreciate me in this youth obsessed world. But the real reason for joy at this occurrence is as I have said before, it re-enforces my knowledge and belief that how I choose to live my life: what I eat, products I use, how I exercise and with whom I surround myself is paying off!

Actual photo from the night "on the town"

The next day, I analyzed the aforementioned scene and was reminded of the 1992 movie, “Death Becomes Her,” staring Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis. The focus of the film is on two beautiful rivals who drink a magic potion that promises eternal youth, but when they physically die, they experience some unpleasant side-effects as they become walking, talking corpses who then employ the talents of a now defunct plastic surgeon, Ernest, working as a reconstructive mortician, played by Bruce Willis, to keep them looking “fresh.” Well, I certainly have not drunk a “magic potion” but some “trick the eye” techniques that I employ have me feeling like Bruce Willis’, Ernest, on any given day.


Here are four that I use with my make-up routine:


#1: Fill in and darken my eyebrows-When we are young, our eyebrows are thick, full and darker, but as we age, they tend to lighten (i.e. turn gray=horrors!) and thin, especially if we have tended to “over-pluck” them when we were younger. I use Ulta Beauty eyeshadow (made in the USA!): Vampress applied with an Elf eyebrow duo brush.



#2: Use a honey-toned eyeshade on my upper lid just under the brow line to brighten the eye area giving the illusion that the eye is lifted because we all know this area starts to sag with age. I consider it my eye-lift without the knife. I use Merle Norman eyeshadow (made in the USA, too!): Vanilla Mousse.



#3: Use an illumination powder under eyes and across forehead to “blur” the fine and not so fine lines. The powder reflects the light making those pesky lines less noticeable-think of it like those fancy diffuser lights used on all the celebs. I use Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

#4: Use a bronzer along jaw line and down neck to create the sharp lines of youth-this is the same technique make-up artists use on models to “enhance” those 6-pack abs. I use Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting: Tahitian Glow.


In regards to appearing slimmer: improving your posture is all you need to do and this starts with awareness of your body in space. Gravity, although great for keeping objects from floating out to space, can wreak havoc on our bodies when it comes to posture as it is constantly working to push us to the ground and why the forward head, rounded shoulders, sway back (which enhances the belly by making it project forward), stooped posture is so prevalent, and today’s world of technology isn’t doing anything to help us, rather it enhances the already bad habits of our upright beings, pulling us further into the forward head, rounded shoulder, sway back/forward projected belly, stooped posture.


Photo credit: backinmotion.co.nz

A great way to become aware of your posture is to, and this is where the technology is good, ask someone whom you are comfortable with to take a picture of you with your phone from the front, sides and back, preferably in a swimsuit/undergarments so you can see your body really well for comparison purposes later (hence why you want someone you are comfortable with, and yes, if you were to see me in the clinic, I would have you put on a sports bra and ugly athletic shorts). If your posture is less than ideal, you will immediately see the forward head, rounded shoulders, sway back/forward projected belly, and stooped posture. Next you will “improve” your posture, moving toward “optimal posture” by tightening your tummy (core muscles): it’s the movement you do when you zip up a pair of pants, especially, if they are a bit snug but DON’T hold your breath– breathe normally! (Can you hear the PT coming out in me?) Once you tighten your core it will feel like you are clenching your butt, and that’s ok because that means you have engaged your gluteal muscles which are part of the force couple along with the core muscles that keep your pelvis in “ neutral “ and optimal alignment for upright posture purposes. Next tuck your chin so that it is parallel to the ground, and pull your shoulders back and down so they align over your hips. Now, ask your “person” to take another series of pictures from the front, sides and back while you are in optimal posture and compare the images. Blaze the images into your brain of what poor and optimal posture looks like for you. Appreciate how your body feels as you move back and forth between the two postures because these feelings will become your feedback system. As you move through your days, start incorporating postural awareness into your daily routine – set a reminder (i.e. use your smart phone to set an alarm, place a red sticker on your computer screen or place a drop of colored nail polish on your watch: anything that will remind you of your posture when you see it) to check your posture every waking hour on the hour and made adjustments as needed. We set a schedule for everything else in our lives, why not for us, isn’t our health and well being something we should schedule first and foremost? Think about that for a moment. I won’t lie, it’s hard becoming aware of and improving one’s posture at first and it is uncomfortable because the soft tissues on the front of your body have become shortened and tightened and on the back of your body, lengthened and weakened. But the good news is that being consistent with postural checks will soon translate to your body automatically doing its own checks and now when you fall into poor posture, you will become uncomfortable and immediately correct your posture subconsciously. Now for the really good news: proper posture pulls in the abdominal area making you look up to ten pounds slimmer immediately!!! And who doesn’t want to look slimmer?


Photo credit: backinmotion.co.nz

So, now you know my tricks. I suspect the next time you see me, you’ll subtly try and check them all out, and that’s ok! I welcome the assessment. Have fun, y’all!


#posture #techneck #mouseshoulder #PT #physicaltherapy #DeathBecomesHer #GoldieHawn #MerylStreep #BruceWillis #eyebrows #chattanoogablogger #loveyourself

#merlenorman #ulta #lauragellar #lauramercier #elfcosmetics




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