Cosmetic Surgery… Madonna… And More

March 25, 2014

Elizabeth Taylor - Ash Wednesday

elizabeth taylor from the film, ash wednesday 


This is how my thought process went… and sorry if it’s all too much for a Monday… but you know how it is… when the idea is there… I like to talk.

I watched a video that Madonna made to launch her new skin care line MDNA.

I have no idea what the skincare is like but I do know that I can’t truthfully say I liked the video… too over the top, too much Madonna… even for me… which is not to say that I don’t admire her… I do. She is an incredible performer, a bright energetic woman that knows no limits.

~ ~ ~

It made me ponder the question of cosmetic surgery. Madonna looks incredible, like it or not… and I don’t think her good fortune is down to genetics and nature alone.

The do I... don’t I… the if… the when… all those thoughts that we would rather not have… but if the truth be told… I suspect most of us have them, when we reach that certain age… that frontier of life where everything, except our looks, gets richer, more exciting and more wondrous.

50+ is an extraordinary time… we are wiser, more confident and most importantly… more certain.

What we want, where we want to be and what we want to do, are no longer torturous questions that keep us tossing and turning… We know the answers and we determinedly follow our path.

Except I fear when it comes to our looks.

~ ~ ~

Sadly without exception, we age… and while age is a beautiful thing… it’s confrontational.

I don’t want to look like Madonna… not for a moment… and I would like to think that I can transition these years scalpel free … embracing my flaws and rejoicing in the confidence that allows me to do that.

Will it be harder said than done? I think so… the quest for beauty is the biggest temptation of all.

As cosmetic procedures advance and catapult us forward into new territory… won’t it become harder and harder to resist the pull?

~ ~ ~

How do we resist?

Or do we want to resist at all?

Is that an old fashioned mind set… too European .

Should we embrace the technologies available to us in the New World and rejig it all?

New more open, wider eyes… pronounced cheekbones, streamlined nose… firmer jawline… less double chin…

Let’s not even start on the body.

Temptation… Indeed... Forget about the apple… this is tough stuff to fight.

~ ~ ~

Are there are alternatives?

Can we make it through this maze of cosmetic intervention by half measures?

Take a French approach?

French women are the queens of maintenance… Maintenance is key.

As a rule they don’t neglect themselves… NEVER

Their appearance is a priority… and they work on it… it’s a way of life… They don’t practise ‘quick fixes’… or instant solutions… like we err towards.

~ ~ ~

Don’t believe that they don’t indulge in surgical procedures… they do… but they take a less invasive, more subtle approach.

Think Catherine Deneuve… she is a magnificent woman who retains her beauty, yet celebrates her age. She is by no means flawless, yet she has moved into her mature years with a certain grace and elegance. Helped… for sure… but subtlely so…

French women are clever… a tweak here…a re-surface there…  a shot or two… small changes that enhance their appearance, not re-create it.

Their mantra is to look beautiful at any age… not, to look younger at each and every passing decade.

Look amazing at your age… not amazing for your age.

~ ~ ~

I could talk on and on but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 Tell me your philosophy on this tricky little subject.

There is no right or wrong answer… there should never be judgements.


I’m around to chat…  xv


watch the madonna video here

if you haven’t read forever chic by tish jett… it’s a must

in conversation with tish… here

she knows all about french women and their beauty secrets… it’s a fabulous read.

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  • Katherine Howden says:

    I suspect I wouldn’t but I could entertain just a tiny tweak!
    A subtle correction done in complete privacy, that’s how I would do it!

    • Vicki says:

      The trouble is the tiny tweak is never enough… I think once one area looks better… then the rest is shown up more… It’s a dilemma… As for the privacy issue… I think if you wish to have surgery then it is your choice and your right and best to admit to it… only if asked… If not, I would never… :)

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Good morning Vicki! I just love coming here before I go out into the work force to present myself as professionally as I can, while wearing my heels and pearls and pencils skirts! Feeling GOOD about myself at any age has been my experience. I saw my mother do it, though she died only being seven years older than what I am NOW. But my two aunts died much older, with a grace and beauty to their physical features. But I believe that on top of dressing beautifully and taking care of themselves the best they could, it was their inner confidence, WIT, zest for life and love that made them GORGEOUS women. They both were not perfect in both physical attributes and character, but they shone. They emanated a strength that I hope to continue to spread in my older years.

    I eat right, I exercise regularly, and I try to be happy. I refused myself to have any extreme enhancements….all I can do is to groom myself (loving your red lipstick tips!!!!), have a good hair cut for my graying hair (I am a diehard…I will NOT dye my hair!) and to extend my abilities and enthusiasm to the world around me. I just recently finished a small art project that is part of a Women’s Traveling Journal. It is a compilation of small art works from different women around the globe. Each artist receives it, contributes to it in any medium, then sends it off to the next artist. My contribution was a small illustration I did of Audrey Hepburn smiling. The caption I created was this:

    “The Best Facelift is a Smile.”

    For a woman with no money to spend on cosmetic surgery, this is the best deal.

    • Vicki says:

      A smile is the very best enhancement… always…

    • Leslie in Portland, Oregon says:

      I share your sentiments completely, Anita, and thank you for expressly them so well. When I was 25, my face, mouth and jaw were very badly injured in a car crash. When the plastic and oral-maxillofacial surgeons started what turned out to be five years of reconstructive surgery, they asked me who or what I wanted to look like. I gave them a pre-accident photograph of my average-looking self and said, “like that.” I would do the same today, 40 years later. If one wants to become or stay beautiful as one ages, plastic surgery is not even part of the answer.

    • jackie cohen says:

      Lovely post!

  • Definitely a tricky subject and I totally agree with you on virtually every word here. I always feel endlessly young but cannot resist seeing little lines and like you said “lets not even get started on the body” lol. Like everything in life, I believe in moderation. For me personally, I dont’ want to be 60 who looks like I am trying to be 40, there is absolutely nothing elegant or admirable about that. Just someone who spent a lot of money and has an excess of vanity:)
    I want to look my personal best at every age, and am not against tweaks and touch ups here and there, though I am a true chicken and have not done a thing not even botox though nearly every one of my friends has, I am tempted but afraid.
    But nothing extreme, and one look at Hollywood and you see the ugly side of vanity, money and that relentless pull of looking young. It is not attractive in my eyes. I think NOTHING is more chic than an elegant, attractive women who is aging and not trying to hide it but one who is polished, dressed elegantly, has beautiful skin, hair, etc….to me that is super chic. A few lines show a life well lived and enjoyed…to me (in moderation).
    Interesting subject that I could go on and on about……I think inner beauty plays a huge role here too. When you feel good, you look good or want to make more an effort to be your best. It all starts within… topic Vicki!

    • Vicki says:

      Within is the key… and moderation too…
      That’s where the French women have got it right… they understand that beauty is about enhancing what you have not reinventing what you don’t…

  • It’s about being “bien dans sa peau” for French women, at any & every age. Any cosmetic surgery is, in the long run, only temporary – better to embrace inner beauty and also to enhance what outer beauty one has, non?

    • Vicki says:

      Yes… “bien dans sa peau’ is what it’s all about… and the French women really get that…

    • Melanie LeFever says:

      I like what Joan Rivers said about getting so many procedures done, her grandson called her “Nana New Face” because every time he saw her she looked different. For me it’s about accepting that as long as we live we change. Liking ourselves, having something in our lives we are passionate about keeps us young. I find it’s an interesting journey. I can’t go back and look 20 , nor do I want to. I appreciate what I’ve learned and where I’m going.

      • Vicki says:

        As long as we keep learning… and accepting change… then even if cosmetic surgery is our choice… we will be facing it in the right mindset…

  • Melanie Snyder says:

    I agree with everything said. Living in California, I see lots of strange looking women, women who have gone too far with surgery etc. I had a major birthday last year and thought about trying procedures. I realized it would be a never ending process. If you do your face, what about your neck? Then there’s always the elbows and arms, not to mention the knees! When does it stop? I’ve always taken care of my skin, hair and body. I walk every day and ride my horse 4 times a week. I eat food that gives me energy . The most important thing, I learned from my father, is attitude about aging. I stay young mentally. I’ve come to realize aging is a journey not everyone is blessed to experience. I’m going along for the ride being the best me I can be. I want to teach my children and grandchildren to age with grace and gratitude, and lots of fun.

    • Vicki says:

      Well said, Melanie…
      I hope we can all age with grace and gratitude… and I do believe that looking after ourselves mentally and physically goes along way towards that…

  • Another commenter beat me to it — I was going to say, smile! I will probably never be able to afford any surgery. Even if I had the money I think I’d be too scared anyway. I think working on our inner selves (while doing the best we can on the outside) is key. An interest in life, creativity, laughing, and being a woman sparkling with warmth and zest are the best anti-aging secrets.

    • Vicki says:

      Laughter… is there anything better? I do find that the women I admire the most, are older… and I think I have always felt like that… Wrinkles don’t worry me on others… :)

  • une femme says:

    I’ve thought about tweaks from time to time, especially as my grandmother’s jowly bits start to emerge. Still, I’d rather spend the money on travel. ;-)

  • Lynne says:

    It can be tempting, of course. And I don’t judge those who undergo the scalpel but , based on what I’ve seen it becomes an addiction. When do you stop? The entire body goes through a major metamorphism (think butterfly to caterpillar :)). I am trying hard to embrace the “new” old me. As you say the 50’s decade is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for a day of my youth. I am really trying to focus on my spiritual beauty and leave the physical beauty of youth behind. I do believe that women can be beautiful at any age and have known many but their beauty comes from within and radiates outward. You don’t just see it, you feel it. As for Madonna, I checked out her video and th lighting and camera work is nothing short of brilliance. I bet if you met Madonna on the street you would find that she doesn’t quite compare to the image in the video.

    • Vicki says:

      Probably not…
      So maybe we need lighting and a good cameraman… ;)
      On a serious note… none of this matters if your spirituality isn’t where it should be…

  • Marsi says:

    Madonna’s really made a mess of herself. If she’d left well enough alone, she’d be aging saucily, like Sophia Loren did at her age. What’s worse, though, is how seriously she takes herself and humorless she always seems. I almost thought she was parodying herself in that video.

  • Vicki,
    Wow, I was just having this conversation with friends all who are over or approaching 50. Some have add proceedures already both to body and face. I have friends who are “dedicated” to maintenance and I used to think it seemed very self absorbed, but who knows maybe like French women they are the smart ones! I personally have mixed feelings about surgery- fear mostly!

    • Vicki says:

      Fear is a big factor… Any operation is a serious matter and requires great planning and research… that’s very important to remember…

  • Oh my goodness, that video is the most pretentious thing EVER. It had me squirming! Yowza. A shame because who knows, perhaps it is a good line…

    I love all of the comments here but certainly Melanie’s rings home most with me. You already know that I have tried Botox when I was acting and was really disappointed with it – you also know how much I look up to my Mom in that she looks young because she feels it! And so age just isn’t something that you ever think about when talking to her…which I think is part of your point! I would say one notable difference with here in France is that having “fun” is a big part of her beauty regimen. :)

    • Vicki says:

      I think beauty is more like a job in France… or a routine… possibly a pleasant one, but not always!
      Your mother has the right attitude, Heather…

  • Loribeth says:

    There are really only two things I would have done.

    My jaw line is getting a little soft looking as I have put on weight and then taken it off. As far as I know, there is nothing I can do as far as exercises to correct that, and I know the change is directly related to having made unhealthy diet choices in my past. But even so, I probably will never have that done, as it is now a part of my history.

    The one thing I will probably have done is my eyelids are starting to sag. Aesthetically, they don’t bother me. I’ve adjusted how I do my makeup so my eyes are still enhanced. However, I know it will continue to get worse and eventually affect my eyesight, as it is a hereditary condition. My mom had to have the same thing done, and my lids have started to sag much earlier than hers did.

    • Vicki says:

      There is that line of acceptability in our minds isn’t there?
      If we can’t see we would think nothing of having our eyelids fixed… if we suffered a burn… a plastic surgeon would be called… so I guess if the jawline really upsets us… then what’s the difference?

  • Lydia says:

    So many kindred spirits! It is wonderful to find such elegant women sharing their wisdom and I totally agree. I would like to share some words that I found in an old book written by John Robert Powers that I found inspiring. “There may be no fountain of eternal youth, but there is a fountain of eternal charm and it is available to any woman who takes the trouble to drink from it[...]Charm is a state of spirit. It springs from the heart and soul of a woman.” He provides a wonderful list of things the mature woman can do to maintain her ‘charm’, things like: “The best recipe for interesting eyes are interesting thoughts. The older you are the more reason for your eyes to glow with interest in others, new ideas and adventure of living. Eye makedown will dramatize this expressive feature of your face.” and “Expression is more important in creating a beautiful mouth than lipstick. Downward lines are aging. keep the corners of your mouth up. To do this keep your thoughts positive. When your thoughts sag your mouth follows them.” ~

    These are snippets from a whole chapter of his book that also includes his more practical recommendations for mature beauty. Even though John Robert Powers was the founder of a Modelling School in the mid 1900s I find his advice still valid today. I find that it is a perfect complement to taking good care of oneself in every aspect and can make you look better at any age!

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Lydia… such a wonderful and pertinent quote…
      Charm is a state of sprit… now that is something to truly remember…

  • Kimberlee says:

    Hi Vicki,

    I read your blog each day…it’s been a long time since I have commented. This post hit very close to home. A few months ago I went to a prominent plastic surgeon in my home state of Oregon. Then I decided to go where facial renewal is an everyday event…Beverly Hills. I met with two surgeons there…I had a surgery date of March 4th…I canceled and got a trainer instead! Since then I have read tish’s book Forever Chic and gone to my dermetologist again for laser and peels etc. My mother is still beautiful at 89. My mother’s advice…don’t fight aging …it’s a loosing battle. She has always taken care of her skin and stayed out of the sun and continued her passions: Painting and gardening. Maddonna can be line free…but she is not natural…her forehead and inflated face makes her look like a plastic doll. And when interviewed she sounds angry and mistrustful.

    I’ll never forget visiting a Palm Springs art gallery and in walks this beautiful young woman…that walked with a cane! She reminded me of the movie “The Fly”…a human head on a fly body!

    I hope that I am brave… as it takes courage to hold ones aging head up high and feel confident in this youth obsessed world. I take time each morning to develope my inner world…my thoughts and actions. As I believe that this life is temporal …and the next is eternal. So when I am tempted by the knife…I remember my mothers wisdom…it’s a loosing battle…take care of your skin and be happy ….that is the greatest youth exlir I know.

    • Vicki says:

      Well said, Kimberlee and bravo to you for having the courage to change your mind.

      I imagine there is a great deal of peer pressure in the States to have surgery… and unless it’s something that you are absolutely sure of… it shouldn’t happen…
      I’m not for one moment judging anyone who does… for maybe next year, who knows… I may feel differently… and want to go down that path myself. The point being that our welfare must be in our own hands and our decisions made because they are the ones that we choose to make, with confidence.

      Happiness… is truly an elixir… should never be taken for granted and embraced with all our hearts and minds…

    • Rena says:

      Don’t fight aging, it’s a loosing battle…what a wise insight. I’m definitely not against
      beauty surgery when you look ugly but doing because of aging..never. Where do you start …face or toes?

  • Great topic, Vicki. I think you nailed it in the last 2 lines. As for Madonna, representing a skin care line that seems a little like false advertising. Her face looks almost plastic and yes I admire her but not for her looks. This is a tough one, and I believe so personal for every individual woman. Too much gazing in the mirror will take away our inner beauty. I think elderly women are gorgeous especially when they smile, have energy and wear clothes they love with their own style. Nothing to do with wrinkles or age…

    • Vicki says:

      As much as I adore mirrors… they are our own worst enemy!
      In our guest room at the farm, I have purposely hung old mirrors with mercurial glass… enough to see what you need but not enough to ruin a holiday… ;)

  • Teddee Grace says:

    Anyone who watched this year’s Academy Awards would hesitate to have plastic surgery.

    • Vicki says:

      Very succinct Teddee.
      That’s my feeling that too much is a disaster… but knowing when to stop can be a perilous trap also.
      My fear is that once started… it’s hard to stop… although French women seem to understand the meaning of moderation…

  • Victoria says:

    I still have 4 years to go before I hit 50 but it’s looming! I can honestly say, I have too many phobia’s (anesthesia being one of them!) to go under the knife but I think investing in good skin treatments is definitely a good idea. Most women who’ve had plastic surgery and Botox LOOK like they have and it doesn’t always look good!

    The changes in my body distress me much more than any changes in my face, I’m getting the beginnings of the dreaded “middle age spread” my mother complained about for years. I’m so worried I’m going to be one of those older women with a bird body…little stick legs and a huge bust and waist line!

    • Vicki says:

      Exercise is the key Victoria… and not too much sugar… I think sugar seems to put the weight on around the middle… or that’s what I read…
      I always had the weight issues around the bottom and top of the legs… now it’s everywhere… at least you have gorgeous pin legs… :)

      • Michelle says:

        I had to comment here on the bird body. About 8 years ago my mom, who had been quite easily svelte life was told by her physician to lose the belly fat. Now, you should know by no means was she overweight or even that disproportionate, but I admire him for being straight and not too PC. My mom was 61 at that time, very active and looked amazing, not a day over 50, but that spread is going to get’s biology for most. I have a point, I’m get to g there. My mom was not pleased but we committed to the South Beach Diet per her Dr.’s advice and it was nothing short of amazing for belly fat. That stubborn belly fat just melted off her. So, as her educated cook for 6 weeks I just wanted to say what works.

  • Nancy says:

    Hi Vicki – this is an interesting discussion because it brings up so many themes in a woman’s life – not the least of which is how so much of our perceived self-worth is related to looks, beauty and remaining youthful. It is, of course, a biological imperative and tied to reproduction, attracting the male of the species etc. Once upon a time we would have been dead before this became a concern but now that we live far beyond our biological purpose we have to help rewrite the script. I don’t think the pursuit of eternal youthful beauty is truly successful because it doesn’t address why we feel the need to chase it. I am not saying I am immune to the pressures but I do resent them! I love the approach where we celebrate age (perhaps easier said than done :) )while taking extremely good care of ourselves. I went Grey three years ago and truly have had more compliments than I ever did while I was dyeing my hair. The best elixir I’ve found is positive energy, a smile, sleep and a great lipstick!

    • Vicki says:

      Lipstick!! The best pick me up and life changer of all…

      Nancy… you are so spot on… we are all living so much longer that our bodies ( and faces) are having to last so much longer… which does mean that we need to be vigilant when it comes to diet and exercise… I must admit I feel so much better now that I am really watching what I eat and drink… (more about that later on in the month) and can see that not only the body benefits, but the face too.

      I have a crush on grey hair… and want mine to hurry up… it’s still in between with highlights… but I will win out in the end… ;)

  • Deborah says:

    What an interesting subject…I must be getting to a certain age because this seems to be a hot topic with my friends and sisters! Growing up in Southern CA has meant that I have embraced sunscreens and hats from an early age (my mother is French so instilled in us a sense of taking care of what we’ve got from an early age). I’ve also been good about skincare etc. Living in Los Angeles,
    the degree of plastic surgery is astounding but, I feel that it’s best to let the inner confidence that comes with age shine through. With one caveat, maintenance (eating well, exercise, lots of water etc.)…I’ve also begun some facial exercises (if we work on our bodies it makes sense that the facial muscles need work too!) and have noticed a difference. Not radical but, enough that it makes me feel good. So for now I’m going natural.

    • Vicki says:

      Many are great believers in facial exercises… especially in Europe… it does make sense though… it’s all about the muscles…

  • Rena says:

    I personally prefer the French women mantra from age 5o+. Surgery makes only sense when you are in your 4o’s.

    • Vicki says:

      That’s what they say..
      Too late for me then!

      • Rena says:

        you were very lucky Vicky that you got such serious information. It’s not the sacking and wrinkling face what makes a woman “out of order looking”. Most of elderly women give them up herself by saying always how old they are and more. Confidence and well treated skin, chic dressed, charm and joy in life, that’s it why older women sometimes are more “eye catchers” than teens. And I always console myself that our partners/husbands also get through the same stage of life. So why always women
        are in the center of aesthetic?

        • Vicki says:

          Actually I have always thought that it’s misguided to think that men age better than women… not in my observations…
          Men are also at the mercy of advancing years and I believe that women actually become more youthful in their thinking and that they are more adaptable than their male peers… this is actually the secret fountain of youth… Mindset, adaptability and flexibility…

  • Totally agree that a tweak here & there, so the improvement is subtle & in keeping with the age, without looking ridiculous.
    I always have a laugh when I recall Jane Fonda’s comments when she finally decided to have a little help. She exclaimed “I need a tidy up, especially around here “( pointing to the neck area).
    I think a tidy up, if affordable, is acceptable!? Never thought I would, and haven’t as yet, but the thoughts are definitely there! Maybe the eye area!?

    • Vicki says:

      Tidy up… Ms Fonda is beautifully tidy at all times… :) and smart about it…
      I prefer her honest approach than those who protest and deny.

  • Gina Diamond says:

    I really want to have something done to my face. I could do it…really…it would be easy. It would look great. BUT where does it end? I know too many women that go too far. Could I stop? Would I always be seeking the fountain of youth? And so goes my internal struggle. I keep my wrinkles and sags and make the most of it. When I look at older women who have not done a thing to their faces, I think they look great and in fact better than the ones who have had work done for the most part. We are too hard on ourselves. Will I be able to resist? Time will tell!

    • Vicki says:

      Keep me posted Gina…
      I know exactly what you mean…
      What if the surgical answer doesn’t work? What then? Disappointment and dissatisfaction…
      I think it’s something to do only if you have realistic expectations… and are sure that’s what they are..

  • Penelope says:

    Aging gracefully is something we all hope to achieve! Right? I absolutely love where I am on the age barometer right now and so very thankful! I reared five amazing kids and exercised, cooked nutrition meals and laughed a lot! I think that is a major key…laughing and enjoying the life you have been given, remembering it can change at any moment. I confess to splurging now on facials once every couple of months and use Obagi skin care products, which work well for me. I think taking care of the skin you’ve been given is very important and drink water……lots of it! Madonna’s video seems made for her to look good because that is what a brand does. They take out the flaws so the products they want to sell us will entice us. Oh they do too! If something says French, I think this must be good! Ha! I hope to be a role model for my daughters and granddaughters who embraces everyday as a wonderful gift from Heaven! Beauty comes from within……truly! A beautiful heart and a beautiful smile can take years off of our lives….I am thinking! I have never injected anything in my face…..I hope I have the courage not to as years pass. :) thank you Vickie for encouraging is to think about this!

    • Vicki says:

      I do love hearing all your opinions… and as always we seem to be on the same page…
      I feel very differently now than I did at 40…and perhaps I will at 60… who knows… but I agree… nothing beats maintenance and a healthy lifestyle…
      And yes… aren’t we so lucky to be alive and well… the rest is superficial…

  • great post and always a topic for conversation. I think you have to take care of yourself from the beginning, stay out of the sun, to look great at 50 and beyond. So many celebrities get the surgery and they really don’t look good at all. Not everyone has good genes, but we can help it along on our own to make the process a bit smoother. Love that photo of Miss Taylor. I saw her auction at Christie’s in NYC and it was something I will never forget. That woman had taste beyond anyone else.

    • Vicki says:

      And jewels… :) What a collection… and what a beauty
      I do believe ageing is a much harder and tougher process for great beauties… especially those in the public eye…
      Audrey Hepburn got it right… I saw here not long before her death… she was lined and looked her age… but more than that she was elegant and beautiful … her commitment and passion for her cause illuminated her and all I could see was a magnificent woman…

  • karen in va says:

    Great post as usual … I am fully in favor of the knife, but not sure I will could get past the actual surgery. I do know that new procedures are much less invasive, and last longer. Picking the right surgeon is key.

    Luckily, I was blessed with good genes and even my doctors have a hard time believing my actual age. But it won’t last forever.

    I hope I do have the guts to get a few nips and tucks when the times comes. I am such a chicken though.

    Never tell unless asked, and never explain what was done. Just say “yes, a bit” … the end.

    Karen in vA

  • Katherine says:

    A friend of mine once said that the key too looking natural and not pinched with ‘work’ – is too start early and keep it light.
    I have recently adjusted my skin routine to include products that minimize dark spots and rejuvenating serums.
    I’m on the verge of having a consult regarding fillers in the labial folds – but that is about as far as I think I could go. Really it’s the ‘not tired’ look I’m going for.

    • Vicki says:

      Apparently that is the key… small adjustments early on so there is no need for a dramatic makeover…
      I am a great believer in serums and can truthfully say that they are the one product I would not wish to give up…

  • Catherine Lynn says:

    I think Vicki, once you start you cant stop at just one little tweak. Living in sunny Qld here in Australia and being fair skinned with blue eyes, i have stayed out of the sun since i was 25 and now i am 52 this year my skin is finally thanking me for looking after it. i say that preventing the accelerated signs of ageing from the environment is key as you cant prevent the natural progression of ageing in its natural forms. i am happy to strive to be the elegant woman in the street, impeccably dressed and oozing style for as long as i can do it. having had a baby at 49 i am hoping will keep me young and fit! have a lovely day, Catherinexx

    • Vicki says:

      Bravo Catherine… and how wonderful to have that little 3 year old to keep you on your toes… My mother had me at 41 and she always says that I kept her young… ( probably scared her out of her wits from time to time too… ;)

  • I turn 54 this year and it has been a major time for me to slowly come to grips with my aging body and face. I made a decision several months ago that I was going to let my hair go gray. Amazingly most people love the salt and pepper. Especially men. I have been told they appreciate that I am not trying to mask my age. My thing is why have young looking hair if you have an aging face and body. Don’t get me wrong I do my hair and makeup every day and care very much how I look. However I felt that by coloring my hair I was a hypocrite. But this is just my thinking and certainly not for every woman.

  • suzanna says:

    wow, what a subject….there are many non invasive longer lasting options if one chooses….and the right doctor….and yes, I have seen women look like ducks and not know it….healthy skin, eating organic, healthy, off the sugar is a must, yoga, kindness in our souls makes us feel good within, passion’s we love, surrounding ourselves with like minds that offer support and not conditional friendships that don’t work, passion for life, all grow older, lightening up the heavy makeup also, fresh look, acceptance, and sometimes eyelids are a needed procedure to see well with great doctors for this & in the USA insurance pays for this…..but face lift after face lift is dangerous and often flubbed…..botox is expensive and does not last…..stay out of baking in the sun, great skin care…sleep… life……growing older is the way it is….lipstick within the lines or pale lipstick goes a long way too, healthy skin healthy skin……:-)) XO

    • Vicki says:

      Suzanna… you are so right when you say we must surround ourself with like minded people…and positive people… negativity has no place at any age…
      Passion is also an infectious quality… passionate people are my number one favourites… and ‘doers’… those people are the ones we want to be with…

    • Suzanna, so enjoyed this lively discussion. Great advice from you. Shiree’

  • Bonjour ma chère,

    Le secret de la beauté de chacune d’entre nous n’est que l’acceptation de soi…
    Le bonheur, le sourire, le rire apportent plus que toutes les crèmes miraculeuses.
    Ce n’est pas se résigner que de vieillir mais seulement être belle autrement avec des atouts certainement autres qu’à 20 ans !
    gros bisous

    • Vicki says:

      Bonjour chère Martine,
      C’est la vérité …
      L’acceptation de soi est la clé d’une belle image de la vie et de soi.
      Nous vous remercions de votre point de vue perspicace … :)

  • Esther George says:

    Hi Vicki this is a thought provoking subject but being the big coward that I am there is no way I could look at a needle or scalpel unless they are there to save my life… I’ll just stick to good skin and hair products. As for Madonna I can’t remember ever seeing her as a happy person (I mean really happy like us mere mortals) her talent is another story. You know Vicki I don’t like to colour my hair because when I look in the mirror I see the girl inside and the colour throws me off it does not make me feel younger it adds to my age. With skin care my French friend advised me many years ago to use Orlane (I was told you can’t go wrong) their products were amazing I’m going to have to go back and try them again. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney.

    • Vicki says:

      Looking in the mirror is a very strange thing… I think we all feel ageless inside… When iI look at myself… mostly I’m just “me”… but every now and then… I do get a bit of a surprise… ;)

  • This is a topic that has certainly gathered a lot of reactions. Living in New York, owning a business in an industry that is all about style, design, fashion , beauty and having crossed 50 is not for the insecure… I am going through the most difficult, stressful and challenging part of my life and my face is showing it! All at once, sagging skin and deep wrinkles have invaded my face.I have used Botox in the past, but am now weary of injecting poison in my face. Looking in the mirror, i pull my skin back and the happy younger woman appear. Yet I am too scared of surgery…my heart and mind are still young and adventurous, my sons, husbands and friends who are an incredible support tell me I am beautiful…what more could i wish for…I would rather believe their little lies and stay true to myself, although…a little twick here would be wonderful…

    • Vicki says:

      You are beautiful Francine… I have seen for myself… :)
      I know exactly how you feel… but aren’t we lucky to have such lovely supportive families…
      I will be in NY at the end of April… I would love to see you… I shall be in touch…

  • Age is just a question of mind over matter…….if you don’t mind…it don’t matter. :)

  • but then my Daddy used to say, “every old board needs a good coat of paint every now and then”…. (smile)

  • Morning Vicki, I felt compelled to comment. I have many female friends ranging from thirty to seventy five years of age and love them dearly. Maintaining our fitness and joie de vivre as women is so important. Health, beauty and feminine style have been passions of mine since about fifteen when I began reading Seventeen magazine. At fifty five (forty years later)it’s a bit of a challenge at times but by now it’s an engrained habit. Women, American, French or wherever, will reap the benefits of early maintenance. Yoga, fresh (never packaged) food, lots of water, daily exfoliation, topical olive oil, and a great hair colorist are the essentials. If plastic surgery is decided on it is best done at an early age (45-50)and with small procedures. Flaws? As an Italian director once told a famous actress, “Don’t try to be perfect. The flaw is very important”. I try to emulate intelligent women who embrace their age as long as “embracing” includes a maintenance program lol. Shiree’

  • Marilyn Leslie says:

    Great conversation. I’ve never considered the knife, but I do color my hair. As I approach 60, I’m starting to have my hairdresser lighten the color so my skin does not look washed out. I do have Botox treatments for migraines. I’m not sure if I would do the shots for cosmetic reasons. The look is great but the shots are painful.

  • Debby says:


    I love this: “Look amazing at your age – Not for your age.” Perfectly said!! I think we should all try to grow old gracefully. Nothing worse than a face that doesn’t move or lips that are too big after surgery. We should be proud of the lines we earned.

    Deb xo

  • Patty says:

    I’ve been thinking about this topic for a couple of years. I have a biggish nose and a slightly receding chin and have always felt that I am homely. (And, through the years, have been told as much by the occasional stranger. Even though I believe that someone who would say such a thing has problems of his/her own, it still stings.) Now that things have started sagging, too, I toy with the idea of surgery. I couldn’t afford it when I was younger, but even though I can, now, I hesitate. Does it really matter how I look? And it seems so extravagant. And how much would be needed to make me look better? My neighbor, in her 70’s, did have some work done to her neck and eyes. And she looks marvelous…not young, but a youthful 80 (now). So…I debate.

  • Sally says:

    Its a dilemma Vicki :))
    As time has gone by I am very grateful for good advice that I listened to early in life which was never, ever to put my face in the sun, take off makeup properly, use good moisturisers ( …now moving on to serums ) no matter what time you go to bed !!
    I have considered botox and a little filler, there seem to be many who do and they look great. Maybe soon I will be brave enough to try
    ….but the plastic surgery oh my goodness you need a movie star fortune to do it right and then some more to keep it all up..
    Far too much trouble.. life’s for living, enjoying and embracing… especially in one’s later years. Id rather buy super elegant and stylish clothes, fabulous shoes…and know that the occasional line was worth the smiles that put it there..x

  • suzanna says:

    thank you Vicki, “health”, Non GMO’s in foods that the USA can’t seem to get their head around and stop this madness, fresh foods, yet so many non invasive ideas, CO2 is really good, restylane last much longer than botox, botox is cheaper, but it is becoming old news these days, some Drs. are using our own fat cells that last a very long time, without the knife, skin care, finding a great dermatologist, ask others who they go to that you like their skin, my dermatologist office is filled with beautiful women because he is a good Dr. and using non invasive procedures that actually last a long time…..and “acceptance” but I believe we can do a lot with quality skin care and Vicki you are the best getting these out to us, I just can’t afford most of it though, ;-(((…..I have to pick and choose and decide, on my budget, what are the ones that should be the priority??? XOXO Vicki

  • jlonit says:

    Madonna’s plastic surgery and procedures looked fine until recently, she has started looking strange and scary. Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve are excellent examples of women getting work done in small doses.

    Has anyone seen Sally Field lately. She is nearly 70 and looks great – if she’s had surgery it has been done subtly and conservatively

  • private says:

    I read the comments and was surprised so many of the readers who were just entering their 50s were happy to have grey hair and were sure they would not want any plastic surgery, even if they could afford it. BUT, you will probably be “old” a long time if your lifespan goes to age 80 or longer. Looking a little older to you now, when you turn 50, is not so startling because it is just beginning. In a few years, your hair will be even grayer, your eyelids even more droopy, and your jawline may give you the appearance of a Thanksgiving turkey. A little work every few years …..maybe a lid lift to start with, and then a little more work as needed during the years may keep your confidence up. As for Hollywood surgical work, one would wonder if they all go to a cut-rate veterinarian for free work; honestly, most of the ladies I know do NOT now and never will look like that. Again, it is personal choice of whether or not to have work done.

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