By Patricia Reynoso
There's plenty to love about being on the other side of 40. But it's no fun to find that your beauty routine doesn't quite cut it anymore. What your more-mature skin and features really need is a new approach that doesn't take a lot of time. In just minutes, the characteristics of a young-looking face -- big eyes, high brows, defined cheekbones, and pouty lips -- can be yours again.
Brows: Believe it -- your brows have gotten thinner because all hair thins with age. The brow itself might also sit lower on your face because the loss of collagen and elastin (proteins that help keep skin firm) causes sagging.
Upper lids: Don't be surprised if your eyes remain puffy long after you've woken up. Everything from decreased circulation to loss of elasticity (more side effects of aging) is to blame.
Under eyes: Dark circles get darker with time. Likely culprits: thinning skin, which brings the veins closer to the surface, and the disappearance of the fat pads that sit below the eyes, which cause shadows to reflect off the hollows, darkening the area.
Lashes: They become skimpier and wimpier.
Skin: Wrinkles set up permanent camp on your face. Your skin is likely drier, too, because of reduced oil production and hormonal fluctuations. Years of sun exposure has damaged your melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, resulting in uneven pigmentation and dark spots. Finally, a slowdown in cell turnover leaves you with a pileup of dead skin cells and duller, rougher texture.
Lips: Our lips' natural fullness becomes a distant memory, and the lip line loses definition due to sun damage and loss of elasticity. Also, some women develop vertical lines etched around the mouth.
Jaw/neck: Gravity's pull, coupled with the loss of collagen and elastin, contribute to this loss of definition along the contours of the face.