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Still Time for Timeless Beauty

Still Time for Timeless Beauty
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Photo: Anna Gunselman for the New York Post

BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

My husband Neil likes Christie Brinkley. He never comes out and says it directly, but whenever she is in a magazine or on a show or in a commercial, he will comment on how good she looks, or ask if I can  believe she’s 61, or observe how well she’s “held up.”

I have had to listen to these remarks ad nauseam lately, now that she has a new book out: “Timeless Beauty: Over 100 Tips, Secrets & Shortcuts to Looking & Feeling Great.”

OK, this is one of those “glass half full/half empty” situations. I’m in the pessimistic group on this one. Although I have to give her kudos for looking as bright and sunny as the day I first saw her on the cover of Glamour magazine when I was a sophomore in college, I’m sure her “haven’t aged a day” story is sure to make some of us feel badly about ourselves for not having the skin, hair, and physique that was ours in 1978. “Where did I go wrong all these years? If I woulda, coulda, shoulda done xyz, I too would look radiant like her.” No. No one did anything “wrong,” and even if you had done things “right,” no one would look like her, because she has not lived the life of the average woman.

Unlike the Uptown Girl and mother of three, this uptown girl and mother of two was not surrounded by people who catered to my dietary or physical fitness needs, the upkeep of my coif, or took my picture every five minutes — requiring I look put together 24/7. In fact, most everyone around me for the past twenty years has contributed to stress in some form that sent me running for the Chips Ahoy bag.

But, of course, even though I will never be the super-est of Supermodels, I could not resist at least peeking at some of her tips.

Let’s begin with a quote she gave to the New York Post: “We’re so hard on ourselves! I think the way you look is tied into how you feel. The kind of true beauty I hope my readers are looking for is a combination of healthy living and good deeds.” (Actually, I think her readers are looking for a way to wake up and have a combination of her hair, her skin, and her body.)

And now for the book advice:

Find a good dermatologist.

Lasers and fillers, when administered properly, are a “yes.” (She had a bad experience with Botox on her face, but the shot of it on her neck did wonders. To “B” or not to “B”? You decide.)

Eat Healthy, But Splurges Are Allowed

Brinkley swears by walnuts, carrots, berries, green tea, wild salmon, tomatoes and oysters. But “life is too short not to have champagne. And if you have leftover champagne, pour it on your hair to make it shiny.” (I was wondering what to do with all our leftover bubbly.)

Keep your hair extensions looking good by hanging them on sturdy skirt-hangers.

“It’s a great way to organize them for styling and for storing,” she writes. (Who has time for this?)

Go easy on blusher.

It should be “the color your cheeks are after a run or a really good compliment.” (Something tells me she gets more really good compliments — as opposed to your basic, everyday one — than most people.)

Don’t count calories — trust your jeans.

“I have a pair of what I like to call my ‘honest jeans. They’re the pair that fits me perfectly when I’m at my ideal weight. So if I’m ever worried that I may have put on a few pounds, I slip into those (or try to!) and they never lie to me.” (OK, I’ve got to say, I’m with her on this one.

 The secret for looking great in jeans

Choose high heels and a high-rise waist. (What a practical outfit for the grocery store.)

 When buying Spanx, buy them a size smaller than you think you need.

“If they give you a level of confidence, then they’re good,” she says. But there are times when being comfortable and enjoying yourself is more important — “and people won’t even notice a tiny little ripple!” (Trust me, on me, people would notice.)

Smile more, exercise regularly and avoid meat.

Christie veers toward veganism, with the occasional lapse and advises you, “Have some mozzarella!” (If I eat the cheese, I will not be able to fit into my jeans even with the Spanx.) She also calls dieting, “deny-iting.” Yes, she advises against it; just eat healthy

Last but not least:

Exfoliate, Sleep, And Adopt A Positive Attitude.

In the Post article, Christie also offered that: “It’s easier to go out and change the world on a good hair day. So let’s get you out of the door so you can focus on the things that really matter.”

OK, well, I’m going to go comb my hair now, so I’ll look good while I’m off doing some good deeds. You never know, maybe she’s on to something.

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Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels BACK TO WORK SHE GOES and FAT CHICK, for which a movie version is in the works.