the face you deserve

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve.” ― Coco Chanel

This quote pulled me up short because there is enough truth in it to make me wonder how much my face looks like the face I deserve. Does all the living I've done over the years sink into my skin and reflect back at me in the mirror? If I had an easy life do I stay looking young and carefree compared to older and more haggard if the going was tough?

I see photos of myself at 20 when life was spread out before me - I'd only just met my husband-to-be and I was living away from home and experiencing real life for the first time. I'd get up, throw on a bit of Oil of Ulan moisturizer and that was the sum total of my "beauty routine". I rarely wore make up and never thought about sun protection - other than a sunhat at the beach. I was busy living life and having fun and now I think maybe I should be grateful for the face life gave me back then - I wouldn't mind the youthful skin quality and firmer jawline and wider eyes that I took for granted in those days.

By 30 I'd been married for nearly a decade and had two young children - still not much makeup or skin care - too busy juggling kids, work and home life to bother too much with tarting myself up. I seem to remember making a bit of an effort to put some colour on my face when I went to work or out somewhere socially, but only the barest of necessities - life was still being fairly kind to me and I don't think the worry or stress had done much to me at that stage......

Fast forward another twenty years to 50 and I can certainly see the impact of time and living on my face - especially first thing in the morning! Now I slap on copious amounts of face cream (high level sun protection included) and then whack on night cream before bed. I wouldn't go to work without makeup on - or even to church because I don't want people asking me if I'm tired or not well - which happens when my face is naked. I still go au-natural at home or to the shops, but Coco Chanel was certainly on point when she said that 50 shows us the face we deserve.

I hope I've kept a positive enough attitude to life that the lines on my face are (mostly) from smiling and laughing. I'd like to think that I've been saved from extra wrinkles because I chose not to smoke and my skin tone is hanging in there because I'm not knocking back several glasses of wine a night (tempting though that may be at times!) Trying not to be a sour old woman has the added benefit of keeping the frown lines at bay and I am working on not worrying about things so much - that must have some positive effects too!

I'm not sure that I have the face I deserve - I think there's a good chance that I do.......which is a little bit scary. All those years of living staring back at me from the mirror, but it's not too late to make sure that the next 20 or so only add more laugh lines and I'd like to keep a sparkle in my eye - that help should offset the ravages of time more than botox ever could.