Plastic-Surgery-Free Celebrity Beauty Tips March 2013
With the award shows and red carpet season behind us (beyond “who wore what” designer) what really sticks out in my mind are the celebrities that looked fabulous in their REALness – embracing their true beauty.

You know, those rare Hollywood novelties: brows that move when a woman has an emotion; lips that look more human than, um, duck; and faces that look lovely in character and age, rather than pulled so tight the person’s insecurities can be seen from space. Women like Meryl Streep, Holly Hunter, Kyra Sedgwick, and Helen Mirren, who seemingly haven’t opted for plastic surgery or excessive self-manipulation.

It takes downright courage to tell Hollywood that you’re going to grow older on your own terms, and these women are our great leaders of a new generation of women saying, “I’m damn hot just the way I am.” Who exactly do the advertisers think they’re fooling when they show celebrities like Diane Keaton and Demi Moore airbrushed to within an inch of their lives, looking practically more perfect and/or younger than when they were discovered? We are old enough and smart enough to recognize what women in their 40s, 50s and 60s really look like – and no amount of Photoshop will convince us otherwise. It’s crazy. These ads, these images of popular icons (you can get away with it when doing it with unnamed models) – I mean, the jig is up guys, we know Annie Hall was filmed in 1977!

I fail to understand why media executives (mostly men, of course) think we women want to see totally unrealistic images of ourselves when statistics show we flock to theaters and newsstands for movies and magazines that show us as real images of ourselves (Something’s Got To Give, It’s Complicated, Susan Sarandon in Alfie…).We want to see ourselves, as we really are, in our icons and fictional characters.

The women that I personally admire? They are the ones that actually don’t try to look 20 years younger than they are – they embrace their ages, and more importantly, themselves in all their real beauty, so-called flaws and all.

Here are a couple of tips from those few leading the pack:

Meryl Streep is legendary for her acting and her effortless elegance. She’s also notable for being wholly uninterested in the nips and tucks of plastic surgery. “I really understand the chagrin that accompanies aging, especially for a woman,” says the 63-year-old Streep. “But I think people look funny when they freeze their faces.” Her approach to healthy aging includes swimming daily and sunscreen. Look for sunscreen that’s 100% pure, with active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc. Brands I like include Lavera, Badger and Arcona.

Cindy Crawford, now 47, is a fan (like me) of microdermabrasion and gets the treatment once a month to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion is a mechanical cosmetic procedure (there are even at-home kits you can use) to treat common skin problems, such as acne scarring and mild discoloration, sun damage and wrinkles. This procedure can be used by everyone to refresh and regenerate all skin types and stimulate collagen production.

Even if you don’t choose to go for this mega-exfoliation treatment, I highly recommend exfoliation as a part of any successful skincare regimen. Sadly, most exfoliants don’t really get the job done. I recommend sukiface essentials exfoliate foaming facial cleanser with natural sugar and lemongrass as well as The Body Deli Radiance Enzyme Peel, containing certified 100% raw manuka honey. Manuka honey is known for its healing and skin regenerative properties and its high level of beneficial enzymes. This is a natural chemical peel that should be used as well as a manual exfoliant once a week or so to really purify the skin and rejuvenate cells, or by anyone with irritation, redness or rosacea.

Susan Sarandon at age 66 has a uniquely sensual, bold womanly style all her own, and her outlook on aging is refreshing and honest. “Every time some little adorable 20-something actor comes up to me and says, ‘Oh my God, your skin is so great,’ I’ll just smile. Then they’ll say, ‘What do you do?’ The first thing I always say is, ‘Well, put that cigarette out. You’re 23. That’s going to really catch up with you eventually.’” So true! Environmental toxins – especially cigarettes – really do a number on our skin.

Lauren Hutton, 69, the iconic actress/model, returned to modeling in her 40s (a woman whose so-called flaws MADE her career!) and found that the makeup she had used in her 20s just didn’t cut it. Heavy foundation, smoky eyes and thick mascara are aging – which are fine for models barely out of their teens. As Hutton explains it, “We wear very expensive clothing that only older women would afford. We had to look older.” But, according to Hutton, women in their 40s and beyond need to ditch the makeup of their youth. “Now, it’s about choosing sheer textures and applying with a light touch.”

Some of her tips include using a cream foundation or tinted moisturizer instead of powders, which tend to settle into any fine lines. I like Lavera’s transparent moisturizer with aloe. It’s lightweight, organic and vegan. And stay away from anything with formulas with shimmer for your face and cheeks, since they tend to highlight imperfections and illuminate every pore. Instead of kohl-rimmed eyes, choose neutral shadows and dark brown liner. Pay attention to brows, too. Fill in sparse brows with a brow pencil in a natural shade. For loads more great tips on makeup for mature skin, Lisa Eldridge (makeup artist to celebrities that include Annette Bening, Cindy Crawford and Bianca Jagger) has a great video tutorial on creating a youthful day makeup look.

With age comes lines (and when you smile, the good ones! So remember to smile more and frown less!) in addition to a depth of beauty and character and self-knowledge. That wisdom should also bring about a realization that, indeed, we are beautiful for who we are… and the older we get, the deeper our true beauty becomes.

Suki Kramer is the founder of Suki Skincare, a company that evolved from her commitment to education, empowerment and 100 percent natural beauty products that work like they should.