Thursday, January 24, 2008


I'm clicking along with Karla, agreeing to rid my closet of a frumpy outfit by Monday, adding Charla Krupp's How Not To Look Old to my library list.

Then I mosey over to a Time magazine interview in which Krupp tosses a scrap of advice to the rest of us:
"A lot of women do have a lot of money, and they can spend money on these things. If you can't, you're just going to have to make do with a really good skin-care system, and be diligent about your face, and maybe get Botox once a year, and not every three months." (emphasis mine)
Aren't you glad Krupp understands?


All things bright & beautiful... said...

That made me laugh - thanks Meredith - happy Friday!

Carrien said...

Oh hah!:)

She not only understands, she also knows us to all be as shallow as she is apparently.

I honestly enjoy the signs in my face that I"m starting to age. MAybe it's because I've always been such a baby face, but I like aged faces, I think they are interesting and beautiful. I say, bring it on.

(But I do use sunscreen and moisturizer, because I want it to age well.)

Heather said...

Heh. I haven't watched TV in years, but it remember when Oprah used to do the "budget" wardrobes. This outfit can be put together for only $200. It's all relative, I guess.
That reminds me, I didn't have time to make the thrift store rounds, but I found pants that worked beautifully for under $10 on the clearance rack at Target. The bonus is I can use them for church and anytime I need to look professional. Oddly, that last one seems to be occurring more often.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think it is a shame that we women all seem to want to look YOUNG forever. I do not mean that we should all look like Grandma Moses..but gee, what is wrong with grey hair, and a few wrinkles? They are 'God given' and earned right?
I have a grand daughter who will be 9 in March. She is already worried about her looks. She is just 8, and she can not sleep at night unless her hair is curled and her writes down every single thing she ate that day...I WORRY about her. I do not know if it will do her any good but as part of her birthday gift this year her grandmother (me) brought her a book called Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd. I hope it helps her to learn that the pictures she sees on TV and in the magazines are not 'real' but staged. That she should not worry so much about her looks but to concentrate on the important things like her spirit and her school work...
I have 4 grand children, three are boys, my grandsons could care less what they wear, if their hair is cut, or if their shoes are even on their feet much less if they match their 'outfit' or if they even brush their teeth...yet her, she freaks if she does not floss every single night, or if she does not wash her long (waist length) hair...she will not sleep.
I wish that Sabrina (my grand daughter) would stay a child a little longer and not be so much in a hurry to grow up. She is beautiful. Roxie

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Meredith - I need to get working on this too (and saying up for botox apparently - haha).

Roxy - You're right to worry. Little girls are feeling too much pressure at younger and younger ages.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Meredith-Wow, botox is so NOT on my list of must dos!

Roxie-I am by no means a medical/psychological professional of any sort, but the things you are describing sound more to me about control-almost an obsessive compulsive disorder type of thing. Good luck and lots of prayers.

Mama Squirrel said...

Well, I guess that explains how the notorious "YMCA mommies" do it. Must be so hard to cut back on the Botox, though...snicker.

Anonymous said...

De-lurking to snort about botox. When I was in college, I learned that a 12 point font period was enough area for enough clostridium botulinum to take out the entire lecture room. Granted it was a small college, but....

And people want me to pay large sums of money to have the toxins from it injected into my face? That's not shallow, that's scary!

Love the blog! So glad I'm not the only one who works the frumpy look on a regular basis.

On My Mind said...

Ha! I've had my first laugh for the morning!

There is something beautiful about aging. To me, a few lines on my face and a couple gray strands of hair are marks that I am slowly growing in wisdom, and I hope to one day be a very wise old lady :) I'd rather work on my mind, not my face!


Amy said...


Anonymous said...

I do think that when we look better we feel better and are more productive. I don't think we should obsess about our looks but should try to age as gracefully as possible and I do think the interview in Time makes sense. I see no need to look older than we have to when we can style our hair, eyebrows and wear clothing to look better. And if a little botox is in the budget, I say "go for it" if you are sure your dermatologist isn't extreme and does a good subtle job. I am almost 62 and still work and must for a very long time. I know it is beneficial for me to look as well-groomed and put together as I can (and I don't mean trying to look 30 or even 40, but the best 62 I can be) or I could be looking for another job (which I don't want to do at my age!).

Meredith, you are so inspiring to so many in the way you run your home and I think you could also inspire us to look our best by setting a healthly example of caring but not obsessing about how we look.

Anonymous said...

When is this wedding shindig? I think you should look as good as the food you are preparing!!

Anonymous said...

Ya know, with all this cosmetic junk they have out there now (like botox)...and the pressure there is on little girls, it will be a sad day when these girls grow up and become grandmas...when grandma is 80 and suppose to be knitting in her rocking chair(that's my grandma ;)) these girls will look like they are 25 and probably be on their 4th marraige...simply because we are learning to be more and more selfish and vain....what a sad commentary.

TracyMichele said...

I'm going to agree with Heather. Nothing irritates me more than those "dress for less" shows where the entire outfit will only set us back $200! Do they REALLY think a SAHM can shell out that kind of cash for ONE outfit?! I haven't spent that much on entire wardrobes for my Littles. *sigh*

I guess we will all just "have to make do" somehow. How will we ever measure up with such simple skin care products? LOL.

Meredith said...

Oh, most of my family already believe in Botox. It does work.

I just thought it was funny that "Botox once a year only" is now considered a budget beauty tip.

As for inspiring other women to look their best, I'm working on it, aren't I? It's not everyone who admits publicly that she hasn't sharpened her lip pencil in over a year.

(Although, thanks to Krupp, I now know that darker lipsticks and lip pencils make you look older. In the Time interview she suggests pale pink with lots of gloss.)

Amy said...

Hee hee! I find that quite the amusing "tip". As an earlier commentor said, I am also amused by the budget outfits seen on TV for "only" $200. I often think that my entire wardrobe probably didn't cost as much as one of those outfits, or even as much as one of those Botox treatments! :)

Jen said...

Hilarious Meredith!!!

I am not concerned with growing old.

Thanks for the laugh.

Mrs Nespy said...

I'm glad someone is thinking of us little people.

Thanks for the laugh!

Jeana said...

Someone get Krupp on the frugal blogroll, quick!

Good grief!

Anonymous said...

This is trite, but true - the quickest and cheapest makeover you can get is to keep a smile on your face! I'd rather have crow's feet from smiling (and I do!) than frown lines. Or a frozen visage, for that matter.

I'm loving your personal makeover odyssey, Meredith. Can't wait to see photos!

Susan in San Antonio

Anonymous said...

I will gladly join her in getting rid of one frumpy outfit. In fact, I have several I can get rid of. The list of things not to wear made me laugh, I have the long bear looking fake fur coat and I love it. Hay it's 16 degrees up here! It's staying!! Lynn Marie

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh at 7am. I had to muffle so as not to wake the children :)

Anonymous said...

Still laughing, a half-hour later.


Tessa said...

Hee! Our society is waaaaaay too obsessed with not aging. When did age become such a bad thing?

And, on a side note- the only actual "anti-aging" products out there are effective sunscreen and a retinoid (such as Retin-A, Renova). Whatever it is that you use has to be able to affect collagen on a cellular level, and those two do it. Other products like BHAs and AHAs will make the skin look better by exfoliating the outermost layer of skin, but they are not actually "anti-aging".

Amy said...

Someone in my family works in a plastic surgeons office and she offers to "test" the products before they release them to their customers. She had some Botox injected in her lips and it was quite scary looking. Then she had problems where her face was not moving on one side (like a stroke victim) and we think it possibly could have been from those injections.

Personally, I would rather go the moisturizer and sunblock route. I am hoping to age gracefully without cosmetic procedures, but we will see. I just hate to see what that stuff could do to people years and years down the road.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Ha-ha..oh yes, it's obviously Ms. Krupp totally understands! That is hilarious.

enjoying your blog!

Anonymous said...

Funny : ) Which portion of that year did she suggest, btw?

I trust well-cared for skin and smiling from a peaceful heart, too. Love faces that tell the character of a life.

And very grateful I don't live in the south! The pressure in your culture is intense, maybe more so than even NYC (I have family from Tennessee to Texas)... which is why Meredith's Frugal Beauty Stance is so inspiring.

deb meyers

Sister Honey Bunch said...

I am such a fan of resale shopping. I get cute, stylish deals from people who have either gained weight, lost weight or just plain old replaced their whole wardrobe.

My sister and I are crabbing about fashion our place today.

Anonymous said...

But for the record, from a philosophical perspective I'm not really opposed to "having a little work done", either. It's an individual - stewardship decision.

I realize "to Tox or not to Tox" is NOT the point of this post : )

deb meyers

Missy said...

Reminds me of all those "financial experts" on the morning shows who gently tell me that if I dropped my $4 a day latte habit, I could save $80 a month.



I am all for de-frumpifying, caring for our skin, and looking our best. I guess this author is just working with a different scale than I am.

mothersong said...

My goodness, and on the same day the news is talking about how 16 people have died from Botox. The irony of it all!

My teen daughters are trying to get me to dye my hair. I would look so much younger then, you know. I told them I earned every gray hair. I didn't tell them they gave me the gray to begin with.


Jenny's Vegcafe said...

And I thought I was splurging at Wa-Mart when I bought the spf 15 facial moisturizer. My frugal beauty tip- put on some lipstick and smile.

It's a lot cheaper and healthier than shooting poison into your face.

Roberta said...

how funny!
I haven't even had my $8 hair cut in a year! lol

Botox makes peoples faces look stiff and unemotional to me, not younger.

Gonna sort out my clothes today! :)

The Stepford Wife said...

Frump is on everybody's lips lately. My blog entry today is about frugal living isn't about condemning you to a life of Frump. That you can be a Fighter of Frump, but still not spending money like water to do it.

Before you start chucking clothes, take a serious look at your wardrobe and see what you have that is "frump" right now, that can be converted to anti-frump. A lot of basic fitted tees, pants, shirts, blouses, and jackets can be mixed and matched to fight frump and look like updated fashion. Don't discount Frump Fighting power of jewelry, belts, and sashes either.

True, there's some stuff there's just no helping... But be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. :)

anya* said...

hilarious. seriously. i read that whole interview and was wondering if anyone out there is reading it and actually thinking it was helpful? it seems like the phrase, 'feeling good in our own skin' should be the thing to work on..but really, i cant offer advice, my skin management routine consists of a bar of soap. literally.

mama k said...

haha! that is too funny.

I do think there is a grain of truth in there though. If you take good care of your skin and and hair you are always going to make any outfit look better! (Not to mention some well applied makeup.)

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

Wow, that made me laugh! I remember shortly after I got my first job out of college, I asked a coworker where would be a good place to buy inexpensive work clothes. She suggested: Express, Ann Taylor Loft. I was thinking, those are the places I'm trying to avoid! :-)

Ewokgirl said...

Oh gosh! You know, botox is supposed to work for people with migraines, meaning people like me. And yet, I'm not willing to go that route to (potentially) be pain free. So I'm certainly not willing to let people shoot up my face with toxins in an attempt to look younger!

That author would probably take issue with my very dark (natural) hair with a few white hairs mixed in. Very few at this point, but they're sure to come crowding in faster and faster. My plan right now is to leave it alone unless it starts making me look much older than my husband.

I'm all for de-frumping, but I think some of these so-called beauty experts are just blowing smoke. And their must-haves almost always cost a small fortune. It's all pretty silly, IMO.

Margo said...

I'm reminded of the book So Big by Edna Ferber in which the beautiful rich woman who has taken much care and money with herself ends up looking boring next to the country woman who has really LIVED. Don't want to ruin the book for anyone (it's a great read and celebrates frugality and hard work).
I, for one, will not be getting any kind of "work" done - just using moisturizer and sunscreen the way you all are advocating :) How nice to read the comments.

{Karla} said...

Wow! This one got people talkin'!

I'm glad you clarified your comment, Meredith. I think women still equate "how not to look old" with "dress like a 20 year old bimbo". That's not what it's about. It's about doing things that do accentuated ourselves and help us feel better. Even the FlyLady recommends getting yourself fully dressed every morning. It just feels better.

Like I said on my post, some trends just make us look older than we are. There is nothing wrong with aging. And just because I don't want to embrace my gray hair (which makes me look washed out) doesn't mean I don't want to age. I just want to look my best at whatever age I am.

I actually snorted at your Botox once a year comment. I rolled my eyes when I read that too.


Anonymous said...

Regarding botox for husband's grandfather (then in his 80's) suffered from blaphospasm (sp?)which, among other things, makes it impossible to hold one's eyelids open to see. He participated in a medical study using botox to slightly paralyze those muscles open. It was found to be quite effective. He was so proud to be part of that study. These days people who need Botox for medical reasons have a very hard time getting it and it's very expensive because of the demand to use it for cosmetic purposes. I'm appalled.

Amy said...

I commented on this post this morning when I read it, and it's been stuck in my head all day. I came across a quote tonight about being "afraid to be poor" and not keep up with the rest of the world, and it seemed very fitting for this discussion. I blogged about it over at my place:

Anonymous said...

in a similar vein, here in the UK I have just learned from my morning paper that "In a lifetime the average UK woman spends £27,722 on her hair. For London women,it's £54,740" That's a great many women spending more that that, to average out the people like me (and you?)!

Bella N