1. EYEBROWS ARE THE ULTIMATE.
A well-groomed, perfectly arched set that frames your face is the most important thing a woman can do for herself. A shaggy pair can bring your whole look tumbling down. I’ve run into friends whom I have not seen in ages and gasped with pleasure at their fabulous appearances. And it’s always the eyebrows. They just make the rest of you look sensational. Go to a professional shaper. Have her set the stage and you can maintain from there, splurging on occasional touchups. There is not a gal on Park Avenue who hasn’t memorized the cell number of her eyebrow guru.
2. SMILE! Oy. I think you have a little escargot stuck in your front tooth. Très uncouth. People with expensive tastes and the bank accounts to back them up would never spend a minute with food in their teeth or have red-wine-stained chompers. Healthy, white teeth and fresh breath are signs of common hygiene we should all adhere to. Brush and floss twice daily, use a whitening paste, crunch on fresh veggies, and sip water (I prefer sparkling) after each meal to flush away any leftover bits.
3. I’m a huge believer in the restorative power of sleep, especially after age thirty. It’s hard at any age to look fabulous with droopy eyelids and dark circles under your eyes. Getting adequate rest keeps you looking young and healthy. Rather than staying up late to watch TV, turn in early and let your cells repair themselves so tomorrow you look rested and gorgeous. You say you can’t fall asleep? No caffeine after 3 p.m. and stop using your bed for anything other than sleep and sex.
4. Nothing says “cheap whore” like long red acrylic claws. Nothing says “street urchin” like ragged, dirty nails (acceptable only if you are a farmer). I have a happy medium for you: neat, manicured fingernails, not too long and slightly squared. No time for polish? Ask for a buff manicure in which the technician rubs your nails with a special cloth until they are shiny, natural, and presentable.
5. I’m fine with drugstore makeup. I’m not fine with the sad little brushes that come with shadows and blushes. Invest in a decent set of makeup brushes and you will be able to apply pigments more effectively. When you try to pile colors on, it just looks overworked and skanky. Little foam “brushes” can do that to you.
6. There are lots of creepy rumors out there about what fancy people use to keep their skin dewy and radiant: nightingale poop, caviar, earthworm kaka, and snail slime. Rich folk have the time and money to get regular facials (and regular sleep), but they can keep their questionable ingredients all for themselves. A gentle facial cleanser, sheer foundation, and some well-placed brightener will all go toward helping you achieve a luminous air.
7. I don’t think women were allowed to graduate from finishing schools in the old days unless they could balance a book on their heads for an ungodly amount of time. I won’t ask you to perform such a feat, but excellent posture is the sign of a moneyed upbringing. You’ll look better in clothes (and thinner!) when you stand tall with your shoulders back.
8. Between summers in Ibiza and winters on the slopes of Aspen, ladies who lunch get a lot of sun exposure. But it makes no difference where you catch your rays, as long as you don’t let them age you. Please use a facial moisturizer with sunscreen, and don’t forget to treat your hands and chest. Those two spots are vulnerable to sun and can quickly give you a weathered façade.
9. Peeling lips are gross. No one wants to kiss them. You might be dehydrated, overexposed to the elements, or living in a superdry New York City studio apartment. Whatever the cause, fix it. And wear a restorative lip balm night and day till you have a smooth pucker. I have never seen a high-society grand dame with a flaky mouth.