Scottish Daily Mail

A brisk walk will raise your spirits far more effectivel­y than an afternoon in a salon

Every woman likes to feel powerful and attractive. Why should that end at 60?


is that I’ve got fewer years ahead of me on earth than I have behind. But that’s all the more reason to savour every moment.

£45k on my face is an investment

SOME weeks ago, a childhood friend and I were climbing into a taxi after a West End show. The cabbie turned and said: ‘Did you and your mum have a good night?’

It was mortifying. My friend, Claire, and I have both just turned 60, yet she is the first to admit I look decades younger.

I could see she was upset, but then she said she knew why he’d made the mistake. I’ve spent most of my adult life in Britain, while she had swapped the searing Australian sun for the equally punishing glare of Los Angeles.

She’d been a sun worshipper all her life, while I adored the grey and drizzle of London. My idea of a sunshine holiday is SPF 50, a hat and shade, while she would bake herself. And there is nothing more ageing to skin than the sun.

Yet it’s not just my love of the shade that has helped me hold back the years. Seventeen years of state-of-the-art, non-surgical treatments have helped, too! From peels and lasers on my face and neck to treatments to remove age spots on my hands, they have all made a difference.

For my 60th birthday, I gave myself a thread lift. A fairly uncomforta­ble procedure, it involves injecting fine threads into your skin that tighten and lift your face back to where it belongs.

It’s especially effective around the jawline, removing those saggy bits that come inevitably with age, but also lifts the cheeks and redefines cheekbones. Prices range from £600-£1,900 depending on what you have done.

I had the full face and upper neck minus the upper lip, which set me back £1,600. A week later, once the slight bruising had gone, my face looked remarkably younger.

WhY didn’t I treat myself to a holiday for my 60th, or new clothes? Simply because, for me, turning 60 is the worst milestone I’ve reached. I dreaded it and, for the first time in my life, felt daunted by my age and feared I would be defined by it.

Once I reached 60, could I still look glamorous, or would I be like mutton dressed as lamb?

I was never pretty, certainly not beautiful. An interviewe­r once described me as ‘tall, dark and handsome’. I’m happy to settle for that, yet feared I’d wake up at 60 an old lady.

Of course, I didn’t and, surprising­ly, once the big day was over, I was relieved. Time to get on with the rest of my life and the great years ahead, God willing. But it helped that I knew I didn’t

look 60, simply thanks to the years and money I’ve invested in warding off the visible effects of ageing. As a single woman with no children, that’s where the school fees I didn’t have to find went!

It’s also partly because of the rapid developmen­t of so-called ‘tweakments’ over the past two decades. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been a devotee, some might say guinea pig, of most procedures that don’t require a knife.

In researchin­g the work I’ve had done, I was quite shocked to note that I began my non-surgical journey 17 years ago, aged 43.

Back then, it was chemical peels which left you looking like a burn victim for weeks, or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Those early treatments made your face swollen and bruised — there was so much downtime required, you’d spend days, sometimes a week, hiding at home.

One Obagi Blue Peel left me with such a sickly pale blue hue for a week that I couldn’t even venture into M&S. I had Botox then, too, but didn’t much like the frozen feeling it gave me. Now I have ‘baby’ Botox about once a year at £390 each session (many women have it four times a year), which is a more subtle, delicate approach that still allows your face to move.

There have been yearly sessions of £350 BBL, a broadband light that stings like hell but removes blemishes such as spider veins (from too much wine), age spots and other sun damage, while stimulatin­g collagen production.

Collagen is essential to keeping your skin looking young, but we lose one per cent of it each year from our mid-20s. So, by 60, it is somewhat depleted and its absence leads to deep lines.

Any procedure that stimulates collagen production gives longterm results, but you do have to keep it up.

I’ve also had Ultherapy, a highlyfocu­sed ultrasound that lifts saggy jawlines, cheeks and brows, for a cool £2,800. Fortunatel­y, only one session was needed.

Pelleve was another success, a radiofrequ­ency skin-tightening treatment good for wrinkle reduction around the eyes and top lip.

And the £550 PRP Vampire Facial, in which your own blood plasma is reinjected into your face, gave excellent results. Not for the faint-hearted, but it worked.

These days, you can have effective treatments like the non-surgical laser Kleresca in your lunch hour and go back to work afterwards, as I did last year (and will do next).

In fact, I’ve probably had two procedures every year since I began. I must have spent around £45,000 in 17 years — a staggering sum, I know — or £2,650 a year, not including makeup, hair and so on.

Yet apart from my mortgage, the money I’ve spent this way been the best investment of my life.

I was brought up to take care of myself. Both my parents always said you can have brains and an education, but if you look scruffy, people will take you less seriously.

Every woman likes to feel powerful and attractive and a large part of that comes from what you see in the mirror. I see no reason why that formula for a happy life should change just because you’re 60.

I don’t view these treatments as a form of self-harm, which some people do, but as a type of advanced grooming. To me, lasers and peels are like lipstick and mascara — I don’t leave home without them. Some women want to age naturally — not me. While I’m not raging against the passing of youth, I am absolutely trying to slow it down and I’m honest about that.

I’m tired of women who say they’d ‘never have anything done’, then I see them sneak into my clinic behind big sunglasses. Most women are more likely to divulge the name of their secret lover than the person who ‘does their work’.

ONE word of advice: you need to find someone really good. I’ve been going to Lee Garrett, a qualified aesthetic nurse with his own clinic on harley Street, for nearly two decades and wouldn’t trust my face with anyone else.

And never have a facelift. They’re like shrinking shoe leather then putting your foot back in the shoe. The skin just stretches again.

The only downside of looking younger is it means you attract men much younger than you. That might sound fun — and it can be! — but it’s a tad boring when you have no shared background and they think Dire Straits is somewhere in the Middle East.

It’s not all about cosmetic procedures, though. A lifetime of regular exercise makes a huge difference.

As a child, I played sport daily: football, netball, competitiv­e swimming. As an adult I ran, swam and became a gym devotee. At 60, I train four times a week for over an hour, boxing and doing weights.

Dare I say it, I’m sure not having children keeps you looking younger too. All those years of sleepless nights, not to mention the physical toll, is ageing. Sadly, I couldn’t have kids and would have swapped my size 12 figure and age-defying skin for a child in a heartbeat.

But I make no apologies for taking care of my appearance, not at 60 or beyond. It’s not cheap, but I’d rather remove two years of wrinkles than buy a new handbag.

There is no shame in wanting to look as good as you can for as long as you can. Millions of women do it and so should you. Think of it as the new way to age gracefully.

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 ??  ?? Birthday treat: Amanda has a jawline-tightening thread lift AFTER
Birthday treat: Amanda has a jawline-tightening thread lift AFTER
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