10 Subtle Signs That Give Away Your Age


Getty ImagesWhat exactly is it about a woman's body that telegraphs her age, beyond the usual suspects like crow's-feet and laugh lines? Turns out that there are subtle, head-to-toe signs that show whether a woman is 30-something, or more likely closing in on 50.

We gathered simple, do-it-now fixes from top dermatologists, makeup masters, stylists, and fitness experts. With our help, you'll have everyone believing you're 10 years younger in no time.

Sign #1: Barely-there brows

Where did those luscious lashes and brows go? Chalk it up to the age-related drop in hormones that slows hair growth, and all those years of follicle-destroying tweezing.

What you can do:

Stop pruning now. "Go for a professional brow shaping and learn how to maintain your brows so you don't overtweeze or overwax," says Maria Verel, Diane Sawyer's makeup artist.

Color them in. Use a brow pencil in a shade slightly lighter than your brows. "Rather than draw a continuous line, make gentle feather strokes," Verel says. Then use a spiral brow brush or baby toothbrush to blend. Or try Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Fix ($21; anastasia.net), a wax pencil you swipe on the brow and follow with powder for a natural look.

Get primed. A lash primer like Lancôme Cils Booster Mascara Base ($24; lancome-usa.com) conditions and thickens what you've got.

Switch mascaras. Swap your lengthening formula for a thickening product like Maybelline's Volume Express Turbo Boost Mascara ($7; drugstores nationwide). Apply the first coat by placing the wand at the base of your lashes and swishing from side to side. Let it set for 15 seconds, then sweep on a second coat.

Next Page: Sign #2: The incredible shrinking smile [ pagebreak ]

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age-ears age-ears ). Apply these fingernail-size disks of sticky plastic tape behind each lobe and put your posts on as usual.

Go jewelry shopping. Lose those heavy chandeliers from seasons past: Earlobe-friendly drop pendants and dangling small stones are the hot items this summer, says Clinton Kelly, fashion stylist and star of The Learning Channel's (TLC's) What Not To Wear. Or, for added coverage, invest in clip-on earrings made of lighter materials like shells or mother of pearl.

Next Page: Sign #4: Paper-thin neck skin [ pagebreak ]

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age-woman age-woman , and sun damage (which further weakens the skin above the breasts) can make things worse.

What you can do:

Tighten your bra straps. This simple adjustment can make a difference in your look and comfort, says Dana Schiller, spokesperson for Warnaco Intimate Apparel. How tight? In front of a mirror, bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Your breasts should sit halfway between your shoulder and your elbow.

Get fit. "Go for a professional bra fitting at least every five years, or more often if you've gained or lost 10 pounds and seen changes in your chest," Kelly says.

Buy a bra with boost. An underwire bra with stretch foam cups provides natural shaping and support.

Pamper your decollete. Protect delicate chest skin with an SPF 15 sunblock, says dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD, of New York. Plus, slather on an anti-aging cream filled with antioxidants like vitamin C.

Next Page: Sign #7: Superdry elbows [ pagebreak ]

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Get growing. Stimulate collagen production to rejuvenate your skin, suggests dermatologist Diane Madfes. Look for lotions containing glycolic acids, Vitamin A (such as Jergens Age Defying Multi-Vitamin Moisturizer, $7 at drugstores nationwide), or alpha hydroxy acids, like those found in Dove's Pro-Age Body Lotion ($7; drugstores nationwide).

Embrace the three-quarters sleeve. A flattering look for most figures, three-quarters-sleeve silhouettes will give you great coverage when you don't want to bare all. Look for thin, natural fabrics to keep you cool in the summer heat. Another option perfect for summer are kimono sleeves, Kelly says.

Next Page: Sign #8: Saggy knees [ pagebreak ]

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age-hands age-hands ) is best.

Don't forget the sunscreen. Sun damage can make thin skin even thinner. Use an SPF of at least 15 on the backs of your hands whenever you go out in the sun.

Wear jewels strategically. Instead of large rings that draw the eyes to the hands, opt for heavy bracelets or the oh-so-stylish stack of bangles and chunky watches to create a diversion, Verel suggests.

Polish lightly. Pale polishes will finish off your nails nicely without screaming "Look at me!", Kelly says. "Don't bring attention to your hands with bright colors. Go for nudes, pinks, or other light shades instead."