Face and Figure

Elegant Exercise: Rebounding

Bounce your way to better health with this ideal mini-trampoline. As long as your feet are in fair condition and you're able to stand, this mini-trampoline is easy to use, and its cardio-vascular benefits are similar to those acquired by jumping rope. And "rebounding" on a trampoline is easier than jumping rope, because there is nothing on which to trip. It seems like all the rage right now, but those in the know were using mini-trampolines in the 1990s. The svelte and intelligent character Charlotte Cavendish in the series Lovejoy, for example, used to bounce fifty times on her mini-trampoline in the morning, and another fifty in the evening. 

This is the best and least expensive one that I have used: 

Gold's Gym Circuit Trainer Mini Trampoline, 36 inch

Get fit with the Gold's Gym Circuit Trainer Mini 36" Trampoline. It is a fun way to get a low-impact aerobic workout that will build cardiovascular fitness, tone your legs, abs, buttocks, and back, and give you more energy. Results in just a few weeks. Perfect for all fitness levels.
Gold's Gym Circuit Trainer Mini Trampoline, 36":
  • Build cardiovascular fitness, tone your legs, abs, buttocks, and back
  • Low-impact aerobic workout at home
  • Rugged, all-steel frame construction
  • Durable polypropylene rebounding surface
    Gold's Gym Circuit Trainer Mini Trampoline also includes:
  • 2 resistance cords for upper body workout
  • Electronic monitor that measures time, calories, and number of jumps
  • Mini-trampoline stands on 6-legs.
  • Gold's Gym circuit trainer workout DVD
The Health-Benefits of Rebounding

Face and Figure


Avoid Plastic Surgery and Botox! 

M-J's Tips  for Face and Figure

September 30th, 2009: Facial Yoga Exercises are Better than Botox

The classic hula-hoop is great for maintaining your figure, and can help you lose extra kilos. It's low-tech, lightweight, and easy-to-store.
The old-fashioned jump-rope is inexpensive, compact, and packable for travel; jumping rope is still the most effective cardiovascular exercise. We are jumping rope daily, and playing tennis. Tennis keeps us running round picking up balls, and jumping into the air to return lobs. Jumping rope will make your legs and heart strong!
My husband and I are now using Dr. Brandt's "Pores No More", an excellent skin-surface smoothing cream for special occasions. 

Shield Yourself from the Sun

To maintain the flower of youth, ladies often use parasols. They are much more reliable than sunscreen creams, and safer for your skin.
Alternatively, a  wide-brimmed hat is perfect for guarding against the sun's harmful rays.

Anna Says: Use a Magnifying Mirror

Anna Says: Use a Lighted, Magnifying Makeup Mirror

M-J de Mesterton: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Posted by M-J de Mesterton at 11:52 AM on May 23, 2009 
Sometimes, either because of aging eyes or lack of good lighting, it is difficult to get our makeup right, says my dear friend, Anna. She has witnessed some very prominent people up-close who weren't aware of their tragic eye makeup application, because they just couldn't see well enough to do it properly. Therefore, she recommends using a magnifying makeup mirror. This one works great:

Elegant Survival Skin-Care and Makeup

 Elegant Survival Discovery:
for when your skin needs extra attention. Dr. Zeff's site is the best place to order these skin-care creams. He ships lightning-fast.

Thursday, July 17, 2007
M-J on Maintaining an Elegant Countenance
 Skin-Care and Beauty
Skin-Care Tip for Summer and Hotter Climates: When the weather is hot and humid, acne can plague even the most mature and clean faces. The scientifically-advanced product advertised heavily on TV and internet by a starlet and other gals costs about 70 dollars US before shipping charges. Meanwhile, at Sam's Club, an analogous acne-treatment regimen-in-a-box costs about 30 dollars US. It contains a big bottle of facial scrubbing lotion, a large bottle of toner, a cream, and a tube of acne-zapping ointment. I estimate that the bottles and tube in the Acne-Free set will last approximately six months. It works!
Skin-Care for Winter, 2008: Drink plenty of water and use a moisturizing cream, preferably an oil-free one. You don’t have to hurry to the cosmetics counter at a mall-based department store (where it's easy to be taked into buying one cosmetic line's whole set of offerings)-- just go to the supermarket and look for Olay’s affordable products. They are on the cutting edge, or the vanguard of skin-care research and development--they have to be. L'Oreal has some high-quality, low-priced skin-creams as well. In our house, my husband and I use both brands.

 Vintage Photo Hand-Coloured in Oil Paint, by M-J in 1980
Makeup: The Less You Use, the Less You Need Two lovely, elderly ladies in my life told me years ago to never use foundation makeup, and I have never forgotten their advice, nor used the wretched stuff. One of them was my Swedish grandmother, who, at the age of eighty, had baby-soft skin on her face. We usually do remember what our elders tell us, even though when they are doing it we couldn't care less. I'm so grateful to her, and to Loulla, the other elder bearing great advice about keeping a bare face. Come to think of it, I have never seen a liquid makeup that looked natural in daylight, where all facial embellishments become apparent. The best thing to do is to scrub your face well with a microfiber cloth and Cetaphil, a wonderful liquid cleanser made in Fort Worth. It is so mild that soldiers in the desert use it to cleanse their faces when there's no water available. This cloth/cleanser combination will exfoliate your skin, which is key to keeping the new, fresh skin-cells at the fore. After washing and drying my face, I like to use just a little pink blush on my cheeks. Try to find one that is non-comedogenic (doesn't clog the pores).
What is it about liquid foundation that is deleterious to the skin? It usually contains oil, which doesn't mix with water, and can dry the skin. I once tossed out a bottle of Clinique face-lotion because I discovered that it had linseed oil in it. Also, liquid makeup, whether or not it contains oil, can clog the pores. Less is more, and of course, choose a sunscreen that won't clog pores or irritate your skin. I use Baby Magic sunscreen when going out for tennis.
Makeup: the less you use, the less you need--because it can damage your skin, thus making you want to cover it up, which is what's known as a "vicious cycle". Keeping one's skin in good condition is not expensive! Copyright 2006 M-J de Mesterton
Enhancing the Face that Nature Gave You, and Creating a Beautiful Visage
 Drawing by C. Wirgman, English Correspondent in 1800s Yokohama
Eyebrows ought to help create an expressive face. Pluck them from underneath only, not above them, and aim at getting the stray hairs out of the design. Tweezerman makes the most reliable, accurate tweezers that I've ever used. Eyebrows, eyes, undereyes, cheeks, jowls, lips: I believe that any woman can look lovely if these areas are treated properly. After you have achieved a satisfactory brow-line, you can fill-in spots where the shape is weak--I prefer an ashy, light blonde eyebrow pencil (I use Maybelline, under two dollars US), which doesn't show. Darker pencils can look orange on your skin in the daylight. A well-shaped brow, either thin or strong, if that is your natural growth pattern, can be a great facial asset.
Eyes ought to be the focus of your face. Skip the lipstick and wear a gloss or moisturizing balm. That way, the rest of your face is softened by the beauty of your eyes. Mascara can look hard and harsh in the daytime; it can flake, crumble and smear. I need to accentuate my eyes, so rather than mascara, I use a thin, brown-black eyeliner pencil with built-in sharpener by Revlon. To reduce the stark line that it creates, I soften with just a bit of eyeshadow over it. Restrict use of eyeliner to the upper lid, because any eyeliner at the bottom of your eyes brings down your face and can make you look old. After lining the upper eyelid, I add a little light brown eyeshadow in the most concave area above the eye, tipping it upward towards the outer edges. A little dab of lighter color in the center of the eyelid can have a nice finishing effect.
Never put liquid foundation or powder under your eyes, unless you want to look like you have two crinkle-cut potatoes resting there! It dries the most delicate skin on your face so badly that it may never recover. And speaking of cover, if you really have a dark circle under your eye, don't touch any baggage with concealer; put it only in the very darkest area. Less is more, especially in this area of the face.
Sometimes in the evening, I put the lightest, most skin-friendly pink blush on each cheek, applied very delicately. It brings the focus up from the jowls, and makes you look a bit cheerier. Darker skins can use peach or bronze, but very lightly. Any color added to the skin during the daytime can make one look older. Even translucent powder is drying and can make skin look heavy, so I restrict the use of it to hot summer nights when I am sure that I'm going to have hot flashes and I need something to absorb the excess moisture I exude. I avoid getting any powder or blush on the jowl area, since that can really accentuate the negative!
My husband always tells me not to wear lipstick, since he thinks it makes women look silly, cheap, and old. And if I must wear it, he says to wear a very light pink frost. All right, I cooperate because the fellow has great taste! According to him, his ol' pal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, with whom he body-built at Venice Beach back in the 1970s, won't let "his woman" wear either lipstick or trousers. My husband has the same demands. Well, I only wear pants when riding my bike or a horse, so no problem there, but wearing lipstick is a tough habit to break!
Jawline and Neck
For glamorous evening occasions, here is a device that can give you the illusion of a slim neck and tighter jawline. Under the jawline there is an area which can be brushed lightly with a shading tone of blush. Make sure you don't touch the jawbone with it, but go just underneath it. This is best done at night, since, again, daytime exposes a multitude of sins. This shading technique is especially helpful if one has a bit more "flesh" under the jaw than they desire. Again, this must be done very delicately and with a rather fluffy brush to avoid creating stripes. To avoid an orange-ish effect, I find that a very light pink blush mixed with a very pale frosted brown works well. I will even mix in a little translucent loose powder to facilitate the flow, and then lightly blend downward around the neck. This prevents a line of demarcation. This stuff is awful to remove from one's clothing, so it is best used when wearing a low-necked evening gown. This is advice that you can take or leave, and perhaps some of it will be useful. I learned these techniques and more in Manhattan, New York, when I spent six years working with a fashion and head-shot photographer. We worked with opera singers, Elite models and Broadway stars. Each subject had to visit a particular professional makeup artist before his or her photo-shoot. I was in charge of retouching, with an etching knife, the final product on black and white 8X10" photographs--that's what we did in the old days. It wasn't easy, but I found it much easier and produced more realistic, natural-looking  results than the modern method (digital may as well be painting), which I have never used.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006 
Maintaining the Flower of Youth
Check It and Chuck It! 

Look at the labels on your makeup products. If they are "made in China", they are likely to contain lead, which is a carcinogen.

Check all makeup, lotion, and deodorant products for the ingredient, "aluminum". Aluminum is known to cause a breach in the blood-brain barrier, an anomaly to which Alzheimer's disease is attributed.
A well-preserved blood-brain barrier is required to protect brain cells from being damaged by neurotoxins, which accumulate and poison brain cells.
Another source of aluminum is the non-dairy creamer, Coffee-Mate. I found the Canadian version to be aluminum-free, however. Check the labels on all such products before buying. Some of the less-expensive store brands of non-dairy creamer, such as Wal-Mart and Sam's, are free of aluminum additives (I think they are called flow-agents).

If a product contains one or both of the aforementioned ingredients,chuck it!

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008


Elegant Survival Exercise

Elegant Exercise: Low-Cost, Low-Tech and Low-Stress
I am currently using three exercise implements or machines that use no electricity and occupy little space. Each of them is easy to use, and I have seen clear results from their use lately. 1) The Gazelle by Tony Little: available at Wal-Mart for around a hundred dollars. This low-impact machine is great for those with knee and joint pain, because you can do fast-walking without touching the ground. Assembly required (men seem to be able to do this without using the instruction manual; beware of four-letter words).2) The Ab Lounge by Fitness Quest: Available at Wal-Mart for about a hundred dollars. It's so easy to flop onto it once a day and do ab-crunches. I find it so much more conducive to ab-work than getting down on the floor--and more fun than sit-ups, which are a colossal bore. 3) The Thigh-Master, by Suzanne Somers. I have been using it for at least ten years! It's fun to pick it up and do chest exercises and a few thigh-squeezes just before bed. Here's an oldie-but-goodie for high-impact cardiovascular exercise: jumping rope!
And now, I would like to introduce Joyce Vedral. She is not only extremely competent in body-shaping instruction, but a natural comedienne. Instead of going to an unsanitary and exceedingly loud health-club (more on my experience with those later), why not stay in your own controlled environment and work out with Joyce? A video or DVD of your choice ordered from her website will keep you toned and happy. ~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007
Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Update, June 4th, 2009: Anna says that Pilates core-strengthening exercises help her in preventing falls.

Miscellaneous Health & Beauty Topics

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sophia Loren: Women and Beauty

I've had this book since it was launched in 1984. I still remember the fashion and beauty advice given in it by one of the world's greatest beauties. Here are some of Sophia Loren's philosophical entries:

Beauty: In my opinion, there are two things you must recognize about beauty in order to achieve it: first, that it is within your reach, and second, that it is worth working for.
Exercise: Contrary to what most women think, exercise will decrease your appetite and help you burn more calories even hours after you have stopped. To me this is almost a miracle. I have always noticed that after I exercise, I am not hungry, but just imagine--not only does your appetite decrease, your body continues to burn more calories than ever for hours afterward. It is as if you started a fire that continues to burn long after the kindling has gone out. This means that your body's increased metabolism is working to keep you trim and firm far beyond your exercise time. What a wonderful dividend that is.

Self-Confidence: When I began my career, my nickname was "Giraffe" because I was so tall and awkward. No one thought I was especially beautiful, but everyone knew right away that I was proud. In the beginning people were impressed with my confidence, and gradually they came to see it as beauty. On the other hand, I know a woman who is convinced that she is too tall; she is so self-conscious about it that most of the time she looks as if she would like to disappear. All she thinks about is her height and that is all you notice about her. Unless her attitude changes, the sad fact is that although she is very pretty, she has no chance of being thought attractive.

You can build self-confidence by knowing yourself. That is not just a matter of counting your strengths. You must know your weaknesses as well. Self-confidence doesn’t grow from perfection...if you know your weaknesses, you can control them, not vice versa.
Clothing: Spend your fashion budget where you spend your time: if you are in an office most of the week, then office clothing should take the lion’s share of your clothes budget...remember also that you should make an effort to look attractive in the evening for the man in your life, even if you are only going to be watching television together.

Decide on what you really need and buy the best. Every woman has had that dark night of the fashion soul when she stands in front of her closet and cries to the heavens, “I haven’t a thing to wear!”
Living: ...don’t postpone living until you reach the perfect size.
Self-confidence has to do with the way we face the world, while tranquility reflects the way we face ourselves.

~~Sophia Loren, in her book, 
Women and BeautyWilliam Morrow and Co., Inc. 1984

Reducing Puffiness under the Eyes

Peel and slice a potato very thinly, and put the slices in the freezer, in a waxed paper or plastic bag. The potato slices will freeze quickly.
Put the chilled potato slices under eyes while lying down, and remove them when they turn brown. If this doesn't work right away, fetch the other frozen potato slices from the freezer and repeat the process.
Another method is to use chilled cucumber slices. I don't know why it works, but it does.

Botox, an Unhealthy Poison

Botox, an unhealthy poison, is used to freeze people's faces. This insanity has consequences. Article in the Telegraph U.K.

Gayelord Hauser's Low-Impact, High Results  Exercise Routine

Excerpt from "Mirror, Mirror, the Book by Gayelord Hauser
Give Yourself Seven Minutes A Day

Now here is some more cheerful news about exercise: it does not have to be a long, complicated, strenuous routine.  All the women - and men, too - who have told me how the successfully made exercise a part of their lives have confirmed my own experience.  A few well-chosen, basic, simple exercises make the best routine.  they can be gone through in a few minutes as part of the getting up, bathing and dressing ritual that begins your day.

I have studied countless exercise routines, American, European and Oriental, for every country has its favorites.  The best ones have been developed out of natural body movements and do not demand a contortionist's or an acrobat's abilities.  Let me give you here my seven basic exercises.  You can do them well and thoroughly in no more than seven minutes of your day, and they will keep you trim and fit all your life.  Remember, we not only exercise to keep slim; we exercise because it helps us to feel so much better and it keeps our "instrument" in tune:

  • Stretch:  Rise up on your toes, arms up, with your hands try to touch the ceiling.  Drop arms.  Relax.  Do ten times.
  • Bend:  Down, down, from the waist, hands reaching for the floor.  Stretch, stretch, until you can touch the floor with the palms of your hands.  the best vitalizing and backache exercise.  Do ten times.
  • Torso Stretch and Twist:  With arms outstretched to the sides, reach to the left, to the right; twist at the waist and reach backward to the left and to the right.  A wonderful and easy twist for keeping waistlines.  Back and forth.  Do ten times.
  • Hip Roll: With hands on hips, rotate the middle, holding shoulders still, first to the left, then to the right.  Do ten times slowly in each direction.
  • Bicycle: For beautiful legs, lie on the floor on your back, legs up, pedal slowly and rhythmically.  The more you breathe the better it feels.  Do for two minutes and relax.Tummy Lift: Pull your abdominal muscles in, hard, harder.  Hold tight for about 30 seconds or until muscles start to quiver, then relax.  Do just once a day, but regularly.
  • Shoulder Shrug: Important for neck, face and scalp.  Lift the shoulders to the ears and hold for ten seconds.  Relax a repeat ten times.
Now shake yourself all over, take a few breaths, and off to your shower or tub.  You have done your muscle work for the day.  Any other exercise, sport or physical work you do will be so much gravy.  Try and make these easy and lazy twists a daily habit.~~Gayelord Hauser, 1895-1984

The Original Rock Paintings of M-J de Mesterton

      Mystic Rock and Gem Painter M-J de Mesterton    Color-Field , Oil on Canvas 72" X 60", by M-J de Mesterton,  C...