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All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Eyes Lifted

I mean it! Applying eye makeup has recently become a drag: My formerly firm peepers suddenly look saggy and crinkled.

middle aged woman preparing for plastic surgery

So, what are my options?

a) ignore it and try to age gracefully (not my natural instinct);

b) wear fabulous glasses with pastel lenses, í  la Diane Keaton (maybe);

c) continue to do my "smoky-eye thing" and hope I look like an aging French movie star (very possible); or

d) get an eye lift (I'm thinking about it!).

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, an eye lift is one of the most frequently requested "surgical gifts." And why not? I've put it on my list of five "self-improvement presents" to consider giving yourself over the holidays:

Tweak your nose tip. "I'm seeing an increase in patients who had nose jobs elsewhere in their youth," says cosmetic surgeon Barry Weintraub, a specialist in procedures for women 50 and up. "With age, they have started to experience nose-tip issues: too droopy, too bulbous, or downturned when smiling." Like the ears, the human nose never stops growing. So even if you've never had rhinoplasty, you might want to consider "tip-plasty" in your 50s or 60s.

Make eye makeup fun again. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) can be accomplished in a week. As Dr. Weintraub sees it, "Achieving a natural-looking result at 50 is important. Taking too much skin and fat away from the upper lids at 50 actually gives patients that dreaded 'deer-in-the-headlights' look; in fact, it can make them appear older. A good surgeon will preserve the original attractive shape of your youthful eyes." That means no more worries about smudges, or eye shadow collecting in lines, or looking grimy and tired.

Perk up your girls. Breast augmentation has traditionally been most popular for women in their 20s and 30s, says Dr. Weintraub, but these days "more financially independent working women in their 50s and 60s are looking to perk up sagging breasts with a slight volumetric change." A molded T-shirt bra can do only so much; the desire to look good, in clothes and out of them (!), is no longer just for young'uns.

Break out the Botox. It's not exclusively for Ladies Who Lunch: Dr. Weintraub has observed 50+ attorneys, accountants, ad executives and even professors requesting Botox these days. "By paralyzing the muscles that make horizontal wrinkles in the forehead," he explains, "Botox can rejuvenate your facial expression. It can also help turn up the corners of the mouth, and smooth the platysmal bands in the neck." Could banishing those two frown lines between your eyes - the so-called "angry 11s" - be a worthy way to kick off 2014?

Flatter your face with filler. All these 50+ women with "trout pout" have given plumping up the lips with filler a bad rep. But skillful use of fillers can soften the deep nasolabial folds, which run from the edges of the nose to the corners of the mouth, and the "marionette lines" that run from mouth to chin. "The trick is to layer several fillers to achieve a natural-looking, long-lasting result," says Dr. Weintraub. "Nothing's worse than overinflated results."

Do these steps sound drastic? Possibly - but less so if you happen to be looking for a job, dating again, or simply eager to stop glimpsing the same old imperfections in the mirror every time.

For more beauty and style tips for women 50+, check out Lois Joy Johnson's Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age or (with co-author Sandy Linter) The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Looks at Any Age.

Photo: Michael Jung/iStockphoto


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