Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Who’s Afraid of the LOL?

My friend, Ellin, recently sent me a link to an Article in the Daily Mail written by a very attractive, 71-year-old woman on how to avoid the dreaded LOL label.  Not that long ago, or so it seems, I would sign handwritten letters to friends “LOL,” which meant “Lots Of Love.”  Then, suddenly, one day it meant “Laugh Out Loud.”  Guess I missed the memo.  Now it has apparently undergone yet another acronymic incarnation.  Missed that memo, too. 

According to Tricia Cusden, the author of the aforementioned Daily Mail Article, LOL now means Little Old Lady and is to be avoided at all costs.  Hmmm.  Am I at risk?  After all, I am “little” and I am “old(ish)” and I am definitely a “lady.”  Hmmm.  Well, here are a few things she says about how to avoid it and what I have to say about what she has to say. 

There’s no denying that Tricia Cusden looks great.  At 71, she definitely knows how to put herself together to look youthful without desperately trying to look young.  Those metallic sneakers (what the Brits call “trainers”) are a great trendy touch.  They add a dash of youth and a shot of shimmer to what is otherwise a classic outfit, and the jacket adds another bit of shimmer, which totally brightens her face.  While sneakers are really not my style, I must say, “Well done, Tricia.”  Of course, it’s only to be expected.  She is in the makeover business and her makeup line and beauty products are available on her website Look Fabulous Forever. 

Although she fully acknowledges that looking your best as you age is no easy task, it can be done.  I agree.  Been shouting that from the rooftops for years.  It’s all about making the right choices, she says, and I agree.  She lists what she considers to be the right choices, if you are to successfully avoid the dreaded LOL label.  I agree with and disagree with some of her choices. 

Tricia recommends matching the color of your eyeglasses to your skin tone.  Here she wears blue frames that complement her cool skin tones.  Most of us ladies d’un certain âge need eyeglasses and wearing fun, brightly colored frames does wonders for your face. 

These Frames Come from Glasses USA

As a child, I was farsighted (presbyopic) needing glasses to read.  Now my distance vision has diminished so I need glasses for that as well.  I tried bifocals and transition lenses and couldn’t adjust to them.  In fact, I took a tumble down the stairs with transition lenses.  So, I opted for two pairs of glasses, which gave me the opportunity to buy two sets of colorful frames.  My reading glasses are in bright red and my distance glasses in bright blue, which does not match my warm skin tones, but I have developed some cooler undertones to my skin in the last few years, so they actually look great.  While I generally agree with Tricia’s theory of matching the color to your skin tones, sometimes a bit of contrast can work, too.  It did for me. 

And keep in mind that while choosing the right color is important, choosing the right shape is just as important.  That dress that looks perfect on the hanger may not work once you try it on, and vice versa.  You may need to try on quite a few “frocks” before you find your “Prints Charming.”  I can hear you groaning.  Sorry, can never resist a play on words.  It’s my French blood, I think.   

This Tory Burch Cross-Body Bag in Grey Heron is Available at Nordstrom

Tricia recommends streamlining what you carry and dumping the over-sized, old lady handbag into which everything gets dumped and you have to root around to find anything in favor of a smaller cross-body bag.  I have real problems with this piece of advice.  Maybe it’s just me, but I hate cross-body bags.  Having that bag dangling in front of me always makes me feel as if I’m bumping into something with every step I take.  And the truth is that as much as I try to edit my contents, there are certain things I just need to have handy, just in case.  My handbag contains the following: 

n  Bright yellow wallet (instantly visible);

n  Two sets of eyeglasses (near and far), a pair of sunglasses and a pair of small reading glasses for my husband, who forgets his all the time;

n  I-phone (the old flip phones were sooo much lighter and smaller);

n  My makeup bag;

n  Hair brush;

n  Three sets of keys -- house, my car, his car;

n  Mints, Antacids and four or five pieces of hard candy for those moments when you feel a coughing fit coming on at the opera;

n  Rosary beads in case of an accident so that whoever finds me knows to get a priest, just in case;

n  Small sewing kit with needles, colored threads and safety pins, just in case;

n  Whisk wipes for any errant spots on my clothes, just in case;

n  Pack of tissues;

n  Business cards in silver case;

n  Small writing tablet for notations with Audrey Hepburn’s picture on the cover, for the pure pleasure of seeing that beautiful face;

n  Two pens, in case one runs out of ink;

n  Hermès perfume sample, just in case;

n  Scarf to wrap around my shoulders in case of too much air-conditioning in the summer or too little heat in the winter;

n  Hand sanitizer, just in case;

n  Hand cream;

n  Small folding umbrella; and

n  Small light the size of a key fob to read menus with ridiculously small print in restaurants with impossibly low lighting.  

My Neighbor, the Artist Rich Heacock, Snapped this Photo of Me as I Was on my Way to the Mail Box
This is my every day, spring/summer bag, which contains everything I need or might need (see above), just in case.  It’s a Talbots neutral straw bag with a bright, green-checked lining that reminds me of a summer picnic.  Things tend to get lost in a large bag with a dark lining, so I always look for something with a light or brightly-colored lining.  Also, this bag has zippered pockets which help keep things separated and accessible.  Does this bag make me look like an LOL?  You can be honest with me. 

Tricia recommends pretty but practical under panties (what the Brits call “knickers”).  I agree.  I have never been comfortable in a thong, but I still love my tiny, lacy panties – easy on, easy off. 

Speaking of “easy off,” she likes jumpsuits.  Now, I don’t know about you, but if I get a sudden urge to use the bathroom, which is happening more frequently these days, the last thing I want is to have to take off half a jump suit first when, shall we say, time is of the essence.  I’m afraid I have to say “no way” to the jumpsuit. 

Pictures of This and Other Grey-Haired Beauties Can Be Seen on The Right Hairstyles

Many of us who color our hair will one day make the decision to stop doing so.  Tricia’s done it beautifully – a great bob, the right shade and a healthy shine.   These are  the three things you must get exactly right to go gray the right way; otherwise, you risk looking as if you just gave up and gave in. 

She also advises considering a personal trainer.  Personally, after hanging up my ballet shoes many decades ago, I don’t want anyone bullying me into shape at my age.  Other than walking, I hate exercise.  That said, however, I do routine ballet stretches every morning to keep my flexibility and balance.  Thanks to my ballet training, I am always aware of my posture whether walking, standing or sitting.  Tricia and I agree that good posture is crucial at any age, but particularly as you get older.  Dump the slump and you instantly look thinner and younger. 

On the subject of face powder, Tricia and I part company.  She cautions against “the powdery, mask-like effect” that can result and how it can settle into the lines of your face accentuating them.  Frankly, that’s where a good primer comes in before you apply your makeup, which I notice she includes in her makeup line. 

The truth is that loose, translucent powder is the best way to set your foundation or tinted moisturizer.  I have been using Laura Mercier’s loose, translucent face powder for more years than I can remember.  The trick, as always, is in the application.  I apply it with a natural bristle brush with graduated bristles and tap it into my skin.  I then run the brush lightly over my face to remove any excess, then tap on my cream blush with my fingers building to get the amount of color I want – less for daytime, more for evening.  Cream blush stays put better if applied over face powder. 

If you find that loose powder really doesn’t work for you, try powder in a compact.  Compact powder has more moisture than loose powder, since they use moisture to set it into shape, but it has less staying power so you will need to reapply more often to keep down the shine.  Again, I recommend using a brush instead of a powder puff. 

Finally, Tricia and I definitely see eye-to-eye on lips.  Don’t be afraid of strong and/or bright colors.  It’s the best thing you can do for your face.  This is one of my faves, YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture.  (To read the full Article by Tricia Cusden, click HERE.)

Well, I don’t think I’m in any immediate danger of becoming an LOL, but I’ll keep an eye out for any telltale signs.  


  1. For quite a long time I also thought LOL meant lots of love, and signed cards and letters including LOL. I'm glad someone has informed me of this newer use of LOL meaning little old lady.

    The contents of your handbag are almost the same as mine.

    At this time I don't think anyone will be referring to me as LOL because I am a KOBOL (kind of big old lady).

    1. Susie, I think you have given birth to a new acronym KOBOL. I'm still ROFL, which I just learned from a much younger friend, who could be my daughter, means "Rolling on the Floor Laughing."

      Do you think we'll ever catch up? Do we want to?

      You are always a delight when you stop by w/a comment.

      Cheers, M-T

  2. I have enjoyed this very much. I always do. Your blog is a bright space in my day and today's was just that! Bright, informative and just the exact touch of humor. You have seen me here many times here with my cat's blog credentials. I thought I would leave the address for my "human" blog as well. I enjoyed the thoughts about make up...but bright lipstick looks strange on me. Probably my very very fair complexion. I am/was a natural redhead with blue eyes and actual freckles. Wearing the beautiful reds make me look like an approaching set of red lips. Nothing else shows, in a manner of speaking. Oh and your handbag contains some similar items as my own. And cross body...glad to read someone else opinion that matches mine. https://ramblingon-ramblingon.blogspot.com

    1. Dear Katie Isabella,

      Since I have always enjoyed your Blog, I am so delighted you have shared your owner's "human" blog w/me. I will stop by to check it out.

      I, too, am a redhead w/very fair skin, and I love bright and red lipstick. I know I can find you the perfect shade of lipstick. I always did that for my clients. It need not be red. Red lipstick requires you to bump up the rest of your makeup a bit. Would love working w/you to find the perfect shade. Pity we don't live closer to each other, but send me a picture, if you like, and I will make some suggestions.

      What we carry around in our handbags is so important. I think we are on the same wavelength.

      Cheers, M-T

  3. Dear M-T,
    I like you have a natural colored tote that I carry in the summer. I love it and actually get many compliments on it. It's my go-to bag when I wear white or blue jeans. I wouldn't say that's it's LOL. For dresses, I carry a lady-like straw bag.
    I personally don't like trainers. What's the point of getting a pedicure or of having real shoes if you hide your feet?
    There are too many fashionistas touting what they think everyone should wear. I don't listen. I believe in individuality, something that the less confident don't implement.
    If we all dressed the same we'd all be in the Mao suit which a leader dictated to symbolize rights, livelihood and nationalism. A uniform. Clothes were not meant for that purpose. They were meant to cover us from being naked and at the same time for self-expression. They bridge the gap between what we feel inside and what we reflect to the outer world. A powerful tool that can be so much fun as long as we don't let others ruin our innate judgment and curiosity.

    1. Linda, I share your opinion of trainers, though lately I must wear them for support. But I would DIE before I would put on sparkly trainers, I last saw that in the 90's. Ugh!

    2. Dear Friend,

      I couldn't agree more with absolutely everything you have said here. Clothes say so much about how we present ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. I used to do entire seminars on that very subject. Seems we are always on the same wavelength. Not the first time this has happened.

      Such a joy when you stop by and leave a comment.

      Cheers, M-T

    3. Rita, you are such a delight when you stop by and leave a comment. The sparkly "trainers" thing, while it may work for some, are, as I said not my style nor yours. I do give people kudos for making things work that don't work for me.

      Cheers, M-T

  4. Sent to me by my friend Anna:

    "Loved the blog. No more LOL from me!
    Need to add a few more things to my handbag, which is also fairly large and things do get lost in there. But you gave me new ideas about what I need to add.
    I also do not care about what I am supposed to wear being close to LOL, just wear what I like. It is fun.
    See you next week."

    1. Dear Anna,

      Oh no, more stuff to carry around and I feel responsible -- BIG LOL. You are absolutely the last person in the world I would ever characterize as LOL.

      Cheers, M-T

  5. Comment sent to me by Helen in Canada:

    "I can't seem to comment on your lovely blogs! Help.

    Still laughing at LOL comments. My sister uses LOL liberally and was slightly hysterical when I showed her the comments (she has just turned 69) I told her I felt worse (I just turned 80) I purchased Tricia Cusden's book a few months ago and enjoyed her views and information. I also just purchased a book "Beautiful Skin Begins Within" by Dr. Martin Braun, M.D. and Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe. Very interesting.

    I look forward to your blogs, they cheer me up enormously.


    1. Dear Eleni,

      Your comment really had me ROFL (Rolling On the Floor Laughing -- just learned a new one from a much younger friend). Thank you for the book recommendations. My readers will be grateful, as am I.

      Look forward to cheering you up soon and often.

      Cheers, M-T

  6. I enjoy reading tips such as this. I sometimes see LOL in Manhattan who grow their hair very long, but leave it anunattractive gray (there are also attractive gray hair colors) and badly need a good trim. I sometimes wonder if they are aware or simply no longer care. Hopefully, I will always care about my best.

    I wear nothing but crossover bags since moving to Manhattan where we walk so much. I do miss having a car to stash necessities instead of carrying them with me. I tend to carry a medium size crossover bag. Let's see what I carry in it: a black leather wallet, a pen, mini sanitizer, mini hand cream, eye glasses for nearsightedness, a ziploc bag (containing lipstick, lip balm, and eye crayon inside), a set of keys, smart phone, metal silver card holder with about 10 cards, 2 loose folded clean tissues, a small comb, metro card, and a couple of 20% coupons clipped together for retailers I might stop into if I pass and need anything.

    1. I think the LOL's fantasize that long, scraggly hair is young-looking. I don't like long, untrimmed hair on any age. And, you're right about unattractive gray hair colors. I tried growing my hair our out, and the color is terrible. So, I'm resigned to coloring my hair for the rest of my life. Those who are fortunate to have red shades as their natural color generally do end up with pretty gray shades.

    2. I must say, Debra, that you manage to stuff a lot of great essentials into you cross-body bag. Interesting that you use a Ziploc bag for your makeup. I do that when I'm traveling. It's light, you can see at a glance what you have and when it gets a bit mucky, you just throw it away. In fact, I never travel w/out Ziploc bags in varying sizes. You'd be amazed how many times they come in handy.

      Cheers, M-T

    3. Rita, I agree completely w/the long, scraggly gray hair. They always look like old Hippies. It may have worked at 20, but at 70, at the risk of being politically incorrect and "lookist", you look like an old hag. W/my warm skin tones, I don't think gray hair would ever suit me. As you clearly point out, if you have to fiddle w/the color of the gray, you might as well just keep working on what once was your natural color. Yes, I hate when those gray roots poke through, but my once natural color still suits me best.

      Always love your comments.

      Cheers, M-T

    4. Marie-Therese, my original natural color was a dark ash color that turned into a dark mouse color (not enough grey) with age. I've been a reddish blonde for years, and I always say it was the color I should have been born with. It fits with the autumn colors that work for me, and I wear a lot of orange.

    5. It's funny, Rita, but sometimes the color gods get it wrong. So glad you were able to correct their faux pas. You and I share the same skin tones and color palette. I started out as a strawberry blonde, emphasis on the strawberry. Over the years I went auburn, then starting getting some gray in my late thirties, so I started covering it up. I went back to my childhood strawberry blonde, but over the last few years, I decided the color was too light and I was looking a bit washed out. So, I now have a deeper auburn, as you can see by my pictures, which I think is more flattering at this point in my life.

      Like you, I look great in orange. I just never pair it w/black for fear that people will mistake me for a Halloween ornament. LOL.

      Cheers, M-T

  7. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Never knew all of those LOL meanings! Why worry...?!
    Yes a tiny cross body would not work for me and in my bag there are lots of things too.
    Bifocal glasses never worked for me either, they made me so very dizzy!
    I'm totally with you on the loose powder and love using my Chanel brushes for applying it.
    Jump suits never have attracted me and I've only had ONE, some 35 years ago that is.
    Great post and it is fun reading. Now if only I would regain my strength after coming home from our Danube cruise where both of us caught a nasty bronchitis. Lost some 6 pounds; not good!

    1. Dearest Mariette,

      So glad you enjoyed this post and that we are very much in sync on all of this, but I am concerned that you lost some weight. Six pounds on you is quite a lot. Hope you and Pieter feel better very soon.

      Gros bisous, M-T

  8. Acronyms drive me crazy, it feels like were getting lazier with language and it seems people who use them frequently make them up as they go along and expect everyone to know what they're talking about!

    Most of my bags are cross-body but I have to admit I agree with you that they are a bit of a nuisance when they are constantly bumping into you and moving around the body from front to back :) I use them to be hands-free (my balance is not so great), as shoulder bags are always falling off my shoulder and handbags require holding.

    You look fantastic in that photo! I love your whole outfit/look.


    1. Dear D.,

      Technology may have made life easier (The jury is still out on that one.), but it has definitely made us lazier with our use of language. You are soooo right. I decry it constantly.

      Thank you so much for the nice words about my photo. It was sort of an ambush photo, but sometimes they work best. Please stop by again.

      Cheers, M-T

  9. I'm forced to carry small cross-body bags now, since I'm recovering from knee surgery and must use a cane. I look forward to going back to a larger, non cross body style of bag that lets me have my essential stuff with me. and, I think jumpsuits are the worst things ever. you're right about the bathroom issue, and don't ever wear a jumpsuit for travelling, where you don't know what sort of bathrooms you might encounter. Wet floors and jumpsuits are not good combinations.

    1. So true, Rita. Not sure how anyone our age could even consider a jumpsuit. She must have exceptionally good bladder control. Either that or she doesn't drink as much wine w/dinner as I do.

      The wet floors and jumpsuits line was priceless.

      Cheers, M-T

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