According to Tina Fey, Christie Brinkley in the eighties was the standard for beauty. Between the flowing hair, perfect skin and bright smile, the supermodel was the epitome of all things gorgeous. Thirty years later, Brinkley still looks just as good (if not better) than she did back in the days of teased bangs and high-cut swimsuit bottoms.
At 61, not only is she still actively modeling, but she's making us ask — nay, beg — what she's doing that has her looking like a 20-something millennial.
Luckily, Brinkley has a new book that outlines her "secrets" for looking and feeling so great. But rather than list hordes of expensive products and recommend pricey trainers, Timeless Beauty offers real, natural, almost-free tips anyone at any age can follow.
I can't promise following her suggestions will land you the cover of a magazine or on a list of the world's most beautiful people, but they certainly can't hurt. And if they leave you looking or feeling even a fraction as good as the sexagenarian, I'd say it's worth it.
1. Embrace the mind-body connection.
According to Brinkley, there's nothing more important to health, beauty and well-being than a positive attitude: "[The mind's] power to influence our health is truly awesome."
Not only has she been meditating since she was 13, but Brinkley is quick to recognize that taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, is the most crucial part of a healthy body and all the benefits that come with it.
Feeing sad? It'll show up on your face. Stressed? Your hair may suffer. Angry? You may opt to forgo a workout in favor of stewing over something you can't fix right away. But if you take the time to listen to your inner voice, you can be sure to always send it positive messages and in turn, take good care of your spirit and body.
Brinkley says it also doesn't hurt to show gratitude. After all, "a grateful heart is worth a thousand lipsticks."
2. Seek out beauty.
And no, she doesn't mean going after products and procedures you think might result in your own beauty.
Rather, she urges us to look to our surroundings for things that are beautiful, that bring us joy, that make us see the world in a new, interesting, enlightening way.
"I find beauty everywhere — from the beach to the woods to the cracks in a city sidewalk! It fills me up with gratitude and joy ... I am transported by the magic and light, and I literally feel enlightened, both physically and spiritually, by the beauty. There's a saying: 'When you seek beauty in people, and in all things, you will not only find it, you will become it.' "
3. Show off that smile.
Yes, it's easy for someone who gets paid to stand in front of a camera to suggest a simple smile as a powerful beauty tool, but Brinkley is onto something here. Not only does smiling make you look "prettier, happier and more approachable," it also makes you feel happy. That's right: smiling is contagious and even if you're faking it, it can help to lift your mood.
Those good vibes you feel while smiling? They're real, and they show up on your face. "You really can't underestimate the power of a smile," says Brinkley. "Joy is contagious and very, very attractive. In fact, a smile is the best thing you can put on your face to always look your most beautiful."
4. Feed your face (and hair and nails).
Brinkley may have a private chef, but she still knows what's up when it comes to eating for beauty benefits. Even with all the exercise and serums in the world, she admits that what goes in your mouth has the strongest influence on what shows up on your face. Here are some of her favorite skin superfoods:
- Walnuts: the omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen skin and keep it well-hydrated
- Carrots: carotenoids protect against UV damage
- Kiwis: rich source of vitamin C that promotes collagen growth and prevents free radical damage
- Green tea: an antioxidant power house
- Tomatoes: full of the anti-inflammatory lycopene
- Sweet potatoes: their vitamin A promotes collagen repair and growth
- Brazil nuts: high in the mineral selenium, which prevents premature aging
- Oysters: packed with zinc to renew and repair skin and
5. It's never too early to start using products ...
... as long as they're the right products.
Having grown up on the beaches of California, Brinkley knows just how damaging the sun can be to our skin. So her number one piece of beauty advice? "The absolute, single most important thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen. Every single day, rain or shine." This is not a drill. Wear sunscreen!
Another crucial piece of anti-aging advice? Recognize that your "face" actually includes everything above your breasts as far as skin care goes. "I always moisturize not just my face but also my neck, ears, décolletage and the backs of my hands. (Wish I had started doing that part sooner!)"
6. Stay away from your eyebrows!
It may seem silly, but wonky eyebrows are so noticeable on an otherwise gorgeous face, and they're just as easy to let be: "Bringing them too close together will make you look like you're scowling. Extending out and down on the outside edges will make you look sad."
Rather than compulsively tweeze every stray hair or stare into a magnifying mirror, Brinkley suggests stepping back and looking at your brows in the context of your entire face. And stop thinking about them as twins: they don't have to be exactly the same. A little imperfection here and there makes them look real and makes them yours.
7. Never underestimate the power of a good bra.
From posture to the way your clothes hang, a great bra that actually fits is the ultimate weapon when it comes to self-confidence and feeling beautiful.
"Probably the best thing you can do for your wardrobe is to get yourself a couple of great, perfect-fitting bras. Wearing the wrong size can wreck your look — a too-tight band will dig into your back and make bulges, and if the cups are too small you'll literally runneth over. So it pays to get measured and fitted by a professional every couple of years."
8. Have a morning routine.
Being successful, happy and confident starts the minute you wake up, so it's not wonder those among us who feel this way start their mornings off right. Whether it's a yoga practice or a peaceful cup of coffee near a window, taking the time to start your day in a way that makes you happy is the first step to feeling good, which in turn leads to looking good.
Want to know what a supermodel does when she wakes up? "[The first thing I do every morning is] throw open my curtains and say, 'THANK YOU!' Then I make my cup of warm water with lemon. Sometimes I add a little honey to the top edge of the cup and dip it in cayenne powder or cinnamon — the combination helps cleanse and flush out toxins, and it contains vitamin C to boost the immune system and potassium to feed the brain and nerve cells."
9. Do you.
Even if you do everything Brinkley suggests, self-confidence ultimately comes down to doing the things that make you feel good and strong and beautiful. So do you.
"If something bothers you, it's okay to tweak it. We could have a whole discussion here about external pressure we all face to look a certain way. But nobody can tell you what's right or wrong for you."
Photo Credit: Getty Images