December 10, 2023 | Rome, Italy

Instant attraction

By |2018-03-21T18:41:17+01:00August 5th, 2010|"Suzanne's Taste"|
Cheaper than normal lenses.

ears ago, I learned that Elizabeth Taylor and other Hollywood actresses (and actors) applied tape behind their ears to pull back the sides of their faces and smooth out the just-beginning, over-30 wrinkles. Since then, cosmetic surgery and high-end skin treatments have mostly replaced tape to hold back the ravages of being alive.

But the trillion dollar stay-young industry tends to ignore low-cost ideas, many of which are natural and are best put to use in the privacy of your own home. Here are some of my favorites.

The egg white, for example, can be your best friend.

A good home facelift can come from mixing a couple of egg whites with a few drops of cucumber juice and patting the mix gently under and around the eyes. You’ll feel the result instantly.

But the bolder you are, the further you go.

Fill a bathtub with egg whites, beat well with an ordinary hand mixer, and step into a complete body lift. Once you’re covered in egg white, stand in a sunny window and dry off. You’ll instantly feel a lovely tightening of skin that lets you know you’re smooth and shiny all over.

Walk carefully so as not to crack, and do not put on clothes until you’re fully dry. (Oh, and you can use the extra yolks for mending stucco walls or to throw at people who let their car alarms go on all night.)

Next: Never throw away old eyeglasses.

Cut two slices from a firm cucumber and insert into the empty frames (do remove the lenses first). Wear your cucumber glasses during naps or when resting after an egg white bath. You’ll see an immediate difference around the eyes, plus these kind of cool shades can be made anytime, anywhere, in seconds, and the fresh lenses are cheaper than anything you’d find in an optical store.

For that Elizabeth Taylor smooth look, tape is passé. Instead, buy 20 or so tiny magnets and glue them to a headband. Then, put your hair in a ponytail, using a magnetized elastic band to tie it.

The magnetic attraction from the elastic exerts a subtle pull on the headband, gently smoothing and lifting the face as it tugs on your hairline. You could, of course, have tiny magnets implanted just under the skin of the hairline and wear a magnetized beret or burnoose to get the same effect (go ahead, look it up).

Moving on: Remember the kid’s game of walking on the tops of someone’s shoes?

Well, that child’s play can also slice years from your age, especially in the bust area. Find a strong, preferably bored friend who’s shorter than you by a few inches. Wear a dress or top with a décolleté that pleases you, then place your feet on the tops of your friend’s feet, facing outward, careful not to break toes or limbs. Then, place the friend’s hands under your breasts, asking him or her to keep their own arms tight against their sides.

Instruct the friend to lift the breasts to whatever height you wish, and in this manner form a pleasing, rounded bosomy look. Yes, it’ll take some practice, especially when walking, but it also works very well when seated. Wear something billowy to help camouflage the assistance from your indispensable helper.

A diet of crackers and water can help rein in an unruly body shape. But the draw-yourself-thin (or curvy, or unblemished, or un-dimpled) with a felt pen and four meters of flesh-colored, one-meter wide fabric also works wonders.

Double the fabric lengthwise and cut a hole for your head in the middle of the fold. With a large pointed felt pen, draw the body you want, all the way down to your ankles, and cut off the fabric at the bottom, depending on your height.

Sew up the sides to fit your real body (rarely a meter wide), leaving a place for your arms to stick out. You’ll love the mix and match bodies you can create with this simple pattern, and these “wearable wish bodies” make great holiday gifts for every size and shape.

And just to be sure that you raise children with smooth skins, perfect bodies and forever-young faces, teach them above all that they should never smile, make faces, whistle, or have any fun at all. Then again, living on diet crackers and water should take care of that.

About the Author:

Suzanne Dunaway, a longtime major magazine writer and artist, is the author and illustrator of "Rome, At Home, The Spirit of La Cucina Romana in Your Own Kitchen" (Broadway Books) and "No Need To Knead, Handmade Italian Breads in 90 Minutes" (Hyperion). She taught cooking for 15 years privately and at cooking schools in Los Angeles, and now maintains a personal website and a blog. She divides her time between southern France and Italy.