Sep 24, 2011
46-year old Asian actress Gong Li

Let’s indulge ourselves in some vanity. Anyway, looking and feeling good is an important part of sound and happy parenting. In Chapter 9 of my book, my last tip on how to be an exciting homemaker is to be gorgeous. Some friends laughed at the tip but they totally agreed with it. Nobody wants you to be a losyang housewife. Not your husband, not your kids, not your parents and siblings. Not your real friends. If there’s anyone who wants to see you losyang, it could only be your enemy back in the day when you were rivals! So that thought should encourage you even more to stay gorgeous.

      I know some moms who really look very fit. You see their arms still firm (no bat wings!), their waistlines still very narrow, skin still very clear with very small traces of wrinkles, teeth so white. They could compete with women in their 20s! Most of them really deserve their looks because they work hard for it. They have regular exercises, eat well and sleep well. They are disciplined. Of course, it also helps that most of them are genetically gifted.

     They inspire me to be more disciplined with exercise, diet and sleep but sometimes the spirit is willing but the body is weak. Nonetheless, I have also developed some techniques for myself and I’m pretty happy with the results.

      I remember when I attended my sons’ PTCs and other activities, they would sometimes proudly ask their teachers, “Teacher, guess how old my mom is.” Now I don’t know if the teachers were being polite, but all of them said, “Your mom looks young.” I also remember my sons commenting on a mom who frequented their school who actually had a pretty face but whom my sons describe as “the mom who always forgets to comb her hair!” So moms watch out when you go to your children’s schools, be presentable, make your kids proud.

      One of the things that make middle aged moms look young is their ability to keep their ideal weight, or at least close to it. I think most of this is genetic but there are some simple things to remember in staying slim. Eating the right amount and quality of food and having a regular exercise. This of course is easier said than done. To compliment this, bear in mind that skipping meals is bad for your weight. Give your body a predictable feeding time and quantity. Do not skip breakfast, never. Because if you do, your brain will signal your body, “It’s fasting time, store fat!” And you know exactly where those stored fats go. Whereas, if your body is fed regularly, preferably in short intervals and small quantities, your brain will command your body, “Use up the fats, more is coming in a while!”

      Another tip I shared in the book is my “jean purchase technique.” I do not buy jeans when my waistline is not in its normal size, no matter how attractive they are, even if they’re on sale! When all my jeans are too tight to wear, I am forced to do something about it. When I go back to my normal size, I treat myself to a nice purchase.

      Years ago I realized the importance of listening carefully to our body. When I am coming down with a cold, I know it’s time to rest and this simple regimen has freed me from my terrible asthma attacks I used to have when I was younger. I also observed that my body has its automatic mechanism of maintaining its normal size. Somehow, if my tummy is a bit big, I lose a bit of appetite. When I’m thinner than my normal size, I sort of gain appetite and I allow myself to eat more. I don’t watch my weight but I watch the inches around my waist. So I don’t keep a weighing scale but a measuring tape in our closet. If you can’t bring back your original 24 sexy inches, don’t be hard on yourself. Be happy with an inch or two above it as long as you still look well proportioned. You know that after giving birth, most of it is excess skin. So just pat yourself and say, “I don’t have excess fat, I have excess skin!” and bear in mind what Dr. Oz said, “The limit of your waistline should be half of your height.” Remember it’s a limit not a goal. He said beyond one-half is a symptom of health hazard.

      Keep your skin healthy. You can do this with the right diet, right amount of sleep and limited sun exposure. Learn how to put the make up that’s right for your face. Don’t put too much. Thick make up actually emphasizes wrinkles. I first noticed this several years ago when I had my make up done at the parlor. The foundation was too thick that when I smiled I saw the crow’s feet prominently which were not noticeable without parlor make up. When I attended a make up tutorial by Bobbi Brown cosmetics once, I learned that in putting your foundation, you don’t have to do a total coverage when not needed anyway. The make up artist from New York examined my face and wrinkles and showed me what to cover and what to skip.

      I asked some of my gorgeous middle aged friends to share some of their beauty tips. Here they are:

  1. Visit your derma regularly. Have monthly facials and peels to remove dead skin.
  2. Use the right cleanser for your skin.
  3. Moisturize moisturize moisturize. Even your lips!
  4. Avoid sun exposure and put sunblock before going out.
  5. Drink lots of water, at least 8 glasses everyday.
  6. Eat more fruits and vegetables and if you can, avoid red meat.
  7. Use effective serum to enhance skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles and laugh lines. A friend swears by Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum but this is not available locally.
  8. Use the right concealer to hide dark circles around the eyes and avoid heavy foundation.
  9. Have a good hair dye.
  10. Use thickening shampoo as thin hair make you look like a lola.
  11. Have a weekly sauna and steam bath.
  12. Have a regular hair trim and treatment, manicure/pedicure, body waxing, eyebrow threading.
  13. Have enough sleep.
  14. Have a regular form of exercise – badminton, dance, gym, etc.
  15. Have an eyelash extension to emphasize the beauty of your eyes.
  16. Don’t buy clothes that are loose so that you’re always conscious of your figure.
  17. Don’t smoke.
  18. Maximize the use of the Wonder Coconut! Here are some of the reported benefits.

a. A friend with a lump in her breast was recommended for surgery but she didn’t want it, so she read up on her case and found out that drinking coconut water everyday can help. She did. She didn’t only eliminate her breast lumps but also shed some weight. (I personally love the flavor of buco juice so I also drink it now everyday and I notice a lighter feeling).

b. Buco juice is fast becoming a natural alternative to power drinks in the US (as discovered and reported by Pres. Noynoy Aquino during his recent trip).

c. Virgin coconut oil when used on face actually makes your skin less oily and helps fight pimples as attested by my friend’s daughter.

d. Virgin coconut oil has a slimming effect as experienced by another friend.

e. Virgin coconut oil cured the lesions of an obese woman better than a prescribed cream.

f. Virgin coconut oil thickens and conditions hair, lashes, eyebrows.


      All of them agreed that nothing beats inner beauty. The best beauty secret is to be happy. Here are some of their tips.

  1. Have a healthy spiritual life. Pray the rosary everyday, with your children if possible; have a pilgrimage; attend mass regularly.
  2. Have peace of mind. Avoid unnecessary worries.
  3. Enjoy your family. Spend time and laugh with your family members. Try to speak your children’s language and feel younger.
  4. Listen to yourself, have a reflection time.
  5. Have a good sex life!
  6. Always be interesting and genuinely interested in others.
  7. Someone quoted the beauty icon Audrey Hepburn, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. “

      I totally agree with my gorgeous friends. The best and most lasting way to be beautiful is to be happy and thankful for all your blessings. Try to notice the glow that you see in people’s faces. Somehow, you can tell if someone is happy with his or her life.

      Happy parenting!


*Special thanks to Janine Dario, Bebet Corpuz, Alu Aran, Liza Ocampo for their contributions. You may also check out the blog of Denise Lopez, once featured in this website in an article entitled Hot Momma, where she talks about her adventures as a parlor addict –