THE LAB: Batiste, You Beast

File this one under “Old Dog, Old Tricks,” friends, because obviously everyone on Earth knows and uses Batiste, except me, until now. WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL POTION???

I’m not new to dry shampoo or anything – I wash my hair once or twice a week, and I know all too well the greasy dirt bomb that is the morning of Day 4 – but I’ve never found a product that could truly do all the things. And so I’ve been sprinkling baby powder on my roots (and all over my black clothes and sink and bath mat) for YEARS, not knowing that someone basically solved all of life’s mysteries, put it in an aerosol can, drew adorable cherries on the label, and then went and sold it for eight dollars.

It does all the things I could possibly dream of it doing, but somehow manages to be even better. Guys, LOOK AT MY HAIR:

Batiste dry shampoo review - How Old is Too Old

Stop washing your hair and just use Batiste instead - says this old person

Batiste saved my life tonight sugar bear

It’s Monday, and I haven’t washed my hair – or even gotten it wet – since … Thursday? I can’t even remember, it’s been that long!

I wasn’t even going to write about this, but I used it this morning and the record of my life metaphorically scratched, and I had to say something.

Never washing my hair again, obvs.

Batiste dry shampoo review
solar eclipse viewing.

 

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY: I No Longer Wear Under-Eye Concealer

The eyes, no matter how lovely, are the one feature that will always give away your age. In the darkness of night, your 20-year-old Lyft driver might, at first glance, assume you are as young as he and needing an introduction to such fringe bands as Green Day and Maroon 5 (*TRUE STORY*), but in the light of day … if you’ve lived your life … no amount of Botox (or alternatives), will completely mask the wisdom held within.

Yes, my dear boy, I have heard of Green Day.

“WAIT,” he said confusedly, “you’re not in your … THIRTIES??”

How Old is Too Old - I have stopped using under eye concealer

And so eye creams and under eyes masks and cucumbers or whatever. But I’ve decided to focus less on keeping mine plump and bright and am instead embracing the fact that I have, indeed, seen some stuff, and that these peepers hold a depth of knowledge within.

“Here, darling, try Velvet Underground instead.”

I recently read in Vogue that French women apparently do not wear under-eye concealer. And instead of rolling my very concealed eyes, I was genuinely thrilled with the concept of letting your weariness and experience show on your face in just this one area. This was the first bit of advice that, to me, ACTUALLY could make a person look more interesting and “French” (aside from “Boul“, obviously). And I immediately stopped applying concealer on the inside corners and just beneath my eyes. I still use a little in the outside corner – where I have dark pink spots – but everything else is kept natural.

Can I tell you that I LOVE IT??

I doubt anyone notices, to be honest, but it makes me feel like I’m carrying around a little secret. I’ve even started darkening my eyelids a bit with a smudge of bronzer and covering that with a sweep of Vaseline, to play up my naturally shiny eyelids. It’s like I’m daring the world to guess how old I am – just look at all this very apparent mileage and wisdom.

As I stepped out of the car, breeze billowing my shirt up around me, I heard that baby boy subtly turn up the New York Dolls album I had suggested just before he sped away into the night, and I smiled to myself.

Guys, he thought I was in my twenties.

THE LAB: DIY Fresh Flower Embellishment

What’s this? Two LABS in a row?? Lollapalooza just wrapped (hello drunk babies!), and because I’m on summer mode and very behind schedule in everything, here’s a perfectly-timed tutorial to help you look super relevant at all of your future outdoor music events. I think there’s only one big festival left this year in Chicago, but this look also works well for parties and art shows, and any other time it’s acceptable to admit that you need lots of attention, so be sure to save to your Pinterest board (we need the traffic!) and pull this one out when you need a real ‘WOW’ moment.

DIY Fresh Flower Embellishment - sew fresh flowers to your jacket - by How Old is Too Old

People will LOSE THEIR MINDS.

I know, because I did this last-minute for Pitchfork, and somewhere, at this very moment, I’m in the deleted files of a NY Times Style section photographer. Life goal halfsies!

This project requires a needle and thread, but don’t worry about keeping it neat – you’ll be ripping it all out with your dehydrated, arthritic hands the next day anyway. Be sure to stick to sturdy fabrics, like denim, that can support the weight of the flowers, and opt for buds that can withstand being punctured. I highly recommend weaving a few leaves into the design as well, to give it more oomph and also really drive home the fact that THESE ARE FRESH FLOWERS, PEOPLE, I’M A VERY IMPORTANT AND FRIVOLOUS ARTIST, ALBEIT A VERY OLD ONE.

DIY Tutorial: Fresh Flower Embellishment

DIY Tutorial - Sewn Fresh Flower Embellishment - howoldistooold.com

 

 

Materials:

  • Garment (denim jacket, perhaps?)
  • Flowers w/ leaves
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pins

Instructions:

I didn’t really plan out a design for this project, but if you’re a bit more responsible – like, maybe the kind of person who just does their taxes instead of letting the worry and annoyance eat away at you like a parasite to the point where you can’t write a blog post, because you don’t even want to touch your computer … – feel free to use a piece of chalk or something to draw out your design in advance. 

Begin by snipping a few buds at their bases, removing the stems entirely. Using your needle, secure a length of thread to your garment, then puncture the base of your first flower, pulling the thread out the other side and back into the garment a couple of times. Repeat for each flower [basically just sew them on by hand – you know how this works, right?]. It can be a total mess on the inside, just make sure you’re not pulling the thread so taut that the fabric puckers. Use pins, as needed, to lay out a few flowers at a time (best not to do this all at once in the beginning, because you’ll need to get your hands in there as you go). When you’re happy with your design, sew in a few leaves here and there to really bring it to life.

Notes:

If you choose a hearty flower, and you’re not in excessive heat, this should last you all evening without spritzing or anything. And if you go with a color that doesn’t quickly turn brown (like red over pale pink, for instance), even a little wilting looks fine.

CARTS: Aspirational Blogger Look

Hey what’s up I’m still alive! Sorry, but … I needed a break. I’ll admit, I’ve found it difficult to live that aspirational blogger lyfe while maintaining any semblance of self respect and/or decency. I came up in the 90’s – a decade of sarcasm, pessimism and IRONY – this fake news world confuses me. Taking photos of yourself while pretending to hang out at cute cafes is bonkers. IT’S BONKERS PEOPLE WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??? Cafes are boring! Painted walls are boring! I can’t even do this as a joke anymore.

You want something to aspire to? HERE:

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD for this Catherine Deneuve photographed by David Bailey for Vogue, 1968 look
original image source: David Bailey for Vogue, 1968 |Faces by Anjali Pinto | MUA Shannon O’Brien

HERE:

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD - Molly does Catherine Deneuve

HERE:

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD - flamingoes x 4

HERE:

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD - flamingos x 16

HERE:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 8.40.35 PM

HERE:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 8.21.55 PM

HERE:

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD flamingo wallpaper

SHOP THE LOOK

 

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY: VERONICA IS A SAD SACK

I’m not sure that this is something I really want to declare publicly, but I’M SAD. Every day I drudge through, trying to uncover the mysterious source of this ailment. On a good day, it’s ‘just a phase!’, and on a bleak day, IT’S MY EVERY MINUTE FLAW. I can’t stop being such a f**king DOWNER.

I admit it’s been hard for me to pop in here and throw around jokes about getting older, when lately I’m just pretty down about getting older. Or maybe I’m down about something else, I honestly don’t know right now. I know my hair isn’t helping. And neither are all of the toddler tantrums. And the skin around my chin is doing something I don’t like, and I’m a little too blah to bother covering it with glitter. I’m not sure of my career. A mouse died in our dining room wall and the smell is INFURIATING. Our car always looks like shit. And I will dust and mop our entire house only to see a layer of dust settle over everything the very next day. I’m trying to slow down and lighten the load, but I still can’t keep up with the to-do list, no matter how short.

Feeling+bad+about+getting+older

I’m always happy to get up in the morning – it’s not that sort of depression – and I’m optimistic about turning a new leaf, but when I stop to talk to a neighbor, or when I grab a drink with a friend, I can’t NOT carry a cloud along with me. In my head I’m saying “OHMIGOD, LIGHTEN UP!” but the conversation is still always a bit … dulled. I don’t feel liked. I mean, I don’t like myself, why would anyone else like me??? I don’t feel special. I feel … a bit heartbroken, to tell you the truth. Although I’m not sure why exactly.

I’M SO LUCKY.  I mean, that definitely needs to be said. I KNOW I’M SO SERIOUSLY LUCKY.

I want to snap myself out of it. I just. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m sad.

And I know a lot of other people my age are feeling some of this same stuff. Maybe not as deeply as I’m feeling it (I know I take everything to ELEVEN), but feeling a little less satisfied and a little more uncertain. Watching your body and face change is difficult. Realizing you need to figure some shit out now because the world doesn’t like giving new opportunities to older people is F*CKING TERRIFYING.

Am I overreacting? How are you feeling? Please give me some advice, if you have it, because I very much want to feel better and start having fun again. XO

EFFORTLESS: How to Be a French Girl

Lou Doillon PERFECT FRENCH WOMAN
Lou Doillon – PERFECT FRENCH WOMAN

 

Nothing makes me feel worse about myself than an article about how gorgeous, effortless and sexy French women are and how us American women are actual dog meat. It makes me feel so terrible, because French women DO seem so perfectly undone and chic, and the best I can hope for is to cobble together the American version of that. But that’s not nothing! I’ve studied hundreds of articles detailing the allure of these women, and I’ve compiled it all into four steps, simple enough for even the most basic American to follow:

1. Be Mysterious

Every article about the allure of French women makes sure to celebrate their mystique. They apply their makeup to appear bare-faced; they style their hair to look as though they’ve never even combed it; and they never, EVER, let a man know they’ve spent any time grooming at all. How the smoke and mirrors are practiced after marriage is beyond me, but that just brings us back around to the beginning: French women are MYSTERIOUS. My mother didn’t teach me the art of mystery, and her mother certainly didn’t teach her. I’m so completely American that I will tell anyone anything about myself within seconds of meeting. My husband will always know exactly how long it takes for me to get ready and whether or not I tried. He also then has to listen to me complain all night about my stomach hurting because my jeans are too tight. Would a French woman do that? NEVER! The only solution is for me to have my makeup tattooed, sleep without moving and stop talking altogether. So mysterious!

2. Pout Your Mouth

Beautiful pouty lips are the unmistakeable sign of a French person. We’re starting at an obvious disadvantage here – their language is round and fluid and ours is flat and lateral. Throw in the clenched jawline of days spent racing around drinking giant sugar coffees, and you have some serious catching up to do. Start by relaxing your jaw so much your cheeks hollow and sink in between your molars, then say the word “boulevard.” Stop at “boul” and FREEZE. Walk around all day like that, trying not to speak until it starts to lock into place. You’re looking at one to two years before anyone thinks you maybe once spent a summer visiting your aunt in Provence. So chic!

Image by Anjali Pinto Image by Anjali Pinto

3. Dress Stylishly, Accessorize Thoughtfully, Avoid Clichés, Don’t Try too Hard

According to every article ever written about the glory of French women, this is the quintessential difference between us and them. Some of them are beautiful, some are not (just kidding, they are all beautiful), but they always dress better than you, because they are FRENCH. If you’re ever in Paris, just opt for head-to-toe black and try to disappear. All of the articles you’ve read over the course of your life have done their work and made you feel like a lowly troll anyway, so the damage is already done. Don’t even try to look good – the MOST effortless!

4. Eat Everything, Stay Skinny

Look. I don’t need to lay this one out for you. You will never read an article about French women that doesn’t celebrate their magical ability to eat only cheese and bread and cream while never gaining a pound. Do the same. But don’t ever talk about it. Leave that to American reporters!

IN CONCLUSION:

By now, you should be feeling really knowledgeable and also really bad about this thing you have no control over. Do I wish I was a French girl? I mean, obviously (OBVIOUSLY). Are they wonderful? YES. Do we need to be always comparing ourselves? No, because they are better. They are the best at being sexy and effortless and gorgeous. MEANWHILE, earlier this evening I took a personality quiz and scored a 100% in complexity (pretty sure it was all of the definite yesses I marked for questions like “Are you easily annoyed?” and “Will you keep working until everything is perfect?” and “Are your feelings easily hurt?”), which I think is the most American thing ever. I do, however, never brush or blowdry and rarely do I wash my hair. A couple more years with my pout exercises, and my complexity will be the sexiest!

CARTS: Moda Operandi Sale + Palm Beach Planning

HELLO, all the summer stuff on Moda Operandi is 50% off and I’ve got a week-long vacation in Palm Beach planned for July, so we. are. doing. some. CARTS. When these fancy websites have sales, I mostly scour the swim and shoes and then skim the rest. Swimwear, because I can actually afford it (on sale); shoes, because that’s the one area I’m willing to make an investment (on sale); and all the rest is for inspiration if/when I have time to make something for myself (more on that coming soon!).

Swimwear

Left to Right: Reina Cutout; St Barts Bustier; Entwined Lace up; Petal 2 Fringed; Victoria Twisted; The Perfect Ten Left to Right: Reina Cutout; St Barts Bustier; Entwined Lace up; Petal 2 Fringed; Victoria Twisted; The Perfect Ten

I have a lot of boxes to check off in this category:

1. I need the front of my stomach covered, because I just do. One night I told Molly that, as an experiment for this blog, I was going to wear a crop top around town all day, thinking that would break me of my tummy insecurity. Then when I sobered up, I remembered ‘NO THANK YOU.’ It’s not even that bad, it’s just not that good. I have other, better things to show the world.

2. The legs need to be pretty low cut, because I don’t wax, and I like to keep shaving to a minimum. I know, I KNOW. As I type this, I realize my legs would probably look pretty great with a super high cut, but it’s just too much to worry about. Full-body exfoliation and subsequent spray tan is enough prep work for me. Let’s just keep the crotch covered and move on, shall we?

3. Because I’m all covered up everywhere else, I like to show a bit more up top. I’ve got a little to flaunt up there too, so why not?

4. I’m very picky about color and pattern. Not too much! Not too matronly. Not a weird Florida floral. Not a crazy color that will make my fair skin look gross if I’m caught off-guard and not given time for the aforementioned spray tan. AND NOTHING WITH WORDS LIKE ROSE ALL DAY. But, you know, it needs some kind of surprise design element to make it special.

Summer Shoes

Left to Right: Pearl Sandal; Delpozo platform; Aquazurra Tropicana sandal; Roberto Cavalli Cosmo sandal; Aquazzura Beverly Hills 50 sandal; Simone Rocha Nappa heel; Simone Rocha midi brogue; Marco De Vincenzo Satin Fringe Left to Right: Pearl Sandal; Delpozo platform; Aquazurra Tropicana sandal; Roberto Cavalli Cosmo sandal; Aquazzura Beverly Hills 50 sandal; Simone Rocha Nappa heel; Simone Rocha midi brogue; Marco De Vincenzo Satin Fringe

Summer shoes are so hard, because they need to be EASY, but also versatile and comfortable and able to work for you every day without getting gross. I also really like to have my heels covered, so that I don’t have to worry about scrubbing and moisturizing them every thirty seconds. I want to LIVE in the summer and not worry so much about my feet. Even though I honestly feel like I spend half of the summer worrying SO MUCH about them. ALSO, your summer shoes need to be cute AF, because the number of accessories vastly reduces in summer – no bangle can carry the entire weight of an outfit.

All that being said, summer is also the time for PARTIES. And you can run all over town without worrying about your feet getting cold or slipping on ice. So, keep a tiny tube of lotion in your bag and let those tootsies OUT.

[Note: did I just vision board myself into buying blue shoes??]

Everything Else

I am … not buying clothes anymore. !! I’m actually not buying swimwear either, but I’ll get into it all in a future post. I AM, however, looking for inspiration, and pretty much everything but this Roberto Cavalli denim coat dress has me feeling lots of feelings. Actually, I’ve been feeling all sorts of things in general in my life, but I’m so excited to have stumbled on a new project and I’m dying to tell you all about it. It involves LOTS of clothes and LOTS of design, and I’m the youngest person at my new job! STAY TUNED!