Ben Franklin said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." With all due respect to the guy, he missed a crucial third point: aging. (He also didn't predict a president-elect who views taxes as a light suggestion, but that's for another time.) Wrinkles, dark spots, sagging skin — these are sure things. And yet, as ungraceful as refusing to accept the inevitable is, I haven't been able to get on board with the "Smile lines are the marks of a lifetime of laughter!" mindset.
"Beauty editor" wasn't a career I grew up dreaming about; it's not exactly one you hear about at the middle school job fair, or even in college journalism courses. I fell into it, like most in the industry, because I wanted to be a writer. My first magazine internship happened to be in a beauty department, that internship led to my first gig at Allure
, and the rest is a blur of lipstick swatches and mud masks.
I caught the anti-aging bug at Allure
, where meeting gossip centered around which A-list actress had just undergone a secret facelift that week, and all the editors had the late Dr. Brandt's number in their phones. It stayed with me when I moved on to Harper's Bazaar
, land of supermodels and 24K face creams. There, I spent increasingly more time interviewing plastic surgeons, visiting derms' offices, and touring pharmaceutical plants, and I became obsessed with having a face that was "perfect." There are only so many articles you can write about preventing drooping lids, fat pockets under the chin, and weak jawlines before starting to see all of those things on yourself.
My line of work provides easy access to the fixes for these "problems," and I took them without hesitation. During one Botox
appointment, a dermatologist asked, "How frozen do you want to be?" and the question made me weirdly giddy. "Pretty frozen!" I said — and I remember thinking I looked my best in the three months that followed; taut, shiny, and with a limited range of expression. I was hooked — and I figured every other beauty editor was, too.