The Big B Word...

If you are like me, every morning you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and examine your skin. It may sound trivial, especially while living in the middle of a pandemic, but let's be real here. My blog isn't about anything serious. I write about the things that women think about and that brings me joy. I like to keep it light.

When you look in the mirror, you can't help but wonder if that is a new wrinkle by your eye or if you missed it when you did the examination yesterday. This process started for me at about the age of 27. At that time, I met a friend named Linda Gail. She was about the prettiest person I had ever seen in real life and she had the BEST skin of anyone I'd ever met. Plus her mom, who was just as beautiful and of course older, looked fantastic. The two of us would discuss how we would age gracefully and how important it was to moisturize because our 27-year-old faces were obviously in need of some TLC if we were going to look like Linda Gail's mom.

I come from a long line of women who are vain. Yep, I said it. I can be really vain about some subjects. I try not to obsess, and especially not talk about it too much in front of my children, but when it comes to aging I'm about as vain as it gets. My grandma, June Bug, was the matriarch of vain. If you follow my blog, you'll see I talk about June Bug a lot. She taught me how to be a lady. It was important to her that I was educated and self-sufficient. She did not let us ever say cuss words. She told us that if you used a cuss word it was because you couldn't think of a better word and you needed to broaden your vocabulary. I loved June Bug. She was a very blunt person, but warm and loving. She could make the best oatmeal-chocolate-chip-pecan cookies in the world and she had impeccable taste. She was Boujie. If you've never heard that word before, don't read the definition in the Webster Dictionary, but instead in the Urban Dictionary. June Bug knew what things were classy.

Exposing your age was NOT classy. June Bug would never discuss her age and if you asked her she would explain, in a kind way, that it was a rude question. She even went as far as changing her birthdate on her driver's license so it made it look like she was officially 8 years younger. She would tell me to take care of my skin so I would age gracefully in this mysterious manner.

June Bug had the most luxurious, porcelain skin ever. I would watch her put on her makeup in the morning, and it was like she was adding rose petals to her cheeks. Her skin was just gorgeous and she had very few wrinkles, even until the day she passed away. When she would tell me to take care of my skin, I couldn't help but feel a little confident since hers was so delectable and I was in her lineage. I would talk to my mom about how lucky we are that we inherited such amazing skin. I thought for sure I wouldn't struggle as much as my friends in the aging process, because of the way I was seeing my grandmother age. Makes sense, right?

This is June Bug. Her real name was Edith June Howard Ingram and she was as classy as it gets.

My friend Linda Gail's secret to amazing skin was to not be in the sun much and to use a series of cleansers and moisturizers in the evening so your skin would stay supple. She would even tell me to not dry off with a towel after a shower. She said it was better for your skin to air dry and absorb the water naturally.

I followed Linda Gail's advice. I followed my grandmother's advice. I did all the things. When I got to my 30s it seemed nothing was working. I was still examining my skin and getting new wrinkles. It was like all my work was not paying off. I would tell June Bug and she would say to drink more water. So I would, because Lord knows, as this point she was in her 80s and she still looked amazing.

June Bug died in April 2017. Like all people who you love and adore, I was incredibly sad but also so happy for the life she lived and all the advice she had given me along the way. When she passed, I spent time with my mother and my Aunt Dana at my grandmother's house. We reminisced, went through old pictures and told stories about June Bug. It was great. June Bug had some secrets. She was a mysterious person in a classy way. We started sharing all the stories and laughing. For instance, she and my grandfather had two wedding days –one in January and one in June, but her mother didn't know about the January wedding day. Her mother left this earth not knowing my grandparents celebrated two wedding days for their entire wedded bliss.

We also found her driver's license where she had fudged the year of her birth. The eight years she subtracted made her "seem" to be almost a decade younger than she actually was. We laughed and told Aunt Dana how lucky we were to have her genetics and we would age in the same way she did.

My aunt cracked up as Mom and I reminisced about June Bug. Dana said, "You do know she had a facelift in the 1980s?" My mom and I sat, mouths agape, as my aunt revealed another one of my grandmother's secrets.

Stunned. That was the only word that comes to mind. All these years we thought our skin would not sag, wrinkle or start to look like a villain in a Disney movie. All these years, I probably should've used more moisturizer and drank more water, but I thought I'd be safe because I had genetics on my side. I should've done more things like Linda Gail, because as I see how she's aging at 40 years on this earth, she's obviously beating me in the aging game. All I could do when my aunt gave me this piece of information was laugh....and call to schedule a "B" appointment.

I am now aging more gracefully, not because of the advice of any of the people in my circle, but because I get Botox treatments every 3-6 months. June Bug would not be pleased that I shared my beauty secret.

This summer, we've been in the sun a lot because we have a pool at the rent house. It might not be what's best for my skin, but my kids are happy. I'm wearing the Faye tee in black. There are a few left in the app, but not in black. Shop here.

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