By Bernadette Morra

Fashion Notebook

“You look so young!”

I love it when I hear that. Who wouldn’t? Yes, I am blessed with good Italian skin (must be all that olive oil in my bloodlines). But more of a factor, I believe, is the sun poisoning I had in Puerto Rico when I was 18. I was so ill and feverish that I have had an aversion to the sun ever since.

Consequently, I’ve been hiding in the shade for more than two decades, long before it became widely known that tanning is toxic. That, more than anything else, I believe, has preserved my skin.

I have also tried hundreds of line smoothers, wrinkle plumpers and other anti-aging lotions and potions. New product samples arrive here at the Toronto Star by the truckload and we give the vast majority away to women’s shelters. But beauty writer Daphne Gordon and I by many, too, so we know what we are talking about.

Judging by the state of my skin I would have to say that, for the most part, they work My favourites – Chanel Precision, Erno Lazslo and Sisleya – are also, unfortunately, the most expensive. It’s ridiculous but my new obsession. Strivectin seems reasonable at $200 a tube. (Others swear by Crème de la Mer. It’s one of the few substances that makes me breakout)

A few years ago, I added another weapon to my anti-aging arsenal: fillers, such as Restylane, and the muscle­freezer Botox. I have made the rounds of most of the top doctors in town so I have opinions in that area, too. Currently I am back in the hands of Dr. Nowell Solish who injects with an incredibly gentle touch.

Even though my current regime seems to be working, I called Ann Kaplan, founder of the New You cosmetic enhancement show. If there’s something new in the world of anti-aging procedures, she would know. The latest installment of New You takes place Jan. 13, 14 and 15 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Speaking on Tuesday from Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, where she was holidaying, Kaplan explained that everyone is now realizing that bigger isn’t necessarily better. “There is more emphasis on artistry than size,” Kaplan says.

“They are not just going for bigger lips, but looking more at the shape. For example, lips can be filled just at the sides or the bottom, depending on what you want.” Breast implants can be round or oval, to complement the physique.

Kaplan also notes that women are no longer waiting years between major procedures. Like me, they are fighting the age battle constantly with a variety of tools whether it’s as simple as a new lip gloss or as serious as a physician delivered service.

“Women understand that anti-aging is a lifetime commitment, not a one-­time thing, so the show is trying to reflect that,” Kaplan explains.

There will be hair and makeup demonstrations, fitness assessments, and physician-led seminars with titles such as Beat the Clock with Botox, Sexy Legs, and Mummy Tummy and More.

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