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Celebrity Upkeep: The Top Beauty Secrets of the Stars  

Here's how they deal with growing older.

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Ethel Staff
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The gorgeous Carmen Dell’Orefice, who’s still modeling at 90, compares going under the knife to having a tune-up. “I mean, if you had a ceiling fan falling down in your living room, would you not get it replaced?” she asks sensibly in the HBO documentary About Face.

I was an early adopter of Botox and I’ve written a novel called The Botox Diaries which tells you something about where I stand on keeping up my looks. Though surgery, hmm. I’m on Google so often, checking to see how celebrities who haven’t had face-lifts are holding up, that if at this very minute the police were to impound my computer, they’d conclude I’m a stalker. (Diane Keaton, Lauren Hutton and Diane von Furstenberg: I swear I’m not dangerous.)

Still, how do the stars — whose looks can be their calling cards — deal with getting older? Here are some of their tips, culled from my own reporting as a long-time reporter on the celebrity beauty beat.

Celebrity dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., laughs as she recounts a favorite quote from superstar patient Sophia Vergara. “Sophia says, ‘If you told me to eat Crazy Glue I’d do it,’ ” Engelman says. “But, in fact, Sophia’s beauty comes from within, she’s a great human being. And she never looks overdone.” Vergara, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in her 20s, believes it’s important to take care of your body. She’s never smoked and, although as a Columbian she loves the sun, she never goes outside without sunscreen. (She uses bronzer to get a natural-looking glow.) The 49-year-old Modern Family star is “committed to health and wellness,’ Engelman says. And she also indulges in a few favorite beauty treatments.

Vergara enjoys regular LED/Oxylight facials, a 60- to 90-minute noninvasive treatment that combines micro currents, oxygen and LED lights to tone and tighten skin and give it a temporary glow. The actress also employs EM-SCULPT treatments, which use magnetic fields, similar to those in an MRI machine, to build and define muscle tone. In Vergara’s case, it also helped heal a knee injury more quickly.

Vergara has also recently discovered the benefits of an Infrared Sauna blanket. Lying underneath the blanket, the body is engulfed with sauna-like heat, said to detox the body. Someone I know compared it to “climbing into a Hot Pocket,” but according to Engelman, the results are worth it. “It reduces muscle aches and increases white blood cell production to boost immunity,” she says. “Which is important, because as we age, our immunity wanes.”

Just like the rest of us, when Madonna sleeps face down, she wakes up with puffy eyes. But unlike us, instead of reaching for a run-of-the-mill cold cream or slice of cucumber, the 62-year-old Queen of Pop dabs on her very own MDNA skin care line, which includes a $600 chrome clay mask that comes with a “magic wand” to remove the clay along with impurities. “Madonna’s very disciplined, “says her dermatologist and MDNA cocreator.

Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D. “She eats healthy, she doesn’t drink, smoke, doesn’t go out in the sun, she gets a good night’s sleep and she comes into the office frequently for treatments.”

And then there’s her rumored plastic surgery. As a performer, Madonna spends a lot of time wearing heavy makeup and sweating under hot lights, which is extra taxing on her skin. So when she’s on tour, her entourage includes an aesthetician who gives her daily facials. She also swears by the same Oxylight facials that Sophia Vergara and other red-carpet celebrities love — but Madonna being Madonna, while others go into their derm’s offices for treatments, Madonna bought her own Oxylight machine to use at home.

I first met Ali McGraw at the height of her Love Story fame, and yes, she was conventionally gorgeous. When I interviewed her 20-odd years later, she was coming to terms with no longer being the “it” girl. “There’s such a staggering emphasis placed on looks as a measure of whether you’re still worth counting in the human race,” she said.

Still McGraw decided to “age gracefully.” After her Los Angeles house burned down, she moved to Santa Fe where she said, “I meet traffic-stopping-ly beautiful women in their 80s. What they have in common is curiosity, knowing what matters.”

After her move, the 50-something McGraw produced the video Ali McGraw Yoga Mind and Body, which became a best seller. On her 75th birthday, McGraw let her dark locks go silvery grey, and because she remains a fashion icon, the news went viral.

Today, at 82, McGraw has found a serenity that she wasn’t accorded in Hollywood. “I’ll never look 18 again,” she said. “I’ve arrived at a point in my life where, if there are bags under my eyes, I don’t want to be around people who are going to tell me I look lousy. I want someone to say, ‘You look tired. Is there something I can do to help?’ ”

And then, just as I was finishing this article, came the news that 58-year-old fashion designer Marc Jacobs was posting pictures on Instagram of his facelift. Jacobs, who’s talked about having Botox, thread lifts and a hair transplant, was equally transparent about going under the knife. “No shame in being vain,” he captioned pictures of his very swollen face wrapped in bandages. Definitely no shame. But what about the pain? While I admire Jacobs’ honesty seeing those pictures gave me the willies — and I think I’ve finally come to a decision. Sophia, Ali, Dr. Engelman, thank you for leading the way. Natural — with just a bit of help — is my new motto.

(Image Source: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Madonna; Tibrina Hobson/WireImage/Getty Images; John Shearer/Getty Images)

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