“Anti-age” is a vilified term, and rightfully so. It cruelly mocks anyone (me) who has failed, despite superhuman diligence, to stop time. While we’re at it, let’s toss “aging gracefully,” “I earned every wrinkle,” “the face you deserve,” “mature skin,” “gray,” and “death” onto the funeral pyre.

I am pro-aging and anti–looking it. I’m also anti–risking my life and anti–weird scar behind my ears. I am, most likely, aging disgracefully.

But there’s no reason to despair. Some physicists even argue that time is an illusion and may not exist in physical reality, according to a study in Nature. This comes to us from the theory of loop quantum gravity. Trying to understand it, though, carries the risk of accelerated aging.

For those of us who don’t have a firm grasp of physics, there’s still some happy news: many of us believe we look younger than we are, and that might be a good thing. According to a 2018 study in Frontiers in Psychology, people reported that they looked and felt younger than their chronological age. It’s almost as if time didn’t exist, or was measured on a sliding scale. Other studies have found a connection between a younger subjective age and all kinds of health benefits. At last, a justification for lying about your age.

There are some practical ways to look younger: apply a moisturizer (old skin is dry skin); wear a little eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick (because facial features lose definition over the years, and delineating them helps); dye your gray hair or wear it with pride; and buy a pair of oversize glasses (see: Bobbi Brown, Jenna Lyons, Courteney Cox, and Julia Roberts).

There are also ways to look younger without removing a single dead skin cell or changing a hair on your head.

Carine Roitfeld, the French fashion stylist and former editor of French Vogue, is in her late 60s and happens to look exceptional. It helps that she’s from France, where beautiful women are not confined to the ages of 20 to 39. She once told me she likes to stay at the Carlyle hotel, in New York, because it makes her feel young.

I am pro-aging and anti–looking it.

Want to feel old? Book a room at Yotel. Check in at the Wythe. If you’re really a masochist, spend a Saturday afternoon in Dimes Square.

Since youth is relative, Roitfeld has a point: Why not look younger by changing the context, or just the room you’re in, the company you keep, the activity you’re doing? Make it easy.

This is where Cher and Madonna get it all wrong. They seem to have a habit of falling in love with men who have never mailed a letter or pushed a quarter into a pay phone. Cher, at 76, is now wearing a diamond ring, a gift from her boyfriend, who is 36. Cher tweeted: “Love doesn’t know math.” And, as she told People in 2021, “If I hadn’t gone out with younger men, I would have never had a date.” Madonna, who can be found writhing on TikTok, had, until recently, a 28-year-old boyfriend. Good for them! But for those who want to look younger, I recommend procuring your diamonds from a nice 80-year-old.

There are so many ways to look younger without injections, lasers, or surgery. It’s a New Year’s resolution without any significant effort. Here are just a few:

1. Go to the post office. Buy stamps.
2. Relocate to New York’s Upper East Side.
3. Browse the hosiery department at Bloomingdale’s.
4. Take the bus.
5. Visit the bank. Wait in line for a teller.
6. Renew your library card.
7. Have lunch at Harry Cipriani, on Fifth Avenue. For bonus points, bring a plastic surgeon.
8. Attend a matinee performance of A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical.
9. Dabble in aqua aerobics …
10. … or Zumba Gold.
11. Try out a WW meeting, but call it Weight Watchers.

12. Procure season tickets to the opera.
13. Move to Boca Raton.
14. Pretend you’re one of those physicists who believes time doesn’t exist.
15. Attend an Eagles concert.
16. Duck into church.
17. Join the Colony or Cosmopolitan Club.
18. While at Staples, stand patiently at the service desk behind someone asking for help printing out their boarding pass.
19. Hang out in a cosmetic surgeon’s waiting room.
20. Fall in love with someone who remembers Woodstock (because they attended).

But you still might want to dye your hair.

Linda Wells spent 25 years as Allure magazine’s founding editor, authored Confessions of a Beauty Editor, served as Revlon’s chief creative officer, and launched the beauty brand Flesh