THE GOOD

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MICHELLE OBAMA, 50

The First Lady turned 50 last month and looks fitter and healthier than ever.
The energetic advocate of healthy eating – she has turned childhood obesity into a mainstream issue in the United States – is, predictably, a health fanatic.

In a 2012 article on the news site Daily Beast, Mrs Obama revealed that she wakes up at 4.30am everyday to hit the gym for a round of cardio exercises and to lift weights.

She eats five meals a day, comprising nutritious, unprocessed food such as brown rice, stir-fried vegetables, fish and oatmeal.
When she feels like indulging, she will have a wholemeal pizza loaded with cheese and vegetables.

NAOMI CAMPBELL, 43

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When the British clotheshorse was in town last October to make an appearance at Digital Fashion Week, Urban interviewed her and we can vouch that even up close and without make-up, the leggy model looks like she has barely aged.

Her face still looks sculpted, her body is still as toned and her long legs, shapely.
Campbell revealed her strict diet and exercise regimen in a recent interview with Harpers Bazaar US.

She downs about eight detoxifying drinks from the moment she gets out of bed. They include hot water, probiotics and lemon, green tea and aloe vera. Then, throughout the day, the vegetarian nibbles on dried fruit and nuts, and does not eat after 8pm. She also does yoga, zumba and pilates.

CARINA LAU, 48

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Urban met the Hong Kong actress at the opening of the Roger Vivier boutique here last November and was impressed with her still-plump skin and glowing, well-defined face.

Granted, she has a few lines around her eyes but we think the actress looks 10 years younger than she really is.

Her body is still in pretty good shape too, which she flaunts in flattering figure-hugging dresses on the red carpet. When Lau turned 45, she commissioned a photographer to shoot portraits of her for a limited-edition calendar which she gave out to friends.

It has been reported that she keeps herself looking young by getting enough rest and exercising five days a week (a 30-minute jog and lifting weights for each session) to boost her metabolism and to improve her mood.

GONG LI, 48

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She may be close to 50, but her skin always looks flawless with nary a spot or deep wrinkle in sight, even in close-up photos. That is probably the reason why French cosmetics giant L’Oreal has had her as one of the brand’s ambassadors since 1996.

The Shenyang-born beauty credits her youthful good looks and curvy figure to plenty of rest and moderate cardio exercises such as table tennis and badminton. Her beauty routine includes nourishing her skin with a mask three times a week.

THE BAD

KATE MOSS, 40

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The mother-of-one is known for her hard-partying ways, and it shows.
Recent un-airbrushed event photos and paparazzi shots revealed her eyebags, deep crows’ feet and marionette lines. And – gasp! – Moss even sported a paunch when she was photographed in a bikini while on holiday in Italy last July.

This is a far cry from how she usually appears in magazine shoots and TV campaigns. According to the Daily Mail, a body double in her 20s had to be used for Moss in some of the scenes for a sexy Stuart Weitzman YouTube advertisement.

MADONNA, 55

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Madonna is known for taking everything she does to the extreme, including her quest to look her best. The star is known for indulging in countless fad diets, intense workouts (her sinewy biceps are legendary, and she is the co-owner of international gym chain Hardcandy Fitness) and extreme beauty treatments, such as one that uses human placenta.

In spite of all that, she looks gaunt and old. Some close-up pictures of her face at events are downright scary. Sadly, no amount of make-up can hide her eyebags and the deep lines around her eyes and mouth.

DONATELLA VERSACE, 58

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At almost 60, the designer is a classic example of someone who has taken her love for plastic surgery too far. 

Her face is unnaturally smooth and expressionless, her eyes too deep-set and her lips have been over-fillered. She brings to mind a baby gargoyle.

We think Versace looked so much better in 2002, before she overindulged in nips and tucks. There is no denying that she still has an enviable figure, which she accentuates with her sexy and over-the-top dresses; but we are not sure how much of that body is natural. Reportedly, she once fired a personal trainer because he would not let her smoke.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on February 7, 2014. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.