Christie Brinkley is celebrating a milestone birthday this weekend: The supermodel turns 65 on February 2nd.
Brinkley started the festivities a few days early when she attended a birthday party held in her honor at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Tuesday night.
“Groundhog’s Day is my birthday, and I’ll be turning 50 for the 15th time,” Brinkley joked at the bash, where she wore a sparkly mini that showed off her long, toned legs. The event was hosted by Merz North America. Brinkley is a representative of the pharmaceutical company and the face of its noninvasive ultrasound wrinkle-reducing procedure Ultherapy, which she uses on her neck and décolletage.
However, Brinkley is keen to spread the message that age is just a number. In fact, she says her real age is her “spirit age” – which is younger than 65.
“Everybody pays so much attention to your number,” she said. “I like to say, ‘That’s just my biological age, but my spirit age is totally different.’ Your spiritual age comes from everything about you, not just this assigned number because that’s how long you’ve been around, kicking around this crazy old world.”
“Your spirit age is how you’ve kicked around the world,” she explains. “It’s what you’ve gathered and how you move and your point of view, your enthusiasm, your gratitude, your appreciation. It’s your energy, your aura and that’s your true age. Not that other arbitrary number.”
It’s an approach to life she’s passed down to her children, who were also at the celebration. Her daughter Alexa Ray Joel serenaded her mom with the Happy Birthday song, while son Jack Brinkley-Cook and his model girlfriend Nina Agdal and Alexa’s fiancé Ryan Gleason also all attended.
“She proved that she really has more energy than anyone I know,” Joel, 33, told PEOPLE. “She just never loses her energy. The best advice she always gives me: Shoulders back, posture and smile and believe in yourself and treat other people with kindness.”
In terms of how Brinkley has maintained her ageless looks — other than using the Ultherapy treatments and the injectable Xeomin for her frown lines, which she revealed to People in 2017 — she credits that to her vegetarian diet.
“When I was 13, I decided I didn’t want to hurt animals and I’ve been reaping the good karma of that ever since,” she said. “I wholeheartedly recommend that you consider that. It’s good for the planet, it’s great for your body. I also think that it’s really important to go organic; again, great for the planet, great for our bodies. We’re surrounded with so many chemicals, so I think it’s really, really imperative that we look for organic products. And the more we do that it’ll drop down the prices and make it more affordable for everybody.”
Her other tip for staying young: “Lots of laughter,” she says. “When in doubt, smile. Always. That’s the best thing you can put on your face.”
The night also marked the launch of Ultherapy’s #MilestonesOfMe campaign launch, which celebrates life’s little moments.
“We can all agree that it’s pretty stressful out there, and the one thing that everyone woman I know has in common-we all have a full plate,” said Brinkley. “With that kind of climate, it is more and more important for us to find moments to stop and celebrate and take it all in.”
For Brinkley, that means never missing a sunset. “I make a big deal about the sunset,” she said.
“You can choose to make each day something special, and I think that it’s really important to do that,” she added. “It’s worth stopping and celebrating and taking the time to actually be in the moment. I think that that’s just as important as anything else because that’s what’s going to lead to a happy life. It’s finding and stringing together as many of those moments as you possibly can.”