Aging gracefully will be a reoccurring topic here on the blog. Why? Because I am 46 and trying my best to do just that… age gracefully! Not because I want to look young, but rather so I don’t look ridiculous! The turning point? Age 40… obviously, that’s when “shit” got real – LOL!
I am proud to be 46. I never lie about my age; I embrace it and have moved into mid-life in good shape, happy, confident and aware of what I don’t want. And as much as there are some “choice terms” out there for beautiful women in their forties and fifties, I am very aware of not trying too hard to retain my youth because I want my naturally sexy, sassy, sophisticated self to shine! As with everything here on the blog, I am writing from personal experience and share what I see and hear, added with my years as a hairstylist and image coach. So with that in mind, I want to share with you some tips about aging gracefully that have worked for me!
Head to Toe
Don’t colour your hair too light – bleached out (think Barbie), or too dark (think Goth).
Hair that’s coloured in either extreme can offset our skin tone, which is also changing as we age!
Do choose a hair colour that’s somewhere in the middle.
Your hairstylist can help you select a colour that you love and also suits your skin tone. Also consider adding hilites and/or lowlites for dimension and to make your style interesting!
Don’t follow the trends if they don’t suit your face shape.
For example, stick-straight hair is really harsh on an aging face as it is super “spikey.”
Do what suits your face shape AND your lifestyle.
Now is the time to add more wave, softness and volume to offset the thinning of our faces and loss of collagen in our cheeks. A good hairstylist can make suggestions and work with you to find the perfect style.
I cannot say this enough. Not only does it cause skin cancer, we look OLD when we are over-tanned: lines are accentuated and then those dreaded WRINKLES emerge!
Do use a good quality self-tanner.
For the generation that grew up tanning with baby oil infused with iodine, it’s hard not to feel good without a tan – I totally get it! A self-tanner will give you a healthy glow. Enjoy the natural sun and get your Vitamin D fix safely with a sunscreen.
Face & Make-Up
Don’t use eyeshadows with extra sheen or sparkle.
Also avoid heavy eyeliner or extra bronzer (to make up for the lack of a tan – LOL!). To quote Robin Kaiser, an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist based in New York City, “what worked when you were 30 won’t work when you’re 60. As older women, we can still wear it all – eyeliner, shadow, lipstick, blush – but over time, you must lighten it up and choose your colours judiciously. Otherwise, you look ‘hard.’ And if you look ‘hard,’ you look old.”
Do use the “less is more” theory.
Choose soft shadows that are matte or have a subtle sheen. Instead of an eyeliner pencil, try using an angled brush with a dark shadow to line your eyes – it gives a much softer look. Pinterest is a great source for how to apply make-up, and it truly can make a world of difference! I personally am a make-up addict; there are usually 6-8 lipsticks or glosses in my purse at any given time!
Don’t follow the trends unless they suit your body shape AND your lifestyle.
“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.” – Edith Head
As a woman in my forties, it is becoming harder and harder to find stores with clothes that I like, and that aren’t too “old looking” or “young looking.” It’s an awkward age to shop for when you still want to be current and stylish!
Do wear clothes that accentuate your best features.
Also remember to choose colours that suit your skin tone. If you are unsure, hire a stylist or image consultant to help you. Too often we have a closet full of clothes and still feel like we have nothing to wear. Hiring an expert will prevent this from happening and will actually save you money in the long run!
YES there are exceptions to all these rules. Some women can get away with doing their own thing, as wrong as it may be, and it works. For them. But for the rest of us, breaking these rules draws attention to us in less than flattering ways.
Victoria Baird works with professional and entrepreneurial women to discover their personal style, develop their personal image and brand, and build their self-confidence around their own natural beauty. Ready to get out of that rut, feel great about yourself, and stand out from your competition? Schedule a complimentary Style Success Session with Victoria here.