Are You Aging Gracefully? 5 Mistakes Mid-Life Women Make & How to Avoid Them

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

Hair Colour

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!

Hair Length

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.

Skin

Don’t over-tan!!!!

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!

Body

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.


3 Easy Ways to Exercise That Will Make You Better at Your Job

Being great at your job requires stamina: mental, physical and emotional. Plain and simple, exercise is the #1 habit you want to incorporate now to have increased stamina for an improved work and home life.

Regardless if you are a bank teller, sales clerk, brick layer, real estate agent, talk show host, chef, account executive etc, etc, this one habit, in my opinion, can change your entire life! Don’t just take my word for it. Inc.com recently released an article, 30 CEOs Reveal the Daily Habits Responsible for Their Success.

Four of the CEOs directly spoke about how their exercise habits aided their success. And let’s not forget about Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Madonna, Darren Hardy and Doctor Oz, to name a few more people in the public eye that repeatedly attribute exercise as a key habit!

Why Exercise?

Exercise releases endorphins into your body, that’s why!

Endorphins are what create that euphoric feeling. They’re nature’s happy pills! All you need to do is get active in order to feel their effects.

Endorphins also regulate appetite, release sex hormones and increase immune function! Seriously ladies, who doesn’t want all these benefits?!

Exercising regularly, 3-5 days a week for 30-60 minutes, will automatically make you feel better. This is because a positive domino effect occurs: you start craving better healthier food, you start getting a better night’s sleep, your stress response lessens, and as a result – all your relationships are enhanced.

I Didn’t Always Love Exercise

I am a fitness junkie, no doubt about it! I love exercise as much as others despise it, but I wasn’t always this way. I hated those fitness tests we had to do in school as a child; they left me feeling inadequate.

In my late teens and early 20’s when I was in full-on lazy/party mode, exercising for any reason was out of the question (unless of course dancing at a night club counts!) I no longer rode my bike to hang out with my friends; we all had cars or access to a car. I gave up on team sports; my competitive nature was redirected to other activities such as over indulgence with food and alcohol!

It wasn’t until out of necessity that I came back to active living and I realized not only that I thrived on staying active, but that I was a better person all around.

I had moved from my small town to the city and I no longer had access to a car. Sure there was public transportation available, but after getting on the wrong bus a couple of times I decided I wanted to save myself the embarrassment of being late again and started walking to work, instead.

It didn’t take more than a week before I began to notice several changes!

Overall I felt good, I had more energy, my body felt stronger, I enjoyed the fresh air and the “me time” where I could process my thoughts during the 30 minutes to and from work. The benefits just kept coming!

Fast forward 20 plus years, and I can without a doubt in my mind, tell you exercise is #1 reason highly successful people thrive in business and in life. Here are 3 easy ways for you to incorporate exercise into your routine and your success!

1. Keep it Simple

If exercise is new to you, commit to 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes of walking or bicycling, or some other activity you enjoy and don’t need to purchase a membership for. Although memberships and monies spent can keep you accountable, I suggest setting up the consistency in activity first.

2. Use the Buddy System

If you have a hard time dragging yourself out of bed or off the couch to exercise, find a friend to work out with. The chance of cancelling on your friend in less-than-ideal weather is lessened; you may want to bail on yourself but you won’t let down a friend!

3. Keep it Fun

Ready for something more than walking? Find something you enjoy. There are clubs for just about every type of activity, and people of all shapes and sizes enjoy these sports! Don’t be shy. Ask around or get online to research. From rock climbing to mud races, get out there and find what you like, make some new friends and get in shape!

Does this still sound daunting to you? Part of my work as a Style & Image Coach includes helping my clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Schedule your complimentary Style Success Session with me here, and let’s make your goals a reality!


4 Fool-Proof Strategies to Transform Your Closet from Mayhem to Magnificent

What’s lurking in your closet?

Limp shirts, pants and skirts/dresses piled high. Footwear mismatched and tossed aside.  Clothes hanging or in bags with price tags still attached and tormenting you. Dresser drawers bursting at the seams.  No pun intended!

Now, double or triple that!

Many women have more than one closet full of clothes and wear only 20% of those items 80% of the time!  If your closet looks more like the zombie apocalypse than the last episode of The Walking Dead, it’s time to take action!

“We should choose what we want to keep, not want we want to get rid of.”

Marie Kondo, author of #1 New York Times best-selling guide, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, tells us this. I totally agree with Marie’s perspective on de-cluttering any area of our life or home!

It’s Time for a Wardrobe Audit

messy closet

Image courtesy of k barker on Flickr

A wardrobe audit can be a time consuming and daunting task, but it should also be liberating and fun!

With spring around the corner now is the perfect time to clear out the clutter. You will have more options with fewer clothes, dressing will become exciting again, plus you will make room for those couple ‘must have’ items next season.

Okay, so you’ve committed to the DIY closet audit. Now where to start?

Have a “Go Hard or Go Home” attitude.

Be ruthless and realistic while keeping Marie Kondo’s advice to “keep only what sparks joy.”

Keep, Donate or Discard?

  1. a) DO set aside a full morning or afternoon to work on your closet – ALONE!
  2. b) DON’T try to tackle it bit-by-bit for an hour here and there.
  3. a) DO bring out all your clothing items, including footwear and undergarments, to be audited.
  4. b) DON’T leave any items to chance! Be sure to have all your laundry done before starting.
  5. a) DO keep items that fit well, flatter your body, and are in good shape.
  6. b) DON’T keep items that have been unworn for a year or more, do not fit properly, or are in bad shape.
  7. a) DON’T feel guilty about the items sitting in the donate pile.
  8. b) DO feel good about donating your clothes to those who are less fortunate – many will benefit from your generosity!

Alternatively – check out consignment stores to sell those higher-priced items that you’re having a hard time parting with because of how much you originally spent on them.

organized closet

An organized closet makes a world of difference!

A Few Extra Tips to Make Your Audit Go Smoothly

  1. Have a full-length mirror ready when you trying on clothing.
  2. Have several large garbage bags or boxes handy for items to discard or to donate. Be sure to get those donated items out of the house ASAP before you second-guess yourself or your decision!
  3. Last, but by no means least, enjoy the process of simplifying your life and personal style by keeping those articles of clothing that make you look and feel your best!

Struggling with your DIY Wardrobe Audit? Schedule a complimentary Style Success Session with me here.