Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Few Little Beauty Tips To Try Today

beauty tips from models

  • Put clear lip balm on your cheekbones? Try it!  Vanessa Axente, a Hungarian model who is also the star of Endless Euphoria fragrance ads, uses Chanel's Rouge Coco Baume on her cheekbones, then follows with a bit of blush.
  • The highest part of the arch of your eyebrow should be jusst above the outer edge iris of your eye.
  • Drink 1 1/2 litres of water a day and a good hyaluronic serum should follow your antioxidant serum. Hyaluronic acid can hold and bind up to over 1000 times its own weight in moisture.
  • Remember to put sunscreen on your hands and reapply it throughout the day.  Hands show age dramatically.
  • Try soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar to make them especially soft.  It's cheap, too!
  • Squeeze water out of your hair, but don't towel dry it so that you will avoid the "frizzies"!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Difference Between Being Older and Looking Old

aging gracefully
 Yes, I am a femme d'une certain age, as the French put it so wonderfully. That is, at age 62, I am an older woman.  However, I don't think that I have to look "old" when looking old means looking dowdy, frumpy, or tacky as so many people seem to think.
Many of you may be familiar with the work of Ari Seth Cohen, a photographer based in New York who is known for capturing vibrant and beautiful older people going about their daily routines on the streets of that city.  I've chosen a few of his photos of especially attractive older women who look wonderful, and whose look, I believe, is within the reach of anyone.
One of the things that you will notice that all these women seem to have in common is that they take care of themselves; it shows through even in the photos of those who are dressed casually, so this is not about expensive clothing.
You will also notice that they are not overweight, probably one of the elements that can age us more than anything!
You will also notice that they are all wearing lipstick whether they wear other makeup or not!
Photo, above, yes, she's dressed up, so elegant. Not a ton of jewelry or make-up although she is wearing make-up.
aging gracefully
 I love the photo above.  Although not my style, I love the way this outfit is put together. It's vibrant and colorful, but it looks youthful and definitely not like those big-flowered "old lady" prints.
Below, being thin is better. Love her grey hair and that turban although this is a bit much for where I live.
mature women
 She is wearing denim, yes, denim, and it looks really good.  Multiple rings and the statement necklace work here (but no earrings).  Those sunglasses add a unique, personal touch. Personally, I hate tattoos, but it seems to work for her.
aging gracefully
 Below, I love this lady in her casual outfit.  Her hair is great, not teased, not sprayed, just airy and natural looking.  Her camo jacket works for her over her leggings. And yes, when you are this small, you can get away with wearing leggings even if you have grey hair! Notice though that the boots go with the camo so this looks deliberate, not like an afterthought.

how not to look old
 Her skin is beautiful, her grey hair is beautiful, again, natural looking, not teased and sprayed.
aging gracefully
 Below, I love how her lipstick, sweater, and gloves all match.  Natural grey hair pulled back.
how not to look old

aging gracefully
 Above, this outfit looks so comfortable! She is wearing fashionable glasses (not little old lady wires), and her handbag is gorgeous.
Below, here she is again. Comfy clothes that don't look sloppy because everything is pulled together (notice how the lining of her jacket is the same color as her pants?) Lipstick! Her shoes are very up-to-date and a great color!
mature women

 Below, this is perhaps my favorite photo.  I love her complexion, her eye make-up, her lipstick, the way her hair is pulled back. She is perfect! Those earrings add individuality.
aging gracefully

This woman below is old. She looks old.  Her hair is teased and probably stiff; her glasses age her and her rouge looks as though it almost goes down to her chin line. She is not wearing lipstick. Her jewelry looks as though it is plastic.   She has probably worn her hair like that since she was in her teens.
Change her glasses, her jewelry, blow-out her hair, and give her lipstick and she could stand her own with the women above. 

older woman
 Below - old lady or teenager. If your grand-kids give you this, wear it only around them.
fashion do's and don'ts
 Below, frumpy (although she's not really old). Her pants are too big, her sweater is too big, and nothing works with anything else. What she is wearing makes her hips look huge!
fashion do's and don'ts
The thing I also loAnd that's half of really looking good!ve about my elegant older ladies though is that they all seem to know that they look good. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Street Style: What You Can Learn From It

street style
 So many women think that so-called "street style" is only for the young, avant-garde, artsy-looking New Yorkers who are looking to stand out and turn heads on a busy street.  However, street style is interesting because it shows us fresh ways to style our clothing, not replicate a complete look.
If you look at the street style photos on this page, you will find that there is a fashion tip, or fashion lesson in each one of them, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle.
For instance, the photo above may not look particularly daring, but note the way her scarf is tied (perfect!), the way the 3/4 length sleeved coat works in colder temperatures when paired with a heavy sweater, and ow that bright pink cheers up an otherwise somber outfit.  In fact, if nothing else, street style photos can convince you that a pop of bright color that is not necessarily found already in your outfit will make a real difference in its fashion quotient. Below, just jeans, but that bright red mini-bag and bright red nail polish makes a huge difference.
street style
 Below, if you are over 40, lose those too short wide pants and opt for black pants that are straight-legged or skinny. Keep the cream layered on top and add a wonderful fringed shawl in a print on a cream background. Perfectly elegant. Skip those shoes, too.
street fashion
 The power of color really shows on a rainy day.  There ought to be a law that umbrellas can only be made in the brightest colors possible.
street style
 Below, forget the outfit on the left with the weird ripped-hem peplum (or whatever that is) and look at the classic outfit on the right.  When is the last time you wore a simple white shirt with jeans and then put a great red coat or blazer over them? So fresh looking!
street style
 This look will work for anyone over 40; layer the tops, grey over bright (hot pink would look good), skinny jeans, and instead of boots with sky-high heels, go for flat boots and still tuck in your jeans.  Lose the white purse; try one in another bright color.
street fashion
 Below, a wonderful look for almost anyone.  Black shoes and tights lengthen your legs forever.  A skirt a bit longer (if you aren't in love with your thighs) would work just as well. The lady-like bag gives the whole outfit a polished look even though it's just a sweater over a skirt!
fashion tips

fashion tips
 Above, the lesson here is mixing navy blue with sky blue and black.  Try this look with a longer skirt, tights and medium heeled black pumps. Gorgeous.
Below, the pink coat is beautiful; the color-blocked bag updates the classic outfit.
street style

fashion tips
 Above, the lesson: black jeans with a black jacket, black boots, black bag and a light shirt or sweater. Make sure your black jeans have no holes if you are over 40.  
Below, a bright jacket over all-black is gorgeous! Make those shorts a pencil skirt or a pair of black jeans and you have a winner. If you are over 40, use self-tanner on your bare legs or wear a pair of thin tights and forego the peep-toes (which usually aren't very comfortable anyway).

street style

Street style is exciting, eccentric, and fun! Add those qualities to your own wardrobe by studying the latest photos. Two great street style blogs are Streetpeeper and also Caroline's Mode.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Aging Gracefully

Pictures of me today! Why? Because at age 62, I have been trying for the first time all the creams and serums that so many people swear by.  While I don't think that any of these will keep me from aging, I am hoping that they will give me soft, smooth skin and help me age, well, gracefully.  Plus, I am having a ball trying different things!  A funny switch for someone who until the age of 59+ used only Purpose soap and Aveeno lotion on her face!
   Now, my routine has changed. No more sleeping in make-up (my huge vice - I'm so often lazy); if I don't shower before I go to bed (with my Purpose soap), I use either Neutrogena facial wipes (it takes me 2 to clean my face, then I splash with lukewarm water) or Estee Lauder's Re-Nutriv cleanser (always splashing water afterward).
   Currently, at night I am using a firming serum called Acure Organics Seriously Firming Facial Serum; afterward I apply L'Oreal's Revitalift (a drugstore, yes, drugstore purchase!).
   In the morning, I may experiment with some sort of serum, but usually I just use Estee Lauder's Daywear. It's very moisturizing, has a sunscreen, and I love the cucumber scent.  When I remember, I may use their foundation primer, but usually I just use Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lifting Creme make-up. It  has an SPF 15 rating so I am doubling up on the sunscreen. If I do decide to go sans foundation, I always put a sunscreen on!

   I've been very happy with the results, best seen in the first picture: no retouching, no photo-shopping. I don't know how firm my skin is, but it is certainly smooth and soft!
By the way, my skin is extremely sensitive, but so far nothing has caused a break-out during experimentation except for Lauder's Swiss Performing Extract. 
   Next experiments will be with lash enhancers!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

What To Buy Now

Ahh, January, one of the coldest months of the year (in many places in the US, certainly here in the Washington, D.C. area) when our thoughts turn to self-improvement although grey days cast a dismal light over complexions and wardrobes. But cheer up! This is a great time to go shopping, in stores and online.
One thing we can do is think ahead to next year's winter and search out good quality merchandise at low, low prices now, and also find pretty accents to cheer up our current wardrobe.
What to buy now?

Something in Orchid, this year's newest color.
 Your best bet is a purse! But even small doses of this pretty color will update your wardrobe. Try a cashmere scarf or orchid leather gloves for a great pop of color during these cold, grey days.  Orchid will add a feminine touch to anything!
A winter coat that you will wear for years.  
 Most stores are having sales with prices slashed to ridiculous lows. You may not find your dream coat, but it is worth a look. Best bets are cashmere and camel hair in camel or black although a bright red or crisp navy would be great, too.

Great equestrian style boots. 
There's still plenty of time to wear them this year and you may be able to score a pair on sale.  Look for flat boots with buckles or a two-toned leather so that they are chic and extremely wearable.

Shopping in February not only gives you a chance to find some great deals, but you can also scout the early Spring arrivals and decide what is going to be worth adding to your basic wardrobe in the coming season.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Good To Shiver, Watch Out for Coral Lipstick and Dark Nail Polish

Some researchers have "...found indirect evidence that the body's response to cold, which consists of shivering and hormonal actions, plays a major role in energy expenditure. Regulation of body temperature, they say, is associated with weight."(Fiona Johnson, University College, London, 2011) Also, shivering burns about 400 calories an hour!  You may have heard the oft repeated advice to drink ice cold water since it takes more energy and burns more fat than drinking lukewarm water, but  supposedly even lowering the temperature in your home a few degrees will help with weight loss. Of course, where I live, all I have to do is go to the local grocery store where I swear they keep the temperature deliberately below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you get older, your hands are one of the parts of your body that shows aging, and there hasn't been a lot that you can do about it.  One help though is to avoid very dark polishes or brown polishes which seem to accentuate wrinkles and make your skin look older.

Everywhere you will read that the hottest new lipstick color for Spring is coral.  But if you have less that white teeth, beware.  Coral is a color that will cause your teeth to look dingy - as will most red lipsticks that have a lot of orange in them.  Instead, go for a coral with a lot of pink in it rather than orange - or opt out of coral totally.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Four Beautiful Women Over 40

Just a short post to celebrate the beauty of these four women who are all over 40. First, above, Nicole Kidman is still gorgeous and drop-dead sexy  no matter what color her hair is (I personally prefer her in red).
S. Epatha Merkerson (Law and Order) is a beautiful woman.  I love her dimples and the sprinkling of freckles that she doesn't try to hide. And what a smile! She is 60; can you believe it! By the way, she is not the thinnest star either, but she still looks great.
Above, Kim Basinger. Enough said. She's 59 years old. Yes, in this picture.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is 44 years old and absolutely stunning despite health problems and possibly marital problems.  
All four of these women prove that you do not have to let a stressful life show on your face no matter what your age.  It is not too late to get enough sleep, take nutritional supplements, exercise, lose weight, and wear makeup.  Don't think of private trainers, chefs, $800 haircuts, expensive make-up. None of that really matters. What matters is that you exercise whether you have someone to train with or not.  That you eat healthfully, even if you eat out or cook for yourself. Get your hair cut by someone who cares what you look like. And drugstore makeup is wonderful these days. Experiment and you can find something that will work for you!