with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
I turned 41 this spring; right before my 40th birthday, I reached the point where reading glasses were a necessity. At this point, I’m about ten minutes away from being one of those women who has a pair in every single room and three in my handbag.
Reading glasses from Anthropologie
Thank goodness so many places make such cute reading glasses. It almost makes getting older just a excuse to accessorize.
This month, More magazine (”Celebrating Women 40+”) ran a piece called “How Not to Act Old.” Among their suggestions: Don’t leave a voice mail (young people don’t leave voice mails; they text, or assume that you’ll call them back when you see their name on their phone), don’t wear a wrist watch (young people use their cell phones to see what time it is). When I first read this, I scoffed a little, but I’ve been doing some research (ie, watching people at Starbucks) and I think the folks at More are onto something.
You can look old no matter what your actual age is, but it’s so easy not to. You know to toss the Mom Jeans (the ones that make you all backside and no shape) and to steer clear of mini skirts and tube tops and anything else that’s marketed to you and your tween. Trying to dress like you’re 20 will make you look older, not younger — but giving up and dressing like you’re 80 isn’t the answer either. Choose clothes that fit you properly and don’t show too much skin, but don’t stop there — think about the rest of your look. Because even if you’ve got the right jeans and a perfectly fitted tee, your hair and makeup can make you look older than you are.
Keep your manicure clean and simple. A neutral manicure gives your hands a classic, finished look without being overdone. If you want to do something bold, go with a dramatic pedicure, but opt for something quirky; this summer, orange is super hip. Keep nails short — no long, dramatic tips. You should still be able to text without your nails clicking on the front of your phone.
Go with a natural lip. Choose a gloss or stain with a light, lasting color, or a lipstick that plays up your lip color, rather than fighting with it. Skip liner. Even if you’re a minimalist makeup person, a little gloss — or a tinted balm — gives you a finished, clean (young!) look.
Rethink your hair. There are all sorts of rules about hair — cut and color — for women over 40: Long is bad! Go blond to hide gray! Short hair is Mom Hair! None of these are true in every case. The secret to great hair after 40 is finding a cut and color that flatters your face; if that means keeping your hair long, then more power to you. But if you’re keeping your hair long because that’s how you wore it 20 years ago, rethink. Same goes for color; as we age, our hair color changes. I used to be a towhead blond, but these days, I’m leaning more toward brunette; my hair is also losing it’s natural shine. Fortunately, I can fix that with color — but going back to blond is probably not the best choice for me right now.
Don’t forget your brows. But don’t overdo them either. In my haphazard Starbucks research, I noticed that the women who looked the youngest were the women whose brows looked the most natural. As we age, our brows tend to get thinner and shorter, but that short, thin brow will age you faster than a second grade sleepover. Keep your brows maintained, but keep them natural. If you need to fill them in, use a powder filler that is close to your hair color. And don’t go overboard — super dramatic brows are super aging.
The bottom line is this: Instead of trying harder to look younger, embrace your age. Piling on the makeup will not bring back your 20 year old face. Instead, make your 40 year old face look it’s best. And then stop leaving messages — people will call you back, don’t worry. It works for the kids.
You can read the More magazine piece about how not to act old on Twitter here.
Subscribe to blog via RSS