Real and Slightly Irreverent Beauty Advice for 40-ish Crowd
I just read an article of beauty tips for women over 40. As I have a mere 40 days until I am 40, I thought perhaps I should read it. In sum it was a list of things not to do:
Don't wear shimmery eyeshadow
Don't wear foundation
Don't put concealer under your eyes
Don't wear eye makeup on your lower lashes/lids
Don't have long, straight hair
The only thing we oldies are allowed to do is wear tinted moisturizer, apparently. I think they should have titled the article, "Your Face Looks Old, and You Are F*cked," subtitled, "The Authors Think You are Irrelevant and Can't be Improved Any Longer."
Personally, while I am definitely wrinklier than I was 20 years ago, I think I am far more attractive. I don't think I am beyond help. However, I have noticed that although I need concealer more, it just seems to accentuate my under eye wrinkles. I have also noticed that glittery eye shadow has turned horrendous. They do have a point, but enough with all the negativity, ok?
Here's some real beauty advice for the woman at or near 40, compliments of Only Mama:
1. If you are covering gray, do not try and match your natural color, instead opt for highlights or an all over shade lighter than your natural color. Want to know why?
A. Your skin color is lighter than it used to be. As we age, our skin changes.
B. We associate lighter hair color with youth.
C. Gray hair doesn't take dye well, and it blends better as the dye fades with lighter hair.
Seeing as the experts are right about most of the makeup accentuating wrinkles, I feel a good cut and color is worth the money. If you don't have the money, talk to everyone with good hair and find a newly minted hairdresser who has skills but not a clientele and is therefore still priced reasonably. Also don't be afraid to be a salon-whore: check out Groupon and go whenever there's a special at a place near you. You don't have to be loyal. I have been screwed up equally by hairdressers I have gone to religiously and hairdressers I have gone to only once.
Note: I have never met a man who liked crunchy hair on women. They all like touchable hair. Cut back on the amount of product you use, and avoid heavily styled hairdos. For example, "The Bump" is a hairstyle that women love but is universally unappealing to men.
Best Anti-frizzy hair product: Well, I use this stuff in a green bottle that is a keratin blow out serum, but there's so many warnings about the toxicity of it I should probably not recommend it. Not only does it have the potential for exploding your brain or something, but it is really expensive.
I also really like L'Oreal EverSleek Leave-In Creme which probably won't make your head explode but will control frizz without leaving your hair crunchy.
2. We have entered into the less is more stage of makeup. Avoid anything that looks heavy, as it will look even worse after two drinks and two hours have gone by. Instead use the time you used to spend in the bathroom writing. meditating, playing with your kids, or having uninhibited sex. Women of our age group are supposed to he way less inhibited and therefore enjoy sex more. Having sex makes your skin glow and your hair fluffy, so it's a win-win.
3. Makeup that I actually like:
Pregnancy left me with some permanent redness and sun spots on my cheeks that I hate. Clinique's Redness Solutions Instant Relief Pressed Powder seems to help without looking caked on. It is pricey, but also lasts forever. I've been using mine a solid 18 months and it has plenty of life still left in it. Skip their unpressed version though, it is so messy as to be practically unusable.
Physican's Formula eyeshadow -it's pink and black lace and very pretty. You can use it wet or dry. I have found that using eyeshadow in place of pencil eyeliner is less harsh and more better. Yes, more better is exactly what I meant to say. It's a little shimmery but not too much so.
Note: I am unable to speak to people who have skin color radically different than mine. If you are an alabaster beauty, a sexy Asian, or a beautiful black woman, my makeup tips will be worthless to you, but I assume you are smart enough to have skipped this section entirely.
4. Look at your assets and accentuate them. We are old enough and wise enough to know what works on us and what doesn't. Got long legs? Splurge on some killer heels. Are you proud of your neck and shoulders? By tops that show them off. Do you have the best ass of anyone you know? Then never leave the house in pants that don't do it justice.
Be honest, and if you really don't know what your best features are, ask some honest friends. The gift of 40 is the knowledge and awareness of what works and the ability to skip unflattering trends. It's also a good time to transition to "classy" from "sassy." The slutty look may be fun but it will age you faster than anything else. Pick one body part to feature and keep the rest understated.
Need an example? I have great legs. I'll wear a short skirt with heels but only if I'm not sporting too much cleavage.
So you don't have a beauty budget for clothes? Go to Goodwill, Plato's Closet consignment, etc. but when you do so:
A. Try it on! Used clothing often has shrank, or has stains that you don't notice until you get it home.
B. Look for ingredients or brands. This is the time to be snobby, and look for silk or cashmere on the tags, and look for quality brands that you trust to hold up over time.
C. If you find a plethora of items in a particular Goodwill in your size and taste, stalk that one store. You will be far more successful driving out of your way to a place where some angle of mercy is donating your perfect wardrobe than picking through a lot of crap elsewhere.
D. Forget ebay. It never fits as I think it is going to. Never.
Also: throw out everything questionable in your wardrobe. If you are like me, you have a closet full on buying mistakes that you wish would magically fbecome good options. They won't. Only keep clothing that makes you look fabulous, including comfy pants.
5. Smile. If you look happy, if you are laughing with friends, you will glow and all that beauty advice won't make a damn bit of difference. Avoid that hungry predator look at all costs.