I first noticed the phenomenon on Facebook when friends in their 50s, 60s, 70s began to morph into a no-age look. Not young, not old, just a vague combo of maintenance and mystery. Of course, some of us rely on an app, filter or Photoshop to smooth, brighten and tighten things up, while others slip in a little dermatological or surgical help, but there's no denying we look better now than in our Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday photos. Worried the younger your peers look, the older you do? This reality check will help.
We are the new hipsters. Age has become cool. At 35 I pictured my 50+ self still brunette, in red lipstick, dark boot-cut jeans, tailored blazer and high heels. Who knew I'd be blond, smoky-eyed, wearing distressed ankle jeans, a biker jacket and glam ballet flats instead? We don't define ourselves by a specific age, so don't bother asking.
The generation gap has changed. We wear the same embellished sneakers, off-shoulder tops and trendy nail polish millennials do. We're just as adventurous — everything from kombucha to dry brushing — and probiotic skin cream could be our next favorite thing. It's no longer between younger women and us, but really between us and advertisers, who have trouble blurring the lines. Keep on blurring because we have the edge in experience, knowledge and money.
"Fresh, healthy and fit" is the new "growing old gracefully." Aging in place is no longer an option. Make three things a daily habit:
- Wear SPF 30+ sunscreen hairline to bra-line and on backs of hands.
- Exercise more. Walk (rescue a dog for all-weather incentive), go to yoga class, use resistance bands and mini-weights, or dance to your playlist at home.
- Brighten up with botanicals. Skin that's tired, dry, sensitive, irritated by retinol or AHA or unresponsive to your usual regimen can benefit from a mix of plant extracts, antioxidants, minerals and peptides in creams and serums like L' Oreal Paris Rosy Tone Moisturizer or BareMineral Eternalixir. You'll glow.
Repeat after me: "Hollywood standards don't apply." The vanity bar has been raised. We are not superstars with million-dollar contracts or faces that get blown up to Imax proportions. Even if you have mysteriously acquired 4,000 Facebook friends, you are a real person, not a celebrity, supermodel or TV commentator. For everyday women, there's one good reason to do a little Botox or filler: to erase expression lines that make us look pissed off, tired or unhappy 24/7. If people say you look angry all the time, you probably do!
We're not invisible; we're invincible! The myth about feeling invisible has peeled away like a facial mask. Women in their 50s, 60s and 70s are no longer waiting to be noticed. We use our voices and presence on social media to show how informed, global-minded, outspoken, opinionated and tech savvy we are and seek like-minded friends and confirmation of our ideals and goals. Remember: Intelligence, a sense of humor and self-confidence are the sexiest things about you.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson and AARP's Beauty & Style issue.
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