As a beauty and fashion editor who is also a regular person with common sense, let me clue you in: All those so-called “new beauty trends” on runways and Instagram are baloney. No one I know who is age 50-plus is winging their eyes with metallic blue liner or sporting talons decorated with artsy manicures or buying space-age $400 blow-dryers. Like you and me, they know real trends are breakthrough basics like makeup wipes, moisturizer with SPF 30 — the little things that make looking good faster, easier and a little more adventurous. Here are eight to try.
1. More natural beauty brands
The line between organic and natural is sometimes blurry, but those of us with hippie hearts and a hankering for greener beauty products can head straight to drugstores and mass retailers such as Target and Walgreens (or their websites), where eco-friendly brands are booming. You'll see familiar names — such as Yes To, Burt's Bees, Dr. Bronner's, Jason, Avalon Organics, Pacifica and Physicians Formula — who stay current and relevant, but you'll also find new labels — such as ApotheCARE Essentials, Botanics Organic, Love Beauty and Planet, Mad Hippie, too. Whether you want biodegradable packaging, less potentially toxic ingredients or cruelty-free formulas, your timing could not be better.
2. Wellness beauty
The concept behind this huge trend is the inclusion of probiotics and a bunch of other foodie ingredients such as turmeric and coconut oil in topical serums and creams to improve skin health from the inside out. (Probiotic foods such as kefir, fermented tea and Greek yogurt contain friendly bacteria to improve digestive health, which allegedly, in turn, promotes clearer, more radiant skin.) If you're a health foodie, try SheaMoisture's Matcha Green Tea and Probiotics Soothing Eye Cream ($10, target.com) Yes To's Blueberries Recharging Greek Yogurt & Probiotics Moisturizing Parfait ($15, target.com), Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque ($39, macys.com) or Palmer's Coconut Oil With Vitamin E Facial Oil ($10, walmart.com).
3. Jade and crystal rollers for skin care
It’s not as woo-woo as it sounds. Inspired by ancient Chinese medicine, a jade or rose quartz roller has gone from a cult item to a basic. This handheld facial massage tool has two roller heads — a small one and a larger one that work easily to blend a facial oil, serum or cream. Enthusiasts say it smoothes lines, de-puffs the under-eye and jawline area, and stimulates circulation to restore your glow. Try the Herbivore Botanicals Jade Facial Roller ($30, sephora.com), Purple Whale Jade Roller ($12, walmart.com) Walfront Rose Quartz Crystal Double-Head Beauty Roller ($14, amazon.com). And believe.
4. Nourishing dry shampoo
This sounds like an oxymoron, but it's a new must-have. For years, oil-absorbing dry shampoo has been our go-to. It plumps up thin hair, revives sweaty scalps after a workout or hot flash, and cuts down real shampoo and heat-styling frequency for those with overprocessed or fragile locks. But sometimes our dry shampoo felt a little ... too dry. New moisturizing-conditioning versions still do their freshening, volumizing trick, but they also make hair look shinier and feel healthier. Technology has added botanical oils, antioxidants and plant extracts to dry shampoos, such as Herbal Essences Bio Renew Revitalize Cucumber & Green Tea Dry Shampoo ($6, target.com) and SheaMoisture Peace Rose Nourish & Silken Dry Shampoo ($10, target.com).
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5. Freshening mists for face and body
Whether your goal is to revive tired skin, add a dose of hydration, perk up hours-old makeup, soothe an irritated or sensitive face, or sub for a shower (not kidding!), watery sprays infused with rosewater or botanicals are just the right thing. Products such as Olay Mist Ultimate Hydration Essence Energizing With Vitamin C and Bergamot Facial Moisturizer ($10, target.com), The Body Shop Face Mist in Rose Dewy Glow ($10, the bodyshop-us.com), Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist With Rose Water ($9, ulta.com) and Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Mist Facial Moisturize ($13, target.com) are a smart addition to your everyday routine. They are great for travel, workday workout enthusiasts and long 9-to-5-into-the-evening days, too.
6. Easy and fast brow enhancers
Transforming brows that are skimpy, missing tails or plucked forever to resemble a tadpole into ones with lush frames for your peepers usually takes patience, a pencil and powder, and some degree of skill. Faster solutions that fill spaces and enhance what's there without looking phony or fake in texture or color are here! Tinted brow pomades in pot or stick form, such as NYX Professional Makeup Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade ($7, target.com) and Rimmel Brow This Way Pomade ($4, target.com), do all of the above and keep wiry brows groomed in place. Innovative pens, such as Maybelline's TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen ($8, target.com) with a pronged comb to distribute color, come in more natural realistic shades and work even on bare skin. All are water-, humidity- and transfer-proof to shape, define and last with a few swipes.
7. Cream eye shadows
Hold the YouTube smoky and smudgy eye tutorials, and toss your hoard of old powder shadows. A new wave of cream, stick and liquid-wand eye shadows make creating brighter, wide awake, strong or sultry eyes easy — without a lot of effort, blending or layering. They act as all-in-one primer for pencils, lid concealer (for red or dark pigmentation) and color enhancers. Brush or dab on and then blend with fingers for a wash of color that won't crease or smear — and no sprinkles of flakes to swipe off your cheeks. Choose neutral mattes, satins and shimmers (the latter will wake up mature eyes, FYI), but skip the glitter with Revlon ColorStay Creme Longwear Eyeshadow With Built-In Brush ($11, target.com), NYX Professional Makeup Lid Lingerie Eye Tint ($7, ulta.com) and Ulta Matte Cream Eye Shadow ($9, ulta.com) in nudes and beige with a hint of rose or gold, taupe-greys and soft browns.
8. Expanded shade foundations and concealers
Foundation colors are expanding to 20, 30 or even 40 shade options in brands from trendy Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and Too Faced Born This Way to classic Clinique, Revlon and Estee Lauder. So are concealers — and it’s about time. Up until recently, face makeup and skin tone hookups have been limited, leaving lots of us with shades that looked way off base (literally!) in daylight. Jump on some fresh choices such as L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer ($5, ulta.com) in 28 shades including espresso and bronze, Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium to Full Coverage Foundation ($39, ulta.com) in 35 shades, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Skinstick ($25, sephora.com) in 20 shades, Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation ($11, ulta.com) in 31 shades, and Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ($29, ulta.com) in a whopping 56 shades.
Who says women 50-plus aren’t experimental when it comes to beauty?
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.