’Tis the season for bold lipstick, statement jewelry and Spanx. But don't worry because I’m going to nip your what-to-wear and how-to-look holiday stress before it starts. As a beauty and fashion editor, I learned on photo shoots that stars 50-plus have the same issues and insecurities we do —and those face-to-face moments at parties give them the jitters, too. Focus on making merry with these star-proven tricks:
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Rodin Eckenroth; Marc Piasecki; Samir Hussein/WireImage
1. Wear something red ... or pink or coral
Red provides an instant shot of style adrenaline to your look — making you high visibility in any crowd, a magnet for hugs, hellos and handshakes (it’s a people-friendly hue)— and brightens dull, sallow or just plain tired skin. Red’s not your jam? Corals (Living Coral is the color of 2019 according to the Pantone Color Institute, the beauty and fashion industries’ top color forecasting source) and other oranges, roses and pinks all deliver the same energy jolt and warmth.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Jamie McCarthy; Paul Butterfield/FilmMagic; David Livingston
2. Just add leopardGlamorous and edgy, animal prints give safe neutrals a subtly sexy twist. Leopard, cheetah and zebra stripes never go out of style but they are especially trendy right now. Check your closet because I’m betting there are already some wild vintage sweaters and pumps growling to go. No? Shop every affordable site from Chico’s to Target and H&M for animal print blouses that’ll turn every dull party into your very own style adventure.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Carlos Alvarez; Maury Phillips; Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan
3. Wear a statement necklace and major earrings
Take two seconds and frame your face with jewelry that shimmers, shines or adds a shot of color. The bigger and bolder the better. Choose ropes of chunky beads, works-of-art chokers and bibs, oversize dangling earrings to add extra oomph to everything from plain white shirts to tailored dresses, basic black T-shirts and floaty silk blouses. Be conspicuous! No dainty studs and tiny pendants, please. Nothing less than an eye-catching "wow" will do.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images/WireImage (3), Carlos R. Alvarez; Gilbert Carrasquillo; Vera Anderson
4. Power up your lips
A rich, spirited lip color is an immediate looks-changer, especially if you don't have time to change clothes. Even natural, neutral lipstick fans or women who don’t like eye makeup find a bold pink, fuchsia or red lipstick lights up a face without any additional makeup changes. Apply a base of lip-toned pencil liner first so the color grabs and lasts. Love bright lipstick but think your own lips are too thin to wear one? Dab the edges with a Q-tip dipped in shimmery blush or eye shadow to soften the sharp edge. Then smile and look like you’re having the time of your life — because it very well may start now.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Amanda Edwards/WireImage; Stefania D'Alessandro; Aaron J. Thornton/FilmMagic
5. Fake bigger, wide-awake eyes
Some of us prefer to emphasize our eyes and go light on the lips. Plus, eyes are where fatigue and puffiness from too much eggnog and salty snacks show up. Have a makeup plan to define and contour the shape, whether you wear amazing glasses or not. Some women discover a strip of natural fake lashes is a simple one-step solution (especially farsighted glasses wearers, whose lenses magnify eyes but also crepey lids and messy makeup smears), while others (especially nearsighted eyeglass wearers, whose lenses diminish eyes) prefer pencil liner and smoky shadows in cool or warm neutrals to sculpt eyes to anime size.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Dave Benett/Fortnum & Mason; Paul Archuleta; Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
6. Upgrade casual blue jeans and legging with special effects
Even those of us who live 24/7 in casual clothes benefit from a boost. Changing to a relaxed lifestyle at 50-plus sometimes means fewer formal festivities, too, and no need for dressy clothes. But little upgrades still make a difference — a bright lipstick, red shoes or boots, a cozy fake fur or lacy sweater makes a fireside get-together feel like a swanky party.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Taylor Hill; Paul Archuleta; Ricky Vigil M/GC Images
7. Shake up basic black
You still follow the black-makes-me-look-thinner/sophisticated/polished theory? Clearly lots of women do at age 50 regardless of body pride or size. So let a base of black provide a secure starting point and then begin decorating. Start with black ankle pants, black flares, black leggings, a black skirt and tee or tank and then throw on a sequined or velvet blazer and that awesome jewelry (see No. 3) and you’re transformed.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), ANGELA WEISS/AFP; Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage; Michael Kovac
8. Do something new with your hair
Find a new best you. Holiday time is a great opportunity to not just maintain your looks but to change them. Why not make a big U-turn and chop bangs or go short, or add fake hair (a pony, bangs, dreadlocks) to make-believe fast? Don’t say no until you try it! Celebs use extensions and pieces to transform boring or blah hair, a bad cut or just for the fun of it to add texture, color, volume or a new look without commitment. Go an inch shorter, wear it up or pull it back, let it go natural and textured instead of a sleek blowout, change the part from side to center. And do use a hair mask before every single party to boost shine, condition and maintain color vibrancy. If not now, when?
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Jeremy Chan Photography/WireImage; Kevin Winter/SHJ2018; Michael Tran/FilmMagic
9. Wear a colorful pantsuit
A bright-colored suit is polished enough for any work-related festivities or more glam holiday events — even New Year’s Eve — without having to wear a long dress or freeze in a shorter one. Unlike a fancy dress, a suit won’t sit in your closet. Break up the pieces and pair jacket or pants with every neutral item in your closet to stretch the wear and versatility.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3), Michael Loccisano; Gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images; Tristar Media
10. Let more be more for once
Forget everything you thought was tasteful or common sense.
Play offcasual sporty pieces with dressy ones, gang up leopard with colorful bright earrings and fiery red lipstick, dress in head-to-toe purple or wear a sweater dress or sweatshirt with your slogan of the minute. Always add a third surprise element just when you think you’re done (even if it’s just glittery nail polish at the tips for a dip-dye effect). Tacky? No, terrific!
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