Who doesn't love the celebratory attitude of the Fourth of July? It's a perfect day to honor the good old USA, whatever your politics. But despite the cheery BBQ, beach and fireworks hoo-ha, all it takes is one snarky “You look tired” or “I didn't recognize you!” to dampen the fizz and sparkle. Remember we're independent women celebrating Independence Day. Don't let anyone or anything rain on your 50-plus confidence. Here are 10 ways to fire up your looks and toast your true colors:
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PHOTO BY: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
1. Get in the red, white and blue spirit — and join the crowd. Tommy and Dee Hilfiger pulled off the ultimate stars and stripes look at the Met Gala, but our everyday wardrobe is party-worthy, too. Check your closet for button-downs, blue jeans, white tees, a denim jacket or a breezy maxi dress in the colors of the day.
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PHOTO BY: Ariel Skelley/Blend Images LLC
Then throw on your personal parade-ready look. Mix and match any way you like. There's no need to include all three colors either — though why not? Want a sleeker silhouette? Choose one color and run with it from head to toe.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3); JB Lacroix/WireImage; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
2. Wear a true red lipstick for instant energy. It will give even your comfiest boyfriend jeans and chambray shirt an effortless shot of glam. The trick is to choose a lightweight matte texture that'll last through snacks, cocktails and slurps of ice water.
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PHOTO BY: Mac; Maybelline; Ulta
A bright, clear red — not too blue, not too orange — like MAC Matte Lipstick in Red Rock ($18.50, ulta.com), Maybelline Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Red for Me ($7, ulta.com), Flesh Proud Flesh Matte Liquid Lip Color in Brazen ($20, ulta.com) works for every skin tone, makes your teeth whiter and your smile more welcoming, and brightens your face. Fatigue and stress? Gone! No urgent need for eye makeup either — just slip on your sunglasses or statement Rx frames and go.
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3. A breezy dress goes sunup to sundown. It can handle a full social schedule of a fancy brunch with friends, family visits, cocktails or a local wine-tasting event, outdoor concerts and fireworks. Choose your favorite length — above the knees to midi or ankle-grazing maxi — but opt for a looser fit. This is not the time for Spanx or sheaths. Four great choices: a relaxed shirtdress, a festive print midi, a jersey with empire waist or boatneck style, an off-shoulder fit and flare. Just add espadrilles, flat sandals, ballet flats or sneakers for a modern comfy finish that works on grass or concrete..
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PHOTO BY: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images; Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Netflix; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
4. Take it easy in a jumpsuit. It's a comfy modern base for every situation. Wear it from your grandkid's Little League game to a clambake, from cycling in the park to a parade and fireworks, or to a family reunion or a neighborhood party with dancing. Aside from the on-trend style and put-together ease, you get to sit and move however you want. Feel free to climb into the boat or up the bleachers, ride a roller coaster or Ferris wheel.
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PHOTO BY: Target; Loft
Try a soft jersey style such as Loft Keyhole Halter Jumpsuit in Forever Navy ($90, sizes XXS to XXL, loft.com) or Ava & Viv's Plus-Size Stripe Tie Detail Knit Jumpsuit in black and white ($30, sizes 1X to 4X, target.com).
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (2); Essie
5. Give your hands and feet attitude! No better time for a mani-pedi than when your nails are on show — waving a flag, eating ice cream, giving hugs and handshakes or baring your tootsies in sandals. Stick with the theme of the day and opt for classic red, navy blue or clean white like Essie Nail Polish in Forever Yummy, After School Boy Blazer and Blanc ($9 each, ulta.com). But here's the fun — you can match hands and toes for a classic look, and do one hue on nails, another on your feet, for a surprise. Skip the nail art but get creative by painting just one nail with wavy stripes (for a quick next day redo). Stay away from gimmicky decals and stickers. Leave them for the kids.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3); Pascal Le Segretain; Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage
6. Keep those stripes flying out of your closet. We've been into striped boatnecks for years now and they're practically a universal uniform for women 50-plus.
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PHOTO BY: Gap; Uniqlo
Lots of celebrities are making striped pantsuits a tailored solution, extending the theme to dresses like the Uniqlo Women Striped Boatneck Half-Sleeve Dress ($20, uniqlo.com) and the Gap Kimono Sleeve Wrap Dress in Navy Stripe ($60, gap.com). They pay tribute to your curves. Embrace and extol them!
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3): Greg Doherty; Eric Alonso/MB Media
7. Perk up with accessories. Two things can absolutely recharge your style batteries and make you forget any and all beauty blahs.
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PHOTO BY: Loft; Old Navy; Madewell (2); BaubleBar
The first is a pair of swingy tassel earrings like Sugarfix by BaubleBar Tassel Fringe Hoop Earrings in red ($13, target.com) or Madewell Stone Tassel Earrings in Nightfall ($30, madewell.com). They bring a lively look to your face and guarantee an “ I-love-your-earrings” compliment. You'll wear them in an endless loop for parties, holidays and any time you need a pick-me-up. The second is a hat — your choice of a red (look at me!) baseball cap or beret, a straw sun hat like the Old Navy Floppy Straw Sun Hat for Women in Organic Navy ($15, oldnavy.com), or the Loft Straw Fedora in Whisper White ($40, loft.com).
My last word: Hail to the chic. Enjoy every glorious moment, readers.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50-plus, check out The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your look at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter
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