Women age 50 and over have been there, done that, and are still hanging in there on the road to adventure and new experiences. This often means giving our beauty and style a tweak or two. This Mother's Day is the perfect time to shake up your own looks, as well as those you love, with gifts that push the reset button. Here are dozens of ideas — from cool sandals to practical tunics for you and all the moms you love. Because in a world of 10s, we're all 11s!
- 1 of
PHOTO BY: Everlane; Zappos; Walgreens
1. The earthy mom
She's a save-the-planet advocate who's into anything organic, vegan or sustainably sourced — from her jeans to her face cream. Whether pitching in at the local community garden or walking her rescue dog (adopted mid-pandemic), she likes being comfy and up to date. Acknowledge her spirit with an organic top like the Everlane The Track Oversized Crew in scarlet ($48, everlane.com); or with sneaker-style vegan slip-ons like the Native Shoes Jefferson in Ski Patrol Red/Shell White ($45, zappos.com); or with an uplifting bath and body oil like Burt's Bees 100% Natural Origin Body Oil Lemon & Vitamin E ($10, walgreens.com), to apply on damp skin or dribble in the tub.
- 2 of
PHOTO BY: White House Black Market; Zappos; JCPenney
2. The polished mom
She always looks pulled together and as flawless as a catalog model — no chipped nails, stains or sneakers for her! Even at a baseball game with the grandkids or a casual brunch with friends her mani-pedi is perfect and her shoes make a statement. Give her something she doesn't have (yet!) like a wrap-style bracelet like the White House Black Market Olive Leather and Rhinestone Magnetic Wrap Bracelet in Forever Olive ($45, whitehouseblackmarket.com), a pair of compliment-getting wedges like the LifeStride Dream Big in Pink/Red ($50, zappos.com) or a batch of new neutral nail polishes that go with everything, like the Nails Inc. Keep It Tonal Nail Polish Set ($22, jcpenney.com) ... and none are boring beige!
- 3 of
PHOTO BY: Target; L.L. Bean; Dr. Teal's
3. The practical mom
She keeps things simple with fuss-free clothes and multitasking beauty staples to streamline her day. A wardrobe of pull-on pants, long relaxed tops and mules requires no a.m. decisions, and neither does her tinted moisturizer with SPF or tinted lip balm. Stick with the plan and give her a combo round-brush blow-dryer like Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer ($58, target.com); a tunic top like the L.L. Bean Women's Tee Three-Quarter Sleeve Splitneck Tunic in bright blue, Alpine blue, deep aqua or cool teal ($35, llbean.com), the four blue shades that flatter every skin tone; or a relaxing soak like Dr. Teal's Foaming Bath Soothe & Sleep With Lavender ($8, cvs.com).
- 4 of
PHOTO BY: Ulta Beauty; Nordstrom; Target
4. The glam mom
She's a beauty fan who took charge of her own skin care, roots, hair color and nails without a whine during lockdown. Regular video chats were reason enough to primp, but now she's looking forward to a social life off-line. Give her a boost with a dazzling floral fragrance like the Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Perfume ($98, ulta.com) in a stiletto-shaped bottle; a radiance-enhancing sunscreen/makeup primer like Supergoop! Glowscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 ($36, nordstrom.com), coveted by beauty editors and insiders of every skin tone; or an eyeshadow palette like NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow ($19, target.com), to challenge and delight her makeup skills all summer long.
- 5 of
PHOTO BY: Target; Chico's; Sephora
5. The gutsy do-good mom
She never lets her size, shape, weight or age dictate what to wear or how to look, and uses her unstoppable confidence to mentor at a women's shelter and support friends and family in need. Her fashion-forward style is part of her charm. Give her a wow necklace like the Sanctuary Project Rose Quartz Round Pendant Necklace ($38, target.com), whose proceeds go to jobs and training for survivors of trafficking, violence and addiction; a generously sized scarf in a rainbow of pastels like the Chico's Ombre Stripe Oblong Scarf in pink ($50, chicos.com), to brighten every tee; and a warm spicy scent like the the 7 Virtues Blackberry Lily Eau de Parfum ($79, sephora.com), which is vegan, cruelty-free and in recyclable packaging (she'll love that about it, too).
- 6 of
PHOTO BY: H&M (2); Walmart
6. The trendy mom
She's always in a this-minute look and carrying a bag you'd love to own. Count on her to show up wearing the same thing as her daughter or granddaughter — or at least a grownup adaptation! She used to sport a black leather jacket and skinny jeans, but now she's into voluminous shapes and a relaxed vibe. Gift her a cool straw tote like the Scoop Women's Striped Millie Tote in Siena Base Stripe ($17, walmart.com), a black maxi dress with trendy eyelet trim like the H&M Eyelet Embroidery Dress in black ($70, www2.hm.com/en_us), and a pair of chic and chunky faux leather slides like the H&M Quilted Slides in black ($14, www2.hm.com/en_us). There'll be no returns here for sure!
- 7 of
PHOTO BY: Gap; Nordstrom; Everlane
7. The sporty mom
She's almost always in joggers or leggings and sneakers. Her outer calm is due to daily yoga, meditation and listening to audio tapes, but her energy level is something to envy. Give her a fashionable yellow water bottle like the Miir 23-Ounce Narrow Mouth Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle in Spark ($30, nordstrom.com); a lightweight nylon hobo bag like the Everlane The Oversized Carryall in Breen ($68, everlane.com), which is roomy enough for the water bottle, sneakers or even a laptop and all her essentials; or a soft stretchy athleisure tee like the GapFit Supersoft Ribbed Wrap-Front Top in cosmetic pink or desert cactus green ($40, gap.com).
- 8 of
PHOTO BY: H&M; Uniqlo; Sephora
8. The cultured mom
She's a modern minimalist who prefers ballet flats to sneakers, online master classes to fashion sites and PBS to TikTok. Forget athleisure — even her everyday clothes are tailored and in black and white. Give her a lightweight linen shirt like the H&M Linen Shirt in white ($20, hm.com/en_us), to wear untucked; a pair of elegant knee-length shorts like the Uniqlo Women Blend Belted Culottes in 09 black ($40, uniqlo.com/us/en); and a classy red lipstick like the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Satin Lipstick in 151 Rouge Unapologetic ($38, sephora.com) ... all classics with a twist.
- 9 of
PHOTO BY: J. Jill; Kohl's; LOFT
9. The ladylike mom
She thinks knee-length dresses, pearls and a floral fragrance are a woman's BFF, no matter what anyone says. Her closet is crammed with sheaths, shifts and fit-and-flare dresses, plus more than a few pairs of pumps. Acknowledge her personal style but provide an update with a refined T-shirt dress like the J. Jill Elliptical A-Line Knit Dress in Sangria or Lapis ($79, jjill.com); dangly pearls like the Loft Pearlized Drop Earrings ($30, loft.com); and a sparkling jasmine scent sparked by pear and grapefruit like the Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Eau de Toilette ($48, kohls.com), for three new takes on her favorites.
- 10 of
PHOTO BY: Amazon; Target (2)
10. The creative mom
She's artsy and crafty, with a hippie vibe ... and always was. That's the message in her eclectic wardrobe of breezy dresses, sandals and beads — a look that happens to be super fashionable now. Skip the CBD bath bombs and get her a floral midi dress like the R. Vivimos Women's Long-Sleeve Floral Print Retro V Neck Bohemian Midi Dress ($25-29, amazon.com); some beaded earrings like the Sugarfix by BaubleBar Beaded Ball Drop Tassel Earrings in blue ($13, target.com); and a vegan hand cream like the Love Beauty and Planet Hand Cream Gift Set in Shea and Sandalwood ($10, target.com), to make her day.
- 11 of
PHOTO BY: Ulta Beauty; Walmart; JCPenney
11. The working mom
Whether her 9-to-5 is work from home or back at the office, she likes looking businesslike and fresh. Help her do just that with a subtle, energizing but calming scent like Lavanila The Healthy Fragrance Vanilla Grapefruit Eau de Parfum ($48, ulta.com), for an aromatherapeutic lift; a meeting-ready navy boatneck blouse like the MSK Women's Boat Neck 3/4 Sleeve Knit Embellished Blouse in JBS navy ($38, jcpenney.com); and a fatigue-erasing blazer like the Scoop Women's Scrunch Sleeved Blazer in soft white ($40, walmart.com), to throw on over a tank or tee for instant authority.
Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.
Free online games and puzzles including classic Atari gameslearn moreSee more Entertainment offers >
Members save 30% on a 1-year subscriptionlearn moreSee more Entertainment offers >
AARP members can save on Audible membershipslearn moreSee more Entertainment offers >
TV for Grownups
TV show reviews, news and celebrity interviewslearn moreSee more Entertainment offers >