For many people the term ‘mature beauty’ is an oxymoron unless it refers to a nice ripe cheese or maybe a wine which has been laid down for a number of years to bring it to the peak of perfection.
I very much like the Eleanor Roosevelt quote
‘Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art’
because this aphorism acknowledges that whilst beauty is possible as we mature, there is some degree of effort and artifice involved. Which is where my list of the A-Z of mature beauty comes in.
Last week I gave you the benefit of all the reading and research I have done into cosmetics, skincare and the impact of ageing on our faces since launching Look Fabulous Forever six years ago. This took us from A: Anti-ageing to M: Makeup. Today I will complete the list from N: No Makeup, Makeup Look to Z: Zest for Life.
N: No Makeup, Makeup Look. Another apparent oxymoron! I have just watched a No Makeup, Makeup video on YouTube and the makeup artist used 14 different products, 8 of which were on the face alone. So much for looking as though you are bare of face… However, there is a serious point, which is that I know that many of you don’t want to look heavily made-up. You want your face to look brighter and better but not in an obvious way. My advice would be to keep it simple with maybe 3 face products - Light Look Beauty Balm, Instant Bright Highlightand Real Radiance Blush, then define your brows with Bring Back Brow Shape and your lashes with Lithe Lash Mascara. Finish with a neutral soft coloured lipstick like our new Sunset Glow if you are warm-toned and Dusky Rose if you are cool-toned.
O: Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants. Oxidative stress is where the free radicals in the body are not balanced by antioxidants and this can cause a wide range of diseases like diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer, all of which become more prevalent as we age. Best way to combat the damage caused by oxidative stress is to consume foods which are rich in antioxidants. All the colourful fruits and vegetables I have recommended to increase collagen production under C: Collagen are also great sources of antioxidants along with nuts, green tea, and turmeric.
Regular exercise has also been associated with higher natural antioxidant levels giving our bodies increased protection from those damaging free radicals.
P: Primers For Your Prime. In my time I have done a fair amount of painting and decorating. I’m even a dab hand at hanging wallpaper, and I have learnt that thorough preparation is the key to success if you want a professional finish. And that analogy holds good for painting our faces. I know that if you think of applying makeup as a terrible chore, you are going to want to cut corners and who am I to say otherwise? However, applying Smooth Like Silk Face Prime takes no extra time if you mix it with your foundation and Smooth Out Eye Prime takes seconds to dot onto your eyelids as does the Never Feather Lip Prime around your lips - so there is really no excuse! And by prepping in that way your face, eye and lip makeup will look tons better and stay put for hours.
Q: Q Tips: I find cotton buds invaluable when I am tidying up my face and eye makeup to ensure that it doesn’t look messy. However, they are harmful to the environment because their plastic stems aren’t biodegradable and they end up in the oceans, so my suggestion is to buy a pack of sponge tipped applicators and wash and reuse them. Not perfect but better than using 3 or 4 cotton buds every day.
R: Rosacea: After the menopause I started to experience outbreaks of painful and lumpy spots across my forehead, on my chin and around my nose accompanied by red patches. I was prescribed metronidazole gel but this had little effect. After years of frustration and periods of quite severe outbreaks I started to notice that flare-ups often coincided with periods of excess - particularly, say, after Christmas when I had eaten a lot of rich, sweet food and chocolate. So, around 18 months ago I decided to go cold turkey and cut out as much sugar, chocolate and bread as I could manage. At the same time, I increased my intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and I largely substituted fish and goat’s cheese for meat and cow’s cheese in my diet.
The improvement in my skin has been remarkable and the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ has never been so true for me.
S: Skincare. One of the reasons that I love wearing makeup every day is that for around 55 years it has imposed a daily skincare regime on me. If you apply makeup daily, you need to cleanse it off very thoroughly every evening. If you want your makeup to look good, you need to apply some moisturiser to hydrate your skin. So, day in and day out I have cared for and nourished the skin on my face. The result is evident in the fact that my skin is in pretty good nick for a (very nearly) 72-year-old.
T: Taking the Time and Trouble. To look your best. Back to the Roosevelt quote; yes, it takes me more time and more effort than it once did to look as good as I possibly can, but it’s worth every second! Making that extra effort helps me to look and feel more confident and others respond more positively to me as a result.
U: Ultra-Volume. I have very straight and quite unmanageable hair which can look very flat if I don’t take action to counteract this. I am always envious of people who have a bit of natural ‘bounce’ in their hair which means that they can ‘fluff’ it up as they blow dry it and then it will fall beautifully around their face. Mine needs a lot of help, so I resort to hair products which help to add volume and height. My favourites at the moment are Tecni-Art thermo-modelling spray by L’Oréal which I add to the roots and then blow dry my hair with round brushes. When I finish, I squirt with Kerastase Laque Couture which means I can pretty much ignore my hair until bedtime.
V: Vitamins. Given the role that vitamins and minerals play in keeping our bodies in tip top condition, you would be forgiven for thinking that a multivitamin pill is essential to health, but this is not supported by research. Best way to ensure an adequate supply is to eat a wide range of foods, ensure that you have enough sunlight for Vitamin D and to use topical creams that supply the vitamins which nourish the skin.
X: Exercise. This could also be X: Excuses! I have been an exercise refusenik my whole life. That was until I hit 69 and the creaky knees and hips and poor balance started to undermine my mobility. I couldn’t face the embarrassment of exercising in a gym or in a class, so I engaged the help of a brilliant personal trainer who has transformed my life. A big claim but I am sticking to it. After three years of her patient encouragement I am starting (!) to enjoy my body as it gets stronger and fitter. And about a year ago I also bought a small foldable exercise bike and now aim to do five 30 minutes sessions a week for aerobic benefit. It’s been a game-changer and for any of you reading this and thinking ‘I must do something’ I’d say ‘yes, please. Just decide to do something - your body will thank you in the years to come.
Y: Youthful. As you all know I very much dislike the term ‘anti-ageing’ because it pressurises us all to ‘fight’ what is in fact a natural process within every living organism. However, I am not averse to the term ‘youthful’ because it implies that, as we age, we can retain helpful characteristics from our past selves. I read recently that we have three different ages: our actual age, our biological age and the age we think of ourselves as being. I don’t know about you, but in my mind, I feel much the same as when I was in my mid-forties. This is not a delusion, it’s the attitude that I have to whatever I do and I truly believe it helps me to be more open and therefore more youthful in my approach.
Z: Zest for Life. Last weekend I went away to Stratford-upon-Avon with a group of extraordinarily nice women for a ‘retreat’. Nothing religious about it - just lots of great food, deep and meaningful conversations by a roaring fire, and above all, lots of laughter and fun. Zest for life is often written on our faces - and it’s a truly beautiful quality.
I do hope you enjoyed my A-Z of Mature Beauty and found it helpful. It was interesting for me to compile it as similar themes kept recurring: eat well. exercise often, wear the right makeup applied in the most flattering way and, above all, enjoy rather than bemoan your ageing face and body! And do, please join in the conversation below with any comments you would like to add.
<p>I am 75 yrs young and I am finding that I don't like to wear makeup because the foundation just brings out my wrinkles and etc. I really like what you had to say and I look forward to getting your catalog.</p>
<p>I absolutely love buying these products and feel that they are worth the cost. They do last a long time. The only problem I have right now is with the color foundation I am using. I use 2.5 and now it doesn't seem right for me. It's the best foundation I've used (and I've gotten the best) but it's hard to know online what color to get.</p>
<p>You are a beautiful lady your make up looks very natural and I so agree the last thing I would want is a heavily made up face which in my opinion really ages a face Keep the good work up Regards Christine</p>
<p>I am writing from Virginia, U.S.A. As always, I learn so much watching your blog. At 87 years of age with a limited income, plus using a cane, I find it hard find stylish clothes. I very much enjoy your ‘street clothes’ segments. Thank you</p>
<p>Apologies for the problem containers - the good news is that we now have different tops for the pumps on our Face Prime and Foundation and these ones are more robust. We also changed all our compacts both large and small to make them easier to open and these are also more durable.</p>
<p>I hope that helps to reassure you - we do listen to your feedback and make improvemenets whenever we can. Glad you are happy with our makeup otherwise.</p>
<p>Hi Di - my brilliant little (pink) exercise bike is by Opti and I bought it online from Argos. It cost around £100. It's light enough for me to fold up and put into my spare bedroom if someone visits - otherwise it sits neatly at the end of my dining table and i do my daily 30 minutres of pedalling whilst watching the television (usually Pointless!). Can thoroughly recommend. Triciax</p>
<p>Thankyou for a thoughtful and helpful A to Z ! Keeping active is not always easy,so I try to remember that all you really need is 20 mins a day of physical activity. A walk , walking the dog or even walking the mall ! Try not to sit for long periods,even housework counts! Your tutorials re makeup have proven very helpful and I enjoy reading the blogs. Please keep up the good work !</p>
<p>Hi Tricia. Thanks for a very interesting post. Because if the environmental implications of using Q tips I now use an applicator from a used lip primer.......works a treat. Just rinse it under the tap after use</p>
<p>Oh Linda - my heart goes out to you. Losing your beloved partner in life must be so hard to bear. You are 'putting on a brave face' to the world which includes 'putting on your face'. That is exactly what I would do in your situation because it would help me to cope better with the overwhelming sadness. I send you my love and best wishes. Triciax</p>
<p>Thanks for another interesting blog with lots of tips. Just one thing, my dietician says living in the UK it is not possible to obtain enough Vitamin D from sunlight from October to March and she recommends a supplement during those months for all, regardless of age.</p>
<p>Thankyou for taking the time to write this Suzanne. Of all the delightful aspects of being a part of the LFF story over the past 6 years, comments like yours are by far the most important to me. So thank you again for making my day - the sun is shining this morning and you have really lifted my spirits! Triciax</p>
<p>Good morning Tricia, another lovely inspirational read. My husband of 50 years died suddenly 5 weeks ago. Inside I am bereft beyond belief and heartbrokenly sad. On the outside I am 'normal'. Shower, dress, apply my make up and earrings, every day no matter how I feel. I feel much better knowing that I look my 'best'. I catch myself in a mirror and think ' you don't look as bad as you feel!!' xx</p>
<p>I enjoy reading Tricia’s blogs very much. How refreshing to have a positive and different point of view of ageing to the ‘usual Anti-aging one’ so keep em coming please Tricia! LFF has been such a find for me as I have always loved makeup but found it more and more difficult to find suitable products as I am now 69. Also, due to my recent caring role of the last 4years, I haven’t been free to visit shops so your excellent online service has been invaluable. Wearing makeup makes me feel so much better and has often raised my spirits on ‘dark’ days. I look forward to more blogs and using LFF products in the future. Suzanne</p>
<p>You did another great blog. Thank you!! You said to get enough sunlight for your vitamin D. My question would be, how much is enough? A few years ago, I was sitting out in the sun for ten minutes a day, but my doctor at that time said I still needed to take a vitamin D suppliment. She said that men who work in the sun eight hours a day are still low on vitamin D. I had read that ten minutes is all that's needed, and more defeats your purpose. Hope this is not confusing!</p>
<p>Dear Tricia, Not all of us can invest in a personal trainer. i do have an exercise bike that i am going to commit to; but i am very curious what kind of work out regime your trainer has you on. If you could, it would be lovely if you could share that with us. BTW, my very favorite LFF products are the Face Prime and Foundation; and the eye prime. It has been 3 years since i purchased my collection. i am wondering if the packaging has improved, as that is my only complaint--but it was sooooooo disappointing. Almost ALL of the containers cracked and broke within a very short time. And i took extremely good care of them. The worst was the caps of the foundation and face prime, and the eye shadows. i had never had that happen with other products. [even the cheap drugstore variety.] So, am very much wanting to purchase again...but i am hoping the shoddy packaging glitch has been worked out. Thanks so much, as your products are very lovely in every other way. Sincerely, Amber Tabacco in the woods of VA in the USA</p>
<p>Your “Z” is for me one of the best secrets to looking fabulous at any age. The other day a very beautiful and young woman whom I had recently met told me she hoped she would look like me at my age - I am 76 - not just because of my outward looks but because my beauty came from deep within. I choose joy and gratefulness every day. A thankful heart is a true beauty secret for any age. And kindness towards others makes our world a better place, one smile at a time. I wish you many more years of success, Trish.</p>
<p>A great couple of posts Tricia and I too follow many of your tenets. After the absolute shock of an ‘out of the blue’ major heart attack three years ago at the age of 64, I was on a mission to get as well as possible. This certainly involved exercise (plenty of it), good healthy food, medication and new clothes to fit my 2 stones lighter body. I was delighted to discover your makeup range, which I apply most days. All this gives me the confidence to get out there and live and enjoy life, knowing I am looking as well as possible, even if I’m creaking underneath it all.</p>
<p>I switched to cotton buds with a paper tube which I buy in the supermarket 'baby aisle'. At least these biodegrade. Can I ask about your small folding bike Tricia? Next Spring I'm moving into a retirement apartment.I'm downsizing and have sold my outdoor folding bike. Yours sound just the thing to use indoors, where space/storage is at a premium.</p>
<p>Hi Tricia. I’ve been a pescatarian now for three decades and at 71, l feel healthier than I did in my thirties! My diet includes a wide range of vegetables, fruit and salads and I TRY to cut out food containing processed sugar. Yes I do have wrinkles but most are fine ones. I have worn makeup every day since I was sixteen. Freckles cover my face (even though I use protection). I have very blonde fine eye lashes and eyebrows and I can’t wait every morning to transform my face! Your videos and products are wonderful. They contain so many useful tips which have made my makeup look more ‘professional’. And the result of all this? I have more confidence now than I’ve ever had! Thank you so much Tricia. Beverley</p>