I was excited to review the new beauty book Toss the Gloss by Andrea Q. Robinson. Andrea's illustrious career spans more than forty years, with chief roles at Estee Lauder, Tom Ford Beauty, Ralph Lauren Fragrances and editorial at Seventeen, Vogue and Mademoiselle.
Since I'm trying to age gracefully I was eager to read Andrea's "beauty tips, tricks and truths" for women 50 plus. The guide is overflowing with practical information for boomer girls.
I like Andrea's friendly attitude about beauty and her book's conversational tone. At times I felt like I was chatting with an old friend who happened to be a makeup maven. According to Andrea: "The right makeup, used the right way, is the most powerful weapon in your beauty arsenal. Good makeup reclaims you. Not youth."
♥ Andrea says that "letting go of perfection and embracing your flaws makes you more beautiful, more noticeable, more accessible, more real." (I agree Andrea. I agree.)
♥ Andrea laments that "fear of change is for old ladies." She says to "look in the mirror and decide if your makeup routine is still working." (I did this a year ago when I retired from my full time job. I totally slimmed down and most days use very little eye makeup.)
♥ Andrea advises that "makeup routines for women 50 plus should be effortless -- not more than 10 minutes." (That's about the time it takes me each morning to finish my face. Well, perhaps 15 minutes. How about you?)
♥ Andrea says that "you don't need to spend a lot of money to look good. Maybe a few pricey pieces but the rest can be bought at the drugstore." (I do like my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows, blush and lipstick, and prefer Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara. As for moisturizers, I often purchase these skin care items at places like Ulta, Target or CVS.)
My Favorite Beauty Tips From Mrs. Robinson
Andrea has so many useful tips in her book. Here are a few pointers I plan to practice during my life after 50:
♥ "Beauty comes from within a very small makeup bag." (I did exactly what Andrea said and last week I dumped every cosmetic product I've owned longer than a year into a garbage bag. I went into my cabinets and scooped up old lipsticks, eye pencils, lip liners, foundations and nail polishes. Sweep, sweep, sweep, out the door.)
♥ "To get more longevity, keep your cosmetics in a plastic box with a tight lid and store products in a cool, dry place, removed from moisture and light." (Oh no, oh no, my cosmetics are in a plastic box with a tight lid right next to my bathroom sink. Note to self: Move makeup as soon as possible -- quickly before it all gets damaged.)
♥ "Sharpen lip and eyeliner pencils after each use to remove moisture-causing bacteria which contaminates pencils. Periodically wipe lipstick with alcohol wipes." (Check, check. Done.)
♥ "Use sunscreen everyday at least SPF 30. Sun damage is the #1 cause of wrinkles." (I use Skinceuticals Fusion UV Defense Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 50 year-round. I've been trying to remember to put sunscreen on my hands too. Lately there are so many more brown spots on my hands.)
♥ "Good skin care includes sleep and exercise." Andrea notes that "our skin cells regenerate when we sleep and that increased blood flow and circulation nourishes skin cells." (Well there goes that. My menopausal skin is already drier, thinner and less elastic due to lower estrogen levels. Menopausal moments that awaken me at night or prevent a good night's sleep don't help matters. Thankfully I'm getting lots of exercise these days -- hope my yoga, bicycling and walking will help improve things. I use Skinceuticals CE Ferulic on my face to counteract all the free radicals that are in the environment -- it's really good -- very pricey. Andrea has CE on her list too, as does Martha Stewart and other mature celebrities.)
♥ "Always wash your face before going to sleep."Andrea says that "retinoids are the only proven anti-aging compound that reduces lines and wrinkles. She says to "only use retionoid products at night." (I never go to bed without first removing my makeup. I've tried ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum, which is one of the products mentioned in the book. I find retinoid products to be too drying for my skin.)
Andrea shares more tips about concealers, primers, highlighters, foundation, and a whole lot more in Toss the Gloss.
No matter what makeup you choose to put on your face, remember that beauty is more than skin deep. It comes from inside you. During your life after 50, Andrea says "love your lines, you've earned them. Your lines are what make your face interesting."
"I started this blog in 2009 as I see no reason why we should not continue to enjoy fashion whatever age we are," writes Josephine of Chic at Any Age. She hopes her blog will be "a useful resource on what works from underwear to special occasion dressing for more mature women."
Mis Papelicos is all about Sacramento, an English professor and a nutrition and diet expert in Andalucía, Spain (hence the bilingual captions). Her bi-weekly posts feature the funky and elegant ensembles she puts together, as well as other images that inspire her style.
Grey Fox adds a male perspective to the post 50 fashion and style blog community. The site is dedicated to "a man's search for style in middle age." Recent posts include tips on "[keeping] the costs of style in control" and a roundup of stylish bald "grey foxes" in popular culture.
Don't be deterred by the name -- Style Crone is a blog "dedicated to the older woman, in her most creative, outrageous, authentic, powerful, adventurous, funny, and proud era." Far from a crone, Judith writes, "choosing my outfits, which always included a hat, was a way to express myself creatively and as a form of meditation as I approached my day." Along with snapping pics of her outfits for her blog, she also owns a hat shop, sells vintage clothing and designs hats for chemotherapy patients.
Une Femme D'Un Certain Age is a blog focused on "living a stylish, adventurous, balanced [and] delicious life after 50" -- with a francophile twist. Recent posts include a review of flattering skinny jeans for post 50s by Not Your Daughter's Jeans, and a reflection on being "the boss of what our age means" style-wise (spoiler: Une Femme believes it's important not to confuse trying to pretend you're 25 with looking "current").
Blogger Susan documents her quest to find fashion post 50 in Flattering 50. "I'm doing my thinking publicly in my blog ... in the hopes that others might join in the conversation," she writes. With posts such as "Top 10 Dress Styles for Women Over 50" and "Swimsuits over 50: Where to Shop," it's hard not to chime in.
"Hip past 50 doesn't have to refer to surgery," blogger Joni quips on her blog, Walking Colors. Sharing photos of her outfits with an online community allows her to "unleash the side of me I've been hiding for way too many years [and] receive support and encouragement...there is definitely a camaraderie here in these blogs that we all share," she writes.
Okay, so the "girls" Kim France is writing for haven't quite hit 50 -- but Kim herself was 48 when she left her post as editor in chief of Lucky magazine and turned her energies to Girls of a Certain Age, a blog for "grown-ups who can't quite part with the notion that motorcycle boots, if styled properly, can make for a perfectly acceptable evening look." Its focus is primarily on shopping, though it also occasionally delves into pop culture.
"I am a fifty-something woman, wife, professional, auntie and crazy cat lady. Though pressured by society to recede gracefully, I prefer to burst out with a love of fashion and style. We are not dead yet, so let's enjoy every sandwich and gild the lilies." That pretty much sums up the aim of Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Her blog also features a weekly "Visible Monday," where readers are invited to share an image of themselves sporting an "outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, cosmetic or other adornment" that makes them feel alive and confident.
Fashion After 50 features fashion advice by category (bohemian, travel clothes, fabrics you love), a "fashion archetype quiz," dos and don'ts for fashion after 50 and opportunities to buy some of the blog's featured items.
"'Growing old gracefully' is an outdated concept. We prefer 'growing old with verve.' This blog documents our efforts to live up to that motto, in photos and essays," the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas write. Sample post: an ode to fashion journalist and muse Anna Piaggi, who recently passed away at the age of 81, featuring photos of some of her memorable ensembles.
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