Friday, October 07, 2005

50, 60, and beyond: Unveiling a whole new kind of beauty

A week or so ago, a reader asked us if we had any fashion advice/tips for women approaching 50. Sorry it took us so long, but we've been thinking. In the immortal words of the toy cleaner in Toy Story II: "You can't rush Art!"

It's our firm belief here at Las F that God endowed each woman and man with her or his own unique beauty. It may not be the beauty of Jessica Simpson or Clive Owen, but it's there, and it's our delight to help people around the world bring out the very best in themselves. Both Fashionistas are in their twenties, but in our jobs and lives we're surrounded by beautiful women who are 50 and up...and trust us, this age and life season is looking younger all the time!

However, in the immortal words of Dolly Parton: "It takes a leettle EHffuht to look lawk theyuhss!" You've earned the right to pamper yourself a little more. It may take extra time, but you're worth it! So, here we go. Readers, we give you possibly one of the most lovely and poised women Hollyweird has to offer:

Susan Sarandon!

Let me remind you that the reason she's shaking her well-toned thang in that picture is that she's celebrating her 59th birthday. Yep, you read that right. News flash ladies: if you take care of yourselves, 50 is the new 40. Here's how:

Drink plenty of water. This is a no-brainer, but we're reminding you anyway. Get up from your computer NOW and go chug a glass or so. We'll wait. Back? OK. It helps your joints, it helps your skin, AND it can prevent overeating. The last thing we can THINK about is food after we've pounded a couple pints of the 'rock juice'. How do you think we keep those pinup-worthy figures, darlings?

Invest in your skin. Hopefully at this stage in your life, the drudgery of your youth has paid off, and you have a little extra money to pamper yourself. We love Burt's Bees cosmetics and skin care, available at better drugstores and on the Internet. They are made from all-natural ingredients, and most are far more moisturizing than your average store brand. Be forewarned, though: A lot of their products are quite heavy, so if your skin is oily, this may not be the brand for you! At this stage of life, though, you may need the extra moisture. Burt's Bees also has a beautiful line of cosmetics, also all natural, and since they smell like products of nature, they're a delight to use!

Don't do Botox. Say it with us--with conviction, now! Wrinkles are beautiful. We at Las F respect and adore the many older women we know. The wrinkles they bear are symbols of their life experience and advanced wisdom. There's a good reason why women our age make friends with women old enough to be our mothers, and it's not because they look like Mandy Moore. Don't be ashamed of wrinkes, and don't try to cover them up! A woman who Botoxes is a woman in denial. Botox may temporarily smooth your wrinkles, but where a woman really shows her age is in her eyes. Eyes never lie! Vanessa Regrave is one actress we know who has absolutely refused plastic surgery, and look how beautiful she is:

She doesn't look twenty, sure, but she has something that us twenty-somethings can only dream of having: confidence in her own skin. Those wrinkles speak of a wisdom and grace that the teenyboppers that Marcian Crossing tries so desperately to compete with will never possess.

We never pass up a chance to make fun of her. Marcia, Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Along this line of thought: Never pass up a chance to smile. Hopefully you've been doing this most of your life, but if not, begin immediately. The good and bad thing about wrinkles is that they'll never lie. They are a true herald of whether you've spent your life laughing or frowning! So develop a sense of humor. Laugh at yourself and those around you. Smiling takes far fewer facial muscles than frowning, and it can produce endorfins!

OK, what else? Let's talk about hair. We have mixed feelings about this. Some people say you should dye, some people say not to. We've seen beautiful women who dye regularly, and we've seen some pretty bad dye jobs too. Our advice: Go with your gut. If you're blonde or fair-haired, you can safely dye or highlight for the rest of your life. If you're brunette or darker, though, you might have trouble matching your natural color. If dyeing makes you feel pretty, then go see a reputable colorist. Please trust us on this one--it's rare that an in-home dye job turns out really well, and at your distinguished age you want to look professional, not like a broke college student. And don't think you have to chop it all off either. Just the other day I saw a woman with gray-white hair all the way down to her bra line. She looked beautiful. Take good care of your hair, at whatever length. See a stylist regularly for a little trim and color if you decide. Experiment with classy scarves or barrettes.

Fashion: Whatever you do, don't dress like a 20-something. You owe it to yourself to be edgy, but fun, and above all, suitable to a far more confident and wise stage of life. If you're in good shape, you have license to wear pretty much whatever you want, but just because you've got it doesn't mean you have to flaunt it like Paris Hilton. One place we love is Ann Taylor Loft, for their enduring committment to helping curvy women find good clothes and feel beautiful. It's one of our favorite haunts and definitely caters to a more sophisticated clientele. Wear edgy pieces, but do so with caution. Remember: less is more.

Let us leave with this photo of a lovely lady on Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. Go visit the website for a slide show of other views of her, but let her serve as an inspiration: Be yourself. Be proud of the experiences you have had, learn from them, and don't be afraid to change your conceptions of beaty to reveal a whole new you!

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." -Robert Browning