Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hair and Make Up Over 50

Changing your hairstyle or choosing a new makeup product is a tricky proposition when you’re over fifty. I’m always looking for help on how to use makeup and hair products to my 50+ advantage. For example, how can I use bronzer to get a brighter over 50 look without making my face look like a tired, old tangerine? Recently, I found some useful advice online. The tips included:

Navy eyeliner brightens the whites of older eyes.

Bronzer should be applied sparingly along the hairline, cheekbones and jawline. Skip the nose, this tip advised.

Subtle lip colors are much more flattering after 50. Did you notice the really bad, bold lipsticks on many of the over 40 actresses at this year's Academy Awards? It cured me of ever wearing red lipstick again!

For more hair and makeup tips for women over 50, check out...

Truth in Aging offers…

10 Beauty Blunders that Add Years to Your Face

Allure Magazine
The mag has several slide shows with tips. The tips are for women over 40, but they are useful to women over fifty, too.

All New for 2010: 10 Beauty Mistakes that Add 10 Years

10 Hairstyles that will Make You Look 10 Years Younger
This slide show offers some good tips. However, as usual, the models are almost all 30-somethings (or younger). Each one is shown with an older-looking hairdo and then a younger one. The tips work, I think, even though the photo examples are kind of silly.

20 Products that Will Make You Look Younger Instantly
These are mostly drug store products that won’t break the bank.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Yes" to Floral Dresses for Over 50

Jones New York V-neck Seamed Dress,
This afternoon, a friend and I took a stroll through the gardens at one of Long Island’s ‘Gold Coast’ estates, a Gatsby-esque abode that is opened to the public. Many of the estate’s flowering plants—tulips, grape hyacinths, weeping cherry trees, crab apple and pear trees, magnolias huge and small, royal red rhododendrons,and even some early lilacs and azaleas—were blooming. The scene was spectacular and the air smelled delicious. Whenever I find myself tip-toeing through the tulips and such, stopping to examine their various flower parts, I always think: “That flower’s design or its colors would make beautiful fabric or a fantastic dress design. I assume fashion designers experience the same thing, although with a slightly keener eye and sensibility than mine. Take, for instances, the details in the flowers of this Jones New York V-neck Seamed Dress, ($119). Below are a sample of the dress styles available online. I think you'll find there is a flattering dress for every body shape over 50. Click on the photos for details and current sales.

When I look at sheaths, my knee-jerk reactions is that you have to be pencil-thin to wear them. But that's not really true. Not all sheaths are created the same. I've become more pear-shaped with age, but I can still wear a sheath that isn't terribly fitted between my bust and bottom. The point is, if you see a gorgeous sheath, try it. You might be surprised.

Jones New York Floral Sheath Dress

Jones New York Floral Sheath Dress

Anne Klein Multi Floral Shift Dress Shift Dress (Pink)

Anne Klein Multi Floral Shift Dress Shift Dress (Pink)

Anne Klein Neutral Floral Shift Dress, Ships 5/12 (Brown)

Anne Klein Neutral Floral Shift Dress, Ships 5/12 (Brown)

Ronni Nicole� Watercolor Floral Sleeveless Dress

Ronni Nicole� Watercolor Floral Sleeveless Dress
(was $60, now $49.99)

If on the other hand, your figure has slipped a little, you might appreciate something tailored on top, but with a fuller skirt--like the one pictured above. Or one of these...

Jones New York Floral Shirt Dress

Jones New York Floral Shirt Dress

Sleeveless floral dresses are everywhere this spring. For women who'd rather not go sleeveless, there are cap sleeves and short sleeves...

Connected Apparel� Floral Sweetheart Dress

Connected Apparel� Floral Sweetheart Dress
(was $60, now $44.99)

Connected Apparel� Ruffled Floral Dress

Connected Apparel� Ruffled Floral Dress
(was $70, now $49.99)

Jones New York Dress Drape Front Watercolor Floral Dress (Pattern)

Jones New York Dress Drape Front Watercolor Floral Dress (Pattern)

Or how about a shrug and dress set like...

R & K� Knit Shrug & Floral Sheath Dress

R & K� Knit Shrug & Floral Sheath Dress
(was $70, now $49)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring 2010: Graphic Designs

Two weeks ago, I met my best friend at MoMA. We had tickets to see the Tim Burton exhibit. If you’ve marveled at Burton’s creative genius over the years, especially his animation project, such as Nightmare Before Christmas, I highly recommend this exhibit. Experiencing Burton’s wicked sense of humor and pen-and-ink skills up close is quite a thrill. I especially liked seeing his early works—Super8 movies made in high school and a sketchbook in college.

For our afternoon at MoMA, my girlfriend wore a light cardigan with a graphic design in true green, pale green and off-white. The sweater really “popped,” as they say, against her fair complexion. “I’m buying only tops with patterns,” she informed me. “No more bland solids for me.” The remark made me laugh. Sometime in the past 15 years, we both became slaves to solids. Our closets are bulging with solid-colored shirts, cardigans, and even dresses and skirts. For most of the past decade or so, my friend was living in London and traveling a lot. Solids made packing easier. For me, a suburban mom, solids were just easier--period. (I also think my friend and I were still recovering from all the really bad 1980s prints we'd bought.)

If you’re also a slave to solids, spring 2010 is the perfect opportunity for you to set your wardrobe free. In addition to spring’s customary floral prints, this season is showing geometric, animal and tribal-inspired designs. There's truly prints for every woman over 50.

That said, petite woman over 50 might want to avoid...

Tops with large prints. A petite woman is likely to be overwhelmed by a large print top. Save the larger prints for skirts.

The mu-mu look. Other than, perhaps, Iman (not a petite woman, obviously), I doubt any woman over 50 is going to look good engulfed in tons of printed material. A little room to move is okay; a tent’s worth of fabric isn't okay.

Contrasting colors for tops and bottoms. Using the printed top’s primary color as your guide, find a bottom--skirt, slacks, short, whatever—that matches that color. For example, if pink is the predominate color in the printed blouse, find a pink skirt or slacks. It’s always better to keep a predominate color from shoulders to sandals. Why? It will make you look slimmer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

...New York Cool

Kim Hasteiter, co-editor of Paper magazine, is featured on the front page of this week’s ThursdayStyles in the New York Times. The 58-year-old is known for her talent for spotting what's new in art, design and fashion as well as for throwing parties with guests from all “walks”—artists, designers, athletes, movie stars, cabaret characters and so forth. The NY Times reporter seems amazed that someone who remembers Madonna before 'Like A Virgin' is still breathing, much less a powerful figure in Manhattan's culture scene. Still, it was nice to see an woman over 50 being recognized for her contributions to art and culture and referred to as perhaps "the coolest person in New York." My favorite line in the article: "Community and creativity 'always trump shallowness and hype in the end,' Ms. Hasteiter added. 'I die for that.'” Very cool. For full story, go to Paper Magazine Editor is Powerful, but No Power Snob.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring 2010: Gone Camping

With every new fashion season, the question on my mind is always the same: Which trends will look good on the over 50 woman? Luckily, there are always styles that are perfect for older women. Sometimes, in fact, it seems as if the designers had us in mind. (Of course, they didn’t. If they did, they might use an older model now and again.) Unlike our younger counterparts, who seem compelled to project a single, uniform image—the 'this minute' look for the 20-something woman—we can pick and choose from the season’s trends, mix them with our closet favorites, and create our own personal style. That’s the great thing about being older—there’s no single ‘look’ for the 50-something woman! Instead, we can focus on what’s really important: styles that flatter our 50+ bodies and feel good.

When navigating the new season’s fashions, it’s important to know when to go full speed towards a trend and when put on the brakes. A few of spring 2010 fashion trends are no-brainers when it comes to slamming on the brakes. For example, this spring’s cheerleader skirts? I don’t think so. I never carried a pom-pom and I have no regrets. Ditto for the military jackets.

Instead of the military look, some designers and labels have seized on the camp look. Camp shirts, short-sleeve shirtwaist dresses, Bermuda shorts and webbed belt are de rigueur. Neutral hues—olive, browns and beige—are the standout colors this spring. If you’re a “Fall Colors” person—someone whose complexion has golden undertones and, consequently, looks great in beige, camel, and dark brown—you’re in luck this season. Plus, I imagine the spring 2010 neutrals will take you straight through September.

Just be careful: Too much of the “camp” trend, dressing head to toe in camp shirts and shorts, might make you look like a demented Brownie.

Also…too much camper styling might make you look masculine. At our age, sagging often starts to erase the well-defined femininity of our younger faces and bodies. You can combat this by wearing feminine accessories. If you choose a camp shirt, for instance, try wearing it with a camisole or a pretty necklace. Also, pick a camp shirt that is tailored, like the one above. As our waistlines widen, many of us look for tops that are boxy to hide beneath. But boxy just makes you look bigger and macho. I'm not saying to buy something skin-tight. But choose a top that falls comfortably on your form, not engulfs it in massive amounts of material.