Thursday, 7 May 2009

Ageing makeup habits

Time may be a great healer, but it's also a lousy beautician.

So, how best to alleviate, or at least vaguely soften, the ravages of time? Mature makeup fiends may find themselves so hypersensitive of the mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect that they avoid bright colours and stick to the understated neutral shades. It seems very sad that the garish overuse of blue eyelids and bright red lips has potentially led to the fear of colour once one hits that certain age. I myself recently succumbed to this: I decided wearing teals and purple made me look almost infantile next to my sober counterparts. But, seeing these pictures reaffirms why colour can be actually very forgiving and even enhancing to an older face – lending it not only a fresher look, but also a hint of vital spirit within.

The fact that nowadays hitting 30 does not demand the end to an actress/ model career is rather a new phenomenon. The dominance of these women in the media has led to a reassessment of what it means to be an older woman, and loosened the strictures of how a woman must change and adapt in sympathy to her advancing years. Toyboys are de riguer, and conceptions have been defiantly overturned. Yet the price seems to be that aging has become shrouded in mystery and deception – cosmetic surgery seems the only passport to entering this hallowed state of glamorous aging. Botox is known as uninvasive surgery, and therefore loses much of its stigma. The relatively low cost and speed of the treatment also makes it less daunting for the everyman looking in. The proliferation of adverts on the tube, TV, magazines and newspapers, depicting a beaming healthy and natural looking woman, in a scientific looking ‘clinic’ (never ‘hospital’) adds to the ease of understatement of getting cosmetic surgery. Seeing the transformation of the celebrities as they age speaks volumes. Facelifts, face fillers and botox do not adequately mimic the freshness of youth, but rather a synthetic and hard parody of it. A line free forehead can still look old (hello Nicole Kidman.)

We are rather bereft of reliable examples of dignified aging and a true evolutionary beauty. Any flaws would intantly be seized upon and ridiculed in today's beauty-centric climate.

Here's Audrey Hepburn, and Brigitte Bardot. There's something very admirable about the way they have relinquished their youthful beauty and allowed ageing to pave its natural course.

Makeup applied correctly can to a degree help, and does so in a less laboured way than surgery. Bold lips and rouged cheeks if done without overdose, can revive a sallow face. Colour in the outer edge of the eyes can distract from wrinkles. Although these steps will not remould a face, it might be a more effective way to age and resemble that youthful lustre associated with the freedom to embrace bold colour and makeup techniques: why the preserve of youth?

Young model of the moment, Agyness Deyn

No-one wants to become invisible, but worse than that is being noticed for trying to not be invisible. So is surgery the only remedy? Perhaps it is. I know I am tempted by botox on many a day. What steps do YOU consider essential in the fight against aging? Is it essential to change your colour palette and technique? Is safe and neutral just the best way to be once you're out of your youth?? Many seem to consider this is the case.... I am still valiantly clinging on to Blues, purples, reds... Are YOU?


  1. Hmm... I consider a good skin care regime to be essential in the fight against aging, especially sun scream. I think the picture of Cate Blanchett that you posted shows what I feel is the perfect kind of look for a woman of her age. She looks youthful and radiant, rather than someone who put too much make-up on in the bid to look younger. I think it's much better to look your age and look glamourous and elegant rather than trying to look 18 again (Pamela Anderson!) However, this doesn't mean you need to put away the red lipstick and green eye shadow just yet, I still think women who are 30+ can still wear these colours if they have been applied in a way that looks classy and pulled together... are you listening Pamela? :D

  2. I'd like to think that the general consensus is very gradually shifting towards the opinion that women like Helen Mirren, Julie Christie etc who look stunning, but look their age are the ones who've got it right and that the creaseless brittle Nicole Kidmans of the world are the ones who've got it wrong. I feel like you can see a woman's strength and wisdom in her wrinkles.

  3. @LamiatS

    Well said! Although I may be cynical but I bet Cate Blanchett has a bit done to look that radiant.... hmm...

  4. @Ondine

    Very much my sentiments!! The pictures of Nicole Kidman and Madonna et al are enough to make anyone crave wrinkles in fact! It looks really almost sinister the way they defiantly deny the natural aging process.

    (why do I still want botox though hahahah!)

  5. I do beleive a woman in her 30s can wear the bright colors, given it is done tastefully.It really depends on the person though.But really in your 20's how much makeup do you really need? Its when you get 30+ that things begin to need a little oomph.I think us 30+ women should probably stay away from glitter but color in moderation can brighten you up. Just dont wear blue shadow with a blue dress etc. If your wearing all black a pop of blue or green is a festive way to accessorize. I just know we come from the generation where you dyed your shoes the same color as your dress!


    oh yes, very good point!! Although I checked out your pic, and are you sure you're 30+ because you've got a lovely youthful glow to you, lucky thing!

    I completely agree on the matchy matchy deal, it really gets on my nerves when ppl do that!!

  7. Very well written, I couldn't agree more with you. Thanks for sharing. xxNadia

  8. haha so sweet of you to lie gail! I dont have alot of wrinkles or anything really.I can just tell my skin is changing over the years.Loosing moisture.I always use a sunblock on my face but I think sunblock is something you need to start early in your 20's. By the time you hit 30's the damage is done! I know people my age who have more wrinkles than my mother who is almost 60 !

  9. Ladies and Men, listen:

    Sun is our worst enemy! I love the sun but have avoided it since my teens. Melanoma is out there, and I lost my dad to it when he was just 58. His brother died 5 years earlier at a younger age. So, enjoy nature and excercising in the sunshine, but knowing what we know today, use that knowledge to protect your body. Some skin cancers can be cured, but others spread to organs in the body. USE YOUR SUNBLOCK and LIVE!

  10. Thanks Jae, a very good message to us all. I am sorry to hear about your loss x