Fashion and beauty tips for every age

By: Liza Finlay

Author: Canadian Living


Fashion and beauty tips for every age

By: Liza Finlay

Beauty tips for your 20s

1. Makeup: Go easy on the brows
If you had a theme song, it would be "Anything Goes." Have fun with makeup, get crazy, go wild -- except with your brows. "So many 20-year-olds overtweeze in an attempt to get movie-star arches," says Walmsley. "If you start doing that in your 20s, you'll regret it in your 50s. You will shock the root and the hairs won't grow back.”

Instead, consult an aesthetician or makeup artist to find the best shape for your face. This will give you a basis for at-home upkeep.

At-home tip: Hold a pencil straight up against the side of your nose. Where the pencil crosses the brow marks the ideal start of the brow. Now pivot the pencil to the outer eye; that's where your brow should end. Only tweeze hairs that fall outside those two imaginary points. Keep the area between well groomed to frame those fabulous eyes.

2. Hair: Dramatic dyes
"Trends are made for the young, and twenty-somethings can carry the day," says Martin Hillier, stylist at Lounge Hair Studio in Vancouver. "Try a daring dye -- but in a shade that complements your complexion." For those with olive skin, Hillier likes burgundy shades or chocolate browns; if your skin has pink undertones, try a rich red; if your skin has yellow undertones, opt for coppers and golds.

3. Wardrobe: Sweet chic
"At this age you're probably single and dating," says Adrian Mainella, cohost of "Diva on a Dime" on Prime Network. "This is the time for curve-hugging jersey dresses and high heels, low-rider jeans and lingerie-inspired blouses."

Stylist Karen Kwinter, who puts together the looks for Canadian Living fashion stories, believes in investment dressing. "Determined fashionistas might want to start buying a few high-end classics that will last years and years. A Chanel-style jacket, for example, or a cashmere twin set."

4. Life: Listen to your heart
"The 20s are a time to expand your horizons, but, ironically, you'll also need to hone in on something career-wise," says life coach Ellie Rubin, host of "Negotiating Life" on TVOntario. "You want to spread your wings and leap off cliffs -- you're gutsy, but the trouble is, you are not yet confident." Her tip: Listen to your innermost desires, not to what others tell you. That desire will be your rudder, steering you in the right direction. Then take risks, but make them calculated risks.

Beauty tips for your 30s

1. Skin care: Start exfoliating
In your 30s, fine lines begin to make an appearance and skin loses its glow. A slowdown in cell turnover is partly to blame, making exfoliation more critical than ever. "The 30s are a perfect time for alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)," says Davis. "They speed up the natural exfoliation process, helping to diminish fine lines and give skin a brighter look." Look for gentle granular scrubs and moisturizers containing AHAs.

Also start using an eye cream, advises Walmsley. "It plumps up the under-eye area, smoothing out the fine lines that are likely becoming visible."

2. Makeup: Drama queen
At night, do have fun with eye makeup and play up your eyes with dynamic shadows and liners. Walmsley likes the look of black liner paired with pink shadow.

3. Hair: Keep the lustre
Many thirtysomethings find their hair starts to lose moisture -- particularly after childbirth. And, if you've started colouring to mask creeping grey hairs, hydration is critical. Condition with every wash and use a deep conditioner once a month.

In-the-shower tip: Daniel Fiorio of Salon Daniel in Toronto says that to completely saturate every hair, you should comb deep conditioner through wet hair with a wide-tooth comb, then comb through again with a fine-tooth comb.

4. Wardrobe: Your strong suit
Has your career become really important? Has your body changed after having kids? If you answered yes to either of those questions, consider investing in a suit -- one that moves well from conference to cocktail party.

"A long, lean, well-tailored pantsuit, preferably in a light, cool wool or wool blend, flatters most women and is a wardrobe workhorse,” says Mainella. Get alterations to achieve a perfect fit, says Donna Demarco, a fashion consultant with Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. “A little tuck here or hem there is well worth the time and money spent.”

And take stock of your bras. “It pays to go for a proper fitting, either in a specialty shop or your local department store. Some lingerie departments have at least one person on staff that has been trained to fit.”

Fit tip:A bra should fit best on the middle hook to allow for weight fluctuations.

5. Life: Define your goals
You want it all, but can you have it? Perhaps, but probably not all at the same time. Trying to do it all, and coming to terms with the reality of what you can actually do, is the single biggest problem plaguing most thirty-something women, says Rubin. She counsels clients to regain focus by making a list of goals, rating each from one to 10 based on how important it is right now. This list will help you create your own definition of success.

Page 1 of 4 -- Check out six great beauty tips for women in their 40s on page 2

Beauty tips for your 40s

1. Skin care: Vitamin A repair
Sun damage, loss of resiliency -- many women in their 40s are looking for skin-repair solutions. Vitamin A, marketed as tretinoin in prescription products or retinol in over-the-counter products, can be effective. As we age, the epidermis (the uppermost layer of the skin) thickens from years of sun exposure, while the subdermal layers of skin thin (as cells weaken and fall over). Vitamin A is fat-soluble, so it bypasses the epidermis altogether and heads straight for the juicy subdermal tissues. There it performs the nutritional equivalent of a double-header. While vitamin A works away at rebuilding the misshapen cells that form the skin's support structure, it also encourages natural exfoliation, sloughing off dead, dull cells to make room for plump new ones.

2. Makeup: Little buys, big perks
Your two best friends are now concealer and blush. A good concealer will cover up your shadows, while a little blush will give you a much-needed lift.

3. Blush tip: For a fresh, flushed cheek, "concentrate blush on the apples of the cheeks and blend up to the temples," says Walmsley. Choose pale pinks if you have pinky skin, light plums if you have an olive complexion and peach-pinks if your skin has a hint of yellow.

4. Hair: Pump up the shine
This is the decade that you notice your hair really beginning to dull. Arm yourself with a good shine serum or spray. Look for one containing silicone, which smoothes and seals the cuticle, creating shine. Apply it from midshaft to ends, keeping it away from the roots, where it may weigh hair down.

5. Wardrobe: Get an edge
Your wardrobe is well-grounded with classics. Well, now it's time to throw a curveball. "For so many women, turning 40 is a really big deal," says Demarco. "Push your comfort zone. Try things you wouldn't normally try. You can change the look of a black suit entirely by pairing it with a pair of killer boots." Demarco encourages her fortysomething clients to invest in knockout shoes or boots in a punchy colour such as red or amethyst.

6. Life: Strike a balance
"The 40s are about reaching your stride," says Rubin. "You feel powerful and energetic. The trick is to maintain momentum without tipping the balance so that you feel like you are back in your 30s -- scrambling and scattered." She tells forty-something women to pay attention to energy levels and practise saying no when reserves are depleted. If no is a hard word for you, try: "Let me recommend someone else," or, "I can do that, but not right now."

Page 2 of 4 -- Discover five great beauty tips for women in their 50s on page 3

Beauty tips for your 50s

1. Skin care: Vital oils
"Alipoid." That's what dermatologists call skin that is lacking in oil. Alipoid skin is common in one's 50s, when sebum production grinds to a near halt. Replacing that oil is vital, so you'll want to start carefully reading the ingredient panels on those bottles of moisturizers. You're looking for moisturizers with ingredients such as jojoba oil, evening primrose oil or even sesame oil. The consistency of the creams will also tip you off; you want thick, rich creams over milky lotions.

2. Makeup: Easy chic
Hopefully you've long banished shimmery shadows from your makeup kit, and it's time to go easy on face powder. Both exacerbate wrinkles. It's the more sophisticated matte- or satin-finish shadows for you. You'll also want to make eyeliner a makeup staple to give your eyes definition. Make the switch from powder to cream blushes, says Walmsley. And instead of dusting powder, try blotting films.

Eyeliner tip: Using a stiff angled brush and dark eye shadow, "apply a thin line of eyeliner right at the lash line," says Walmsley. Or try one of the new ultrathin micro-pencils.

3. Hair: Soft lines and colour
The old adage that hair has to go shorter is old hat. "Long hair to the collarbone, with texture and movement, embodies youth, exuberance and femininity," says Toronto hairstylist Jie Matar, owner of Salon Jie. Matar says the most popular cut among his fiftysomething clients is a "layered 'shattered' bob with volume and height on the crown, and side fringes to frame the face."

If you're covering grey, avoid harsh one-colour processing, "which emphasizes age spots and skin demarcations," says Matar. Instead, opt for soft highlights -- and try trendy shades such as caramel and butter-blond (for blonds); mocha and honey (for brunettes); and cinnamon and copper (for redheads).

4. Wardrobe: The real deal
You want to invest in quality pieces that take your wardrobe up a notch, says Karen Kwinter, whether it's a special bag, fabulous trench coat or real pearls. Choose accessories that make a statement and that are an expression of your self-confidence.

5. Life: Taking stock
Who am I? Where am I going now? These are the tough questions many fifty-somethings are asking. "The 50s are a time when your children are beginning to have lives of their own or are moving out of the house," says Rubin. "All of a sudden the pace slows and the focus turns inward."

Be patient is Rubin's advice. "Change is a process, not an event. Embrace the unknown as you inch toward a new sense of self." She also tells clients to ask trusted friends to hold up a mirror. It's what they see that may be of value as you reassess and take stock.

Page 3 of 4 -- Check out five great beauty tips for women in their 60s on page 4

Beauty in your 60s

1. Skin care: Try a brightener
As you lose melanocytes (the cells that give us colour), skin becomes mottled. You may even find that your complexion becomes slightly yellow or grey. Products containing hyraquinone (a bleaching ingredient) may help, but exercise caution; bleaching can be easily overdone, resulting in burned skin. Some skin-care lines use natural or holistic ingredients to inhibit melanin production and brighten. And don't forget good old vitamin C -- a natural lightener found in a variety of skin creams.

2. Makeup: Vibrant lipstick
"As hair and skin start to lose vibrancy, adding some punch with lip colour really lifts the face," says Walmsley. But be careful if using orange-based reds: "They can make teeth appear more yellow, so you might want to look into teeth whitening." Or opt for blue-based reds, plums or even bright pinks.

And because "lips gradually lose their shape as we age, and appear smaller," Walmsley recommends slightly overextending the natural lip line with a lip liner pencil (preferably in the same colour as your lips) to "cheat" fuller lips.

Liner tip: Start at the outer edge of the upper lip and pull the liner up toward the bow of the lip. Then trace a line from the middle of the lower lip toward the outside of the lip. Place the liner on the outer edges of the natural lip line to create the illusion of fullness.

3. Hair: Hooked on classics
For women in their 60s, Hillier says, "bobs or wedge cuts are the equivalent of a black cocktail dress. The look is timeless and elegant."

If you're grey and and not colouring your hair, ask your hairdresser about special brightening shampoos and conditioners for grey hair that neutralize yellow tones and add shine.

4. Wardrobe: Colour happy
Give your wardrobe a colour boost. Clear, bright hues will give your whitening hair and paling complexion a much-needed jolt. So pair those greys and browns with reds, pinks, blues or greens.

"I also tell clients to find their best feature and play it up," says Demarco. "So if you've got great legs, shorten those skirts to graze the knee."

5. Life: A new road
The ocean lies before you, but which way do you set sail? "Women in their 60s are often faced with the prospect of mapping out a new life," says Rubin. "They have largely been freed of responsibilities." For some, this is exhilarating; for others, daunting. In your 60s you may be dealing with the loss of a mate or kids that have moved away.

"Facing life alone can be frightening," says Rubin. Join clubs, volunteer, find hobbies and make every effort to reach out to friends and family. "The 60s and 70s are also great decades for open-ended dreaming," adds Rubin. "Blue sky, visualize, allow yourself to get excited by possibilities."

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Fashion and beauty tips for every age