Who says it's all down hill after 40? Many of Hollywood's leading ladies reach their career - and beauty - peaks at at 45, 55, even 65. So we asked four beauty experts, who are over 40 themselves, for advice on the cosmetic needs of mature women - like hair styles that shave years off your look, the best makeup shades for older women, and skincare that can reverse aging (really!). Read on to get your biggest age-related questions answered, and look absolutely fabulous at 40 and beyond.
OUR EXPERTS: Rona O'Connor (left), Celebrity Colorist and Co-Owner of Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills. Sandy Linter (middle), acclaimed makeup artist and Lancôme Beauty at Every Age Expert. Luke O'Connor, Suave Celebrity Stylist and Co-Owner of Lukaro Salon Beverly Hills. Dr. Doris Day (not pictured), author of Forget the Facelift and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center.
- Melissa Goldberg
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TIP: WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN
"It's so much easier to prevent the aging process with daily sunscreen use than to try to repair it after the fact," says Dr. Doris Day. For an optimal anti-aging skincare routine to ensure gorgeous skin like Meryl Streep's, Dr. Day recommends looking for products that contain wrinkle-fighting retinoid, anti-oxidant vitamin c, anti-inflammatory niacinamide and skin-soothing caffeine.
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TIP: YOU CAN REVERSE AGING
Simply using sun protection and avoiding excess ultra violet rays allows your skin to naturally repair itself. An anti-aging skincare routine will amplify results, for skin that looks taut and even like Vanessa Williams'. "Adding dermatologic procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments can then dramatically improve your skin further," says Dr. Day.
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TIP: INVEST IN A PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT
Choosing the right doctor-administered treatment depends on your age, and if done correctly, can give spectacularly age-defying results (Exhibit A: Madonna's complexion is better than that of most 30 year olds). In your 20s, Botox prevents aging by freezing muscles from wrinkle-causing motions. For moderate aging, injectibles like Restylane and Juvederm beautifully though temporarily fill volume loss. For older pigmentation damage and wrinkling, the Fractional CO2 laser known as the "Total Fx" is the gold standard for skin resurfacing, with downtime as little as five to seven days, says Dr. Day.
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TIP: TRUST A PROVEN ANTI-AGING CREAM
We asked Dr. Day for her favorite age fighters: "Olay's new Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream contains peptides, which increases collagen production for firmer skin, and niacinamide, which accelerates cell renewal to both treat and reverse past skin care damage. Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 25 combines an anti-oxidant punch with full spectrum sun protection, and comes in special formulations for different skin types."
Clinique | Olay
TIP: WEAR NATURAL MAKEUP SHADES
Stick with muted taupes, coffees, creams and blacks to enhance the shape of your eyes, and be wary of high shimmers that can accentuate lines. For a pop of color, choose either your cheeks or lips to highlight – but be careful not to choose a vampy dark lipcolor as it can age you, advises Sandy Linter, Lancôme's Beauty at Every Age Expert.
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TIP: SWITCH TO CREAMIER MAKEUP
Take a cue from Jane Seymour and pay attention to texture, not just color in your products. Lip items should be moist and facial products like foundation and concealer should be creamy instead of thick so they don't migrate into lines. "You have to like the way it feels when it goes on," adds Linter.
TIP: KEEP LIPSTICK IN PLACE
For lipstick that lasts like Sophia Loren's, always line with a neutral pencil first, and then fill in your lips to provide a base for color to adhere to. Next, apply a moisturizing lip color that is rich, not runny, to the lip. If you want to add a smidge of gloss, apply only to the center bottom lip so as not to over-gloss, says Linter.
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TIP: DON'T SKIMP OUT ON MAKEUP
The biggest cosmetics mistake older women make is to not wear any makeup at all, says Linter. Age draws some of the natural color out of skin, so even a light application can do wonders to refresh and re-engergize a face, a la Christy Brinkley's glowing complexion. "Products have improved drastically over the years – don't be afraid to go to your local beauty counter and experiment!" adds Linter.
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TIP: BANGS MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER
"Bangs can make you look younger," says says Luke O'Connor, Suave Celebrity Stylist and co-owner of Lukaro salon in Beverly Hills. "Pick a style that accents your face to soften and bring out your best features." A soft fringe or side swept bangs, like Angela Basset's, are both very youthful.
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