Body image

Celebrity beauty… Is it relevant for 40+?

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This article first appeared on The Seeing Me Project

We are bombarded with imagery in the media of young beautiful celebrities who are in the business of image. I believe when we were younger, these women may have been inspiration for many of us. Now, I think they are inspirational. I don’t think any grown woman is under the illusion she wants to, or can look like Angelina Jolie or Julianne Moore. However we CAN take specific looks from them and make them our own. What we are basically taking are techniques the world’s top makeup artists have created for those celebrities and applying them to our own “human” faces!

Before I give some of my favourite examples, let’s be clear about the artifice surrounding their images. They have the world’s top hair and makeup teams work on them, they are photographed by incredible photographers and THEN, they are often still photo-shopped! How on earth are we mere mortals supposed to feel seeing these perfect images?

I recall a few years back working on a beauty shoot in LA. The celebrity featured in the ads is an award winning actress and commonly listed among the most beautiful women in the world. When she entered the set, I was dumbstruck at how incredibly beautiful she was with no makeup / hair etc. She is a genetic freak. (Just as some musicians and sports people to name a couple of examples can seem extraordinary in their talents, so too are genetically blessed.) Some people are just naturally beautiful.

Now, pay attention – this celebrities’ makeup and hair took FIVE hours with the world’s best. FIVE hours. Any of us could look significantly more fabulous with the same treatment. After the shoot, her images were still retouched to gain perfection.

This is what we are bombarded with everyday. Unattainable beauty imagery. Don’t get me started on the fashion industry using anorexic models!!) We need to be aware that is NOT reality.

When I say take the looks and make them your own, let’s look at some examples:

Cate Blanchett – Whenever we see Cate on the red carpet, she has a very youthful glow to her cheeks. As we age, we lose volume in our cheeks (and lips) but she has perfected a signature glow. A highlighter is placed right on the apple of her cheeks. This gives the illusion of full cheeks and is youthful and works on every woman. I am not a fan of highlighter on the cheekbones around the eyes, which is where most makeup artists say to put it. As we age, that highlighter will draw attention to the lines and wrinkles around our eyes. We discuss how to best use highlighter in Beauty Dossier.

Kate Winslet – She has terrific brow game! all pictures of Kate show her with a defined, but not super strong brows. On mature women (all women really), brows can be a game changer to your entire face. However, unlike the trend the young women are following of heavily pronounced brows, we are better with soft definition without making our brows a statement.

Julianne Moore – With most of us avoiding the sun now, Julianne shows how a pale, porcelain complexion can be an outstanding feature. At 55, she has always championed this look and it shows that if you are pale (I’m putting my hand up now!) you can use that as a feature that makes you, you.

Meryl Streep – At 67, Meryl is a goddess. One always gets the impression that she is a natural beauty, however it more about her makeup. It is very difficult to find a picture of her with dramatic makeup or a red lip. Her lip colours are always a flushed neutral. Not a beige nude as that can be very draining, but a soft muted rose or more often muted coral. Neutral lips make her look so natural and allow her confidence to shine through.

Judi Dench – Ah, Dame Judi. She shows brilliantly that at 81, eyeliner rules for mature women. She has deep set eyes, but still is usually seen wearing a smudgy, smoky charcoal on her upper lids. She is a perfect example of our philosophy at Beauty Dossier that eyeliner can be a mature women’s best weapon. Looks modern, flattering and is easy to achieve. Where possible, avoid black. Think dark aubergine, khaki or brown. (We have a free tutorial on our website at the moment showing you easy flattering eye makeup.)

I believe celebrity makeup is inspirational for us now. It’s not that we necessarily want to look like a particular celebrity, but take note about what makes them look good. They have the best makeup artists in the world working on them. It’s their tips we’re actually learning from and applying to our own unique faces.

As always, happy blending!

Janet – for the Millers Seeing Me Project
Beauty Dossier - online beauty course for women 45+-2

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