Beauty and fashion tips for 35+ women
February 21, 2018 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm 37 and have a fairly modern (but basic) wardrobe with staples like a black leather jacket, a good pair of jeans and so on. I do apply sunscreen daily and own some (not many) good quality makeup items. But what are the other fashion and beauty tips, must haves/do's I should have in mind to remain stylish and polished as I get older? Thanks!
posted by longjump to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Make sure you are treating your neck and the spot of your upper chest that gets exposed in tops with the same products you use on your face, namely moisturizer and sunscreen.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:05 AM on February 21, 2018 [12 favorites]

Eyebrows have become far more of a thing than they were for people born pre-1985 or so. You don't have to go aggressive with the styling, but evident work put into shaping and maintaining will help keep you looking modern without appearing like you're trying too hard to seem youthful.
posted by praemunire at 10:14 AM on February 21, 2018 [10 favorites]

Have you added retinol to your skincare regime yet? It's good for acne and wrinkles, I use the ordinary's 2% granactive one and it's like $10.
posted by lafemma at 10:26 AM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Buy good shoes and take care of them.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 10:55 AM on February 21, 2018

Determine what your "look" will be and how trends will be incorporated (clothes vs accessories, shoes, purses). Staying current becomes problematic if clothing styles become geared toward those significantly younger/differently built or you no longer desire to spend money on this season's latest fad.

Try to find a hairstyle that you really like but can easily update as needed for freshness (bangs/no bangs, length within a few inches and layers/no layers).

Consider statement pieces or colors. Always wearing red eyeglasses/black tops/interesting jewelry can make other clothing choices easier.
posted by beaning at 10:59 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Sunscreen your hands! Like the first comment suggests, sunscreen and moisturizer on the backs of your hands as well as your face and neck/chest. Especially if you drive.

I think, too, that the most youthfully stylish people I know are the ones who have stayed nimble and active, so whatever you have to do to incorporate daily movement into your life, do it.
posted by stellaluna at 11:07 AM on February 21, 2018 [10 favorites]

I have very good jewelry that I have acquired over the span of 20 or so years. I don't have much of it at all (a few pairs of earrings, a bracelet, a watch, two good necklaces) but I wear it regularly. I would rather wear very high-quality pieces over and over.

I have also worn the same perfume for a very long time.
posted by oflinkey at 11:27 AM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

I agree that eyebrows are more of a thing, and they're an easy way to make a big impact. There are a ton of variations of the "brow gel," which is basically like a very light mascara with a tiny wand. I normally use Benefit Gimme Brow, but it's not available right now. I picked up some Soap and Glory Archery Volu-Boost at the drugstore and it works about the same.
posted by radioamy at 12:07 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thirding filling in brows - I personally use Benefit Goof Proof pencil, which is a soft pencil with an easily blending spoolie on the other end. Our Sephoras do free 15-minute focused makeup lessons and the lady who did my brow one showed me exactly how to apply it for a natural but groomed effect. They don't have to be cut-glass Instagram brows at all.

Another modern makeup thing is highlighter. It looks terrifying at first because it's all glittery, but blend it in to death and it should be very subtle. Top of your cheekbone is the easiest placement.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:20 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

A really great hair cut and a reasonable amount of styling can go a long way. You don't have to go nuts, but knowing how to use a hair dryer to blow out your hair, and owning a really great hair dryer, can make you look quite polished.
posted by nerdfish at 12:31 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you don't have a tailor yet, it's definitely time to start looking. THE easiest way to add polish to any item of clothing on earth is to have it tailored. Make friends with a tailor and look good for life, no matter how many pounds you put on or lose over the years.

Do you have longer hair? Figure out a semi-fancy way to put your hair up that suits your face and practise doing so until you can put it up yourself on short notice. I favour a French Twist and can put my hair up in one in under 45 seconds. That's 45 seconds between coming in out of a windstorm looking crazy and sitting at my desk looking relatively sleek and intentional. Bonus - good quality earrings that look good with the hairstyle. For some reason it's easier to tell when earrings are cheap versus any other item of jewelry. I personally think it's worth spending a bit more on earrings to avoid this.

Decide if you are a lips or eyes person. Work out an every day makeup look that enhances one or the other. Commit. You're a lips person now. That daring lipstick shade? Your friends see it in the store and think 'Oh, wow, that's such a longjump colour'. Or are you an eye person now? 'Gosh, I just can't picture longjump without that sharp cateye'. Signature looks are a good way to embrace any trends that come down the pipe in the future and make them 'yours'.

And whatever you do, look after your teeth.
posted by DSime at 12:39 PM on February 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

Above tips are great, but most importantly - do NOT dye your hair as you grey. I find nothing more aging than women who insist on keeping their dark brown hair as they grey. Your skin tone changes as you age, and the hair color that works as a youth, doesn't work when you're 50.
I also agree about the 'anti-aging' tips above, but at some point, just accept what is there and be graceful about it.
One last thing - make friends (and keep them as friends) with younger people - their attitude and knowledge of new things will challenge you and keep you young in mind and heart.
posted by dbmcd at 12:40 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]

I think you can dye your hair as you gray - I do, because gray hair is not "me" - but yes, your skin tone does change as you get older, and this usually means you need to go lighter. As I approached 50, I went blonde for the first time in my life, and I love it. I've gotten so many compliments on my blonde hair, and my friends all agree it makes me look younger.

So, if you don't want to go gray, then find a good hairdresser who really knows their color techniques to color your hair - this is something you don't want to do at home, at least at first. You want to match the undertones in your hair (warm or cool) with your skin tone - blonde, for instance, can be warm or cool blonde, and your skin tone determines which one is right for you. This is why you want a good hairdresser to help, and not do it yourself at home with what looks good on the package.

I go to an esthetician and get facials and microcurrent treatments and I think this makes a huge difference. You don't have to go to a professional, but skincare does become more important as you get older - a Sephora near you would be a good place to consult if you don't want to go the professional route.

As you get older, your body will change shape even if you exercise - you want to dress for the body you have now and not the one you had at 25. You Look Fab is my favorite fashion website.

This is not specifically fashion or beauty related but it spills over - Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! I am a sleep evangelist. It is the fountain of youth and energy, and as you get older, you simply cannot skimp on sleep the way you did in your 20's. I got treated for my sleep apnea and I look 20 years younger and my skin is so much healthier - if you have insomnia, or unrefreshing sleep, go to your doctor and insist on a sleep test.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:30 PM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Previously from me.

And, best possible shoes you can afford, polished regularly.

And regular cardio, flexibility, and strength workouts!!!! More important now than ever!!!
posted by jgirl at 2:03 PM on February 21, 2018

I follow the blog Girls of a Certain Age, which is targeted at women 30+. Kim has a distinct fashion aesthetic that may not be yours, but I do get ideas from her and like that she's made a point to include extended sized brands in her posts.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:04 AM on February 22, 2018

Thanks so much for all your answers, some great tips there. I was reading about retinol too and some other skin routines but need some guidance - I'll also book a dermatologist!
posted by longjump at 2:16 AM on February 23, 2018

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