BEAUTY:

Ev­ery­where you turn mid­dle-aged women are look­ing de­cid­edly less like, well, mid­dle-aged women. Sharon Hunt ex­am­ines why time­less beauty is on for young and old.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

time­less looks and the age­less gen­er­a­tion

Ara­di­ant and barely-there com­plex­ion topped off with lus­cious, lightly-tou­sled locks – celebri­ties such as Julieanne Moore, Michelle Pfeif­fer, Diane Lane, Sharon Stone, Su­san Saran­don, Sally Field and Salma Hayek have this ef­fort­less, modern beauty look down pat. Oh, and did we men­tion that all these ladies are 50-plus? Meet gen­er­a­tion age­less.

There was a time when we women hit a cer­tain age and sud­denly found our­selves rel­e­gated to a style waste­land pop­u­lated by sen­si­ble hair­cuts, caked-on face pow­der and non-event ver­mil­lion lip­sticks.

Not help­ing mat­ters was the down-and- out mes­sage from many beauty brands. Wrin­kles. Grey hair. Quick, cover them, hide them, or make them dis­ap­pear!

(And it seems that con­nec­tion with beauty ad­ver­tis­ing is still a strug­gle. A re­cent sur­vey noted that 91 per cent of women aged 50-70 wished mar­keters would treat them as peo­ple, and not stereo­types.) De­spite the noise, the so-called new gen­er­a­tion age­less are buck­ing the trend and have over­hauled their beauty ap­proach. It’s not un­com­mon nowa­days to ob­serve a glam­orous woman and strug­gle to pre­dict her age sim­ply by ob­serv­ing her style.

A poll by mar­ket­ing com­pany Su­per­Hu­man found that 96 per cent of 40-plus women don’t feel mid­dle-aged. So no won­der we no longer want to style our­selves ac­cord­ing to a num­ber we have no con­nec­tion with.

Vi­brant, lu­mi­nous com­plex­ions have re­placed the ma­ture skin mark­ers of yes­ter­year such as dry­ness or pig­men­ta­tion. Hair is tex­tured and styled ac­cord­ing to cur­rent trends, brows are softly shaded and make-up is sub­tly ap­plied to re­store defini­tion to the fea­tures. A par­tic­u­lar beauty look is be­com­ing less ubiq­ui­tous with the year on your pass­port. More and more, age is re­ally be­com­ing just a num­ber.

So where has the shift in attitude come from? I be­lieve there are a few fac­tors at play: the holis­tic health move­ment and its trickle down into beauty, along­side a less-is-more

ap­proach to styling. The so-called age­less gen­er­a­tion has grown up re­ceiv­ing a loud and clear health mes­sage: you’ve only got one body so you bet­ter look af­ter it. Pri­ori­tis­ing diet, fit­ness and well­ness in the con­stant pur­suit of bet­ter­ing one’s own health po­si­tion has be­come stan­dard prac­tice – and this is ev­i­denced in the bod­ies and faces of ma­ture women ev­ery­where.

The beauty in­dus­try has also evolved to em­brace a well­ness cen­tred ap­proach. No amount of make-up or hair styling can mask poor skin or hair, so both the pro­fes­sional and home-care fo­cus is about preven­tion, nour­ish­ment and re­pair.

Be­yond prod­ucts, the im­por­tance of beauty from within is squarely in the spot­light. En­sur­ing ad­e­quate wa­ter in­take, get­ting enough sleep and eat­ing a rain­bow of fresh foods holds as much im­por­tance as the lat­est su­per skin­care in­gre­di­ent.

Fi­nally, an un­der­stated and frills-free ap­proach to hair and make-up has fallen into gen­er­a­tion age­less’ favour. While many women in years gone by saw beauty as a mask, the cur­rent trend is about nat­u­ral en­hance­ment. It’s no longer about the makeover, but the make-un­der.

A flick of the wrist while wield­ing a heated hair-styling iron and a mist of tex­tur­is­ing spray puts women of all ages on the fast track to un­done style. This is teamed with a barely there com­plex­ion (bless you, tinted mois­turis­ers and BB creams) en­hanced by il­lu­mi­na­tor and capped off with soft­ened mas­cara and nude lips.

For ev­ery­day wear, these face-flat­ter­ing touches are all that’s nec­es­sary. Age­ing grace­fully has never looked so good.

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