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Screw Beauty Rules

06/05/2016 12:08 | Updated 06 May 2016

One of my most favourite quotes about growing older in the whole world is from the inimitable Joan Collins, who says: "Age is just a number; unless you happen to be a bottle of wine, it's irrelevant".

I couldn't agree more! Not least because of Joan herself, who is the living embodiment of ageless beauty. She looks fabulous, hit her commercial peak in her forties and is never knowingly seen without a perfect face of makeup. What's not to love? In fact, the only thing she's ever said that I truly disagree with is that women over thirty should not wear jeans.

Firstly, regardless of your age there's nothing quite as fabulous as a perfect pair of cut-offs with a white shirt on a summer's day and secondly women in their thirties and beyond are not 'one size fits all' when it comes to style and fashion; it's such a personal expression for us all.

I remember feeling much the same when Nicky Clarke made his famous hair quote 'women over thirty should NEVER wear long hair'.

Why not? Yes, as we age our hair can be prone to becoming brittle but would you tell Jennifer Aniston, who is in her mid-forties and was just voted People's 'most beautiful woman in the world', that she looks old and needs a trim? Not likely!

So, it's not perhaps surprising to hear that my hackles were really raised when a blogger and makeup artist that I admire hugely published a piece on his blog entitled 'appropriate makeup for women in their thirties'.

The article went into considerable detail about how women over thirty should be 'appropriate' with their makeup choices.

As a makeup brand owner aimed at women 35 plus, I know our beauty needs change as we age, and so should our makeup in terms of ingredients, textures and shades that work better for maturing women.

But the idea of 'appropriate' beauty galls me a bit particularly as it makes ageing into such a negative, as though you need to dull down your look.

Why do we feel so determined to suggest 'appropriate' behaviour? And who defines what 'appropriate' is.

Makeup artist Gary Cockerill feels the same. In his beauty bible Simply Glamorous, Gary suggests that at no age should a woman feel she have to turn away from being on trend or glamorous. Much like Zara, the high street retailer renowned for taking catwalk trends and making them accessible for all, his view is that you should simply alter your favourite look or what's in, to suit you. Not disregard it completely.

At Studio10, we take this one step further. We aim to help women focus on the idea of ageless beauty, rather than sticking to arbitrary 'rules' that make us feel less confident and positive about our age.

Take this season's blue eye trend. I see no reason whatsoever why a beautiful flash of blue can't be as gorgeous on a fifty-year-old woman as it is on a twenty-year-old one. It's all about confidence and using the best techniques for older skin; I think it's more about tailoring the look.

What makes me most angry about this sort of attitude is how it affects women themselves. There's an assumption that women stop wanting to have fun with beauty as they get older, but one of the most visited posts makeup artist Lisa Eldridge ever posted was a how-to for women in their fifties (which is fantastic).

What I found in my research is that women do want to wear makeup as they get older, but they aren't always sure about how best to deal with their changing skin. By suggesting they must look 'appropriate' we may end up creating feelings of intimidation and just not bothering.


For me, I say ' if you love it, wear it' and like Joan always says:


'Beauty is not for the young. Looking good and feeling great is the right of any woman no matter what age she is. Beauty is timeless'.


And how you get that beauty? That's up to you. Amen to that!

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