Greying hair, having to wear reading glasses and a lack of appropriate fashion for older women are often cited as reasons about why our self-esteem plummets as we age, but why are older British women amongst the harshest critics of ageing?
Helen Venables, Managing Director of colour analysts and personal stylists House of Colour argues that whilst many countries in Asia and Africa celebrate ageing, in this, and many other Western countries, physically ageing is often thought as something to deplore rather than celebrate. “Women really seem to struggle with the realisation that their weight, skin and physical appearance are changing. Most of us know being active is important to combat heart disease, diabetes, and dementia, but how many of us think about the link between positive emotional stimulation and good ageing?”
“A positive outlook is thought to be able to add up to eight years to a life. We need to celebrate ageing not deny or feel degraded by it. So what if what you happily wore ten years ago doesn’t suit you anymore? Your changing shape and age does not have to mean you need to cover up in frumpy, dark or dull outfits. Really understanding what suits us in terms of both our style personalities and wow colours is key and the right coloured make-up is a great way of putting the contrast back into natural colouring.”
Every decade or so, many of us change the way we dress because the physical and psychological drivers to keep us feeling attractive and healthy change with age. “The fact is our skin may become drier and less elastic and new fine wrinkles appear, our pigmentation may be altered but those are just the trophies of someone who has experienced life and is quietly confident. Colour helps us look our best and becomes even more important as we age. We should note that our colour season – that is whether cool or warm colours and brighter or softer tones suit us – won’t change. But the wow colours that suit us the most within our colour season may change as we age.”
Helen offers her top tips on how to feel comfortable in your own skin and to feel confident as you age.
Invest in yourself
Don’t feel guilty about spending well-earned money and time on yourself, your make-up and clothes.
Make sure it fits
Wear clothes that fit you properly – comfortable doesn’t mean frumpy it means looking and feeling great, and flat shoes don’t have to be boring.
Get your bra size measured regularly. Many women stick to the same size for years when in fact our bra size may change. A correctly fitting bra will do wonders for your posture which can make us feel and look younger and more confident.
Buy well-fitting jeans
You are never too old for a good pair of jeans and there are so many styles on the market that there is sure to be one that makes you feel confident.
Your reading glasses don’t have to age your face. Glasses can actually frame the face to make you look much younger – take a friend in to help you choose your next pair of glasses, and take advice from the professionals.
Suit it to you
The wrong colours can wash you out as you age so choose clothes, scarves and jewellery close to your face in a colour that really suits you. The older we get the brighter we may need to go – disappearing into soft colours often just makes us look older.
Swap it out
It could be time to try a new make-up look. Swap your heavy matte foundation for a dewy light-reflecting foundation. Wake up your face with a brighter lipstick, use a soft eyebrow pencil for definition and add a light glow by using the right blusher to suit your skin. Avoid shimmery and sparkly shadows as they tend to accentuate fine lines more than matte colours.
Wear colours that suit you by having your colours analysed by a professional. Pick your outfits based on the colours and tones that lift your face and make you feel good. If you are always complimented when you wear a certain outfit – it will boost your confidence every time you wear it.
Visit House of Colour for further tips.Last modified: January 8, 2021