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Reconciling Beauty With The Midlife Beast

midlife beauty tipsSince I crossed into age 50 twelve years ago I have turned time and again to four different books about beauty, fashion and style for midlife and beyond. Honestly, I have read many more than the four. But those four are the ones which resonate and draw me back for refresher reads.

One of those is the book Forever Chic, Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance by Tish Jett. *affiliate link* Her in-depth reporting as a journalist captivated me with the beauty tips information she provides and the sources she interviewed.

I would like to briefly share with you what I have taken away from the book as far as beauty goes. Yes, the book is written for women of a certain age… because in France they have an allure about them and are treasured. She writes, “Self-respect and pleasure have everything to do with it.” Which reminds us that confidence is both, attractive and powerful. The over 50 woman in France seems to have a confidence level many American women still seek.

When writing about a beauty regimen, Jett presents a country where the dermatologist is more important than the makeup artist. This makes perfect sense. The quality of the foundation is critical for any artist to create something special and personal. At 50, I did not understand the importance of exfoliation, or microdermabrasion, or really any skincare past a washcloth and soap. One of Jett’s sources was shocked “to meet mothers outside of France who were encouraging daughters to use cover-up products instead of making appointments with dermatologists to solve simple skin problems.”

She reminds us how heavy makeup sinks into wrinkles and pores and can be aging. “Frenchwomen know that modern makeup is not created to hide lines; its function is to help us look fresh and glow with the appearance of good health. My friends and acquaintances, including my doctors never obsess over wrinkles.” She quotes one doctor who believes it is simply not natural not to have them or to try and hide them.

Here are a few key points:

  1. Foundations should be light and have key light reflecting properties.
  2. Place your warm hands on your face and lightly press where makeup has been applied. It is now perfectly set and immaculately au naturel.
  3. Light powder is acceptable and most Frenchwomen wear it.
  4. Use a primer. It provides radiance in a flash
  5. Frenchwomen most often ask for samples at the beauty counter before purchasing and test drive the products to see if they are for them.
  6. To erase fatigue, put highlighter on the corners of the nose and lips. “Lips tend to turn down over time; light lifts them up.”

I am obviously leaving out a lot of information, I couldn’t possibly include it all! But you can tell, I truly do recommend this book. My copy has been underlined and highlighted repeatedly.

Would you like to share one of you beauty secrets? Do you believe women in France are more confident than American women? Let’s discuss all of this in the comments.

And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Tuesday 21st of June 2016

I swear by organic coconut oil for cleansing. I believe my skin looks healthier since using it. I use tinted lotion for that glow, no heavy makeup. Maybe French women of a certain age seem to have more confidence since, as you say, they are treasured in society. Our culture worships youth. I do agree that confidence (not arrogance) is attractive. Grace, I'd call it. Class, femininity. I do like the French approach to simplicity in style. Elegance. From the style books I've read by and about French women, they don't seem to have our obsession with having more clothes. They have fewer, quality pieces and have learned how to style them. I like that.


Tuesday 21st of June 2016

I don't wear as much makeup as I used to when I was younger and think I look better without it. I use it where I need it but not all over my face. I never heard about the using your hands thing...going to try it...Thanks for the tips!

Sandra Sallin

Tuesday 21st of June 2016

My skin looks so much better when I wear a primer! I love the hands on face tip.


Tuesday 21st of June 2016

I had not heard of placing warm hands to lightly set make-up! Thanks!


Saturday 25th of June 2016

I went to a makeup artist ten years back, and that was what she did to set my makeup- have used it every since!

jodie filogomo

Tuesday 21st of June 2016

It's nice to hear that some people support wrinkles as part of life!! I think if we start showing them more instead of trying to hide them, it'll be more the norm (well, one can hope, at least!) jodie

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