Beauty & Anti-Aging
Embrace Your Beauty at Every Age and Love Yourself

Embrace Your Beauty at Every Age and Love Yourself

Advice from beauty experts on how to make the most of your looks at any age
By Alison Broderick

In a day and age where 50 seems to be the new 30, there are endless methods and tricks for turning back the clock. Some habits like your daily beauty routine may feel effortless, while sticking to an exercise regimen can take a bit more discipline. While it is impossible to avoid the aging process altogether, there are things you can do in your own life to make the experience more enjoyable. However you choose to take on the inevitable aging process, remember that age is just a number, and graceful aging begins when you can embrace the journey and not merely endure it.

Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars trying to look as if they've managed to dodge Father Time. And thanks to preventative care (staying active and maintaining good health), and an array of fillers, injectables and cosmetic surgery, many people are able to turn back the clock for a few years. But according to Tammy Stokes, founder and owner of West Coast Workout and author of "Live Your Healthiest Life," graceful aging is best defined through acceptance of your age, not defiance. "By taking good care of yourself and respecting your mind, body and spirit, age becomes less important," she says. "What really matters is how you feel throughout the process."

Acceptance begins when people learn to embrace their age, while still striving to look and feel their best. "To age with grace encourages future generations about the many possibilities of life after 50," says Alethea Tinkle, president of Bella by Alethea, a boutique and medspa. "A new career or business, travel, adventure and empowerment are all lovely signs of graceful aging."

There is definitely an art to dignified aging. Most of us are familiar with the ways in which we can incorporate healthy lifestyle habits—plenty of rest and water, healthy diet, regular exercise—but what about the deeper meaning of aging gracefully? This list provides some inspiration on how to truly appreciate the process.

  1. Be practical. "You're not going to look 20 at age 50. Acceptance is at the core of aging well," notes Alyson Hoag, founder of Authentic Beauty. Setting realistic goals is a top priority, otherwise you will lack the confidence that embodies graceful aging. "Stay focused on the here and now—not what you looked like 20 years ago," she says. "It's all about being true to the person you are today.
  2. Live in the moment. What if you had a wonderful life and never knew it? Worrying about the future or wishing circumstances were different only causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Remain grateful for this day—it's the only one you have.
  3. Celebrate you. "If you want to enjoy a better quality of life and age with grace, celebrate the person you are," Stokes says. All too often, we participate in negative self-talk that results in a feeling of inadequacy. Focus on forgiving, accepting and loving yourself. Be kind to the "little child" within.
  4. Work with children. If you want to stay young, play young. Whether you volunteer your time at a pediatric hospital or lead a Sunday School class at church, children have the ability to teach adults what truly matters. "Seeing the world through a child's eyes helps us find the goodness in life," Hoag says. "It also allows us to tap into the enthusiasm we had as children."
  5. Keep it real. "Nothing is sexier than authenticity," Stokes notes. Live a life that resonates with your inner being. When you discover your authentic self, material things lose their value and people see the real you. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us." Let your inner beauty shine through.
  6. Laugh often. Learn to let go and laugh—it keeps your soul young. "Stay lighthearted and maintain a sense of humor. Nothing is more unattractive than grumpy old men and women," Stokes says. The health benefits of laughter include lower blood pressure, stress relief, memory improvement and oxygenation of the blood. Smile and laugh often—your body and soul will love you for it.
  7. Get creative. In her book "Aging Artfully," author Amy Gorman challenges conventional perceptions of old age by documenting the lives of 12 women ages 85 to 105, who are actively engaged in the visual and performing arts. Through these profiles, Gorman reveals the gratifying and youthful nature of creative expression. It's true: exercising the right brain well into the golden and bonus years keeps life fun, fresh and full of excitement.
  8. Enjoy meditation. "Finding your Zen or calm place to just be is revitalizing for anyone. I enjoy quiet time alone in the morning to journal, read and sip my coffee," Tinkle says. Meditation helps you to relax physically and mentally, putting aside the day's worries and delighting in the moment. What's more, it keeps you spiritually centered and connected throughout the day.
  9. Keep love alive. "Love helps you stay young," Stokes says. "If you are married, behave as if you are dating your spouse. If you are single, get out and mingle. Learn to give and receive love fully." When we give ourselves completely to another person, we become vulnerable—an essential component of intimacy.
  10. Find your passion. Oftentimes, busy lives keep us from pursuing our passions. If you have something on your bucket list, make time for it. "Find ways to play and laugh every day. I believe aging gracefully comes from your state of mind; when you act young, it shows on your face," Hoag says. Travel, take piano lessons or sign up for a triathlon. Whatever you do, enjoy all that life has to offer.
  11. Be healthy. While diet has everything to do with good health, there is more to a healthy lifestyle than food. Other ways to maintain your overall well-being include staying fit, caring for your skin and eating super foods. "Do not rely on aesthetics to make you beautiful. Good health is natural beauty guaranteed," Stokes says.
  12. Build intimacy. We desire meaningful relationships based on honesty, respect, love, trust, appreciation and togetherness. While we have a primal need for sex, we yearn for a deeper connection with those we love. We need intimacy. Work on improving your relationships, from your significant other, to your friends and family, to your Higher Power. Cultivate togetherness through conversations, kind gestures and romance.
  13. Stay grateful. When we are mindful of the blessings in our lives, we invite more of the same. In the book, "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie, she says: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Things You Can Do To Lose 10 Years

Graceful aging is all about learning to accept and embrace the overall process. But let's face it: We all want to look and feel a few years younger. These tips will keep you looking great at any age:

  1. Whiten your teeth. A beautiful smile is worth a thousand words. "Smile from the inside out," Hoag advises. Enhance your grin with teeth whitening—people are drawn to those who smile a lot. And, a gorgeous grin just gets better with age.
  2. Update your hairstyle. We've all seen it: old lady hair. Whether your thinning, straggly hair hasn't seen shears in 20 years, or you've maintained an outdated short 'do for too long, it's time to get current. First, flip through a magazine or browse the Internet to find a hairstyle you like (age-appropriate, of course). Then, take the picture to your hairstylist and talk it over with him or her. Be open to suggestions regarding cut and color.
  3. Dress it up. People certainly take notice when they see an older man or woman who is stylish. On the other hand, they never fail to notice someone who is dressed too young for his or her age. Don't be the latter. "Dress appropriately for your age," Stokes says. "Choose what looks best on your body, even if it's not always the latest fashion trend."
  4. Makeup trends. While it's fun to follow some makeup trends, others can age you. Eyeliner, when done right, can add a sexy allure to your eyes, however, too much can make you look like a teenager.
  5. Pamper your skin. Beautiful skin makes a world of difference in your appearance (think Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Catherine Zeta-Jones). Wear sunscreen religiously, drink plenty of water (divide your weight by two—that's about how many ounces of H2O you should consume daily) and enjoy regular facials, microdermabrasion and peels (consult your dermatologist first). Here's another tip: "Avoid washing your face in the shower with hot water, as heat is drying and aging," Tinkle says. "Instead, use cool water from the tap or, even better, spring water from a bottle."
  6. Go for it! (cosmetic surgery, that is) There is a fine line between cosmetic procedures that look natural—as if you've been on a relaxing trip for several days—and plastic surgery that looks completely artificial—as if you've been freefalling from a plane. Set your sights on the former. There are all sorts of options for a newer you including Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and laser therapy, or more invasive procedures like a facelift, breast lift, neck lift or eyelid surgery. Do your homework and consult a qualified plastic surgeon if you decide to go this route.


The Glam Squad

The city’s top beauty artists dish on what’s hot and what’s not

leslie-hinesLESLIE HINES
Richie Arpino Salon

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
Too much foundation. Foundations and concealers should be used sparingly to even out skin tone and imperfections, not to create a mask. If you feel like your foundation is settling in an unflattering way try a new formula or brand. There are so many options, and the one you're using may not be the right finish for your skin.

Favorite drug store beauty product
I have two favorites and I cannot choose one over the other. The first is the original Oil of Olay moisturizer. It absorbs into the skin beautifully and keeps you hydrated all day. The second is Loreal Infallible 8 Hour lip gloss. Great wear time, stays glossy and doesn't dry out your lips.

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
Sugar. Gasp! I know, evil sugar. But mixed with a few drops of water it makes a great physical exfoliator, especially for the lips.


jessica-kisielewksiJESSICA KISIELEWSKI
Institut' DERMed Spa

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
Not matching their foundation color properly. Having a professional color match would be best, but if that is not possible, here are some tips for natural looking color:
(1) Choose three to four colors of foundation that are the closest to your skin's natural undertone. (2) Swipe the colors on your jaw line. You want to make sure that the color you choose blends seamlessly with your skin color. (3) Daylight is the best light to be in when choosing a foundation color. (4) Try using a mineral powder foundation. It's easier to match your color and less messy.

Favorite drug store beauty product
Maybelline's Lash Stiletto liquid eyeliner in black. It's so easy to put on and it lasts all night.

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
I have about seven different shades of red lipstick. It's my signature look and a girl's gotta have options, you know?


alyson-hoagALYSON HOAG
Authentic Beauty

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
Choosing the wrong foundation. There are a ridiculous amount of choices and you have to make sure you choose the right product for what you are trying to achieve. The goal is to have your skin look clear, smooth and even. The color choice is incredibly important. I recommend always trying on the product in different kinds of light, especially natural light, and take a picture of yourself. It should look like you are not wearing any foundation. Blend well.

Favorite drug store beauty product
I had to do a story for the AJC on drug store brands and could not find anything without pretty harsh chemicals - Burt's Bees lip tint is it.

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
How minimal it is. How many brushes I use; brushes are the key to everything. Also the amount of lip glosses I have.


kaitlyn-reamesKAITLYN REAMES
William David Salon

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
Their choice of face wash. It is a common thought to try to remove every single bit of dirt and oil with harsh chemicals, but that is not always a good thing. If too many natural oils are stripped, your face will overcompensate and produce more; hence more breakouts. Instead, try a more natural-based face wash or cleansing lotion.

Favorite drug store beauty product
L'Oreal telescopic mascara. I get separated lashes along with fullness and increased length.

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
Most people are surprised to find Final Seal in my makeup bag. Final Seal is a setting spray that keeps your makeup intact all day long with minimal touch-ups. This product is an absolute must.



stephanie-green-bassSTEPHANIE GREEN BASS
(Plá) Beauty

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
I often see women following trends instead of following what makes them "feel" pretty.  Don't get me wrong, trends are a wonderful way to step outside of your box, but use it to your advantage and find more ways to complement your style. For instance, a cat eye shape may be on trend for eyeliner but if you have smaller eyes, you might want to try a different technique.

Favorite drug store beauty product
Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes are a great, inexpensive drug store product that you can use to take off your makeup if you need a little extra help.

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
I like to keep a small travel size tea candle in my makeup bag that I can pull out any where when I'm on the go.  I like to take a little quiet time for myself when things are getting hectic. When you feel centered on the inside your inner beauty can shine on the outside.


evie-delaneyEVIE DELANEY
The Nouveau Clinic

What is the most common beauty mistake you see women make? What do you recommend instead?
Poorly shaped eyebrows are the number one beauty mistake I see with women today.  A weak over-tweezed brow can make you look tired and years older because it does not "lift" or frame the face properly.   I recommend having your brows professionally shaped by a trained cosmetic professional.  If you suffer from misshapen brows that just won't grow back, permanent cosmetic artistry provides an affordable and immediate way to recapture what you've lost. A good permanent cosmetic artist can work with you to create the proper brow for your face shape.

Favorite drug store beauty product
Falsies Mascara by Maybelline.  It makes even the skimpiest lashes look fabulous!

What would someone be surprised to see in your makeup bag?
Disposable mini pre-pasted toothbrushes. I spend the day in close proximity to my clients, so I am very aware of fresh breath.