Nancy Goldblatt is The Wardrobe Wizard of Baltimore. She is a trained personal stylist and image coach and has been a Certified Color 1 Color Consultant for 25 years. She gives personal and professional consultations and writes a popular blog. One of Nancy’s favorite refrains is: “Say goodbye to those nothing-to-wear moments.”
Recently I interviewed Nancy to find out exactly why so many women in their 40’s and beyond begin to feel ‘invisible’ as they mature.
1. I know one of your favorite anonymous quotes is: “Young people are works of God, and older people are works of art.” Can you tell us what you mean by that?
When we are young our hormones help keep our skin moist and smooth, our eyes bright, our hair full and lustrous. A young person looks naturally pleasing, no matter what they wear. As we age, our hormone levels decrease. We may begin to feel more like a beast than a beauty. But, we can still look vibrant and visually pleasing–it just takes more conscious effort.
Start by thinking of yourself as an unfinished work of art. You can immediately create a visually pleasing palette by looking at your body’s own natural coloring and framing yourself with those colors. Repeat the colors in the clothing and accessories you wear. For example, find earrings that are the same color as your eyes, or a handbag the same color as your hair. Our eyes naturally search for repetition, and when we see colors repeated, it is pleasing to our brain. See my blog post Do You Feel Like a Beauty or a Beast,/ part two
2. Do you think most women realize the changes that occur with their appearance as they approach their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond?
Because of our youth-obsessed culture, we are bombarded with images of photo-shopped, perfect- looking young women. Consequently as women age, they are often hyper-aware of wrinkles, sagging and dry skin, thinning hair, and weight gain. Most women feel confused about what to do, because there is so much conflicting advice available and much of this advice is bad.
I was happy to see your new book, Quintessential Style, co-written with Color 1 Image Consultant, Janna Beatty. It contains so much good information in such an easy-to-read format.
Another book with good information is Dressing Smart for Women, by Joanna Nicholson. Joanna Nicholson is the co-founder of Color 1 Associates. She trained me.
3. Can you tell us a few of the things that begin to change our appearance as we age?
As we age, our eyebrows often get thinner, or they become so light they almost disappear. Our eyebrows give our faces expression. I like using a pencil (be sure to use little strokes) to fill in the missing areas of hair. Then I use a powder eye shadow (or eyebrow powder) over the pencil and blend with an eyebrow comb.
Another challenge we all face is a shift in our hair color. When over 30% of our hair turns grey, we begin to lose the contrast between skin and hair. This lack of contrast can make us appear washed out, tired, and older.
What can we do about greying hair?
This depends on your coloring, the length of your hair, and how much time and money you are willing to spend. For more details see my blog post Should I Color My Greying Hair?
4. Can you give us maturing women some tips on how to look fresher and more youthful without going to extremes?
-Use a sunscreen with an spf of 30 every day, even in the winter. The spf in your makeup is not enough.
-Use alpha hydroxy acid at least once a week on your skin to exfoliate. (Exfoliation immediately freshens the look of skin.)
-Get 6 to 7 hours sleep at night, eat lots of vegetables, exercise regularly.
-Take supplements like vitamin C, grape seed extract, coq 10, fish oil, etc. (Life Extension Foundation, www.lef.org, has lots of good information about supplements and a great monthly magazine.)
-Consider getting injections if you can afford them.* Injections will give you an instantly fresher look.
(I don’t consider injections going to extremes.)
5. Are there some things we might be doing that actually “age us,” rather than complement us?
Things that typically age a woman are:
- Using hair color that is too dark or too light
- Wearing no makeup
- Wearing clothing designed for teenagers
- Wearing clothes that are big and baggy
Another thing that women typically do as they get older is wear pastels. Pastel colors are great for some women, but if pastels were not flattering on you when you were young, they will not be flattering on you as you get older.
6. If you have one piece of philosophical advice for aging gracefully, what would it be?
Learn to understand yourself inside and out. What makes you happy? What feels comfortable? What feels right for you now? What makes you unique?
Learn to love both your strengths and your vulnerabilities. And learn a new way to look at yourself in the mirror. See my blog post: How to Look at Yourself in the Mirror.
You don’t have to look like a model to feel beautiful. But you need good information. Read the two books previously mentioned. Refer to my blog wardrobewiz.com and subscribe for lots of free information on how to look your best, no matter what your age, shape, or size.
*The views and opinions expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).