Tired of seeing older models in unflattering, myxomatosis pink eyeshadow and clothes that no one wants to wear (think couture prices or cheap crap), beauty writer Vicci Bentley and I decided to get off our backsides and do something about it. Welcome to the inaugural That’s Not My Age: This Is My Style fashion and beauty fandango. Brought to you by a team of FAB women (aged Fifty And Beyond) who want to look good, as opposed to young, and want to carry on experimenting with style. The aim being to look cool, not care in the community. Fortunately, gorgeous, talented Kate Evans, 53, owner of Precious London boutique in Spitalfields, agreed to be our model. A former fashion buyer for Harvey Nichols and Harrods, Kate has excellent taste – and a shop full of lovely clothes. Read more about Kate in my interview HERE.
Do try this at home:
Wearable summer brights (above)
The nails: Chanel Le Vernis Culte Nail Colour in Coralium, £20 (from May).
The hair: Davines More Inside Dry Texturiser, £19.60 builds body and a soft, easy-going texture each time you need a re-style.
The insight: Co-ordinated colour flashes bring out your features, but don’t dominate.
Kate’s verdict: The new Diane von Furstenberg collection this season looks so fresh with Jonathan Saunders at the helm. I love the bright striped shirt and the swallow print (dress below). I feel as if I’ve been wearing black all winter and am happy to try out some more colour.
Add sparkle and glow: the less-is-more look that says summer
The face (glowing skin and sparkling eyes): Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact in Medium, £36 settles to a fresh, translucent matt. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Cheek Palette in Peach, £35 contours cheekbones and gives them a pop of colour. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette, £45 (from April) define with easy-blend translucent tints. Dior’s flexible Pump ‘N Volume Mascara, £25.50 (from May) boosts and grooms lashes. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Tangerine, £19 (from April) tints and conditions lips.
The hair: Davines Your Hair Assistant Blowdry Primer Tonic, £24.80 with its anti-frizz formula protects hair from heat styling, while sealing in bounce and shine.
The insight: It’s on-trend, but barely there makeup is a tough look to pull off. Keep features in focus with transparent colours that accent and define with no hard edges.
Kate’s verdict: I was surprised how much I liked the sequin top from Sportmax Code. I don’t usually wear stripes, so adding a real splash of colour is a welcome departure. I love the look dressed down with my old faithful tomboy jeans from MiH and would definitely wear bold or bright stripes in future.
Deconstructed dressing up: use smudges to take the edge off a more formal look.
The face: Diego Dalla Palma Eye Powder Kajal, £14 smudged next to lashes defines lids – no need for precision lining. Diego Dalla Palma Powder Pink Eyeliner, £14.50 opens eyes, chases red from the waterline and stealth-defines lip edges. Topshop Lips in All About Me, £8 is an intense, velvety-matte pop of colour.
The hair: Davines Volu Hair Mist, £22.80 on roots gives natural-looking movement and ‘oomph’; Ol Oil Potion, £32.40 polishes dryer ends.
The insight: Tint on the ends of ‘growing out’ hair can look dip-dyed. Make a feature of it.
The outfit: Shift dress and pendant necklace both Vilagallo from Precious London.
Kate’s verdict: As my hair has got greyer, I’ve realised that I am better in definite colours, either dark shades like black and navy or stronger clear bright colours. Mid tones, and greys suddenly don’t seem to work as well any longer. I’d definitely consider wearing bright pink or a block coloured dress for a summer party, event or holiday.
Rocking a fab summer frock (with a bold-to-bare contrast)
The face (statement eye, nude lip): Nars Eye Paint in Solomon Islands as before, but this time offset with pinkish beige Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Addison, £28, for a cooler, more urbane look. Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful III Pot Rouge for Cheeks and Lips, £21 on cheek apples pulls it together.
The hair: Davines More Inside Dry Texturiser, as before.
The insight: Black against grey hair can drain colour from skin. Boosting the blush on cheek apples brings back the glow, so lips can stay fashionably nude.
Kate’s verdict: I would not have tried on the Diane von Furstenberg swallow print dress without a little persuasion from Alyson, as I tend to steer away from fitted dress shapes, favouring simple shift dresses. But I did feel very grown up and rather glamorous in it, so that was a nice surprise.
CREDITS: Makeup: Sara Raeburn @sararaeburn. Hair: Gianna Poullou for Ena Salon, London using Davines. Beauty styling and words: Vicci Bentley @craftycrone. Photos: Annie Johnston. Fashion styling and words: Alyson Walsh.
And here are a few more Diane von Furstenberg bits and pieces: