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 face (aqua eye, matte coral lip): Nars Eye Paint in Solomon Islands, £18.50 as a thick, blunt-ended eyeliner (no cat flicks) contrasted with MAC Lipstick/Matte in So Chaud, £16.50.

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.

The outfit: Diane von Furstenburg shirt from Precious London. Kingfisher earrings from Toolally (available online HERE).

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.

The outfit: Striped sequin top with detachable shirt tail detail from Sportmax Code at Precious London and Kate’s own MiH jeans.

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.

The outfit: Diane von Furstenberg ‘swallow print’ dress from Precious London. Peacock earrings Toolally (available HERE). Shoes Kate’s own (vintage Prada).

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:

59 thoughts on “This Is My Style: fashion & beauty ideas for all ages

  1. Love, love, love your initiative! It could equally be entitled ‘Ban Beige’ for the way this collection makes we women over 50 stand up and be counted! I’ll be all eyes for the next instalment. Keep up the work for all us women over 50 who are only just beginning life (in my case, I’m just starting a new skincare company as I finish a diploma in organic skincare formulation). We need style guides that show us how to be in the spotlight confident with ourselves and our version of beauty and not feel we should blend into the background in beige, nor stand out, as you say, in some lurid what the hek outfit!

  2. Fabulous piece Ladies! Kate you look wonderful in all the pix.

    This is a great initiative. More please!

  3. WOW! How refreshing to see other older women in statement pieces and COLOUR! I’m a huge fan of colour, the brighter the better. I’m ALL over that striped shirt in the first photo and the swallow dress too… both are gorgeous. I’m also really loving the bright touches of makeup in the first photo. She looks fabulously on point.

  4. Oh my this is wonderful! Rarely do I want ever piece, that DvF blouse and make-up ❤️ Such inspiration, thank you.

  5. My first thought on this was the make-up. I am so happy to see fresh, glowing, clean skin as opposed to the massive coverage younger women favour these days. Or worse no make up at all on older models! Although there is gorgeous bright colour on both lips & eyes, the complexion remains natural which is the key to a flattering & wearable make up at any age! This look will hold throughout a long, busy day never sink into creases & go through to an evening out with a quick lip refresh!
    Kudos to the make up artist on a beautiful job.
    The clothes are lovely too, especially the DVF Swallow dress, but as a Make-up Artist I appreciate this holding the entire look together.

  6. Great , just what we need this Spring. I agree entirely about colour age and style. Its taken me time to start experimenting with wearing colour again since my hair went white , but with encouragment like yours i’m on my way many thanks.

  7. Love the the brights from DVF – we need more positive images like this in the press to encourage women to Go For It…enjoy clothes and the lift that the right styles and colours can bring to your everyday.

  8. This is great! Love the panache and inspiration. The thing that’s great about the clothes is that they are not simply right for FABsters like us; they’d look great on somebody 20 years younger, or older. They are stylish but also truly ageless. More, more, more please!

  9. I’m after colour for a dress to be worn at a wedding on an island this summer. Have looked and looked and failed so far. Love the D v F dress, but too expensive, sadly.

  10. I like the bright colours and stripes, less so the coordinated makeup shown here. She has beautiful hair and looks good in these clothes with a tan. Come warmer brighter weather, not the hail I experienced yesterday noon, I’m sure we shall all look good in the complexion warming corals and reds not to mention the aqua tones. Keep showing us real women including yourself Alyson looking this attractive.

  11. You knocked it out of the park, as they say on this side of the Atlantic. Your post comes to life with the photographs.

    I didn’t even realize what was going on with this older women as a model phenomenon… a hidden attitude maybe that it was really just a novelty, a diversion or a passing trend. I definitely buy into the attitude that women want to look good and to still experiment as they age… not necessarily try to “freeze dry” their youth. Thanks.

    1. Heidi, thank you for explaining me that word from a previous post; I have been trying to write my thank you note but I couldn´t post anything. My apologies for using this space for a personal comment.

  12. This is why I love your blog, Alyson!! Seeing women our own age looking fabulous is the whole goal of my blog too!! And sure, it’s fun to try out different styles, but it’s also nice to be realistic!! My mom (the 70’s model on my blog) sometimes gives me the eye roll when I suggest something that is out of her comfort zone, but otherwise she’s a great sport about it!!
    What a great post today—thanks!

  13. I love everything shown here, especially the swallow print dress! The model’s long hair is beautiful, too, and a testimony to the fact that mature women can wear long hair beautifully.

  14. Oh! Bravo! What a post, what a blog! So happy that you continue to put such stunning, validating content out there for us to enjoy.
    Thank you!

  15. What a great blog! What wonderful style and color! I absolutely love your new thoughts and ideas. As a 70 something, grey haired woman who loves looking good, your blog this morning has given me great inspiration. Thanks so much!

  16. Thank you for yet another great post. But it confirms my suspicion that the one thing all the best looking, stylish people have in common is fabulous hair. From a sad FAB girl with skinny locks 🙁

  17. Oh man she looks GORGEOUS! And I too have noticed I’m wearing more color with my gray hair. Not so vivid – blue eyes and fair eyebrows demand muting, but still, way more than when my hair was blonde. I love this Alyson. I wish I could model for you! I guess that’s kind of conceited, apologies, but I’m 60 so I’m also going to use the Old Lady Who Doesn’t Give A Damn card;). This is great. Looking forward to more.

  18. I love it. Thank you for putting this together. These 50 somethings look sooooooo good (so did I at 50!) and I love to see that all of us over 50 can be free to still experiment and push the ‘norms’. I’m 70 and feel as tough this type of philosophy wasn’t out there when I was 50 or 60 but I can still get in on the fun without having a huge disposable income. I wish someone would show how to wear eyemakup when one has ‘lost’ eyelids! Thanks again.

  19. After a morning knocking myself out with spring cleaning ( It was a beautiful day for it ) this post was a real treat !
    Kate has beautiful hair and skin, and the make-up is just right ( except maybe the blue eye-shadow )
    The swallow print dress is so my kind of thing, I love it. Lust lust !

  20. Oh, what a great feature! She looks fabulous in each shot. And that DVF dress is amazing…. I find I’ve been wearing more lip color lately; it really gives me a lift.

  21. Me again….my website is updated. Please take a look because my dresses are designed by me (age 57) and worn by women aged 30-80, with 50+ being the main customer base. Many of these customers think they need to go neutral but really SHINE when in a bold print, and slightly above the knee hemline. Thanks for drawing peoples attention to that fact.

  22. What a brilliant article!Very inspiring- I feel like rummaging in my makeup now and having a play. Going grey is quite challenging especially if you previously had very dark haired pale skin-the total opposite. I hope this is a regular feature. Love the regular article in the Sunday Times magazine for ageless fashion too. Thank you!

  23. Brilliant! After two decades of tinting I’ve made the decision to let the grey grow through. And these amazing colours (make up and clothes) are just what I need as inspiration.

  24. THANK YOU for this wonderful post! I’m over 60, and absolutely LOVE color in my clothing now that my hair is totally gray. It’s so much fun to wear new shades of color that I wouldn’t have even looked at back when I was a natural blonde-bolder jewel tone colors really set off the gray mane. Keep up the great work Alyson-your blog is amazing & inspiring!!

  25. Oh this is amazing! Everything about it is on point – the styling, the colours, the make-up is not too young and not ageing (Kate has amazing skin #officiallyjealous). Love the whole vibe and the work that has gone into it. So inspiring.

  26. Lovely feature. Great clothes and Kate looks amazing – especially in the DvF dress. My favourite for this season.

  27. The makeup is crazygreat! I’m in the market for a more natural look, and boy, did you nail it. I’m taking notes on the products.
    This is a pleasure to see that someone is watching out and guiding us older women.

    I’m loving this post and everything in it! Damn. If I had hair like her’s, I would go gray too!!

  28. Hair cut and colour on Saturday. Not knowing what my natural colour is anymore after years of colouring, I have decided to ease myself in gently and cultivate a grey streak in my fringe to see how it goes – The idea is to look funky, not fugly 🙂 . Hopefully it wont annoy me too long before it looks okay – wish me luck!

    1. Oh, I so wish you luck, Sarah. Growing out my tired old tint was the best beauty move I ever made. People have actually told me I look younger, grey! The funny thing is, you don’t realise how harsh a colour build-up makes your skin look. We all need a bit of brightness as we get older. But who knew – we’re carrying perfect light under a bushel of brassy old tint? Go for it – and enjoy the compliments!

      1. Many thanks Vicci – I have a crop so hoping it wont take too long! If all goes well, it might extend to a whole head of hair!

  29. What a fresh, inspiring and bold post! Congrats Alyson and Kate! Your make up ideas specially for us “grondes” are very helpful and prove that color is not just for younger women but works superbly on 45+ers as well. Nothing is more refreshing than a bright red lipstick on a bare face and as this post proves, turquoise eye shadow and orange lipstick work wonders as well

  30. I love this. The clothes, make up, hair are fantastic. Kate looks amazing. Please do more of these! I feel inspired to have more fun with make up and clothes. Thank you!

  31. Wonderful post! You ladies really nailed it. I am 57 years old and when I put myself together in the morning, I don’t dress for my number 57. I dress with an image of how I want to express myself using my clothing, hair and makeup.

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