Many women stop using makeup after 50 because they realize no product can rewind time. But is that the real purpose of makeup? Join us in conversation with makeup artist Ariane Poole who shares her view of why makeup is important. Enjoy the show!
My guest today is Ariane Poole. Ariane is a professional makeup artist. She has been working with celebrities and real women for over 40 years now. Our community loves her and her brilliant ideas, and I’m happy to have her on the show today.
Ariane has her own line of products, and she has a show on QVC (UK) and TBSN (Australia). She really is sharing her wisdom with women around the world. Welcome to the show, Ariane.
Thank you so much for having me, Margaret. I really love your community as well.
Ariane, you’re always very respectful when you address the issue of aging, and I think this helps greatly when women over 60 start thinking that makeup is not for them anymore. Many do believe that since they can’t look young, there’s no use for makeup. But makeup isn’t about looking young, it’s about feeling great.
So, let’s talk about our view of makeup at each decade of life; how we think about it in our 20s, 30s and so on. I know you talk about this topic at the seminars and workshops that you do. So, let’s start with your view on that whole process.
We always seem to think that makeup is supposed to be making us look younger, and the media boosts this misconception. But it’s not. It’s supposed to make us look great at whatever age we are.
Every age is different, and we all have our plus points at each age. In our teens and 20s, most of us were experimental. We could wear bright blue eye shadow with the green lipstick and orange blusher, and people would just put it down to youth and being experimental – and being just crazy.
As we get towards our 30s, we start becoming more work-oriented and professional, and we want a more polished image. So, out go the wild colors. Instead, we want things that will give us that professional appearance.
I always say to women that the techniques we use to apply our makeup make a huge difference. There are techniques that can make us look older, and ones that can make us look younger. So, for instance, an 18-year-old may be happy if someone told her, “Wow, I thought you were 25.” But, if, at age 50, you’re told you look like 65… well… that’s food for thought.
Yes. We are what we are, but we would like to at least look our age.
I find it very interesting that when you’re younger, you take that aging comment as a compliment. When you’re older, you don’t mind being perceived at your age, and would feel flattered if someone said you look a couple years younger. But none of us want to look older than we need to.
Very true. I think when you’re a teenager and in our 20s, you want to look unique. At that age, you like to experiment and embrace risk. You don’t really care.
When you reach the 30-year mark, the social structures that we live in expect women to look a certain way, so we try to fit in to achieve our career goals. Then we’re 40. What happens then?
In your 30s, you might start a family and have children. In the past, it was common to start a family in your 20s, but that’s not the trend now. Once that happens, you become very time-poor – especially if you’re working and looking after the home and looking after your children. The time you can spend on yourself is narrowed down to next to nothing.
That’s also the time when you start noticing the signs of aging starting to appear. So, you want things that are simplified, that wouldn’t take from your limited time, but you still want to look a bit more youthful. This is a great time to adapt to new techniques that are more age-appropriate.
Then come the 50s. It’s really interesting that many women are terrified of turning 50, but that’s not the case when they’re turning 60. It’s almost like, once they’ve done the 50s, they get to 60 and shout, “Yeah? bring it on!”
The 50s, though, are a challenging time for many women because of the menopause. Your skin is changing in unfamiliar ways that have nothing to do with age and can’t be corrected with anti-age creams.
You can take various supplements and hormone replacement, but you are not going back to when you were 20. So, to solve that problem, you have to look at makeup in a very different kind of way. That’s when less becomes more, but that doesn’t mean no makeup.
It means lighter weight products, sheer weight things, things you can build up, things that you don’t have to plaster on. And after the 50s are gone and we get into our 60s, we feel a slight liberation.
Because we accept and embrace our aging.
Yes, and because communities like Sixty and Me provide fantastic information, not just about cosmetics, but also about yoga, fashion, traveling and so much more. Suddenly, you’re giving off the positive vibe of being 60 years old. I know many people in your community are in their 50s, and they’ve found the right place.
I think we should have probably called it Fifty and Me because the 50s are tough. Not only do your skin and body change, but you go through all those emotional and psychological shifts as well. Many get divorced in their 50s. Children leave home or go to college. You may get downsized or even let go from work.
We can’t ignore ageism in our world. It’s there. It’s at 50 that they start to sell you all these anti-aging products, advertised for the success they can bring you because you’d look 40 again. 50 is really hard.
The 50s are like the teenage years.
Yes, I agree with you.
You’re going through that transition stage that just has to pass. I’ve got friends in their 50s, and sometimes they would rant about things and act irrational, and I know that’s hormonal because they’ll be fine the next day. I went through it as well, and I certainly didn’t sail through it.
That is the worst time in our life, I think, because you feel the most insecure. This is when you use makeup to try and look younger.
Exactly. If you’re going through those hot flushes, the makeup you’re used to doing won’t work for you. Naturally, you get really frustrated, and by the time you hit your 60s, you may think, “Forget it. Why bother?”
Most women go through this not-so-good experience with makeup, though some don’t. But we bother because we want to feel good. If I’m feeling tired, but I can make myself look not tired, then, psychologically, I won’t feel tired.
That’s so true. In our 60s, we know makeup won’t make us look younger. It won’t remove the wrinkles or the bags under our eyes. There are techniques that can help minimize those things, but nothing will remove them.
That’s not what makeup is about, though. It’s about expressing your inner person, the youthful, energetic, vibrant woman that you are. And makeup is really fun. It should be more fun than effort.
Makeup is about enhancing. It’s about bringing out and empowering. It’s not about masking. It’s supposed to give you back that sense of joy you used to have. Of course, not everyone wants to wear makeup, and I’m not here to preach that you should.
There was a Sixty and Me piece not too long ago about Jane Seymour. I’ve worked with her many times, and I know she’s really out there. She is vibrant, vivacious and energetic. Other women I like are Goldie Hawn, and Iris Apfel, whom I recently met. She’s in her 90s now.
But I like these women because they show us that aging is what we make it. We choose how we age. Aside from illnesses, we can choose to make it work.
These women though, they’re not perfect, but they don’t try to hide their wrinkles. Helen Mirren is in her 70s and Judi Dench is in her 80s. Both have defined lines they don’t try to hide. The makeup that they use is playful, empowering and liberating.
And it doesn’t make them look older. In fact, it makes them look fresh and vibrant, which is their natural essence. If makeup helps you to bring out that essence of you, then by all means, embrace it. If it’s something you don’t need, then that’s ok, too.
Actually, I think that once you get in your 60s, you can try experimenting again. This time, with techniques and products that can give you a youthful look. For instance, I put some green eye shadow on the other day and it was great. People loved the look.
I saw a lady the other day when I was out shopping, and she was definitely in her late 60s maybe even early 70s. She had this blue eye shadow on, but rather than making her look like an old lady, she looked sensational.
So, yes, you can be experimental. You can try a colored liner or a brighter lipstick. You don’t have to be clown-like, but you can have those accents of color that are really nice.
Makeup is just another accessory, isn’t it? It’s just another thing that you wear like a necklace or a scarf. It’s another way to express your personality.
Some people like to be natural because that’s how they feel comfortable. Others like to wear a lot of bling, and that’s great, too. We’re all different, and we shouldn’t impose our tastes on other people.
People do ask me why we bother with the makeup tutorials, and that’s why. We may be in our 60s, but we want to be able to express ourselves with makeup. We like to have fun with color and experiment with different products.
I’m not saying that all women must start using makeup. But if makeup makes you feel good and confident about yourself, then why not?
It’s all about positive aging. Thank you, Ariane, this was a great conversation. Take care!
You too, Margaret. Bye!
Are you interested in makeup? Why? Have you thought of makeup as a tool to look younger? What about a tool to have fun with? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.