This Is What 40+ Looks Like

Real women who know the secret to aging gracefully

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Liseanne Frankfurt, 42

Jewelry Designer, LFrank

On turning a pastime into a career
“Making jewelry was just a hobby for me as a kid, but when I was a student at UCLA, I started selling pieces because it felt selfish to keep them all. Today I have my own line, LFrank, and I’ve opened a boutique on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California.”
 

On her wash-and-go hair
“I spend very little time on my hair. I cut it twice a year and wash it twice a week. I buy most of my hair products at Whole Foods; EO is one of my favorite brands.”
 

On her secret to doing it all
“I take good care of myself to ensure I don’t get run-down. I make time for Pilates, facials and Hellerwork, which is an intense massage that can kind of hurt but is really powerful. I also meditate and get acupuncture.”
 

On feeling 32—forever
“I may be 42, but I still feel 32. Perhaps everyone reaches their authentic self at a different point, but I reached mine in my early thirties.” 


-As told to Alana Peden

Ari Michelson

Susan Akkad, 49

Senior Vice President, Estée Lauder

On her unlikely career

“In college, I planned to join the Peace Corps. But then I met my now-husband and decided to stay Stateside. I interviewed with magazines and public relations firms and got two offers: editorial assistant at Vogue and PR assistant at Estée Lauder. The Lauder job offered $500 more a year. So that was that.”
 

On being a little bit country
“I grew up near the Blue Ridge Mountains wielding a pitchfork and cleaning out horse stalls. While I love designers like Junya Watanabe, I’m equally happy in jeans and barn boots.”
 

On refusing to be anti about aging
“I enjoy the way I look and try to enhance the positive.”
 

On her dark-circle trick
“I have under-eye shadows but can’t wear traditional concealer because it turns my skin gray. Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach [$24; bobbibrowncosmetics.com] cancels the purple but looks natural.”

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Ari Michelson

Heather Podesta, 43

Lobbyist and Lawyer

On her Capitol Hill career

“Most girls don’t grow up saying, ‘I want to be a lobbyist!’ I never anticipated having the largest woman-owned government-relations firm.”
 

On her three career mantras
“You’re only as good as your last  15 minutes. No job is too small not  to do well. Always, always pay attention to detail.”
 

On making her distinctive style work
“I didn’t really discover fashion until my early thirties. Today I follow certain rules: only one piece of jewelry, nothing too short or low-cut—and tailor everything. And I do love a five-inch heel, preferably Prada.”
 

On her two beauty must-haves
“I need to have my game face on and have it last all day. I’ll often run from a meeting to a work lunch to Capitol Hill to a dinner. Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge Lipstick No. 11 [$24; sephora.com] stays put—and Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo [$32; aveda.com] keeps my salt-and-pepper hair looking fresh.” 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Louise Camuto, 43

Shoe designer

 

On designing with you in mind
“Twelve years ago, my husband and
I started the Camuto Group [which includes Vince Camuto shoes and clothes as well as Jessica Simpson’s line], and we’ve learned a lot about developing a brand. One major void I’ve seen in the shoe market is sophisticated styles that don’t cost $500. So I created my own line, Louise et Cie [vincecamuto.com], which will debut this fall.”
 

On her beauty essentials
“I swear by Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil [$50; clarins.com]; it
hydrates but doesn’t make me break out. I also love Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color in Spanish Pink [$49; nordstrom.com], and I never leave home without a spritz of our signature Vince Camuto scent [$60; vincecamuto.com].”
 

On la dolce vita
“I recently visited Capri, Italy, for the first time and adored its glamour. I was especially taken with a little fish place called La Fontelina, near the beach.”
 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Ari Michelson

Sobia Shaikh, 43

Jewelry Designer

 

On liking bold hues
“I am from Pakistan, where people love color, and the traditional wedding dress is red. Mine was fuchsia, orange and chartreuse. Although I do wear neutrals, particularly black, I usually try to add at least a spot of color, like my yellow Sona Mimosa clutch [$150; islyhandbags.com].”
 

On telling it like it is
“I’m not aiming to win a popularity contest. I’ve always been direct, but at 40, I turned it up a notch.”
 

On her anti-aging strategy
“I believe in maintenance. I use Santa Maria Novella Regenerative Serum [$245; santamarianovellausa.com] and Obagi Nu-Derm Sunshield SPF 50 [$48; dermstore.com]. I get regular facials and peels. And I’m Botox free now, but down the road I’ll probably try injectables.”
 

On her surprising after-hours attire
“My husband hates my flannel PJs, but I’ll never get rid of them. My ideal evening is putting on my pajamas, then eating dinner at 6 pm with my kids and a glass of Malbec.”
 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Hoda Kotb, 48

Today Show co-anchor
 

On optimism
“We think we have all our magic moments when we’re young. You graduate from college, marry, have kids . . . then it’s a long haul to the end. But life is full of possibilities. I got my dream job after 40. I also got sick [with breast cancer], but most important, I got better in my forties. I didn’t know all I was capable of until now.”
 

On the upsides of hard times
“Whatever your cross to bear—cancer, divorce—if you are standing in the end, you earn the four words ‘You can’t scare me.’ I just wrote a book on the topic, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives.”
 

On her beauty picks
“On days off, I apply Keratin Complex Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner [$25; keratincomplex.com]. I also like Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum [$23; drugstores]. But, truly, going for a run has the most positive impact on my skin.”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski
 

Melanie Acevedo

Genevieve Monsma, 41

MORE Beauty Director 

 

On landing in the beauty biz

“I worked evenings at a Dior makeup counter in my twenties—and I intended to become a dermatologist until a writing professor persuaded me to major in English/journalism. So my job now is kind of the culmination of those early interests.”

 

On the downside of an updo 

“I love the look of a cool blonde chignon—Grace Kelly did it best—and this has been my default style for years. Problem is, pulling my hair back has left me thinning at the temples. So I’m relying on Viviscal Extra-Strength hair-growth pills [$50; viviscal.com] and Phylia de M Connect Spray [$60; phyliahair.com] to fill in those sparse spots.”
 

On going natural (sort of) 

“I won’t even venture to the gym without Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige [$70; neimanmarcus.com], Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Blond Clair [$29; chanel .com] and Fresh Sugar Petal Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 [$23; fresh.com]. This is my ‘no makeup’ look.”
 

On her top problem solvers 

“For dry lips or cuticles, it’s Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Balm [$33; elizabetharden.com]. For a zit: bareMinerals Blemish Therapy [$18; sephora .com]. And to smooth Retin-A-induced flakes, nothing beats Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil [$150; oliolusso.com].”
 

On being a beauty therapist  “I enjoy helping solve the skin and hair dilemmas of readers and More staffers. Feel free to tweet me at @genevievemonsma.”

Melanie Acevedo

Efva Attling, 60

Jewelry Designer
 

On her surprising career route

“At 17, I started silversmith school but dropped out to model, then join a band, X Models. We worked with Yoko Ono and ABBA and wrote a pop song that became a Swedish classic. It took me 27 years to get back to designing my own jewelry line [efvaattling.com].”

 

On being a basic beauty

“As I age, I find I wear less makeup, but I can’t live without Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation [$62; giorgioarmanibeauty.com] and Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colors [$48; neimanmarcus.com].”

 

On aging well

“You reach a certain age and are tempted to try this and that. But it costs a fortune. So instead I focus on balance. Don’t party too much. Drink enough water. Do you feel loved? Then you look good.”

 

On being a nontraditional parent

“When my two sons were kids, they wished for a more normal mom. Now they think I’m pretty cool.” 
 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Nicola Maramotti, 48

Brand Ambassador

On her role in the family business

“I married into fashion house Max Mara [her husband, Ignazio, is an executive, and her late father-in-law, Achille, was the founder], but I work as hard as anyone in the company. I oversee our collaboration with Women in Film [a group that fosters women’s entertainment careers], and I run our European retail strategy.”

 

On her skin-care secret
“Honestly, I chalk up my good skin to lucky DNA. But I also drink nearly half a liter of carrot juice with ginger and lemon every day. And I slather on La Mer Moisturizing Cream [$150; nordstrom.com] every night.”

 

On her stay-slim strategy
“I grew up in a sports-oriented family in Hamburg, Germany, and I’ve carried that lifestyle into adulthood. I play tennis, sail, ski, run and golf.”

 

On her favorite times of the day
“I love to start my day eating breakfast with my four children, ages 13 to 18. And I end it by sharing a good bottle of red wine with my husband.”

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Gretta Monahan, 42

Style Expert
 

On being born to beautify

“The fashion and beauty thing came naturally to me. I grew up cutting friends’ hair and sewing prom dresses. Today, I own three hair salon–spas, a clothing boutique and two day spas.” [Get more info at grettastyle.com.]

 

On her all-time favorite product

“Exfoliation is the most underrated beauty treatment; it improves the look of your skin without being invasive. I swear by the June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque [$62; junejacobs.com].”

 

On her post-baby lifestyle change

“I used to rely on caffeine and chocolate to boost my energy. But since I had my son, Kai, two years ago, I’ve gotten into juicing and have taken a more holistic approach to my diet.”

 

On the piece she swears by

“You can’t go wrong with an investment handbag. I prefer a leather carryall that will work for all four seasons. This year I’m splurging on the new small Proenza Schouler PS 13 [proenzaschouler.com].”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Julie Chen, 42

TV Cohost

 

On the value of volume

“I grew up in Queens, New York, and that’s why, to this day, I love big hair. I’m old school and still use Sebastian Shaper Hair Spray [$20; drugstores], which gives me volume and hold.”

 

On being a late bloomer

“I thought I’d be Clair Huxtable [fromThe Cosby Show] in my forties: married with five kids and a career. But once I got on the journalism fast track, I accepted that marriage and kids weren’t in store for me. Then, at 34, I fell in love and quickly married [CBS president and CEO Les Moonves]. At 39, I was pregnant.”

 

On getting older—and wiser

“Life gets fuller and richer. Yes, your body changes, and you have to work harder to keep in shape. But the benefit of being wiser makes it worth it.”

 

On her anti-aging mentor

“I used to watch my mother lie in bed rubbing her hands together, then pressing them to her face. She said it prevented lines. She’s 79 years old today and doesn’t have a single wrinkle.”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Photograph: Melanie Acevedo

Veronique Pittman, 48

Philanthropist

On being an activist

“As an eco-entrepreneur, I use design to help -people form a deeper connection to the earth. Global Goods Partners [globalgoods-partners .org], of which I’m a trustee, -pro-vides artists in developing areas with a fair trade online store.”


On her low-key beauty regimen
“I’m not a slave to beauty. I just use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap everywhere [$17; drugstores].”


On her fashion influences
“My father is Eurasian and casual, my mother French and stylish. But the person who most influenced my personal style was my grandmother, who favored chic but comfy Moroccan caftans and Peruvian-Inca-style jewelry.”


On her anti-aging secret
“I probably don’t deserve to look like I do. I don’t sleep enough, and I enjoy my vices, especially Casa Dragones Tequila. But I don’t worry about it. I go dancing as much as possible and hope my passion for life shows through.”


-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski
 

Melanie Acevedo

Rhona Samuels, 46

Giorgio Armani regional makeup artist 

 

On discovering the beauty industry
“I used to assist [news anchor] Hugh Downs, and when we’d go to the makeup chair before he went on air, I’d linger, asking for tips. Then I started to do my friends’ makeup. I finally decided to turn cosmetics into a career.”
 

On makeover miracles
“I love meeting women who are re-inventing themselves as a result of divorce, job hunting or just because they’re aging. The right makeup can boost your confidence.”
 

On her good-looks essentials
“I can’t live without Armani Designer Lift Foundation [$65; giorgio
armanibeauty-usa.com] or the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush [$119; beauty.com].”

 

On her anti-aging secrets
“I run three miles daily with 2.5-pound weights. And I’ve replaced soda with green tea. But I love to cook. I’m Jamaican and am all about the spicy food. My specialty is jerk chicken.”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski
 

Melanie Acevedo

Susan Sweet, 47

G.M. of Neutrogena

 

On boosting girl power
“I am on the Board of Step Up Women’s Network in Los Angeles and Cosmetic Executive Women in New York, both of which support an important topic to me--mentoring young girls and women. The former reaches girls in underserved, inner-city communities, the latter supports young women starting out in the beauty industry. It’s very rewarding to help someone find her way.”

 

On her one skin essential
“Working for Neutrogena has motivated me to dramatically increase my use of sunscreen. I wear Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen [$13; drugstores] and Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Compact Powder Foundation [$12; drugstores].”

 

On taking a time-out
“I work a lot, so my guilty -pleasure is stopping by my local coffee shop instead of just rushing into the office. Then I enjoy my early-morning caffeine, walking the beach at sunrise.”
 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski 

Photograph: Melanie Acevedo

Agnes Landau, 49

Senior VP of Global Marketing for Clinique 

 

On choosing the beauty biz “I grew up in Puerto Rico, and makeup is a big part of my culture; I adore it. I moved to New York to get my MBAand because I wanted to work with the big guys in the beauty business.”

On her product picks “Red lips are my signature. So my must-have is Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Chunky Cherry [$16; clinique.com].”

On getting dressed “My favorite piece is a purple Prada jacket. Everyone in New York always wears black, but I like a bit of color.”

On her antiaging strategy“Jogging keeps me in shape. I also exfoliate my face twice a day with a washcloth, use Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus [$67; clinique.com] and wear black eyeliner to keep my eyes looking sharp. Also, I laugh a lot.”

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Melanie Griffith, 42

Indoor-cycling teacher

 
On switching gears
“I used to be a lawyer. But about five years ago, I decided to check out a new indoor-cycling studio called Soul Cycle [soulcycle.com] and fell in love. On my 40th birthday, I taught my own class for fun. Today teaching indoor cycling is my full-time job.”
 
On her biggest challenge
“I was diagnosed with chronic lymphoma in November 2010, but I don't feel sick. In fact, I feel stronger and healthier than ever. So I say this is just a computer glitch and I need a reboot. To cope, I started writing a blog called I Am Now the Journey [iamnowthejourney.wordpress.com]. And I got four new tattoos.”
 
On loving her locks
“I chopped off my long, wavy hair when I found out I needed chemo. Now I'm wearing clothes from the back of my closet that I previously couldn't pull off—but that look great with my new funky ’do.”
 
-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski
Melanie Acevedo

Lisa Marie Todd, 48

Jewelry Designer

 

On leaving the L.A. scene

“In my twenties, I was an actress on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,and I danced as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. But I gave it all up after getting married and having a daughter, because I wanted a schedule I had more control over.”

 

On building her own business

“Five years ago, I bought a jewelry-design manual, then signed up for a class. At first making jewelry was just a hobby, but in 2009 I turned it into a business [marietodd.com].”

 

On her kinder, gentler workout

“I used to dance eight hours a day, but can’t imagine doing that now! I hike and take Pilates because I love to cook—and eat."

 

On her beautiful skin

“I started buying Olay as a teen—though now I use the anti-aging line! My favorite is Olay Regenerist Serum [$20; drugstore.com]. I also love Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Deep [$35; bobbi​browncosmetics.com].”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Dini Von Mueffling, 45

Writer 

 

On doing what she loves

“As a child, I always dreamed about being a writer . . . and now I am one. Next up is a book for young adults on the history of fashion.”

 

On her passion project

“I cofounded an AIDS charity, Love Heals [loveheals.org], after my friend Alison Gertz died of the disease in 1992.”

 

On taking care of her mane

“My mother said, ‘Don’t color your hair until you must’—advice that kept my hair healthy. Now a colorist covers my grays with L’Oréal Professionnel’s ammonia-free INOA dye [inoa-us.com].”

 

On owning her age

“The day before I turned 40, I panicked and went out to run 10 miles. On mile nine, I said, ‘What am I doing? This is ridiculous; you don’t need to prove anything.’ And I went home. Today I’m not at all freaked out about my next birthday. There’s serenity in letting go.”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Nicole Murphy, 43

Jewelry designer

 

On turning a hobby into profit

“I used to sit on my bathroom floor and bead jewelry to relax. Then I started wearing the pieces when I went out, and people asked where they could buy them. So I joined forces with a friend to create a jewelry line, Friendship, Love & Peace by Nicole Murphy [friendshiplovepeace.com].”

 

On editing her wardrobe

“I’m into classics. I want to be able to pull it out of my closet in five years and have it still work. No more waste.”

 

On dating . . . again

“Since my divorce [ex is Eddie Murphy], I don’t tolerate nonsense: ‘This is me. And this is what I expect out of you.’ ”

 

On her beauty staples

“I’m growing my hair, and Wen Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner [$36; chazdean.com] is making the process manageable. As for makeup, I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 [$42; sephora.com] and Lancôme Définicils Mas-
cara [$29; lancome-usa.com].”

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Perry Hagopian

Cozy Friedman, 44

Owner of New York City’s Cozy’s Cuts salons

 

On having an aha! idea: "I was in my twenties- without children- when I opened my first Cozy’s Cuts for Kids salon. I had no background in the beauty industry. I just thought a kids-only salon was a good idea and couldn’t believe there weren’t already a million in Manhattan. The day we opened, there was a line around the block."

 

On staying stimulated: "I think there are two kinds of people: those who try new things that help them evolve and grow, and those who rest on their laurels. I try to keep myself in the former group by taking on new ventures like So Cozy, a line of kid’s hair products (Cozycuts.com) and I’m writing a book on styling children’s hair."

 

On minimal makeup: "I find that as I age, wearing almost no makeup actually makes me look fresher and younger. My favorite product is Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow ($20; bobbibrowncosmetics.com)."

 

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Photo by: Rainer Hosch

Taryn Rose, 44

Shoe Designer

 

On going from MD to designer
“As an orthopedic surgeon, I heard patients constantly complain about the lack of comfortable but stylish heels. So I created my own line. My designs are both feet-friendly and fashionable.”
 

On her mascara-free routine
“Being a former surgeon with steady hands is helpful when it comes to my best beauty trick: false lashes. I pop them on every day, which allows me to skip regular eye makeup. Other than that, I rely on Armani Luminous Silk Foundation [$59; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com] to keep my skin looking fresh.”
 

On dropping 30 pounds
“Two years ago, I realized that my business was thriving but my health was not. I was tired, depressed and overweight. So I started working out and even took up competitive skiing. It’s like doing a squat for five hours, which is great for my 44-year-old bottom!”

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Melanie Acevedo

Nancy Jarecki, 47

Founder of Betty Beauty 

 

On how she got her big idea

“I was at a salon in Rome where I saw the colorist giving each of her clients a little bag as she left. I thought maybe it was biscotti. But the receptionist told me, ‘It’s extra color to match the hair down there.’ At that moment, Betty Beauty, my line of pubic-hair dyes [bettybeauty.com; $15], was born.”
 

On playing the (beauty) field
“Every month I try new things. The only product to which I’m loyal: L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Brown [$7; drugstores].”
 

On her chic short 'do

“Last year I suffered a massive brain aneurysm, and the subsequent surgeries left me with no hair. But as it grows in, people say a pixie suits me. I like to think it’s Tinker Bell–ish.”
 

On the joy of a second chance
“My brush with death has magnified everything. The tiniest things greatly affect me now, whether it’s song lyrics or my daughter’s giggle. I sit back and think, I can’t believe I almost missed this.”

-As told to Nikki Ostasiewski

Jiyon Lee, MD, 41

Radiologist

 

On being an MD mom:

"Growing up, I was very shy and serious. My husband and three kids have brought fun and levity into my life, which balances out the seriousness of my job. It’s important for me to incorporate a sense of joy in all that I do."

 

On hitting the pavement:

"I’ve done 25 marathons and hope to keep running until I need a walker. With my schedule, I can’t just go to the gym for vanity’s sake. I always have a charity run scheduled to motivate my training."

 

On her beauty essentials:

"I’m loyal to my Merle Norman skin care routine. My favorite product is their Luxiva Brilliant-C Serum [$44; merle norman.com for stores]. And I can’t live without a good plum lipstick like Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani in 601 [$30; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com."

 

On loving her forties: "I absolutely love my age. I’m confident in my career and happy with my home life. Why not embrace this age instead of dreading it?" 

Photo by Rainer Hosch

Jennifer Higgins, 41

Founder of beauty brand Miss Oops

 

On her first invention

"I went shopping for a black dress, and the only one in my size had deodorant on it. So the saleswoman rubbed foam from a hanger on the spot, and it disappeared. It was then that my first product, Miss Oops Rescue Sponge [$10; missoops.com, was born."

 

On her crowning glory

"My hair is the reason I’m always late. Between the products, blowout and curlers, styling takes me forever."

 

On her peachy complexion

"Daily I use Shiseido Daytime Emulsion SPF 15 [$48; sephora.com. I also said I’d never do Botox; then I turned 40. Now I see my doctor every four months."

 

On her fashion favorites

"I live in jeans and black James Perse T-shirts. Once in a while I’ll get crazy and wear navy blue."

 

On her work-life balance

"Balance is overshooting. Manage is more like it."

Photo by Rainer Hosch

Carol Brodie, 47

Jewelry Designer

 

On becoming her own boss:

"I spent my twenties and thirties building other people’s brands [Brodie was Harry Winston’s global director of communications]. Then, in my forties, I set out to create my own jewelry line, Rarities hsn.com."

 

On building a biz at 40:

"I hope I inspire other women to become entrepreneurs. It’s at this point in our lives that we have the guts and brains to do great things."

 

On her inner circle:

"I speak my mind and I know what I say can often make people cringe. So I surround myself with people who are open-minded, who don’t judge."

 

On her beauty must-haves: "I love June Jacobs skin care, especially the Redness Diffusing Masque [$56; junejacobs.com. And I can’t live without Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder [$46; sephora.com, Huge Lips Skinny Hips Lip Gloss in Red Sole [$25; purplelabnyc.com and Tarte Flower Child Eyeshadow Palette [$44; sephora.com."

Photo by Perry Hagopian

Debbi Hartley-Triesch, 42

National Merchandise Manager for Nordstrom Cosmetics

 

On her favorite products: "I learned about good skincare at 18, when I first started working at a makeup counter. Today I use aesthetician Kate Somerville’s eponymous line (nordstrom.com) to make my complexion glow and even out my skin tone. Makeup-wise, it’s my job to test new cosmetics. But my tried-and-true items are DiorShow Mascara, Nars Orgasm Blush, and MAC Dazzleglass lipcolour ($24; $25; and $18 respectively; nordstrom.com)."

 

On work success: "I think my strong work ethic stems from something my first manager told me: "Treat every day like you’re trying out for the job."

 

On vegging out: "Relaxing for me is playing Barbies with my six-year old daughter."

 

On the future: "I couldn’t have mapped out a life this rich. Any additional good that comes my way now is a bonus." 

Photo by Perry Hagopian

Edris Nicholls, 44

Salon owner and hairstylist

 

On personal style: "I admire women over 40 who have a distinct look, like Diane Keaton and Sharon Stone. Midlife women dress for themselves and no one else, and I think it shows in how we carry ourselves."

 

On her hair: "Aging sucks, but I say that with a smile. I’m embracing the changes. Though I was once known as ‘the hairstylist with a shaved head,’ I’ve decided to grow out my hair. It’s drier than it was when I was younger, but I’ve found Lubriderm body lotion makes a great leave-in conditioner."

 

On beauty rest: "Since entering menopause, I have trouble falling asleep. Reading a novel or doing the New York Times crossword puzzle helps to quiet my mind."

 

On travel: "I enjoy seeing how other people in other cultures live. When I was in my 20s, it was all about me. Now I want to understand others."

Photo by: Alexandre Weinberger

Haideh Hirmand, 46

Plastic surgeon in New York

 

On professional growth:

"Because I now know what it’s like to see age-related changes in my own face and body, I’m a more empathetic doctor and am better able to counsel my patients."

 

On getting work done: 

"I do get Botox, but what’s made the biggest difference was using fillers to get rid of the hollowing under my eyes. It changed my life! Not only do I look less tired, I actually feel it too."

 

On her big beauty mistake:

"I used to wear my hair way too short. When I was training to be a surgeon, I didn’t have time to deal with it, so I cut it all off. It was not a good look on me."

 

On simple skin care:

"I don’t have time for a long, tedious regimen. In the morning I cleanse [Clinique Medical Probiotic Cleanser, $28; cliniquemedical.com, moisturize [Fresh Crème Ancienne, $250; fresh.com and apply sun block [Nia 24 Sun Damage Protection SPF 30, $45; nia24.com. In the evening I repeat this regimen, but I use a retinoid lotion [Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5, $50; skinceuticals.com] instead of sunscreen."

Photo by: Perry Hagopian

Yildiz Blackstone, 42

President of the fashion house Luca Luca

 

On making time for makeup: "I spend 30 seconds on my face—in between getting breakfast for my five-year-old son, Joshua, and putting on my clothes." In her makeup bag: Fresh Bronzing Face Luster ($45; fresh.com), Lancome Definicils Mascara ($24; lancome-usa.com) and Chanel Ultra Wear Lip Colour in Sandstone ($32; chanel.com)

 

On being in her 40s: "This is my best age. My 20s were hard—I moved to the U.S. from Turkey, and I wasn’t sure yet who I was. In my 30s, I figured out what I liked and went after it. Now, at 42, I’m enjoying the rewards of working hard for two decades. I’ve never been more confident."

 

On getting dressed: "I was more into fashion before I was actually in the business Now, I value a simpler wardrobe with only very good quality pieces. You won’t find me in the trend of the moment."

Photo by: Alexandre Weinberger

Kelly Thompson, 42

Vice President of Communications for Giorgio Armani Beauty

 

On her fashion choices: "Mr. Armani says, ‘It’s not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.’ So I keep that in mind when dressing. I’d rather someone say ‘Kelly always looks elegant’ than ‘Look at that jacket she’s wearing."

 

On living in the fast lane:

"I got married, gave birth to two sons and moved from New York City to Connecticut, all within the last two and a half years."

 

On bad beauty advice:

"My friend is a famous makeup artist. He’s a genius. But he told me to get bangs, and I will always hold that against him. Worst decision of my life. Other people pick the wrong husband; I chose to get bangs."

 

On her beauty regimen: "When I find something that works, I’m loyal. Two products I swear by: Armani Sheer Lipstick in #10 [$25] and Armani Crema Nera Regenerating Serum [$230; both at giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com."

Photo by: Alexandre Weinberger

Laura Henson, 40

Public relations director

 

On signature colors:

"I always wore black when I was younger because I thought it looked more sophisticated. But then my mother sent me to a color analyst; it was 1985, and these people were everywhere. They gave me a color chart and told me to wear baby blue and pink. After years of resistance, I now love color."

 

On being professional:

"Years ago, I was representing Halston at New York’s Fashion Week. As the designer was being interviewed after his show, I walked right by saying, ‘Oh, shit’ and didn’t realize I’d been caught on camera until the segment aired on national TV. After that I learned to be more aware of my surroundings."

 

On the perfect morning: "I always feel confident when I start my day with yoga—it’s spiritual, I can meditate, and it makes me feel more balanced. When I’m doing a reverse warrior, I can’t tell what my hair looks like, so bad hair days don’t matter. That said, achieving balance and good hair on the same day would be ideal."

Photo by: Nick Cardillicchio

Sunny Hostin, 40

TV news personality and a managing director of Kroll (a risk consulting firm)

 

On her unlikely path to TV:

"In my 30s, I was a prosecutor, but I secretly wanted to be Barbara Walters. Then I gave a speech at a law conference and was discovered by a producer for Court TV. Next thing I knew, I was appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show as a legal analyst, and shortly before my 40th birthday, I landed on CNN."

 

On her long to-do list:

"In addition to my gigs at Kroll and CNN, I’m getting a master’s degree in journalism from Harvard, I’m shopping a TV talk show, and I have a book coming out this year."

 

On her beauty obsessions:

"I’m addicted to Lancome’s Pure Focus T-Zone Matifier ($27; lancome-usa.com). I hate to look shiny on camera."

 

On her favorite accessory: "When I was a child, my father wore this black onyx ring. I coveted that ring and asked him for it repeatedly over the years, but he always said no. Finally, on my 40th birthday he gave it to me, saying he’d waited until I was truly comfortable in my own skin."

Photo by: Perry Hagopian

Jane Wagman, 40

Co-owner of graphic design firm Sajedesign

 

On miniskirts:

"I grew up in a fairly strict house and wasn’t really able to express myself through fashion. So now I wear everything super short. And I will do that as long as I possibly can."

 

On her favorite outfit:

"I hate to wear things you see coming and going. I prefer vintage clothes – like my yellow and orange 1960s Rudi Gernreich shift dress. I pair it with chunky jewelry."

 

On skin care:

"I used to just wash my face and go. Then the aesthetician Aida Bicaj changed my skin. She told me to use Biologique RechercheLait Oxygenant VIP 02 Cleanser and Serum Yall 02 at home."

 

On downtime: "At this point in my life, I love to sleep and watch TV. We have two Tivos, and it’s not enough. I watch Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, Life on Mars, Top Chef, and The Real Housewives of any city. I I love it all."

 

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Photo by: Alexandre Weinberger

What’s your reaction?

Comments

Lucy Smith03.26.2014

Dresses Under 100

Carol Bing03.29.2013

What inspiring women! As I get closer and closer to 40 I'm realizing just how much discipline it takes to stay fit and well. I wonder if you have any tips on staying fit through menopause? I was recently diagnosed with Peri-Menopause and I'd like to stay healthy through this. I found a wonderful documentary called "Hot Flash Havoc" that answered a lot of questions, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to information on getting through Menopause, you can watch it here: http://bit.ly/11XQcWS. Thanks again for a wonderful article, www.more.com!

Tish Grier10.04.2012

Why are all of these women *so* skinny? Is it that they work in fashion, beauty, or fitness related industries? Or is this the general perception of women who are "aging gracefully" (that they will be thin, and perhaps still fit into their college wardrobes.)
Is it possible to show a little diversity in body type? So many women, even into their 40's and 50's struggle with eating disorders and punish themselves for having the wrong kinds of metabolisms. Don't you think women deserve to see all types reflected as beautiful and aging gracefully, not *just* the skinny model-types that we've had to contend with our whole lives?
Find my fashion writing here: http://highfashionaveragewoman.com

Maricia Johns05.07.2012

They are all just beautiful. Please check out "Thisisyourbestyear". It is also for women of a certain age.
http://thisisyourbestyear.wordpress.com/tag/thisisyourbestyear/

Fran 04.20.2012

Sunny is absolutely fabulous. You won't meet a more genuine, lovely woman. She's a role model for all of us!

Susan Pavery03.08.2012

Absolutely inspiring.

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