I was a bit startled at the recent cover of Town and Country featuring Diane von Furstenberg. This is the lady who gained her prominence as a designed back in the 1970’s with the jersey wrapped dress. If you have ever seen pictures of her at that stage, she had very strong features, dark brown hair and dark make-up. What caught me by surprise in this cover picture was how she has softened her look. She still has the appearance of being a strong woman but gone are the dark, dark hair, dramatic black eyeliner, and shadow, and ruby-red lips. At age 62, she has lightened her hair to a medium brown, her eyes are more subdued but still dramatic with brown liner and shadow while her lips are barely discernable. I find her more attractive now than back when she was at her height of popularity with the ubiquitous jersey wrap. So, what’s the difference?
As we age, our skin thins and begins showing some lines. Our hair starts to grey, adding a natural softness to compliment the changes in our skin. However, since we live in a world influenced by the allure to look youthful, we color our hair and take advantage of cosmetics. We often lose sight of reality and see ourselves as we once were. How many times have you seen a lady of 50+ who had maintained her very dark hair color while her skin has relaxed and become lighter? Add some bright red lipstick and very dark eye makeup and the effect is harsh and uncomplimentary. Or, in the case of a blonde who continues to wear the strong dark eye makeup and bright lips, you see the eyes and lips before you see the face.
Diane von Furstenberg has adjusted her makeup and hair adeptly to reflect the natural changes in her skin. Her hair, although still dark, is a lighter brown and much softer against more mature skin. Her choice of eye makeup is also softer, and is harmonious with her softer hair color. The most dramatic change is that her lips are barely visible. As the years advance, many people get noticeable signs of sagging around the jaw line. If you add a bright lipstick, it draws attention to that area. Von Furstenberg has wisely emphasized her eyes, albeit softer, where there is not as much evidence of the ageing process. Her very pale lips give her a softer appearance, showing her lips but not drawing specific attention to the lips. When you look at her picture, you first notice her eyes.
Is it time to reevaluate your makeup? Having gone through this process within the last six months and, although it took a paradigm shift, I am pleased with (what I hope) is the subtle improvement.