Even if you're a woman of a certain age, you shouldn't shy away from projecting your youthful spirit. Just make sure you don't look like you're headed to a Justin Bieber concert. By all means, get a bra that fits, and toss out your high-waisted jeans – but don't fill your closet with too-short shorts and Juicy sweats. You're not 16. Visit websites like Boden, J. Crew, Garnet Hill, and Athleta for fashionable, age-appropriate wardrobe ideas. (Be warned, five minutes on the Athleta site will have you calling your friends to plan a girls' getaway.)
Choose a warm hair color
Nothing says "frump" like a head full of gray hair. Take a tip from celebrity stylist George Papanikolas, and skip ash-toned hair colors when covering your grays. "Ashy tones are your biggest enemy when you get older," says Papanikolas. "Women tend to add pale highlights and go blonder to camouflage gray, but they end up looking washed out and older." He suggests using a permanent dye in a warm color a few shades lighter than your hair's natural pre-gray color.
Avoid the sun
The next time you see a woman wearing a large sun hat, sneak a peek at her skin. Chances are, she's prolonging her youthful looks by avoiding the damaging and aging effects of the sun. Make sure you do the same. Before heading to the park or pool, grab a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. We like the floppy sun hats from Flipped Bird and beachy brims from Scala.
What's the single best thing you can do to prevent photoaging, you ask? According to Dermatologist Cherie Ditre, the solution is "Sunscreen – every day, all year long!" She recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen like Aveeno Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher on all exposed skin. When it comes to skincare ingredients, Dr. Cherie says retinols and retinoids help reduce the look of wrinkles and discoloration, while antioxidants such as vitamins C and E help to neutralize damaging free radicals that age skin. According to Dr. Ditre, "Natural ingredients with proven benefits for photodamaged skin include feverfew, green tea, mushrooms and soy."
Update your makeup
If you aren't happy with what you see in the mirror, it may be time for a makeup tune-up. Head to the cosmetics counter at the department store for a personal consultation, or look to resources like the recently published book The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age, written by beauty experts Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter for practical recommendations on making the most of what you've got! Reviewers rave about the book's easy suggestions that help revive aging faces.