When opening the pages of a glossy magazine, readers are instantly bombarded with the flawless faces of young, sometimes teenage women, promoting the wonders of the beauty world - even when the products they’re fronting are entirely ill-suited to their age and stage of life. From pout enhancing lipsticks to wrinkle reducing creams, women with silky, smooth complexions are projected as the advertising evidence that anti-ageing skin care lines work wonders. How though are an older generation of women supposed to have confidence in products promoted by girls who are light years away from experiencing the signs and problems of ageing themselves?
The answer is they cannot and have not, meaning many of these ‘older lines’ have better suited the concerns of those in their 30s, while women 45+ have been left overlooked and discontented.
That is, until last year, when the UK premium beauty market grew by 6% to reach a massive £2.2bn, with women aged 45+ accounting for £1.9 billion worth of the sales in toiletries and cosmetics. Demonstrating that the beauty+ market was becoming increasingly financially powerful, large brands were forced to take a more age inclusive approach that saw those such as Tilda Swinton modelling for MAC, Helen Mirren for L’Oreal Age Perfect and 68 year old Charlotte Rampling as the face of NARS 20th anniversary.
MORE GLOSS: The 24/7 anti-ageing edit
This gradual appreciation of age has since seen the emergence of smaller, more bespoke beauty brands over the past few years that specifically cater to the older market in both makeup and skin care - here are our top three favourites.
Look Fabulous Forever
Founded in 2013 by semi-retired businesswoman Tricia Cusden, Look Fabulous Forever is a feel-good ‘pro-ageing’ company that looks to celebrate the beauty of older women, without worrying about the odd wrinkle or two. “I’ve always loved makeup,” says Tricia, “but as I got older I found it increasingly difficult to find products that worked for my older skin.”
Keen to produce the most authentic brand possible, their pro-age mantra is carried right through the business. “Everyone on set is the age of our target market - our resident makeup artist is 60 and our models are my friends and colleagues - real women with no cosmetic or technical enhancements. For us it’s about being realistic and happy in the skin we’re in - we’re not trying to make you look younger, we just want people to look and feel fabulous at an older age.”
With products designed to cover age spots, broken veins and restore vitality, Look Fabulous Forever is a one-stop shop for beauty lovers looking to get their makeup mojo back.
Described as ‘Spanx for the face’, Studio 10 looks to lift older women out of their beauty rut and explores the aesthetics side of makeup. “Essentially creating a ‘facelift’ via makeup was the inspiration,” says founder Grace Fodor. “I wanted to explore the ‘aesthetics’ of professional artistry, and develop a range that would give women the ability ‘to look younger’ as part of their daily makeup routine.”
Understanding that skin transforms as it gets older, Grace has worked alongside dermatologists and internationally renowned makeup artists to create a bevy of beauty products that work to disguise, correct and combat the signs of ageing - most notably, the Visible Lift Face Definer , £30, has fast become a cult classic and favourite amongst industry insiders.
A truly unique brand, Stratum C works to tackle the menacing signs of the menopause and the havoc this time of life can wreak on skin.
“Menopause may be a fact of life, but it doesn't need to take the life out of your skin,” says Brand Manager Aimee Blakemore. “We developed the Stratum C Menopause Skin Care range after studies from a leading UK university showed that a special combination and concentration of peptides, including Matrixyl, can help to stimulate higher levels of your body's own collagen. Unlike many creams and lotions on the market, these products have been made specifically for women going through the menopause and include ingredients to hydrate and moisturise your skin, and to replace lost nutrients and vitamins.”
With a wealth of scientific knowledge behind them, their product range includes everything from hand creams and eye serums to gentle cleansers and night masks - clinically proven to reduce winkle visibility and improve skin tonicity, a daily dose of Stratum C will leave you feeling fresher, fuller and utterly rejuvenated.
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