Leyla Kee-McParlin is a British beauty blogger with extensive experience blogging and interviewing on behalf of websites. Feel free to tweet her about this article to @DigitalLeyla. -- AP
Beauty at Any Age: Andie Macdowell and Diane Keaton
As a beauty blogger, I regularly read numerous fashion and beauty articles in both traditional and digital media for research and inspiration. One day I came across an article focussed on Hollywood star Andie Macdowell and I was inspired by her take on being a beauty spokesmodel: “I like being an advocate for women who are not babies anymore, and I love being able to make the statement that beauty is not a number. There's not an age limit to it." In this age of media extolling beauty icons of a youthful and nubile nature - so-called ‘Young Hollywood’ - isn’t it time we listened to and admired icons of mature beauty rather than looking to women who are trying to defy the onset of ageing and constantly want to change their identities?
Spotlight on: Andie Macdowell
Andie, lauded by Style Bistro as one of the most beautiful women in the world over 50, is one of my all-time favorite women. When asked about her beauty regime, Andie prefers to keep it simple: sunscreen, exercise and a good dose of positive thinking. A strong opponent of putting an age limit on beauty, she has been a spokesmodel of L’Oreal for a quarter of a century. For me, her elegant beauty is combined with an assured confidence and astounding open-mindedness. Andie doesn’t like to judge those who want to improve their appearance, hence allowing her name to be attached to products such as L’Oreal Inoa, as long as they feel that their confidence will be improved as a result. As a consequence, her appeal is more like the beautiful next-door neighbour you admire from afar than an untouchable movie star. From delving deeper into Ms. Macdowell-related research, I came to realize that she credits a healthy outdoor lifestyle for her health, rather than the superficial, glorified detox diets and gruelling indoor gym workouts favored by her Hollywood successors. An amazing story from Andie’s early days is when she was a working model in New York, maintaining a healthy weight in spite of being told to lose more. Her witty retort was “don’t book me then”; as a result she got a stint in Calvin Klein’s commercials and a movie to boot! Her advice is sage: protect your skin, eat healthily and pick your cosmetics according to health benefits and not for aesthetic reasons.
Spotlight on: Diane Keaton
Diane has always been somewhat of an idol for me. Although I am a great deal younger than her, I have always loved her from both a beauty and professional perspective. Rising to fame as the title character in the Woody Allen classic Annie Hall, she became the archetype of the woman I wanted to be. Gorgeously neurotic, intelligent and not overly romantic, Diane is a delightful bridge between the hippie attitude of the Seventies and the inspirational go-getter of the Eighties. Her beauty style reflects that. I think what really strikes me about Diane’s beauty style is how it visually illustrates her principles. Cosmetics for Diane have the purpose of enhancing and not covering up: her style is subdued and natural with an androgynous flair. Eons before the menswear trend of the Noughties, Diane had perfected a strong and sexy look without the need for surgery.
So what do these two icons teach us?
Although they are the faces of a huge mutli-national brand, Andie and Diane represent – without sounding too clichéd – the real women amongst us. We all age: fact. But it’s how we face the ageing process and place our beauty as secondary to our other features that define us. As a beauty blogger, I firmly believe that from these icons we can learn charm, versatility, longevity and the daring nature to carve out a unique identity who have never lost their sense of feminine appeal.
Andie once said that "with age comes a wonderful sense of well-being and strength." Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from these icons is how we should prioritize inner strength and happiness above all other points.
Do these two icons resonate with you? Are there any other icons you would suggest?