DON’T skip sunscreen. Experts sound like a broken record on this issue for a reason: Rain or shine, you need sunscreen to prevent skin damage and, potentially, cancer. (P.S.: It’s never too late to start.)
DO drink 64 oz. of water a day. H20 is the best skin-care product out there, and probably the cheapest. Guzzling plenty of the stuff keeps your skin radiant and energy levels up.
DON’T sleep in your makeup. It will clog your pores, promote blackheads, and dehydrate your skin, all of which enhance the signs of aging. Cleansing and moisturizing every night before bed is a must.
DO use waterproof or long-lasting eyeliner and mascara, which won’t run into creases around the eyes.
DON’T use any cosmetics that have glitter in them―the specks cling to wrinkles―and, worse, it’ll look like you’re trying to go back to high school. Instead, look for words on the packaging like “luminous” and “shimmer,” which have a subtle and flattering sheen.
DO eat organic foods whenever possible. When you put lots of unhealthy chemicals and preservatives in your body, it shows. (And be sure to take a multivitamin to guarantee you’re getting your daily dose of nutrients.)
DON’T wear makeup that is too matte, especially foundation and lipstick. The flat finish tends to sink into wrinkles and highlight them.
DO wear jewel-tone clothing. Rich, saturated colors (think deep purples, greens, reds, and blues) instantly brighten up the skintone, which tends to get sallow with age. Note: Many women of a certain age tend to wear pastel, which actually washes them out.
DON’T hang on to the same old pair of jeans, no matter how much you love them. Staying on top of denim trends―the current cut, wash, finish, etc.―keeps you looking modern. (One word of warning: Avoid falling for teenybopper fads ―whiskering, rips, low rises, etc.―no matter how popular they get.)
DO pay attention to where you bare skin. If you have a lot of freckling or age spots in certain areas―say, the décolletage―then pick another body part to show off. And remember: shoulders age well on almost anyone!
DO be realistic about whether you should wear sleeveless tops. If your arms are ultratoned, then by all means, go for it. But if there’s any jiggle or loose skin, a ¾-length sleeve is universally flattering.
DON’T shop the juniors department. When you’re wearing an item of clothing that was intended for someone several decades younger than you, it shows.
DO burn your twin-sets. They are dated, and they scream school marm. A long, lean cardigan is a contemporary upgrade.
DON’T be too matchy-matchy. It’s not fresh or youthful to match exactly (pink earrings with a pink sweater and pink and black flats); instead, find pieces in colors and patterns that complement each other.
DO splurge on fashion-forward handbags. (A soft, slouchy style for daytime and a clutch for evening are a great start.) Why, you ask? Because the phrase “old-lady purse” exists for a reason.
DO update your capri pants. As with jeans, the ruling shapes and styles of these change seasonally―so if you bought yours during the last presidential administration, it’s definitely time to hit the stores.
DON’T fall into the trap of wearing ugly footwear just because it’s comfortable. The excuse of “I just don’t want my feet to hurt” simply doesn’t fly anymore, when there are so many wonderful and cushy flats to choose from.
DO wear structured pieces on your upper half, such as fitted jackets and shirts with seaming details. They will help keep less-than-six-pack abs locked and loaded.
DO highlight your waist whenever possible; as some women get older, their bust and tummy seem to merge into one. A wide belt, nipped-in blazer or a cardigan that ties at the waist are the perfect antidote.