Actress Sofia Vergara makes people stop and take notice. It’s as if God took all the best parts of the most stunning women in the world and cobbled them together to make one incredible beauty. Plus, she’s just so funny. What’s not to love?
Roxanne Bradley Mobile, Alabama
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Coco Chanel was always known as two things: classy and fabulous. I work in fine jewelry and strive to make sure my clients end up with pieces they will cherish for the next 50 years. When it comes to purchases, especially those costing thousands of dollars, channeling Coco Chanel is always the best way to go.
Alina Holderby Burlington, Vermont
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Sandra Bullock often plays characters with funny, physical quirks, like Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. But no matter what—whether she’s playing a part or walking the red carpet—her beauty seems genuine and effortless.
Cheryl Remos Chandler, Arizona
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As an older woman, I really respect the way Andie MacDowell has aged so gracefully. Her look is unfussy yet pulled-together. She’s the epitome of what southern women strive to be: quietly strong and confident.
Kelly Bannister Gainesville, Virginia
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The moment I saw Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire, I immediately thought she was beautiful. So many young celebrities dress in a way that makes them look much older than they are, but Pinto’s style strikes me as age-appropriate. And did I mention that her skin is luminous?
Katharine Kovan Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
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Ever since I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, its star, Audrey Hepburn, has been my beauty inspiration. I recently got bangs, in part because I adore the wispy ones she had in the film. I also love how defined her eyebrows were. Plus, the wardrobe she popularized back then—Capri pants, ballet flats, little black dresses—oozes panache to this day.
Amanda Boyd Summit, New Jersey
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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis didn’t mess with a good thing, and she always looked stunning. Throughout her life, she wore her hair pretty much the same way, accompanied by those signature enormous sunglasses. When she found a garment she loved, she often bought it in every color available. I learned from her that consistency and class beat change for change’s sake every time.
Ann Shaffer Gardner, Kansas
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When the camera zoomed in on Meryl Streep’s face in the 2009 film It’s Complicated, I was elated. To me, her fine lines are a sign of a life lived with joy.
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At age 16, while working in an antiques shop that sold vintage copies of Harper’s Bazaar, I became aware of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. She was a revelation: She had angular features reminiscent of a Cubist painting by Picasso, and she always appeared to be dressed up. I often found myself reading her advice column, in which she extolled the virtues of experimenting with your look. Her words resonated with me, an awkward, small-town teen. Soon after discovering her, I stopped wearing only jeans and went out and bought a silky red shirtdress. I was hooked!
M. Sylvia Castle Chicago, Illinois
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Tracee Ellis Ross
I fell in love with Tracee Ellis Ross (Diana’s daughter) while watching the now defunct TV series Girlfriends. She is tall and mildly awkward, but she always looks chic. Oh, and her hair is big, and that makes my heart glad.
Christina McSwain Brooklyn, New York
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A few weeks ago, I saw singer Emmylou Harris in concert and became enchanted by her style and grace. She seemed so at ease rocking out onstage, even as a white-haired grandmother. I’m 44 this year. As I begin the climb toward 50, I hope to be just as at peace with the aging process as Harris is.
Elizabeth Gillis Millbury, Massachusetts
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In 1995, when I saw Salma Hayek in Desperado, I was struck by her unapologetic voluptuousness. The waif look was so popular then, and it was a relief to see a gorgeous woman who wasn’t stick-thin. Of course, she’s beautiful on the inside, too. I found her most appealing when she took a goodwill trip to war-torn Sierra Leone in 2008.
Sarah Stewart Holland Paducah, Kentucky
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Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis’s cropped salt-and-pepper hairdo prompted me to get a short style of my own. I own a B & B that keeps me very busy, so being able to wash and go is ideal.
Monica Kissane Freeport, Maine
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I recently lost a great deal of weight and still have a few pounds to go. Throughout the dieting process, Sophia Loren has served as one of my greatest inspirations. She always looks glamorous, timeless, and age-appropriate—setting a high standard for those of us aspiring to look better than ever as we get older. The real question is: Why isn’t she everyone’s beauty muse?
Rebecca Feinstein Santa Ana, California
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Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist, exudes confidence as well as contentment and peace. Her devotion to and passion for her work make her glow.
Jennifer Kruegel Columbia, New Jersey
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Katharine Hepburn was never a cookie-cutter starlet (think of all her slacks!), but her strong will and undeniable talent carried her to the top. She was living proof that the most vibrant beauty stems from excellent health, passion for one’s work, and, most important, being one’s authentic self. Like Hepburn, I strive for achievement based on the strength of my character.