Reaching our forties is a big milestone for us women – it certainly felt like one for me! It can come with changes to our bodies that have happened over time, with illness or due to pregnancy and these can be hard to take. On the positive side, hitting the Big 4-0 can also come with more confidence in who we are and with a few upgrades to our wardrobe and lifestyle, we can continue to look as great as we feel inside. Here are some tips I’ve learn from over a decade of styling women of all ages.
How to dress
When we were in our twenties, we could throw a look together out of our boyfriend’s T shirt and jeans and look totally hot. Styling in our forties takes a little more care – but we can still look and feel just as hot as we used to!
Firstly, get to know your body type. It’s probably changed as you’ve started a family and your metabolism has slowed down so take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror – go on, be brave! Here are some key points to note:
- Pear shape – your hips are wider than your shoulders. Emphasize your waist and arms.
Don’t be afraid of adding volume to your top half to balance your proportions. Light colored tops and darker bottoms always work well.
- Apple shape – you have narrow hips, broad shoulders and weight always goes straight to
your middle. Dress to show off your legs and elongate your body. Try wearing a short dress in one solid color – you’ll look awesome!
- Hourglass shape – lucky you! You have a small waist and your shoulders and hips are in proportion. Show off your curves with wrap dresses and belted waists. Don’t try and hide your assets with baggy clothes!
Generally in our forties we need to choose the part of your body that we want to emphasize and stick with it. So if it’s your killer legs, don’t show too much on top and vice versa. Want everyone to notice your tiny waist? Go for cinched waistlines, fitted tops and full skirts.
If you follow the simple rules for your body type you can still experiment and have fun with clothes – and having fun is the best anti-ageing technique I can think of!
Your make up
Our skin can dry out in our forties, so to avoid make up looking caked and flaky, it’s important to
have a beauty routine that includes a quality moisturizer. It’s also worth using a primer before applying foundation.
Skin cell turnover reduces in our forties which can lead to a dull complexion. As well as a great skincare routine, foundation can add some colour back to our face – try hydrating formulas – and adding a pop of color to our cheeks can also help to brighten our skin. Sheer creams and gel blushes are best – go for a shade just a little darker than your natural skin, such as peach or caramel.
Use the same approach for lipsticks. Natural tones in creams or glosses can fill out thin lips and
give us the plump pout we dream of. Be warned though, some long-lasting lipsticks can be very drying and have the reverse effect. Add a coat of lengthening mascara and you’re good to go! Avoid
volumizing formulas as these can weigh down thin lashes and make the eye area seem smaller.
How to eat
It’s a sad fact that our metabolisms slow as we age. You probably don’t need as many calories per day as you used to. Making small changes to our diets can stop the dreaded ‘middle aged spread’ in its tracks. As long as you lead an active life, all it usually takes is swapping your mid-morning cookie for a piece of fruit, or filling your dinner plate with more vegetables and a smaller portion of pasta.
It’s also true that your nutritional needs have changed. Many women in their 40s are low on iron so red meat and leafy greens are back on the menu to fight the fatigue that low iron levels cause. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is also important to protect against problems like heart disease, cataracts and certain types of cancer. Eat your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and go for a rainbow of colours – each colour provides different antioxidants. A diet high in fruit and vegetables will also help counteract your slowing metabolism.
The best exercise
Anything goes! I’d always recommend doing whatever it is that you love, but there are certain exercises that are especially good for taking care of our joints and fighting the dip in muscle and bone mass that starts in our thirties.
Even if you’ve got an exercise regime that you love, now’s the time to introduce some weight training – but I’m not suggesting you pump tons of iron! Strength training has been proven to slow losses in muscle and bone mass – just make sure the weights you’re using are challenging enough that it’s hard work. I personally love my Dyna-band resistance band workout. It comes in four different resistances so you can build up from beginner to advanced and it’s small enough to fit in my luggage when I’m travelling!
Looking your best in your forties is all about feeling good on the inside as well as looking fantastic on the outside. A few changes to our wardrobe, make up and diet can have us feeling even more confident and energized than in our twenties – and when we feel great, we look great too.
Let me know your own tips for looking your best in your forties by creating a Pinterest board with the name “40s Diva Style” and adding a description with the hashtags #artofseductionboudoir and #argentinaleyva to each image. I’ll be looking out for the best tips – who knows, you could be featured in my next blog!