My awesome and talented friend Charlotte (founder of Charlotte and Company) has done hair and makeup for scores of forty-to-forever women including Diane Sawyer, Joan Lunden, Carole King, and Geena Davis. She’s also done mine lots of times—even for a Today show appearance. And I was lucky enough to shadow Charlotte while I was researching my novel, Summer Blowout, about a family of hair and makeup artists.
Charlotte and I are totally different. She always looks put together and stylish. I spend most of my life tethered to my computer in my pajamas and writing away. Then when I go out to speak or teach, I panic and have to dust off my mascara—and hope that I remember to put it on both eyes!
When Charlotte and I caught up recently by phone, I asked her a few questions so I could share the answers with you.
What’s the biggest mistake you see 40-to-forever women making when it comes to hair and makeup?
Not updating. Many women tend to get stuck in the era when they felt they looked their best. Maybe at 33 years old, you had it all going on. But now you need to update that look.
In terms of makeup, stay away from colors (yes, that blue eye shadow has got to go!) and move into neutrals. Drop all shimmer—it’s not your friend anymore.
When it comes to hair, Mother Nature gives us gray hair for a reason—to soften our looks. If you’re coloring your hair, always go lighter. Also, instead of solid color, color with variation is always softer, easier to wear, and gives you dimension. Finally, invest in a good cut that won’t drag your features down.
What beauty products would you suggest for 40-to-forever women?
Maybelline New York Great Lash mascara. You can’t beat this mascara, and at $5 or less you can toss it after a month or so and open a new one. (As you always should with mascara.) ( Find Maybelline New York Great Lash mascara here.)
Wet Brush. This is my favorite tool for longer hair. These bristles will glide through any hair type, combing out tangles effortlessly and eliminating hair breakage and pain. The Wet Brush can be used on wet or dry hair, works on extensions and sells for about $10. (Find Wet Brush here.)
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. I like to correct the color of dark circles, rather than trying to cover them. This is a great product that neutralizes the blue in the dark circles—you mix the two shades to customize the color. It’s a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it. (Find Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage here.)
Olaplex Hair Perfector. This is my new favorite product. It gives your hair amazing shine and body. There is a two-step salon service which delivers unbelievable results by rebuilding and perfecting the hair’s disulfide bonds. There is also an at-home treatment you can buy yourself which is a less potent version of the salon treatment, but still gives amazing results. (Find Olaplex Hair Perfector here.)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Take the time to make yourself look good. 15 minutes at the start of the day is a worthwhile investment. And so are you.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Keeping a balance between family and work.
What’s your Shine On plan for 2017?
I’m going to learn to recharge my batteries and take some time to refresh. And that just happens to include a cruise from St. Martin’s.
Claire Cook wrote her first book in her minivan when she was 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the romantic comedy adaptation of her novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Claire is now the New York Times and #1 Amazon bestselling author of 17 books, including Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention and Shine On: How To Grow Awesome Instead of Old. Connect with Claire on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Find out more at ClaireCook.com.