Hello my gorgeous readers and subscribers! We’re back with another Beauty Over 40 feature. I am proud to introduce to you another amazing woman who’s breaking stereotypes in the realm of beauty and fashion, Sunny from Old Fashion Guru. Her Instagram feed is full of style inspo for women over 60, let’s get to know her!
At what age did you start with fashion?
I’ve been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember and was a trendsetter as far back as high school. After all, I was the first one sent home for wearing her skirt too short!!
My training is as a painter (I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree), and my first foray into the business of fashion was doing hand painted tee shirts and matching tie dye pants in the mid ’70’s! I parlayed my background as an artist, a great commercial instinct and love of the business of fashion into my coast to coast, multi-national brand, Sunny Leigh.
What are your fashion staples?
Although my look has changed over the years, my fashion staples have been pretty consistent. Give me a great pair of jeans with a tee or fluid blouse, super cool boots and a black leather moto and I would style depending on whether my mood was boho, biker or babe.
Any important style tips to women over 40?
I believe the most important style tip, for ANY age, is to dress for YOURSELF! Too often women dress to please their friends, their lovers, their bosses….. other’s expectations. I don’t subscribe to age appropriate….or inappropriate….. only occasion appropriate! I dress for what I feel looks well on me. I’m all for experimenting with new looks but women need to find their comfort zone. Granted, the new can become that comfort zone! A well dressed woman wears her clothes. They don’t wear her. A well dressed woman feels good in what she’s wearing….. at any age! And my second style tip is make sure whatever you wear fits! A perfect fitting tee shirt can look better than an ill fitting designer piece.
I ask myself, “do I feel good and feel like me in what I’m wearing?” If my answer is no, I take it off. If my answer is yes, I go with it!!
Any important skincare or beauty tips to women over 40?
My best beauty tip is to smile….. a lot! It’s amazing how a smile can light up your face better than the most expensive highlighter.
I actually wear no makeup at all at this point in my life……. checkout my IG feed. There’s not a stitch of anything on my face in any photo. I’m not against makeup but it can make aging skin look even older. I’ve found that for me, less….. WAY less is definitely more! For even the most formal occasion, I still go completely bare. Not for everyone for sure!
I’m in my mid sixties so I have to deal with hooded eyelids and lines around my mouth and lips. Makeup- even the most dewey- accentuates those lines on my face. Ever notice how twenty somethings with their gorgeous and dramatic makeup look more “mature”? I don’t want to look more mature at my age!
If the bare look is not for you, I just caution to stay as light and dewey looking as you can. Add a drop of bronzer or foundation to your moisturizer to perk up a tired complexion. Load on the mascara but go easy with the shadows and liner. A little blush goes a loooong way. I love and am inspired by the dramatic and glam looks many of my Insta friends sport. It’s just not for me anymore. Still, I might have to give Tom Ford’s foundation a try…… it seems to make those who are wearing it look luminous. I’ve always been a product junkie and loved to experiment with makeup when i was younger. I wore the blackest kohl around my eyes and could usually be found with either red or very pale lips! But that was then and this is now. I never say never and love to experiment but I’m pretty comfortable in may own (bare) skin!
That being said, I am a skin care fanatic! I started using eye cream and moisturizer in my early thirties. I’ve never met a serum I didn’t like and will try any skin care or body care product- as long as it’s fairly fragrance free. I have a whopping perfume allergy and have to be careful with what I put on. I use drugstore to designer brands, price doesn’t necessarily dictate quality. I am attracted to natural and/or organic products but have learned the hard way that “natural” or “organic” does not mean fragrance free. If you also have fragrance sensitivity, make sure the label actually says “fragrance free” or the words “fragrance”, “perfume” or “parfum” do not appear in the ingredients list!
I’m a sun lover so I’m diligent about sunscreen if I’m outside. I love La Roche-Posay products. They are totally fragrance free and non greasy. There’s an Anthelios 30 sunscreen called Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen. It is lightweight and cooling and feels like you’re wearing nothing at all…… even on your face. It’s an amazing product!
My current regimen is as follows:
*I cleanse with an exfoliating cleanser such as Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash or Simple Moisturizing Face Wash
*Tone with 50% apple cider vinegar/50% water (I like Bragg’s)
*I always use a Vitamin C Serum then Hydrating B5 Gel from SkinCeuticals or Citrix Vitamin C Cream. If I use the Citrix then I don’t need the B5.
*Eye cream- either La mer Concentrate, Chanel, Bliss Triple Oxygen or Adore Advanced Firming Eye Cream. I’m always trying new ones!
*Finally- face cream! My current fave is Chanel Le Lift Creme or if I’m going to be in the sun I might use use Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen by La Roche-Posay instead. My other option is to use the water-lotion sunscreen on top of my Chanel Le Lift. In a word though- DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN! (Sorry, that’s three words!!)
*Cleanse with DDF Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash
*Tone with ACV/water
*Concentrate de La Mer SERUM
*one of the above eye creams
*Moisturize as above
Many women ask me my opinion on cosmetic surgery or enhancements. I say each to her own. If it really makes you feel better go for it….. just don’t think you’ll fool anyone about your age. Do it because you’ll like the way you look better than before and it’s worth the risk of undergoing even the most benign medical procedure! I prefer the non-surgical approach…… I can’t be blonde enough and I am maniacal about my bangs. I actually believe they hide the wrinkles around my eyes!! Haha!!
I know I should love my wrinkles…… Lord knows I’ve earned them! But really, who in their right mind LOVES wrinkles!! I have come to appreciate my face for it tells the story of my life and I have no desire to erase any part of that story. Bottom line is I want to look as good as I possibly can for ME. And that brings me back to the beginning of this story: Dress for YOU, look like you want to look for YOU and then take whatever steps you feel comfortable in achieving that. Wear confidence with a smile. You’ll never look better!
If you were to launch your own collection, what would it be and why?
That’s a good one as I’ve already done that in the clothing arena! One of the achievements I’m most proud of is my line’s ability to make women feel confident AND comfortable. My use of pleated and crushed polyester gave women the feel and comfort of wearing a tee shirt while providing a sophisticated, FIGURE FRIENDLY and polished look that could be worn day to night. The items were accessibly priced and came solid or in my exclusive prints. My crushed and pleated tops and skirts totally revolutionized the way millions of women dressed and were widely copied everywhere. My brand, Sunny Leigh was synonymous with sophisticated, feel good and comfortable style. I’m not sure I could top that!
If I were to venture into the beauty field, I would do a small skin centric collection of serums for the face and body aimed at enhancing aging skin.