Women Over 40 in Hollywood

Want to know the latest celebrity beauty secret? Aging beauty is hot. Among this year’s Golden Globe nominations 17 nominated actresses are in their 40s and above. And what’s more, they are growing older very gracefully, mostly without intervention from plastic surgeons or the ministrations of a makeup artist.

Kate Winslet, starring in Labor Day at the age of 38, has pledged to forego a facelift. While you might grumble that it is easy to say at a still relatively tender age, be impressed by Emma Thomson, who has also sworn off plastic surgery. She is 54 (same age as me as it happens) and looks very elegantly her age in Saving Mr Banks.

They can look to Helen Mirren for inspiration. The 68-year-old star of Phil Spector is splendidly toned, gracefully gray and showing her age with a few lines here and there that proudly tell us that she has lived, laughed and loved.

It is true that Golden Globe award nominee for Gravity, Sandra Bullock, is approaching 50 with cheeks that defy gravity so uncompromisingly that I am guessing she has had a little help from medical intervention. But she still has one of the firmest and cutest bums in the business, demonstrating that exercise is the best anti-ager there is.

When it comes to celebrities, it is so easy to bemoan that we don’t have their money, personal trainers, or access to endless beauty goodie bags. But let’s not forget what a scary business they are in. It doesn’t get more judgmental and harsh than Hollywood. Laura Dern once said she would have to flee to France to avoid a facelift and stay in the film business. Most of us mere mortals don’t have to consider a change of career or up sticks when a few wrinkles set in.

For my part, I am simply encouraged that are there are so many older women who are red carpet-worthy without looking weird and phony. OK, some of them are getting a prick of Botox along the way, but I still think they are blazing a trail for the next generation to feel even freer to be themselves.

Among the no less than 10 40-somethings among the Golden Globe nominees, there’s 46-year-old Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) who doesn’t wear makeup when she isn’t working. The irony of makeup is that it can make us look older as we age – camouflage as exposé.

Better bare, of course, means that we have to seriously invest in skincare. Investment in the basics of good cleansing, hydration and a damn good eye cream should be undertaken at any age - whether you are Nashville’s 20-something Hayden Panettiere (Nashville), 30-something Amy Adams (American Hustle) or 70-something Judy Dench (Philomena).

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