9 Top Beauty Experts Share Their Aging-Well Advice
Behind every legendary beauty is a legendary beauty expert — now you can be the beneficiary of their legendary beauty advice!
LEGENDARY BROW SPECIALIST Robyn Cosio
Robyn Cosio is the original celebrity brow groomer (she shaped the arches of Lindas Evans and Evangelista back in the 80s and 90s, respectively), with a career that has spanned four decades. In between tending to high-profile clients like Nicole Kidman, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Keri Russell, Cosio penned a book called “The Eyebrow.” Today, Cosio shapes brows on both coasts, splitting her time between the Sally Hershberger Salon in Los Angeles and the Nunzio Saviano Salon in Manhattan.
What helps aging eyebrows?
“You likely have thinner, grayer brows now than you did ten years ago — and that’s exactly why you can’t ignore them. The colors in your face become more monochromatic as you age, so filling in your brows and recreating a flattering shape is extra important and can make a dramatic difference in the balance of your features. At a minimum, trim your brows regularly and shade in sparse areas with eyebrow powder, which I prefer over a pencil because it’s softer and you’re less apt to overdo it. Then tame wiry grays by combing your brows with a mascara-style brow gel. If you want a lower-maintenance routine day to day, dye your brows every six weeks to blend the greys and make filling them in each morning easier. I’ve also found dye makes grays less wiry and easier to groom," says Cosio.
LEGENDARY ESTHETICIAN Sonya Dakar
Esthetician Sonya Dakar has been pampering the complexions of the famous (and not so famous) in Southern California since the early 1980s. Bold-faced clients, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and Debra Messing, have flocked to Dakar because of her nourishing, healing approach to treating the skin — and her candid, no-nonsense advice. Dakar has also been heralded as a pioneer in the use of face oils, massaging them into her clients’ complexions decades before face oil was a thing. Need proof? Dakar launched her best-selling Omega Booster oil back in 1983. Today, Dakar sees clients at her eponymous clinic in Beverly Hills and has her own line of products (sonyadakar.com).
How to improve facial aging
“Injections are not always the answer. It's very easy to go overboard, especially in LA. Instead, prioritize the quality of your skin. Skin that is healthy will stay firmer, clearer and plumper longer. This means diligently following a good skincare routine, getting regular, professional skincare treatments, and not overusing aggressive skincare products like Retin-A and Hydroquinone, which I believe can thin the skin and actually make it age faster. And, of course, always wear sunscreen," says Dakar.
LEGENDARY COLORIST Sharon Dorram
Uma Thurman. Meg Ryan. Kate Hudson. Christie Brinkley. In the 1990s, Manhattan colorist Sharon Dorram made a name for herself by creating classic, sunny blondes (though she can do rich browns and bold reds as well) — then sustained that success with a thirty-year career, collaborating with many of the biggest stylists in the world, including John Sahag, Oribe, Frédéric Fekkai, John Frieda, and Sally Hershberger. In 2009, Dorram opened a salon with Hershberger, the Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York City, and that’s where Dorram sees clients today. Dorram also serves as Color Director for Virtue Haircare.
Should you go darker or lighter with your hair color as you age?
“Don’t fear change. Many women cling to an age — thirty-five, twenty-eight — when everything seemed to be working right with their hair, and they’re afraid to move beyond it. The problem is that, as we age, our hair and skin changes. You get more grays, the texture changes, and your skin loses some natural radiance, so a hair color that was flattering at 35 may not be at 45. I tell my clients to stop trying to hold onto what was and instead embrace what you look like now. Going to a colorist whose opinion you trust will help you choose the right color. For some women, this may mean going a little lighter to camouflage grays or keep the skin-to-hair contrast from becoming harsh. For others, especially blondes, it may be time to create more contrast in your blonde to keep from looking washed out. The point? Evolve — don’t let yourself get stuck," says Dorram.
LEGENDARY HAIRSTYLIST Sally Hershberger
Arguably the most famous female stylist in the world, Hershberger has worked with nearly every top photographer, countless designers and directors, and myriad celebs. Although she says she takes a custom approach to each client’s hair, she is best known for her rock-n-roll inspired “Sally Shag” (think: Meg Ryan’s coveted choppy cut circa 1995). Just a few of her clients you might have heard of: Meg Ryan (obvs), Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Christy Turlington, and Tom Cruise. Hershberger is also a savvy businesswoman, with six salons on the two coasts, well as her own haircare line, Sally Hershberger 24K.
What haircut makes you look younger?
“Your mantra, as you age, should be to choose a cut that makes your hair look as healthy as possible. Not a trendy cut. Not what looked good on you in your thirties. What looks good now. And that may not be the cut you’ve worn for most of your adult life. For instance, I used to look really good in short hair, but now the shorter I go, the less I like my hair. It just looks healthier a little longer. Someone else may need to cut their long hair because the ends have become straggly, which is super aging — or their choppy cut is making their hair look like it’s thinning. It’s important to be really self-aware and honest with yourself, as well as have a stylist that will tell you the truth," says Hershberger.
LEGENDARY PODIATRIST Suzanne Levine, D.P.M.
New York City Podiatrist Suzanne Levine has appeared on numerous “Best Doctors” lists, has co-written several books, including “My Feet Are Killing Me,” “The Botox Book,” and “50 Ways to Treat Foot Pain,” and her Park Avenue (Manhattan) podiatric practice, Institute Beaute, is renowned for its innovations in noninvasive foot-care, as well as ground-breaking podiatric surgical procedures. Dr. Levine was one of the first foot doctors to explore using injectables to treat ailing and aging feet and says her goal is “for every patient to be able to return to their favorite pair of shoes as soon as possible, even the highest of designer stilettos.”
Why do my feet hurt as I get older?
“It’s really common, as we age, to lose the elasticity that supports our arches, as well as the padding in the balls of our feet — especially if you’ve worn high heels for years. For the former, you can’t repair lost elasticity but you can rebalance your stride with a custom made orthotic, or in milder cases, an over-the-counter insert. It’s an easy fix. For the lost padding, I’ve developed a technique I call ‘Pillows For Your Feet,’ in which I inject a Sculptra, a filler used for cosmetic restoration, into the balls of the feet. Patients are up and walking immediately after the procedure, then return annually for a touchup," says Levine.
Whatever made you look older at 15 will hold true when you’re 40. So, when a 15-year-old uses a deep matte lip color or strong eye liner, it can make her like she’s in her twenties. The same is true at 40 — but then looking a decade older may no longer be the goal.
Legendary makeup artist, Trish McEvoy
LEGENDARY MAKEUP ARTIST Trish McEvoy
Founder of one of the first makeup artist brands (launched in 1975), Trish McEvoy built her eponymous company with a simple mission: “I wanted to give women the tools they needed to feel confident, powerful and happy.” McEvoy has always prioritized developing easy-to-wear, easy-to-apply products over chasing trends, and her makeup “planner” was a runaway bestseller in the 1990s. McEvoy was also one of the first artists to develop a line of user-friendly brushes and tools that went way beyond the flimsy plastic brushes and applicators tucked inside makeup compacts. And, along with her husband, dermatologist Ronald Sherman, M.D., McEvoy developed a line of skincare, as well as one of U.S.’s first medi-spas.
What makeup is better for older skin?
“Whatever made you look older at 15 will hold true when you’re 40. So, when a 15-year-old uses a deep matte lip color or strong eye liner, it can make her like she’s in her twenties. The same is true at 40 — but then looking a decade older may no longer be the goal. So, I advise sticking to makeup that is fairly simple and natural to enhance your best self. Personally,I even my skin tone [with light foundation], brighten my under eyes, and give subtle definition to my brows and lashes. To finish it off, I use natural, soft pink tones on my lips. I start by fully blending my lip liner to enhance the shape, then finish with a gloss that mimics my lip’s natural shade," says McEvoy.
LEGENDARY NATURAL PRODUCTS PIONEER Lisa Price
Carol’s Daughter famously began in Lisa Price’s tiny Brooklyn kitchen in the early 1990, as her hobby of mixing homespun natural hair and body care products evolved into a beauty business. Price initially sold her formulas at flea markets, then, as demand grew, out of her living room, and then — once celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Rosie Perez, and Halle Berry took notice and became loyal customers — Price’s natural brand grew into a multi-million dollar company. Today, Carol's Daughter can be found at carolsdaughter.com, as well as at Target and Walgreens nationwide.
What is the best natural product for aging skin?
“When it comes to shopping for natural products, especially for aging skin, pay close attention to the ingredients panel. For something like a facial serum, look to see where the critical, active ingredients — the ones that will make a difference in the health of your skin — fall. If they are closer to the top of the ingredient list, that’s your cue that there is a higher concentration of the actives, which is usually a good thing," says Price.
LEGENDARY MANICURIST AND NAIL ARTIST Jin Soon
In the mid-1990s, Jin Soon developed a devoted following as a freelance manicurist in New York City, earning the nickname “Bicycle Jin,” as she biked to client’s apartments carrying her nail equipment in a backpack. She also earned a reputation as a meticulous nail artist and was hired to work on dozens of high-profile ad campaigns for brands like Prada, Dior, Lanvin, Balenciaga and Jimmy Choo. In the late 1990s New York Times Magazine coined her “The Nail Guru,” and, riding that success, Soon opened the Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa in the East Village. The spa did so well, Soon opened three more locations — in the West Village, Upper East Side and TriBeCa — as well as launched her own eponymous nail-care line (jinsoon.com). Soon also continues to do freelance work and counts among her clients: Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Taylor Swift, and Michelle Williams.
How do I keep my nails healthy as I age?
“You can get away with not using cuticle oil in your twenties, but as you age, it’s a must for prolonging the youthful appearance of your nails. The same holds true for manicures, but in a different sense. You should take the occasional break from wearing nail polish, especially gels, and use that time to restore the health of your nails. And when you do wear polish, try to choose formulas that are 10-free polishes [this means they are made without ten common, but potentially toxic, chemicals], which will produce less long-term damage to your nails," says Choi.
LEGENDARY DERMATOLOGIST Patricia Wexler, M.D.
Dr. Patricia Wexler was one of the first dermatologists to use Botox for cosmetic purposes and has been a pioneer in other face and body treatments, such as tumescent liposuction and fat transplantation. Dr. Wexler is also credited with inventing the “Liquid Facelift.” Her clients include royalty, A-list celebrities, fashion designers, musicians, and artists (though she won’t name names). She currently see patients at her practice in Manhattan.
What is the best skin care regimen for aging skin?
“Getting injectables is just one part of looking youthful. What’s most important as we age is the quality of our skin. So many people neglect that. The strategies for getting pretty skin of course involve a good skincare regimen, but it’s also about lifestyle. Don’t smoke. Don’t lay out in the sun. Don’t overdo alcohol — that is so dehydrating for the skin. Don’t neglect sleep. If you get four hours a night, you are doing your skin no favors. For your skin to be healthy, you have to be healthy. And even if you’ve been careless up until now, it’s not too late. Changes in your behavior will make a big difference, and there are always lasers to correct the damage you’ve done to date. We have 18 lasers in my office that can help you begin again with a nearly-clean slate.”