Jennifer Norman, 50
Living proof that beauty comes as much from within as from what you put on your skin, beauty entrepreneur Jennifer Norman gives us her recipe for growing older gorgeously — and with grace.
How would you describe yourself?
I would say that I‘m a work-in-progress. Currently, I'm a highly complex mashup of idealist, philosopher, pragmatist, bleeding heart, goddess, degenerate and kid at heart. I think most humans are complicated individuals. That’s why I find labels to be extremely misleading. At each new moment in time, we take on new experiences, which change us. We are always morphing, adapting and growing, becoming more uniquely ourselves.
What did you think aging was going to look like when you were young(er)? How do you feel about aging now?
When I was younger, 50 seemed ancient. I thought getting older would be a drag. Nothing could be further from the truth! I actually think chronological age has become almost irrelevant. I felt older and wearier at the age of 28 than I do today. Now, I feel like I have a whole new lease on life. Case in point, I just started a brand new beauty business (The Human Beauty Movement). When I started in the beauty industry over 20 years ago, the marketing sweet spot was targeting women aged 18-34. Today, targeting is more about psychographics, geography and interests than about age.
What has gotten better with age?
When I was younger, I was so socially awkward and insecure. I cared way too much about what other people thought of me. It definitely took time, work and soul-diving, but along the way, I discovered my sense of self, power and purpose. Understanding that my life is a manifestation of my intentions in action has been a game-changer.
What has gotten worse?
The state of our planet. Maya Angelou famously said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” For many years, I think we didn’t know what we were doing to our planet. But then we did. And we continued to pollute and extract natural resources with reckless abandon for the sake of cost, convenience and economic gain. Now, we’re faced with real crisis and a ticking clock. I may not have the solution to the climate crisis, but I can at least be part of the solution with the way I live my life and conduct my business.
What are your anti-aging secrets?
I have always been experimental with my physical form. I think of my body as an avatar that I can shape shift for fun. Being in the beauty industry for over two decades, I’ve tried almost everything: hair color, hair extensions, peels, laser treatments, lipo, Cool Sculpting, implants, Botox, medi-topicals, lash extensions, microblading … the list goes on and on. I did these things more for aesthetic hedonism and curiosity than for anti-aging. There’s an incredible amount of innovation that helps people stay younger looking longer if that’s their desire. I do not judge others’ personal choices whatsoever, #yourbodyourchoice.
Over the years, though, I’ve become cognizant of the importance of high-quality natural topical skincare for daily maintenance. I prefer naturally derived ingredients for their nutritional and safety value on skin and in our ecosystem. We often forget, but our skincare products wash off and run down the drain. So they better not pollute our water systems or harm aquatic life.
I switch up my skincare regimen all the time, because I love trying new things. But right now, my routine looks something like this:
• Double cleanse with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser and Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
Wow, that's quite a regimen!
I’m much lower maintenance now than I was before. I used to color and bleach my hair which required a ton of upkeep. Now I go to the salon for a cut and highlights only twice a year and do my own roots. I used to have acrylic nails which needed refilling and gel every two weeks. Now I don’t even wear fingernail polish, because I’m learning to play the guitar. I used to go for spa treatments and facials. Now I mask up and extract at home. I used to try all kinds of different makeup. Now I pretty much stick to nude glow-y skin, rosy cheeks and a rosy lip. I still have lash extensions, so I don’t use mascara or go crazy with top lid eyeliner. Skincare, on the other hand, is more important to me now than ever, including body care. I used to never even use body lotion, now I slather it all over. I pumice my feet now, too.
I find labels to be misleading. We are always morphing, adapting and growing, becoming more uniquely ourselves.
How has your wellness regimen changed?
The pandemic put the brakes on my normal gym and yoga schedule. I’m just now trying get back on track. I definitely meditate more, and I prioritize sleep. I’m far more aware of the types of foods that work best for my system. I used to eat way too many simple and complex carbs. Shifting to a predominantly keto diet has really helped level out glycemic highs and lows.
Who do you think has aged well?
If we’re talking celebrities, I’d say Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Angela Bassett, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani and Jason Bateman have kept themselves quite ageless, not just physically but also in energy.
What is the best advice you’ve received about aging
The best is yet to come!
When in your life have you felt most beautiful?
Real beauty comes from within. I feel most beautiful when I remember how blessed I am and how good life really is.