Our Willowberry Age Without Apology Insta Live Series is held over on our Instagram page. These live chats with expert guests are designed to help you navigate age with confidence and style. Here are the highlights of our recent chat with Behind the Woman Linda Holman-Evans - you can watch our chat in full here.
After working in PR for many years, Digital Creator Linda Holman-Evans decided to set up her own Instagram account “to promote myself instead of everyone else!”. The result, @behindthewoman, is a wealth of make-up, hair and style tips for grown-ups. As Linda says, “I want to look and feel great for my age or any age”. Our conversation took in the importance of influencer authenticity, why contouring is not a friend to anyone over 30 and the reason she keeps her SPF next to her toothpaste.
Age is not your defining feature
It is interesting to me that now there is so much talk about ageing and anti-ageing and pro-ageing and silver hair. It’s truly something that had never bothered me. In the last 8 years of working, I was very much the oldest person in the company (bar a couple of others) so I was used to working with people in their 20s, going out for drinks with them. My group of friends are all about 20 years younger than me, but I never feel older. Age to me is irrelevant. It’s about who you are and what you feel like.
Why the anti-ageing issue isn’t black and white
I’m slightly confused about the whole pro-ageing and anti-ageing thing, and I certainly don’t feel like getting on my high horse and saying no you shouldn’t talk about anti-ageing. We want to look the best we can. I want to look the best I can, but there is an element of anti-ageing in there so I’m not going to be offended by the expression.
Upgrade your skincare
If you’re still doing the same make-up or skincare and using the same products that were around 20-30 years ago then you’re not doing yourself any favours. Upgrade your products!
I use a cream cleanser, then I like to use something like a cleansing bar afterwards. I don’t tend to ever use toner. I might use a spray on a hot summer’s day. During the day I put on an oil or a serum and then I have my factor 50 sun protection next to my toothpaste, so that goes on as soon as I’ve washed my face. In the evening I’ll put on an oil or a serum and then a night cream. I do tend to put cream on my neck and decolletage when I think about it, but I wouldn’t say I do it every night. It just depends on whether I’m tired or not! I can hope that my skincare routine is going to stop more wrinkles, but my best dream would be to make my skin look moisturised.
The most important beauty product you will ever own
The things I’ve started using which I never used to use are things like oils and serums. I’m quite careful about ingredients and I don’t like to use anything too strong, particularly in summer. I’ve had skin cancers so I’m quite wary about using anything that has got acids or retinol in, just because they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. It was 25 years ago that I had skin cancers, so I’ve been careful since then: my factor 50 is probably my most important beauty product.
The responsibility of being an authentic influencer
It’s really important to me that I’m authentic. It becomes harder and harder because obviously as you grow more followers, brands want to send you their products to try. I’m very strict with people and say yes you can send me products but I’m not going to be able to talk about them for at least 6 weeks because I want to use them, and I want to be able to say whether I like them or not. It’s different with make-up because obviously I can play and experiment immediately but when it comes to skincare products, I try to be a lot more careful.
The joy of online connection
You can develop friendships online. There are certain people that I have conversations with and comment on their posts every day, not necessarily about beauty, it might be about their clothes or their houses or whatever. That’s been quite important to me, particularly as I’m not working in the same way as I was before. In fact, I’ve just linked up with a girl who used to work in my PR team in the nineties and she’s now a clothes stylist. She’s going to send me some clothes and suggest how I should be styled in them and then we’re going to make an IGTV together.
Haircuts don’t have age limits
I worked with a hairdresser for years (Toni & Guy’s Anthony Mascolo), who always used to say, every haircut can be adapted for any face shape, any hair type, any age. If you’re 70 you can have the same haircut as a 20-year-old, but it’s going to be done slightly differently. If it’s a short haircut it would be softer at the nape of the neck, maybe a longer fringe but the basic technique is the same.
How an industry insider does haircare
I obviously use a shampoo and conditioner. I then often use some kind of leave-in conditioner depending on how I am going to style my hair, so either a blow-dry spray or some sort of style spray or mousse. Then, a shine spray or a bit of oil just on the ends to smooth frizziness. I get frizzy bits on the top of my head, so I put the product in the middle of my palms and then push it to the fingertips then run my fingers through to the ends. Then I go through from the mid-lengths to the ends and just do it in little sections.
Mature make-up tips
As you age, don’t use heavy foundations, go for a BB or CC cream. If I want a heavier make-up, if I’m going to an event, I quite like a cream foundation that has powder in it. Brows are really important. Depending on what decade you grew up in, you probably destroyed your brows in some way. I certainly did! I dye mine myself and then use a pencil or an angled brush and a light powder to define them. As you get older it’s important not to draw the brow down too far, as that tends to drag your eyes down.
Things like eyeliner become harder to put on as you get older. I think pencil ones are better. Keep your eyes open as you apply it so you can ensure the line goes up instead of down. I love this whole thing of using lipsticks and creams to put on the rosy part of your cheeks, I think that’s very flattering.
That sort of heavy eyebrow and strong contouring look; that’s fine on someone in their 20s who wants to look strong but it doesn’t necessarily enhance: I think as you get older you need to have a softer look.
How to Age without Apology
Don’t apologise! People should respect you and I think a lot of women don’t feel respected; they feel invisible, they feel unloved. You need to be yourself and stuff everyone else. Be that strong person. Be a pro-age warrior if you want to be and stick up for yourself. Don’t let yourself be unheard. Make sure people respect you.
Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin.
A favourite with top make-up artists, Willowberry's luxurious award-winning products protect skin’s natural barrier function, to nourish and revive grown-up skin without telling women to be 'anti-ageing'.
As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.