Remember the thrill of discovering beauty in your teens? The fact that there existed a whole world of skincare and make-up just waiting to transform us? The intoxicating possibilities behind splashing out on a face mask or a new eyeshadow shade. All the sparkly, glittery aspiration bound up in a weekend trip to Boots. Turning it into a social occasion with friends or going solo, laser-focused, to hunter gather.
This thrill shouldn’t stop as we grow older. The true joy of beauty is that there’s room for everyone at every age; you find your niche, your look, your inspiration. The joy happens when you find something that makes you feel fabulous, but there’s also joy in the journey as you play with products and looks and try out different ways of making yourself feel good.
Mid-life may seem an unlikely time for a beauty rebirth if you listen to the oft-repeated narrative that it’s all downhill from here. Our advice? Don’t listen. Mid-life has much in common with the teen years – lives changing, hormones raging – and it’s the perfect time to get inspired all over again. Times change, you change and it’s fun to take a step back and reassess what you want and need from your beauty routines. Then get back out there and have fun finding it.
Beauty on Instagram delivers the thrill of seeing what others are buying, using, loving. The delicious pleasure of nosing through someone else’s bathroom cabinet and make-up bag. When it comes to mid-life+ we love the following women on Instagram for their knowledge and expertise, for equipping us with sound advice and fun (and funny) commentaries, reigniting the heart leaps that beauty can bring. Check out these women – they will inspire you!
Caroline Hirons @carolinehirons is the no-nonsense Godmother of skincare. You can trust what Caroline says because it’s backed up by expertise and experience (via a career that began behind a beauty counter). She lives and breathes it … and we drink at the fountain of her knowledge.
Resident Guardian beauty journalist Sali Hughes @salihughes is our go-to for comprehensive product round-ups; how-tos; current and all-time faves. Very good on fragrance. Also check out her cult ‘In the Bathroom’ series over on YouTube, where she takes you along for actual snoops through her guests’ beauty stashes.
Nadine Baggott @nadinebaggott has been a top-notch beauty journalist for 30 years. 50-something Nadine is the guru for ‘beauty grown-ups’. Describing her take as ‘beauty without the BS’, her down to earth socials feel like having a beauty chat with an old friend. Particularly good on budget best buys.
We became even more obsessed with MUA Lisa Eldridge @lisaeldridgemakeup following her recent docu-series ‘Make-up: A Glamorous History’ (if you haven’t watched it yet, do: it’s a gorgeous treat on BBC iPlayer). The real deal on proper, glossy, editorial make-up looks. We also enjoy the glimpses into her vast vintage make-up/beauty product collection.
Although this has a focus on fashion, there are some great beauty posts sprinkled throughout Vanity and Me @vanity_and_me by Essex-based Laurie Bronze, too. Stop by for make-up and skincare advice and product recommendations for ages 50+, with a focus on affordable brands. Also check out Laurie's Vanity And Me YouTube account for more in-depth beauty content.
The mega-watt smile of Samantha Stung @stung_by_samantha delivers a ray of Californian sunshine while ‘shutting down stereotypes for women over 50’. Her beauty philosophy is to ignore any ‘age rules’ and do what makes you feel good. Posts include: adding volume to thin menopausal hair; creating rose gold smoky eyes and concealer tips for mature skin.
Pampered Wolf @pamperedwolf is all about natural looking make-up for the over 40s from Yorkshire-based Gemma, a trained beauty therapist. Her Instagram account showcases looks from her YouTube make-up tutorials which are not just pretty but pretty achievable. Look out for the popular regular guest appearances from her mum.
Jane Cunningham @britbeautyblog serves up completely honest reviews of the latest beauty products. She feels all our frustration over the lack of representation for mature women by the beauty industry and delivers candid commentary on life and lipstick. She’s our mid-life champion.
Former model Ruth Crilly @ruthcrilly, the content creator behind A Model Recommends, is a 40-something mother of two young children. We particularly love her ‘school run beauty’ slot. Ruth has a great sense of humour and isn’t afraid to send herself up with the odd hilarious spoof post. Follow for make-up looks, skincare tips, new product reviews and LOLs.
One of the gorgeous stars of our Willowberry beauty campaign, Cindy Julian is an MUA whose work has graced the West End stage and English National Opera. Follow @makeupbycindyjulian to go behind the scenes of her own skincare routines and make-up looks from no-make-up make-up to life-enhancing carnival colour.
We loved Ruby Hammer @rubyhammer for the iconic 90s/2000s Ruby & Millie make-up range (oh, the transparent packaging!). We love her still for being the cool girl (woman) we’d all love to be, for her attitude of being ‘unapologetically me’ - and for the fact she’s so generous in sharing all her best make-up tips with us.
Top MUA Caroline Barnes @carolinebarnesmakeup creates gorgeous looks that you just want to copy (access all the technical know-how needed via her seriously good Speed Beauty YouTube channel). Topics include favourite make-up brushes, how to create radiance, applying eye shadow to hooded eyes… #midlifegoals, basically.
The woman who has given Cher a facial, Abigail James @abigailjames1 was crowned ‘the Queen of Skin’ by The Times. Her account has a focus on health and wellbeing in relation to skin, with subjects such as how the menopause impacts skin; facial massage techniques and why you should be using vitamin C. Wonderfully warm and welcoming.
Make-up artist Mira Parmar @miramakeup is known for creating dewy, fresh skin that’s all about the glow. A busy working mum, she gives tips such as how to get gym skin without going to the gym. Yes please. Showcases her professional work alongside looks she’s created on herself and is particularly good for the detailed lists of all the products she uses.
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.