7 deadly FOF sins




1Imitating a 25 year old by wearing your hair too long, your skirts too short and your shirts too revealing.

Even if you’ve had a facelift, and wear a size 2, you’ll never look 25 again, so change the clothes and hair.

2Speaking of size 2, the French say “10 extra pounds on your body equals 10 years off your age.”

You may think it’s cute that you’re 5’8” and a size 2, but it isn’t; it really isn’t.


Disrespecting your daughter-in-law.

She could be a monster, but it’s a no-win for you if your son loves her. So suck it up and be civil.


Gossiping about your girlfriends.

We left high school decades ago.


5Making sure that your clothes, shoes and accessories are gorgeous, but not doing anything about your thinning hair.

If your scalp is showing, they won’t look at the clothes. And forget all the advice about wearing your hair short. Short thinning hair doesn’t look better than long thinning hair.


Hair by LeMetric.

Being unable to walk in the stilettos you’re wearing.

The shoes may be stunning but your gait is anything but.


Shamelessly and publicly bragging about your children–in front of them–after they’ve turned 10.

Just don’t do it.


{Beauty Testing} 12 Benefits Hair Products

Paulmaier, the manufacturer of 12 Benefits hair products, promises that their Rapid Blowout Spray and Instant Healthy Hair Treatment ($24.95 each at Soft Surroundings) will “dramatically reverse the aged and damaged look and feel” of your hair by restoring the natural lipids that you lose when you shampoo and style. The Rapid Blowout Spray is formulated with Argan oil and “reduces blow-dry time, volumizes fine locks, adds shine and helps reduce damage from heat styling tools,” according to their marketing materials. The Instant Healthy Hair Treatment, which should be sprayed on to hair “from mid-shaft to ends,” “seals your color, smooths frizz and strengthens fragile hair.” Can this hair care duo truly do away with bad hair days? FOF product testers untangle the truth . . .



For how long did you use these products?
I am still using the products [after several months]– they are a very generous size.

{click here to read all the reviews!}

Did you notice a difference in your hair?
I have a dry scalp and frizzy hair, especially when it is humid. Using heat styling tools has only multiplied my frizz. I noticed a difference after about three weeks. My hair is glossier, silkier and smoother. It swings a bit more. My sister asked me what I had been using because she noticed the difference in luster.

Would you recommend these hair products to a friend?
Wholeheartedly. The oil in the second product is so light, it never weighed my hair down.



How long did you use the product?
Approximately 8 weeks.

Did you notice a difference in your hair?
Definitely! [It made my hair] soft and extremely shiny–a much more controlled look!

Was your hair dry or damaged before you started using the product?
Yes, very!

Did you see an improvement in the look and feel of your hair?
Yes. I was complimented by my hairdresser — she said my hair was in great condition.

Do you think the blow dry spray and healthy hair treatment are a good value?
They are much less costly than products I have tried that didn’t work as well. I would easily spend that amount on these products.

Would you use these products again?
In a heartbeat!

Would you recommend these hair products to a friend?
I have recommended them to a few of my friends who noticed a difference in my hair.



For how long did you use the hair products?
Three times a week for four weeks.

Did you notice a difference in your hair?

How did the products make your hair look?
Slightly volumized.

Were the directions easy to follow?

Do you think the blow dry spray and healthy hair treatment are worth the value?
Not on my retiree budget.

Would you use these products again?
Probably not, although I would recommend them to others.



For how long did you use these products?
I took these wonderful products to France for a 3-week vacation.

Did you notice a difference in your hair?
After the sun, wind and dry air, [my hair] needed help. This is a terrific product and I will be more than happy to use it from now on.

Would you use these products again? Would you recommend these hair products to a friend?
Not only did I enjoy these products, but I loaned them to friends traveling with us on the Vantage riverboat. All of their reviews were totally positive too.


Leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to test ResVitále Collagen Enhance ($39.99).  Twelve women will receive this product to test.

By entering this contest you are agreeing to test and submit a written review of this product to FabOverFifty and send a photo of yourself to accompany the published story.

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Participants will be chosen at random from all those who leave a comment. Contest closes December 9, 2011.)

{Giveaway} 12 Benefits Hair Products

5 FOFs will get to test two fab new products from Paulmaier: 12 Benefits Rapid Blowout Argan Oil Blow Dry Spray and 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment. To enter, answer in the comments below: Do you blow dry your hair every day?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

What’s the formula for gorgeous, lustrous hair? 95% protein, 3% moisture and trace elements, and 2% natural lipids, according to researchers at Paulmaier, who have been studying hair for over sixty years. It doesn’t take much to throw off this delicate balance–chlorine, salt water, UV exposure, flat ironing, and blow-drying all strip hair of it’s natural lipids, leaving it brittle and unmanageable. But Paulmaier promises that its 12 Benefits duo restores natural lipids to FOF hair “dramatically reversing the “AGED & DAMAGED” look and feel.” You be the judge! 5 FOFs will win a set and put this product to the test.

Enter to test 12 Benefits Rapid Blowout Argan Oil Blow Dry Spray and Instant Healthy Hair Treatment. 5 FOFs will win. To enter, answer in the comments below: Do you blow dry your hair every day?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes September 8, 2011.)

{Beauty} FOF Hair-apy session with Lois Joy Johnson

As a beauty and fashion director for over 30 years, Lois Joy Johnson has interviewed every stylist under the sun and sampled every product under the moon. As the author of Vibrant Nation’s hair guide, she spent the last year putting all the top tricks together in one place. This week, we gave her your top FOF hair gripes, and she gave us a genius hair-apy session:

My hair is so dry since I went through menopause…what can I do?
Dry, brittle, dehydrated hair is a big issue for women in their 50s and 60s. Our generation was told that oil-free makeup and products were a good thing — however, after menopause we need all the moisture we can get. Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, hair repair masques and alternate using dry shampoo and regular shampoo. (Read my product recommendations below).

Help! My hair is thinning. What do I do?
Every single women over fifty experiences some degree of thinning hair. Usually women say, “I have half the hair I had at 30.” When thinning becomes excessive or you’re experiencing dramatic hair loss, you need a doctor to identify the source — either an endocrinologist (a hormone specialist) or a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. In a lot of cases, hair loss has to do with hormones and a shift in estrogen but, it could also be a thyroid issue, iron deficiency, genetic or a compilation of causes.

What are some solutions for hair loss?
It would be great to say one product solves it all, but your doctor’s diagnosis is really going to affect that treatment. Hereditary loss usually requires a hair transplant and there are certain surgeons who specialize in hair restoration. I think Dr. Gary Perrault in Beverly Hills and Dr. Catherine Orentreich in New York are the best in the business. Rogaine is the only over-the-counter topical treatment approved by the FDA for hair loss and regrowth. It increases the blood supply to the scalp and jump-starts growth at the hair follicles. It can work for some women, for some it doesn’t work at all, for others it may start working then stop. You have to use it every day, for life. It works best for women who have thinning at the crown and early hair loss. Some dermatologists prescribe Propecia, a pill that inhibits DHT production (DHT is what kills the hair follicle). It’s only approved by the FDA for men because it can cause birth defects, but many doctors will prescribe it to women past menopause.

Are there any supplements I can take to help with thinning hair?
I’ve always taken biotin supplements, which a lot of doctors and dermatologists recommend for thinning hair. I also take Viviscal, a supplement made with marine extracts such as shark, cod and biotin. Doctors and dermatologists have mixed opinions about the benefits of hair supplements. Some dermatologists say ‘it’s hocus pocus,’ some dermatologists say ‘I don’t know why — but it works.’ I think they do.

Long or short after fifty?
The stereotypes about hair for women over fifty don’t exist anymore. Some women with short hair look modern and chic such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen DeGeneres or Annette Bening. Then, others have long hair and look fabulous too such as Maria Schriver, Christie Brinkley or Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s hard to generalize but a cant miss length is mid-length from the chin to the collar bone. It seems to work for a lot of women and you can add choppy layers or bangs for texture.

Should I go gray or color it?
Few women have that Rolls Royce silvery, gray hair that’s gorgeous. Think about Judi Dench, the model Carmen or Helen Mirren. Gray like that is usually enhanced with highlights to make it more dimensional and and luster. I think that even a small shift in color as your hair transitions helps brighten the skin, soften lines and shadows on the face and counteract pigmentation changes in the skin. Hair color can also create a fuller, thicker look when thinning becomes an issue. It coats the hair shaft making it feel thicker. Optically, tone-on-tone color or highlights helps create the illusion of movement, depth and texture. So, should you color? It’s an individual choice and an option that should be considered carefully. I’ll never give up my colorist Brad Johns and my super-blonde locks!

I’m going gray and want to dye my hair dark. What should I be wary of?
Light roots on dark hair can make your part seem wider and create the illusion of thinning hair — exactly what you don’t want. You really have to be vigilant about your roots between color fixes. There’s no reason not to since Clairol and L’Oreal have excellent touch-up products that take only a few minutes to use.

I’m going gray and want to dye my hair blond. What should I be wary of?
If you are going for a dramatic color change — go to a pro. Boosting light brown hair that is graying with at-home color a shade or two warmer or brighter is fine. However, if you are a brunette with gray that wants to go blond, use a colorist for best results. Be sure your skin tone contrasts with your hair color enough so that you don’t appear washed out. The right blonde for women over fifty is broken up with warmer and lighter tones, not one uniform color which tends to look wiggy and retro.

I’m going gray and want to dye my hair red. What should I be wary of?
Red hair is the hardest to pull off at any age. If you weren’t a redhead in your youth, you better think a thousand times if you want to be a redhead after fifty. It’s difficult getting the right shade so it doesn’t look phony.

I think I’m just going to let my hair go gray… what should I keep in mind?
Many women think, ‘Whoopee! I decided not to dye my hair so now I don’t have to do anything.’ This isn’t true. Gray hair takes work because it comes in more wiry in texture and sometimes is more dry. You need to work with a stylist to find the right cut and condition it like crazy.

So, you’re saying that FOFs can pull off color or gray, long or short hair…is there anything they can’t pull off?
Barrettes. I was at the opera and there was a chic, elegantly-dressed woman who had little glittery barrettes in her hair. I thought ‘No more cutesy hair accessories! Save them for your granddaughter.’ Headbands have to be very selectively used. They can work sometimes but keep it simple — a thin, leather or tortoise shell headband in neutral colors.

1. You can freshen your hair without having to shampoo it every five seconds.  FOF hair is already dry and washing too often can dry it out more. Try Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo.
2. A deep penetrating conditioner or hair mask is important for women over fifty — it helps nourish your hair. I like Davines NOUNOU Nourishing Repair Mask because it has olive butter in it.
3. I hear women, especially women over fifty, complain all the time that their dryer is too heavy. I use a T3 travel hair dryer because it’s lighter but has just as much power as a full-size one. It’s expensive but worth every penny.
4. I alternate between this amazing Italian product Terax Conditioner and the Fekkai glossing conditioner. Terax is more expensive than drugstore products, but I like to splurge on my haircare.
5. I think women really misuse styling products. If you have fine hair, you don’t want to pile a lot of stuff on. I just use a teeny bit of John Frieda Hair Serum to give it a smooth, finished look. I think this serum is the best.
6. Use dry hair conditioners — ones with olive oil and shea butter are particularly nourishing. Try Fekkai Glossing Conditioner
7. I’m pretty loyal to John Frieda products, because they just work. When I use shampoo, I use John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde.

[Read the entire interview with Lois here]

{Poll} Should these celebs color, cut or keep their hairstyles?

Why do we hear so many donts about our ‘dos when we turn fifty? “Long hair is for 20-year-olds, don’t grow out your hair” or “Don’t let your hair go gray–it ages you!” What do we believe? Are maxims about our manes meant to be broken?

Take a look at these FOF celebs. Some have opted for long locks others for trimmed tresses. Some sport silver styles other color their coiffures. What do you think of their ‘dos? Answer our poll and find out what other FOFs think.

Should Rita Wilson cut it or keep it?

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Should Christie Brinkley cut it or keep it?

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Should Jamie Lee Curtis color it or keep it?

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Should Julianne Moore cut it or keep it?

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Should Alana Stewart cut it or keep it?

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Should Emmylou Harris color it or keep it?

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Should Jane Seymour cut it or keep it?

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Should Helen Mirren color it or keep it?

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Should Michelle Pfeiffer cut it or keep it?

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Should Blythe Danner color it or keep it?

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Images via Zimbio: Rita Wilson, Christie Brinkley, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julianne Moore, Alana Stewart, Emmylou Harris, Jane Seymour, Helen Mirren, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Blythe Danner

{Giveaway} Beverly Johnson Haircare Bundle

FOF supermodel Beverly Johnson is giving away a bundle of her new hair styling products. One lucky FOF will win Beverly Johnson Lite Polishing Shine Spray, Conditioning Pomade, Relaxing Mousse, and Combing Spray.

To enter, comment below and answer: Do you wash your hair every day?

We had never heard the word “modelpreneur” until we met FOF Beverly Johnson. Beverly was the first African-American supermodel to land a coveted spot on the cover of Vogue, in 1974. Since then she’s appeared on more than 500 magazine covers including Glamour, Ebony and Cosmopolitan and now, at the age of 58, she’s launched her own line of hair care products.

Read Beverly’s interview with FOF here.

To enter, comment below and answer: Do you wash your hair every day? (See all our past winners, here.)

Contest closes November 4, 2010.

Images via Beverly Johnson Haircare

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

{Makeovers} LaDonna Gets All Dolled Up

FOF LaDonna Hale Curzon, 53, emailed FOF founder Geri Brin a few months ago with this charming ode to turning fifty:

“Three years ago, I learned to ride a motorcycle and now own one; rode twice in Rolling Thunder; learned to fly my hydrofoil on the Potomac; sent my daughters to college; caught a large-mouth bass with a fly rod; learned to play golf; started *Sarah Palin Radio; celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary and had my first Botox injection. Life just gets started at 50!”

Geri loved LaDonna’s story and offered an FOF makeover to help transform her look to match her new lease on life.

LaDonna agreed, and this summer, she and her daughter Sarah, 19, traveled from their home in Alexandria to NYC to meet with an FOF makeover crew.

“She needs a firm hand sometimes with the style,” Sarah told us. “I think she likes to be relaxed so much that she just doesn’t think about it.”

“I’ve been raising two teenage daughters and all the focus has been on them,” LaDonna explained. “Their clothes, their beauty – and of course they look stunning.  They’d watch all the makeover shows on TV and say, ‘Mom, that should be you.’ And I’d say, ‘I know.’”

We turned to the team at Butterfly Studio Salon in Manhattan, where an expert hair stylist, colorist, and makeup artist combined to play the role of Fairy Godmother.  Sharon Roth at Jarbo Collection—one of our fave FOF designers—supplied the “after” outfits.

HAIR: “I love coming to get my haircut; it’s like therapy for me,” LaDonna said. “Because I always leave happy and it’s cheaper than going to a therapist.  It’s like massaging your ego.”

{Click here to see all of colorist Tammy Kopie’s techniques}

{Click here to see all of hairstylist Kelly Finneran’s tips}

MAKEUP: Francesca Roman worked her makeup magic with products from Paula Dorf.

{Click here to see everything she used}

After the make-up, we asked LaDonna how the finished makeover felt.

“I feel divine,” she said.  “I love everything they’ve done.  My hair feels so soft and sophisticated, and it has some highlights, which I’ve never had in my life.  The makeup is unbelievable. I really didn’t recognize myself – in a good way.  My daughter was complimenting me!”

Images by Katherine McPherson for FabOverFifty.com

[*Editor’s note: We love LaDonna but want to clarify that Faboverfifty has no political affiliation.]

{Style Expert} Poof! 7 tricks to make your age disappear

When Carol Tuttle turned 50 two years ago she vowed to defy biology.

“I reached a fork in the road. There was the ‘I’m going to look old path’ or the ‘I don’t think so path,’” said Carol, the author of Dressing Your Truth, a best-selling guide to finding your signature style based on Carol’s system of beauty “Types.” “Around 50 your body wants to get a little saggier or put on extra pounds, but I challenge that. You can choose to maintain fitness and vitality, but it takes an investment–a more dedicated investment than when you were 25.”

After doing literally hundreds of makeovers with FOFs across the country, Carol says there are seven age-defying musts every FOF should know:


7. Use lipliner, lipstick AND gloss.

FOFs often have feathering. Lipliner frames the lip so the lipstick doesn’t bleed. The gloss holds the lipstick and gives shine and a fuller look.

Carol’s picks:

Lip Liner: Clinique Quickliner for Lips in Honeystick is a good neutral that will blend with almost any lip color. Plus, it’s retractable so it never needs sharpening.

Lipstick: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey adds just enough color without leaving you looking made up.

Gloss: Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Knock Out Nude has an SPF15 which is very important for protection.


6. Swap black eyeliner for brown and avoid liquid liner.

Liquid and black-colored eyeliners accentuate eye wrinkles. Instead, choose a less-harsh brown eye pencil to line the top lid from the inside out. The only women who should wear black eyeliner are those with porcelain skin and dark hair.

Carol’s picks: Sephora Collection Slim Pencil in “Medium Brown.”


5. Update your jeans. I tell my two adult daughters, ‘When I was your age, a woman’s waistline was at her belly-button!’ Today, jeans should land an inch and a half below your navel.

Carol’s picks: Not Your Daughters Jeans and Paige Premium Denim. These brands cater to fuller hips and thighs.


4. Get a bra fitting every few years and buy new bras every 6 months. Saggy boobs really age a woman. Get a bra-fitting and invest in a quality bra. You should be recycling your bras every 6 months or when the backside of the bra is no longer holding its original elasticity. It’s better to have fewer bras and replace them more often.

Carol’s picks: Go to Nordstrom for bra fitting.


3.  Use brow powder to cover grays between color appointments.

We all get patches of gray hair on our temples and our brow lines between color appointments. Cover the gray with a brow powder that matches your hair. Use an oversized shadow brush to dab on the powder and voila, your gray is gone.

Carol’s picks: Bare Escentuals Essential Brow Color easily covers the gray and is healthy for your hair. My line of brow powder, Dressing Your Truth Brush on Brow comes in eight colors to match your hair, from blonde to very dark.


2. Incorporate a daily fitness routine into your lifestyle.

Maintaining your body doesn’t have to mean running 5 miles at the gym everyday. Even basic daily strength training can make a huge difference.

Carol’s picks: The T-Tapp, an easy, 15-minute fitness routine created by exercise physiologist Teresa Tapp. I highly recommend doing it 4-7 times a week. It helps with your posture and lymphatic system and reduces fat. If you’re dedicated and eat healthily you can easily drop a dress size with this routine.


1. Update your hairstyle. The biggest anti-aging secret is the right color, cut and style. I see women lose 10-20 years off their appearance just by changing their hairstyle alone.

Carol’s picks:

If you have a rectangular face, go for a sleek and straight style with a few layers like Michelle Pfeiffer. Just keep your length no longer than your shoulder blades.

If you have a rounder face, go for a medium length, bouncy or curly style to create a youthful look like Susan Sarandon.

If you have a chiseled, angular face shape go with a short, edgy, layered look like Jane Fonda.


Images via Carol Tuttle, Sephora, Nordstrom, figleaves, amazon.com, Top News, Blogmeister USA, and The Hair Styler

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