When I started blogging, I had no idea how many new friends I would make. One of my nearest and dearest new buddies is my personal Auntie Mame, Elizabeth, The Vintage Contessa. She in turn, introduced me to decorator, chef and stylist, Cindy Hattersley, of Rough Luxe Lifestyle, with whom I immediately bonded.
They came up with an idea to feature a different woman on each of their blogs who epitomises their vision of AGELESS STYLE. Elizabeth chose me and I thought I’d share the post here. Elizabeth sent me a series of questions which I had great fun answering.
How Would You Describe Your Style?
What Inspires your signature style
Unique, stylish but not over the top.
What accessory Can You Not Do Without?
Bracelets, scarves, and earrings. They always fit perfectly. I love adding visual excitement. People remember me because of my bracelets.
Lime green or maybe lavender, but then again……love charcoal with my silver hair
Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
I love this look: black and white Comfy-USA Tokyo shirt.
Often you’ll find me wearing boyfriend jeans with loafers, t-shirt, scarf, or maybe a ruana from Chateau Bel Age Boutique and bracelets.
My accessories. Because I’m an artist, I’m keenly atuned to visuals. I adore collecting anything from Italian jewelry designer Angela Caputi. Here are few of her creations.
The cobbler who fixes my shoes told me I was his favorite customer because my shoes were always exciting colors.
I have to guard this purse when I carry it. Everybody wants it! I bought it in Sun Valley, Idaho many years ago. It was made in Paris.
Always on the lookout, I spied this rubber purse in a boutique on a side street in Palo Alto.
I can’t remember the name of the shop, but I took one look, and I had to have it. It’s totally impracticable but I love this rubber sea anemone.
Do you have a style icon?
Elizabeth, The Vintage Contessa. She has made a huge impression on me. Her heart is huge, loving and giving. Her taste and style know no bounds. She has an impeccable eye. We met online, made a date to meet in person and we immediately became best buddies. She has encouraged me to let my inner style blossom.
Don’t we look like twins –– well, at least related?
What are your beauty essentials that you couldn’t do without?
I was recently asked to be a model by Bryan Haugen, owner and artist of the Makeover Workshop site. He used a primer that lets my skin show through while it evens out the color. In the past, I had tried EVERY high to low-end foundation and hated them all. Too much coverage. My face would look like a mask or too shiny or too yellow or just too much like makeup. This primer simply works. I do use bronzer and blush with it but for a light base that lets your skin show through. This is it for me. https://www.makeoverworkshop.com/primer/
I have found my Holy Grail of foundations.
There are a number of other products that really work for me. I love Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration (quite the name). I discovered this product when Salli Hughes raved about it in her column for The Guardian. It seems to moisturize and keep my face moist for hours. Love it and I love the price. $36 at my CVS and you can also find specials on line at their website. Also Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Infusion. Again it was a YouTuber I admire, MakeupMLC, who raved about it. She was right. It adds moisture to my skin. I also love Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleanser Balm as a first cleanser. I haven’t found the perfect second skin cleanser, so If you’ve got a suggestion, I’m game. I also use my buddy Judith August’s, Everything Pencil to easily cover some of my white scars from skin cancer surgery.
I must tell you a funny story about buying face products. I walked into Barney’s San Francisco with The Vintage Contessa. We were looking for Linda Rodin’s new lipsticks. A sales associate grabbed me and told me how dry the wrinkles around my eyes looked. (She probably had just given up a promising career in the diplomatic service). For starters, she began applying creams around my eyes while endlessly, commenting on my lines. I finally could not restrain my self and announced that I was 76-years-old and what in the world did she expect? There was a long silent pause and she very discreetly stopped applying the cream which, she informed me, was made with waters from a magical stream in Lithuania.
Do you have repeat offenders in your closet if so what are they?
Too much black, black, black. I want to expand my palette so I’m always on the lookout for livelier colors. One of my favorites is lime. That doesn’t mean it looks the best on me, but I love the edginess of it.
What advice do you have for women over 50, or over 40?
Exercise, wear SPF and forget about your age. It’s a privilege to age. Never forget it. One day you will look at your photos of when you were 50 and think “ My goodness I was so youthful then. What was I thinking?”
Clothing? You must know to simply wear what looks good on you. I’m not going tell you what to wear. I remember commenting on a blog that at 75 I didn’t think I could wear boyfriend jeans. I was told in no uncertain terms that “ Yes, Yes, Yes,” I could wear them and I’ve never stopped.
Do you have any style rules that you live by?
That said, I don’t like to look too suggestive: nothing too tight, too low, or too high. Chanel once said to look in the mirror and take one thing off before you leave the house. Of course, there are exceptions. If you’re going to an Advanced Style book signing, pile it on. If you’re going to a funeral, don’t even think about it. Rules? Fuggetaboutit!
What are your favorite online go to sources?
Do you have a particular designer that you are drawn to?
Dries Van Noton has an incredible eye for pattern and contemporary style.
I wonder if he appeals to me because his patterns remind me of my paintings? Hm?
But in my case, it’s not all glitz and glamour. Every now and then a mini-glimpse of the real me appears. As La Contessa and I were about to begin a fun day of shopping and lunch, she did a double take, repressed a smile and whispered in my ear that I was sporting a curler in my hair. At that point, we both burst out laughing!