Turning 40 lats year was far less traumatic than I ever expected it to be. The reasons can fill a blog post or three, but among them you can count getting to know several very inspiring bloggers who've been there, done that but show no sign of it on their well-pampered skin. Kari from Fab Over 40 is one such blogger. She's one of my skincare gurus and obviously knows her stuff, researches it thoroughly and articulates her findings in a way that makes absolute sense to me. Skincare is not magic- it's discipline and awareness of the best ingredients. Kari has both.
Here's Kari in her own words:
When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging in February 2008. Sometime in 2006 I started reading beauty blogs when my boys were teenagers and I would stay up reading blogs while I waited for them to get home for their curfew time. But, back then most blogs were written by young women who were in their 20's and so many of the makeup looks and types didn't resonate with me being in my 40's, but I liked the idea of a blog. So finally about 12-18 months later I decided it was time to speak my passion.
Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog? My main focus is the woman over 40. You won't see the latest "Barbie" collection or that type of thing shown on my site, it's not what my readers relate to. I discuss what makeup works for women in this age group, what she should avoid and why. Skincare is another big thing I discuss. I am constantly testing new skin care products and trying to make it more clear as to what women over 40 and beyond need for their skin. I'm really an advocate for prevention and taking care of your skin, not for surgery to try and change your face; in other words, enjoy the skin you're in, just take care of it!
Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom? I have been a beauty fanatic for as long as I can recall. I remember when I was deemed old enough by my parents to be able to buy Seventeen magazine, I'd always head to the beauty and makeup pages first. I'd love seeing the color and textures and longed to try some of the products in person. My grandmother let me play with her makeup, so I loved going to her house as a child and I could be engrossed for hours playing with her blushes, shadows, lipsticks and perfume. She never got upset with me when I played in her things, she let my passion for beauty blossom.
Tell us a little about yourself. I've been married for nearly 28 years and I have two boys in college that are both about to graduate. Being an empty nester has afforded me the time to do my blog, I never could have found the time many years ago, so I praise these women who have a FT job, are raising their kids and doing a blog! It's amazing to me. I also work for an interior design firm as the business manager. Fabrics and makeup really do have a lot in common, so sometimes when I describe makeup it comes naturally for me to compare it to a certain type of fabric. I enjoy traveling, yoga, reading and always learning something new. And without a doubt, beauty shopping!
What's your daily beauty routine?
Well, in the morning I cleanse my face with a gentle cleanser while in the shower. I apply vitamin C to my face and while that is absorbing (best to leave that soak in for 2 minutes minimum) I slather my skin from neck to toe in a moisturizing lotion or body oil. I then apply an under eye cream, serum, moisturizer and last SPF. SPF is a must for me as twice pre-melanoma moles were found on my body. Depending on my skin that day determines which foundation I'll use, but I always apply a concealer and a primer for my eye lids as well. Then the shades of eye shadow I use typically depend on what I'm wearing that day or what look I want to create - natural or more smoky etc. My blush shade depends on what eye look I go for and then after I have breakfast or even when I arrive at work is when I put on my lipstick/gloss. In the evening, my routine is much the same - eye cream, instead of a vitamin C I use a retinoid after my nightly serum and before a moisturizer and no SPF at night. My dermatologist told me the best way to remember which order to use products is to go from the thinnest to the thickest - so serums come before moisturizers. Twice a week I exfoliate and once a week I use a moisturizing mask. Oh, and I use my Clarisonic 4-5 times a week at night when cleansing my face. I've found that it really changed my skin for the better.
If we were to invade your beauty closet what surprises would we find?
Pretty much what every woman would have in her beauty bag - just a lot more choices!
How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? Embarrassingly more than I'd ever use! I am such a lipstick and gloss fiend! One time I added them all up that I had in my current handbag and decided it was ridiculous - I had over 25 and I needed to organize them better. I would use one or two and toss it in my bag - by the end of the week I'd have so many in there. Now I have my lipstick and glosses separated by brand in their own makeup bag, and I know what textures and colors I have from each brand, so in the morning I can just grab a makeup bag and toss it in my handbag knowing that in that bag is that certain gloss or lipstick from XYZ brand that would complete my look.
What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
Never go to bed without washing your face. I don't think I ever have since I was a young teen. There's also a quote that Giorgio Armani said that I put into a makeup context, "Elegance does not mean being noticed, it means being remembered."
Top image: a Christian Dior hat, Vogue, 1960