Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Book Review: Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45 August 18, 2011

Staging Your Comeback:  A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45 by Christopher Hopkins is not a book about skincare so you might wonder why I wanted to review it for my blog.  I wanted to review this book and own this book since I found that it was a great guide for helping women look and feel their best as they age.  I especially wanted to own the book for the chapter about make-up application since the majority of my clients at my job are over 45.  Applying make-up to someone over the age of 45 is a completely different ballgame than applying make-up to someone in their 20s.  Chapter 6:Make-up as Art and Spirit has proved invaluable to me for my job.

Clearly this book is meant for women of a certain age, but I did find that a lot of the tips would suit women of all ages – finding a flattering hair style, figuring out which clothes best suit your figure, and creating a make-up routine that enhances your appearance.  Though Hopkins has a specific segment of the population in mind when writing this book his tips can be used by everyone.  Hopkins really wrote this book for women who seem to have “given up” as they have aged.  So many of the make-over stories in the book focus on women who once took pride in their appearance and now invest little to no time in how they look.  This is not a book about being vain or superficial; this is a book that helps you match how you feel on the inside with how you look on the outside.  Furthermore, Hopkins repeatedly explains how devising and then maintaining a flattering hairstyle, wardrobe, and make-up look can boost your self-esteem and help the rest of the world see the real you thus helping you feel both more confident and happier.

I thought Hopkins clearly explained some of the key reasons why everyone should put some thought and care into their appearance:

I grew up in the rural Midwest, where belief systems are designed to keep you grounded.  If you were told “Don’t get too big for your britches,” “Remember where you came from,” or “Don’t reach for the moon,” you know the power of early belief-system training.  A belief system is a mindset that controls your behavior, and it can feel very uncomfortable to challenge some of those old ingrained beliefs.  If you want to blast those belief systems, you must first feel that you deserve the “self-indulgence” of looking great every day.  You have the power to express yourself not as expected but as amazing.  Voices of the past must be put out with the trash.  You can change your belief systems, and indeed you must, to move forward.  (page 11)

Excuses hinder.  In my business I’ve heard every excuse for why someone won’t make an effort to look better.  We look exactly how we look because of the choices we’ve made.  How we will look in the future comes from the choices we make today.  Once we reevaluate our belief systems, the next step is to expose the excuses that hold us back.  (page 12)

We all want to express our individuality.  When we are young, it is easier to be an individual because we experiment more with our look and get away with it.  We can give our messages about who we are by our choices of clothes and how we wer our hair and makeup.  We have more color.  We have more definition.  Our individuality shines through naturally.  As we age, we begin to see signs of change.  We begin to redefine ourselves as we mature.  We’re more experienced and seasoned, and hopefully our image reflects that.  We don’t want to go back.  We also don’t want to look outdated or “out of that loop.”  I often hear women say, “I like who I am, just as I am.”  Okay, great but do people see who you are when you walk into a room?  Being who you are is one thing, but letting others see who you are takes a little more thought.  If I took a photo of you right now and passed it around, asking for words that describe you, would they be adjectives you’d want to hear?  If you could list five qualities you’d want someone to know about you, what would they be?  If you want to be appreciated for who you are, it helps to present those qualities in how you look.  (pages 29 – 30)

When you feel good, you exude confidence.  I often hear people say that they have nothing to dress up for – they work in the home and they never really go out.  I don’t know what has happened to us.  Seriously.  Why can’t you just look good for you?!  The minute you walk out the door of your house you are in the public eye.  When you’re in your house, you are in the eye of yourself and your family.  Be an inspiration, not a warning.  …  Create life events.  Whether it’s a dinner with your spouse, church, a meeting, work, play, a picnic, holiday, a wedding, or a party, it is the opportunity and motivation to make your entrance.  You’re the star in your show; look and feel like one!  (page 239)

So how exactly does one go about staging their comeback?  Hopkins has a process that one needs to go through in order to chang their appearance and their outlook.  That process involves more than just finding a hair stylist (though he shares tips on how to do that as well).  The process begins with some internal work – you need to take Hopkins’ quizzes and ask yourself some questions as well. Luckily the book makes the entire process very clear and concise, but it does take some time and effort on your part.  All the tips and tricks are great – from how to dress for your body type, to finding the right hair style, to make-up application.  And as I mentioned above many, many of these tips are good for women of all ages.  And if you aren’t convinced that Hopkins’ tips will work for you just skip ahead to the makeovers at the end of the book.  Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe some of the makeovers or all of them really.  Check out my favorite makeover below.

I definitely recommend looking at and then following the ideas and instructions in this book if you have started to feel like you are not looking and feeling your best.  It isn’t superficial or vain to want to look pretty and feel attractive.  When you look good you feel good so why not try?  Really you’ve got nothing to lose.  And now having said all that I am going to go put on a little eye make-up.  That always lifts my spirits.

Check out Hopkins’ website for more information and be sure to look at the stunning before and after photos from the book.

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