The Emmy nominations for lead actress in a drama proved that being over 40 in Hollywood does not mean the end of good roles. The Emmys’ red carpet will prove that it also does not mean the end of good fashion.
As Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close, Sally Field, Mariska Hargitay and Holly Hunter stylishly step out of their limos, it will become clear that career experience includes knowing how to work an arrivals line.
Multiple Emmy winner Lucille Ball once said the secret to staying young was “live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.” Now Hollywood’s top style experts chime in with their tips on how to look red-carpet ready.
Diamonds Aren’t Always a Girl’s Best Friend
“Big jewels that look like they belong to Queen Elizabeth just say ‘old lady,'” claims “How Not to Look Old” author Charla Krupp. Experts tend to agree that when it comes to jewelry, anyone over 40 should keep it simple. “‘Dynasty’ was canceled a long time ago, and Candy Spelling is not really considered the height of modern fashion,” says “Entertainment Tonight’s” style guru Steven Cojocaru. “A woman could never go wrong with a simple deco diamond bracelet for flash or a few diamond bracelets.”
“One secret that I give all my celeb clients before an award show is to sleep with a hydrating mask the night before,” says Shalini Vadhera, author of “Passport to Beauty.” “This will help give your skin a fresh, healthy glow and will allow makeup to go on smoothly.”
Red Carpet Role Models
Vadhera points to Sedgwick as a woman who gets it right in the makeup department. “She does a great job of keeping it classic and natural.” Cojocaru says Hargitay is the one to watch for the proper dress code. “I would call her the over-40 bombshell. She knows how to work every single inch of her curves and could pretty much pull off anything, but she understands what is age appropriate and mostly works her shoulders.”
Lea Journo, creative director of Lea Journo The Salon in Beverly Hills says once you hit 40, some things are simply forbidden: “Adding volume to the sides of your hair should not be done, as it will only age you.” Instead, Journo suggests keeping hair soft and close to the face. “You don’t want to be overdone, so leave things looking a little undone. Soft bangs also help add some softness to your face.”
A Tall Order
No Emmy ensemble would be complete without stylish stilettos. “Whatever your outfit is, don’t wear flats,” Krupp advises. “Always wear heels — they make you look taller, slimmer, hipper, and you’ll walk with confidence. Don’t give up on heels!”
Your True Colors
When it comes to picking out the color of your dress, remember, “something solid always trumps prints,” Cojocaru says. “You can never go wrong with jewel tones: brilliant emeralds, beautiful deep burgundies and luscious purple.”
For a little extra va va voom on the big night, Carisa Janes, founder of Hourglass Cosmetics, says eyelash extensions are the way to go. “Lashes, when applied correctly, will give you a confident boost and a fresh, natural look. They are the best beauty accessory a woman can have for a big evening.”
Who Are You Wearing?
When searching for the perfect Emmy gown, check out looks by designers Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren and Chanel. “All of these designers really understand a woman’s body. They just know how to complement it,” Cojocaru says. “They think beyond size-zero scarecrow.”
Right in the Kisser
With Botox, peels and injections galore, it’s important not go overboard or, as Cojocaru says, you could end up “looking like a platypus.” Janes warns: “Overinflated lips are dated. If you must inject, do it three months minimum prior to the big night. Or better yet, just skip it.”
Can I See Some ID?
The key is to look great for your age. Don’t try to look 20 years younger by wearing skimpy clothes, getting overly tan and putting in long hair extensions. “If you’re trying to look like a teen,” Cojocaru says, “spend more time with your psychotherapist than at your hairdressers.”