Heather Graham was doing the rounds recently to promote the off-Broadway play, The Money Shot (which she has since dropped out for a late-breaking opportunity to film her own project, Half Magic).
And as is always the case when I catch a rare red carpet glimpse of her, I am blown away by how great she looks. Heather is 44 years old and appears to not.ever.age.
She could easily pass for a decade younger, and yet she doesn't have that inflated, plastic look that so many of her peers have adopted, as we know from all the celebrity before and afters. Nicole Kidman could learn a thing or two from Heather, n'est-ce pas?
Mind you, so could we! I'm seeing many age-defying beauty lessons here, so come a bit closer, and we'll talk about them.
I'll start with her (amazing) hair!
Lesson #1: Get a smooth, bouncy blowout
Hair matters. And the very fastest route to a younger look is nailing the smooth yet voluminous blowout, as Heather's done here. It's nothing crazy—you just want a bit of extra lift, not major teasing—and the texture should still be soft and touchable, not hardened with hair product. Use a round brush to finish off the ends of your hair for a very slight flip. There's a reason all the Victoria's Secret models have this hairstyle!
For volume, lately I've been loving John Frieda Luxurious Volume Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion, which has a spray nozzle that lets you get right at the roots.
Lesson #2: Don't go TOO blonde
Notice that Heather hasn't succumbed to blonderexia, that condition that claims so many of us and causes an irrational desire for more and more blonding. Her colour is a gorgeous warm dark blonde, which is far more flattering for her skin tone than a light blonde, and looks like it could be totally natural. I'm not saying don't colour—just that subtle enhancements are the name of the game. And that deliberately unnatural platinum trend that Thomas wrote about? Probably best left to 20-somethings, not 40-somethings. I think the more "she's born with it" you look, the better (and younger).
Lesson #3: Choose solid colour, not highlights
On a related note, how you colour your hair is important. I've been moaning about highlights for years now, but it bears repeating: you'll get a better, fresher, more youthful result if you go for a single-process or double-process colour. That means that instead of getting a ton of stripey highlights, you do solid colour all over... and then maybe add a faint sprinkling of verrry subtle highlights on the top layer to mimic a sun-kissed effect (although it's not necessary). This is a big reason why Heather looks so young here. You really can't detect any obvious highlights at all.
Now let's zoom in a bit and talk about makeup:
Crazy how good her skin is, right? Wowza.
Lesson #4: Wear low-key, minimal makeup
They say less is more, and it's really so true. I'm all for self-expression with makeup, but it's a fine line—and so easy to cross over into "trying too hard" territory.
Heather is a great example of how you can look younger (and more confident) by wearing less. The focus is on showing off her great skin, and then just subtle eye and lip enhancements: mascara, shimmery rose gold liner, a matte pink lipstick.
Make Up For Ever's new Aqua Matic shadow pencil in Metallic Pinky Beige would be the perfect choice for the eyes.
And try NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Montego Bay for the matte pink mouth:
Lesson #5: Focus on evening out your skin tone
There was a study a few years ago that found it's your skin tone—not so much the number of wrinkles—that makes people perceive you as younger or older.
Heather really proves that point, because I would kill for her complexion—and would have at any age! Clearly, she's had a helping hand from good genetics, but I'll bet she also takes great care of her skin with regular sunscreen and a good routine.
As I mentioned recently, I've found that Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 has made a difference in helping minimize discolourations and breakouts.
If your skin tone isn't quite "there" yet, go for as sheer of a foundation formula that you're comfortable with, and then go in and spot-treat blemishes and dark marks with a higher-coverage concealer; that way, you're creating as light of a skin finish as possible but still getting coverage where you need it. I'm still loving Pixi H2O SkinTint.
And for concealer, you can't beat the coverage of Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer.
Lesson #6: Go for a dewy—not powdery—finish
So Heather's face is a little shiny... and that's okay. Better to be a little dewy than matte and dry; a powdery texture can accentuate even the finest lines and age you.
If you do feel you look too oily, I recommend spot-mattification (okay, not a word, but I'm making it one). I like to use a domed eyeshadow brush dipped in a colourless HD powder (tap off the excess) and then dusted only where I need it, like in the T-zone.
Alternatively, you can use blotting papers like Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens—how cute is this print?!
Lesson #7: Keep your brows a shade or two darker than your hair
This is a movement we're seeing on the younger set (think: Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse), and it looks just as great on 44-year-old Heather. Even though they're not super-full, the extra brow definition really frames her face and makes for a nice contrast with her lighter hair.
To finish up, here's Heather's head-to-toe:
Cute, simple and if you've got legs like that, why not flaunt them?! I would. (Sadly, I don't.) Which brings me to...
Lesson #8: Do yoga... lots and lots of yoga
Get this: Heather has been doing yoga for 30 years (!!), sometimes practising for up to four hours per day. Talk about an advertisement for it! Most of us don't have schedules that would allow for such dedication, but I'm still majorly inspired. She's clearly benefited from its relaxing, calming effects compared to stressful cardio!
Lesson #9: Get 11 or 12 hours of sleep a night
Mom was right. We need our beauty sleep! Heather told People magazine, “I try to get 11 or 12 hours of sleep a night. It sounds excessive but that’s really what I need. It does the trick.” I'll say! It bears contemplating how many of our so-called "skin problems" would be remedied by simply getting enough sleep. If it'll give me skin like Heather's, I'm IN.
Lesson #10: Commit to being happy
Another gem of Heather wisdom: "I’d rather be happily single than unhappily married. In the meantime, I’m having a lot of fun." I like this attitude! It sounds so obvious, but stress is such a beauty-killer (not to mention harmful to health). Being happy on the inside clearly translates to the outside, too.
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