Middle Aged Braids and Other Fall Hair and Make-up Trends

The nice thing about getting older is that I’m a lot more confident about my sense of style.  I know what works on my body and what doesn’t (looking at you peplum), where to spend my money and where to cheap out.

The problem is, the line between a timeless sense of style and being in a rut is a thin one.  Plus, I work in an office largely inhabited by women under the age of 35 so I’m keenly aware of feeling frozen in amber.  I’ll happily embrace leather, fur, brocade, pencil skirts, embellished collars and crazy prints.  But in the spirit of thinking outside of my comfort zone, I’m test driving a few hair and make-up trends that I otherwise might pass on by.

A. Braids

After months of all nighters and Power Point, my team needed to have some fun, so I treated to an afternoon at the John Barrett Braid Bar.  I want to like this trend, and my stylist Anya did a wonderful job factoring in the fact that I wasn’t 20.

Nonetheless, my team and I felt like we all looked too much like we came from a Soviet Bloc country to milk cows.  Or, at the very least like we were all in someone’s bridal party.  In my opinion, to pull off braids, you have to be comfortable having your hair flat and close to your head, which I am not.  I need all the volume I can get and got to sleep at night praying for the beehive to come back in style.

Still, I felt like a lovely mash-up of trendy meets Downton Abbey for the 6 hours they stayed in place.

Verdict: meh

B. Nail Art 

Ever since I discovered UV gel polish, I’ve been stuck in two color speeds: red and something that looks like Mademoiselle.  But with nail art everywhere, I  began to wonder if my nails were being left out of the party and decided to give it a try to see if real life is as fun as Pinterest.

I put myself in the capable hands of the Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa.

“You want Lady Gaga nail?” asked the soft-spoken manicurist as she gently handed me some lemon tea.  “Nooo…no, no, no.” I said slowly retracting my hand.  “Something like a French manicure, but a little hipper.”  “I help you” she said and got to work.  Two coats of gold Zoya Ziv nail polish, layered with two coats of Chanel Vendetta on top, and my nails were transformed from meh to yeah.   My Grace Kelley nails can suck it this fall, I’m channelling Gaga (just a bit).

Verdict: Yeah!

C. Hair Jewelry

I’ve been wanting the tiara to make a comeback since 1975, so I’ve been thrilled with all the glittery headbands I’ve been seeing everywhere.   I wear my hair blown out and long Monday thru Tuesday, but Wednesday to Friday I pull it back in either a pony tail or spin it into a bun.  So for my Wednesday hair, this leather studded glittery headband from Lelet NY frames my face like a princess and gives just a tiny bit of bump to the crown.  The best part is they’re also meant to be worn as bracelets for the lazy girls like me who never put stuff back where they belong.

Verdict: Yeah!

D. Wine Lips 

My default lip is a pinky, peachy, nude sort of color because I find that on me, a darker lip is aging and I like a smokey eye.   But the wine lip trend had me nostalgic for 1997 and “Friends” so thought, why not, I can always wipe it off.

And wipe it off I did after trying on 17 shades of burgundy in search of one that didn’t make me look like Dracula.  The one that finally worked for me was Tom Ford’s Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Love Bruise.  It’s sheer and glossy, which to me is the trick for pulling off a darker lip.

Verdict: meh

Well, two out of four aint bad.  I think I’ll test drive more often.   How about you?  Anything you’re dying to try that doesn’t involve body ink, piercings or wads of cash?