A photo I came across on Instagram, posted by skin care mogul May Lindstrom, featured a lavender-colored rose beginning to wither and the words “Beauty in every stage.” To me, it perfectly exemplified the industry’s movement away from terms like “anti-aging,” toward a healthier perception of beauty.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve believed the ability to choose how you appear to the world was empowering. A lot of us learn our beauty tips through trial and error or from the lessons of a mother-figure.
But I’ve always found it helpful to look to women you admire for inspiration and bits of well-earned wisdom. So let’s look in the makeup bags of three women from three different age ranges to see their secrets for staying beautiful. And while we’re at it, I’ll share a few of mine, as well.
Ava McHugh is heading into her junior year at James Madison University. But, fresh off a semester abroad where she experienced Parisian galleries and some amazing Sephoras, McHugh says she has a slightly new perspective on beauty.
Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer SPF 50: I like to wear as little foundation as possible, focusing on skincare to get that glowy-skin look. This is moisturizing and feels light on my skin. $55
Gisou Honey Infused Hair Perfume: I discovered hair perfume in France. I love warm scents. This one is very light and it smells like honey. $44
Kérastase Genesis Strengthening Hair Mask: I dye my hair so I have to focus on making it look good and keeping it healthy. I do one of these every week as part of my “Sunday reset.” $64
IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara: I’ve used this mascara since 7th grade. I cannot use anything else. $26
Holly Byrd Miller is an international beauty and branding specialist. She’s the CEO and founder of Makeup by Holly.
Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer: This eliminates all my under eye concerns (great for dark circles and it’s hydrating without looking cakey). $44
Danessa Myricks Colorfix Eye, Lip, and Cheek Pigments: The colors are pigmented, which means a little goes a long way. Small enough to fit in any makeup bag and multipurpose enough to meet most beauty needs. $18
Thrive Causemetics Mascara: This is a favorite because of the maximum length and volume it creates. $24
Morphe The Big Prime Conditioning Lash Primer: Provides additional length and volume, eliminating the need to apply false lashes. When combined with mascara, it gives the appearance of an instant eye lift. $12
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: This has been a staple in my makeup bag for years. The foundation looks like your skin, but better. It’s a radiant, natural finish that gives you an airbrush affect. $45
Judi Crenshaw is a professor of public relations at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has always gone her own way and is definitely not afraid to make a bold statement in every aspect of her life, including beauty routines.
PÜR Botanicals Ice Roller: I ice roll every morning. $13
Perbelle CC Cream: This is the amazing color correcting moisturizer. So light, yet it’s all I need, in terms of makeup. Every woman I know over 50 uses this. $44
GrandeBROW Brow Enhancing Serum: My brows really thinned so I use this serum, it works over time (two months), along with the eyelash extensions. No eye makeup, though. It makes me look clownish. $73
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer: Really subtle and moisturizing. I wear the clear one every day. $20
What’s in my bag?
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Pillow Talk: Even though it’s almost the same color as my lips, it makes a big difference in making my makeup feel polished. $24
Christophe Robin Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt: I’ve been using this shampoo for years and love how it gets out leftover residue from products so my hair feels light with lots of volume. $53
Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray: A cross between a dry shampoo and a volume spray. I apply this after I dry my hair and before I curl it. I also use it to refresh my “second-day hair” in-between washes. $42
Rosehip Oil: I love facial oils. I find that rosehip is especially great if your skin is prone to breakouts because it sinks in so quickly and feels light. I love that it’s so simple and inexpensive, too. $10
AcneFree Adapalene Gel: You used to need a prescription for this, but it’s now available over the counter. $11
CeraVe Healing Ointment: I use this to “slug,” a final layer of skincare that locks in other products, which I learned from TikTok. $20
Christina Dick is a marketing and branding professional with a passion for beauty and skincare. She owns Tiramisu For Breakfast, a boutique firm based in Richmond.