Turning 50 Series – Products I Love as I “Age Gracefully”

By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor

Never one to focus too much on my appearance, I realized a few years ago that there is something to be said about aging gracefully and using products that would help with that. Admittedly, turning 50 and sharing this series has forced me to look at myself more closely…I am definitely not obsessed with my looks but sometimes it is hard to look in the mirror and see how my looks are slowly changing. I used to wear very little makeup, no foundation and had no skincare regimen. I have never done much to my hair (except the horrible perm phase I went through in the late 80's) and now only occasionally highlight it.

Five years ago my husband and I were in need of a new car because we just had our third child. With an newborn and 2 year old in tow, we headed off to a local dealership. Seeing the potential for a sale a car salesman introduces himself and thought it was wonderful that we brought our grandchildren! Say what?! Yes, you heard me. The salesperson realized his ginormous mistake and needless to say, we left without a new vehicle. I went straight home and took a good long hormonal look in the mirror. People who know me don't see a granny but that may be simply because I don't act like one. Strangers obviously see me differently. When it happened again at – get this – a mommy and me exercise class, a new mom to the group thought it was wonderful that I brought my granddaughters to class!!! Ugh! Having my last child at age 44, I know I am an older mom but pah-lease.

I decided right then and there to 1) not go out of the house without at least mascara and eyeliner on and 2) I needed to start taking better care of my skin. There are tons of products out there. Companies have spent millions of dollars creating products for women like me who want to slow down the signs of aging. And like other women my age, I have tried my share of products. As discussed in a previous article, studies do show that wearing  sunscreen everyday helps prevent skin damage and using Retinol A before bed assist in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

I still do as little as possible but do include the above two products everyday. Below are brands that I truly love and use because I either notice a difference using them or they just make my skin feel great.


Murad – I was introduced to Murad's Resurgence at an event hosted by BOOMBoxNetwork. It is a 30 day program that will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, helps with skin elasticity and increase skin firmness. Although I have only used it for a few weeks now I love the scent and the feel of the moisturizer on my face. The cleanser makes my face feel clean without making it dry. So far I am liking what I see and the products feel great on my face. Go to Murad to order for $39.95
Neutrogena Filler – I have written about Neutrogena before. I love their Deep Wrinkle Filler to smooth out my lines. I use it on after putting on my moisturizer and before my makeup. It makes the makeup go on flawlessly. Plus, it is infused with Retinol SA so it helps rid those fine lines. This can be found at any drugstore or on their website for $18.99.
Arm and Hammer Toothpaste – I have never had my teeth whitened and always feared that it would make my smile look unnatural. What I do use, however, is Arm and Hammer's Baking Soda toothpaste with the Whitening Booster. It takes a bit to get used to the baking soda taste but I personally like its slight grittiness. I put the booster right on top of the toothpaste, which gives it a more of a pleasant taste. These can be found at any local supermarket or drugstore for around $4.00 each.
MAKEUP Admittedly, I do use E.L.F. makeup. You can't beat the price tag and I find the product quality surprisingly good. What I do not skimp on, however is foundation and mascara.
Jane Irendale Foundation – I use their pressed mineral foundation with an SPF 20. It is lightweight and does not accentuate my lines. Their products are only found at boutiques or spas, since it is important to have assistance matching your skin tone to their foundation. Go to the Jane Irendale website to find a location near you that carries their line. Once you know your skin tone color, refills can be order directly from their website for $47.00.
Revitalash – If you are like me, you are loosing more lashes at a faster rate than you can grow them. Although Revitalash is fairly expensive product ($110.00 for  2.0 ml), it was well worth it for me. I noticed the difference within the week. I usually use it for a couple of weeks every four months. I also use the Revitalash Volumizing Mascara ($24.00). It does not clump, goes on smoothly and easily coats my entire lashes leaving them long and beautiful. I have just started noticing that my brows are now thinning and have started using their RevitaBrow treatment ($110.00 for 3.0 ml) to help grow back my brows. All products can be bought directly from Revitalash.
Living Proof Restore Repair Cream – My dear friend Anne-Marie (yes, you all know her as the Chief Wife) has only liked my hair once in the almost 20 years we have known each other. I have the type of hair that is half straight/half curly and 100% frizzy. I have heard from a good source (yes, that would be Anne-Marie) that damaged hair ages a person instantly. We have written about Living Proof shampoo before and love (and use) their products, but it is the Restore Cream ($28.00) that repairs my damaged hair and gives it a healthy shine. I usually put their Frizz Styling Spray ($36.00) on first and then work in the Cream next. It also works well on dry hair after using a flat iron.

Obviously, there is no way to stop the aging process and I am not trying to look like I am 30. I know that I am the age of some grandmothers and realize it is an honest mistake for people to think I might be one. That does not mean that I don't want to look the best I can and  – secretly – am happy when someone thinks I am younger than I truly am (albeit still a grandmother's age).  The key to aging gracefully is feeling good where you are but, why not use anti-aging products that are available to us. I personally have learned my lesson not to do anything drastic like Botox but that is another story….


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14 Responses to Turning 50 Series – Products I Love as I “Age Gracefully”

  1. Susan says:

    Oh! I have had such similar experiences, and sadly, they were before I even turned 50! I was in a convertible VW with friends and an interested gentleman and his wife pulled along side in a parking lot to ask a question about the car. “I see your mother likes it too!” he said, referring to me in the back seat. His wife, having some good sense, elbowed him hard and said “That’s not her mother!” He laughed, I went home and nearly cried….

    Thanks for your article. I am off to the store now and stocking up on all of the above products. I will not be growing old gracefully. I’ll be fighting it off to the bitter end! Thanks for posting! Shopping now! Susan

    • Audrey says:

      Oh Susan…see that is just the thing – what do strangers see that our friends don’t? Your sunny disposition keep you ageless! Happy Shopping!

  2. Lori Jo Vest says:

    Love the Murad products we received at the B(l)oomers party. I’m definitely going to order them when I run out of my demo kit. And, no, you don’t look like a grandma. Probably never will.

  3. The man was an idiot. I’ve met you and you don’t look anything like a grandmother.

    That said, I have my Murad still in the box, but I want to start using it. I’m glad to see a good review.

    I was lucky to have a teenager when I hit my 40s and the dermatologist I took my son to for his acne told me to start using Retin-A right away. I do think it has made a difference.

    I’ll be breaking open my Murad I also received from The BoomBox Network.

  4. I have recently started trying skin primer, bought the smash box one. If that doesn’t work I am taking up your recommendation for Neutrogena Filler! Since Blogher I have also been trying the Arm and Hammer’s Baking Soda toothpaste with the Whitening Booster, not sure I see a change yet with that product.

    Also, I wanted to say that when I met you my first thought..is umm..there is no way this lady belongs in this poise meeting. My second thought is that you reminded me of Meg Ryan with you gorgeous hair. So whatever you are doing, you are doing it right. But I know how you feel, about 5 years ago, I was in McDonald’s and the girl behind the counter asked me if I wanted my discount..I was like “what discount?” Later on I realized she was talking about the SENIOR discount..not that there is anything wrong with that (teehee) but I was nowhere close! Gahhhh!

    The Chief Blonde

  5. Audrey says:

    Thank you ladies for all your support. It sure does take time, money and energy to make it look like we are aging gracefully. Ha! It is a good thing the us baby boomers, generally speaking, have all three!

    All you ladies look fabulous! I want to know your secrets!

  6. I have always been curious about that rivitalash…but I didn’t know they made a mascara!

  7. I agree about the need to use primer on my face. If I don’t my foundation gets all flakey. This from someone who had oily skin most of her life. How did it get so dry?

  8. Marci Rich says:

    Hi Audrey! Loved this post. I also received the Murad products and am eager to try them. I’ve been waiting a) for lots of chaos around the house this past month to settle down so that I can b) concentrate on the skin experience. 🙂 I also thought I’d hang tight until my Bliss facial cleanser runs out so I can focus exclusively on the Murad without being tempted to go back to my standard regimen.

    I’ll have to give the Revitalash mascara a try. Pah-lease (loved that) write again and let us know how the Revitabrow treatment worked for you. My brows have thinned considerably, too. (I blame excessive plucking from the 1970s, when thin was in.)

    Here’s a skin problem I don’t often read about: I still get the occasional pimple. And their nature has changed; they seem to defy excision with the professional tool that I bought years ago. The benefits of my Mediterranean skin means I really don’t have fine lines or wrinkles; the downside, of course, is the pore that clogs and erupts. Do you know if Murad makes a great facial scrub or masque that addresses this? (I downloaded all their info from their flash drive but I’m being lazy and thought I’d ask someone who has already tested some of the products.)

    Thanks for a great post. And two things before I go: 1. You’re lovely inside & out; and 2. Never trust a car salesman.


    • Audrey says:

      Hello Marci,

      How lovely are you! As for Murad, I used their products exclusively 20 years ago and for what ever reason I went away and tried new things. I am so glad I rediscovered them again. I love the way the Resurgence products make my skin feel. As for a facial scrub – I am sure they do, however, admittedly, I use Aveeno Facial Scrub; http://www.aveeno.com/facialcare/positively-ageless-resurfacing-scrub (Thanks for reminding me, I should have put this in the post) about once a week.

      Being menopausal I now find that I have acne again also! Ugh! I always joke that I need an anti aging acne cream!!

      Why don’t you contact the lovely Ginelle who was Murad’s representative at the B(L)oomers Party. If you need her contact information I would be happy to send it to you.


  9. Audrey says:

    So glad to have helped! Any products you love and would like to share?

  10. Tina says:

    I have recently started using Mario Badescu skin care and I really love it, especially their Kera line which helps target Rosacea. They have an especially nice Honey and Almond exfoliating scrub. If you go to their website and take their skin care survey they’ll even send you samples!

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