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Streicher Secrets To Ageless Beauty

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The Violet Files

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The Streicher sisters—Ashley, hairstylist; Kristie, brow guru; and Jenn, makeup artist—hold forth on how to look luminous at every age.

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The Streicher Sisters

As we Streichers see it, age is one of life’s greatest (and oldest!) ironies. When we are young, we want to pass as older; when we grow older, we don’t want anyone to notice. But when we talk about being “forever young,” we’re thinking not about the Rod Stewart song or the latest face-freezing, age-defying medical treatments, but taking care of ourselves and making the most of what our own natural beauty has to offer.

From actually young starlets who don’t try to age themselves (Ashley’s longtime client Kiernan Shipka comes to mind) to modern legends like Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep, to the eternally elegant octegenarians of the senior citizen–centric fashion blog Advanced Style, we love a woman who welcomes the current moment—in life as much as in her face. Read on for our three distinct takes on embracing (and enhancing!) your beauty at every age.



jen streicher

I’m going to come right out and say it—I hate the phrase “forever young.” Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest sister (Ashley is 10 years younger than I am), but I feel like it’s an idea that’s just kind of unattainable. There is a lot of pressure on women to “turn back the clock,” and they end up going about it the wrong way. They go the plastic surgery or filler route, which can become addictive. That said, there are a few amazing women who I think have the right idea about aging gracefully. Diane Lane, Diane Keaton, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep—they seem to embrace the way they look as they get older rather than being afraid of it. For me, it’s really about taking care of your skin and body more than anything else, and looking toward all things natural and minimalist where makeup is concerned.

I don’t think you need to develop an overly elaborate skincare routine once you hit 40. You don’t need 50 million products, just a few good ones. One of the most important, of course, is sunscreen. La Mer Reparative is great, and I also love a good moisturizer with sunscreen to kill two birds with one stone, like Révive’s firming day cream with SPF 30.

Révive makes an amazing neck cream, which I’m always telling Ashley to start using now. It’s one thing I wish I had started earlier. In general I don’t think Americans are accustomed to using protective products on the neck and décolleté, but the Europeans have been doing it forever. For night, I would go with an anti-wrinkle serum, then oil or cream or both. For the cream, try something firming (I love the overnight mask from La Mer); oils are so moisturizing and good as you get older—Vintner’s Daughter makes a great one. Don’t forget to add an eye treatment. I was recently really impressed by the IS Clinical Youth Serum and 111Skin Black Diamond eye mask. And last but not least, I love the new ZIIP device [a new nano current tool for home use]—I think it’s amazing. I am very hard to impress, but I started using it two times a week and have definitely noticed that it clears and firms my skin and erases fine lines.

The older I get, the less makeup I wear. When you’re young you put all kinds of stuff on because you want to look more mature, but then at some point it shifts. As you get older you might want to cover up spots or marks, but there is a fine line between disguising a little and going overly heavy. I just use a tinted moisturizer (Nars makes a great one), although if I keep spending so much time in the sun I might have to step it up.

Fortunately for anyone over 30, the no-makeup makeup look is very much in style right now—I think it’s the most flattering on pretty much everyone. Don’t throw on blue eyeshadow and try to relive your nightclub days. Instead, try brown, beige, or bronze-y eyeshadow sticks from Laura Mercier, which give the eye a nice, fresh finish. Avoid anything glittery around the eyes—a big no-no—because it will get stuck in any fine lines or wrinkles and make them more prominent. For cheeks, a little pop of color looks good at every age. Use something rosy and dewy, like Hourglass’s new palette of ambient powders and blushes, which aren’t glittery but still give a little shine—matte is better reserved for the younger gals.

One of the biggest mistakes women make with their lips is getting color stuck in the creases. Révive has an amazing firming lip serum that helps prevent this from happening—it’s one of the few on the market. I’m also hesitant to use darker lip liner, which gives a sort of harsh look and makes women look older. Neutral lipsticks are great on everyone, but I also love a hit of color, like the perfect matte red. Nars Dragon Girl and Heatwave (which is an orangier red), Surratt P.O.C., and MAC Ruby Woo are at the top of my list. Last word: Remember that trying to look young forever is boring and unattainable. Going with the products that best care for and enhance your natural beauty is where it’s at for me.



kristie streicher

I’m naturally a little bit immature and really don’t feel my age most of the time, so I often forget that I’m going to be 40 this year. When I was a kid and pictured what I would be like in my thirties and forties, I always imagined I would feel and act much older than I do. When I think about ageless beauty, I think of the word radiance. Getting a healthy glow from the inside out is, in my opinion, the best way a woman can feel youthful no matter what her birth date. From working out to running to having great sex, anything that gets the blood flowing releases endorphins and lends the face a natural glow. As far as my main area of expertise, being strategic about your brows is like an instant (and noninvasive) face-lift. Keeping them as full as possible while coaxing the ends slightly upward and outward can lift and open the eyes while framing the entire face. Stay away from overcutting; instead, leave the hairs a little longer and brush them upward with a clear, strong hold gel (I like the one from Mary Kay). Often I see brows that are rounded or stop too short, which can close in the eye or accentuate dark circles. After many years of waxed ’90s brows, I think women are used to a very clean and manicured, stenciled look, but it is okay to see a few stragglers and light fuzz. This actually adds softness when you blend with a pencil or powder. The beauty world is moving away from the idea that everything has to be perfect—perfectly imperfect is so much more interesting.

You see it happen all over Hollywood, but I think overcompensating with excessive fillers and Botox are two of the top culprits for premature aging. There are few things worse than having an expressionless, immobile face. Find a knowledgeable and conservative dermatologist who knows how to maintain a youthful look without going overboard. Karyn Grossman is the best: she is very thorough and includes a mole check with every visit. I’ve also been using the ZIIP device on the sensitive skin setting and have noticed visible plumping after only two weeks!

The next easily avoidable mistake is wearing your brows too thin, whether they are naturally sparse or you’ve overtweezed them (and brows thin out even more as we age). Filling them in with a soft, powdery pencil—like the Brunette or Raven colored Troy Surratt ones—gives a lush, youthful appearance. Instead of tweezing the hairs that aren’t in your exact brow line, connect them with the rest of your brow by filling them in with a pencil or Clé de Peau powder. This will also make them look fuller. If your eyebrow hair seems to be going gray or the color looks washed out or dull, consider having them professionally colored. You can also try a more temporary method, like a tinted brow gel like Glossier’s. Going just a shade or two deeper can make all the difference. 

You’ll want to keep the area around your brows in top shape, too. Find a good eye cream (I love La Prairie’s anti-aging one) as well as a highlighter pen (By Terry’s Touche Veloutée is my fave) to add radiance to soften the appearance of fine lines. Another secret weapon of mine is ROHTO eyedrops—nothing says radiance like clear, bright eyes!



ashley streicher

It always strikes me how so many teens and even women in their early twenties are desperately trying to look and act older. It’s a race to adulthood, but then once they get there they start backpedaling. I really feel that you should always just be your age. As hair goes, it naturally ages as we get older—it starts to gray, get dry, and take on a coarser texture. On top of that, years of coloring, straightening, hot ironing, and even blow-drying take an inevitable toll on tresses.

The best thing you can do is start with a good diet (fish oils help) and make wise decisions with products. I recently starting working with skincare brand Strivectin, which developed an anti-aging haircare line that launched this fall. It really is the first collection that I think actually makes a difference—the products are formulated to repair and protect age-ravaged hair with a patented NIA-114 molecule. Another tip? Most older women look best with a shorter cut. (This is one of the many ways our mother, Merrimom, has done it right.) It looks instantly stylish and eliminates damaged, overcolored, and brittle strands.

You’ll definitely feel your hair get drier as you get older, same as your skin. A good general rule is to treat your hair like you would treat your face. You want a gentle cleanser—I love Nude by Reverie—and a good hair oil is key. Be sure to use one that actually penetrates and moisturizes instead of just sitting on top of the hair, like Seven’s Diamond Serum or Strivectin’s Bodifying Radiance serum.

You also want to treat your hair kindly when blowing out and brushing. Use soft-bristle brushes (boar bristle ones from Ibiza and Y.S. Park are great), and avoid those with any metal on them—stick to wood or cork instead.

To keep hair looking its best, I always recommend a good mask like Strivectin’s Ultimate Restore. If you’re damaging your hair with coloring, the Olaplex treatment is one of my faves for smoothing out the cuticles. And when you want to wear your hair up, switch to a hair pin rather than an elastic, which can bend or break your strands. I love Jennifer Behr’s gold hair pin, which we sell at Striiike. It’s also so much more chic to stash this in your purse than it is to wear an elastic around your wrist.