How To Stay Beautiful At 60 (And Beyond)
Ford model Cindy Joseph busts the age myth, and shares the secret to being happier—and sexier—after 60.
Photograph by Bill Miles
Last time we caught up with makeup artist and beauty and fashion model Cindy Joseph, the then-60-year-old was living in Yonkers and had just launched her Boom! by Cindy Joseph cosmetics line. Having done natural feature-enhancing makeup for supermodels and celebrities since the ’70s, Joseph was “discovered” on a New York City street corner at age 49—after cutting off the dyed ends of her long silver hair that very day. She appeared in a worldwide Dolce & Gabbana campaign and has since modeled for the likes of Nivea, Olay, and Garnier.
Now, as Boom!, with its natural, no-masking approach, continues to grow, beautypress spoke with the stunner about her “Pro-Age Revolution,” a movement to promote “age-full” and realistic beauty standards. Highlights from the recent Q&A:
What’s your secret to remaining so flawlessly beautiful through the years?
The truth is, I don’t believe that any woman has flaws. The concept of women having physical flaws…stems from a belief that an ideal beauty exists, which sets all women up to fail because it can never be achieved. When I was trying to alter my features with makeup as a young girl, I…always fell short by finding something wrong. Later in life, I started the process of falling in love with myself, and eventually I let all that self-criticism go and started enjoying my features, shape, size, hair, and personality. My whole being started to glow from the inside out. I believe that is why I was approached on the street and asked to model at age 49.
Photograph by Jonathan Gross
What products do you use daily on your beautiful gray hair?
I only use two products. Shampoo and conditioner by USANA in their Sense line. I have been using them for years. The products are very gentle on my very baby fine delicate hair.
Tell us about your ‘Pro-Age’ philosophy.
We are sold the idea that as our lives continue…we somehow lose our passion, spark, sense of adventure, and health. [In reality,] many people become healthier, happier, and have more drive and vitality after 50. Once you get [this pro-age idea], it only seems logical—we can only become more of who we are, not less. I am happier, smarter, more educated and more experienced as life goes on. I have more self-knowledge, confidence, wisdom, and strength of character, sensual know-how… The concept that there is a prime of life and it’s downhill from there is an archaic paradigm. Right now is the prime of your life, and that is something to celebrate!
What’s your advice to women who don’t look forward to the aging process?
Share your fears with friends, family, community. You will find most people have the same fears. Unloading will lighten you up. Keep the conversation going. Take an active role: Get interested in your life, your future, and who you are. Take inventory of all that you have in your life and have accomplished. Start living for pleasure rather than obligation, duty, or what others think of you. Have gratitude and appreciation for yourself and life. If that feels like too big of a leap, then just look for one thing you find good in yourself. Something really and truly wonderful. You may discover that will lead to one more thing, and then another. When you focus on the good, things get better. You start aging when you are born. Aging is just another word for living!
Do you believe using ‘anti-aging’ or preventative products from as early as your 20s is smart?
I am a pro-ager not an anti-ager. I think that wrinkles, sunspots, silver hair is beautiful! I love living my life doing things in the sunshine. My skin is an indication of that happiness. My crow’s feet are an indication of the laughter and joy in my life. My silver hair is a crown I have earned by living a full, passionate life. I have no desire to obliterate the story of my life from my face or body. Every stage of life brings another kind of beautiful, from birth to death.
How can women learn to embrace their ‘beauty of character?'
Treat yourself with the same love you would your friends and family. If your girlfriend came to you with self-discrimination, you would remind her how loving, beautiful, funny, caring, fun, she is. You would take the time to point out specific traits and features you find attractive about her. And you wouldn’t stop until she felt better about herself. Do that for yourself! We all wear critical lenses when looking at ourselves. Start to recognize your own special features and character. It takes a lot of practice, because we have developed the habit of looking into the mirror and finding something wrong rather than right. Do this daily until that self-love muscle develops. Remember, taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic!
Cindy speaks about these subjects and more on her weekly video blog, Saturday's with Cindy.
Photograph by Bill Miles