When Jane Fonda stepped onstage at the Academy Awards this year, looking gorgeous at 75 in a bright yellow Versace gown, you could hear the whispers: “How does she do it?”
The grandmother of two is the first to say “money helps,” and she has been open about her plastic surgeries, including an eye-lift, a face-lift and a neck-lift (or two).
But Fonda also has a team of beauty experts who know how to help women look their best. We talked to them to learn the actress’ secrets and their insider tips for women 50 and up.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF SEXY HAIR: Matthew Shields, Fonda’s hair stylist for a decade, says Fonda’s willingness to embrace new ideas is key to keeping a fresh, vibrant and youthful look.
“A lot of women find their ‘look’ at a certain age, and that’s it for the rest of their lives,” Shields says. “Many women of Jane’s generation were into having their hair very coiffed, and they’re still doing it. The trick is not to be afraid to experiment with looser, sexier styles.”
Fonda has been changing her hairstyle over the past two years; it has evolved from a short shag to the Oscar night straight, streamlined and still-layered look. If you want to change your hair, try a change in hairdresser or salon. Get recommendations from friends who have great cuts.
“Women can still look sexy in their 70s and 80s, and Jane is a perfect example of that,” says Shields. “Her words to me on Oscar morning were, ‘Make it bedroomy.’ ”
LIGHTEN UP: Fonda’s hair colorist, Negin Zand, advises women to lighten their color as they age.
“Add some bright pieces that pop on top and around the face,” says Zand. “That way the color won’t look like shoe polish color.”
And because hair loses its natural oil and shine with age, Zand advises women to add shine by using one of the new hair glosses on the market.
GET FRESH WITH MAKEUP: Fonda’s willingness to experiment with makeup is another reason she looks fresh, says makeup artist Elan Bongiorno.
“Six months ago, she told me, ‘I’m going for a deep smoky eye.’ Seventy-five years old, and she wants a dark smoky eye!”
Bongiorno uses products that add shimmer to Fonda’s face, explaining, “Older women generally prefer a matte look, which they are used to. But matte shows up all the wrinkles and lines.”
She recommends women older than 50 get a makeup lesson from a professional. It can be as easy as visiting a makeup artist at a high-end department store cosmetic counter.
Says Bongiorno: “Learning how to apply the products and what brushes to use, (and) how to hold them, is the most important thing.”
CLOTHES MAKE THE WOMAN: It’s no surprise that the woman who brought us the workout video works hard to keep in great shape. What is a surprise is that she does so despite knee and hip replacement and back surgery during the past few years.
Regular exercise is one of the reasons Fonda looks so good on the red carpet. Another important reason, according to Fonda’s stylist, Tanya Gill, is that her client knows what works for her and stays open to trends.
“It was Jane’s idea to go for that bright yellow hue, a gown color that most women her age wouldn’t dare try. We showed Donatella Versace the color, and she found the fabric.”
Says Gill: “Jane isn’t afraid of being bold. She’s inspiring to all women because she proves that it doesn’t matter what age you are as long as you’re true to yourself.”