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on January 22, 2008
You know 40 is the new 30 when Diane Keaton, Annie Hall herself, is photographed wearing skin tight jeans and a big black leather belt. So the rest of us better be on alert.

That said, I have very mixed feelings about this book. I've read at least a dozen beauty/style books, I'm 38 and I'm no slouch in the maintenance department. I subscribe to More magazine, which is how I learned about the author. After buying this book, I've learned a little more about Mrs. Krupp: namely, she spending thousands and thousands of dollars on her appearance. For example, she's spent $1,200 on a pair of eyeglasses. She considers you "low maintenance" if you do not get Botox. Gee, thanks. I can see how this might make a reader doubt her hard won self esteem.

While she does hit the mark about what potentially looks aging, it's a one size fits all approach. She says dark hair always adds on the years, so lighten your hair two shades. What if we're Asian or simply don't want to be blonde? (Note the author's hair shade.) Some of her suggestions are downright odd: don't wear ballet flats. And contradicted: don't wear Uggs. Okay, so what are her models wearing on the back page? Uggs. And annoying: the goal is to be "Y&H" (Young and Hip). Individuality, anyone?...anyone? Plus, most of the models are barely 21 and perfect. Not helpful.

But I did get some good tips: don't wear red fingernail polish, don't let your skirts get too long or baggy, how to shop for the right pair of dark wash jeans, try bangs and highlights, plastic eyeglass frames are more youthful than wire, etc.

So give this book a try but also give yourself a break.
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on March 5, 2008
I am very happy with this book. There are so many useful, smart and once you consider it, obvious ways to improve and most importantly, update your look. I'm a 39-year old brunette and as much as I am determined to age gracefully and above all with dignity, I would also like to continue to possess some style and a certain current hipness. I have read the reviews for this book and was a little surprised by some of the comments. Krupps's recommendation to lighten-up your hair shade after a certain ago is actually good advice. I have seen the results on my sister and it was quite dramatic. I believe the choice to lighten your entire hair base shade should be made based on the condition of your skin. My sister has fair skin, blue eyes and far more wrinkles than I so the lighter hair very definitely softened her look. Her dark hair shade looked too harsh next to her aging skin. She didn't go blond mind you, only lightened her base shade 2 shades to a copper brown and had a few highlights added around her face. For me, as a dark brunette with a pale olive complexion and brown eyes, I can wait a few more years. Once I'm ready, I'll try some highlighting around the face for softening. Krupp does not advocate everyone going blond as one reviewer remarked.

Off the top of my head, immediately useful tips: getting rid of frumpy shaped tops and blouses, anything not tailored. Some I merely tossed while others I tailored myself or had tailored like one of my suits (I took up the skirt hem to just above the knee and had the suit jacket fitted. I tossed all my long ankle skirts which, although easy to wear, do look frumpy even though I'm barely 15 pounds overweight. I tossed out all apparel with any shoulder pads. I tossed all my dark and medium lipsticks (best choice ever). Once I was able to look at them (on me) objectively, it was obvious they were unflattering and worse, very dated. Changing to the moisture laden pinks she recommended instantly made my lips look plump and ripe and young. It seems so obvious once you do it. It seems as though I had gotten stuck in a rut of clothing, make-up, hair that was no longer current, fashionable and worst yet, flattering. I knew my style wasn't working but I didn't know how to fix it and since I tend to be pretty conservative, was a bit tentative about making any changes. After a while, when you put on all the old make-up, hair, clothing, et cetera, you look in the mirror and think you look ok but what's really going on is that you've done it the same way so many times, you just look familiar and you are unable to really discern what looks good and and what does not. Krupp really pushed me to make specific changes that had quite a WOW effect. And then I felt silly because I hadn't thought of it myself. Switching from a powder to a creme blush and stopping the overuse of my powder compact made an immediate impact, making my skin look dewey and fresh versus matte.

Another immediate improvement for me was a sideswept bang which not only looked better but made my hair more versatile to style. I also made use of some of her many, many "Brilliant Buys" at the end of every chapter which in and of itself makes this book worth the money at twice the price. One reviewer complained that the book was geared toward rich women in large Metapolitan areas. I would disagree. There are many prices ranges among the products to choose from. Alot of the products can be found at mass retailers and mail order is accessible to all of us presumably. I just recently picked-up two of her "Brilliant Buys" at Long's Drugs: Revlon ColorStay 12-Hour Eye Shadow Quad in Coffee Bean (the perfect neutral browns) and Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner. There were many more, more expensive recommendations as well which I may try in the future but the point is there are choices.

Realizations that struck home while reading this book: flesh toned stockings (pantyhose) are definitely old lady as are outfits that are very matchy-matchy (which I am guilty of often), hair that is too done, too perfect versus movement and flip. The concept is that make-up is softer and hair is looser.

The most amazing chapters are on jeans, make-up and shapewear. Fabulous and immediately useful. I can't afford to make 'all' the changes she advocates in her book but what little I've done so far has made a huge positive impact in my appearance. It has also educated me for all future shopping forays so I don't slip back into purchasing all the same things all over again and getting back into an outdated rut...
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on December 25, 2007
There are plenty of fashion books and magazines on the market but very few are specifically geared towards the over 40 set. But today's aging baby boomer population is looking better and younger than ever - and authors are beginning to take notice. Books such as Bobbi Brown's "Living Beauty" dispense sage advice on how to age gracefully and still look slick despite a few wrinkles or gray hairs.

Charla Krupp's newest offering "How Not To Look Old" is one of the best (if not the best!) books for women who are aging but don't want to hang up the jeans and become a frump in elastic pants and helmet hairdos. Written in a friendly and conversational tone, Krupp points out all the little things that can make one look old and dated but then kindly shows you how to hide the flaws and look "up to the minute" but not like you are "trying too hard". There are suggestions for hair (grow it out, get some bangs, etc.), teeth (whiten them, veneers, flossing, etc.), makeup (lighten up the foundation, switch to cream blush, etc.), clothing (skirts should hit just below the knee, avoid high rise jeans, etc.) and more! At the end of each chapter, she lists favorite products, designers, and stylists. It's a brilliant book and Krupp sure knows her stuff - she's been in the beauty industry for years and writes an excellent column for "More" magazine, which is written for women who are mature and savvy.

I'm going to put a few of her suggestions to use - specifically cutting my waist length gray hair (parted in the middle!) into something chicer and less "old hippie". This will be a big scary change for me but after reading this book, I realize how passé and aging it really is. I've already ditched the dark lipstick and the powder blush and have to say, she is right. I am recommending this book to all my friends!

(By the way, this is a book on fashion only - there is no exercise routine, vitamin recommendations, etc.)
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on January 22, 2008
I got this book on a whim, just to see how it might help my over 35 year old self look better. Not younger, better.

I did not realize so much was wrong with me until I read this book! But the author lists my faults one by one and thank goodness, she's right there with "solutions". I've got uneven skin tone, spider veins on the side of my nose, a thin upper lip. I could go on and on about all the flaws I have now that I am becoming an OL (the author's short hand for old lady). OL is not something anyone wants to be, so it is a good thing the author is here to let me know about the costly array of "solutions", many of which she has availed herself of. Some are risky, like the surgical eyelid lift she had. Some are painful, like the injections of various substances you can get in your face to look younger. Not to mention that such injections are a bad idea for the millions of women with autoimmune conditions, a fact not mentioned in the book.

One thing about being over a certain age is that you do not have as many years to live as you once did. Do you want to spend those years fighting a losing battle? A little self-acceptance, would go a long way and save a ton of money. There is something unsavory and undignified about an older woman throwing every ounce of energy and every last dime she's got in an attempt to look "younger".

The author certainly means well and the tone of the book is not at all unkind. It is kind of like a beauty scientist coldly pointing out flaws and their logical solutions. If you are looking for a few simple tips like "wear pink lipstick" that you can easily do, they are here. But far too much of this book is about how much time and money one can spend on themselves. I don't have a whole lot of either and this book leaves me feeling like I have many "flaws" and not enough cash to fix them. Perhaps I ought to just put a bag over my old head. Or, perhaps I ought to work on accepting my old self just as I am.
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on January 28, 2008
I'm not quite 40, but I'm pushing it, and the last thing I want to do is look it. After skimming this book in a bookstore, I finally ordered it. The chapters on makeup, hair, and jeans alone made it worth the price.

Sometimes, however, the author forgets that not all of us work in "creative fields" and some of her tips for work dressing could undermine our authority. "Ditch the suits" because "all" offices have gone casual? Um, no they have not ALL gone casual. In fact, if are an attorney and you swap your suit for her skirt and cardigan suggestion, the result will be that senior partners start asking you to fax papers. I want to look young and hip. But I did not waste six figures on law school to be confused with the receptionist or secretary.

It would have been nice for her to make some suggestion for not looking frumpy in a suit. Or recommend some Y&H suits (Nanette Lepore, etc.) Luckily for me, I'm not so old I don't know how to achieve that.

The makeup section was very good, especially her comments about primer and concealer. I never knew that you should pair different shades of concealer depending on the color of the shadows under your eyes. This was really helpful. The pale pink lipstick she recommends however, simply makes me look like a corpse. My lips are too dark to look good in pale lipsticks, so don't just buy what she recommends, make sure you go out and try stuff on to find the perfect shade.

The area about foundations and shapers: now I know a lot of people say you should just eat right and exercise and you won't need shapers. Well, I eat right and exercise obsessively (hence the shadows under my eyes!) and am a size 6. But no one, no matter how in shape, would fail to look better in a pair of Spanx. They smooth you out under clothes like nobody's business. They are heaven-sent and I think all women over the age of 20 should be issued them with their tax returns every year. Her chapter on foundation garments was excellent.

Also, that glasses section!! I can only presume she got a product placement deal for some of these loud, garish frames that we were advised to wear. A pair of white rhinestone studded glasses for a black tie affair? I don't think so. If one must wear glasses to such an event, I would assume ones that do not overwhelm your beautiful evening wear would be preferable to gaudy glasses that draw all attention to them.

All in all, this was a great book and I do recommend it, with the aforementioned caveats.
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VINE VOICEon February 21, 2008
First, if this author doesn't have deals with all the manufacturers of the products she "recommends" then she had a fool for an agent. This author recommends almost exclusively high end, ultra expensive products which are probably out of reach of most working women (who are probably her intended audience.) Hmmm, spend $300 on designer sunglasses or send our kid music lessons? Hmm, $200 just to get the right "look" to my eyes or plug something into the IRA so I'm not eating catfood when I'm 70. The first improvement of this book: Make the product list one which the average working woman (not just the beauty editor with a nice expense account) be able to afford.

That being said, there is some useful advice here:

. Update your hairstyle. Color your hair 2 shades lighter than your natural shade to "lighten" your face.

. Use a "primer" before your apply foundation. Just one little step, and quite a difference (but don't buy the $100 plus product she recommends to do so.)

. Ditch the wild colored nail, the headbands, the backpacks, and accept that you are a grown up.

. Don't wear "matchy matchy"...that all over one look look shouts out "out of the game".

However, this didn't take a book to say...this is really the stuff of a long magazine article.

The "advice" of clothes is pretty spare and skewed towards the size 6 amongst us. White jeans...not bloody likely..unless your life is comprised of never getting your hands dirty, never hauling kids around town, or never taking public transportation. And, dark, if you have a well toned body.

I have to wonder what kind of life this author is leading: Does she have kids? Does she do a dish? Does she worry about paying for her kids' college education? Does she ever look at the amount of money she spends on expensive treatments and wonder if that money could be better used elsewhere?

If you follow all this advice (including Botox, laser treatments, etc.), you, too, can be the poorest, hippest 40 plus year old in your town.
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on March 31, 2010
I enthusiastically ordered this book after reading the reviews and now that I've read it myself, I'm genuinely surprised that it received such great ratings. Here are my two major objections:

One: It's filled with celebrity photos - beautiful, famous, SLENDER women. What's the point? They're not chubby people who have learned the right tricks for creating an illusion of thinness. They are thin to begin with! How is that supposed to be helpful? There are just a couple of before/after photos using regular women but they are vastly outnumbered by the glittery glamor celeb shots. Disappointing.

Two: Most of these pointers are common sense. Fat legs? Cover them up. Fat neck? Wear V-necks instead of crew necks. Fat arms? Don't go sleeveless. I'm no fashion expert but that much I already figured out on my own.

I am completely mystified by the high ratings, and very disappointed that I wasted my money on this book. I've purchased hundreds of books on Amazon but this is only the second time I felt compelled to post a review.
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on December 30, 2007
This book is fantastic and I loved her first words in the book - Aging sucks. Forget aging gracefully! Let's do what we can to look good. She also explains the importance of maintaining our good looks in the workplace. As a Human Resources professional I couldn't agree with her more. Not looking old shows that we have the energy to keep up in today's crazy/busy work environments. She has great advice on minimizing wrinkles, dressing savvy (without looking too young or too old), hair (although I think she is wrong on having long hair - this can pull your face down which is already going down; my advice get a good hairstylist and don't go too short - like Jaime Lee Curtis - it's TOO harsh; keep it soft looking), hands, and make-up. I would have given it five stars, but I thought she left out two important age reducers - diet and exercise. As someone who works out six days a week, I think this is important. She has a whole section in the book on shapers and to be honest I wouldn't even think of spending my money on this stuff. I would rather look younger by a good weight training workout than buy a shaper any day! An excellent book that I highly recommend!
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on July 24, 2009
I am 37 and I love fashion and beauty, and I was really looking forward to reading this book because of the positive reviews. I was shocked to find the worst kind of ageist, psychologically damaging trash crammed in its pages. There nothing remotely creative or inspiring about Ms. Krupp's message. The author came across as a woman with a very empty life, focused on spending obscene amounts of money to make herself young. On further reflection, I guess I should have known by the title: "How Not to Look Old" - and not - "How to Look Good", which are two entirely different things. I would really like to see a book aimed at older women that is focused of classic, ageless beauty. A 35+ lady trying to look YH (the author's annoying acronym for "Young and Hip") is just pathetic. Ladies, you deserve better than this! There was almost no information for women of color, or women who are not average in height or build. If you are looking for a book about fashion and ageless beauty, I much prefer Kendall Farr's two excellent books on style to this waste of time.
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on October 6, 2009
Krupp is doing her best, I'm sure, but if you're looking for a book with tips on nutrition, posture, weight control, or generally looking and feeling younger and better, this isn't it.

There are a few good tips in here. She does warn against excessive eyeliner and foundation. She does warn against wearing crotch-length skirts and over-dyed hair.

But: we are supposed to look to aging supermodels and movie stars as models, and frankly, this is a bit unrealistic. Not only that, but those women are in careers where an overdone photoready appearance is okay. That look isn't flattering for a fifty-something business woman who is overweight. Nor is it appropriate for a senior executive who has to look dignified.

None of her models is overweight or (heaven frowned) handicapped in any way.

Krupp is of the "paint on a corpse" school of beauty. Her advice ranges from "don't wear seamless pantyhose" to selecting clothes that don't match because that will make you look less 80's. You are supposed to use leg makeup instead of hose; apparently you are NOT supposed to live anywhere there is winter. Heaven forbid you should don a conservative skirted business suit. Apparently it is better to appear slightly kookie, no matter how staid your employer.

She also recommends wearing jeans with a non-elastic waist, regardless of whether they hurt, and regardless of your weight, and a bra that is too tight. She says not to wear orthopedic shoes -- stiletto heels are definitely a plus, in her opinion, but she doesn't mention how to deal with the inability to walk from accounts payable to your boss's office, or the pain resultant from jamming older, more tender feet into stylish shoes. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do if you actually need to wear orthopedic shoes. This advice about shoes annoyed me particularly, because she could have mentioned some of the brands of shoes that offer support without looking too old-lady or clunky: Lockport, Born, Skechers, Privo, as examples.

A few of her after pictures appear to show ensembles collected from a thrift shop reject bin, with mismatched items combined in random fashion. Yet I suspect these items are actually fairly expensive, judging from her 40 page list of resources.

The book is essentially a big long ad for makeup, hair coloring, cosmetic surgery and clothing companies. I would imagine it was funded largely by the companies listed in the last 40 pages.

Instead, try these:


STAYING YOUNG : HOW TO PREVENT, SLOW OR REVERSE MORE THAN 60 SIGNS OF AGING / Tom Monte and the editors of Prevention magazine



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