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The New Face of Beautiful Aging

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 8, 2007, from the January 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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On marketing to consumers over 40, Johnson said, “Products that target the skin, hair and makeup concerns of women (over) 40 have been around for decades, but the dramatic increase in the number of products available at every price point shows just how powerful this consumer demo is to beauty brands. The intrigue about what’s new and what’s best never slacks as thousands of new antiaging options a year get our attention.”

Johnson notes that product appeal has moved beyond basics. “If it firms, brightens, smoothes, fills or plumps we’re interested. If it has antioxidants, botanicals and increases ‘glow’ or radiance, we’re ready to plunk down our credit cards. Even categories like shampoos, conditioners and hair color have moved beyond basics and are packed with vitamins and botanicals that counteract thinning, chemical processing and heat styling. There has been an expansion of luxury products from brands such as Estée Lauder, Chanel, La Mer and Dior for this consumer, who has the money to afford pricey products like face creams for $350 and upward if she chooses. Dermatological and spa procedures like microdermabrasion, peels, hair masks, tooth whitening kits, body polishers and wrinkle relaxers are part of the at-home arsenal now and appeal to time-crunched women who work and want to maintain their looks easily,” said Johnson.

Women today are celebrating their individuality, empowerment and confidence, with beauty that goes way beyond a one-dimensional definition. Johnson adds, “When it comes to advertising, nothing gets our attention better than our peers, so it’s no surprise that 40-plus celebs are the newest, hottest faces for ad campaigns. As long as the attitude and image is age celebratory and the message is ‘we’re clearly not trying to look 25 again,’ we love it.”

Revlon got things rolling with Susan Sarandon and Julianne Moore, and now Sharon Stone is a face for Dior; Diane Keaton, 60, for L’Oréal Paris; Christie Brinkley, 52, for Cover Girl; and so on. You’re not seeing 25-year-olds selling wrinkle creams anymore. It’s reassuring, too, that most of these celebs are imaged in a realistic way. Keaton, for example, is not retouched for her L’Oréal Age Perfect ads. The positive response from women to her ads has been overwhelming.

In May 2006, L’Oréal Paris signed Academy Award-winning actress Keaton to an exclusive contract as a spokesperson for the company and its brands. Keaton said, “I love that L’Oréal is found all over the world and is made for women of all ages, and for women of all skin and hair colors.” The message is inclusive and empowering. Coming from a woman who has won accolades as a performer, director and producer, it communicates both success and authenticity.