Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ask Kaylin: How to Convince Your Wife to Update Her Look

Image: lobstar28 via Flickr
We've all met someone who is still wearing big hair, bright blue eyeliner, or parachute pants. In fact, it is far too easy to stick to what you love, which is often what looks good or feels good. Yet change is an inevitable part of life. Just as the jeans that looked good on you in high school might not be so forgiving with a post-baby body, your makeup should reflect what looks best on you as you are now. Read on to find out how to gently hint to someone you know and love that it might be time for a change.

I've been married to my wife for 22 years, and she is a lovely woman. Each morning, she puts on all this makeup, and it's the same routine she's been doing for the past ten years. I honestly think she'd look better without it, maybe going for a more natural look like most women these days. How do I tell her that it's time for a change without offending her?
It sounds like you are a lucky man to be married to such a lovely woman! Regardless of how much beauty a woman naturally possesses, I understand how wearing a look from the 80's or 90's can age her dramatically and detract from her charm. Chances are, she is sticking to the same routine she fell in love with when she felt her most beautiful. Your challenge now is to find a way to show her how to feel beautiful in a more modern style. There are a few steps I'd recommend:
  • Find out who she admires. My Grandma loves Judi Dench, who is a very elegant woman and always looks gracefully appropriate for her age. I know a 50-year-old woman who likes actresses such as Cate Blanchett or Jodi Foster. The key is to give her a role model her own age, ideally with similar hair color and skin tone, who can help inspire her with modern looks.
  • Offer to pamper her. What is she most open to changing? If she is sensitive about her hair, start with her makeup, or vice versa. Treat her with a gift certificate or an appointment at her favorite makeup counter or hair salon and encourage her gently to try something new, "just for fun." Gently nudge her toward small changes, such as a new eye shadow or a new lip color, but maybe not both at once.
  • Offer compliments freely. Trying on a new look can leave a woman feeling naked. Find something to compliment, even if her makeover is gradual. If you love her new hair color but not the haircut, compliment the color. The goal is to focus on what you love and encourage her to do what works. It is best not to give false praise, but instead find openings for positive reinforcement whenever possible.
Remember, change takes time. It was a bit of a shock for me to go from blonde hair to red, but it's a change I've never regretted. Everyone can use an update from time to time, and making gradual changes over time is usually the gentlest way to ease into a newer, modern style. Just remember to tell your loved one how beautiful she is - with or without makeup.

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