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SheSpark #TimelessBeauty

What’s Her Secret? Midlife Fashionistas Tell All

The Instant Facelift November 2016

and more Age-defying beauty tips

The Best Midlife Fitness Mentors Say “buh-bye” to little leaks & painful sex

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NOTE FROM THEA & AUDREY Note From Audrey & Thea Are modern women spending too much time fighting their age instead of embracing it? We’re the last two women to “give up” on looking and feeling our best, but we definitely don’t buy into the media-wide perception that we have to look under 35 to turn heads. We’ve all heard a million times that confidence is the most attractive trait a woman can possess. Admittedly, we sometimes need an extra boost — from hair coloring to body contouring. But what really defines “timeless beauty” is self love and having the courage to create a style that reflects your unique personality. This issue features — Inspiring over-40 fashionistas from around the globe captured by photojournalist Jone’t Whooten — Style and beauty tips that give you a painless “lift” — The newest technology for rejuvenating your sex life — Bringing life back to your hair and nails And more! If you have news, advice, or just some fun feedback for SheSpark readers, please follow up on the social media sites below. Stay tuned for the new SheSpark.com site launching in January 2017! Cheers, Thea & Audrey

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ISSUE EIGHT Co-Editors-In-Chief

Audrey Stefanik, Thea Wood

Copy Editor

Colleen Sullivan



Andrea Carter


Dr. Tamara Grand

Lisa Joiner

Imogen Lamport


Cynthia Maida

RMB Naturals

Sherry Neyman, M.D.

Sarah Martin Bemrich Designs

Karen Helton

Sherry Neyman, MD

Audrey Stefanik

Simone France

Thea Wood

Success On Fire Academy

Jone’t Wooten

Tito’s Handmade Vodka


Grace Liang, fashion blogger for ColorandGrace.com. Featured on page 11 Photo credit: Robert Buck.

SheSpark is published monthly by SheSpark, LLC., a publishing group dedicated to connecting over-40 women with emerging brands and experts in style, beauty, and wellness. Responsibility is not assumed for the opinions of writers, other articles, or advertisers. SheSpark does not endorse or guarantee the products and services it advertises. Copyright © 2016 SheSpark, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be duplicated or reproduced without permission from the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of information included in the magazine at the time of publication, the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising from errors or omissions.

VIDEO: Need A Style Boost? We’ve Got Your PEP TALK Right Here!



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F t n a t

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5 Age-Defying Style Tips That Work by Thea Wood (@Over40Style) The thought of getting a facelift (or botox or fillers) scares the daylights out of this over-40 woman. Perhaps it’s from binge-watching too many episodes of Botched on E!. I would surely be the person who has an adverse, disfiguring reaction to any antiaging procedure, landing me on Dr. Nassif and Dr. DuBrow's surgical table.


If you're a chicken like I am, try these no-risk, low-cost styling strategies (pages 6-7 for makeup) for an “instant facelift" so you can look/feel healthy and beautiful at any age. BANGTOX Want to hide those ever-deepening expression lines on your forehead? Get yourself some bangs! It's cheaper than cosmetic procedures and pain free.  Heavy bangs can weigh down the face, so if you go for a thick bang, ask your hairdresser about curving upward toward the temples-- —naturally lift the eyes. Instant facelift! TEXTURED FABRICS Camouflage wrinkles by surrounding them with texture instead of shiny, flat materials. Tweed, denim, cable knit, ruffles, lace, tassels... You get the idea.

Do you have to avoid silk and satin garments? No! Just break them up near the face with accessories that minimize the textural contrast between your skin and the material for an instant facelift. DRAMATIC EARRINGS Sparkles and intricate designs work wonders for lighting up a face. Yet, if they hang too low or create a lot of weight below the jawline, the eye will be drawn downward, creating a drooping affect. Drama is good, but try to keep it on our close to the earlobe so eyes are… READ MORE

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EASY Ways to Brighten Your Face By Audrey Stefanik (@cremescometrue)


We’ve all seen the

facial highlighting and contouring maps.  With layers of dark and light makeup, you can minimize certain facial features and highlight others.   But by following these maps, guess what else you’ll likely highlight: WRINKLES. And that’s why I can’t with contouring. Instead of layering on makeup, I focus on adding LIGHT to my face. I’ve listed my four favorite spots on my face to highlight, and all my makeup favorites for brightening shadows and adding a hint of shimmer. READ MORE


“I’m going to do it like Mae West… [and] sit in a wheel chair with my high heels on.” — Dolly Parton on aging

The Power Brow


by Karen Helton (KissNMakeup.com) A properly contoured brow wakes up the face; anchoring the eyes without the need for heavy makeup and creating a healthy appearance. Here are the top Dos and Don’ts for the perfect brows.

Tell Simone France and you’ll receive a FREE sample of “The Sandwich” CATHERINE DENEUVE JACKIE KENNEDY ONASSIS



- Let them grow!


- Get them shaped by a professional (regularly or periodically).


- Use products to enhance your brows (not overwhelm them). - Get them shaped, even if you have petite, fine brows. It is important to have a professional that knows which hairs to take, trim and clean up the brow.

DON’TS - Over tweeze and/or trim. - Overuse color because that can look unnatural, harsh or aging. - Wax, thread or sugar (these are hair removal processes, not shaping methods)




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What’s Her Secret?

By Thea Wood (@Over40Style), Jone’t Wooten (@ChicOver50)

JONE’T WOOTEN ASKS FASHIONISTAS WORLDWIDE “To me, an over-40 fashionista is a woman who has infused her personality and style into the next chapter of her fashion diary.” Fabulously Chic Over 50 founder and photojournalist Jone’t (pronounced Ja-NAY) Wooten clearly stated her definition of a fashionista when discussing her new photo essay series “She’s Got Style.” (cont’d next page)

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Jone’t launched the series in September 2016 with the mission to feature stylish women from around the globe who inspire her. “We’re starting to see more and more over-40 women blazing a fabulous fashion trail on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook these days, which means more style ideas for all of us.”

Catherine Robinson, 50, England READ HER STORY

When Jone’t extended an invitation to fellow bloggers and Instagrammers around the world to be a “global style fashionista,” the response was enthusiastic. “I have been surprised and overwhelmed by the encouraging comments and emails I’ve received from strangers from around the world, thanking me for celebrating the lives and style of these beautiful women,” says Jone’t. At age 54, Jone’t is familiar with how hard it can be finding clothes that aren’t targeting 20-somethings or 70somethings. “In my opinion, the fashion industry has yet to design for middleaged women who have a desire to look stylish.  Although things on the retail front seem to be improving, there is a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon between our daughters’ clothes and granny's muumuu.” So, where in the world does Jone’t like to shop? “I’d have to say New York City,” she declares.  “It’s a vibrant city dripping with style inspiration and spectacular shopping opportunities,

Sharryn Morris-Claire, over 50, Australia READ HER STORY

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Martina Berg, 56, Germany READ HER STORY

not to mention New York Fashion Week!” FabulouslyChicOver50.com also lists links to online retailers Jone’t frequents, along with style, beauty, and even travel tips for middleaged women. “I think one of my favorite parts of being an over-50 fashion blogger, is the heart-warming sense of community I am fortunate enough to share with other middle-aged bloggers.  We lift each other up and encourage one another, which has allowed me to meet some inspirational women.” We at SheSpark couldn’t agree more with Jone’t and are grateful for all of the amazing women who are aging to perfection!

photo: Robert Buck

Renata Driscoll, 45, Poland READ HER STORY

Grace Liang, 42, USA READ HER STORY



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The Midlife Fitness Mentors by Tamara Grand, PhD (FitKnitChick.com)

Last weekend I did a “cleanse.” Not the type of cleanse you’re probably thinking (if you know me at all, you’ll know that detoxes and food cleanses are not exactly my thing). A social media cleanse. As a fitness professional, blogger, and freelance writer who’s fairly active on social media, I subscribe to a lot of fitness and nutrition websites. I also follow a ton of Facebook pages and Twitter and Instagram accounts. Mostly to stay on top of the latest research and trends in my field but also because I, too, seek motivation and inspiration from other fitness mentors. (Trainers need trainers too, right?). The thing is, despite the daily deluge of emails and the speed with which my Facebook news stream updates with fresh material, only a small proportion of the content delivered to me actually serves its purpose: to educate, motivate and inspire. Instead, I found myself confused by contradictory and misleading information. Should I run or lift weights if I’m trying to lose weight? Fasted cardio— yes or no? Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of exercise and nutrition advice. Everybody’s an expert (with or without credentials) and no two experts ever seem to agree… Shamed and angered by the “what’s your excuse?” memes. If my priorities differ from yours does that make them excuses? READ MORE


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Anti-Aging: More Than Skin Deep by Andrea Carter (SuccessAcademyOnFire.com)

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proven anti-aging techniques that you can do in under minutes to take years off your face without products, surgery, or supplements

Timeless beauty with a youthful and glowing complexion is a subject all women want to know more about. Current statistics show that cosmetic surgery has been on the upswing for women under the age of 35 for the past 5 years because of the societal pressures women are facing today. Botox, supplements, and anti-aging creams have become go-to quick fixes so that women don’t look tired, run down, or as if they aren’t capable of handling their long lists of to-dos. For a woman’s career, her appearance counts. For a woman’s self-esteem, her appearance counts. For a woman’s selfconfidence, her appearance counts. Interestingly, although the quick fixes help in the interim, by the time women are into their 40s these quick fixes become increasingly costly and often unsustainable, creating a decrease in a woman’s self-esteem and selfconfidence just at the time when life is really getting good! You’ve likely heard the saying that “beauty comes from within” throughout your life, and with over 15 years of experience in mental

wellness, I can attest that it is true! Here are 3 proven anti-aging techniques that you can do in under 15 minutes each day that will take 10 years off your face without any other products, surgery, or supplements —and best of all they’ll boost your selfesteem and your self-confidence while making your skin glow! Disclaimer—When you read these simple and proven techniques you may think to yourself, “these seem way too simple to work,” but before you dismiss them, you should know that current research shows that your words, what you imagine, and your daily rituals impact your DNA. Try these out today and allow these simple techniques to take 10 years off your face naturally! Technique #1 to take 10 years off your face while boosting your self-esteem and confidence in 5 minutes or less. Close your eyes and take a deep breath into your body. Next, imagine you can breathe only into your forehead. READ MORE

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are fine with me.

They’re a small price to pay

for the new wisdom inside my HEAD and my HEART.” — Drew Barrymore

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SMILE and Say “Buh-bye” to Little Leaks & Painful Sex by Thea Wood (theawood.com) and Dr. Sherry Neyman (RWGdocs.com)

Painful sex Leakage with every sneeze Frequent UTIs or burning with urination Dry, itchy discomfort Shortening or tightening of the vaginal canal These are symptoms of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy (VVA), a thinning of the vaginal walls due to perimenopause/menopause, hysterectomies, oophorectomy, chemotherapy to treat breast cancer, and other hormone-altering life experiences like child birth. It’s not pretty, and most women don’t want to talk about it—not even to their physicians. So I will talk about it in the hope that other women will seek help for what can be a chronic and embarrassing condition. Shame be damned! (cont’d next page)

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I had a hysterectomy in 2013, and life “down below” was never the same. VVA symptoms started appearing shortly afterward, though I didn’t know there was a medical term for it at the time. Symptoms included feeling like I had a UTI (my urologist assured me my bladder was in Olympic condition), leakage during and after intense exercising, and mild discomfort during sex. After months of suffering, I booked an appointment with my gynecologist/ surgeon.

Dr. Neyman recently introduced me to a new non-invasive option: MonaLisa Touch® for vaginal rejuvenation. Oh the irony for this daVinci Surgery veteran!

Dr. Sherry Neyman of Renaissance Women’s Group in Austin, Texas offered the standard non-invasive VVA treatment: vaginal estrogen cream and lubricants. My blood work showed normal estrogen levels, so we passed on the oral estrogen. She also recommended pelvic-floor exercises to strengthen the affected tissue. I took it a step further and began working with a therapeutic yoga instructor.

The treatment lasts five minutes with the use of a local anesthetic. The vibrating, fractional CO2 laser wand (it’s technically a probe, but that word scares me) is inserted into the vagina and “pulses” hit strategically around the walls, up to the top of the vagina, or cuff for the hyster sisters, and back down. Dr. Neyman then hits the outside of the labia with a flat attachment. “Some doctors charge extra for that, but I consider it essential to the procedure.” The goal? Targeted areas will stimulate collagen production much like a Fraxel face treatment. This isn’t an aesthetic endeavor but one of reviving tissue strength and function.

While I saw improvement, three years later, things were still not back to normal. Apparently, I’m not alone. Libertas Academica Ltd. reported that less than half of women treated for VVA were satisfied with their treatments, according to their 2014 REVIVE survey. Sadly, women who have had cancer cannot take the treatments at all since they are estrogen based and can increase the risk of recurrence; nor can women who test positive for BRAC or are breast feeding. So, where does that leave us?

“This is an FDA medical-grade, classfour laser. It’s just like the lasers we use in the operating room. The joke is that this is the Ferrari of vaginal lasers,” laughs Dr. Neyman when walking me through the features on the $180,000 machine.

Femilift uses the same technology as MonaLisa, but the MonaLisa uses proprietary approach specifically designed to treat vaginal atrophy for longer-lasting results, Dr. Neyman says.

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ThermiVa and IncontiLase/IntimeLase are radio-frequency treatments, and DiVa is a hybrid alternative. The fractional CO2 laser treatment is considered the most effective as it reaches deeper into the tissue. Here is a list of FAQ’s found on the MonaLisa Touch website that explain what to expect and how the series of visits (up to three) work. My personal experience included a couple of “zingers” during the procedure that reminded me of a bug bite but not a sting. There was mild discomfort for about a week, and I applied lubricant daily to minimize discomfort. By Day 7 post-procedure, I noticed an improvement in how I was urinating. It felt more like my youthful, pre-hyster stream. The big test? A three-mile run/walk with my son. Not even a threat of incontinence appeared. Two weeks in, Dr. Neyman says she starts getting calls and texts from patients saying “it feels a little juicy down there.” Her response? “I send them a smiley face.” Of course :-) Is it really that effective? “I can say that I haven’t experienced anyone who’s been unsatisfied,” stated Dr. Neyman, who has performed over 175 treatments. “The response has been overwhelming. Women come in in tears not because of discomfort but because they can have sex again. We’ve had one husband come in and hug the machine!”

Dr. Sherry Neyman photos pages 17 & 19 by Korey Howell Photography N

Pricing for three treatments ranges $2,000 to $3,000 (US) depending on where you live. Insurance doesn’t cover it at this time. A “maintenance” visit every two or three years keeps VVA symptoms at bay. I’m more than happy to put it on the calendar given the daily relief and quality of life vaginal rejuvenation can restore. Dr. Neyman offers discounts to cancer survivors. LEARN MORE HERE.

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Aging is NOT for Wimps

So Arm Yourself With Science and Strategies by Cynthia Maida (@RMBNaturals)

photo: iStock.com/mandygodbehear

Ladies, you all know we have an exceedingly more difficult time of aging than our male counter parts. What is distinguished and attractive on them is seen as elderly and unattractive for us. Graying at the temples, a few lines on the face, these are not regarded in the same way on women,; no equality here. Some of the most common signs of aging we all struggle with are changes in our hair, weight gain, and sleep deprivation. Anti-aging is a billion dollar industry. Many of the products and services available do make a difference. However, these can be prohibitively expensive unless we are celebrities. Is there help for us? What causes these specific changes in our bodies, and is there a way to minimize or slow down the process?

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Hair changes as we age Women have a complex, love Ěś hate relationship with their hair. On good -hair days we can conquer the world, whereas bad -hair days (which, for me, are very common) cause us to lose our confident stride. We cut, color, highlight, buy expensive products for our hair, and spend lots of time washing, drying, and styling. It takes up a large part of our grooming time. But why does our hair change as we age? Why do our good -hair days seem to become rarer? Graying hair Graying hair is often the first and clearest sign of aging. The hair follicles produce less melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives our hair its color. As melanin decreases the hairs turn gray and later silver. Genetics determine how early and how much we gray. There are natural herbal supplements that claim the ability to slow or reverse graying. Specifically amla, or Indian gooseberry and fo-ti. These herbs have been used for centuries in India and China. Sadly, there is no scientific research to verify this claim.

Thinning hair and hair loss 
 The living portion of our hair, the hair inside the hair follicle, is dependent on the health of the follicle and the skin where it is located. This makes hair uniquely vulnerable to aging. Our skin is affected by decreasing hormone levels, sun damage, and genetics. Diminishing hormone levels, androgens and estrogen, occurring during menopause have a profound effect on the appearance of our hair, and not really in a good way. Menopause is, in many ways, not our friend. As estrogens decrease the hair shaft becomes thinner because the hair follicle begins to shrink. It produces finer hair. The result is fewer hair -producing follicles, and thinner existing hairs. This causes the overall look of thinning hair that we dread. The hair -growth cycle becomes shorter as the follicle ages so hair does not grow as quickly or as long. READ MORE

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3 Instagrammers to FOLLOW! HANDLE: @petiteover40 NAME: Sherry Dryja CITY: Seattle, Washington (USA) Sherry Dryja is a time traveler. She’s going all the way back to the 1920s and back — to learn about the iconic fashion elements for each decade up to the present day. Sherry takes trends from eras gone by and transforms them with a modern twist.

HANDLE: @StrandOnBeauty NAME: Hazel Strand CITY: London, England Hazel Strand loves makeup…and you can tell. Reading her blog feels like talking beauty tips with a girlfriend. She’s on top of what’s new, and posts about classic favorites as well.

HANDLE: @Lady_50Plus NAME: Martina Berg CITY: Munich, Germany “Many women do not know how beautiful they are. It is important for me to show all ladies ways to discover their own beauty.”

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Profile for SheSpark

SheSpark November 2016  

Style, beauty, and wellness for women over 40. This is the #TimelessBeauty issue, talking style and beauty tips for a painless "lift," new t...

SheSpark November 2016  

Style, beauty, and wellness for women over 40. This is the #TimelessBeauty issue, talking style and beauty tips for a painless "lift," new t...

Profile for theawood