Page 1

SheSpark AUGUST 2016


Straight Talk About Feeling Desirable from What French Women Know About Beauty

A Starlet A Scholar & A Stripper

Message Scent: What Is Your Perfume Saying?

page 2


Note From Thea & Audrey “As a woman, you should be more at ease with your sexuality when you are in your 40s. You are more self-assured about that part. And that’s the way it should be.” — Selma Hayek, 49 So much emphasis is placed on youth as the sexiest trait women can possess. Look at the billions of dollars spent on drinking from the mythical Fountain Of Youth by way of antiaging products, services, and cosmetic procedures. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel and look desirable at any age, but we tend to get caught up in just one aspect of sex appeal that inevitably fades. August’s #KeepingItHot issue explores various aspects of sexuality that tantalize all the senses, including our sense of humor. Our cover woman Shannon Bradley-Colleary embodies how a sassy attitude is magnetic. She’s sugar and spice and everything nice— heavy on the spice. Shannon and the other women featured in this issue walk the walk and teach others how to do the same. Strut YOUR stuff and share your thoughts and suggestions with us on We’d love to hear from you! Cheers, Thea & Audrey


iiiiiiiii iiiiiiiii iiiiiiiii iiii

page 3

ISSUE SEVEN Co-Editors-In-Chief

Audrey Stefanik, Thea Wood

Copy Editor

Colleen Sullivan



Faye Brown

Carol Parker Walsh

Shannon BradleyColleary

Honey & Abernathy

Jane Daly Imogen Lamport Susan Bemer O’Neill Audrey Stefanik Walker Thornton Thea Wood

InsideOutStyle Lisa Joiner Quatro/Worth RMB Naturals Sarah Martin Bemrich Designs Simone France Tito’s Handmade Vodka


Shannon Bradley-Colleary, author, screenwriter, former Wacktress (waiter/actress). Photo by Beth Sanders Photography.

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.

page 4

How To UP Your Sex Appeal Without Baring It All by Thea Wood (@Over40Style)

It's no secret that I don't have the body I had 20 years ago. My abs were my best

asset and I loved to show them off in crop tops and low-rise jeans. Pregnancy, a hysterectomy, and age changed the landscape—so to speak.  These changes forced me to re-evaluate my sexy over-40 style strategies when it comes to "keeping it hot.”

It is time to admit that 20-year olds will always win when it comes to baring smooth-skinned thighs, perky cleavage, and even (sigh) sculpted abs. One might ask, “Are women of a ‘certain age’ beyond sex appeal?” Some women may throw in the towel and throw on their muumuus. I, for one, am not willing to go quietly into that dowdy, dark night.

Here are 10 style strategies that keep you looking and feeling sexy at any age. Which are your favorites? 1. Macniak


Form-fitting clothes. Hiding under baggie clothes is never sexy. Use form instead of flesh to accentuate your best asset. Matching bra and panties. True, you might be the only one who knows they match, but it will make you feel more sexy, which is MORE SEXY! Be sure the bra fits properly, giving real "lift." Most women are wearing a band that's too big with a cup that's too small.

3. Sheer accents. One of my favorite LBD's is a shortsleeved, knee length sheath that shows zero cleavage. But the sheer fabric from bust-line to neckline "wows" when I wear it on date night. 4. Long bangs. My hairdresser told me “Short bangs are cute, long bangs are sexy.” Hair that appears to have movement is touchable and desirable. READ MORE

page 5

How To Wear Hosiery With Colored Shoes by Imogen Lamport (@ImogenLamport) A style dilemma from Facebook: “Colored shoes and tights… What color tights? I never seem to get it right!” Well, the answer to this depends on who you are and what you want to express. For a more conservative environment, I’d choose nude tights with colour shoes. For a more creative environment, you could wear a similar colour of tights, or… READ MORE


“People independently perceive both men and women with more appealing voices as having more attractive faces.” -Psychology Today-

Read More

page 6

What French Women

Know About Beauty: Simone France Skincare Shares Its Secrets By Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)

A hidden address, secret ingredients, and a select client list. The story of Simone France is nothing short of mysterious… and glamorous. While living in Manhattan, Simone France developed a “cult” following of beauty insiders—the top makeup artists, models and stylists in the fashion world. Names like Laura Mercier, Francois Nars, and Sonia Kashuk trusted their skin to her. She always worked alone in a modest atelier on east 58th Street and you could only get an appointment if you knew someone. Vogue has called Simone France “Manhattan’s Last Beauty Secret.” Well, the secret is out. Three sisters-in-law now run what has turned into a skincare company, and Simone’s secrets are available to everyone.

What is it about French skincare? What do French women know that the rest of the world does not? I asked Penny Kjellberg of Simone France to spill the beans. (cont’d page 8)


Add ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well, and pour everything into a glass. Garnish: Slice of orange Glass: Highball




page 8

Audrey: French women have long been admired for their skincare rituals. What’s their secret?

Audrey: Sticking with products and not chasing the trends sounds easy, but finding the right products can be difficult.

Penny: If we’re talking French beauty secrets, we’re it! Key points about French beauty are: 

How does Simone France find what works for individual skin types?

— French women have a simple daily routine they faithfully perform every day. They don’t mind spending a few minutes in the morning and again in the evening.  Our system is just as much about the daily ritual, the correct layering of products, as it is about the ingredients in the products. — French Women like richer products.  Even the formulas for oily skin are usually not “oil-free.” — Americans tend to think that if something is good, then more of it is better.  French women understand balance. They know that skincare is like fine French cuisine—a careful and delicate balance of ingredients.  A pinch of this, a hint of that, and a little butter is OK!  It’s all about the balance of ingredients, not the all-ornothing approach that is more prevalent in the USA. —  French women find what works for them and they stick with it—they don’t follow trends or get tempted by advertising and promotions.  At Simone France, we remain true to Simone’s formulas and technique— we don’t change as ingredient and other trends come and go. As a former beauty editor, no one knows better than I do how those trends keep coming!  

Penny: We offer an online quiz to determine a person’s skin type. The quiz gives you advice and direction on which products to choose so someone who is new to our products can find out exactly what they should get for their skin type. They can also click on the advice boxes and read more about her own skin issues and get a better understanding of why she is having certain problems and how to avoid them in the future. The quiz is important because it’s not just product recommendations—it’s a wealth of information and advice.  The information empowers women to make smarter choices about their skincare—even if they choose to buy from another company.   In addition to the quiz, we’ve made it easy to get individual advice directly from Simone France skincare specialists. We want to make sure all your questions are answered. At any given time, the experts will be a family member, one of the three sisters-in-law (Me, Sally, Jean) or Sally’s daughter Emily, all of whom have been personally trained by Simone. There is a live chat option on our website, or you can make an appointment for a free 20-minute phone or Skype consultation with me. For people who prefer to email, they can fill out a form and we will get back to them within 24 hours.  

page 9

Audrey: In your years as a beauty editor at Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Seventeen, you’ve seen it all when it comes to skincare. What do you think are the most common skincare mistakes people make? Penny: — Not cleaning skin at night. Also, many women don’t remove impurities thoroughly— all they do is rinse. One of Simone’s most famous quotes is “What you take off your skin is just as important as what you put on it.”  — Going from being proactive about healthy skincare, to being too aggressive on skin. Think “zapping zits, and fighting wrinkles.” Many women reach for the products with high concentrations of strong, often harsh, ingredients. That’s not always the best approach. — Not using common sense—one of the main ingredients for healthy skin. Which reminds me of another famous Simone France quote, “Most skin problems are selfcreated, therefore they can be self-corrected.”

Read Audrey’s product review of Simone France


It’s all about the way you clean your skin


Take the quiz for instant answers about your skin’s needs

20% off your order - Use code SHESPARK

page 10

3 To Read! TITLE: Married Sex AUTHOR: Shannon Bradley-Colleary SITE: This book is a compilation of the best of Bradley-Colleary’s factual married sex stories, some culled from her own life and some derived from interviews the author conducted with anonymous subjects under cover of night on a train platform in Gstaad.

TITLE: Inviting Desire AUTHOR: Walker Thornton SITE: Your guide to creating a sexier, more alive, and in touch you—at midlife and beyond. It features matter-of-fact, open conversations about sex and sexuality that reflect the reality of midlife women.

TITLE: From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal AUTHOR: Susan Bremer O’Neill SITE: What happens when a middle-aged scientist gets sober, then embarks on a second career-as a stripper? This is the story of one woman's sexual odyssey as she turns the microscope on herself and looks inward to determine what is real and what is not.

page 11




page 12

Sensual Image Crunch by Thea Wood (@Over40Style)

Fashion designer Faye Brown started MOTTO in 1985 and has styled thousands of women as her family-owned business continues to grow. Faye talks about how feedback affects us as “image crunchers” when it comes to dressing for our sensual selves. She also explains how surviving breast cancer showed her the writing on the mirror.

Faye, Lauren & Baby Winter

Thea: From a designer’s perspective, are women 40+ embracing or hiding their sensuality in their style? Faye: From a designers perspective, I would say women 40+ are doing both, hiding their sensuality, and embracing it at times. Bringing out our lusciousness, our sexiness, is learned behavior… READ MORE


EVERYTHING that makes us truly happy is quite simple:

LOVE, SEX, AND FOOD — Meryl Streep —

A Starlet, A Scholar, and A Stripper Walk Into A Bar…

by Thea Wood (@Over40Style)

Now that we have your attention, let’s state the obvious: Sex does, indeed, sell. It’s Marketing 101, and is the equivalent of kryptonite in luring you into purchasing products or services that promise to make you look and feel sexy. Who knew that sneakers, hamburgers, and internet service providers held such magical powers? The Super Bowl Commercials 2016 banked on your lust for looking and feeling desirable.


Our lives are bombarded with sexual imagery designed to convey messages, invoke emotions, and incite action. We’ve become such visual creatures, especially in the realm of sexual attraction, that we get stuck… selling ourselves short in all other “senses” of desirability. These other senses are the tools we can use to great advantage as youth disappears in the rearview mirror of life. SheSpark tells the stories of a 1980’s starlet, a sex scholar, and a scientistturned-stripper for their perspectives on looking and feeling desirable as we age. All have dedicated their knowledge and experiences to helping women love themselves and embrace their sensuality. Here’s what they have to say. (cont’d on page 14)

page 14

photo by Sanders Photography

THE STARLET Shannon Bradley-Colleary Visit Shannon’s web site, and you’ll soon be giggling with delight. She’s an epic storyteller who shares her highs and lows of acting in Hollywood during the 1980s and ‘90s. Now, she’s 51 and unabashedly talks about sex and marriage, pregnancy, and menopause. Shannon frankly tackles these topics with a healthy dose of humor on her site and in her books. Shannon teamed up with photographer Beth Sanders and body coach Marlene Zaleznick to form the “Love Your Body Now” project in 2012. The idea came after Beth and Shannon snapped photos of themselves and subsequently criticized their own bodies rather than seeing their natural beauty. Shannon thought: “Sweet mother of God we women… Is it the constant onslaught of photo-shopped images of twelve-year-olds passed off as grown women that are causing us such self-doubt?”

Age comes with changes that can put a damper on feeling attractive. Shannon gives a perfect example of how we can take a perceived “flaw” and turn it into a desirable trait. "I turned 51 this year and for the first time noticed a few more age-related changes in my body, but I had a strange shift in my awareness. Rather than disliking the fact my joints feel creakier when I get up from my bed or couch, I simply began to move more slowly to accommodate them. "Moving more slowly has a sensual quality to it. My body is sending me messages to pay closer attention to it. To love it more. To embrace the changes. And when I live in my body, rather than observing it like a butcher appraising a cut of beef, I love and appreciate it more.” READ MORE

page 15

THE SCHOLAR Walker Thornton A sex educator, author, and speaker, Walker Thornton researches and teaches women how to enhance their sex lives. Walker asks the question “Who says we have to quit having sex after 40?” in response to Miley Cyrus’ assertion that sex stops after 40. Of course, there’s no time limit on having sex or feeling sexually desirable, but women may want or need information on a topic that intimidates many. Walker’s new book “Inviting Desire” talks openly about midlife sex in a 30-day format that uses writing, images, and exercises designed to help women experience sexual pleasure. I interviewed Walker to get her take on looking and feeling desirable. The sense of touch is one of the first things she talks about — not just how we look, but how we feel, hear and taste. “A desire for pleasure, in many forms, is innate—we want to feel nice, to experience tastes and sights

and sounds that make us feel a certain way. When we touch our arm in a light caress it gives us pleasure. When we dress ourselves in something that delights—whether it’s a lacy bra or a freshly pressed linen blouse, we are actively giving ourselves permission to feel sexy— sexual,” Walker explains. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to ask the expert what she thinks of the labels “Cougar” and “MILF” that inevitably come up when talking about older women and sex. Walker states “I think sexuality is still controlled by men in this country, any woman who embraces her sexuality is viewed as dangerous to the status quo. These labels perpetuate the idea that women are objects to be conquered…” READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

page 16

THE STRIPPER Susan Bremer O’Neill If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an exotic dancer, Susan Bremer O’Neill can tell you. Just shy of her 35th birthday, Susan began stripping on weekends and eventually left her job as a laser technician to dance for a living. Her memoir “From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal: One woman’s journey to recover her body, her sexuality, her self” chronicles her experiences and eventual enlightenment to a healthy sense of sexuality and self love. Susan’s first step toward self love actually happened two years prior to taking up dancing when she sobered up. “I’d been a very high-functioning substance abuser from about the age of 14, although you couldn’t tell to look at me. I presented a pretty package; and on paper I looked good, having graduated with high honors from high school and technical school. From the outside it appeared that my life worked, but inside I was chaotic, fearful, and in a lot of pain.

Once I became a sober woman at 33, feelings, thoughts and the frustration of living a life that wasn’t making me happy emerged. “ After complaining to her male hairstylist, he suggested Susan try stripping. She ended up doing just that, working mainly at clubs where she went topless with a bikini bottom. Susan was usually the oldest dancer, which in some ways made her feel superior and in other ways inferior. “One of the great things I learned is that there is not one specific body type that customers (men or women) preferred… I learned, from talking with thousands of men, that we’re more concerned with how we look to them, than they are.” READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

page 17


17 August 2016

7 September 2016

YOUR EVENT Chats, Webinars, Blabs, Periscopes If you have an online event our readers would enjoy, you can post it in SheSpark’s Event Listings

Ask Simone France’s cofounder your skincare questions. Trivia Prizes! Twitter, 8PM. #SheSparkChat @SheSparkChat


Amy Lukken from Tito’s Handmade Vodka tells all with trivia prizes to boot! Twitter, 8pm CT. #SheSparkChat @SheSparkChat

Want to chat, but don’t know how? It’s EASY!

Log into Twitter. Search #SheSparkChat. Click the “Live” or “All” link to see real-time tweets containing #SheSparkChat during the scheduled date/time. To participate, simply type #SheSparkChat into your tweet and hit “Tweet.” Be sure to follow @SheSparkChat for daily tips & news.



Is Facebook your favorite social app?

Visit and “Like” our page. Style, beauty, and wellness updates galore. Plus memes, quotes, and humor— because we like to have a lot of fun with SheSpark!

page 18


What Is Your Perfume Saying? An Interview with Jane Daly (@dalybeauty) By Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)

I’m that woman at the perfume counter who sprays on a scent and thinks, “Yes!


smell so SEXY!” Then after wearing it for about 10 minutes, I’m thinking, “I smell so… bad.” Selecting scents involves lots of trial and error for me. It’s something I want to get right, because a scent definitely sends a message. There are scents that are calming, invigorating, and of course, SEXY. So how do you pick one for you? The one that makes YOU feel like hot stuff?

Clearly I can’t answer this question myself, so I asked an expert who can: Jane Daly. Besides writing her hugely successful beauty blog, Daly Beauty, she worked for many years in the perfume and entertainment industries. Her love of perfume even led her to develop her own fragrance in 2011. Perfume is her absolute passion (she owns over 200 bottles), and she has a gift for being able to recommend the perfect perfume for anyone. She is hypernosmic, which means she has an exceptional sense of smell… and could probably smell you from across the room ;)

page 19

AUDREY: When looking for a perfume to make you feel sexy, which scents should we look for? Why?  JANE: Well, different perfumes make different people feel sexy. Some people like rich and spicy, some like lush florals, and other love a sexy musk. I say if you want to feel sexy, then start by feeling confident. Nothing is sexier than a confident woman who knows what she wants. If I want to feel sexy, I choose a perfume that makes me feel strong and invincible. That changes from day to day, but for me these perfumes tend to be my signature scents, the ones I wear that feel like "ME.” The perfumes that my children smell and say, “Mmm—That perfume makes me think of you, mom," and the one that makes my husband lean in a bit and inhale. For me right now, the soft beauty of Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge and CHANEL No5 Eau Premiere are my go-to sexy scents.

MORE INFORMATION ON JANE’S FAVORITES: Jane’s Molecule 01 Perfume Review Musk Perfumes Jane Loves Soft Clean Perfumes

Sometimes, if I want to sexy it up a bit more, I'll wear Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire, which smells like blueberries and cotton candy. Not my usual style, but it's just delicious and my hubby loves it! AUDREY: Pheromones have been described as “A chemical an animal produces which changes the behavior of another animal of the same species.” – Do perfumes containing pheromones really work for attracting the opposite sex? JANE: Pheromones in perfume are hotly debated. I am not sure if you can believe that what a perfume company says is a "pheromone" in a certain perfume is actually a pheromone. If it is, where did the pheromones come from? A deer? A bear? Or ever weirder, a human? Not likely. The general consensus is that pheromones in perfume are not real. That said, there ARE perfume ingredients likely to perform in a subtle, sexy way. Musks are the best example of this. Musk on its own is usually soft—it can be clean and soapy, or sexy and a little dirtier. The 70s were rife with musk perfumes, and I must say I love them all! I still wear Jovan Musk and Coty Wild Musk and get compliments on them all the time.

page 20

However the wildest one today would be the gorgeous Escentric Molecules’ Molecule 01. It uses a perfume molecule often associated with a woodsy musk note, and I swear I get stopped and followed by people begging to know what I'm wearing when I wear Molecule 01. I've had readers tell me the same. I've stood in a crowded elevator while several people turn around asking "WHO SMELLS AMAZING HERE"? The secret to a good sexy musk is that it usually "disappears" on the skin. Meaning the wearer often no longer smells it, but as the day goes on, it wafts in and out, bewitching everyone in the area. AUDREY: Sometimes we all need a little pick-me-up.  Which scents can boost motivation and/or confidence? JANE: Citrus scents are known for making people feel energized and happy. Citrus fragrances are used in aromatherapy to help lift depression and add energy. Classic eau de colognes like 4711 (everyone's grandmother wore this!) are based in citrus. AERIN Mediterranean Honeysuckle and Annick Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien are perfect happy citrus-based perfumes. Even Clinique's Happy is based on citrus notes! Classics like O de Lancome and Dior’s Eau Sauvage are also gorgeous and perfect for warm-weather happiness. AUDREY: What are your go-to fragrances?  What what do you love about them? JANE: My go-to perfumes…. hmm. Tough question as I love so many! It's like asking me to choose a favorite child!

Right now I am wearing Inis Cologne, which is a gorgeous Irish perfume that smells like the ocean. This summer I've also loved the new CHANEL No 5 L'Eau which is soft and pretty and gets me lots of compliments. My all time favorite would probably be L'Artisan Parfumeur's Mure et Musc, which is soft cassis/ blackcurrants and a sweet musk. Years ago I read that Gwyneth Paltrow loved it and I remember searching it out in NYC and just having to have it. I still love it. AUDREY: We've all bought perfume that smelled great in the store, then not so great after being worn it for a few hours.  What are the best tips to remember when selecting a perfume? JANE: Always get samples to take away. Stores like Nordstrom and Sephora will make you samples, and a good counter sales person knows that is the best way to sample perfumes. Our noses and olfactory senses get overwhelmed in a perfume department and it is almost impossible to get a true idea of what something smells like when immersed in a giant fishbowl of perfumes. And after smelling 3 to 6 scents your nose can't really differentiate anymore. Smelling coffee is a popular nose cleanser but it doesn't really work. I also have a funny tip for perfume testing. Feminine hygiene wipes (Summer's Eve, Vagisil, etc) have a special pH cleanser that takes away scent. If I'm going out testing, I carry a purse-sized pack of these with me. They can eliminate a headache-inducing perfume in a heartbeat.

page 21

Download Your Copy Here

@SheSparkChat Special Guest


As featured in SheSpark July 2016


“The PROBLEM with people who have no VICES is that generally you can be pretty SURE they’re going to have some pretty annoying VIRTUES.” — Elizabeth Taylor —



“From our first phone call to the amazing social build up on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to the SheSparkChat, the ladies went above and beyond our expectations. Not only are Audrey and Thea smart and savvy social media mavens, they are a pleasure to work with.”

— Jan Craige Singer, Co-founder Konenkii At SheSpark we’re committed to providing affordable advertising and engaging content curation for rising stars in style, beauty, and wellness that cater to midlife women’s needs. We go beyond a simple display ad. We also: *Promote each page of the magazine for premium value on any page* *Retweet, share, and follow your social media to increase your reach* *Assist in designing ads that are engaging and result in clicks to your web site* Bloggers email:

Brands email:


The August issue of SheSpark is #KeepingItHot - looking and feeling desirable as we age. Style, beauty, and wellness experts weigh in!


The August issue of SheSpark is #KeepingItHot - looking and feeling desirable as we age. Style, beauty, and wellness experts weigh in!