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SheSpark JULY 2016

#OWN IT! Inspiring Over-40 Instagrammers Signature Style Selfies Standing Out

Do Midlife Women Have a SELF IMAGE Problem? Featuring Dr. Carol Parker Walsh

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We’ve all heard, “Confidence is the best accessory.” If only we could slip it on as easily as we do a bracelet. But it’s not that easy. Confidence is something that has to come from within YOU. So how do you find it? In this issue of She Spark, we’re introducing you to over-40 confidence boosters. From tips to muses, from facts to fiction. We hope every day becomes #MotivationalMonday for a positive self image. Featured in our pages you’ll find: -

Three Strategies for Designing Your Signature Style Tips For A Better Selfie A New Approach To Finding Your Colors The Question: Do Midlife Women Have A Self Image Problem? Over-40 Instagram Style Stars Who Rock Their Looks

Find your style, what makes YOU feel good…AND OWN IT. Cheers, Thea & Audrey


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ISSUE SIX Co-Editors-In-Chief

Audrey Stefanik, Thea Wood

Copy Editor

Colleen Sullivan



Jill Chivers

Honey & Abernathy

Dr. Meg Haworth


Jill Kirsh

Lisa Joiner

Imogen Lamport

MK AvantGarde Jewelry

Audrey Stefanik

RMB Naturals

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh

Sarah Martin Bemrich Designs

Thea Wood

Tito’s Handmade Vodka


Melanie Kobayashi, self portrait. Featured on page 15 with other “Inspiring Over-40 INSTAGRAMMERS.”

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.

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3 Ways to Design Your Signature Style by Thea Wood (@Over40Style)

We’ve all said it: “I wish my style were like [fill in the blank].” Common names that my clients fill in are Jennifer Aniston, Kerry Washington (more specifically her character Olivia Pope from ABC’s primetime hit “Scandal”), and Meryl Streep.  So what is it about these women and other style muses that we want to emulate?   In short, they’ve created a signature style that’s visually in line with their personalities and lifestyles.  This visual harmony organically boosts confidence, which is an extremely attractive trait that trumps any definition of outer beauty. Aniston corners the market on the girl-next-door t-shirt and jeans ensemble.  Tilda Swinton commands attention with striking gender-bending flare.  The petite Iris Apfel’s plus-size personality radiates from her artisaninspired ensembles of colors, patterns, and beads.  For some, styling comes naturally. For others, a little extra help can make all the difference.  It's never too late! Your personality, goals, and body architecture are unique to you. Studying style muses for ideas is a start, but designing a signature style requires some self discovery and creativity. Here are three easy strategies to start building a signature style that says who you are and where you’re going. READ MORE

Are YOU Socially Smart & Savvy? “Socially Smart & Savvy” is a compilation of expert advice from professional image consultants who help women of all ages look and feel their best. From personal branding to choosing the right suiting fabric, this handbook will get you started!



Handcrafted to be savored responsibly.


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Get A Hold Of Your Selfie By Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)

Have you ever seen an over-40 woman look at her phone and accidentally catch a glimpse of herself in the front-facing camera? Her response is likely one of panic as she frantically tries to turn it off. And taking a selfie? Not happening. As an over-40 beauty blogger, I used to cringe every time my selfie posted next to a 20-something’s. So I quit posting them. I blogged about makeup without posting any pictures of my face. Guess what happened‌ No one read my stuff. I knew I needed to boost my selfie confidence, so I went to the experts: teenage girls. Here are the tips that upped my selfie game. READ MORE

The Power Is In The Pearl Professional image consultant Dawn Stebbing explains how to implement the 5 steps toward eliminating self-defeating habits so you can create a personal style that helps you reach your goals.




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Finding Your Colors with Jill Kirsh Color

By Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)

Finding the right colors for you is empowering. When you’re wearing a color that looks good on you, you know it. You can FEEL it. Women have been trying different methods to find their colors for years. Remember when having your “colors done” meant discovering if you were an “autumn” or a “summer?” Have you ever tried identifying your skin’s “undertones” by determining if the veins in your wrist are blue or green? Forget all that! Jill Kirsh has a better way. Her unique approach to working with color has been featured in In Style Magazine and Redbook. I was a little skeptical when Jill told me about her method, then I saw the before-and-after videos on her website. I’m convinced!

“All you need to know is what color your hair is…” — Jill Kirsch

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Jill Kirsh has designed an innovative color system for your wardrobe and your makeup that's entirely based on your present hair color - Deep Brunette, Warm Blonde, Golden Brown & Red, Ash Blonde, Platinum, and Gray. Yes, I just said GRAY. (If you’re going gray, be sure to check out her video, “Gray Hair Makeover with Jill Kirsh Color.”) Jill works miracles finding colors to flatter all hair colors, making women look brighter, fresher, and younger. According to Jill, “Everyone can wear most every color, it just depends on its hue.” Her before-and-after photos and You Tube videos have to be seen to be believed. READ MORE

CLOTHES aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them

WILL — Anne Klein —




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This is a loaded question that we can dissect into thousands of angles. An Internet search using “midlife women self image" and “midlife women body image” queries yields just over 280,000 results combined. Those results aren’t even close to the amount of information available for “teen girls self image,” which yields 4,970,000 results. That leads one to question: Why aren’t sociologists, psychologists, and professors learning more about the most influential and wealthiest demographic’s introspective attitudes? Doing the research left me almost debilitated with conflicting reports. Here are a few statistics that stood out:

54 The age females are least satisfied with their bodies (source) 92% Botox users who are women (source) 40 The age when women start taking less selfies than men (source)

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Dr. Carol Parker Walsh has a PhD in human development and social systems, studied the impact of media images and other social determinants on the health, identity, and well being of women. Her knowledge and pre-existing love of fashion inspired her to become a professional image consultant. “I put two and two together. For me image consulting is about helping individuals, particularly women, feel confident, empowered, strong, and beautiful internally so it can be reflected externally. When that's accomplished, then we help position their authentic image in a way to advance their lives and businesses.” Dr. Walsh works daily with women who are looking for a path to more self confidence when it comes to their appearance. She answered a few questions for SheSpark. THEA: What is the most common negative self-image issue that your clients experience? How do you help them move past it? DR. WALSH: The most common is not loving their bodies. The second is this very interesting phenomena of wanting to blend in and not stand out. I've created a workbook for clients that serves to help them reframe their thinking about their bodies. I give them exercises to quiet the negative voices that reinforce feelings of unworthiness. This is NOT an overnight process, but when we uncover these issues and address them openly while dressing them in ways that let them see themselves in a new light, I see their self-image changes. It's even more substantial when they start receiving positive feedback from others around them. THEA: You have two short-read books out. “The Second Act: Styling YOU From The Inside Out” talks mostly about self worth and body image. Good Morning America reported that most women don't see themselves accurately and 80 percent overestimate their size and feel unhappy when they look in the mirror.  Why is that? DR. WALSH: It because of the images we see in the media, particularly in magazines. There appears to be a consistent message to women that says "you're not good enough," meaning you're not tall enough or short enough, blond enough or brunette enough, thin enough or curvy enough, etc. It's like you just can't win, because once you think you've achieved one of their mythical standards, they change the rules and create more. However, I'm loving the campaigns by Dove on loving and embracing yourself, and the body-positive movements, and age-confidence movements because they are giving voice to the every-day woman and proclaiming whoever you are is perfect. (continued on next page)

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THEA: What are two things women can do to improve their self worth and body image? DR. WALSH: Looking at yourself in the mirror and repeating positive words of encouragement and affirmation can never be underestimated. Second, our clothes influence how we feel, so taking the time either the night before or earlier in the morning to carefully select an outfit you love and feel fabulous in on a daily basis will go a long way!   THEA: Your second book (An Amazon Best-Seller) deals with how your clothes speak about who you are as a person.  When a woman walks into a store, what are the top three things to consider when purchasing a wardrobe?   DR. WALSH: She must first consider how she feels in the outfit. Never buy something because you think you "should" have it in your closet, but only because it makes you feel amazing. Second, don't get hung up over sizing. It's about fit so if you have to go up or down in a size know it's not YOU it just how the manufacturers cut and created the garment. Finally, only purchase those pieces that you know you can wear in at least 3 different ways. You want to build a versatile wardrobe, which is hard to do with a closet filled with items that can only be worn in one particular way. Wearing clothes to flatter your body shape is an acceptable discussion now, but buying them based on a particular “age” is still taboo. The Wall Street Journal covered a story about the new web site, founded by Cynthia Weber-Cleary and Stephanie Stahl. Stahl is quoted as saying “Age is where the opportunity is… the kiss of death is to be labeled as the site for 45 and over. The only place on our site that mentions age is our bios.” Stahl has good reason to say that. MORE Magazine discontinued its print magazine due to luxury advertisers that prefer targeting millennials. The Gap’s attempt to reach the over-35 market with Forth & Towne crashed after a $40 million investment. (continued on next page)


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It seems over-40 women are looking for brands that design for their tastes and needs (consider the fact that a fashion model’s prime age range is 16 to 18), but we don’t want boring, stuffy, or dowdy fashion. Nor do we want to be publicly “branded” as an older woman by walking into a specialty shop that caters to an older demographic. In fact, Fast Company reports that department stores have experienced a resurgence, giving partial credit to the ability to blend in as a shopper at any age. Studies show that women respond more intensely to negative feedback than men do. Blending in can be a natural defense mechanism to minimize painful comments or reactions to our appearance versus being a visual statement of who we are. And while over-40 women may be making great strides in the workplace, education, and overall societal contributions, we may still fear serious repercussions if we take risks with our personal style after a certain age.


Yet, look at how staying true to (or creating) your own style can result in big opportunities at any age. Ellen DeGeneres, 58, is a Cover Girl. Jennifer Aniston, 47, is Aveeno’s celebrity brand ambassador. Rhianna became Dior’s first black spokesmodel at age 27. These women all have different styles that resonate with the modern woman. The more we see women like these in advertising, films, and TV, the more comfortable we’ll feel in our own skin.

Social media may be the most effective tool in breaking midlife stereotypes. Thanks to style blogs like Catherine Summers’, Sylvia van de Logt’s, and Annette Holrich’s, women are embracing a positive over-40 self image. Not only is it “okay” to be our age, it’s the time when we can wear our personalities on our sleeves. So take a selfie— and post it. Wear the outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Use your visual voice to scream (or whisper) who you are.

However you do it, OWN IT!

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THE FACTS: STANDING OUT VS. BLENDING IN VIDEO: Imogen Lamport (@ImogenLamport) and Jill Chivers (@JillChivers)


WOW! Van Tran, 25, of Brooklyn, NY won the 12th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest presented by Charmin and


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Inspiring OVER-40 INSTAGRAMMERS HANDLE: @BagandaBeret NAME: Melanie Kobayashi CITY: Vancouver, Canada “What I like about my style: My style has no limits. It allows me to dream, which elevates even the most mundane of days. Everything is allowed and there are no mistakes. Clothes are just fabric on skin but having freedom of choice in what I put on makes me feel ALIVE and READY.”

HANDLE: @FunkyForty NAME: Yvonne Aeberhard Stutz CITY: Zurich, Switzerland “My style is about having fun – bringing a little funk into your outfit no matter what the occasion. At the same time remaining stylish enough to turn heads!”

HANDLE: @CatoInAmsterdam NAME: Carin Toonen CITY: Amsterdam, Netherlands Her profile is filled with bright colors, bold patterns, and big smiles. Happiness practically jumps from the screen. Carin is a self-described “skirt addict who occasionally wears a dress.”

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Turn Your Health Challenge Into A Gift PODCAST: Dr. Meg Haworth, special guest Marla Diann

Business mentor, Branding Expert, and certified Money Breakthrough Method ™ coach Marla Diann has been inspiring women and men to transform their business and stories into a leveraged strategy and authentic brand using an integrative approach. Join our discussion about what her illness taught her and how they were turning points in her life. In this mustlisten interview, we talk about health, wealth, money, branding, and building the life of your dreams through your own story. PLAY PODCAST


Special guest Marla Diann

You Can Have


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20 July 2016

17 August 2016

Amazon Best-Selling Author explains how “Your Clothes Speak” LIVE on Twitter, 8pm CT. Trivia prizes and more! @SheSparkChat


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


7 September 2016

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

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!

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Are you a blogger or advertiser who would like to connect with women over 40? SheSpark is for you! That’s why 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:

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SheSpark July 2016  

The "#Own It!" issue. SheSpark covers style, beauty, and wellness topics for modern women over 40. This month's issue features inspiring o...

SheSpark July 2016  

The "#Own It!" issue. SheSpark covers style, beauty, and wellness topics for modern women over 40. This month's issue features inspiring o...