Author and beauty adviser, Charla Krupp lost the battle to breast cancer on Monday at age 58. Charla wrote a couple of really great books that I often refer to called, “HOW TO NEVER LOOK FAT AGAIN: Over 1000 Ways to Dress Thinner Without Dieting” and “HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Lighter, Ten Times Better.” Charla was also, at one time, Beauty Director for Glamour magazine.

In honor of Charla and her great work, here are some of my favorite tips from her book “HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Lighter, Ten Times Better“.  These ideas are from various parts of the book but I believe are key concepts we should all embrace as we age.

  • It’s not about looking natural, it’s about looking fabulous! You don’t win any brownie points for being natural.  Hair color is fashion, and the look of the moment is shiny, expensive color.  Although it doesn’t actually have to be expensive, because at-home hair color is better than ever.
  • Once you reach a certain age, you look better with bangs.  Almost everyone does.  The best bangs are long, thick and straight or side-swept, angled, or graduated. Anything too severe or geometric will be hard-edged and unflattering.
  • Makeup is our candy!  So at the risk of sounding like a killjoy, it’s best to edit your makeup down to a minimalist color palette. Wear beige, brown, khaki, or gray. Wild and crazy shades…only magnify imperfections.
  • Exfoliate. As we get older, our skin cells don’t turn over as rapidly as they once did, resulting in a rough, uneven, or blotchy texture.  Microdermabrasion, exfoliating scrubs or glycolic peels give your aging skin the help it needs.
  • Nothing ages you like yellow teeth.  Get your teeth whitened either professionally or at home with white strips.
  • Go wild on your tootsies.  Go neutral on your fingers. Don’t draw attention to your hands that likely show signs of aging.  Fake nails, red nails, “dragon-lady” nails are too harsh against hands that haven’t been pampered all these years.
  • Unmatch your wardrobe. The modern way of dressing has no room for matchy-matchy.  Show your personality and unique personal style!
  • Keep it hidden– many mistakes that grown women make when trying to look young fall into the category of revealing too much, as in baring your midriff (unless you’re at the beach).  It doesn’t matter if you have six-pack abs or paid six figures for a tummy tuck, keep it hidden- it’s not cute. (Ahem, Jennifer Lopez…this means you too! No more bare bellies on American Idol, ok?)
  • Jeans are forever cool.  No matter what your age, nothing says Y&H (younger and hipper) faster than a perfect pair of jeans.
  • Don’t give up on heels. A wardrobe of high and low lets you switch throughout the day so you are only wearing the high for a few hours.

And, my favorite:

  • Forget aging gracefully!  We are going to fight aging- and we’re going to look great doing it!  Charla says later in the intro, “We’re not talking inner beauty here.  We’re paying attention only to your outer beauty, the package you present to the world. Think this is superficial? Sorry, but it’s the real world.  Every day, people size you up in a nanosecond, making judgments that could affect your future based on whether your nails are too long or your skirt is too short.  You can’t afford not to look your best every time you step out the door.”

I highly recommend if you are the age of 40 or beyond, that you read this book.

Charla, thank you for your wisdom and real world guidance. May you rest in peace.

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TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.


  1. Wow….I had no idea Charla died last week. 🙁 I am a big fan of her books (esp How Not to Look Old) and loved her appearances on Today. RIP, Charla.