By Lynda Wallas

2 Great Makeup & Makeover Books

I bought both of these books earlier this year, read them from start to finish and have flicked through again multiple times since. They are both excellent references for women in mid-life who want to ensure that they are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Great for inspiration, as well as cold hard fact, to assist you in making the right choices for a fresh look.

Staging Your Comeback by Christopher Hopkins:

This is a seriously good book. I love it! It covers all facets of a mid-life makeover but the best bit is probably the way it makes you do the thinking and strategic planning upfront. Christopher has a lot of experience with mature women makeovers. He does an amazing job, especially with hair re-styling, but in general too with understanding a women’s potential. Just watch some of his makeover videos online to see the emotion and enthusiasm he gives to the task, and the emotion he brings out of the women – kind of like he brings out the inner beauty that’s been hiding behind a busy life and doing for others.

It’s all about expressing the authentic you, figuring out who you’ve become and where you want to go style-wise. You start by, among other things, determining your image profile; which of the 6 image profile categories you match (usually one or two, maybe strongly in one with influences from another). I love the way the book takes you on the whole journey, from setting your strategy, planning your revel, execution and ongoing maintenance of your new look. It covers hair, makeup, wardrobe, spirit/image/attitude and the big revel. It covers age appropriateness and being current, trends and classics, the all-important ‘visible lift’, and all the fundamentals we need to know about shape, colour, length, cut, and accentuating the positives.

Some key learnings –

  • Less makeup may not be best as you get older, unless of course you put on heavy makeup with bad technique. Good coverage done cleverly and using soft shades is your best bet.
  • Sparkle, shine and glitter are NOT your friends!
  • A handbag tells your story and reflects your style, so don’t just consider it as an afterthought to an outfit and always buy the best you can justify.
  • When in doubt about shoe colour, choose neutral.
  • Where a line stops, the eye rests, so be mindful of sleeve length and what it might be exaggerating.
  •  ‘Staging your comeback is not about going back. It’s not about anti-aging.… It’s about feeling strong, confident, competent and attractive.’


Christopher is genuinely driven to help women of our age to realise their potential by revamping their looks… and we all know that feeling fabulous means a healthy self-esteem and positive attitude that seriously contributes to all round good health.

You can buy this book at and while you’re there subscribe to receive the ‘Seven Secrets of Youthful Beauty’ for free!

Timeless Makeup by Rae Morris:

Rae is a seriously successful international makeup artist who just happens to be Australian. She is the Makeup Director of Australian Fashion Week and four times winner of Australian Makeup Artist of the Year. Timeless Makeup is about classic looks that will make you look years younger. There’s step by step instructions and lots of accompanying photos to make it really easy. You will discover how to have luminous and flawless skin, how to create the perfect eyebrow shape, pick the perfect lipstick colour, apply false eyelashes and contour your face.

I learnt a lot of new tips and tricks for making the eyes the focus, in the right way for my age. I’ve also felt confident enough to buy a contouring kit and give it a go. It seems I have been applying products in the wrong order much of my life – probably something that many of us have been doing with routines established in our early twenties. Buying this book coincided with finding out that the Shesido foundation I had been using since I was 18 years old was no longer being made, making me feel very nervous and unsure of what to do next. I felt like perhaps it was a sign to reconsider my routine, then finding this book set me on the right path for what should come next.

If you are thinking about updating your makeup kit then you absolutely need to read this book first, as there’s an entire section on what should be in your kit, which brushes to have and which job each brush does (as well as which pencil does what, the benefits of a good primer, where to apply your blush, the difference between contouring and highlighting and how to successfully apply eyeliner).

One of the key learnings for me was that I use too much moisturising product in my prep, making it harder for the makeup to stay put…. and that using powder as a primer on the eyelids is a great idea for keeping it in place. I was also inspired to start getting my brows and lashes tinted, as well as a bit of a wax around the brow to tidy up. These simple and inexpensive things make such a huge difference to the face, accentuating the eyes and making you look fresher.

It’s a very informative and realistic book that gives you the confidence to try something new. It’s also quite inspiring; the photos of beautiful women of our age give you a gentle kick to up the ante at a time when you might be feeling a little stale. I began to think about what I was doing in front of the mirror in the mornings, rather than just being on auto pilot. Rae has a lovely way of making you feel like you can still be sexy and relevant in mid-life.

You can buy this book at and also buy Rae’s fabulous brushes.

Lynda Wallas
Lynda Wallas
About me

I’ve always been interested in health and fitness…. which turned out to be a good thing when fertility treatment in my 30s took a toll on my health, leading to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and early onset menopause. More about Lynda...

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