‘Beautiful Encore’ posits that looking good is not a superficial endeavor
Find the book
“Beautiful Encore: Makeovers for Mature Women,” by Anne Reizer, is currently available on Amazon for $17.20 in paperback and $8.69 in Kindle edition, as well as The Tattered Cover in Denver. For more information, visit www.beautifulencore.com.
Part-time Breckenridge resident and author Anne Reizer set out to write her recently published book, “Beautiful Encore: Makeovers for Mature Women,” to help mature women recognize that confidence is an essential component to success — and one of the easiest ways for a woman to retain or regain her confidence is to improve her physical appearance.
“Physical appearance is a combination of many things,” Reizer said. “Good health, good techniques with hair and makeup, good judgment in choosing clothing — it is something that all women can achieve. It takes discipline and brains.”
“Beautiful Encore” combines nearly a dozen articles on health and beauty written by doctors and professionals with 27 before-and-after makeover stories from women ages 60 to 87. When doing research for the book, the author discovered that there weren’t many, or any, books that showed 60-plus women looking “sensational.” It’s an age demographic that’s underrepresented, she said, a group of women who can easily be in the shadow.
“Our life experiences, as well as the wisdom acquired, are valuable,” Reizer said. “We need to have presentation confidence to help others hear us. One designer said years ago that sweatpants are a sign of defeat. The picture of a woman in an oversized sweatshirt is a compelling example of a look that needs to be improved.
“Comfort does not mean sloppy. There are too many choices in the market for comfortable clothing that still look polished and thought through. Remember, outward appearance is where we are judged and is part of a visual language. Are we sending the right message?”
FINDING A STYLE
To find that inner confidence and project it through physical appearance, women must take themselves seriously and act, rather than merely react, choosing a presentation that tells onlookers that they are in charge, their lives have a plan, and they are interesting and worth knowing, Reizer said.
“One of the simple and effective ways to build that sense of self is to take care of our health and our presentation,” she said. “Good health practices, including nutrition, exercise and preventative medical steps, will give the satisfaction of taking good care of our bodies, and taking care of how we present ourselves will aid in a confident demeanor that will shine for all to see.”
Mature women have strong feelings about their bodies, Reizer said. Some want to find clothing that covers their arms, others want a high neckline, etc., and these preferences are not so narrow as to make shopping impossible, only a bit harder. She emphasizes finding an individual, mature style.
“The area of using color is one way that older women can add vibrancy,” she said. “For many, this will feel adventurous after wearing muted, muddy colors for years. Women of different cultures often do not have the inhibitions that we seem to have. A deep cleavage is very acceptable on an older, Latin woman.
“Many mature women feel that personal style is too difficult or feel that style is a realm for the younger woman. Unwittingly, they are giving up opportunities to exhibit their confidence in a personal way. Women who are happy with their presentation seem to be more able to find opportunities to socialize, as well as function at a high level in public.”
Two of the models chosen for the makeovers were Breckenridge residents Gin Simmons and Maggie Ducayet. Ducayet said she had known Reizer for a while and thought the project sounded fascinating, but it still took a bit of convincing for her to sign on.
“I was shocked last year when she said, I really would like you to be a part of the book,” Ducayet said. “I’m a mountain girl; makeup is the last thing I think of putting on in the morning. Anne is always so well put together, and she’s a beautiful woman, and I was shocked to find out that she was 70.”
Ducayet, 68, was whisked away to Houston for a whirlwind day of hair cutting, coloring and styling, makeup, clothing and, finally, photography. The day wrapped up with a dinner party, where Ducayet met some of the other women who had been included in the book.
“All of the women that she was drawn to had some real vital thing going on in their lives,” she said. “One of the women was the first woman pilot of a 747, and in another life, that was my dream. She was so fascinating, she had such a dynamic personality, and when she did that, she had no women in her cockpit crew. What a role model for younger women.”
Reizer said she began choosing the models for her book based on their ages, but soon discovered that rather than describing the repetitious process of each makeover, it was much more fascinating for the models to tell their own stories.
“Every model has quietly achieved in her mature years,” Reizer said. “Most of them have found a way to give back to their communities. I feel very fortunate to now have these women as my friends. All of the models were delights to work with. They were flexible and put no restrictions on the stylists. Their reactions were spontaneous ‘oh mys!’ when they saw their final makeover.”
The final photographs are of nice-looking women who became sensational women, each with their own special style, Reizer said. None of the changes were difficult, but each model walked away with a new style to boost her confidence, and it will show in the way she stands, how she walks and how she interacts with others.
“I think beauty comprises a whole bunch of things,” Ducayet said. “I think they are beautiful by what they do and what they say, besides how they look. … I think Anne’s book encompasses a lot of that feeling. As you look through the book and look at the models, you’ll be blown away by the transformation and how much younger they look.
“If you feel good, you’ll look good and you’ll take that extra step. And I think looking good is important, taking care of yourself.”
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