Generations of Beauty

Posted April 27, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand

I drew in a quick breathe of delight as I looked down at my May InStyle magazine – finally they smartened up and put Isabella Rossellini back on a cover. Sanity returned to the media industry and they remembered who the true beauties of our time are.

Then I realized it wasn’t my beloved Isabella, but instead Emily Blunt. F_ck, I thought — I just aged-out of InStyle’s demographic. After all, Isabella Rossellini is 60 years old, and Emily Blunt is (knife twisting slowly) 30.

By way of background, Isabella Rossellini was the face of Lancôme from 1982 to 1990. I happen to work for Lancôme during this time as a Regional Training Manager and simply idolized Izzy-Belle (as I referred to her) and believed she epitomized the essence of a woman’s beauty.

Understated, elegant, and refined – Lancôme’s choice of Isabella raised eyebrows at the time. She was (gasp) 30 – an age when most models and actresses searched for retirement homes, which, of course is what I dug about Lancôme’s bold move.


Fast-forward two decades while I stare down at an amazingly beautiful woman – 22 years my junior and contemplate my reality. I hopped on my laptop and found the image of Rossellini, which mirrored that of Blunt’s cover shot. The first thing that ran through my mind was Coco Chanel’s famous quote,

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

Career Girls, it’s time for a style-check. Spring is here and we’re ready to kick the winter make-up colors to the curb. But before you jump onto the hot summer color trend ask yourself this: Will it pass Coco’s style test? Here are a few tips to make sure it does:

Skip the full nod to seasonal color trends, and instead wink at them: Orange is huge this season – try a fabulous coral or peach lip and cheek shade, but pass on overdoing the look. Keep eyes and nails neutral.

Save the periwinkle blue nail polish for your toes: Yes, I agree the shade is friggin’ adorable, and depending on your workplace, it’s fun for your toes as the peek out of your sandals. But, it’s difficult to take a business presentation seriously, with blue nails distracting the conversation.

Take it easy with the bronzer: A hint of color on the chin, cheeks and at the brow bone looks professional and finishes a look. Steer clear of using it all over, or using too much of it. It looks harsh and unpolished.

No make-up communicates style without a clean canvas: Proper skincare habits, like cleansing twice a day, wearing a daily sunscreen, and exfoliating a few times a week enhance your make-up now and forever. Unkempt skin looks lifeless and dull no matter what you slap on top of it. Take care of it now, or pay the price later. Trust me.

If you’re unsure of a shade choice, just remember the 22-year question: Will you cringe when you see a picture of yourself 22 years from now? 

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.