Evelyn Mayers, Grandmother

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"Let me tell you something—my father was blond and he had a brother and a sister who were almost albino. Very light blond hair, everything blond. So, my brother and I were born blondies. Not like our dad, but I always felt maybe that’s why I have absolutely no natural color in my face. I remember before I really knew about makeup, one summer I met up with a friend and she said to me, ‘You have no eyebrows!’ I can’t remember exactly the age when I started wearing makeup, but I do remember a problem with these blond eyebrows.

Without makeup, there’s no expression. So I put a little brown eye shadow on my brows. Maybelline came out with a brown shadow with a little brush, but it’s for your eyebrows. It was so easy for me to put on. I don’t want it to look like a line; I want it to look natural. I don’t let anyone tweeze my eyebrows or let my hairdresser dye them—she’s offered. But then it looks too artificial. I prefer a natural look.

If I’m not going anywhere, I don’t bother with makeup. But when I go out to the movies or something, I wear brow shadow, mascara, a little blue eye shadow, and the blusher. After I had cataract surgery, and I didn’t wear mascara right away, I figured I must have looked half dead! I use Maybelline Great Lash on just the top lashes, only because it’s easier to clean off at night. Once or twice I’ve tried different mascaras, but I was never happy with them. I first saw blue eyeshadow on an actress in a movie ages ago. I thought she looked beautiful. Who knows what movie it was—this goes way back. I don’t even know if I had children at the time. The only time blue eye shadow doesn’t work is if you’re wearing green. The other trick I learned was from your mother's childhood friend Lesley [Ann Warren]. After she became an actress, she started putting brown shadow over her blue eye shadow, just in the crease, to make it deep and add dimension. That’s why I use it, but I don’t know if it still works now. [Laughs] That’s why actresses have eye surgery—when you get older, the lids droop.

For blusher, I use Elizabeth Arden or Lancôme. Everything else I get at CVS. I stopped wearing foundation when I was 40 or 50 because it makes the wrinkles more prominent. I like to use a light powder base by Maybelline instead, every once in a while, when I go out. But where do I go? On a Saturday, maybe I’ll go to the movies.

I wear lipstick, too. I used to wear a dark Revlon color, Bronze Lamé, but it looks funny on me now. But maybe the style is light lipstick now anyway. Generally, I do a beige-y pink. But today I have orange on to match my scarf. I do match my makeup to my outfit—if I wear pink, I put on pink lipstick. When I wear orange, I put on orange lipstick.

At night, I take my makeup off with cold cream. I use a liquid by Neutrogena that takes off everything, better than Pond's. And then before I go to bed, I put on moisturizer—Neutrogena Light Night Cream. I started doing that when I turned 50. On my birthday, I said, ‘I think it’s time to use moisturizer at night.’ I was getting older, so I figured I’d better do something. But I don't wear anything during the day and I don’t wear eye cream—what does eye cream do? Nothing.

I still dye my hair ash blond, and I have it touched up once a month. But I get my hair washed and blow dried once a week. I’ve been going every week for thirty-five years. My hair is like Brillo, and I can’t handle it. I go to the beauty parlor, because my hair has to be tamed. I used to sit with rollers under a hairdryer for forty-five minutes every week, but now they use a blow-drier and then iron it. When she’s finished, it feels so soft. This is not how it looks naturally—it’s very kinky and wavy.

I do my nails myself. First, I have a colorless base, and then I put on polish. Right now I’m wearing Brilliant Blush by Sally Hansen. When I lived in New York City, I wore red nail polish and I had long nails. Here [in Brookline, Massachusetts], I don’t like it anymore. Nobody wears it. It’s very different. All of the men dress down here; nobody gets dressed up. When I lived in New York, it was more formal. When I went to the beauty parlor or made a dinner reservation, everyone always called me 'Mrs. Mayers.' Now, here, everything is my first name. I’m Evelyn everywhere.

You see, when I see the sun in the morning, I make a point of going out. I have to push myself, you know what I mean? Take a bath, get dressed, and push. Otherwise you wind up sitting in a chair. At my age [94], you have to push."

—as told to her grandson, Nick Axelrod

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Bea

    What a chic lady - 94 looks fabulous!
    I really, really loved to read beauty tips from a woman "of a certain age", please keep them coming!

  • Ida

    Love, love. love this lady. 94?!?! She rocks.

  • Mary

    What a lovely story! She looks fantastic!

  • http://cosmoslyn.blogspot.com.au/ Ailyn Koay

    push! Cool grandmother there

  • smith la smith

    Push mama! Fabulous :)

  • belle et buzz

    so nice and inspiring ! What a good idea to ask her some tips, I love her...Belle et buzz from Paris (France)

  • a67penguin

    Wonderful interview- she looks great!

  • Julia

    Uber cool Lady!!!

  • dazey

    Beautiful

  • http://brushandbullet.com/ Teresa

    Ninety-four. Ninety-four! I love this. Also we're eye makeup remover twins. (Probably not for long though; too oily.)

  • Bridget

    This was just a sweet, charming read. Good job, ITG!

  • Luciana Micaela

    Just perfect.

  • janeeyre

    can anyone tell me which revlon shade is that lipstick? she's too good for words!

  • CFH

    94?! No way.

  • http://inattendu.tumblr.com/ Tine/Inattendu

    She's so cool. Now I'm not afraid of getting old anymore!

  • hbrooksh

    LOVE!

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    Ooh. Is that a bottle of Jean-Louis Scherrer I spy on the perfume tray? Very chic!

  • Babou

    Fantastic !
    Her hair is lovely and I love how she makes an effort to look good. My husband's grand mothers is about her age and she to looks very good and elegant.
    Our generation missed out on that... doing your hair very well, applying lipstick throughout the day... I just can't manage it ! Shame on me

    • Vicki

      I liked your comment not to "shame on you" but to agree with the great point you make! Our generation did miss out on the fabulous female tradition of getting your hair "done" not necessarily cut or colored but styled and done. My grandmother used to go monthly for a "perm" and would set her hair almost nightly in those pink foam rollers (I remember her putting them in my hair and having to sleep in them, ouch!) And the tradition of putting on your lipstick or making sure you are put together, I love it and wish it was more of a part of our everyday lives (admittedly I'm relatively low maintenance myself so no criticism here!) :)

  • anonymous

    I love her! Push on, Evelyn!

  • bijoux

    Sweet and honest. I'm so curious to know what movies she likes to go out and see, and does she bring Nick with her? :)

  • http://www.merlinsLtd.com Merlin

    What a proud sounding and acting lady - She looks great a colorful character and an inspiration to us all, and she still goes out on a Saturday night!

    MerlinsLtd.com

  • magicmollys

    Role model

  • Meredith

    What a lovely woman. I see the family resemblance.

  • Nina R.

    Wow! She is just fabulous! What a great Top Shelf!

  • Giulia

    94??? She looks like 80!! Congratulation!

  • Kayla

    Oh. My. God. Evelyn = Completely Amazing :D

  • Luli

    Wow, what an inspiration. Our culture is so focused on what young people want. Well, what I want is to ask the older women out there how to do shit, because they know what's important -- and, conversely, they don't care what anyone thinks so they'll just tell their truth 100%, which is refreshing.

  • Patricia

    Great interview! How interesting to learn about her perspective on beauty; how it changes, how it stays the same, generation to generation. I also love hearing from older folks who keep "pushing". Yay, for Mrs. Mayers!

  • Lauren

    "Without makeup, there’s no expression" -- InTheGloss, this could be your tagline. It has certainly just become mine.

  • kt mo

    i used to love watching my grandmother get ready in the morning and would always play in her vanity, just moving around jewelry and looking at each lipstick. She's so regimented and particular in this sort of understated glamour way. What a beautiful Top Shelf. More awesome old ladies, please!

  • Blue

    OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! I was trying to guess her age and thought maybe 65ish, then I forgot and BUM 94! amazing she looks absolutely amazing

  • Sarah

    94? Incredible! Chic lady! I love mature women (and men, too). They are always full of wisdom.

  • Michelle

    Fabulous! She reminds me of my grandmothers who unfortunately are gone now. One was the epitome of chic and never adjusted to Florida after a lifetime of formality in New York. The other wore her mink to get the newspaper in the morning. Both "pushed" it and inspired in their own ways just like Evelyn. Brava Evelyn keep pushing it!

  • MSR

    "What does eye cream do? Nothing." PREACH, EVELYN.

  • conni boykins

    Hero.

  • bas_bleu

    I could listen to this lovely woman talk all day. And she looks NOWHERE near 94. So interesting to hear how things have changed both with her beauty routine and in society. And I agree totally with her statement about pushing forward - good advice that I will keep close to my heart. I would love to hear more from her, please. That comment about the eye cream (something I have wondered myself) had me laughing. Stay young and beautiful, Mrs. Mayers!

  • SamSam

    ! <3

  • http://www.merradywickes.wordpress.com/ MissWix

    I just love this! More grandma features! Maybe a collaboration with Advanced Style, their film is about to premiere! xo

  • http://www.merradywickes.wordpress.com/ MissWix

    Also, I'm kind of dying to know what all of her fragrances are. Is that a Diptyque bottle? And Le Labo?

  • Montse

    I rarely comment in posts on any blog, but this just made my day, my grandma was just like that -a "pusher", she wore lipstick and mascara every single day, she didn't like foundation either, and she styled her short white hair into a very feminine pompadour. Lovely article!! keep them coming!

  • Aubrey Green

    94!?!? She looks amazing! So cute

  • Macey

    Love seeing this Top Shelf! This blog is one of the single best beauty inspirations where youth is not praised above all else. I hope that my generation (mid-twenties) does not fall victim to the belief that you must be and look young to be beautiful. A lovely, well cared for version of yourself is best at any age, and it's a look all your own! A woman's beauty is in her eyes and her smile :)

  • Dru

    What a great interview - love the tip about brown eye shadow over blue for depth (blue shadow has always stumped me before) - thank you, Mrs Mayers and Nick!

  • hollygoeslightly22

    Love Nick's sunglasses.

  • Laura

    Adorable!! She looks fabulous!

  • GLCLLTT

    She's is so cool.

  • jackie

    Fantastic!! My mother is 85 years old, looks amazing and has never spent a dime on department store makeup or skincare. And she also pushes herself ....
    it is so important to focus on the older generation in this youth obsessed culture!

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    She looks incredible!

  • Groovychimpster

    Thank you Mrs. Mayers and Nick for this lovely, honest, inspiring piece.

  • Eliza

    She's 94?!? She could be a walking ad for that Neutrogena Night Cream--she looks phenomenal. Her style is so chic as well. Loved this :)

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElementalMercury L.S. Watkins

    Mrs. Mayers is my hero, she's totally fabulous, I hope to look half as sharp as she looks if I'm lucky to be so healthy and live as long!

  • Gopaleen

    Whenever you do these pieces, ITG, on these amazing women who aren't under the age of 50, just know that they are the best thing on the internet all day. They move me and inspire me and Mrs Mayers reminds me of my own nana who died last year. There's something honourable about this piece and I absolutely love it. Thank you.

  • Cooker

    Omygod, I love her!!! There is no way she is 94!

  • Michelle

    Love you! Keeping it REAL and beautiful! PUSH!

  • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

    This was so sweet to read. I love hearing other people's beauty stories, especially women who have been around the block and have seen trends change over the years. Congrats on reaching 94! My grandmother just turned 90, it's such an amazing thing. :)

  • Sydney_Farrell

    Amazing woman. I loved reading this - a treat.

  • ruby

    Its so nice to see a topshelf from stylish individuals outside the industry! You're grandmother looks beautiful, what an beauty inspiration!

  • Genevieve

    Possible best ever.

  • Annie

    LOVED this story!

  • Emilie

    woah. She's a dream, such a classy lady. And yes, please keep these women coming! I'm kinda tired of reading about these people talking about all kinds of diffrent products, and by the end line "I don't really wear make-up".. It's called into the gloss hey, we wanna read about glossy make-up.. Like blue eyeshadow!

  • Shawna

    This is so sweet.

  • JLJX

    so beautiful. thanks for the inspiration, evelyn...

  • http://4districtstyle.wordpress.com District Style

    What a great story - I admire her outlook!

  • SM

    Mrs. Mayers you're so beautiful and I love your make up tips and I will ape them right away. Your "top shelf" is the best one ever, and I only wish there were more photos ! PS: I bet, when you go to watch movies , that you're the best dressed and made up person in the theater! You've reminded me that we all must keep "pushing" too, regardless of our age. Thank you, and I wish I knew you in real life!

  • Hai Yen Nguyen

    She's so sweet! My grandma is also 94 and still looking fabulous with ridiculously smooth skin. I recently found out she uses the same moisturizer I do (Olay Complete SPF 15 Sensitive Skin) and it gave me hope!

  • Kat

    Nick, your grandma is awesome! Love hearing life advice from older ladies - they don't put up with BS.

  • TJ

    Best post ever!

  • i2uthanne

    I love this interview - it's so sweet! Your grandmother is so glam!

  • maya

    God i'm 26 and i dont wanna look at any mirrors..

  • Anna

    Great post!
    I'd love to hear about her perfumes. I can identify Oscar de la Renta & Red door, and hmm, Bottega Veneta? But what is that next to the brocade bottle that might be Madame Rochas?
    Anna

  • Lana

    Love this!! More of this please :) More women of this age :)

  • Rose

    She's 94? Who knew? If she's single I have a match for her! He's 96 & lives in Boca. Amazing post, thanks!

  • http://avaalon.com/ Avalon

    Wow, what a lovely post. She looks absolutely incredible.* Gets out notebook to take notes*

  • http://prettybrightandbubbly.tumblr.com/ Shannon Kirstie

    This is absolutely wonderful!

  • 1Alouette

    Amazing <3

  • Anna

    <3

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Maybelline Great Lash
Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara in Very Black
Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Radiance Blush
Lancôme
Lancome 'Blush Subtil' Sheer Delicate Oil-Free Powder Blush
Neutrogena
Neutrogena Oil Free Makeup Remover
Neutrogena
Neutrogena Light Night Cream
Sally Hansen
Sally Hansen Brilliant Blush Nail Color
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