I was only a couple of years away from retiring from the public television station where I'd worked for 33 years when the light bulb went on for me. I was sitting in our family room watching The Learning Channel's program What Not To Wear. In case you aren't familiar with this TV show, Hosts Clinton Kelly and Stacy London worked with women nominated by friends and family who felt they were "style challenged." In addition to providing style guidance and a $5,000 Visa card to shop for a new wardrobe in New York City, the women chosen for the show were also given a new hair style and a makeover by a top makeup artist. Often the older women--especially--would look in the mirror after their makeover and be amazed by what they saw. And many were--like me--on the verge of tears when they saw the transformation.
It's when I saw Courtney's makeover that it hit me. I thought "This is what I want to do during my 'second act'--I want to help women 40+ look and feel their best." For the next few years, I read every makeup book I could get my hands on, scoured the internet for makeup videos and took private lessons with a nationally recognized makeup artist. And for six years I worked part time as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line.
As I've talked and worked with many women 40+ over the last few years, it's become clear to me that most of us started wearing makeup in middle school, high school or even college and we continue to use the same techniques we learned then . . . even though these techniques aren't as flattering as they once were since just a few things have changed in the intervening years!
And why wouldn't we continue to use these same techniques? After all, where do we go to learn how to take care of our skin and apply makeup differently? Most cosmetic company websites offering makeup tutorials rarely feature those of us past 40 and most makeup companies primarily focus on creating "anti-aging" products for us.
Having been a part time instructor at the community college level, my natural inclination was to develop a class offering a wide variety of makeup tips and techniques and product information specifically for women 40+. This initial class proved to be the launching pad for Boomer and Beyond Beauty. We now offer a number of different classes, private and small group consultations, on-line Zoom consultations and just launched a YouTube Channel: "Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise" ( and will soon offer online courses. But our mission remains the same: to help women 40+ look and feel their fabulous best.
Elise Marquam-Jahns and Lucy
“Life is way too short to leave the key to your happiness in anyone else’s pocket.”
"I’m not interested in looking younger. I want to look healthy and radiant. I want to look like me."