For the past few weeks, I have been combing through old journal entries and blogs written on my birthdays of years past. It is so interesting to look back at those milestone years, see what I was up to, what mattered, what my goals were, what I accomplished, what shifted and what is still pending on my life’s to-do list.
I am a Perennial
6 years ago, on my 49th birthday, I wrote a blog titled “I am a Perennial” and fast forward to today, that word, perennial, is the inspiration behind my cosmetics line, Genuist Beauty. At the time when I was pondering turning 50, I didn’t feel old but society certainly had something to say about me as a woman close to turning that age. The word invisible popped up on plenty of Google searches too, but there I was at 49 in the best shape of my life, kicking ass at work, loving my husband, family, and friends, surfing and traveling around the world, and watching my children thrive. I didn’t look old either, and my preconceived notion of 50 would become everything but what I thought it would be.
In my mind (and in my younger friends’ minds), 50 sounded like a scary cliff you’re going to fall off of when you get there. And, it most certainly is a change, but not in the way most people think. 50 (and today I am 55) was even better than I could have imagined and it was a magical jumping off point for me to soar into the next part of my life, including creating my own beauty brand.
And here’s another thing about 50. Some of the most amazing women I know reinvented themselves and evolved into the best versions of themselves after they turned 50. These powerhouse people whom I get to call my friends look amazing, travel, make the world a more interesting, creative and all around better place. They are vibrant and confident and are in no way shrinking in the face of society’s expectations that you are old when you are 50 and beyond. They are timeless and fantastic. 50? Take that.
What is a Perennial?
A client of mine sent the 49 year old me a wonderful article in the Telegraph, “Why Women of 40 and 50 are the New ‘Ageless Generation,” that I absolutely devoured and blogged about right after reading. This article is where I was introduced to the concept of “perennials” and the concept of being ageless. “The Perennials. We are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mindset, not a divisive demographic. Perennials are also vectors who have a wide appeal and spread ideas and commerce faster than any single generation.”
I loved the idea that we can be forever blooming and ageless as we grow older. It doesn’t hurt that I love flowers too. Hitting 50, I didn’t fall off a cliff, and instead reached new summits as I evolved even more into the best version of me. I didn’t lose my voice or become ignored. I got into the best shape of my life, survived COVID, injuries, health issues, financial ups and downs, watched my friends, family, kids, and clients go through their wins, hardships and issues, and still I feel ageless. And with certainty (read my Tony Robbins blog here) I can say I am a Perennial!
Age as an Adjective: What’s your Adjective this year?
Instead of focusing on, or dreading turning a new number this year, I’ve decided to turn into adjectives now. Fearless, certain, thoughtful, confident, I look for inspiration to find a word (sometimes it is a noun I turn to, like “Perennial”) that helps me stay connected and grounded to my soul’s deepest yearnings and desires. Changes of course will come as one’s body changes over time but try keeping me off my Peloton, traveling the world, building a cosmetics brand that will be launching nationally soon, running an award-winning salon, going out, listening to EDM because I can, salsa dancing in the rain, playing with my dogs, spending time with the people I adore and love the most. Oh my gosh. Life is so rich.
Unfortunately, some people are stuck and fixated on turning a new number, and of course there is aging and the physical changes that come with that. But here’s my advice. Do whatever you want that brings you joy but be ever aware that the pressure to look a certain way is very real, ever present, unending, and supported and reinforced by a billion dollar beauty industry too. And also remember that loving who you are on the inside is integral.
She Won’t Be Imprisoned Anymore
In the words of the fabulous Perennial Sarah Ban Breathnach, “turning fifty is an entirely different matter altogether. At fifty, the madwoman in the attic breaks loose, stomps down the stairs, and sets fire to the house. She won’t be imprisoned anymore.” (from Sarah Ban Breathnach, Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self.) Can I get an Amen?
I won’t be imprisoned anymore either by limiting beliefs, by fear, mediocrity, and people and things that are not what (or who) they say they are. This is why I created Genuist Beauty. To make makeup products and brow products that do exactly what they say they will do using clean ingredients, in environmentally thoughtful packaging that won’t fuck up the earth, and that will make you, an ageless beauty, look as good on the outside as you are on the inside. Plain and simple. And my brand is all about beauty with a clean conscience.
Beauty Perceptions & Beauty Routines:
We are bombarded incessantly with the messaging that you are not enough right now. In particular, in the beauty world, we are told to do this resurfacing treatment, get an injection, surgery, this facial, that product, ad nauseum. It is exhausting and at what cost are we rejuvenating? Is all that pain we are putting ourselves through to look better really worth it? Sometimes the answer is yes and often it is no. And then there’s the judgment from people. You’ve got some who are anti doing anything and then there are those who fight aging so fiercely they don’t know when to quit. Their faces are pulled so tight they look miserable or worse no longer themselves.
For me, I take care of myself. I get facials and my brows done regularly at the salon by Bri. I work out, meditate, play with makeup and get dolled up. I love my morning and evening beauty routines and using my Roller Brow 3 to 4 times a week to keep my brows looking their absolute best. Whatever you do, just make sure you are doing things every day that bring beauty to you and into your life. And remember when I said on Friday that the universe is conspiring with me? It really is and it is for you too.
Sometimes the way your face ages, because of how you are made, does require a little surgery to correct. I get that too. In talking about this, this is a judgment free zone. It is just the issue of who you are on the inside that is the most important part. Are you looking in the mirror and lamenting getting old so you get a procedure so you don’t feel old? Or are you youthful and happy on the inside, except nature is just having its way with you. So, you have an enhancement and your outside matches your insides. That is beauty from the inside out. That is what I am all about and what my Atlanta beauty business and my cosmetics brand are all about. If you come from that place, I do not look at enhancements as unnatural because you are not making up for something that is missing or that you are not.
The Perennials in Aly’s Life Who are Embracing Age
As I continued reading through old journals and reminiscing on birthdays past, I realized that 25 years ago today, on my 30th birthday, I was given a copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Something More. That book was instrumental in my life and career. In that book, Sarah said, “when we talk about Something More, it isn’t wanting a fancier car, a bigger house, or a designer dress. Something More is what we need to fill our spiritual hunger.” And as I sit here writing this on my 55th birthday, I realize that I have had a long spiritual ache to help women of all ages realize their beauty, inside and out, embrace their age while looking fabulous and to inspire and encourage them to curate beauty wherever they go.
After reading Sarah’s book all those years ago, it encouraged me to examine who my authentic self was and inspired me to create a service at Authentic Beauty studio called The Image Journey, a one-of-a-kind makeup lesson, where you hone in on what you are drawn to visually (using Pinterest, magazines, et al) and then we design a makeup routine for you that reflects your inner beauty externally. Said another way, this transformational makeup lesson affords you the opportunity to discover and learn how to create an exterior image using makeup that is an expression of your inner, Authentic Self. All those years ago, I was a redhead but I was drawn to blond. So, I cut my hair, went blond, and began this life long journey of having my image be a reflection of my authentic self.
To bring even more beauty into my life, I went to an event recently where writer, actress and former model, Paulina Portsocova, was speaking. Her new book, No Filter, is absolutely incredible and I was able to give her some Genuist Beauty products while I was there. But as I contemplated turning 55, I found myself with this 58 year old, head turner with a new best selling book, madly in love, and looking her absolute best. Wow. She glows. She is blooming. She is a perennial, and she is owning her life at all ages. As Paulina says, “aging is the privilege of living a long life. You can fight it or accept it. But there is a third choice. Embrace it! Yes!
And then I think about my wonderful friend Pat Mitchell, award-winning journalist, producer, media executive, author, climate justice warrior and more, who is the definition of being a badass perennial who embraces her life, age and all, and she is gorgeous to boot. (Did I forget to mention that Pat also broke new ground for women as the first woman president of PBS and of CNN Productions ,and today she is a co-founder, host and curator for TEDWomen and co-founder and managing partner of ConnectedWomenLeaders, a cohort of global women leaders, across generations and geography, who are launching a global, women-led campaign for climate justice titled Project Dandelion.)
Pretty Perennials: Timeless, Ageless Beauty
In this 55th year of mine, I am not slowing down. I will be traveling more, including going back to Paris, getting a Genuist Beauty inspired tattoo of Perennials to keep me grounded, playing with more makeup, launching more clean products that live up to their hype and make you look and feel pretty and fabulous in mere minutes. Through my travels, I will be going on more quests to continue surrounding myself with beautiful people, places and things.
I am also going to be forever blooming as a perennial and open to the gifts the universe bestows upon me. Perennials don’t age because their energy is timeless. I absolutely adore that idea and that at Genuist Beauty we transcend age by making products that are easy to use, with clean formulations, quick and simple to apply and make you look as fabulous on the outside as you are inside. Check out our amazing new products here.
Trueing Myself Up:
Today, I find myself working out now so I can live stronger and longer, not to just lose a few pounds. My focus is all about respecting and honoring myself. It is not about morphing myself into something I am not. It is about true-ing myself up. That is the Authentic Beauty journey too, and if you haven’t done an Image Journey or its been 10 years since your last one, please trust me. You will love what you see when you look in the mirror and I guarantee you will be able to apply the makeup on your own at home after this dynamic makeup lesson. Make an appointment here.
What makes Aly Bloom?
We chose Perennials as our symbol to represent Genuist Beauty, and things are in full bloom now with 3 products released and more to come in the coming months. This makes me bloom. What about you? What brings you alive?
I also wanted to create a cosmetic company that caters to the Perennial woman who is busy living her life. We don’t have time for lengthy makeup routines and at home beauty rituals nor do we have the time to watch complicated and lengthy makeup videos. We are busy curating beautiful lives. We are also not going to be consumed by unrealistic standards of beauty either.
If you are committed to living a stunning life, give yourself to the things that make your heart and soul sing. The comparisons make you old. Engage in practices that make you feel beautiful and come alive. Do those things every day even for just a few minutes if that is all you have. For me, I love sitting at my beauty table in the mornings and I play with makeup for a few minutes. I have fun music playing and I apply my makeup. Give yourself that gift of 5 to 10 morning minutes to get pretty. Make it part of your daily life. You will feel better and put your best face forward in the process.
Living with a Genuist State of Mind
At Genuist Beauty, our name, like the name of our salon, is all about being genuine and authentic year-round. We added flowers to our Genuist Beauty branding and boxes because we are approaching aging as Perennials with a sense of wonder, play, curiosity, excitement and love.
These whizbang Perennial women are creative, innovative, and not afraid to take risks. She is successful in her career, or in process of that, and she is always looking for ways to improve and to stand out from the crowd.
- Curiosity: Perennials are always curious about the world around them. They are always learning new things and trying new experiences.
- Resilience: Perennials are not afraid of failure. They learn from their mistakes and they keep moving forward.
- Optimism: Perennials are always looking on the bright side. They believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
- Passion: Perennials are passionate about their work and their hobbies. They are always looking for ways to improve and to make a difference in the world.
How to Become a Perennial:
Are you done with the lamenting and comparisons that make you sad and that darken your spirit? If so, you are on your way already. Next, love what you see when you look in the mirror! If you don’t? Come see us at Authentic Beauty and we will help you with that. Features perhaps fade over time but guess what? Makeup can work wonders for that and enhance and define your features. And get those brows on a cycle and come in for our brow arch services. At home, you really only need 5 to 10 minutes. Makeup really can be that simple and fun.
Our ideal makeup and brow client is a Perennial who is ever growing and evolving. She is not content staying in one place for too long or doing the same thing year after year. She is always looking for new challenges, adventures, and new ways to learn and grow.
Feeling stuck and in need of a little re-tuning or refreshing? Here are a few things you can do:
- Stay curious: Never stop learning and growing. Take classes, read books, and travel the world.
- Be resilient: Don’t let setbacks get you down. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.
- Be optimistic: Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.
- Find your passion: Find something that you are passionate about and do it with all your heart.
- Get an Image Journey at Authentic Beauty
- Read inspiring content. (Read the books in this blog and sign up for the Genuist Beauty newsletter here.
If you can do these things, you will be well on your way to becoming a Perennial.
I hope this year is the best one yet for all of us. Join the Perennial Movement here.