Thirty is the New Twenty - Or is It? Avene 30 Plus Event

37 comments
Last Thursday I attended the Avene 30 Plus event in London. It was organised by skincare brand Avene (which I'm loving more and more by the day) and Hayley Carr, creator of the 30 Plus Blog Collective, (which you should totally join if you're a 30 plus blogger and haven't already.)

Unlike other events I've been to, this one took the form of a panel discussion on the subject of attitudes towards ageing in the beauty industry. This is something that fascinates me, so I was really interested to hear what other people had to say on the subject. But first, champagne! (Not to mention delicious finger food.)

Avene 30 Plus Event - OOTN with Topshop Dress

(Thanks to Claire from Country Mouse Claire for taking this photo of me, and for being so much fun to chat to on the night! In case anyone is wondering, my dress is from Topshop, but I can't find it on the website.)

Avene 30 Plus Event - Buffet

After half an hour or so of making new acquaintances, eating, drinking and taking photos, all at the same time (quite a challenge for a klutz like me), it was time to take our seats for the discussion. Like the true rebel I am, I gravitated to a seat right at the back, which was basically the worst place I could possibly have chosen for taking photographs. #bloggerfail.

Avene 30 Plus Event - the panel discussion

First up, Avene briefly introduced their new PhysioLift range, targeted at ageing skin, and then the discussion began. The panel consisted of blogger Jane Cunningham, cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting and psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, with contributions from the floor. This was a room full of intelligent, articulate women, and the conversation sparkled. The following are some of the main points that stuck in my mind:

  • Why are anti-ageing products so often presented in a way that suggests ageing is a flaw that needs to be corrected, rather than a natural process that happens to us all? 
  • Why can men with grey hair and wrinkles be considered "ruggedly handsome", while women are told they cannot be beautiful unless they cover these things up? (With the exception of very fashionable grey hair on 18-25 year olds!)
  • Why do marketers and companies try to sell women vacuum cleaners as soon as they turn thirty, and stair lifts as soon as they turn fifty? We don't appreciate being put in boxes, and we still like heels and lipstick, thanks very much.
  • Do older women feel invisible due to lack of representation in advertising and the media?
Avene 30 Plus Event - the panel discussion

All this was fascinating food for thought. I must admit, when I first heard about this event, part of me thought, "that sounds brilliant", and part of me thought, "I feel too young to go to this". The fact that I felt this way illustrates exactly why I needed to be there. Talking to my Mum and Aunty about it afterwards, they both said the same thing to me - "but you're only in your thirties! You don't need to use anti-ageing skincare yet!" I was astonished by this. As young as I still feel, like pretty much every girl I know of my own generation, I've been applying eye creams, serums and firming creams since I hit 25. Why? Because brands/magazines/peers/society tells me I need it! I've been degenerating now for 12 years! People in the street probably recoil in horror as I walk past!

I'm joking, mostly. I do think there is pressure on women to start using anti-ageing skincare at a certain point in their lives, but I use it because it's a proven fact that over time my skin is going to lose hydration and firmness, and I want products that will help to counteract those things, or at least help to lessen their effects. It's not really about looking younger, but I do want to look my best. I have always felt at my happiest and most confident when I make an effort with the way I look. It's something I love, pure and simple. Why else would I have started a fashion and beauty blog?

Avene 30 Plus Event - decor

Avene 30 Plus Event - decor

I've spoken before about ageing on this blog, so just to reiterate, being in my thirties feels pretty damn good. Not just because I've grown in confidence and had chance to rack up some great experiences and achievements, but I genuinely feel I look better now than I ever did in my twenties. (Ugh, that sounds so arrogant, but I really want to get this point across!) For me, my thirties have brought experience, new skills, and the confidence to wear clothes I shied away from in my twenties. As for that "decline" I'm supposed to have been suffering since the age of twenty-five, I haven't noticed it so much, to be honest. A few grey hairs and a couple of fine lines, sure, but I haven't turned into a wizened old hag just yet. (This may or may not have something to do with all the anti-ageing products. Who really knows?!)

Avene 30 Plus Event - decor

Avene 30 Plus Event - decor

Now, I'm aware that I've always been a bit of a late developer. Everyone's experience is different, and maybe other people my age feel differently about being in their thirties. But I spoke to a few girls on the night who felt exactly the same as I do, and it annoys me that just as I feel like I'm hitting my peak (again, ugh, but you know what I'm getting at), I see fewer and fewer women my age and older being represented in advertising and the media. Helen Mirren in the L'Oreal ad is a glorious exception, but on the other hand, if I see one more movie with a fifty year old guy dating a twenty year old girl I will run out of the cinema screaming! And it breaks my heart when I see gorgeous young bloggers bemoaning how old they are... in their mid-twenties. I thought we were all living longer and looking younger than ever before. What happened to thirty being the new twenty, and all the rest of it?

When it comes to the beauty industry, I must confess, I've never been particularly offended by the concept of anti-ageing skincare. I'm very glad it exists and I actually see making the choice to use it as quite an empowering thing. But I do agree that offering those products in a more positive way, focusing on the health of our skin rather than fighting a hopeless battle against the passing of time, would be a very good thing. Personally, I can't wait to try out Avene's new PhysioLift range, and I'll definitely be sharing my thoughts on it here on the blog once I've had chance to form an opinion.

Avene 30 Plus Event - PhysioLift Range

Avene 30 Plus Event - PhysioLift Range

Avene 30 Plus Event - PhysioLift Range

I could go on forever about this subject, but this post is already long enough, so over to you. I know women of all different ages read this blog, so what are your feelings about ageing? What sort of changes would you like to see in branding, advertising and the media in general? I want to know all your opinions!

Avene 30 Plus Event

Kate x
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37 comments

  1. What a great event Kate, I found the points your raised about ageing really interesting. I'm in my thirties and like to look youthful and been using anti ageing products for years! I don't mind looking older and just want to take care of my skin the best I can.

    You can look great in your twenties but if you don't take care of your skin, it will catch up on you! I can totally relate with being more confident in your thirties, I like how my face looks now as it's more developed over the years - if that makes sense!

    I don't know why twenty year olds say they feel old, seriously we should be embracing getting older - life does not stop when you hit 30!!

    Hanh / hanhabelle

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    1. I couldn't agree more Hanh! And I understand exactly what you mean about the changes in your face - I feel the same about mine. x

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  2. Just like you, I feel like I am looking way better today than I did in my early twenties. And when I look at my achievements, I feel like I have accomplished quite a lot, a lot that I can really be proud of. I don't feel old, I feel more mature (in a good way), more calm and more at ease with myself. Of course, when I struggle with body changes (mostly due to pregnancy), I sometimes long for the easy days in my early twenties when my skin was supple all by itself, but I wouldn't want to go back to all my insecurities back then.
    Writing about beauty and makeup is sometimes a little challenging, especially if you feel like you are only "meeting" people half your age, but I feel like there is a growing community of 30+ bloggers I can perfectly relate to (you being one of them), and that "beauty" is no longer something that stops once you reach 25.
    And as far as the number "age" goes: I am turning 37 soon, and I have no problem with that. I rather look my best at 37 than be 25 while looking way older than I actually am.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Yes, I agree, and I never understand those people who like to pretend they are younger than they are - I would rather people know my age and think I look good, than try to pass myself off as much younger and have them think "she looks rough!"

      When I first started blogging it felt like everyone else was much younger, but you're right about the growing community of older bloggers and it's quite exciting to be a part of that. x

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  3. You look absolutely gorgeous, I love your dress (wish it was on the site grrr ;)) Sounds like a fabulous event, I am 22 but my skin is pretty bad actually due to stress and insomnia so I think I need to get on the anti ageing bandwagon, but other girls my age and older their skin is like FLAWLESS hahaha we're all different I guess xxxx

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I know, I'm very annoyed at Topshop! Have a look in store though - you never know - it's really quite a recent purchase.

      The event was really interesting, and I understand exactly what you're saying. From the point of view of someone your age, the same message that says it's all downhill from your thirties also suggests that no one in their early twenties will have issues with the way they look, which is equally absolute rubbish! While there are times I might envy someone younger with more supple skin than mine, I also envy Jennifer Lopez - ten years older than me! x

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  4. This looks like such a fun event. Being able to join like minded women and relate to each other is so powerful. You all look amazing! Xo, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

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  5. looks like such a great event. I actually think being in the 30s is a great thing! Society often focuses on the number and being young, but there's nothing wrong with aging. It's all about doing so gracefully and growing as we age. I love the knowledge I have and the priorities I place. It's not about trying to keep up with anyone (like I used to feel so often!). I was a very insecure person in my younger years so I'm loving the person I am growing to be now. =)
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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    1. Great attitude towards ageing Nancy, and I couldn't agree more! x

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  6. It's so strange you posted this because I was JUST talking to my Mom about this topic exactly! I've been using eye creams and taking care of my skin since I was 16, but why? I'm honestly really excited to turn 30 because that's such a great milestone and my Mom always told me that getting older is better than the alternative... (sorry super morbid haha)
    Anyways, expanding on a topic you mentioned, I hate how men with gray hair and wrinkles are wise, experienced, handsome etc etc and aging women have become sort of a joke and are seen as being "replaceable", especially if the man has money because he can trade her in for some young girl. I always wonder why that's desirable though for the man? What older gentleman would want to be dating a young 20 year old when you could have a beautiful, experienced mature woman? I hope the stereotypes of getting older change soon. I'm all for skincare and taking care of what you have, but I don't think you should cling on to the idea of youth forever-that will just make you miserable! Really interesting post, Kate! I love hearing your input and thoughts on this!

    -Rachel
    www.blonderhombus.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Rachel. You're absolutely right that ageing is a privilege. There is more to life than the way we look and surely anyone would choose more healthy years than the alternative. Hopefully if enough of us approach ageing in a different way, the brands and media will be forced to follow suit! x

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  7. Amazing post dear! You have a wonderful blog:)
    What about following each other on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter?.. :)

    www.bloglovin.com/blog/3880191

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  8. This looks like a really fun event! I'm in my twenties and already feeling the pressure to start using all these preventative anti-aging lotions and potions. Sometimes I find that they just aggravate my skin though, so I like to keep my skincare regime simple! x

    Brigitte | brigittehayley.com

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    1. You should definitely do what suits your skin best I think. Over time it changes so you can keep experimenting! x

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  9. This event looks amazing Kate, I absolutely love your dress, you look amazing! I love the Avene brand too!

    Serene | I Am Serene L

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    1. Thanks Serene! Avene is fantastic - I only wish I'd discovered it sooner! x

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  10. For sure it is! Seems as if this was a fantastic event!
    Many thanks for kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. I think so! And yes it was a lovely event. x

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  11. Lovely post, looks great fun!

    I have a new post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *

    x

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  12. Great post!I love Avène products!
    kisses
    Eloise
    www.fizzyfashion.com

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  13. Oooh everything is so, so lovely - what a gorgeous post!!! It's all so pretty and Avene really is a great brand. Love their products! :)

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk
    http://www.youtube.com/sprinklesofstyle

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    1. Thanks Layla! I loved the way they decorated the venue. I'm looking forward to getting to know Avene's products a bit better - very impressed so far! x

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  14. I've stopped caring about my age and how I get older a long time ago because there's no point, it will happen anyway and as they say you really are as young as you feel, because it's all about how you feel within yourself. I think having anti ageing products is great too but I do think brands/media need to stop making women feel bad for their grey hair, wrinkles, ageing etc. What great event by a brand that I am loving recently x

    Beauty with charm

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    1. I'm loving Avene more and more lately! I think you have the right approach by not allowing ageing to define you. After all, it happens to us all, we're just all at different stages of the process, that's all! x

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  15. I wish I had the opportunity to attend this because I think it is brilliant and I would learn a lot from it. I am turning 37 in January and frankly, l think I look way better today than my 20s and definitely much wiser too. I admit poking fun at myself as being old but honestly, I don't feel that way on the contrary, I actually feel like I'm at the peak of my life. I don't get why anyone would be offended with the term anti-aging but then again, I don't get the whole OTT need of being too politically correct either so I probably not the most sensitive person walking the earth. LOL!

    I have been using anti aging products since my very early 20s and while I endured being teased and made fun of for so many years, the results are obvious today. I think my skin is really good for my age and I'm getting really close to the big 4-0!

    Reflection of Sanity | Palmer's Cocoa Butter Care Package Giveaway (Canada ONLY)

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    1. We're about the same age Shireen and I agree with everything you say! I'm really pleased I've always taken good care of my skin. It will never be the best skin in the world but it definitely hasn't aged much and I put that down to years of care.

      Funny what you say too about joking about being old even though you don't feel that way. I do exactly the same, and it makes me wonder if lots of other girls who complain about being older don't really mean it. Perhaps we're not helping things by projecting the wrong image?! x

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    2. You know what? I have never ever thought about it that way but you make a very good point there, what we've been doing as a joke might have contributed to the negativity. Definitely something to think about...

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  16. Wonderful post. All that I can tell myself is that it is such a privilege to get older. Whenever the media bombardment of ageism affects me I tend to smile and see through it. Have been using Avene for 5 years now. My skin is extremely sensitive and this product works for me.

    www.chicuturnonglitz.blogspot.com

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    1. I love how Avene caters for sensitive skin and addresses other issues as well. X

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  17. Looks like a great event!

    Adi xx
    www.fancycorrectitude.com

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