Happy almost the end of the month ladies. It’s time for Ageless Style. Elizabeth (the vintage contessa) and I interview someone over 50 each month with great style. I want you to meet this sassy, former image consultant, champion of women over 50, and faster way to fat loss trainer. You will love her zest for life. Welcome to Ageless Style-Karen Karlsen.
AGELESS STYLE-KAREN KARLSEN
How would you describe your style?
I would call myself a creative classic, or as the late, great Brenda Kinsel used to call me, a “twisted” classic. I have different variations on this look depending on what I’m doing and where I spend my time. These days I live in the California desert so there is a bit of a bohemian take on the classic. When I go back to my home in Oregon, I have a more “outdoorsy” vibe. When I am traveling in Europe with my husband I have a more “chic” conservative classic looks with quite a bit of black. As I age I plan to become more eccentric. I’m going very “freestyle” these days!
I know you were formerly an AICI image consultant. How has that influenced your style?
As an image consultant, I learned that style cannot be purchased or paperdolled or it will fall flat. Style is utterly from within and besides things like your clothing choices, fits, and colors include things like mannerisms, attitude, confidence, your walk, how you hold your head, your voice, your charm. Those things are innately YOU and are what give you your unique presence.
Do you have a style muse?
These days it’s easier than ever to “people watch” on social media. My “muse” is a composite of all my favorite celebs, editors, and influencers. Having a “composite muse” ensures you nail your very own look. You’re inspired by these people, but you’re not copying them per se. That said, I love watching Grece Ghanem, Jenna Lyons, and anyone that embraces a little drama, color, and bling.
What is your favorite accessory?
I think a cap or hat adds so much to finish an outfit. You can choose one that supports your outfit metaphor; I like to pair my hat with shoes to ‘tie a metaphor together”— for example, a corduroy bucket hat with wellington boots, a soft beret with dainty ballet flats, the chicest version of a ballcap you can find with a pair of sporty platform sneakers. I wear beanies all fall and winter in Oregon, and they go with absolutely every shoe from an equestrian boot to a clog. I also think every woman looks great in hoop earrings. They cross all cultures, all style vibes, kind of like a good pair of jeans would do. They are youthful and sexy.
Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
I think my style signature is more about my propensity to gobble up color, metallics, and animal prints more than it is about any particular piece in my wardrobe. But I have to say I do feel most like “me” in my gold ankle cowboy boots. Or my pink metallic Gucci slides. You’ll know your favorite pieces; they’ll give you superpowers!
What are your favorite beauty products and why can’t you live without them?
I have been working on my skin since I was 23 when I started with Retin-A to control some adult acne. I have my favorite sunscreens for the face, hands, and neck—Lancaster from Switzerland is fantastic under my makeup (Amazon) and Institute Esthederm Photo Regul (aidabicaj.com) helps keep sunspots very light. The older I get, the less day makeup I want to use, so it’s usually just my Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 and a whisk of lippie. I have an arsenal of Biologique Recherche serums and creams because they work great. Work on your skin and you won’t need much makeup as you age. P.S. I love lasers and light treatments to keep my skin clear and glowing as I enter my late 50s. I share when I do these things on Instagram so that women won’t be scared to try!
Do you have any style rules that you live by, or do you choose to break the rules?
I have style rules for myself to make sure I stay inside my own special lane. I can easily go off the rails when I see “shiny objects” on someone gorgeous in my feed, but I have to remember that as a petite woman, “clunky” or “oversized” isn’t going to look good on me. One rule is changing out of my workout gear as soon as I can and putting on real clothes. Another is no low rise jeans ever, no boxy tops or jackets, no shapeless knits, no “rocker” looks. No overalls. I just can’t do everything well.
What are your favorite online and or boutique sources?
I really think our favorite influencers and bloggers offer so much in what they curate for us. I would much rather buy online through an influencer link or their Like To Know It page than buy through an online department store. We grow to trust these influencers for finding and then showing us fabulous things, and so it’s a pleasure to support them. When I shop brick and mortar I love to comb through consignment shops in Portland and Palm Springs. I love mixing trash with treasure. I have some designer pieces but I don’t make them the basis of my wardrobe. Maje, Sandro, Khaite, Veronica Beard, Gucci, And Other Stories, Zara, and JCrew are my go-to faves.
I am assuming your work attire has changed dramatically now that you are a Faster Way to Fat Loss program leader?
Since I coach the program virtually from home, I can actually change into what I want to wear for the day as soon as I have caught up with my social media filming and phone calls with clients. I always try to wear jewelry and a little makeup for my taped workouts or talks to followers and clients, even when I am in my athletic gear.
Can you tell us more about the Faster Way to Fat Loss and why you love the program for midlife women?
I started on this program three and a half years ago when I couldn’t take my perimenopause symptoms one more day. I had been on thyroid medication for years and my cholesterol was climbing. I had some girlfriends who swore by the Faster Way program for managing their sleep, hormone balance, mood, energy levels, and belly fat. I signed up with my coach Judy and was able to go completely off my thyroid meds and drop my cholesterol within twelve weeks on the program. Now it’s my joy to help other midlife ladies feel their best through our nutrition strategies. You know many women I meet in their 50s and 60s are still clinging to the old ‘’calories in, calories out” diet mentality and it just does not work for the long haul at this age. Restrictive diets and over-exercising are breaking hormones just when we need them most for energy and vitality. Most of us are under-eating and over-exercising in a desperate attempt to get back the bodies we had 20 years ago. We teach women a sustainable lifestyle based on intermittent fasting, carb cycling, whole food nutrition, macronutrient tracking, and 30 minute daily workouts that support our nutrition cycle. We have our clients EAT like it’s their job. We offer our clients all this through our beautifully navigable Faster Way app, plus training, coaching, and community support. Those who truly put in the effort see the beauty of radiant midlife health and energy. I want that for every woman here.
What advice do you have for women over 50?
It’s never too late to improve your health and it’s NOT all downhill from here. These are the best years of your life and to thrive through these years so you can enjoy your life and serve others, please do these things: Try hard to eliminate processed factory foods from your life. This includes processed sugar substitutes and anything that comes off an assembly line. Choose lean meats and poultry and add in healthy fats from sources like avocados, olives, nuts, and their oils. Increase your protein intake to about a gram to a gram and a half of protein per pound of body weight, to retain muscle mass, which wants to start dwindling now. Lift weights for bone density retention and for muscle retention. Increase water intake and ditch habitual use of diet sodas, and gimmicky low-calorie drinks. Start thinking about limiting your alcohol intake to occasional use. It’s sabotaging your sleep and fat loss. Speaking of sleep, prioritize quality sleep and rest, which is essential for fat burning. If you are really serious about fat loss after 50, learn to track your macronutrients. I use the My Fitness Pal app with my clients. Awareness of what you eat is key; tracking ensures you are aware.
GET KAREN’S AGELESS STYLE LOOK
Karen’s next new client six week Faster Way to Fat Loss program begins May 31st. I am hoping to join the group after this one! If you can join a Facebook group (for your group coaching and trainings) and are technical enough to use an app, you’ll do great in the Faster Way program. You can find the registration link, along with some great free resources, at https://linktr.ee/
Thank you so much Karen for sharing your sassy colorful style and your musings on mid-life with us. I hope you enjoyed Ageless Style-Karen Karlsen. you might also enjoy some of my other Ageless Style Interviews here. Now pop over and visit Elizabeth for her interview. She will have someone fascinating as always! If you aren’t following Elizabeth you are missing out on a lot of fun. You can follow her on Instagram here for fun with her new pooch and her pig Banksy! FYI next month Elizabeth and I will be interviewing each other. That should be interesting!