Whether it is from the contentment of family life, the freedom from bad ’80s fashions, an injection, nip, tuck (or two), or natural grace, these Hollywood beauties just keep getting better and better.
Courteney Cox Arquette: She graced People magazine’s famous “50 Most Beautiful People” issue in 1995, and while the blue-eyed beauty of course looked stunning, her face-framing hairstyle made the 31-year-old look like she was pushing forty.
Now that the sitcom-star is actually in her forties, her beauty is as buoyant and fresh as someone half her age. The more relaxed, youthful hairstyle she has been sporting since her mid-thirties, whether it is stick-straight or in loose waves, has definitely purified her look, allowing her striking bone structure and killer features to shine. Her maintained beauty landed her the starring role in ABC’s new show Cougartown.
In 2008, she appeared on the cover of Marie Claire, and confided in the magazine over anti-aging procedures she has tried (including Botox) and had “hated,” although she admits that she is not ruling out procedures in the future.
Halle Berry: A former pageant girl (only five girls stood between her and Miss World in 1986), Halle Berry has always enjoyed a life as one of the world’s most beautiful women. But today at 44, the actress looks more luminous, radiant and younger than she did during her rise to fame in the nineties. Perhaps it was the birth of her gorgeous daughter Nahla at the age of 41 that has kept Berry permeating such beaming beauty. Her typical look now–quite possibly an effect of motherhood–involves a natural fresh face, a nice departure from the dramatic makeup that aged her looks from years ago.
Diane Lane: An unusual yet remarkable career, marked by unquestionable talent and beauty, has made Diane Lane an enduring presence in Hollywood. Her casual approach to Tinseltown has made her all the more endearing of an actress, and has maybe been her secret in preserving her fantastic looks. Unlike other women her age whose careers have been marked by as much by their wild personal lives as their professional ones, Lane’s marginal career has focused instead on dignified work, albeit in lesser batches. A three-year hiatus at nineteen saw her return as a more sophisticated beauty, and her style over the decades has remained utterly fresh and youthful.
Christina Applegate: Although it was her sexy teen role of Kelly Bundy that catapulted her to stardom over twenty years ago, Applegate is far more dazzling as an adult. A product of the ’80s, her good looks were masked behind big hair, bad clothes and worse makeup. She also suffered from the typical teenage apathetic stage–questionable hygiene, preference of baggy, shapeless clothes–only hers was viewed by the American public and not just aggrieved parents. The star now opts for sophisticated styles in bright colors that really let her cerulean eyes stand out.
Fergie: Although her outlandish style and killer abs have always been around, “youthful” isn’t exactly a word one would use to describe Fergie’s look from the ’90s. Brazen makeup and harsh hair dyes were not the singer’s friends during her Wild Orchid days, adding years to her fearless appearance. While Fergie still embraces an outrageous style, her face looks years younger, prettier, and more natural than it did years ago.
Alicia Silverstone: After the insane success of Clueless, Silverstone struggled to achieve equally rewarding roles. A stalling career took its tool on the actress, causing her to look back on those years and see a girl who was “tired, puffy, stressed.” An all-organic, vegan diet, and eco-friendly lifestyle has clearly rejuvenated the California native, returning her 33-year-old face to its Clueless-era adorableness. This fall, she published a book on her healthy habits and sustainable lifestyle, to which she credits her amazing looks, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight and Saving the Planet.
Gwen Stefani: Although combat boots, pink hair, braces, and energetic ska vocals shot Stefani to stardom in the mid-nineties, the No Doubt lead singer, who just celebrated her 40th birthday, now looks younger, chicer, and sexier than she did in her 20s. Her fame has expanded to enjoy not just rock-pop glory, but also movie roles, a platinum-selling solo album, a spunky, successful fashion line, and two truly awesome little boys with fellow-rocker husband Gavin Rossdale, keeping the singular sensation looking better than ever.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Famous for her role as boisterous, one-of-the-guys Elaine on Seinfeld, Louis-Dreyfus showcased her comedic timing and cute expressions for nine seasons, rather than her legitimate good looks. Perhaps keeping up with the constant male energy weighed her down, but whatever it is, she looks infinitely better now than the spirited character we sometimes still see in syndication.
Kate Walsh: Upon her graduation from high school in Arizona, Kate Walsh’s portrait looks more like a member of the faculty than a senior class student. With a hairstyle that can only be described as bad, and features too mature for an 18-year-old, Walsh’s look is years ahead of her actual age. Flash forward twenty years, and the Private Practice actress has morphed into a sleeker version of her old self, and one of the most extraordinarily beautiful women in Hollywood. A relaxed hairstyle takes years off her look, plus her improved posture elongates her swan-like neck and smooths back her toned shoulders.
Nicole Richie: There’s nothing like two adorable children and the kicking of a very bad drug habit to melt years off of your appearance. Nicole Richie, who just a few years ago was heavier, dourer, and sporting a lackluster complexion, is now perhaps the most radiant woman in any room, even one packed with beautiful women as is common with the glamorous events she frequents. From rehab to reality TV to recovery, Richie’s new life has her looking refreshed, younger, and happier than ever before.
Sandra Bullock: Age has done a service to Sandra Bullock by gradually honing in on her already-gorgeous features. Her face was formerly softer and fuller, and the years have seen a definition of her chin and cheekbones, a natural development that has made her beautiful eyes and mouth stand out. Her transformation is totally visible in her movie work: whereas Bullock always nailed frumpy roles (Sandy the TV Producer, ticket-seller in While You Were Sleeping), the last decade has seen her take on decidedly sexier roles. It was 2000’s Miss Congeniality that most emphasized (in a mere 90 minutes) the amazing change of Bullock’s appearance over the years, from pretty girl-next-door to all-out glamour girl.