The ’40-Should’ List

Remember when we thought 40 was old and far away??  Whew, chile! How clueless were we?! HA! Well, I will officially hit 40 for the second time in a couple of days.  I now know that 40 isn’t old at all. In fact, I feel the greatest that I’ve ever felt at 40.  I also feel like we truly reach GAW (grown ass woman) status once we hit the big 4-0.  Since I entered the 40 club, I’ve been very intentional about becoming better every day in all areas.  Work. Relationships. Skincare. Style. Motherhood.  Health/Fitness. Everywhere.  And with these intentions, I’ve been compiling a list of what I think every woman should know or have in her personal toolbox at this point in her life.  This was birthed when I read a poem a couple of years ago by Pamela Redmond Satran and I thought I’d share it during my birthday week.

According to Q, every woman over 40 should:

HAVE AN LBD (Little Black Dress) FOR ANY OCCASION.  It can be accessorized easily and is perfect for that polished looked whether you’re going to the office, a long overdue GNO, date night, or even church.  I have all of the above and some because you can never have too many, right?

HAVE A SIGNATURE/FAVORITE FRAGRANCE.  It’s the scent that you’re always complimented on.  The one that makes you feel like your fierce, feminine self.  The one bottle that is never empty because you’re always replacing it.  Mine is Prada Candy.

HAVE A FAVORITE FLOWER TO ADORN HER HOME.  Fresh flowers brighten up any room and give your mood a little boost.  There’s nothing like the feeling of peace and calm that comes with a clean home and a bouquet or two of beautiful blooms on the table. My faves: hydrangeas and stargazer lilies.

birthday-14KNOW HOW TO STYLE HER HAIR.  It is quite baffling to hear women say they don’t know how to style and maintain their hair at home.  Whether natural or relaxed, you have to be able to whip that coif into a style without the help of anyone else.  This is an easy one for me.  I’ve been doing my own hair for a long time. I pay attention to what my stylist does, products and tools, and I ask questions.

KNOW HOW TO GIVE HERSELF A SIMPLE MANI/PEDI.  Women love being pampered, no doubt, but if we can’t make it to our regular salon appointment, you have to be able to do a quick polish change (that looks neat) in a pinch.  This one has taken practice, but I keep all of my tools in the cabinet for when I need them.

HAVE A SIGNATURE OUTFIT (and be out of the door in a flash).  At this age, it SHOULD NOT take you forever to get dressed.  If someone calls at the last minute, you gotta be able to get dressed quickly and having a signature outfit helps.  For me, jeans, tee, and blazer/kimono is my jam.

HAVE A STASH THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT (yep, including him). It’s called personal savings. Rainy day fund. A pot to piss in (as the elders say).  Whatever you call it, have that little cushion if you ever need it.  


HAVE A ROUTINE SKINCARE REGIMEN. Technically, this should start earlier than 40, but by now you should know what works for your skin in order to keep it looking it’s best.  As the skin ages, it becomes drier, less firm, and more irritated. Y’all know I don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to my skin.  I started in my 30s, but now my focus is different. My makeup is minimal and I’m more concerned with fine lines, wrinkles, and keeping my skin supple and glowing.

INVEST IN UNDERGARMENTS. So this one is a must as we mature. No one should be wearing the wrong sized bra at this point. Shape-wear isn’t just needed because you want to look smaller. Slips & camisoles have become a thing of the past, but they shouldn’t be. At this point, having the proper foundations underneath is just important as the outfit. I keep all in a nude color and black.

birthday-15BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT SELF CARE. Deliberate attempts to care for mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health is extremely important for everyone, but especially for women and mothers. By this age, pouring from an empty cup is way too overwhelming and exhausting, so being intentional about taking the time out to care for me is truly important on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. From spa days to gym time to reading for pleasure to simply doing nothing, it’s all self-care.

BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC. There’s only one me/you.  We can’t be anyone us, so loving the skin we’re in is crucial to be authentically Me/You/us. Gone are the days when we dim our lights for others.  Gone are the days where we shrink ourselves so whoever he/she is can feel better about themselves.  I’m true to myself so I can get the most out of my relationships and friendships. I love Jesus and trap music. Not ashamed about loving a cute cocktail and a glass of wine (or 3). I love to laugh. I’m an independent women (not the crazy I don’t need a man type) who’s got it going on! Okurrrr. This is just a glimpse, but it’s me. And I love her and the woman she has become & is becoming.

photos :: Kim Thomas

Dress : Zara | Sequin Duster : random boutique | Heels : Louboutin | Earrings : ???

Have I left anything off? What would you add to this list?


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