Beauty through the Decades

year-old Dimitra Silverman shares her beauty inspirations, defining looks and favorite products from the 1950’s to today.

– as told to The Silver Women

1950s: The first time I wore lipstick was at the age of 6. I would watch and wait for my beautiful mother to apply her lipstick, then I would kiss her on the lips till I felt the lipstick stain my lips. I would run to the mirror look at myself and think how beautiful I looked. As a young girl, I was influenced by my Aunt Anastasiia’s makeup whom I thought looked like a movie star. Her jet black hair, eyes lined with kohl pencil, red lips and matching manicured nails filled me with admiration.  

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At the age of 14, I was influenced by the classic movie stars and  I wanted to be Jean Harlow. Loved her whole look: the platinum hair and bow lips. My bushy eyebrows were tweezed away and replaced with a thin pencil line just like Harlow. Unfortunately, in later years, something I came to regret. My strict upbringing prevented me from wearing makeup which meant my makeup was kept natural. I used Max Factor Pancake as a lipstick. As I matured I began to follow the English Trends which introduced me to Mary Quant Cosmetics which created my mod look.

1970s: My life was not at its happiest. A friend suggested I go out and buy a new hat or get a new haircut. I chose the haircut. My waist long hair which was my pride and joy (washed with Silvikrin Shampoo) was now cropped into a Vidal Sassoon like pixie haircut. My makeup was kept very neutral. Soft pink or peach lipstick and  I would smudge kohl pencil on the eyelid and finish with black mascara. 

 Bolder eye makeup was back. This was when skills were needed to apply eyeshadows by blending two to three colors right up to the brow bone. I changed my hair color a few times. Fiery red one of my favorites.

1990s-2000s: I didn’t always follow trends. I suppose once in your 40’s you know what you like and what works for you. I’ve always enjoyed playing and having fun with my appearance. My clothing dictated my makeup and hair choices. One day I was a hippie the next day I was in men’s tailored suits. I would customize my hair and makeup to suit my outfits. I was and am still happiest when buying vintage clothing; I seem to feel more comfortable. I suppose I am a second hand rose.

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“I’ve always liked to play and have fun with my hair and makeup. It hasn’t just always been about looking pretty. I like strong individual  looks”


  I am  70 and wear very little makeup. I want it to be quick and have impact. Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer which I find is light and has great coverage. I am in love with red lips. MAC Ruby Woo is one of my favorites and also from Sportsgirl ‘Pout About it’ in-color ‘Bombshell’ a really great quality, value for money lipstick. My eyes are mostly left bare except in the evening I like to wear mascara, Max Factor 2000 Calorie does the job. My hair is once again long and has grown into a lovely grey but still dark underneath. I mostly wear it in a plait or create a few twists. I love healthy, shiny hair and this I achieve after shampooing and conditioning by adding a few drops of Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss

Dimitra at home in Sydney, Australia 2019.
Dimitra at home in Sydney, Australia 2019.

SKIN CARE: I was blessed with good skin. I put this down to my Greek genes and olive oil. As a child, I remember dipping my fingers in my dads Ponds Cold Cream which he used after shaving. I wasn’t one to care a lot about skin care products. However, on my fortieth birthday,  my sister Maria gave me a gift set containing  Dr. Lewinn’s Private Formula Day Cream Moisturizer and Night Cream. I still use it to this day. As I have got older, I know the skin needs a little more help and have added a few more products. A new favorite is Sukin Organic Rose Hip Oil which I use at night. I am a believer in things working for you at night when your skin is relaxed and your body and mind is at peace.

The scent I remember growing up with was the rosewater my mother would splash all over her body after bathing, believe it or not, she would also use it in the sweet syrup she made to pour over her Greek cakes and biscuits. Today I also keep a bottle in the bathroom AND the pantry. The first perfume I bought for myself was from Avon called ‘Here’s My Heart.’ I felt so grown up. Then came patchouli oil, that’s when love was all around. I soon became a Chanel No 5 girl until my daughter bought me a bottle of Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. Love it, used for special occasions only. In my handbag, I carry L’occitane, Rose 4 Reines solid perfume- which is a convenient size especially when traveling. I think they have stopped making it so  I will need to find a substitute. I like subtleness in a fragrance.


Images courtesy of Dimitra Silverman.