My Face: Jean Woods


The most inspiring thing on telly this year was Channel 4’s documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’. We loved 76 year old Jean Woods’ amazing look, sharp haircut and lust for life, and wanted to hear more. Here, she tells us exclusively just how she developed her style and what her daily routine looks like.


doc martenI’ve always been interested in style. Recently an old acquaintance said to me that I’d “always been that little bit different” and I think that’s true. To keep up to date I read magazines, and visit stores and try everything on. I do know what the trends are and I try to follow them – I’d describe my style as streetwise. Within reason I think that anyone can wear anything. I go to Topshop and Urban Outfitters and it doesn’t bother me. It’s all there for older people – you just need extra courage to change your style, and it’s too big a step for some. I’d encourage anyone to go and try everything on in Topshop and buy a pair of Doc Martens – I wear them all the time. Recently a lady came into the store where I work (Bloomsbury & Co) and said that I had changed her life by encouraging her to wear shorter things.



Cien cream


My face has changed as I’ve got older (I’m 76), and for the better. My cheekbones seem more pronounced. My skincare routine is very simple: I use wipes to take my make-up off and very occasionally I use a cream from Lidl. I don’t think anything keeps the lines and enlarged pores at bay, but I’m happy with my cream and reckon it’s equal to an expensive brand.



Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 09.27.43



I use MAC Studio Moisture Tint as a foundation. I’ve tried others but I always come back to this.




MAC Handwritten



For my eyes I use MAC eyeshadows in a dark brown or dark grey, never a colour, and I don’t use liners or mascaras, I’m not good with them.




Topshop Suspect



For lips I use Topshop’s Lip Crayon in Suspect, which you can only get online. It stays on forever. I don’t use blusher – I find the MAC tint works for me. My style icon is Vivienne Westwood and I tried buying an orange pencil and putting it by my brows as she does, but it takes true courage to go out like that.





Hair scissors


I always had long hair, but then I found that having it down by my face aged me. Ten years ago I saw this shorter style and asked my stylist to copy it. He said it wouldn’t suit me, so I found another stylist and got it cut this way. I manage the fringe myself, it needs regular trimming to keep it this short. I just use whatever products my stylist gives me, he refills my bottles for me.



Green and Blacks


I run three times a week, sometimes more. It’s very important to my well-being and I think all the stimulation keeps everything working as it should. I have a wonderful new knee, and post operation I went back to power walking and built back up. I’m not a vegetarian, but I only eat meat when I’m out. I eat lots of nuts and seeds, take a probiotic, Vitamin B12 and folic acid and have two squares of chocolate every night.





I do care what other people think of my style, but it’s secondary to me. You should leave the house feeling happy in yourself and be better for it. Cosmetic surgery is not for me – I’m happy with my face – but if it makes another person as happy as I am, then good luck to them. They can go out and feel as invigorated as me.





You can watch Fabulous Fashionistas on 4OD, here.




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  • Nic

    What a woman. One of the stand out programmes of 2013 and a true inspiration. Go Jean!

  • Fi Nightingale

    I loved her, what a lust for life she has. And looks kickass. Great piece.

  • Hattie Kennedy

    What a fab piece. I love Jean and find her really rather inspiring. That lip crayon looks excellent, might have to add that to my payday treat list.

  • pfrankie

    Really loved Jean on Fabulous Fashionistas. Such an inspirational woman!

  • Sali Hughes

    So thrilled to have Jean on here. Amazing, inspiring woman.

    • Prudence Manor

      Absolutely, loved the article after the brilliant and inspiring tv programme. Amazing. But Sali…. Jean uses wipes to remove make up? *clutches pearls*

  • Naomi101

    Love this piece. Love that Jean sacked her stylist because he wouldn’t give her the haircut she wanted. Love that she runs three times a week and love the 2 squares of choc a night. I will adopt this regime pronto. So great to see features about older women, must watch the doc.

    • Debra Brock

      Yes, the documentary is a brilliant watch.

  • Ida

    Such a cool lady.

  • Natalie Kate M

    This is great, love her attitude. Single handedly taking the fear out of ageing for me.

  • Jane Porter

    I hope to be like her when I grow up!

  • Bee

    Such a great piece, Jean is really inspiring – thank you

  • Jenna

    I loved watching Jean in the doco and this is a fabulous read. I’ve been debating if I’m too old for Docs but this has convinced me to buy a pair! Thanks Debra and Jean.

    • Fi Nightingale

      never too old for Docs.

      • Sali Hughes

        Yes, they’re ageless classics.

  • Betty Chickens

    A REAL rebel and inspiration, I love Jean’s philosophy and style…and I’m after that Topshop lip crayon.

  • Julia Raeside

    She is basically the best woman in England. I definitely want to be her when I grow up.

  • hepburn

    Bloody fantastic woman

  • Beklet

    The documentary was one of favourite things this year. Intriguing that they all kept fit and exercised. Definitely a lesson there. I think the confidence Jean has to remain stylish as she gets older is properly inspirational.

  • Pippi L Stocking

    Simply the best programme this year. It was uplifting and inspiring and really renewed my vigour for life. I like to think that I don’t follow what is expected of a woman of my age and Jean and the others showed me I could continue to do this. Thank you Sali for this lovely insight into Jean

  • DollyBarton

    Whenever I feel a bit rubbish, or lazy, I try to think about the women featured in the Fabulous Fashionistas programme, take some inspiration and bloody well pull myself together. If I hit my 80s I want to be as capable, happy and vivacious as they are – hell, I’d like to be that vivacious now! Great piece – Jean is a star with excellent hairdresser-related advice.

  • tigermilk

    Oh wow! I haven’t watched the documentary yet but I recognise Jean – I used to go into her workplace very often and always admired her amazing style. I want to be her when I grow up!

  • Marjory

    OMG what an inspirational woman. Thank you for this Debra…..” You should leave the house happy” let’s all second that sentiment. Xx

  • Katie

    Oh I LOVE Jean! As well as looking amazing and being completely inspiring, she just seems like such a lovely lady. She spoke about her late husband so movingly that I cried. She’s just gorgeous.

  • Jo Macauley-Weeks

    I haven’t managed to watch Fabulous Fashionistas yet but this woman is bloody amazing.

  • Badgirl

    Jean, you rock! I love your style but I love your attitude even more. More of us should trust our instincts and ‘Sack the stylist!’

  • Judith

    What a woman. Not sure I would have the courage for all her ideas but must find the lip crayon. Great article.

  • Philippa Newman

    Loved Jean on the programme. In fact they were all such inspiring women. Makes me glad I don’t have a willy, women rock!

  • bettyblue

    That programme gave me the kick up the arse I needed. More shared wisdom from the older ladies please x

  • Liz Lemmon

    Jean is fab. I also love that night cream.

  • kenners

    The best thing about this great article is that she takes her makeup off with WIPES! YEHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    • Pimlicat

      This was my reaction. We all thought we were SOOOO clever ditching the wipes and embracing the HCC. But no. You can wipe and still ook THAT fabulous in your 70s.

  • Fran M

    What a brilliant piece. Thank you for this – it’s so great to hear more from such an inspiring woman.

  • Jackie Gunner

    Bloody wonderful. I shall try not to worry that I’m too old for something ever again.

  • Jackie Gunner

    Can we have the other Fabulous Fashionistas on as well?

    • picolin

      Second to it! I bloody love the program.

  • alex monteny

    Could not watch the documentary, not living in the U. But Jean is fabulous, and I’m very curious about the other ladies.

  • widowspider

    She absolutely defines the word fabulous. What a great outlook on life! Love her.

  • Carolyn Carter-Cash

    This is my favourite piece on SHB so far. Awesomeness personified. Give Jean a regular slot!

    • Riri Rochelle

      Amen to that!

  • Susie O’sullivan

    Loved Jean on the programme !! Great to see her here !! Thanks Debra xxx

  • Jo Wolfie

    Totally fabulous and quite inspiring! I’m also wearing the Topshop Crayon in Suspect at the moment and love it.

  • LauraH

    Don’t wait ’til you “grow up” to be her, be what you truly want to be now. I bet Jean was always so fabulous, no matter what age she was/is. She is not the recipient of some ‘magic’ or ‘secret’, she just has a lust for life… Unearth your own, I guarantee it’s there, just coax it into the sunlight and enjoy.

  • mimi smith

    I have not seen the documentary but wow. Just wow.

  • Bekahbea

    Awesome role model. Excellent that SHB got this interview with her – a great coup.

  • Elaine Wilder

    SO awesome

  • Riri Rochelle

    I heart Jean, she’s such an inspiration (as were the other FFs). I must watch the documentary again to remind me to pull my socks up.

  • Gabi Jones


  • jen pobble

    Completely brilliant.

  • Nelly

    oh wow. what a woman – so cool, so stylish, what an amazing face.

  • wiiaholic

    She’s an inspiration, love this piece!

  • Annelie

    As I’m in Sweden I couldn’t watch Fabulous Fashionistas (gutted!), and everyone says it was awesome. So pleased you did an interview with Jean here so I could find out what she’s about. She is ACE!

    • Jo Wolfie

      I’m overseas too and found the full program on Youtube. I’ve watched it twice!

      • Annelie

        Awesome, will watch it there!

  • MitziDelBra

    I don’t want to be like Jean when I’m older. I want to be like her right now.

  • Lisette

    this is a brilliant article – what a wonderful, strong, beautiful woman and what a role model!

  • Virginia

    Never felt so classy walking down the Lidl cosmetics isle as after i’d read this :)

  • Devon Clark

    Love this. I’m a big advocate for style at any age. I absolutely adore what she’s wearing in the picture on the home page. That’s totally my kinda style, and we’ve actually got some similar make-up habits! She is an inspiration.

  • Mariska

    Jean rocks! Like Mitzi said, I don’t want to be like her when I’m old(er), I want to be like her now! Great stuff, Debra.

  • Justine

    Jean really has her own style, loved the documentary

  • Carrie

    Just want to second, third and fourth all the comments here. I’ve just checked out the documentary and as a woman in her 50s who’s feeling the menopause looming in a less than enticing fashion, it’s so inspiring to see these wonderful ladies share their perspectives on the ageing process. Perhaps it will encourage the media to focus a little more on us greying girls who after all, apparently, are in the ascendent!

  • Hannah Murphy

    I really want to watch this programme just to see some of her outfits. I wish I had her confidence. Imagine a hair-stylist telling her it wouldn’t suit her??

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