Ask most middle aged women what’s in their Midlife Survival Kit, and beauty and exercise will feature in some shape or form. Beauty to help us age well, and exercise to keep our moods happy and stable. As middle aged women, we know what we like and we know what we need.
For Margi Conklin, a skincare range that delivers and yoga leggings that flatter are key. Ditto a serious sleep mask – which we’re now keen to try ourselves. (We suspect we’re not the only middle aged women who can’t sleep.)
You’ll be seeing more of Margi, as the host of the upcoming US version of our Midlife Health & Menopause Clinic series on the @wearehylda IG Live. Launching in March, it will bring evidence-based menopause and midlife health advice to our community of American women.
Currently the Sunday Editor of the New York Post, Margi has also been a top editor at Harper’s Bazaar (US) and at ELLE, InStyle and New Woman in the UK, among many other titles. She divides her time between New York City and upstate New York and lives with her novelist husband, Chris, and always hungry English Cocker Spaniel, Mabel. We’re thrilled to welcome Margi – and Mabel – to the Hylda community.
So over to you, Margi. What’s in your midlife survival kit?
Sleep Master Sleep Mask, US$25.90
I’ve always been a light sleeper, and the pandemic has made the full seven hours a night more elusive than ever. I started wearing eye masks to block out the light, but most brands quickly lose their elasticity and then fall off my head in the middle of the night.
This summer, a friend of mine introduced me to the Sleep Master Sleep Mask, and it is a game changer. Satin soft and pretty blue, this baby also means business: It’s a full-on wraparound shield that straps on strongly (and comfortably) to my face, sealing out not just light but sound. At $25.90, it’s a steal as well.
Lululemon Yoga Pants, US$88
My anti-anxiety medication is exercise, mainly hiking and yoga, which keep me productive, happy and sane. Lately, I’ve been doing livestream yoga sessions at home three times a week, right before work. I’ve found I’m a better, more level-headed editor on the days I practice.
These Lululemon pants are also part of my routine. They’re feather-light, fitting like a second skin, while also flattering my curves. Dare I say it, they even make me feel sexy. Calling all middle aged women, you need a pair of these in your life.
Benefit Gimme Brow+, £22.50
As I’ve got older, I’ve become obsessed with my eyebrows. The right shape can really frame your eyes and add definition to your face (perfect for Zoom calls!). And makeup is less necessary when they’re well groomed.
I’m not a high-maintenance beauty girl at all, but my brows are the one thing I splurge on, getting them waxed and trimmed every six weeks by a facialist. And I’ve never found a better beauty product than the Benefit Gimme Brow+. It’s a small brush with a tinted gel that fixes my arches in place and fills in the patchy parts, like a mascara for the brows.
Malin + Goetz skincare, from £12
Years ago, I was having a facial in New York City, and the aesthetician finished the treatment with a lip balm that felt like a weatherproof sealant. My lips get easily dry and chapped so it was like being kissed by a miracle. I quickly found out the product was Malin + Goetz lip moisturizer, bought two tubes and never looked back.
Since then, I’ve become addicted to every single product in the Malin + Goetz skincare range: the grapefruit face cleanser, the vitamin e face moisturizer, the revitalizing eye cream, the vitamin b5 hand treatment, the vitamin b5 body moisturizer. The scents are light and clean, the lotions are non-greasy and every single product makes me feel like a more improved version of myself. I tell all my friends to shop this skincare line and everyone who’s tried it says the same: It’s genius.
Ororo heated vest, US$169.99
My dog, Mabel, is one of the most important parts of my midlife survival kit. I got her 12 years ago and she’s been my trusty companion ever since, usually joining my husband, Chris, and me on weekend hikes.
Every weekday morning, I also give her a 30-minute walk, which clears my head and gets me going for the day. These constitutionals used to be less pleasant in winter until I got the most incredible present last Christmas: The Ororo heated vest. Fitted with a battery that lasts up to 10 hours, it pulses warmth across the core of my body, giving me the superhero power to withstand below-freezing temps. I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without it.