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Helen Mirren Signs with L'Oreal

Is old the new young? Or has the beauty industry finally realized women don't disappear after 40? With Helen Mirren joining other over-50 beauties as the face of an international beauty brands, it's clear something has shifted.

Mirren, 69, was named the newest L'Oreal UK ambassador. Tilda Swinton, 53, will take over as the face of the Nars beauty brand, which currently puts Charlotte Rampling, 68, at the center of its marketing.

We've come a long way, baby, since Lancome dropped Isabella Rosselini after she turned 40. But Mirren's new gig isn't an act of charity on behalf of the multinational giant. The fact is, one in four women in the world is over 50 years old. In five years, one in three women will be. In 50 years, according to Leah Hardy, co-author of Your Hormone Doctor, one in two women will be 50 years old or older. If cosmetics brands want to stay relevant and profitable, they need to appeal to the buyers.

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But it's not all graceful aging for L'Oreal just yet. For every 10 models posing in a L'Oreal ad, only 2 or 3 will be 50 years or older. And we still live in a world where accomplished and beautiful actors feel like they'll only stay relevant and employed if they surgically alter their aging faces.

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Putting Mirren front and center gets the attention of all women, not just those older than 50. And it's not all due to the beauty that she doesn't think she has. “I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I’m keen to stay that way,” she told the Guardian.

We beg to differ, of course: She's gorgeous. Mirren is also known for her outspokenness, sass and whip-smart intelligence. Those things make her beautiful, too.

Image L'Oreal Paris via the Guardian

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