Empowering Women to Age Amazingly

Most people today want to look and feel their best at all times, regardless of their age. There’s nothing like the confidence one feels when they know they are putting their best foot forward.

While inner beauty, including a positive attitude and a zest for life, is the key to a happy and long life, outer beauty also plays a key part to our happiness.

Thanks to advances in non-invasive (non-surgical) anti-ageing therapies, people of all ages can look their best all the time. And we all know that when you look your best, you feel your best. And when you feel your best you accomplish so much more.

We take a look at five talented (and beautiful) women who are ageing amazingly.

Nick Bellei, 61, is the founder of Face Today Mediclinics, one of the world’s leading anti- aging clinics. Pam Petherbridge, who is in her early 70s, is highly respected in the fashion and bridal stylist industry.

Amanda Macour, owner of Ministry of Makeup and Hair, Renee Straguszi-Smith, dancer teacher and personal trainer at Total Vision Fitness, and Louise Struber, marketing manager and freelance make-up artist, also share their secrets to looking and feeling younger than their years.

These five women come from different backgrounds and are from five different generations. They all share the same passion to age in style. We know you’ll enjoy reading about them and learning about their secrets to their outer – and inner – beauty.

Pamela Petherbridge,
72 years young
Former Runway Model and Current Fashion Advisor

1. Please tell me about your career:
Stylist, Emcee, Event Co-Ordinator, Educator, Former Model, Bridal Stylist, Partner with Nicki J Belle in AgeAmazingly, Stylist for Gen Ageless, Ambassador for Wedded Wonderland. I have been involved in all facets of the Bridal Industry from Styling to Emceeing to Runway Presentations; Professional Events Co-Ordinator, Model & Deportment Academy, Public Speaker. Now my focus is empowering Baby Boomers to Age Healthily, Stylishly and Happily.

2.How do you view ageing?
I view ageing with great positiveness.

3. What’s your favourite item in your wardrobe?
I am really comfortable with every aspect of my clothing and strive to maintain simplistic and uncluttered style and elegance. Accessories are gold.

4. What is your life philosophy?
“You are never too old to be young again”, and really try to embrace that the “best is indeed yet to come”. I will not allow AGE to permeate my positiveness, although I must admit, some mornings I know I am the age that I am.

5. How do you feel confident, inside and out?
I take control of my health, my positive attitude, and I try every day to learn something new. There is a truly beautiful quote from Audrey Hepburn: “We are given two hands – one to look after ourselves and the other to look after others”. Helping others and empowering men and women is a great gift.

6. How do you dress for your age?
I am mindful at all times of projecting a simplistic style, encompassing areas that I feel need to be addressed and camoflauged and to showcase with elegance the attributes.

7. What tips would you give younger generations?
Always be true to yourself.

8. What is your number one styling tip?
Utilise wonderful accessories to update any outfit.

9. Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Life is a journey and choosing a pathway of having the ability to maintain optimum health (because of how amazing our knowledge of health is now compared to 20 years ago), and being caring, considerate and respectful, is indeed paramount. The secret of ageing is to be confident in the process and always remembering ageing is an honour and a privilege. I always endeavor to be well read and as knowledgeable as can be and interested in people and world events, and in turn I can be interesting and thus embracing “Life as a celebration and always champion the mystery of ageing”.

“Elegance is the only Beauty that never Fades” Audrey Hepburn

Nicole (Nicki) Belle, 61
CEO, Face Today Mediclinic

1. Please tell me about yourself and your career.
I graduated as nurse from the Cairns Base Hospital and have been a registered nurse for 40 years. So caring for others’ wellbeing has been the centre of my life for my entire career to date. Twenty years ago I changed the course of my career to focus on anti-ageing therapies and became one of the early pioneers in this therapeutic medical field. Much of my nursing up to that time was with people dealing with ill health and often facing death. I decided that I wanted to use my nursing skills in a joyful area of care. I liked very much the idea of making people look and feel their kind of beautiful and create happiness and confidence. From the new direction I took, the idea for Face Today was born. It has been a total joy and passion for me daily applying my skills to transform others through anti-ageing therapies. I have seen my clients lift their self-confidence… amazingly. My work in training others in the field of anti-ageing led to a spot on a WIN TV program as an anti-ageing expert, and appearances on Today Tonight and A Current Affair speaking about advances in this medical field.

2. What are your tips for ageing amazingly?
Age is often measured by the number of years we have spent on this planet. However, that’s only one measurement – an individual’s age is greatly affected by how we act, the wisdom accumulated in life and how we care for ourselves.

My tips for ageing amazingly:
• Ensure that the five people closest to you are positively driven like-minded souls whose energy and support inspire you daily.
• Plan to actually age amazingly. Goal setting has always been a passion for me and achieving my goals is a source of fun.
• Nurture on the core qualities of trustworthiness, reliability, and have empathy for others.
• Challenge yourself to take on each day as a challenge to better you.
• Ask questions and listen to answers carefully of others and reap benefits from their wisdom and experience.

3. How do you view ageing with a positive attitude?
I realised ageing is a fabulous life passage and that ageing is actually a choice. A positive mental attitude can take you anywhere at any age. I believe I am what I think. Thoughts are powerful and the brain is like an antenna that sends and receives messages. Focus on the positive ideas that are full of possibility. Physically the body regenerates its cellular structure every seven years so focusing on eating well and exercise is important.

4. What’s your number one beauty product?
Light anti-ageing moisturising sunblock has to be top of the list. When I moved to Cairns permanently in November last year, I found the products I was using were too heavy for the tropics. So, I developed a new Nicki Belle Range of anti-ageing products with a 40+ sunblock. Including a moisturising non-sticky sunblock called UV Veil applied in one easy step will help prevent the ageing process.

5. What is your life philosophy?
Smile, embrace life and find the positive in everything, perform one good deed a day, it makes you and the other person feel incredible. Be prepared and plan ahead. Money isn’t everything, however it greases the wheels of life. Ultimately my happiness is enhanced and enriched by my loving friends and family.

6. What makes you feel confident and beautiful, inside and out?
When I am in my clinic using my skills serving a client I feel so excited and energised, on purpose in my life. Plus having great skin and health is the best, and a good hairdresser really helps.

7. What are your tips for being full of energy and having zest for life?
Supplements are sexy and an age-amazingly attitude is contagious. It creates a magnet of positivity that draws others.

8. What tips would you give younger generations to be happy and successful?
I believe in the adage “If it is to be – it’s up to me”. Work hard and smart, set your life up to be what you need.

9. What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Overseas, discovering new oasis of peace, sunshine and gorgeous beaches. I love to travel and experience new cultures. Traveling teaches about life and there is so much to learn.

10. How do you encourage women to be more confident?
I encourage my clients to recognise and appreciate all their wonderful attributes and characteristics. So many people don’t see their own beauty, I encourage them to recognise the beauty that I see and to have gratitude for it. And then we look at the smaller issues that we can tweak to enhance their inherent beauty and confidence.

11. What are your tips for being successful in business?
Have courage, feel passion, trust your instincts and intuition. Research and investigate the way forward. Take the advice of trusted friends and experts. Be receptive to modifying original thoughts and continue to learn. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone but don’t go to the extreme.

12. What is the best way for people to project a positive self-image?
Smile often and believe in yourself. Make informed decisions and follow them through. Decide to be who you want to be and then be that person; every day.

“ Decide to be who you want to be and then be that person; every day. ”

Amanda Macor, 51
Ministry of Makeup and Hair

1. What are your tips for ageing amazingly?
We are all working harder than ever, if I can look in the mirror and like what I see, then I instantly feel better and can take on my day with confidence and energy. For me, it is not about looking younger but looking fresh and not showing how hard I work or how much I worry and stress about business and life.

2. How do you view ageing with a positive attitude?
Living life on my terms. I am more than aware of my resting bitch face, thank God I have the means and knowledge to make her relax. Society loves any excuse to say “Oh babe, tough week? You look so stressed”. I would rather everyone say, “Oh babe, I’ll have what you’re having”. Everyone should be comfortable making their own decisions without getting the side eye from others for not keeping it “REAL”.

3. Do you have any hobbies?
Racing fashion and all things horseracing have been the one constant in my evolving life. Reading anything and everything is how I relax.

4. What makes you feel confident and beautiful, inside and out?
aking conscious choices about the people in my world, food and exercise. The love and support of Stephen and our girls.

5. What are your tips for being full of energy and having zest for life?
Surround yourself with people that push you to do better. No DRAMA or NEGATIVITY. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy, simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.

6. What tips would you give younger generations to be happy and successful?
Collaborate with like-minded people and have fun along the way. Show compassion, find a hobby, engage in your community, have an opinion, back yourself, be kind but honest in your personal and business dealings.

7. How do you encourage women to be more confident?
Mental health is a topic that is no longer taboo, and this incredibly debilitating illness comes in so many variations and not all can be seen on the surface. Until recently I had not considered how these thoughts and feelings can destroy long-term wellness and confidence. I have always been encouraged, have a little sook if I must and just get on with it. To be honest, this does work most of the time. Keeping busy can distract your mind from latching on to that one thing that does burnouts in your brain. We all only have one life, make it count by finding a hobby or passion that rings your bell and excites you. Do it because you love it, even if you only find 20 minutes a day to indulge.

8. What are your tips for being successful in business?
Tenacity and consistency while exploring all opportunities and being open to change.

“Ageing is the most extraordinary process whereby you become the person you should have always been.” – David Bowie.

Photo credits: Pam wears Alex Perry | Amanda wears Catherine Colubrial Couture dress and Tea Lily blouse | Nicki wears Catherine Colubrial Couture | Hair by Jason at Adam and Eva Hairdressers | Makeup by Mandy Ministry of Makeup | Accessories – Tea Lily | Props – The Vintage Hire Co.

Renee Straguszi-Smith, 38
Personal Trainer and Dance Teacher, Total Vision Fitness

1. Please tell me about yourself and your career.
I have 30 years of experience in all dance genres and have performed professionally for 13 years. I performed as a dancer at the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino for two years. I have also performed at the Gold Coast Conrad Jupiter’s Casino in a number of productions. I have also choreographed and directed successful stage shows. I then made the transition from the stage to the gym, where my love of health and fitness exploded. I ran a successful personal training business in the heart of Brisbane city for eight years, where my dance training was the foundation of my sessions. After a short break to raise my two young children, I am back in Cairns and have returned to personal training and teaching dance to some very passionate and talented kids at the Turning Pointe Dance Studios. Combining dance, health and fitness, I have now created a dance fitness program. It was first created for the high school students at St Mary’s College, however due to popular demand I recently made this program available to anyone who wants to get fit in a fun and enjoyable environment.

2. What are your tips for ageing amazingly?
To be confident in yourself, have a great beauty routine, exercise regularly and drink lots of water. I also take a great alkalising green supplement.

3. How do you view ageing with a positive attitude?
We were only given one life and one body, so you need to look after it the best you can.

4. What does your daily diet consist of?
As a personal trainer I always say keep it simple (fresh and clean), be consistent and don’t deprive yourself of those little treats. My diet personally is predominantly a low carb and high protein diet, trying to keep to those leafy green vegies and salads. However I love chocolate and as a mum of two little kids indulging in a small piece helps me get through my day…lol!

5. What kind of exercise do you enjoy?
I love doing my functional training, weight training, a run when I can and of course taking my Dance Fitness Classes.

6. Do you have any hobbies?
… too busy for hobbies!

7. How do you like to relax?
Relax? What does this word mean? I have a five-year-old and a three-year-old, unfortunately that is not something I have the luxury of doing these days. But I do love lying on the couch and watching a good movie.

8. What is your favourite place to visit in Far North Queensland?
Palm Cove

9. What is your life philosophy?
To be the best person you can be and always do the right thing.

10. What makes you feel confident and beautiful, inside and out?
Having a great posture. Stand up straight and hold your head high. Showing kindness to others. Being grateful for what you have. Wearing outfits you love and feel good in.

11. What are your tips for being full of energy and having zest for life?
Getting enough sleep, fuelling your body with the right food, having a regular exercise routine.

12. What is the best way for people to motivate themselves to exercise?
To just start, it’s never the right time. Once you start then that will result in motivation. Next thing to do is get a plan, or a schedule that you can stick to. Make small realistic goals. The key to fitness success is – consistency!

“We were only given one life and one body, so you need to look after it the best you can.”

Louise Struber, 36
Marketing Manager & Freelance Makeup Artist

1. Please tell me about yourself and your career.
I grew up in Cairns and when I finished school studied beauty and makeup to realise a passion of mine. I spent some time in Brisbane studying business and marketing while working for some big cosmetics brands. I was fortunate to land an amazing marketing role in Cairns, with an international company that specialises in retail property management, where I’ve been for over a decade. I kept up freelance makeup work for a long time, but I don’t have as much time these days with my energetic son being almost two.

2. What shift have you seen in the beauty industry?
Gone are the days where you only go to a beauty salon to get waxing, nails, facials and makeup. The internet and social media offer so much information about advanced treatments from bloggers, influencers, academics and YouTubers. There are specialists in brows, eyelashes, health supplements, laser and injectables now.

3. What are your tips for ageing amazingly?
Invest in good skin care from an early age, always protect your skin from the sun, exercise, get plenty of sleep and drink litres of water. It is easier to prevent, rather than reverse. Make the time and invest in regular specialised skin treatments, whether it be facials, light therapy or laser. In relation to makeup, I feel less is best as you age. Be confident, have a positive body and mindset.

4. What is your favourite product/treatment? LED light therapy!
Whenever I have an event or want my skin radiant and rejuvenated I have an LED light therapy treatment. It really gives you instant results. It’s non-invasive and only takes 15 minutes, working at a cellular level. The soothing, deep penetrating LED lights target deep into your cells, heightening their internal functions and photo-stimulation dermal blood flow. It creates faster healing so your skin always looks rejuvenated.

5. How do you view ageing with a positive attitude?
Begin each day with a positive attitude and show gratitude. Take a few minutes when you wake up to read some inspiration or even a joke.

• Stop the negative self-talk
• Embrace your individuality
• Keep a gratitude journal
• Do mindful exercise
• Volunteer your time
• Make time for laughter.

6. Do you have any hobbies?
Exercise and chasing my son.

7. How do you like to relax?
Listening to chill out music and yoga really relaxes me, when I make the time to practise.

8. How do you treat yourself?
Massage and beauty appointments.

9. What is your favourite place to visit in Far North Queensland?
Port Douglas, a beautiful hour drive and you feel like you are on holiday.

10. What makes you feel confident and beautiful, inside and out?
Honouring who I am and focusing on being happy.

11. What are your tips for being full of energy and having zest for life?
A positive mindset, regular exercise, eating well and getting a good sleep.

12. Who do you admire or gain inspiration from?
My friends and family. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a talented bunch of people so I love learning and sharing with them.

13. How do you encourage women to be more confident?
Self-love. Focus on your wellbeing, no one else can take care of you like you can.

14. What are your tips for being successful in business?
Be authentic, apply passion, show determination and develop strong people skills.

“Self-love. Focus on your wellbeing, no one else can take care of you like you can.”

Photos by Mick Fuhrimann

Renee wears feather necklace by Amanda Macor, accessories by Tea Lily, Renee’s hair by Adam and Eva Hairdressing. Louise wears models own. Chair by The vintage Hire Co.