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How to be an older model

08 February 2018 ( 08 July 2021 )

Follow our tips and you’ll be ahead of the modelling game.

Saga's five 50+ models

Fancy your chances as an older model, but worried you may not have what it takes to make a success of a fabulous new career opportunity? 

Follow our tips and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Look after your hair

Hair tends to dry out as we age, so regular cutting and deep conditioning is essential, whatever length or style. 

While you’re working as a model, you’ll have to let your booker know whenever you plan to cut and change your hair - you may be booked for a future job with a client purely because of the style of your hair, and they won’t want any surprises on the day of the shoot. 

You’ll be expected to arrive at a photoshoot with clean hair and if you dye it, talk to your agency about whether now is the time to go grey. You could be losing out on potential work.

Skin care

Clients want a natural look and for this age group that means wrinkles and all! So don’t consider doing any work on your face. 

But good skin is essential. Use moisturisers and serums to put lots of moisture into your skin and remove make-up before going to bed.

Another step is to use primers to reduce the appearance of pores, as well as fine lines, before applying your foundation. Nowadays you will see these worked into other beauty products in the form of BB (beauty balm) or CC (colour correcting) creams.

Go for natural-looking make-up

When you go for castings, clients will want to see you looking natural, usually with natural make-up. 

When you do where make-up, less is more, so don’t cake it on. During the day, wear an even coverage of tinted moisturiser, use a concealer for age spots, and keep make-up very light and very sheer. 

Use a nude palette and keep it minimal. Eyebrow hair can get wiry as we age. Don’t pluck it out; threading can be much kinder. 

If your eyesight is going, use a magnifying mirror with a light for accuracy when applying make up.

Keep active and in-shape

Models are traditionally 5’ 8” or taller.

For many shoots, you will be wearing sample clothes, so if you have kept yourself trim and are a natural size 8-12, you’ll be perfect for most jobs. 

Keeping fit and flexible helps, so you can cope with the legwork of going to castings for a start, but also to have the energy to keep going on a shoot all day – modelling can be surprisingly tiring.

It's all about the attitude

Be prepared to develop a thick skin! Don’t take it personally if you are left to sit on your own between shots, while the rest of the team are preparing the next outfit/scenario to be photographed. 

Take along something to read – you will get bored! A positive attitude goes a long way and if you are pleasant to work with, clients will come back to you again. And don’t turn up with a hangover!


As a model you’ll be self-employed and responsible for filing your own tax return. It’s impossible to predict how many days you’ll be working a month, but you’ll be expected to be available for castings and you’ll have to meet the costs of attending these yourself. 

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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