Over 40 And Beautiful

The person who first advised women to "keep young and beautiful" may want to eat his words.

More magazine's model search for women over 40 proves that you don't have to be young to be a great beauty.

The magazine announced the three grand prize winners of its 4th annual 40+ Model Search on Wednesday night.

More's editor-in-chief, Susan Crandell, visited The Early Show Thursday with the winners, who are about to break into the world of modeling for the first time.

The three women, Michele Smith, Linda Fischer and first prize-winner Tina Kraft-Brickowski, are the last standing out of a pool of more than 10,000 entrants. They will be rewarded modeling contracts (valued at $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 respectively) with Wilhelmina Models.

"More celebrates women in their 40s and 50s," said Crandell. "These are women who have always been valued for their experience and wisdom. We're out to show the world they're beautiful."

The grand prize winners were determined by a panel of judges comprised of Crandell; More's beauty and fashion director, Lois Joy Johnson; Wilhelmina's president, Dieter Esch; celebrity make-up artist, Sandy Linter; top hair stylist, Mark Garrison of Mark Garrison Salon; and Wilhelmina agents Gina Barone and Daureen Castonguay.

"We look for, obviously, women who look fabulous on camera," said Crandell. "But a lot of it is about the confidence and that sparkle in their eye of living a great life."

This year's finalists were: Leslie Bereiter, 44, Bellevue, Wash.; Michele Smith, 46, New York City; Maggie McDermott-Walsh, 40, Bernardsville, N.J.; Susanne Heaney, 43, New Bedford, Mass.; Tina Kraft-Brickowiski, 40, Lake Oswego, Ore.; Wanda Zee-Cheng, 40, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Deborah Sweezy, 53, Hickory, N.C.; Lezlie Brant, 45, Henderson, Nev.; Teresa Norris, 43, Glendale, Utah; and Linda Fischer, 50, Napa, Calf.

The first prize-winner, Kraft-Brickowski, said she was surprised and overwhelmed to have won.

"To have my name come over the intercom … It's surreal is what comes to mind," said Kraft-Brickowski.

The winners made their modeling debut with fashions from Nicole Miller, Norma Kamali and Donna Karan during an event at The Lighthouse in New York City on July 16.