If you’ve ever been frustrated by products that don’t work for our more mature skin, you’re not alone. Andrea Q. Robinson, former cosmetic company executive and beauty editor, shares your frustrations.
In her book Toss the Gloss, Beauty Tips, Tricks and Truths for Women 50+ she “tells it like it is” about why the major makeup lines haven’t created products that flatter the color and texture of our mature skin. According to Andrea, most of the men running the major beauty corporations, believe we’ve “lost it at fifty and aged out of their makeup market. Even if there’s money to be made, the people running these corporations are afraid to address our specific needs with anything other than anti-aging creams because they are worried that they will alienate their younger consumer base, even though we—the 50+ ‘real women’—are the largest demographic, with more money to spend. They need to wake up and realize that we’re worth their investment. “
Well, “they” have yet to wake up to this fact, but thankfully Tricia Cusden--a vibrant, 70 year old English woman with smarts and moxie--has taken up the crusade. Tricia’s Story
A former teacher and management training consultant, she was more or less retired at the age of 65. When she found herself making an appointment on her calendar to watch a television show, she knew she was in trouble. That, combined with the fact that she’d spent $100 on two high end makeup products which didn’t work for her mature skin, and her frustration with a beauty industry that is so youth-obsessed they just don’t “get” older women and think that “showing Helen Mirren in a leather jacket is the answer” fueled her motivation.
So at the age of 65, she invested an amount from her savings she could afford to gamble with and took the plunge to launch a cosmetics line specifically for older women called Look Fabulous Forever. Tricia says: “I definitely think there is a link between taking care of your appearance and feeling good about how you look. In our ageist society, women become invisible after the menopause and it’s all too easy to think ‘who cares what I look like?’”
Her Passion and Determination Paid Off
She smiles when she recounts that she was so naïve when she started her business that she simply “googled” the words “cosmetics manufacturer” to find names of companies she might approach to produce her first products. Luckily, she found someone who thought her idea was brilliant—even though others had told her she was “crazy” to go up against major cosmetic lines. Thankfully for all of us, these negative reactions served only to energize her and elicited Tricia’s “I’ll show them” response.
Tricia uses real women for her “pro age” makeup line and feels that the media needs to increase the presence of older women. But she cautions that even when the media does feature older women, they often get it wrong. She points to a beauty campaign that featured Helen Mirren looking sexy. The wording implied that it was to attract a younger man. But as Tricia says, “That’s ludicrous—on what planet does a 70 year old women wake up and say she wants to look attractive to considerably younger guys?”
She shares other thoughts on beauty, aging and looking fabulous in her recent book Living the Life More Fabulous. But overall, Tricia sums it up this way: “It seems to me that there are three possible approaches to aging. One is to go into denial and do everything possible to ‘stop the clock.’ The second is to throw in the towel in the belief that physical and mental enfeeblement is inevitable. Or my preferred option, which is to accept and embrace your aging self whilst doing all you can to have the healthiest and most fabulous “third act” that you can possibly achieve.”