Monday, 18 September 2017

Why the Beauty Industry needs to accept we are Real Women

Last week I watched a video of one of the most powerful, emotional, heartwarming, empowering and motivational speeches I think I have ever heard. It was by Jamie Kern Lima, Co-Founder and CEO of the billion dollar company - IT Cosmetics.
It Cosmetics
It Cosmetics


Jamie shared the story of how she was told she was too overweight to sell cosmetics at the beginning of her IT cosmetics journey. However, rather than letting that stop her, it just spurred her on to succeed and prove that what the beauty industry needs is Real Woman in Beauty. This sparked my brain into gear as it is something I have thought about for years.
Jamie Kern Lima
Jamie Kern Lima - photo courtesy of IT Cosmetics

We now live in a world full of the perfect Social Media image of what beauty looks like. Make up tutorials on YouTube are geared around the perfect version of Instagram Makeup. Perfect skin, chiseled cheeks and jawline and not a blemish, wrinkle or puffy eye in sight. Magazines feature fashion on tall, slim, beautiful models and beauty brand campaigns feature young, slim, wrinkle free faces that probably cannot spell Hyaluronic Acid let alone advertise it. Yet, this goes on all around us day by day. It is time to speak up and tell the beauty industry that we will not be ignored!

When I was a Trader in the city, I was slim, size 10 and taken seriously in my power suit. In the five plus years I have had my own business working in the beauty industry, as a size 18, 42 year old woman, I have been treated completely different, told I'm too old for certain campaigns and too wide for others. Other than my body ageing in that time, my brain function never did, in fact my thirst for knowledge and my hunger to succeed has just grown more and more, so why does it matter what we look like? Why do people have this ideal perception of perfection?
Honest unedited before and after photo
Honest unedited before and after photo using only the power of make up

When I finally created this blog, three years ago, it was something that I had already delayed time and time again. I was worried about being a "normal" looking forty plus woman in an industry full of slim, young, models that wear the make up I write about, completely flawlessly. Although I was already running and owning another successful blog, it was rare I showed my face on it as it was all about the content, but I wanted to change that. I wanted to show true, unretouched, before and after photos of a busy working mum, that has laughter lines, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, puffy eyes and dehydrated skin.  Just as Jamie had her "Ah-ha" moment, I had mine. One day, 5 years ago, I had a wake up call, a big wake up call. One of THOSE wake up calls where you find yourself fighting for your life, thankful for every new day, every new moment, every breath.


Sounds dramatic? Well it was, and it is. I have a very rare, incurable illness, but in those moments of change, months of re-evaluation and adjustment, I realised I had so much I still wanted to do and achieve. After a year long convalescence, I was interviewing an incredibly powerful woman within the beauty industry and she said to me, "You have so much knowledge and so many contacts, why don't you use it. You speak from the heart and give great advise you shouldn't hide behind your fears" Something inside of me clicked and I just knew that the time was now.
Although I have been trolled horrifically about my looks, age, personality and job, and still am on an almost daily basis, you come to realise that some people still have not come to that point of feeling comfortable in their own skin yet. They might not like what I do, my job, my business, my blog, but that's their issue not mine and as long as I'm happy, my family are happy and my clients (I am busier than ever) and readers are happy, screw the haters...
It Cosmetics Contour Palette
It Cosmetics Contour Palette

Its time to look past those perfect Social Media images of what beauty should look like, because when I look around, it looks like me and it looks like you. We are the consumer, we are the people wearing the make up and buying the skincare the advertisers are pushing at us, but we are not silly. The beauty industry needs to step out of their Instagram sized box and realise their is diversity in Beauty. Rihanna has just had a hugely successful launch with Fenty Beauty,  she has launched forty shades of foundation, to cover almost all skin tones. Why has no one else done that? We have been asking for that for years? IT Cosmetics has created a line of make up that deals with issues real men and women have, Rosacea, Pigmentation, dark circles and has successfully created products specifically for those concerns. IT Cosmetics also only ever show their products on real women, doing real life before and after demos ( just like I do on this blog), and that has rewarded Jamie hugely. Was she in the right place at the right time? Or was she a woman that was struggling with the same skincare issues we all , but actually went out and did something about it? Of course she was and she did and we and the beauty industry should stand up and applaud this incredible woman for having the balls to carry on when she so easily could have been rocking in the corner. We asked and she listened.
Back to you Beauty Real Results photo
Back to you Beauty Real Results photo

Life doesn't end because we have a few wrinkles, a few extra pounds and a few extra years. It gives us life experience and a huge understanding and knowledge that we will not take any crap. Recently, I was working on a campaign with Elemis for their Real Results Pro-Collagen Collection and within that campaign I took a photograph of myself wearing no make up, completely bare faced apart from Elemis skincare and no retouching. It has been my most shared, loved, liked and positively commented upon "Selfie" in three years. That tells you something about the way the tide is turning within beauty. We want to see real results on real people.
Believe you can do more than you can imagine
Believe you can do more than you can imagine

Stand up and be counted! We have one life and five years ago I nearly lost mine. Each and every day is a blessing so if you want to rock purple lipstick and a glowing highlight at sixty, just do it. Ignore what you "should do" and just do you. You are beautiful, you are enough and you can make the change. If you have a dream do not let your age or how you look hold you back, you can do anything you want to.

To see the full speech from Jamie Kern Lima please click HERE
To read my latest IT Cosmetics post go HERE
To read my Fenty Beauty post go HERE
To read my Elemis Real Results Post go HERE

Thank you for reading this post. I would love to hear what you think about the above subject. Please leave me a comment below. I love reading them

*May contain PR Samples
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46 comments

  1. You are absolutely spot on, we should celebrate what we are and what we look like, as we are! I'm sick of worrying what people think because I'm overweight,it doesn't make me an awful person, I'm still me! Love reading your blogs! Xx

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  2. I watched that powerful speech a few days ago by Jamie Kern Lima and was really touched by it also. To see her stood up in THAT room with THOSE people in power in the beauty industry was inspiring. Reading your blog above has filled me with the exact same emotion and I have goose-bumps and very teary eyes.....your blog is one of the only beauty blogs that I read religiously as I feel like you understand 'us' and the issues of not having a flawless skin and perfect shape eyes/lips/face etc. I am fed up with brands selling using their 'perfect airbrushed ideal' - which almost no one has no matter what age or size. We are us and we should be proud - and stop chasing the unattainable unmaintainable images that aren't even real to begin with.
    We are real women who live, who have lived, who have more life to live and who should all stand up and applaud every bloody word you have written.
    xxx Celia xxx

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    1. Your words are beautiful Celia, thank you for taking the time to read it. It was more personal than I ever write but it's something I feel quite strongly about. Always remember how beautiful you are x

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  3. Great post! When I first started my beauty blog I didn't know if there would be a place for me. I realized that the beauty industry is huge and the market is so diverse. We need to start realizing how diverse. http://www.mrsqbeauty.com

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    1. Exactly! And never give up! Remember you can achieve great things

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  4. What a wonderful blog Sharon. I agree with you totally. I am fed up with the industry which advertises "wrinkle" products on 22 year olds. We are not fools but women of all ages, sizes, skin types and colours who just want to make the most of themselves. I know I will never look like a model but I can try to be the best I can be. I love your before and after shots (although you do look pretty damn good in the befores!). Thank you for your honesty and keep up the good work. X

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts Pam. You know how much I appreciate it! You are a beautiful woman and a great support

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  5. 100% correct but at times it feels like trying to run up a down escalator. The world demands perfection. It screams out from every magazine cover, every perfume advert, every music video. The latter especially influences the younger generation.

    I applaud your approach but fear the current trends will take decades to reverse. Beauty, fashion and music need to get on board for things to significantly change.

    Never stop trying though, as it has to start somewhere. We need reality back.

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    1. My motto in life is : Never give up! If you believe in something do passionately just go for it! Let's keep reminding people that they are incredible

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  6. You are spot on. For years and years we have been brain washed in ewhat society believes to be perfect images of people to the degree that when we do see a person with real life flaws and imperfections we think they are abnormal. It's wrong but I think if we stick together we can change this.

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    1. Thank you Debbie! I really appreciate you reading and commenting on this! I absolutely agree! We've got this!!

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  7. I just want to give you all of the high fives and YAAAAAS and cheer. We are real women and we want to see actual products working on women minus any retouching. I'm off to watch that speech now, it clearly has an impact. High Fives Sharon xx

    Honestly Aine

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    1. Thank you so much Aine I really appreciate that!! Right back at ya gorgeous!

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  8. Thank you for this honest up front blog. Unlike you I haven't battled a serious illness but I'm a yr old ordinary looking woman with problem skin and wanting to keep looking as good as I can for as long as I live. I'm not sure why people are trolled or bombarded with hate mail. You like 1000's of others are an ordinary woman doing a job that you love and that you are very good at. I hope you can enjoy the best health you can with your family doing the job that you love best. Sue Stewart xx

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    1. Thank you Sue, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this post! It's something I believe in wholeheartedly - you are such a kind soul and I love that about you x

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  9. I absolutely love this post! At the end of the day real women are going to buy these products so real women should sell them! Xx

    Www.coleoftheball.com

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  10. Very touching blog. I was judged by having severe excema when in my twenties. People looked down on me from their make up counters in horror at the fact that I dare speak to them. I felt that they thought that looking flawless was enough to judge themselves better than me. Perhaps that was partly my perception as I felt ugly in comparison to everyone else. I tried everything from everywhere . I had umpteen doctors and hospital fail to help me . One day I was watching Alison Young on Q with Liz Earle and I tried it as I had tried everything else. I never looked back. I learned that people should not be judged by appearance. We are all beautiful in our own way, our value lies in more than what we look like . A mothers stretch marks and bags under her eyes are testament to her devotion to her children who no doubt think that their mummy is the most beautiful woman in the world. Good luck to anyone who defies the restraints put on them by society . Good luck to anyone who has the inner strength and resolve to succeed against the odds . They, including you, have my deepest respect . I am truly sorry to hear of your illness Sharon but I am pleased that it has inspired you to make the best of your life. Too many of us don't . I love what you do andthank you for doing it so very well . Much love X

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    1. Hiya Hun, thank you so much for your honesty here and so sorry for what you have had to go through. The way people act towards others shows more about their insecurities than it does yours. You are beautiful and I am so pleased you have found what works for you! Onwards and upwards! Never let anyone dull your sparkle

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  11. Very touching blog. I was judged by having severe excema when in my twenties. People looked down on me from their make up counters in horror at the fact that I dare speak to them. I felt that they thought that looking flawless was enough to judge themselves better than me. Perhaps that was partly my perception as I felt ugly in comparison to everyone else. I tried everything from everywhere . I had umpteen doctors and hospital fail to help me . One day I was watching Alison Young on Q with Liz Earle and I tried it as I had tried everything else. I never looked back. I learned that people should not be judged by appearance. We are all beautiful in our own way, our value lies in more than what we look like . A mothers stretch marks and bags under her eyes are testament to her devotion to her children who no doubt think that their mummy is the most beautiful woman in the world. Good luck to anyone who defies the restraints put on them by society . Good luck to anyone who has the inner strength and resolve to succeed against the odds . They, including you, have my deepest respect . I am truly sorry to hear of your illness Sharon but I am pleased that it has inspired you to make the best of your life. Too many of us don't . I love what you do andthank you for doing it so very well . Much love X

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  12. They're right.. that is the most AWESOME picture of you ever. But, one thing with IT Cosmetics.. despite the founder being empowering, all the products are about looking younger (i.e. better). I don't think younger does equate better and that you do have beauty at every age whether you have wrinkles or don't have wrinkles. The minute the brand actually embraces age as something that doesn't need curing or hiding or reversing, then I'm on board. I just think it's still a part of the 'knock you down to sell you better' old style beauty messaging and we deserve better than that.

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    1. I absolutely see your point, my post was more towards the way she was judged and told she couldn't do something because of her looks. I think at some point in our lives we have all felt that to varying degrees and it is not ok to ever let anyone make us feel we cannot do something. Everyone, everyone is beautiful and has the power inside them to ignore the industry that tells them to be one way, and know that it is ok to be themselves xx Thank you for reading this Jane, I appreciate your time

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  13. That's an awful thing that was said to her! I definitely need to watch that video and look into her brand! x

    www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

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    1. It certainly was but look what she has achieved because of it x

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  14. Hi Sharon,

    It's because of you that I have the courage to try new beauty products. I value your knowledge and advice because of the fact you are someone who I can trust.๐Ÿ˜ŠI am 62 years old and really fighting with my skin now. It's lovely to get your perspective on new products. Keep doing what you do best...being yourself.... ❤❤

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    1. Gillian, how lovely thank you, but the courage was always inside you, you just needed a little push! Thank you for being you x

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  15. It is a shame that most people forget beauty comes from within and no amount of makeup can make someone with an ugly personality any better! Power suit or not, you look fabulous x

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    1. Thank you Hun and you are absolutely right, an ugly natured Person shows both inside and out - out with the haters and onwards and uowardsx

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  16. I love this campaign so so much, its so true! As I get older I realise my skin is changing and I need different things, but it doesn't mean I don't want to still try and love new products! :) Lovely post! :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. Exactly Erin, you do you regardless of what the industry tells you to do!

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  17. Excellent article and so true! Power to the women who know their own mind and don't give a monkeys about what others think. You are a fab woman who gives us mere mortals the chance to read positive reviews

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    1. Thank you, and you are not a mere mortal but an incredible human being x

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  18. This is such a great post! I completely agree with it all - makeup is such a powerful tool and regardless of whether a woman wants to wear it or not, no one should be told they arent suitable for a campaign because of how they look. I think both the fashion and beauty industry both need to change. Real women are so much more relatable! X

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    1. Exactly that and I am all about honestly and integrity! X

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  19. Beautiful before and beautiful after. It's so true, I adore make-up but as I have got older accepted my flaws underneath. Everyday women, imperfections and all need to be used a lot more across beauty and fashion campaigns for sure x

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  20. I'm going to watch the video tonight and I agree, brands should be more inclusive and considerate. I'm in my late 20's and even I question some of the choices used for anti-age products - a twenty year old has no wrinkles!

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  21. I absolutely loved this post, so interesting. Beautiful pictures before and after xxx

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  22. You look beautiful before and after, I can't believe that was said to her. Everyday imperfections definitely need to be accepted in the beauty industry, makeup is great, but there is a lot more to it than that. I absolutely loved reading this post.

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  23. Such a lovely and honest post ๐Ÿ’— I need to watch that video, I've seen it floating around this week!
    Chantelle x
    The Girl In The Tartan Scarf

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  24. Loved this post. I wish they'd advertise diversity more. We aren't all the same, it's ridiculous x

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  25. Such an amazing post that so many woman need to read! You look incredible x

    Cass | CassandraMyee

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  26. Loved this post and it's positive message. I wish I had more confidence to rock a no-nakeup selfie! You look gorgeous in yours.

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  27. What a fab post Sharon and I am off to watch this video immediately! What you have said is so true x

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  28. Fantastic blog Sharon straight from the heart. Great read. Jacqueline x

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  29. What an amazing post Sharon, I felt exactly the same as you in regards to blogging "am I too old?"but then I get emails from ladies my age who are so pleased to have someone older who blogs and is honest about the products and what they do, if they do anything ha ha. I also have an incurable illness and it does make you think differently doesn't it? Only around 5 years ago I wouldn't wear a bright lip but now I love bright lip colours, and you're right, it doesn't matter what age we are, if we want to wear something, we should wear it. Such a brilliant, empowering post :) xxxx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

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