I normally meet with women who are thought-provoking and an inspiration, but this week, effectively, I am in conversation with myself! Discussing the perception of women and ageing, the outdated stereotypes and what’s shaping our attitudes.
I am a mother, PRO AGE warrior, beauty expert and founder of Studio10 – in that order.
I’m also passionate about redefining beauty for women as they age and redefining the idea of ageing. We need a PRO AGE, pro beauty voice that gives us the recognition we ALL deserve. I want to inspire mature women to stand united and challenge the outdated misconceptions of middle age that leave us feeling invisible, undervalued and unattractive. And I want to inspire the next generation to stamp out ageism once and for all. It’s time to be seen and be heard.
With a background in branding and marketing, I co-founded my own agency, where I worked with celebrity makeup artist Jemma Kidd building her Makeup School range for Boots. Following on from this, I decided to develop my own makeup range – an independent beauty brand that's PRO AGE rather than anti-ageing. For me beauty had no age limit, and this is how STUDIO10 was born.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
It has to be my Dad – he always seemed to have the best advice! He said to me that if you really want to do it then just go for it. You’ll never find out if you don’t, and there is a lot of life left to wonder ‘what if…?’
What inspires you?
I almost think it’s human nature to want to make a difference and leave a legacy. I feel that too, but for me it’s also about making a difference in the everyday – finding time to care, help and support others as much as I can.
What was your inspiration for Studio10?
As I reached middle age, I wanted to celebrate this. I wanted to feel truly confident and not be limited by negative anti-ageing stereotypes that didn’t reflect how I felt or how I lived my life. This needed to be represented in advertising by the makeup brands that were trying to talk to us, but at that time the beauty industry only seemed to have a ‘one rule suits all’ approach to makeup and all I could find were dressed up versions of main-stream products that just didn’t seem to work for maturing skin. I wanted ‘quick-fix’ solutions formulated for mature skin, with the best skincare ingredients, and that were easy to use.
Do you have a morning routine and is it ‘quick’?
I’m not a morning person, spending every last minute that I can in bed! I always end up rushing, so my beauty routine is ‘fast and furious’. Shower to wake up, makeup in five minutes and breakfast ‘on the go’. Breakfast is so important for me and I always make a stack of healthy breakfast bars each weekend for the week ahead!
My philosophy is that you don’t need masses of products to create a great makeup look, so I tend to stick to just a few key products. A good hydrating foundation, adding a veil of healthy colour to boost the complexion with our Plumping Blush Glow-plexion. I add shape and definition to frame my face with a good brow pencil to fill out my brows, and a lip liner to create fuller looking lips, and if I want to add colour I finish with Charlotte Tilbury’s Coral Kiss.
Best beauty advice?
I always say that if you look good, you feel good! Whatever it is that you do to make yourself look good on the outside – whether it’s a great haircut, a beautiful makeup look or the clothes you wear – if you put that little bit of extra effort in, you reap the rewards of how you feel on the inside. I think it’s important to surround ourselves with real and authentic images of beauty and to not feel pressured to be the perfect woman we see in glossy magazines.
What are you proudest of?
First and foremost, my girls. But I’m also proud that I built a business with a real mission and purpose. I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to turn my passion into a career and help create a space where women can feel good about themselves at any age. And I’m proud to be a PRO AGE warrior, determined to make a real difference to how women feel as they age. I want to challenge society’s outdated stereotypes, as well as our own, that diminish our beauty, value and confidence. It’s time to reframe society’s misguided narrative that only youth can be beautiful. We must stamp out ageism.
What would you still like to achieve?
I really want to gain momentum with my PRO AGE movement to change the face of ageing once and for all. As I mentioned earlier, in my mid-40s suddenly I was labelled ‘middle-aged’. The negative rhetoric used by mainstream media and anti-ageing ads, and the paltry representation of older women, sends a clear message: in order for us to stay socially relevant, we must look young. A recent study of 2000 women revealed that by the time they reached the age of 51, many believed they had become completely invisible. Only 15% of these women felt that they had high or very high confidence in any area of their lives, and 46% thought that no one understood or addressed women and ageing.
This is why I want women to join my PRO AGE movement and challenge society’s – and often our own – outdated stereotypes that diminish our beauty, value and confidence. True beauty is ageless – our achievements and experiences have real value, so let’s celebrate our age and wear it proudly. It’s time to own our years and unite to create a voice that gives us the recognition we deserve. We’ve got to change how we talk about ageing as a society.
Let’s continue debate through the PRO AGE movement.
We want to hear your thoughts, opinions and experiences on all things beauty, ageing and embracing later life. To keep the debate and discussion going, we’re calling for one-off or regular contributors, so why not put pen to paper and have your say.
You can join the conversation on social media too – where we debate, challenge and discuss all issues around ageing daily.