Join the #Imback movement and transform your wellbeing
At a time when, despite a wealth of choice about our lives, many of us struggle with mental health issues, I knew I wanted to do more to help other women feel better.
Building upon the increasing awareness of the need for inner beauty, calm and emotional balance, I decided to team up with Marie Claire's Beauty and Style director, Lisa Oxenham, to build a community of women talking about the issues that really affect us.
Lisa and I have been friends for 20 years and in my role as a makeup artist I’d often share beauty tips and work on projects with her. We both already had channels of our own promoting a wellbeing angle and Lisa knew I’d added to my skill set and trained as a Human Givens psychotherapist.
I believe that makeup and beauty rituals can help change the way we feel but we must pay the same ritualistic attention to our emotional wellbeing. What we feel shows on our face and in our behaviour and without the right coping tools we will struggle to rise to life’s inevitable challenges.
And so, as 2019 dawned, our campaign #ImBack was born.
Based around our rapidly growing Facebook group (340 members in just a couple of weeks), we are sharing not just practical beauty tips and products to boost wellbeing and self-image, but also discussing scientific and psychological techniques and strategies.
Rooted in neuroscience, mindfulness and ancient wisdom, our aim is to help people build themselves up from the inside out, offering an holistic view of beauty.
#ImBack is social media led, with a closed Facebook group alongside posts on our existing Instagram accounts @leepycroft and @lisaoxenham; followers tune in to weekly InstaLive stories and discuss topics ranging from makeup-free confidence through to break-ups, self-esteem and stress, as well as more conventional beauty topics such as best buys and application tips.
The #ImBack movement is about helping to educate people in how to stay emotionally healthy, develop resilience and capture their best attributes inside and out. I feel passionate about imparting all of my knowledge and experience as a makeup artist and psychotherapist and my collaboration with Lisa provides a powerful way of reaching and helping as many people as possible.
I see first-hand the effects of modern stress on women. We work, but also carry on with our domestic responsibilities, and have greater expectations than any previous generation. We’re ‘on' 24/7 - we often have less of a sense of community and with so many things vying for our attention this can leave us feeling over stimulated and tired, which goes against what our bodies need from us.
We have a current running through us called Ultradian rhythm, which means that approximately every 90 minutes our brains shift hemisphere from left to right brain dominance. This shift happens because we need to allow our brain to process the information we have absorbed and file it away and daydream for about 15 to 20 minutes. Overriding this consistently triggers the fight or flight response and this, along with other stress factors such a more crowded population, pollution and technology, means that we are connected but not connecting in an authentic, emotionally nourishing way, which can have a detrimental effect on our impact sleep and feelings of emotional balance.
I was reminded, when I saw some journalist friends I hadn’t seen for years, how lovely it is to get together in person. We need human connection and with a loneliness epidemic occurring we’ve sort of lost that; it’s one of the key messages I want our mission to share.
Already in the Facebook group, we’ve seen discussions on stress and the impact it has on our skin, the worry cycle and how to break the pattern of it, basic beauty tips on foundation and skincare and we’ve talked about why we are prone to stress and how to meet our emotional needs.
In the future, we’ll be looking at sleep issues, relationships and how a lack of emotional intimacy can harm us. You might wonder how beauty fits in, but couple emotional and environmental stress and it shows on your surface very quickly.
Makeup and beauty are a useful and fun tool to help boost yourself, but this can only do so much and should be used to enhance how you feel, not cover your internal pain.
We use our own life experiences and personal ups and downs to help create a safe space from which people can authentically share their own issues. Ultimately, we aim to build a community of like-minded people to collaborate and connect, both virtually and in person, via events, speaker panels and social platforms.
“We aim to increase awareness of mental health. Wellness is intrinsically connected to beauty. We empower women to recognise when it’s time to seek help, support and guidance for their wellbeing and applaud those who speak out.
Join the #ImBack movement here and start the transition to improved confidence and wellbeing now.