6 incredible women using their beauty knowledge to empower us all

I’ve worked in beauty for around 9 years now. As part of my job, I’m really lucky to get to spend time with brand founders and inspiring people in the industry. Sometimes I meet people making amazing strides and doing such positive things, and it makes me really proud to work in beauty.

In a time when there seems to be lots of cynicism around social media (is it an AD? Is it not? Is she just being paid to say that?), I wanted to remind people that there really are good things coming from this industry. Personally, I like to think that my small contribution to the industry is regularly showing my skin on social media without makeup. I love a before and after. Why?

It’s not because I feel like I look great in the before or the after – far from it, in fact. But I think we’re so used to being sold unrealistic images of what is normal, I just want to remind anyone that having a bit of bad skin from time to time is completely normal.

When I feel embarrassed or worried to share a bad photo of myself, I think of the impact that message will make and it inspires me to just swallow my pride and go for it. With this in mind, I got to thinking about the other brands and people using their voices for good, and I wanted to share their stories.

What’s more, I think it’s great that we can enjoy indulging in a beauty treat, or a payday lipstick, and I hope that my podcast might just inspire a listener to support the right people and places when do we do this. For example – who wouldn’t love a MAC lipstick on pay day? I know I would. So if you’re going to do it, why not make it a VIVA GLAM lipstick, so that the full RRP minus VAT goes to an incredible charity.

I have met so many warm, funny people over the years and sometimes writing about them or sharing a video just isn’t enough to capture their spirit. That’s where the big chats come in! I am so delighted that my readers can hear first hand the stories that move and inspire me, and get to understand why I love the industry so much.

Check out the beauty professionals featured on the podcast below:

Sali Hughes, co-founder of the Beauty Banks

Beauty journalist and author Sali Hughes co-founded a charity called the Beauty Banks in early 2018. Working with beauty PR powerhouse Jo Jones, they created a system to give basic hygiene supplies to people across the UK that desperately need them. They supply homeless shelters, schools, and all kinds of causes like the victims of the Grenfell tragedy. The charity runs on support from both donations within the beauty industry and also people buying supplies via their website which they then distribute far and wide. I wanted to open with Sali because she, for me, is the person that consistently uses her voice for positive good and encourages her readers to support charitable initiatives where they can.

Camilla Marcus-Dew, co-founder of BECO

BECO is the brand that inspired the entire podcast because their business model is designed to inspire and create positive change. They’re a social enterprise based in Walthamstow and they make soaps. For all intents and purposes, the soaps are great; organic, biodegradable, recyclable, paraben-free, SLS free. But the real magic is in the work force. 80% of their team are blind, disabled or disadvantaged, and BECO is creating jobs for people that would otherwise struggle to find them. 50% of the work force will remain there in a happy home for life, and the other 50% will have their skills and confidence developed to eventually find work elsewhere. They are truly magic. They operate entirely on sales, so the more soap we buy, the more jobs they can create.

Dominic Skinner, global MUA at MAC Cosmetics

Dominic is one of the global artists at MAC Cosmetics, and judge on BBC3’s Glow Up. He joins me to discuss the MAC VIVA GLAM lipstick collection that has raised $500m over 25 years. Dedicated to celebrating All Ages, All Races and All Genders, we also take a trip down memory lane to remember the inclusive approach that MAC have had from the very beginning. Expect gay pride, Ru Paul and baking tips galore along the way…

Amy Conway from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Smart Works

Amy Conway, pro artist at Bobbi Brown, joins me to discuss the partnership between the brand and Smart Works. Smart Works is a charity dedicated to supporting unemployed women with upcoming job interviews, with HRH Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle as their patron. The service includes both coaching and dressing a woman for her interview, and giving her the tools and confidence she needs to nail it. Bobbi support both with with money and, crucially, time, offering complimentary make-up lessons to each beneficiary to help instil confidence.

David Petrusich from Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals are a super clean, green beauty brand, born in a kitchen by a married couple, once an eBay shop and now a worldwide empire. Their work force is comprised of over 35% LGBTQIA+ team members, and as such they donate to various charities through the launch of their products. What makes them a little bit different is that they rotate the causes that they give to and their teams choose where the money goes.

Amanda Constantine from IT Cosmetics

Amanda was employee #6 of all time at IT Cosmetics and works in their education team to this day. We discuss all things IT Cosmetics, from their commitment to no airbrushing of any images, belief that all women are beautiful, celebration of real women, and close work with the charity Look Good, Feel Better.

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