Photo: Yvonne McKean, La Prairie.

As someone working in the beauty business at any level, and you’re in a social situation or meeting new people, as soon as you say the word ‘beauty’ in connection with your job you know it will gain a reaction.

To say or not to say: “I work in beauty”. “I work in the retail beauty business”. “I’m a Beauty Editor”. “My work involves insights, analysis, counselling, helping people feel better about themselves, science, fashion, research into global & local societal behaviours and trends, R&D and NPD…. In beauty”. It’s hearing that word BEAUTY that triggers the recipient of your professional status details to either leap on you for advice on what skincare they should use to stop their wrinkles in their well-worn tracks, OR, and here it comes, they affect a body language that says loud and clear – your work is all about vanity…how trite.

“Yes, I’m just an air head with a whimsical little job, tittle-tattling about lipstick and powder puffs. ALL day”. You COULD say that, and then spin on your killer flats and get back behind your counter, back behind your desk, back into your laboratory, back to the R&D powerhouse that drives your brand. Hang on a minute, I thought we were going to go back to chatting about our lip bullets and whether our pout looks big in them!

Beauty in a person is essentially what they look like. When we meet a person for the first time, we make our judgements about whether we’re going to like or dislike them, in around seven seconds. And WE make a first impression on someone in the same seven seconds. So, what they/we look like…their beauty or our handsomeness… is pretty important to our future interactions with that person: whether we employ them, whether we fancy them as a future romantic partner, whether we are trusted by them or not, whether we chuck any future liaisons with them out of the window and never think of them again.

And then there’s what we think of our own beauty, or lack thereof, in our opinion. As we look in the mirror, day in and day out, as we check our hair or nostrils or teeth, or catch a glimpse of ourselves in a shop window, we’re feeding our insecurities OR boosting our confidence. By the way we see ourselves looking.

The word ‘beauty’ is all-encompassing for hair, skin and general demeanour: our appearance. If you think you look good, you feel better. Your confidence is given a nice little shot of endorphins. If you don’t like what you see in that glimpse…boom, your mood can change subtly or dramatically. Your emotions turn to feelings of inadequacy, anger at how ‘shitty’ you look, desperation at finding something…anything, that will change that person you see in your reflection. It can lead to you wanting to cancel that interview, postpone that date ‘til those pimples subside and even trigger depression.

The work of the beauty industry’s charity Look Good…Feel Better, serves to help people (women, men and teenagers) manage the appearance-related side effects of their treatment. They may lose their hair – known as our Crowning Glory…all gone for a shiny, bald pate; the skin sallows, brows disappear. But by attending a LGFB workshop they get to play with makeup, learning from a makeup artist demonstrating the steps to apply a healthy-looking foundation, face-framing eyebrows and a perky or chic hairdo, courtesy of a wig. For guys it’s also about skincare and grooming tricks and tips. Restoring YOU, so when you look in the mirror you recognise the person as YOU, and so do your friends and family. Our mental health, our feelings of happiness and well-being, can be significantly improved by looking well. Our inclination to socialise and go for that new job, and chat to the girl or guy you’ve got your eyes on, is dialled up. When you believe you look good and you feel better, your confidence goes up, and up.

Enough said. If this resonates with you and you feel like you need a way of dealing with the ‘beauty is vanity’ community, prep up a little 30-second elevator pitch and give it to them with both barrels next time you hear it. By this I mean, smilingly educate them on the depth and power of looking good and feeling amazing, and what a privilege it is to be working in the life-changing BEAUTY industry.

Welcome to 2019 and all it has to offer.

Have a sweet heart and be kind to your mind.

Andrea x

Check out LGFB here: 

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