Is it us or are entrepreneurial women having a bit of a moment? We seem to be bumping into lots of women -grown up and young – doing interesting things. Women-owned small businesses are growing faster than any other type, according to government figures.
Last week I met Tricia Cusden, founder and MD of one of the cleverest ideas I’ve seen for a while, Look Fabulous Forever, a range of pro age make up that properly concentrates on providing product and advice for women of 50plus. It’s hardly rocket science, we’ve been saying for ages that beauty brands are neglecting us, but Tricia -who could turn out to be the Mary Berry of cosmetics- actually did something about it.
Her products, all made in the UK with nothing tested on animals, are great. It’s a small range so you don’t get confused and everything is designed with older skin in mind. No pretending to think of us then showing it on 20 years olds like many (all?) beauty brands do, Tricia only uses older models – real people in most cases, and her Youtube channel of tutorial videos has been an (almost) overnight sensation, as older women all over the globe find her helpful tutorials and learn how to make themselves look and feel good.
What is quite spectacular is the speed at which her make up company is growing. To cut a long story short, she reached 65 and thought, I don’t really want to retire, I’ll set up a business”. Admittedly she had been a management consultant previously and gives off the no -nonsense air of someone who know what they want (SO Mary!)- but where others may have reached for the golf clubs or gardening secateurs, Tricia reached for Google and found herself a quality British cosmetics manufacturer and got to work creating a cosmetics range.
She has customers in Canada, all over the USA, Australia as well as the UK, she has caught the eye of Google -which has had her talk to its executives about becoming an older entrepreneur -and has reached the final of the highly acclaimed Guardian Small business of the year competition.
And she’s only been going 18 months.
I got a LFF kitchen-table make over last week by Tricia and her lovely make up artist Linda Sullivan (above) in order to try the product out.
It really is an excellent range. For me the hero products are the make up primer at £21 -use it to ensure your make up lasts all day – the bases at £22 -Tricia suffers from rosacea and has really worked hard on the light-but-impressive coverage factor -see more here– and the brow liquid and brush set at £25 -takes a bit of practice but is good.
Tricia explained that older skin is like blotting paper, it soaks up product and makes creating sharp lines tricky, so all her techniques avoid hard edges and tricky lines in favour of a softer, more blended look. Every product on the site comes with a video tutorial to show you how to use it best on eyes that might have wrinkles and skin that might not be as elastic as it once was. What a joy to find someone who really does get how to talk to older customers.
It’s not catwalk-trendy or fashion forward in its advice and I suspect you wont find it featured in Vogue any time soon, but it targets women who want to update their make up routine as they age in order to continue to look and feel fantastic.
LFF’s customers have been effusive with their praise, says Anna, Tricia’s daughter, who has been recruited to the burgeoning business to help keep up with demand, She told me “We had one customer in a remote area of America with no shops close and we managed to get her sorted with what she called ‘the best make up she’s ever found’.
We say, if you’ve struggled to find a good make up range as your skin has aged, give it a go. Tricia is accutely aware that the range is small with not all skin tones covered yet, but as she explained, “I only had a small budget to create products to start so had to do a limited colour range, (mostly fair British skin seems to be colourway O2) but we will expand to cover all skin colours as soon as we can.”
Excitingly, Tricia has offered our readers a special 10% discount and free shipping on orders over £50, and that’s shipping WORLDWIDE, just enter the code WOMENSROOM.
I know, tempting eh? Look Fabulous Forever
Me, after my make over, but try it yourself and let us (and Tricia) know what you think.