If I’m going to live until I’m 90, I have another 20 years ahead of me. And I intend to make them really productive.

  • 5 September 2017

As I am researching and reading about a possible new market in the over 50s, I am finding some amazing and inspiring stories... like this Tricia Cusden, who started her new venture at 66 years old!

“The beauty industry assumes we are all engaged in an anti-ageing battle,” says an emphatic Tricia Cusden, the 70-year-old founder of mature make-up brand Look Fabulous Forever. “I am determined to change this.”

Tricia Cusden: ‘Ageing is something to embrace, not to fight against.’ Photograph: Kalpesh Lathigra

Cusden, a former management consultant from south London, has a “pro-ageing” attitude to beauty. She launched Look Fabulous Forever in 2013, “after wasting £50 on products meant for skin a lot younger than mine” and becoming “increasingly exercised” by the “insulting” rhetoric around older women and their beauty routine. Cusden’s mission was two-fold: create products and imagery that were “honest, featuring women over the age of 55”; and to use “positive language, to represent ageing as something to embrace, not to fight against”.

Look Fabulous Forever was developed with a cosmetics manufacturer based in Suffolk, to specifically flatter mature skin, which has less collagen and is therefore more porous. The top three sellers are all primers. “Older skin is bumpy, meaning that make-up gets sucked into the skin faster.” A lip primer “seals the edges of the lips so that the lipstick doesn’t feather and bleed” while matte eye shadow, Cusden notes, “is much more flattering on older women”.

These tips are delivered via her “how to” videos, which have had more than 4.2m views. Cusden wants to create a platform where she can “talk about confidence and risk taking”. Her forthcoming book, Living the Life More Fabulous: Beauty, Style and Empowerment for Older Women, will be out in February. Cusden describes it as a “handbook for empowerment”.

“Society has not yet come to terms with the fact that everyone is leading much longer lives. Ageing is still associated with catastrophe. We need to re-frame longevity,” she says. Cusden admits that her mission may sound “incredibly grandiose – I am one woman, in her 70th year” but it’s an essential one. “Ageism has appalling consequences. It feeds into all sorts of issues, like older women not being able to get jobs.”

The success of the brand has been “staggering” says Cusden, who put £40,000 into the business when she launched it. Less than four years later Look Fabulous Forever turns over £2m. She puts its success down to one thing: “no trickery”. And she’s only just got going. “If I’m going to live until I’m 90, I have another 20 years ahead of me. And I intend to make them really productive.”

Funmi Fetto, Pandora Sykes and Eva Wiseman, Sunday 3 September 2017 The Guardian - read full article here

Share this post