My next guest in my series ‘The Positive Aging Interviews’ is Tricia Cusden from Look Fabulous Forever. I discovered Tricia through facebook and then subscribed to her website. I love her elegance and classic look and her passion for showing the more mature woman how to wear makeup to enhance their features and also encourage us all to ‘look fabulous forever’! Tricia is certainly a role model and an inspiration for Women Over 50.
You can learn more about the products Tricia offers in the links at the end of this post and look for my review of some of her products especially for the more mature skin. It is amazing that certain tricks and secrets shared through videos on Look Fabulous Forever can make such a difference to our look and also improve our self-confidence.
In my interview with Tricia, she shares her thoughts on positive aging, keeping fit and also why she thinks women should wear makeup. I hope you enjoy my interview with Tricia and then discover more about her philosophy and products throug her website and social media links at the end. Look for my review of some of her products especially for the more mature skin.
The Positive Aging Interviews – Tricia Cusden, Look Fabulous Forever.
What does the term positive aging mean to you?
It means feeling good rather than fearful about the (inevitable) ageing process. So it’s about celebrating your ageing face, body and self rather than fighting to stay as youthful looking as possible (which is a zero sum game in my view!)
What are your tips for keeping fit and healthy as you age?
I feel strongly about this and have included two chapters about it in my book ‘Living the Life More Fabulous’ which will be published in February 2018. To quite a large extent our health is in our own hands as we age. Staying active (doing around 10,000 steps a day for example) and doing some simple exercises to improve balance and core strength will really pay dividends the older you become.
Diet is also extremely important to ensure that our bodies are well nourished. Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oily fish and cutting down on sugary calorie laden foods is essential to keep our bodies functioning well.
Obviously don’t smoke and watch how much alcohol you are drinking - a small amount has positive benefits but more than the equivalent of two smallish glasses of wine a day is not such a great idea. Sorry if this makes me sound like a po-faced spoilsport!
What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you were younger?
To trust yourself and know that you will have the capacity to cope with everything that life throws at you.
What is your favourite fashion or beauty tip for Women Over 50?
To stay engaged with the world of beauty and fashion even though it isn’t very interested in engaging with you! We are told meaningless things like ‘what not to wear after 50’ or ‘less is more when it comes to makeup for older women’. All of which is intended to make us doubt ourselves and think that we have to assume a more toned-down and self-effacing style as we age. What a nonsense that is. In my view older women need to wear makeup more than younger women - but it has to be the right kind of makeup which will work well to enhance their older faces.
Your website is ‘Look Fabulous Forever!’ tell us why you started it and a little about the motivation behind it.
I had the idea for LFF early in 2013. I was 65 and kept thinking ‘what am I going to do with the rest of my life?’ I had always loved makeup and business and I had long hated the ‘anti-ageing’ rhetoric of the beauty industry. So I approached a cosmetics manufacturer and together we created our range of 13 products, all formulated with the needs of older women in mind.
I also decided to write a blog every week about being an older woman living in the world today. This now goes out to 150,000 women worldwide every Sunday. I write about things which I think will resonate with our customers and my blog followers and am motivated by a desire to inspire them to feel better about themselves and not to buy into the assumptions of our very ageist society.
What is your advice for those about to retire or who have retired to ensure they enjoy this special time of life?
Don’t see it as retirement but renaissance. We are the very first generation to know that we will most likely live very long lives. The word ‘retirement’ means ‘withdrawal’ which is what it was for our grandparents and maybe also for our own parents. We need new road maps and new signposts for our own ‘third age’. Ask yourself two questions ‘ what am I living for?’ and ‘What would I most regret not having done on my deathbed?’ and set about creating a fulfilling final act of your life. I am determined to live my life to the full until I draw my last breath!
What is your favourite way to relax?
I have a house in the south of France and spend 6 weeks there every summer. It is blissful - a beautiful calm and peaceful place - and my friends and family come and stay. I return to London from there every year totally invigorated and ready to carry on working as hard as ever despite being in my 70th year!
What was the last book you read?
I am an avid reader and during my summer break I have consumed nearly all of Helen Dunmore’s wonderful books. She has just died of cancer in her sixties and wrote her latest “Birdcage Walk’ knowing it would be her last, which I found very poignant.
Meet Tricia Cusden
Tricia has long shown entrepreneurial flair, starting and running her own slimming club from 1974-1986 while caring for her young family. At the same time she gained a first class BA honours degree in 1986 at the age of 38.
From 1986-1986, she worked as a management training consultant with The MaST Organisation before setting up her own training consultancy in 1996. Until the birth of her granddaughter India in 2012, Tricia worked with a variety of corporate clients including Accenture, Dixons Stores Group, Nomura and Esso Petroleum. Unfortunately India was born with a rare chromosomal disorder which necessitated long periods of time in hospital. Tricia therefore stopped all client work to help to support her family.
Early in 2013 when India was much improved, Tricia decided that she needed a new challenge. At the age of 65, Tricia spotted a gap in the market for a new approach to cosmetics for older women. She invested her own savings in a range of specific makeup suitable for more mature eyes, faces and lips.
In October 2013, Look Fabulous Forever was launched to 80 friends and family at a party in London. At the time of the launch, two makeup tutorial videos which Tricia had made with two friends acting as models to demonstrate all the LFF products, were uploaded to YouTube. Slowly these videos gained in popularity and were the starting point for the fast growth of the business. There are now over 70 tutorials on YouTube with nearly 3m views between them.
In November 2015, she was awarded CEW’s Digital Achiever of the Year Award and in 2016 LFF was shortlisted for Amazon Digital Business of the Year part of the Lloyds National Business Awards. Tricia also recently won Nectar Small Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year and SME Emerging Businesswoman 2016 awarded by HSBC’s National Women in Business Awards.
Tricia has two daughters, Anna and Suzy, who both work in the business, and five grandchildren. She divides her time between London and France.