What does selling makeup for older women have in common with teaching primary school children? More than you’d think!
On my recent birthday I was reflecting on the past 71 years (as you do) and I realised how much of my adult life had been about teaching, educating and helping others to understand something better. Firstly as a primary school teacher, however with 40 children in the class this felt like crowd control rather than teaching and I’d like to apologise to any ‘children’ out there who had the great misfortune to have been ‘taught’ by me between 1969 and 1973!. After raising my family I went back to work full time as a management trainer at the age of 38. I am happy to tell you that my second career was considerably more successful than the first. I loved every second of teaching small groups of motivated adults to become better managers. And now, in my third career, my mission is to show older women how to become more fabulous. And, honestly, I am loving this version of my teaching life most of all!
From the outset I wanted to create a website for LFF which would be a rich source of information, advice and demonstration so that we could offer you as many ways as possible to learn about every aspect of our makeup and how best to apply it.
First and foremost we use video which is a brilliant medium to ‘show and tell’. I’d been using it for years in the training room, so I knew what a powerful teaching aid it was. And so it has proved with makeup. What better way to demonstrate how all the makeup works together to achieve a beautiful finished effect? Or to make hooded eyes look better or to do your eye makeup if you wear glasses or how to look fabulous in five minutes if you’re in a hurry? We have videos about all those topics which we hope will be of interest to you and if there any glaring gaps do tell us as we are open to your suggestions.
Next, we use photography in our gallery of makeovers on real older women aged over 50, 60, 70 and 80 (see photo below Paula D, over 70) This flips the photographs from ‘before’ to ‘after’ so you can see the magic. Beside each image we have noted the makeup we have used to get the effect. Then we try to give you as much information as we can in features like ‘solve a dilemma’ or ‘choosing colours’ and also in all the informative detail and short videos we have for every single product we sell. Hopefully, these blogs are also useful sources of inspiration and ideas about a wide variety of subjects of interest to older women struggling to stay positive and confident in our ageist society.
And in addition to all that info on our website, you can also speak to a real life LFF human expert because we also have the most fantastic customer services team. Led by Julie (see photo above), I think of our wonderful CS advisors are the beating heart of the business. They respond to all your emails, answer your telephone enquiries and speedily process any returns we receive. They are also there if you need help to place orders. All of them are older women (Julie is an amazingly youthful grandmother) and they are extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of our products and business. The other day I even heard Sue telling a customer which platform at Waterloo to take in order to get to our Wimbledon Pop Up shop for her makeover!
So I asked them to give me their 10 most frequently asked questions so that I can share that information and knowledge with you in the spirit of your ongoing education in the subject of 'how I can be fabulous forever'.
1. I want to buy your makeup. What should I start with? The answer to this depends on how much you want to push out the boat. I’d say if you only buy a single item then choose our Smooth Like Silk Face Prime just because for so many of our customers this has become their ‘must-have’. If you’d like to try two or three things then I’d buy our 3 primers - face, eye and lip - especially as they are available at a discount as a Collection. And if you really want to try several items at a great price then I’d suggest the Essentials Collection which will give you enough basics to change your whole look.
2. How can I choose the right foundation online? First, decide the level of coverage you want. If you usually choose a tinted moisturiser you are going to love our Light Look Beauty Balm. Most of you will need 01, unless you have a tan or an outdoor life, then choose 02. A proper tan will need 03. If you have very uneven skin tone (like me with my acne rosacea and the odd blemish and age spot or broken spider veins) then choose our Continuous Cover Foundation and most of you will suit 02. Choose 01 if you have very fair skin and 2.5 if you are slightly darker than average and 3.0 or 3.5 if you have a definite tan or lead a predominantly outdoorsy kind of life.
3. Can you send me samples before I commit? Samples are a major challenge for us as are smaller travel sizes which you also often request. The big brands can afford to produce these and give them away as incentive ‘loss leaders’. In other words, they reward you with miniature sized items if you buy a certain amount of their stuff and they lose money on the cost of the giveaway. Samples and travel sizes are really expensive for us to produce (not much less than the full sized items) and minimum quantities are around 5000 of each item. We just don’t have the economies of scale of the big brands and honestly, we cannot afford to produce samples other than sachets and they don’t work terribly well for us in terms of sales.
4. How do I know if I am warm or cool toned?We do have some guidance on this here. But my best advice would be to think about those colours you wear which generate the most compliments and those which delight you most when you wear them. And then choose the makeup colours which will work best with them. The purpose of knowing whether you have a blue or yellow or (confusingly) neutral undertone to your skin is to look your most fabulous self. And that is all that matters, so I’d say wear the colours that you and others love you in and you won’t go far wrong.
5. How do you apply primers? Primers belong with makeup, not with skincare. So they are applied after you have cleansed and moisturised. Our three primers are applied underneath the ‘colour’ cosmetics which you will then apply to your face, eyes and lips. Our primers are designed to act a bit like the primer you use when you paint a wall. This is done to smooth the surface and help the paint to stick. So a face primer is made to smooth the skin and help your makeup to last for hours. You can apply it on top of moisturiser and underneath the foundation or beauty balm or you can mix the two together which saves a bit of time and hassle.
6. Is your makeup tested on animals/cruelty-free? I am very happy to say that none of our products or ingredients is tested on animals. Our makeup and skincare is entirely manufactured in the UK and is covered by European law for all testing and safety issues. You may not know that 72% of makeup is produced in the Far East and that China requires animal testing by law before these goods can be produced or sold there. As many beauty brands want to sell into such a large and lucrative market they have to allow animal testing on their products.
7. Is your makeup hypo-allergenic? We don’t claim that it is hypo-allergenic, however you might like to know that this is a relatively meaningless label on makeup and skincare. Women with sensitive skin will tend to be attracted to claims that something is extra ‘safe’ without realising that in fact there are no standards that products have to meet in order to be labelled ‘hypo-allergenic’. The brand is therefore not required to prove that it won’t cause a reaction, which would in any case be very difficult to do as allergic reactions are often highly specific to that individual. If you’d like to try our makeup but fear you may have sensitivities to certain ingredients, then a patch test on your arm may be the best way to reassure yourself that you won’t have a reaction.
8. Does your makeup contain sunscreen? No, there is no sunscreen in our makeup. However, our Smooth the Day Face Cream has SPF10. Just to explain that we were aiming for SPF15 but the tests came in just a tad under this - so labelling had to be SPF10. We cannot sell our makeup or skincare in the USA with SPF unless it has been produced in an FDA approved factory. These obstacles have been too difficult for us to surmount at the moment, but we do know that this is a key concern for many of you. My mum died of skin cancer, so I am well aware of the risks, so in the summer I apply a separate sunscreen to ensure that I am well protected.
9. Can I return it even if I have opened it?Yes! Absolutely fine with us. We have an all-embracing commitment to your satisfaction and happiness. Who wants a drawer full of once-tried makeup which you will never wear? Such a waste of money and such a bitter disappointment. And because we don’t send you samples I feel we should let you return anything that isn’t right for you. You probably think that we are deluged with returns, however we have a very low returns rate mainly because most of our customers absolutely love their LFF!
10. Will you be opening a popup in my area? As our Wimbledon Pop Up has been such a resounding success, we are now actively planning ways that we can get to your part of the country. We still believe that the best way we can do this is via our LFF at Home initiative. We now have 28 ‘Friends’ who have been trained in our products and who can show them to you in your locality. Please use this location finder to find your nearest Friend. We obviously still have lots of gaps in our network, so if you love makeup and would like the opportunity to earn some extra money as a Friend then do contact us here. In addition to this, we are looking at the possibility of strategically placed popups and also of doing a ‘roadshow’ of events at which I would speak and we could also offer mini makeovers and tailored makeup advice. So, in 2019 I truly hope that I will meet many more of you face to face rather than exclusively online. Believe me, it is always a very great pleasure.
Please leave your comments as usual below. I personally read every single one and appreciate your involvement.
We are holding an evening masterclass on 'Hair and The Ageing Process'
Location: LFF popup shop in Wimbledon Centre Court Shopping Centre, Upper Mall, Wimbledon SW19 9YE.
Date: Thursday 7th February
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Come and hear expert advice from one of Philip Kingsley's top Trichologists – the world’s leading experts for hair and scalp health. Philip Kingsley understand that it’s not how you look that defines you, it’s how you feel. Whether you have a hair health issue or you just harbour a desire that your hair could be enhanced, our visiting Trichologist, will be on hand to answer all your hair health questions. From hair thinning and hair loss, to ageing and grey hair, through to the best nutrition and conditioning support, so you CAN grow your best head of hair.
We are searching for our new ‘Face of Look Fabulous Forever 2019'. If you’re over 50 and believe that age is no barrier to living a fabulous life, click here to find out more. Will you be or do you know someone who could be the Face of Look Fabulous Forever and join the other wonderful faces on our website?