Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the #PGMom Influencer Event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Although I missed most of the day due to scheduling conflicts, I was able to breeze in for the last two sessions. And since both centered around beauty (makeup/hair) I was in seventh heaven.
(Disclaimer: I have joined the #PGMom program as a beauty blogger; hence, I will mostly be covering their beauty brands – CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene, Clairol, Herbal Essences, Secret and Head and Shoulders.)
The first session was a trip through the P&G Product Mall, where I had a most wonderful makeup chat with Diana Nguyen, the Communications – Brand PR representative for Proctor & Gamble. We talked about everything from the latest products to how every teenage girl’s first compact is a CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder compact (I used the blue one – oil control – from grades 10 through 12). I even pulled the CoverGirl Brow & Eyemakers Duo out of my purse – yes, I travel with an eyebrow pencil!
Next, a sit-down session to “Meet the P&G Beauty Experts”. Well, I was more than a little excited to meet Greg Wencel – CoverGirl pro and celebrity makeup artist. Hello! He’s worked with Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lisa Ray and Katy Perry, to name a few. I secured a seat in the front row, excited to pick up the best tips and tricks.
It wasn’t what I expected.
Of course, he did have wonderful advice to share. After all, he’s a bloody genius! Much respect to him. However, I was slightly turned off by the undertone of his messaging –
We know Moms are busy….
Don’t always have time to put best face forward…
Looking for tips to incorporate into quick makeup routine…
Well, he is correct in a certain respect – Moms ARE busy. And many Moms don’t have the time or desire to apply makeup every day – and frankly, some aren’t even interested in doing so. Fair enough.
But there’s also a large portion of us who MAKE THE TIME. I arrived at the event with a full face of makeup – artfully sculpted brows, winged eyeliner with smoky eyes, a sweep of bronzer highlighting my cheekbones and dewy, shiny lips. Yes, I am busy – and I am short on time. But I will find the time to complete my beauty ritual; it’s just a part of who I am and who I’ll always be. I don’t need quick tips. I don’t have a quick makeup routine.
And you know what? I’m not alone.
The session was full of beautiful bloggers who had varying amounts of makeup, but for the most part, many were comfortable wearing it and it didn’t look like they had rushed out of bed that morning without a lick of time to spare on themselves.
The constant messaging from beauty brands that Moms are too busy – or don’t know how – to care about their appearance is tiresome. It is just as stereotypical as the messaging that select prestige beauty brands employ, depicting mature/ wealthy/ seasoned women wearing their cosmetics.
(Yes, I have purchased $34.00 DiorShow Mascara. No, I don’t have a summer home in the Hamptons.)
In fact, the subtle suggestion that Moms need to be “taught” about using makeup, or need “quick” suggestions, was so unsettling, I just had to say something –
Now you’ll notice that P&G addressed my concerns immediately, with an eagerness and willingness to hear all feedback – good and bad. It’s this kind of attention and transparency that makes brands great. And, my role as a #PGMom for Beauty encompasses more than just gushing about nail polishes and hair masks. So I have the following challenge, not just for CoverGirl, but for all beauty brands:
1) Rethink your marketing to Moms. The main message doesn’t always have to be about “quick fixes” or “how to’s”. Many Moms make it a priority to look their best (whether they incorporate makeup or not), and often, Moms know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to application too. (Remember, we were all once teenagers, bar hoppers, date night attendees and more!)
2) Give us the real lowdown. I don’t need to know where to apply blush – but thanks for the tip. I need to know why cooler tones make me look tired, and why some bronzers apply streaky. Yes, there may be Moms in the room who need more basic advice, but perhaps the brand should consider segmenting us beforehand, so the entire group doesn’t feel like we’re sitting in a session of Makeup for Dummies. When I attend a private event featuring Greg Wencel, I expect it to blow my mind.
3) Think outside the product review. Not that I don’t love reviewing makeup; but I also love writing about trends, celebrity looks, colour palettes and more. One of my all-time favourite campaigns was Lancôme’s creative use of foundation to promote their newest product. I love when beauty brands are inspired to do something a little different to engage bloggers and media. Hosting a VIP event with some of P&G’s experts is a great start – and now, I’m curious to see how the program will evolve.
Stay tuned – over the next few months there’s sure to be a little bit of gushing, a lot of great product advice, and maybe even something truly inspirational.
Hear that? It’s the sound of applause. Happy to see you’re beyond the gushing (current #PGMom hashtag is dominated by talk of the comfy bathroom robes at the Four Seasons).
CoverGirl is a great brand and they couldn’t have picked a better representative. Looking forward to hearing more.
Thanks jenny. It’s all about challenging the sterotypes. P&G is a great brand that listens to feedback. Proud to be part of this program.
totally agreed! thank you for being the voice of so many of us mums! I’m constantly being stopped in department stores and beauty counters to be shown a ‘quick look’ or ‘quick fix for busy moms” and i just think, really? do i look that awful? now i just rush by pushing my stroller with me head down…lol
Oh no Madeleine! Don’t do that. Hold your beautiful head up high! It’s their issue, not yours :)
Agree with you. I keep up with beauty and fashion because, well, I’m STILL a woman and I like to keep up with the trends! My motto for amotherworld is – it’s another world when you’re a mom, but you’re still a woman! Just because we are moms, doesn’t mean we don’t know how to put a good look together :)
I would love for you, going forward, to ask the tougher questions for example, the toxins in makeup and what P&G are doing about it.
Thanks Maria. I’ll be completely honest with you here: toxins in makeup, as an issue, are just not on my radar. Not that I’m immune to the potential problems, it’s just that when I see makeup, I think “oooh shiny!”. I’d be happy to ask questions for you, but just being honest – it’s not a battle I want to fight myself. As a brand ambassador, I’d be happy to speak on reader’s behalf.
Oh god yes. Sick and tired of moms being advertised as frumpy housewives who look at a lipstick and appear confused. Dare them to present the same session to mom bloggers as they would to Nicole Richie, Victoria Beckham or Julia Roberts. Cause they’re clueless moms too, you know.
Hahaha those ladies are the epitome of style and beauty. Great point!
Ella Pretty Blog
Such an interesting post Lena – I love how frank and honest you always are!
With regards to this issue, I think your sectioning-off suggestion (into basics for those who don’t wear any make-up – and advanced for those who know their stuff) is a great one.
I’ve seen both sides of the coin – I’m a busy mom – but you better believe I ALWAYS make time for makeup. At drop-off and pick-up and school, I’ve had many moms tell me that I always look so put together – and ask me how I find the time. Mom or not – I’ve always believed that when I look good, I feel good – and the 15 minutes it takes me to “do my face” is an enjoyable and pampering start to my day :-)
However – I recently did a post on my blog about a beauty kit I put together for my friend and called it “mom-on-the-go” makeup…I hope it was not condescending because it really was an actual kit and plan I put together for a mom-friend – it was a best-of-the-best makeup kit that would give her maximum effect in minimum time. She is honestly so pleased with it – because other than lipgloss and mascara from her clubbing days – she was not that familiar with how simple every day make-up could be. And she’s not the only one – a lot of the moms I’ve met through my kids school have asked me for make-up advice – it doesn’t have to be a complicated process to get gorgeous results.
But I get what you’re saying – JUST because you’re a mom doesn’t mean that you don’t know what makeup is – we are still the same people we were before we had kids – and if we were make-up lovers, we probably still are!
I don’t think your “mom-on-the-go” make up kit is condescending at all, because you made it for a person who specifically asked for your tips on quick fixes – you didn’t put it together assuming that a women with little makeup didn’t know what she was doing. There is a difference! Love the way you always look fabulous.
I think it’s great that they responded.
I’m not a frumpy housewife. When I go out I always try my best to look fabulous, but there are some days without makeup. I choose to believe that my skin needs a break. *coff*
I would like to know how to make my hair shiny, sleek, and smooth with no time though. That would be helpful.
Nicoline, I also believe my skin sometimes need a break *cough* LOL!
Well here I am Lena,
I would rather sleep for an extra 15 min than use makeup, my routine consists of maybe mascara.
I do love looking at makeup its so pretty, but I can’t stand how it feels on my face I could def use a refresher course.
I’m sure the products are much better these days! i wouldn’t know where to start!
Naked face in the cold LOL!!
Well, that’s perfectly awesome Allie! My argument is that not ALL moms shy away from makeup, but then, not ALL love it either! Just go with what makes you feel best :)
Coffee with Julie
I love this post …. it’s not just with makeup, it’s like brands think mothers were not women before we had kids! The constant pitch of “moms are so busy,” is just tiresome really. It’s used to sell fast-food and frozen food, clothing, etc.
Thanks so much Julie – and you’re absolutely right: I see it all the time with frozen entrees, clothing and especially fast food. Women will always make time for the things that matter!
Great article! Thanks!
Why is it that the “experts” all think that most moms don’t care what they look like? I always feel better when I take a few minutes to put on some makeup. In fact, I’d rather be a few minutes late and look (not to mention FEEL) great than not. Yes, there are some women (and not JUST the moms) who may need a little help or advice, but there’s really no need to assume all of us are clueless.
And THAT’s my point – no need to assume we’re all clueless – or in a “rush”. Thanks Robin!
Amanda @ Natural Mommie
I chuckled when you said you wore the blue compact. I wore the green. ;) isn’t the smell of it nostalgic??
Lena I love this post. Thank you so much for speaking out for those of us who do find the time (and *enjoy* that time) putting our best face forward.
I wasn’t able to attend but if I was there listening to a pro MUA I wouldn’t want the same “quick” tips that we hear over and over again either. I’d want them to share with us how the products really can work as great as department store brands and SHOW us how: Contouring, highlighting, photography makeup tricks, etc. I think it’s pretty safe to say most of us know how to throw on some foundation and powder and if not, there’s about 10,000 16 year olds on youtube that can show you.
I’m willing to spend $35 on my mascara, I love spending hours in the makeup aisles when I can, and leaving mommie alone to do my makeup everyday is non-negotiable. Looking good = feeling good.
All toxins aside (because that’s a whole other post I’m sure!!) it’s too bad you didn’t get more out of the session. But at least they heard you and maybe they’ll rethink how they’re talking/marketing to modern moms.
LOVE the smell so much. Makes me feel like I’m sitting in grade 10 science :)
Your comment succinctly wraps up everything that’s been on my mind. Listening to the same tips over and over again for us “busy” moms is frustrating. Happy that the brand seemed to hear my concerns – and interested in seeing how they’ll follow through as a result.
Moms should be beautiful too.
And we are! Hear Hear!
Gosh I love this post. I love even more how I just know you’ll take this as an opportunity to work with Cover Girl and do something awesome. You are a true example of how a stay at home mom can be gorgeous inside and out. Stereotypes are harmful! Proud of you for challenging them.
Thanks Carlee. I’ve already connected with the Brand Manager, and look forward to seeing how we can work past this in the future!
I loved reading this post. Good for you for standing up and defending yourself against ignorant people who stereotype. There’s women who make the time to beautify themselves and those who don’t — it’s about priorities and it’s about time. It’s not about whether one is a mother or not.
Exactly! We need to remove the whole “busy moms” equation and start marketing to WOMEN first.
Wow. This is great. You really let them know your concerns! :)
:) Thanks Natasha.
I’m glad you spoke up about this!
Thanks you Lelo. I just believe that all women should be marketed to equally. Lawyers, waitresses, moms – we’re all busy. No need to dumb-down or segment the pitch :)
Hey, there’s nothing strange about wanting to keep your eyebrows groomed and looking good throughout the day. I carry a brow pencil and disposable spoolie with me too. :)
A woman after by own heart! Love that you carry an eyebrow pencil with you :)
Love this article. As busy as I am as a mom, I too always try to take time to do my hair and makeup. I figure that if you think you look great…you will also feel great!
For those that live in the Tenth Line/Thomas area…there’s a fabulous young man who now works as one of the cosmeticians in Shoppers Drug Mart. I was in there a few weeks ago and he took the time to show me some amazing make up tips. The best part is that I told him what products I used and he worked with those, which meant that I didn’t have to dish out $$$$ to get the look he gave me. I just had to buy some new sponges. There are a few Smashbox items though on my “to buy” list…
Anyways, if you’re in the area, stop by and see him…he’s so patient and made me feel like a million bucks! I now use his tips in my everyday application of makeup!!
Thanks so much for the feedback, and the tip about Shoppers! I’ll definitely have to stop by and meet him!
Loved your post and I’ve loved all of the comments here.
I also never leave the house without makeup on. OK, yes, there are varying amounts – less for an errands day and more if I’m heading to work or somewhere I’ll ‘be seen’.
I cannot, however, count the number of times people have commented on it over the years. Sadly the comments usually come from other moms and they usually also come with and air of judgement and a tone of condescension. It’s like after you become a mom some people want to make you feel that you’re less of a mom unless you’ve barely showered, you’ve had not time for makeup and only wear yoga pants.
Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of those days too (and today is actually one of them!) – but there is absolutely no need to judge or market to moms based on some misguided misconception of parenthood.
Thank you Ingrid :) “there is absolutely no need to judge or market to moms based on some misguided misconception of parenthood” <<-- LOVE that so much. It's true - often, other moms will put you down for being put together! Almost like you have to look disheveled to prove you're taking care of your kids :(
As a beauty blogger and a mom myself, your post totally resonated with me. I really dislike generalizations like what you pointed out. Good for you to saying it like it is and bringing it to people’s attention. You’re inspiring me to write about it too and direct people to this post. Such important messages and hopefully more brands take note!
Thanks Michelle – your support means so much!
What a great post! Thanks. So glad to hear that Cover Girl is thinking about us busy mom’s. Must have been interesting and fun to attend!
I went through a brief phase where I felt “blah” and didn’t wear makeup for a bit after going off work on disability. After some of my eyebrows fell out due to a hormone issue, I decided a makeup intervention was necessary. I went back to wearing it almost daily, at the very least, moisturizer, lip balm, mascara (love Benefit’s and it was worth every penny!), and my eyebrow pencil/shadow. On a good day I’ll go all out and do my whole face up. It makes me feel better physically if I look better for some reason.
Thanks for your feedback :) And, I feel better too when I have a touch of makeup!
I have to admit I get overwhelmed in the cosmetics department. I tend to stick with what I know because I hate spending money on something and then finding out I don’t like it or the colour looks bad on me.
I agree with you! Although I don’t wear makeup every day..if I’m not going anywhere and just staying home with my boys I feel like its a waste of my makeup to get all dolled up just to stay home..most of the time I stay in my pjs anyway :) But I do enjoy wearing it and learning new tips and tricks..things that professional makeup artists know. That’s awesome that you stood up for what you believed in :)
Good for you for saying something! I know plenty of moms who are way more pulled together than I am!