#SoSusanUncovered Ep. 3: When Life Gets In The Way


When Life Gets In The Way of Making Beauty: How to Re-Inspire Yourself

You know when people say things like “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, I always wonder whether they really ever mean it. I love cosmetics, I love formulating great products, I love to see a concept come to fruition in my hands, but Oh Emm Gee… does it take a tremendous amount of hard work. Long, long days right into the night, time away from my loved ones, zero social life when I’m on a deadline and work-life balance? I don’t even know what that means. A sentiment shared by Cassandra Grey, Founder & CEO of Violet Grey in Sophia Amoruso’s majorly excellent Girlboss Podcast. I love how she umms and mummms and goes “whatever” when asked about what work-life balance means to her… classic!

Days like this are when I know I need a huge pick-me-up, and no, I don’t mean vodka. If like me, you’re fortunate enough to be working with a tribe of the most talented people in the world, then that should be your first point of call. I look at the things they’re working on, how they are inspiring themselves, their personal blogs, websites and the various things they’re posting up on their social media and it gets me up and ready to go again. A connection with your team, however brief or virtual should never be underestimated.

I also love connecting with my Savor Circle warriors, a group of 4 other women CEOs running their own companies and we hold each other accountable to the promises that we’ve made to ourselves, be it launching a new product or pitching to a big buyer or simply spending more time spreading the word about our brands. Run by a powerhouse called Angela Jia Kim, who was an ex-concert pianist and who now runs 3 multi-million dollar businesses simultaneously, this is the one exercise I’m most committed to. There’s a lot of talk about “swallowing the frog” i.e. doing the most difficult tasks first, you know, those that really scare you – making that call to a department store, making that decision to hire / fire, having a chat with your accountant / banker / husband! I highly recommend surrounding yourself with powerful, fearless friends, those who will tell it to you straight and who in their own lives, have made mistakes, owned up to them and pushed forward with their heads held high.

After all of that, I go back to my first and ultimate passion – making beauty. I receive hundreds of products every week from various manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, packaging companies (below is just one small batch which I need to look through this weekend), and if anything gets a girl excited, it’s the sight of piles and piles of makeup ☺ Which you get to play with, experiment, swatch, smell, touch.

It’s a beautiful journey, one which may come with its down days, which may drain and exhaust you when things are simply not going your way, but which I have learnt to cherish and simply to enjoy the ride.

So happy formulating and here’s to living life passionately, colorfully, doing what you love always!