2018 and the beauty industry has developed into an absorbing culture, from youtube and the endless tutorials, the Instagram pages and the ongoing hashtags, brands, promotions, press trips and millions of pounds supporting each venture. Lets rewind in thought, progression and time to the 1960s and 70s, and speaking to my mum about the beauty industry during her childhood, teenage years and as a young woman in the 70s.
58 years old, brought up in Manchester her whole life, discussing the rules of the beauty industry from then to now.
Q: Tell me how beauty was conceived in your household whilst growing up?
A: Beauty or beauty products was never really discussed in the house from what I remember, I had 2 sisters and one brother and we were never really interested, but my parents always put the maintenance of the house first - well chores and order over what beauty products we needed.
Q: You must of had some beauty products in the house?
A: Oh we did, but it was just the essentials! Soap and water for the face and Dax for our hair - it was very simple back then.
Q: Oh thats crazy, was that everything?
A: Well more time was spent on our hair, my mum would mix plain olive oil and vaseline in my hair for the times we couldn't afford pure olive oil or Dax every week. She would plait our hair twice a week and add loads of ribbons to it … [ laughs]. Johnson's Baby oil on the face and then in my teenage years I would straighten my hair with curling tongs as it was easier to manage in the heat, the 70s summer’s were hot.
Q: Did you put protection on your hair when straightening it?
A: None at all, we had Dax hair oil and the straighteners would go on that, it did used to sizzle I know that [grins] and I always wondered why.
Q: What was the closest you came to seeing beauty ranges and new collections?
A: Well, we had the Avon lady back then.
Q: What did she do?
A: So, she was a lady that came to the house every week, usually on a Saturday and would bring the Avon catalogue round and in that we ( my mum, your grandma mainly) would pick the products she wanted to buy from it, I would says its a Boots Catalogue before its time.
Q: How was it paid for?
A: If you could afford it then you could pay for it there and then, or you would pay what you could one week and then the following week or month pay the rest of what you owed.
Q: And what did Nana used to order from the catalogue?
A: She used to buy Pond Cream, it was a very nourishing hand and face cream but that was mainly it. I do remember that my mum and I would mainly buy our products from the afro-beauty shops that were Indian owned in areas like Moss Side, Hulme, Longsight and Old Trafford.
Q: Was she much of a beauty fanatic?
A: Not at all, her hair was natural so it was just combed and plaited - never permed, tonged, pressed or curled. She did wear a wig, but only the one and not like you young women today with your endless wig collections… [giggles] , it was a practical beauty instalment rather than a fashion trend.
Q: What else did she like to wear?
A: On her lips abit of vaseline, no nail polish - she was honestly very simple and not caught up in any beauty trends.
Q: Was there much choice of shops?
A: Not really, they were all based in London, well the black-owned businesses anyway.
Q: When did beauty products really make a permanent residence for you when you were growing up?
A: It wasn't until I was a teenager and had started working to make my own money. At university is when I really started looking into the industry, I started buying lip balm, lipgloss, eyebrow products and mascara - I met your Dad then … [ looks over and smiles at my Dad ]. I wore Fashion fair Face Powder in my 30s/40s, it gave such a beautiful and subtle glow but after a while it clogged up my pores so I stopped using it. I loved wearing Estee Lauder White Linen fragrance, I first purchased it with my first set of wages when it was £18/£19 and then it peaked way above my price bracket. I didn't purchase it after that, only because of cost though.
Q: Did you grow up with any beauty inspirations the way that we have so many today?
A: Nowhere near as much as you women have today, I looked up to women like Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. It was their determination, style, career, charisma and overall shine that equated their beauty in my eyes.
Q: And what about your girlfriends, what did you all talk about?
A: Oh don’t think that times have changed, we would talk about pop groups like Duran Duran - most of my friends were white, the boys - who we liked and who we didn’t, careers, black history - uncovered my black roots as a teenager and church.
Q: Do you find the beauty industry to be more or less diverse compared to your youth?
A: Definitely more diverse now and it lovely to see, more culture is being invited into the industry now compared to when I was growing up.
Q: What is your daily skincare and beauty regime now?
A: I use Cindel Facial Sop, Skin Success toner and moisturiser. In terms of make up, eyebrow pencil, mascara, eyeliner and a lipstick - only Sleek shades though. I use Boots make up remover cleanser and mango infused body products.
Q: Slightly more developed with time, and, what advice did you pass down to your daughters regarding beauty?
A: Definitely using less to no products that clog up your pores and if you are wearing make up then invest in the correct cleansers and toners to remove the make up on your face. If your getting make up over a counter then get what suits you and not what they push at the counter, like you would buying any other product. Make up isn't necessary though, just simple make up to highlight the difference between day and night but be in tune with your skin type. Oh and look after your hair, I have had so many issues because I didn't treat it as I should have so invest in it and look after it because once its damaged, its hard to recover.
Q: Quick Fire Round?
A: Go ahead…
Q: Foundation or bare skin?
A: Bare Skin.
Q: Eyeliner or Mascara?
Q: Lipstick or lipgloss?
Q: Wig or Natural hair?
*My mum didn't want to be named or pictured during this interview, but what an interesting shift in beauty outlooks.*