Laura Geller on Why Her Models Will Now Exclusively Be Over 40

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Rachel Burchfield
·4 min read
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Laura Geller, makeup artist and founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand, tells Allure how she and her team came to the decision to change the narrative on what's aspirational in beauty-brand imagery by featuring mature models.

What made me go into this business — what fascinated me — was seeing the transformation in women where I grew up. I would think, "Wow, that's so transforming. I have to learn how to do that for myself." I didn’t know it would be a career, but I was so incredibly interested, and I think that it's one of the things that set me apart. It doesn't matter what your socioeconomic situation is, it doesn't matter where you live, it doesn't matter what your size is — when you can put on a little makeup or take care of your skin, it's transformative, and it makes you feel good. And if we feel good on the inside, typically we look better on the outside.

I've applied makeup to everybody from 19 to 90, and I've always felt — and I'm so glad that our company has made this bold statement — that our customer is all over the map. They're not just mature clients, but the mature clients have spoken loudly, and we heard them. They've said things like, "We want to see us. We want to see our faces in your social campaigns."

It's an initiative we've been working on for the last couple of years, and, I have to say, the feedback we're getting is phenomenal. To put up only young faces is not aspirational anymore. Women want to know that they can look like a 60-plus woman, or a 50-plus woman, or a 40-plus woman, and they identify with those images. We really have done a real, deep dive on our client, and we have seen that a good portion of our clients are over 40. They're smart shoppers, and they have disposable income, too. You'd be crazy to leave out that segment as a retail brand.

I'm sensitive to it also. If I’m interested in a product — whether it's clothing, skin care, or whatever it may be that I am interested in for me personally — and I'm looking at images of young women who could be my daughters, I'm thinking that this product may not be for me or be intended for me, and I'll probably shy away from it.

<cite class="credit">Courtesy of brand</cite>
Courtesy of brand
<cite class="credit">Courtesy of brand</cite>
Courtesy of brand

To be very fair and very transparent, I think we didn't address that for a long time. We thought that an older woman would look at a younger woman and see that as aspirational. But she's very vocal now, like myself, and we now know it's very important that [inclusivity] is not just about skin tone, it's not just about size — it's about diversity in age. It's important to me, and my whole company is on board with this initiative and has been for the last couple of years.

Women over 40 deserve to be seen because we're here. And we're still out there working. And we still want to look great, and we really care because we have to — because our skin has changed. We have developed more dehydration and hyperpigmentation in our skin. As we get older, we face more challenges in the way our skin changes and everything softens. It's life. But there's no reason why women shouldn't take stock in themselves.

Our customer really appreciates that we're using mature models — we heard that loud and clear. It doesn't matter what age you are when you start to care about how you look; it's never too late to start wearing makeup or to start getting into a skin-care routine.

Our customer is very vocal, and we listen. When we used to go and do events, the women that would come out were aged anywhere from 19 and 20 — the majority, and most enthusiastic, were all over 40 and hungry for information. They were coming to our brand because they knew we had the right products for them. They were coming to our makeup artists because our artists could really teach them how to do it. Why wouldn't we mirror that in all of our campaigns? The team that I have gets it, and I'm really proud of them.

As told to Rachel Burchfield

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A version of this story originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.

Originally Appeared on Allure