I’ve got to be honest, a thick coat of tango coloured foundation, a daub of muddy bronzer and a sprinkle of glitter doesn’t flatter my 47-year-old face, it simply doesn’t. Unfortunately, many brands (including those claiming pro-age inclusivity) fail to realise this. Or maybe the memo doesn’t filter down to their beauty counters? As you can tell, I’d become rather disenchanted with makeup brands… So much so, that discovering Studio10 Makeup (thanks to the very lovely and talented Jo Jowett) was a bit of an epiphany! I am now a loyal Studio10 customer and Grace Fodor fan girl so was delighted when Grace kindly agreed to chat about her fantastic brand and inspiring ethos.
Thank you for your time Grace.
Please tell my readers a little about yourself
I am a mother, PRO AGE warrior, beauty expert and founder of Studio10 makeup – in that order.
I’m also passionate about redefining beauty for women as they age, and redefining the idea of ageing, too. We need a pro-age, pro-beauty voice that gives us the recognition we ALL deserve. So, I want to inspire mature women to stand united and challenge outdated misconceptions of middle age that leave us feeling invisible, undervalued and unattractive. And I want to inspire the next generation to stamp out ageism once and for all. It’s time to be seen, and be heard.
What motivated you to set up Studio10 makeup?
When I hit my late 40s, I found myself labelled ‘middle-aged’ and mired in negative stereotypes that didn’t reflect how I lived my life. I didn’t feel represented in adverts for the brands that were meant to be communicating with me. I was just inundated with ‘anti-ageing’ messages.
I also realised that many mainstream make-up products just weren’t designed for mature skin.
I had a background in branding and marketing and I went on to co-found my own agency, where I worked with the celebrity make-up artist Jemma Kidd on her Make-Up School range for Boots. Then I thought, ‘Why not create my own range – an independent beauty brand that’s PRO AGE rather than anti-ageing?’ Beauty has no age limit.
What are your top make-up tips for menopausal women?
However, menopause brings with it certain changes to our skin, so here are some great tips I have learnt along the way to help tackle the common problems associated with this stage of life.
Mature post-menopausal skin tends to be drier, as it becomes less able to absorb moisture. Adding a primer after you’ve moisturised will even the texture of your skin, helping to smooth fine lines and enlarged pores, while also locking in moisture.
Make-up sticks to the primers we use, making it longer-lasting, so I’d certainly recommend a primer as part of a make-up routine for mature skins. Our Youth Lift Glow-plexion is amazing, giving a natural radiance boost to your skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, which is a moisture magnet, plus a binding agent to help your make-up last longer. You can use it under your base, but it can also be mixed with foundation or tinted moisturiser, used on top of your make-up as a highlighter, or mixed with body lotion for an all-over glow.
Hot flushes are a common side effect of the menopause, so this is where waterproof make-up can be your friend. The formulas for waterproof products are far more sophisticated now and give us foundation, mascara and eyeliners that will stay in place all day. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Long Wear Weightless Foundation not only contains SPF15, it also has great staying power. I designed our Liquid Foil I-Radiance and double-ended I-Lift Longwear Liner to be smudge-, draught- and tear-proof.
Alternatively, a good setting spray can help keep your make-up in place, while Shiseido Oil Control Blotting Papers can be kept in your bag to freshen up on the go. Avoid powder blush on mature skin as it can dehydrate your complexion, and the pigments can collect in your natural creases.
A liquid blush is a better option as it doesn’t sit on the skin and can be easily blended and buffed for a smooth finish. Our bestselling Plumping Blush Glow-plexion is your ultimate wake-up make-up – an ultra-light, universally flattering skin pick-me-up and rouge, containing peach-gold tones for instant skin brightening and lit-from-within radiance.
Switching to a lipstain or liquid lipstick can also prolong your look. I recommend Laura Mercier’s Velour. It doesn’t dry out your lips and gives great colour coverage. A good lip liner is also key as our lips become thinner and begin to lose their fullness with age. Our double-ended Age Reverse Perfecting Lipliner mimics the colour of your lips to look ultra natural and with a ‘halo’ nude tone to highlight, lift and plump.
Rosacea can be triggered by the menopause. A light wash of a green colour corrector applied to your face before your base and foundation can go a long way to toning down any redness on your skin. Our Age Defy Skin Perfector palette includes a feather-light green colour concealer packed with antioxidant-rich, strengthening and firming actives. I recommend applying any make-up using brushes so you don’t transfer oil from your fingers to your face. It can help to keep your temperature down, too, especially if you are having a hot flush.
Finally, I recommend a cooling spray to keep in your bag. Not only can they refresh your skin to keep it hydrated, they can be applied over make-up on the go. I love MegsMenopause Rosey Rain Facial Cooling Spray.
Going through the menopause doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love – it’s about finding the right things that work for you to help bring your confidence back.
The menopause can be a challenging time, with many women lacking confidence and feeling invisible, unattractive and undervalued. Looking good on the outside can give us the confidence boost we need to feel good on the inside, and make-up is a great tool to give us this sense of confidence.
What is your can’t-live-without make-up product?
I actually have two.
Plumping Blush Glow-plexion in a radiance-boosting peach shade is our best-selling product. It’s a complexion pick-me-up – I always say peach is a girl’s best friend. I love the colour peach for blush. It’s not just universal and works across the broadest skin types, but peach is also a very clever colour. It has an orange undertone which you find also in bronzers, so the shade adds warmth to the skin, and because peach also has a pinkness to it, it brightens the complexion. I’ve also added light-reflecting pearls. Highlighters and luminisers all use light-reflecting pearls. The difference is, I’ve used a pearl with a gold undertone, whereas a lot of highlighters tend to be silver, which is why they’re quite strobey. I don’t want that look on my skin as I don’t think it’s natural. I want natural highlights. The product is a liquid so once again the texture works better on drier, ageing skin. The other thing is, when you blend it into the skin, you can buff it as it’s liquid, so you can still see the pores and the texture of the skin underneath.
My second favourite is the Age Repair Perfect Canvas SPF30 Foundation. A lot of middle-aged women use tinted moisturisers or mineral foundations because they want little bit of coverage without having anything heavy or cakey. The problem is both of those do not give you coverage. If you’ve got redness coming through, tinted moisturiser is not going to cover it, it’s a veil. As you age you need more coverage. You’re going to need to start using concealers and colour correctors as well. I wanted a foundation that gives a medium to full coverage, so it covers everything I need it to: redness, age spots, pigmentation, dark circles. The key thing about it is the coverage.
Our foundation is like a liquid in the convenience of a compact. It doesn’t sit on top of the skin, so it looks like your own skin but better. And that is why I use a lot of crème and liquid products. I’m not a big fan of powder as it can look dry on the skin and at a stage where our skin is much drier, it’s not a great idea.
Our foundation gives you coverage but is creamy on the skin and very slightly dewy, so it gives the skin a lift. I also put in an SPF30 so it’s really designed to give mature skin amazing benefits. Because it’s got such good coverage and is ultra-light and creamy, it doesn’t sit in fine lines and you don’t have to worry about concealer. My foundation is brilliant – apply all over the face and neck and over the eyelids to even out the tone perfectly.
Which skincare products do you recommend to complement your make-up?
I think it’s more to do with how you look after your skin rather than actual products. Unfortunately as we age our skin begins to lose radiance and becomes duller over the years – but achieving luminous-looking skin doesn’t have to be difficult. Adding a few simple changes to your skincare and make-up routine can result in beautiful, glowing skin from head to toe!
1. Adding hyaluronic acid into your skincare (and make-up) routine is one of the easiest ways to achieve glowing skin. Our skin actually produces its own hyaluronic acid, but as we age and the more exposed we are to pollutants and the sun, the levels that we produce decrease. By applying it topically we can help deliver hydration where our skin needs it most. Incredibly, it can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water, which is exactly how it packs such a powerful hydrating punch when it comes to helping skin cells stay plump, smooth, strong and ultimately youthful.
2. Removing the build-up of dead skin cells, dehydration and day-to-day grime can also be the answer to radiant skin, revealing a brighter and more even-textured complexion underneath. Adding a liquid exfoliator can help to eliminate dull skin and make way for healthy new cells.
3. You may also want to consider introducing vitamin C into your beauty routine – it really is a hero product for mature skin! It’s an antioxidant so it helps to protect your skin against environmental aggressors, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation, the appearance of dark circles and boosting collagen production.
4. Finally, a good night’s sleep is also key to a glowing complexion. However, if a full eight hours seems to elude you, there are other ways you can create the illusion of a glowing complexion.
Which make-up product can have the biggest impact on our appearance?
For me there’s just not one product, but a quick and easy make-up routine, especially in such challenging times, can make all the difference to your appearance as well as your mental health.
Research suggests that women experience huge emotional and psychological benefits when wearing make-up. In fact, of the 48% of women who prefer to wear make-up, the clear majority do so because it makes them feel positive and strong.
I’ve heard so many of my female friends express their exasperation over how applying make-up has got so much more complicated as they have grown older – which really shouldn’t be so! Regardless of how little time you may have each morning, it’s all about using the right formulas and the right techniques.
Here are my top tips to make-up made easy:
PRIME: As we age our skin tends to become drier, lacklustre and more textured. To combat this, it’s important always to prime your skin, creating an even base for your make-up. A good primer will not only smooth the complexion but add in the radiance that has been lost over time. We recommend looking for one with gold rather than silvery tones, as this will look more natural on the skin. Our Youth Lift Glow-plexion preps your skin by smoothing out any uneven texture and adds a lit-from-within radiance, making it the perfect base for make-up.
PERFECT: You may need to correct and conceal redness, blemishes, pigmentation and skin imperfections. Over the years our skin goes through a lot, and blemishes and pigmentation can be the result – so there’s more to cover up to achieve flawless skin. Despite BB creams and mineral foundations being great, they often don’t provide the coverage required for more mature skin. That’s why, for the ‘perfect’ step, we recommend a medium- to full-coverage foundation, with hydrating properties to nourish the skin throughout the day. I love ourAge Repair Perfect CanvasFoundation. It corrects and conceals redness, blemishes, pigmentation and skin imperfections to create flawless, perfected skin.
SHAPE: Think of it as Spanx for the face. Awe need to add shape and definition to enhance features and create a natural-looking lift. As we age our brows tend to become sparse and our skin loses collagen and elasticity, meaning lips lose their shape and become thinner. To recreate lost definition, I recommend our Brow Perfecting Liner, using short hair-like strokes in an upward motion, to fill in eyebrows and frame your face. Then, in order to create balance, you should also line the lips. Try our Age ReversePerfecting Lip Liner, using the rose shade along the lip line, then the cream shade to highlight and line the Cupid’s bow.
SHADE: For an instant complexion pick-me-up, add a flush of healthy colour and glow. This step is about adding back the colour that we lose as we age. This is why we recommend using a peach-toned blush. Our Plumping Blush Glow-plexion is a peach tone with orange pigments that will add warmth to your skin, while the pink tones will brighten your complexion and add a healthy flush of colour.
What is your biggest Studio10 achievement to date?
Building a business with a purpose. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to turn my passion into my career and help create a space where women can feel good about themselves at any age.
What’s next for Studio10?
I am working on creating new products for the range, which is really exciting –so stay tuned.
Personally, I really want to gain momentum with my PRO AGE movement to change the face of ageing once and for all. As I mentioned earlier, when I hit my mid-40s, I found myself labelled ‘middle-aged’. The negative rhetoric used by mainstream media and anti-ageing ads, and the paltry representation of older women send a clear message: in order for us to stay socially relevant, we must look young. A recent study of 2,000 women revealed that by the time they reached the age of 51, many believed they had become completely invisible. Only 15% of these women felt that they had high or very high confidence in any area of their lives, and 46% thought no one understood or addressed women and ageing.
That’s why I want women to join my PRO AGE movement and challenge society’s outdated stereotypes – and often our own – that diminish our beauty, value and confidence. True beauty is ageless – our achievements and experiences have real value, so let’s celebrate our age and wear it proudly. It’s time to own our years and unite to create a voice that gets us the recognition we deserve. We’ve got to change how we talk about ageing as a society.
As part of our PRO AGE movement, we’re launching an online exhibition called Beauty Comes With Age and we’d love your followers to be part of it. Just take a picture of yourself holding a white sheet of paper bearing the words ‘I AM 55’ – or however old you are – along with a positive word or phrase that describes you now. Share your image across all your social media using the hashtag #ageismisoldnews – and we will be exhibiting them too.
You can also follow the conversation on our social media: Instagram @studio10makeup; Facebook @studio10beauty.
On these channels, we’ll be continuing the debate and discussing all issues surrounding ageing. It’s time to be seen and be heard. It would be great if you and your followers could get involved.
Who is your beauty icon?
I don’t have one particular icon – I like to celebrate all women as it’s important that we support and celebrate each other. In actual fact, my customers are my true beauty icons. I feel so empowered when I receive messages that my products have helped them to feel more beauty confident.
Thank you for your time Grace.
To learn more about Studio10 Makeup or shop the range visit www.studio10beauty.com
I have bought (and will repurchase) the following Studio 10 products: Age Defy Skin Protector, The Pucker Up Kit, Age Repair Canvas Foundation and Brow-Lift (Perfecting Brow Pencil).