After 25 years as a makeup artist, working with celebrities and super models around the world, Cindy Joseph was unexpectedly discovered on the streets of Manhattan by a casting agent to model for a worldwide fashion campaign. She later signed a contract with Ford Models, joining the ranks of the very super models she had been working with as a makeup artist, at age 49! Today, 16 years later, Cindy’s face still graces the covers of magazines, catalogs and global ad campaigns. However, during the first ten years of her modeling career, she discovered a deeper calling. She felt it was time to share her age positive view points with all women, young and old alike, through her natural skin care and cosmetics line, Boom! By Cindy Joseph.
We talked to Cindy about her amazing life, how she navigated her three careers from make-up artist to fashion model to cosmetic entrepreneur, and how she stays so glowy and glamorous through it all.
EE: You are fascinating! You’ve had three careers that morphed seamlessly from one into the other. How did you make the transition from make-up artist to model?
CJ: It all started from a shift in my attitude impacted from information I learned in courses I had taken from Lafayette Morehouse, a San Francisco based community and school. I learned that I am a pleasure oriented creature but living in a success oriented society. When I heard those words, I felt recognized and had quite an “Ah ha” moment. I then began living my life according to what pleased me, going for fun rather than success. I discovered that by doing so, I was becoming more attractive to others because I was enjoying my life more than ever.
I also started to notice that aging was quite different than I had been told. I had been convinced by social messages that as we age, we become worse and I started experiencing getting better! I ended up celebrating my age rather than fearing it. I no longer wanted to fight against looking my age, attempting to conceal my features. I wanted to reveal the signs of how long I’d lived. I wanted the world to see that I was having a happy and amazing life with my silver hair and wrinkles. A new kind of beauty develops with age and my new features were my metals of honor I had earned by living a rich and passionate life. So I threw out my hair dye and a year later, the very day I cut off the last bit of color, I was approached on the street and asked to model for a worldwide Dolce and & Gabbana ad campaign. Two days later I was being photographed by Stephen Meisel, the world famous fashion and beauty photographer. Six months later I was approached by More Magazine to be in their next issue. By then the Dolce & Gabbana ads were running and within a few weeks I had signed a contract with Ford Models. I have been modeling ever since.
Having silver haired models over 50 years of age is very telling about where our society is heading. The Boomers are an unstoppable demographic and fifty percent of us are women. Boomers have never accepted the status quo. We have reinvented every decade of our lives and are continuing to do so through our 50s and 60s and 70s. Moreover, Boomers are spending a significant disposable income. Advertisers have finally come around to marketing to this demographic.
EE: Who did you do campaigns for?
CJ: I have worked with Elizabeth Arden, Banana Republic, Christian Dior, Eileen Fisher, J.Jill, Ann Taylor, Olay, American Express, Gap, J Crew, Target, Garnier, Macys, Lord & Taylor, TJ Max and Marshall’s and many more. I have modeled for many magazines including Marie Clair, Glamour, Oprah’s O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Brigitte Woman and more. I have had a 5 year contract with Nivea for a beauty campaign running throughout Europe.
EE: This is so inspiring Cindy. Which did you enjoy more, modeling or being a makeup artist?
CJ: I had no idea whatsoever I would ever be modeling. Having been in the fashion industry for 25 years I had it that all models were 18 years old, very tall and super thin. At 5’7”, 49 and silvered haired, it was hard for me to envision becoming a model.
I had a wonderful makeup career. I worked with all the super models – Paulina Porizkova, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, as well as many celebrities. Working with the most talented photographers and directors was a fun and gratifying career and I loved every minute of it. It ended up that around the time I was asked to model for the Dolce & Gabbana campaign, I was feeling like I was at the end of my makeup career, so the timing was perfect. I went from behind the camera to in front of the camera, literally, overnight.
EE: Do you enjoy it?
CJ: I have been having a total blast. In most cases, every job has been a pleasure. I also feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to represent my age group and to experience how seeing a model over 50 years old impacts women of all ages in such a hopeful and positive way. I have heard very positive reports from men of all ages as well! It is very gratifying to know that my image and my age positive philosophy gives people of all ages hope and enthusiasm towards their own future.
EE: How did you end up creating a cosmetic line? How old were you when you launched Boom! by Cindy Joseph?
CJ: I am 65. We launched BOOM in 2011 when I was 60 years old. The idea was sparked by a 19 year old male friend. He suggested I blend my expertise as a makeup artist and my modeling career together and create a makeup line. My first thought upon hearing this idea was, “The world does not need another tube of lipstick!”
EE: I think I have 30 lipsticks.
CJ: And I bet they are all about the same color, right?
EE: Come to think of it, yes they are!
CJ: My friend’s idea got me thinking about the entire cosmetic industry. Each woman/ customer identifies with specific brands from Chanel to Cover Girl. Women identify with the lifestyle image of a specific brand. Although there are thousands of brands of cosmetics and skin care lines in the world, each one with a different take, they all have the same message about aging. Their message tells women that showing your age is a big No No! From the Park Avenue lady who lunches, to the soccer mom or punk rocker, the message to all women is cover, conceal and camouflage your age!
When I realized that, I decided right then and there, that I was going to offer women of all ages high quality products with a pro-age message. Ageism has reached an all-time high in our society. I feel we have hit a tipping point. Women are ready for a whole new viewpoint on age. Everyone is ready! I think this is the time for our society to shift from an anti-age view point to pro-age.
When you think about it: all we do from the day we are born to the day we die is age! Aging is simply another word for living!
EE: How did you learn about manufacturing, marketing, packaging and managing a business?
CJ: I read a lot of books on all aspects of the cosmetics industry. It was fascinating. Every stage has been a fun adventure and a new challenge. My communication and diplomacy skills and my understanding and real life experiences from finances to spirituality have gone into creating this business. All the experiences I accumulated throughout my life have been a tremendous asset to creating and managing this business. However, paying attention to my level of pleasure throughout the birth, creation and growth of this company has been the single most valuable skill I possess.
EE: You should teach this stuff at Harvard Business School!!
CJ: The key ingredient of a successful business is passion. You cannot avoid the hard work, but with passion comes the energy to handle it. I am very proud to offer products that are high quality, safe, sustainable and simple to use. And I am thrilled that the essence of the Boom philosophy has created a community of women who are enthusiastic about shifting their attitude about aging and are now passing an age-positive philosophy to our upcoming generations.
EE: How did you decide how BOOM would be manufactured?
CJ: I have friends who are bee keepers and they discovered that the ingredients in the bee hives was healing and very helpful in keeping their skin healthy. The noticed that the honey was healing their cuts and burns, as well as quickly moisturizing their dry skin. They created a lotion and being a makeup artist, they were interested in having me try a sample. I was highly impressed with the results and when I decided to create BOOM we went into business together. I also met with a cosmetics manufacturer that was reputable, ethical and willing to work with my small budget. Every door I knocked on opened up for me. Each aspect fell into place from the logo design, to the web development. It was as if my desire, passion and conviction made everything related to the creation of my company happen magically.
I originally wanted the name Boom to represent the Boomer generation but I felt that was committing reverse ageism. Women of all ages want to know that aging is good and that their future is bright. So I switched the meaning of BOOM to represent the sound of a revolution and I coined the term Pro-age Revolution. Boom products and philosophy are for women of every generation.
EE: By the way, where are these bee keepers?
CJ: So far my bee keepers are in Hawaii. One of my desires is to sponsor folks who would like to become bee keepers by helping them set up hives. We can then purchase their surplus to create Boom products which will not only give them a living, it will keep the bee population thriving throughout our country.
EE: What are the key benefits of BOOM?
CJ: The ingredients, simplicity of use, and realistic approach to authentic beauty. One of our products is a moisturizer for the entire body. It’s an eye cream, face cream, body lotion, hand cream, lip balm, cuticle cream and night cream, all in one. We only use the most pure safe and effective ingredients.
For example. Boomsilk, our all over moisturizer, is made from the ingredients the bees make for their hives. And we only use what the bees do not! Honey has recently been rediscovered by the medical world. It is used in hospital burn units across the country. The patient’s skin is healing in half the time with less scaring. Propolis is a substance bees create to keep the hive germ free, therefore creating a natural antiseptic for the skin. Bees wax creates a non-comedogenic protective mantle to skin. We receive daily reports of Boomsilk clearing acne, toning down rosacea, refining pores and creating healthy vibrant complexions.
EE: This is fascinating! Who in NYC would know about bees? LOL! Are the products available online?
CJ: BOOM! by Cindy Joseph products are only available online at: www.BOOMByCindyJoseph.com
EE: What are some of your daily regimes to stay healthy and vibrant?
CJ: Exercise, yoga, dancing, walking, fresh air, sunshine, fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of sleep and most importantly FUN!
EE: Who inspires you?
CJ: People who dedicate themselves to learning how to be more loving, better communicators and take the time to acknowledge their gratitude for the life they were given.
EE: What is next for you Cindy?
CJ: BOOM is my baby and is still growing. And modeling is still going strong! My bucket list includes going to New Zealand and Australia. I also want to do more cross country skiing. And I can always use more shoes…even in California! With Zappos, I have been having a hay day with shoes. My favorite designer is Aquatalia – very expensive but so comfortable! We live in our shoes. Shoes are the most important piece of clothing we have. We have to able to walk comfortably because if we don’t, we sure don’t look very good!
Remember, taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.
EE: I wish you the best in all your enterprises Cindy!
Below is a portfolio of Cindy’s gorgeous work.
For more information on Cindy Joseph and BOOM cosmetics go to: http://www.BOOMByCindyJoseph.com/
It is so easy to fall into the ageism trap especially here in New York City. I do feel inspired to let that one go.
What are you going to let go of today? And what are you doing to celebrate who you are at this moment in time?
I’d love to hear.
Feel free to comment below.
Until next time.