Lisa D. Liguori, Company CEO & Founder of Simple Beauty Minerals, Mother, Teacher, and Introvert (Big Surprise!)
I met Lisa when she contacted me several years ago because she wanted to take my self-guided style course — actually she wanted to take the course with her on a tropical vacation! I told Lisa my course requires Internet access, but she purchased the program anyway and decided to wait until she returned home to complete it. A few months later she contacted me and said she and her daughter were taking a road trip south and asked if we could meet in person. We did! We met at a local coffee shop in Arroyo Grande, sitting outside in the sunshine, talking for hours, and discovering all kinds of things in common. We became fast friends.
Lisa became one of the first members of my Style Resource Team when I formed the Facebook group Style Your Way To Success After Fifty. I’ve learned so much about makeup and skincare from Lisa. I admire the way she cares about how her beauty products are manufactured. This is a woman who has strong values and convictions, and creates only the products that meet her high standards. All of the ladies in this group who have started using SBM products all sing her praises. I’m a huge fan, too!
Lisa lives in a beautiful part of the Bay Area. I wish I had known her when I lived there for 30+ years. We’d be hiking buddies for sure! She and her husband have raised two beautiful, kind, and hard-working children. I visited Lisa’s home when I was in the Bay Area a couple years ago and she showed me her well-organized, and quite sparse, clothing closet. Everything was color-coordinated and thoughtfully arranged. Here is Lisa’s story…
Let’s begin by having you tell us a little about yourself.
I am 57 and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, with my husband David, of 30 years, my daughter, Kasey, who is off to college in the fall (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, in the Beauty Product Development Business Program, no less), my two cats, and Violet our pretty Pit Bull. My son, Jeremy, is graduating this year from NYU Film School.
I love to mess around in the kitchen; my latest fun is fermenting foods. I love to dance. To Sing.
I love yoga. I can sew and knit a bit. My daughter is better at sewing than me. She is 18 and on her way to FIDM next year. My 22-year-old son is studying film production at NYU and has his own photography business. My way cool husband helps in the tech & photography department. He works in minerals too – Green Landscaping Pervious Concrete.
When I’m not in my studio creating, consulting with clients, packing SBM orders and sourcing amazing products, you’ll find me where I feel most at home, in a sunny garden with a small shovel and a cup of hot jasmine green tea, or a cozy chair, a good book and a cat in my lap.
What’s the quirkiest/most interesting thing about you?
My family says everything is quirky about me. I’ll let you decide 😉
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I am a complete and total introvert. It takes a lot for me to get on camera for Facebook Livestreams, and it took me about a year to actually push that ‘Go LIVE’ button for the first time! No, really. But now, it’s super fun and exhilarating, and I have learned to carve out quiet time on both ends, before and after big bursts of energy such as that, in order to refuel. And don’t even interrupt me in the morning before I’ve had my Adaptagen mushroom coffee, meditated on my angle card, and have been awake for at least two hours, LOL [Note from Linda: Ladies, are you as curious as I am about the mushroom coffee and the angle card? We’ll save that for our next interview!].
How would you describe your personal style?
Romantic Bohemian. Not romantic, as in ruffles, but always soft. Always comfortable. Anything that drapes is fine by me. I completely live my color palette, which is Platinum (summer). Oh, and pink. OMG. I LOVE pink. From the lightest blush to the brightest fuchsia; always have. Do you remember the Crayola Color Crayon in Magenta? That was my favorite.
How has your personal style changed after fifty?
Today, even as style is super important to me, comfort rules. If the shoe hurts, I don’t wear it. If it scratches, I don’t get near it. If it is too tight, it comes right off. If I’m not warm enough, I add another layer. So I am always on the lookout for stylish pieces that also meet my comfort needs, and when I find them, I grab them!
In my younger years fashion came first and I suffered through it more. Now, comfort drives my style. [Note from Linda: And we say an Amen to that, sister!]
What is your favorite style trick or tip?
My two biggest makeup tips are to 1) keep current and 2) highlight your best features.
Stay current by changing it up. In our younger years, most of us took more chances in life, including experimentation with our looks. Then, at some point, it just got easier to stop experimenting. To stay where you were in your makeup choices. It’s so easy to get stuck wearing the same makeup look for decades; however, to look and feel our best, to feel relevant, it is important to change things up every so often. Play with makeup on a regular basis. Try different eye looks. Find a new lipstick shade. Pay attention to what is trending, and though you don’t need to take up every new trend, it is a good idea to just be aware and see what suits you.
Playing up your best features fits right in with changing things up. If, for example, the trend is bright red lips, but you don’t feel your lips are your best feature, nor is bright your best color range, skip that one. If cat eyes are popular, but your eyes are heavily hooded, find a different way to play up your eyes. Or, play up your lips instead. Maybe it’s your great cheekbones which need some highlighting…
Know yourself, experiment, change, mix it up, and find a trend that works for you.
When and why did you start your own company, Simple Beauty Minerals? What was it that sparked the idea of forming your own skincare and makeup company? How has running your own company transformed your life (the good, the bad, and the ugly)?
First of all, my mother, LaVerne, instilled in me a love of nurturing myself and the fun of beauty products. She would sit at her vanity every morning and ‘put on her face.’ She introduced me to the classic lines, such as Borghese, Ultima II and Estee Lauder. Remember those huge eyeshadow palettes Borghese would come out with every holiday season?
When I was 17 I took a job at the Clinique Counter at Macy’s. It was my entry into the world of cosmetics and I LOVED it. Every cell in my body was buzzing and I was curious about every aspect of the industry. That was when my dream to own my own cosmetics company was born, but it would be my second adulthood that would see it come to fruition.
The last beauty brand I worked with before coming home to raise my family was Aveda. This was back when Aveda was a small company and was still run by its founder, Horst. Horst and Aveda had a profound impact on me, introducing me to another way of being in the world. Through Aveda, I was introduced to the natural world of cosmetics and the health related benefits of making conscious lifestyle choices.
When it came time to start our family, we home-schooled our two kids and I fell wholeheartedly into natural parenting and I forgot about makeup, outside of the multi-tasking one or two beauty products I would buy at Whole Foods.
Then I started belly dancing. (And Oh, was that fun!) The world of makeup came back full force with performance makeup. Once again the cosmetics world called to me, I fell in love again, and re-booted my entire makeup kit with a full on mineral makeup kit. Mineral makeup! Another new love.
At the same time, my kids were growing and I felt a restlessness. I knew something would present itself to me if I just waited. Something that would make my heart sing.
And it did.
In the form of a mineral makeup brand (now defunct) that sold direct to consumers. I still had fairly young kids, so this was just a little side gig, but it was really the seed that started me on my way to developing my own brand.
As always, I reach for freedom, so I asked myself why was I repping someone else’s product? Why didn’t I start my own company, you know, the one I dreamed of when I was 17?
I would stay up late at night when my kids were asleep and hunt online for resources. I went to beauty industry shows and met chemists and hand-crafters to work with. I slowly built up a brand, bought a small mineral makeup company (a different one) and folded that into what I had pulled together already. My little company began to grow. A little at a time as my kids were still young and I was a home-school parent, in between the ,cracks and crevices I grew my company and dreamed of what it could become.
Why did you decide to focus on a smaller, more personal clean beauty brand?
I never want to become a big box beauty brand, where I sit at the office and don’t have any contact with my customer. My customers bring me joy. I want to keep my hands in it. I enjoy my small beauty company, working closely with my customers and my team and growing organically. It’s so fulfilling.
What lessons have you learned about life and happiness after fifty? What makes you happy?
I am still learning! As my last child, my daughter, heads off to college in the fall, I am hyper aware that my husband and I will now be empty nesters. I feel another restlessness coming on, and with that, the expansiveness of possibilities. I also feel a pull to get out into my community more (Oh, but there is that introvert thing again), and share Simple Beauty Minerals with women who would prefer to work with a real woman, instead of a corporation without a face. Perhaps traveling – Simple Beauty Minerals goes on the road! [Note from Linda: That would be a huge yes! I’m thinking we’ll do makeup and skincare clinics at our Style Club retreats…]
What would you tell women to do right now, today, to get started making a change?
Listen. Pay attention. Dream. Ask for what you want. Watch for signs. You WILL recognize it. Say yes, when it shows up.
What’s the best way for women to connect with you?
Simple Beauty Minerals Website http://simplebeautyminerals.com/