Convo with Beauty Maven, Gad Cohen: Why Beauty Matters More Than Ever

It’s been awhile since my last confession…ooops, I mean Beautyskew post.  Like so many of you, the Covid situation hit me like a ton of bricks.  By March 2nd, my middle son had to be quarantined. His school was the first to be shut down in the country due to kids being exposed to one of the first known carriers of the virus in New York.  WFH became my reality early on. In addition to having five of us in the house, including my son home early from his year abroad, work has been the busiest it’s ever been.  So thinking about beauty took a back seat as I tried to adjust.  I barely had time to go to the bathroom let alone wash my hair, lol.  

But as I have begun to settle into a new rhythm, my need for beauty has resurfaced — big time.  I’ve been watching shows and reading more articles than I probably have time for around beauty topics. Making the Cut with Heidi Klum had me salivating.  I’ve been trying to figure out how I can express my love of fashion through a small screen — color, color, color.  And, as I run in and out of the only social space I venture into — the supermarket — fully covered (from sunglasses to mask to gloves), I’ve been challenged by how I can still maintain some sense of femininity. Sure, I spend 95% of my brain power focused on business strategy or my kids’ food needs, but there’s still that 5% that craves beauty — expressing it, seeing it, and talking about it.

So my good friend and celebrity-beauty-stylist, Gad Cohen, and I decided to begin discussing it — live — online.  For our first IG Live chat, Gad and I delved into why beauty matters NOW more than ever.  Beauty inspires us, fuels our sense of creativity, and enlivens us — all things we need during this crazy time.  Beauty reminds us that we are creative and imaginative enough to change our circumstances.  Maybe as individuals we can’t develop a vaccine overnight.  But we should have faith in the brilliant scientists who can.  And, even as individuals, we can change our situations to some degree.  It’s often constraints like the ones we’re facing that force us to come up with new solutions and amazing new ideas — from new ways to light our faces “just so” on camera all the way to new career ideas.  In fact, when I speak about creativity to large audiences during “normal times,” I challenge audiences to seek constraints to make them MORE creative. Gad, for example, can’t work right now.  He cuts and styles hair for a living.  That just ain’t happening now, as much as it pains us! But he isn’t sitting on his butt all day long. Instead, he’s focusing his creative energies on finally learning how to develop online videos and chats. The result? After Covid is over, he will have his own mini production studio.  In fact, he and I want to video tape our chats as he cuts and styles my hair in real time!

We may be inclined to ignore our need for beauty — after all, people around us are truly suffering.  I’m appealing to you all NOT to do that.  We should seek out beauty.  It nourishes us emotionally and fuels us creatively.

Our discussions have evolved over the course of the few we’ve done.  I’ll be sharing the key insights and videos from those chats in the coming posts.  Stay tuned!

Weekend Observations: What Women Have That Men Don't

If men have sports, we have beauty.  In other words, even if they don’t know one another, men can strike up a conversation around sports and it could last hours.  Whereas women from all walks of life can launch into discussions about beauty and it can keep them chatting for the rest of day.
OK in many ways this is SO cliché.  After all, plenty of men actually ready this blog…a big “thank you” to all of you!  And I’ve written about the growing interest among men in their beauty.
But, let’s face it, there’s still a difference between men and women in the attention they place on and the excitement they have for all things beautiful.
What I didn’t expect, though, is how bonding the topic of beauty is among women.  In fact, when I first launched the blog, I was sensitive that maybe a lot of women would shy away from wanting to discuss it because it could be regarded as old fashioned or superficial.  And, indeed, a few do change the subject when my blog comes up.
But for the majority, the blog and the topic of beauty is an ice breaker.  For example, while I realize the importance of networking, I wouldn’t call myself a “natural networker.”  But I had one of my typical Luxury Marketing Council networking events this weekend, and I had to play the part.  The first hour or so felt stiff, but as soon as I was able to gracefully (or maybe not so gracefully) work my blog into the conversation, the vibe loosened up and a sense of excitement, passion, and authenticity among the different women I met started to materialize.
You could argue we women bond around beauty because society oppresses us all with the expectations on how we should look and smell.  But my take is that beauty binds us because it’s creative, transformative and fun!

Weekend Observations: What Women Have That Men Don’t

If men have sports, we have beauty.  In other words, even if they don’t know one another, men can strike up a conversation around sports and it could last hours.  Whereas women from all walks of life can launch into discussions about beauty and it can keep them chatting for the rest of day.

OK in many ways this is SO cliché.  After all, plenty of men actually ready this blog…a big “thank you” to all of you!  And I’ve written about the growing interest among men in their beauty.

But, let’s face it, there’s still a difference between men and women in the attention they place on and the excitement they have for all things beautiful.

What I didn’t expect, though, is how bonding the topic of beauty is among women.  In fact, when I first launched the blog, I was sensitive that maybe a lot of women would shy away from wanting to discuss it because it could be regarded as old fashioned or superficial.  And, indeed, a few do change the subject when my blog comes up.

But for the majority, the blog and the topic of beauty is an ice breaker.  For example, while I realize the importance of networking, I wouldn’t call myself a “natural networker.”  But I had one of my typical Luxury Marketing Council networking events this weekend, and I had to play the part.  The first hour or so felt stiff, but as soon as I was able to gracefully (or maybe not so gracefully) work my blog into the conversation, the vibe loosened up and a sense of excitement, passion, and authenticity among the different women I met started to materialize.

You could argue we women bond around beauty because society oppresses us all with the expectations on how we should look and smell.  But my take is that beauty binds us because it’s creative, transformative and fun!