Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you wrote the book “The little book of Big Beauty”?
I’m a Mum and fashion makeup artist. I’ve traveled all around the world making up famous and not so famous faces. I wrote The Little Book of Big Beauty because I think that beauty is so much more than skin deep. I thought about what made people truly beautiful and it’s really the simple things like kindness, generosity and authenticity. I think most of us get ‘over’ looks very quickly and want substance. This is what this book is about. It talks about humanity and how we are all flawed. It also reminds us to remember the important things, plus gives you some insider knowledge on practical beauty knowledge. It’s a holistic look at beauty.
What are your three beauty tips for women over 40?
Wow, beauty is so closely tied to our emotional state that it’s tricky to know which ones to choose. Without a doubt we all feel and look far better when we are less stressed, so that is my first tip – chill out when you can. That may mean making yourself a priority which as women we tend to forget. Secondly it’s the sun, sunscreens, hats and clothing all help to minimise the damage. These are commonplace in Japan and the result is that most Japanese woman have amazing skin. Thirdly, try oil cleansing it is amazing. It is not just for dry skin it is for every skin type, the results are softer, plumper and glowy looking skin. Organic Hemp Oil is my go to for this. You can read about how to do this in my book.
What are the five essential make-up products for a woman over 40?
No 1 is not a makeup product but it is essential, it’s sunscreen as 80% of the damage caused to our skin – including ageing and all of the wrinkles and sagging that go hand in hand with it. These are all speeded up by the damage done by the sun. I feel a tinted moisturiser with a good broad spectrum SPF in it is essential. Usually a tinted moisturiser is slightly more glowy than a foundation and a glowy skin appears younger.
no 2 is a cream blush. A cream generally lasts longer on the skin and has that dewy young look to it. A powder blush may look powdery and ageing.
no 3 a great concealer. Concealer should be your best friend as it will hide all of the flaws on your skin and therefore make you look fresh, like you’ve just had a holiday.
no 4 A palette of nude matt eyeshadows. As we age our eyes become a bit more wrinkly and sometimes metallic shadows can emphasise this. A good natural matt palette is really handy for everyday use for most woman.
no 5 – a hydrating lip tint. These are long lasting and feel like nothing on your lips. They give a tint of colour which is flattering and are super easy to use, these are best sellers throughout Asia.
Prior to this book you wrote “Little big book of Happiness” do you think beauty and/or acceptance of your physical appearance is intrinsic to happiness – is that why you wrote this follow up?
I didn’t really write Beauty as a follow up to Happiness. I wrote each of my books separately, talking about what was interesting me at the time. Happiness was inspired when I was driving down to visit my Dad and I thought about how each of us are so similar with what makes us happy and I decided to document that in The Little Book of Big Happiness.
I think it’s important to have a sense of contentment or happiness with your appearance. The vast majority of us are not models and were not born “really, really good looking” – thanks Zoolander. I think that the advent of diversity and appreciating that we are all unique in our beauty and that there are many multi racial aspects of beauty to admire. Freckles on a red head are beautiful, pudgy soft baby skin is beautiful, dark chocolate soft skin is beautiful. There is beauty everywhere, and it’s rarely what is commonly considered perfect – you just need to notice it.
This is your third book, what made you become an author and how hard is it to make a living from writing books?
I became an author after I self-published my first book – The Little Book of Big Weightloss. I had never thought about writing for a living, because I was just too busy being a makeup artist and Mum. I wrote that book because I had managed to drop 30 kilos in 30 weeks and I had many of the school mums asking me how I had done it. So I decided to write a book – the best darn book that I could – something simple and affordable that anyone could pick up and read. And that is pretty much how I have written all of my books. That first book ended up in about 30 countries and many different languages.
I still look around the room when someone says the title author – looking for who it might be…not thinking it’s me – lol. I think it’s hard to make a living from writing, and I know many people that are trying. I think that whatever you’re passionate about in life you need to follow – regardless of the money. So if you’re passion is writing I say go for it – be brave and don’t underestimate yourself.
What are the most challenging things about your life?
Man where do I start…is it the challenges of being a working mum which many Aussie woman face or is it the constant challenges of keeping relationships strong. I think many of us are in the same boat and I believe that I am no different to many other working mums. Possibly, it would be taking time out for me, as like many other mothers I put myself last too often and then get pissed off when that thought is not reciprocated – lol.
What are the most rewarding things and what achievement/goal are you most proud of achieving to date?
Some of the most rewarding things about writing books are the comments that I have received back from men and woman all around the world who let me know that I have made a difference to their lives in some small way. Whether it’s in weight loss or in remembering their own happiness. I’m proud that I had the nerve to self-publish my first book, I’m proud of the design and the message it sent. I’m constantly amazed at what can happen when you dare to try.
How do you find balance?
Balance? What’s that…just kidding. I’m aware that I can be very single minded about projects and sometimes have tunnel vision and any sense of life balance is thrown out the window. So I try to keep weekends for family – not work. I take time out to exercise and swim which help me feel much calmer mentally. If I am traveling for work I try to add on a day or two to be with friends – even if we are just sitting around, talking about nothing or venting and drinking wine – it’s all essential to a healthy mental state for me.
Do you have any mentors or people who inspired you to follow your dream?
My Mum has always encouraged me to try. She has never limited me in what her expectations of me were, so in that sense she is definitely an inspiration. I dedicated this book to her because she always showed me the beauty in the world – even in just the smallest ways when I was a child, pointing out the beautiful and aromatic flowers on our way to school. I have friends that encourage and inspire me every day. My daughter Lilli is a constant inspiration with her generosity of spirit. I find woman often encourage each other to follow their dreams and I love that.
What is inspiring you at the moment (reading/ watching/learning)?
I always get very inspired by going to the Art Museum – I love the creativity. I’ve been traveling a lot this year doing research for my fourth book and I find different countries like France, Japan and Korea extremely inspiring. I love to constantly learn and I have a curious mind so I listen to podcasts while out walking. A couple of my favorites are 99% invisible which is about hidden design and Here’s the thing which is about people’s lives. I find people infinitely interesting. I’ve just finished reading First Man about Neil Armstrong, but my favorite author would have to be Stephen King – just love him.
Do you have a message for women over 40?
I have several. Don’t underestimate yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You’re not invisible – you’re beautiful.
What does the future hold for you?
I want to write more about what I believe in and hope that these books will inspire and empower other woman. And hopefully many hours on the hammock with my daughter reading inspirational books.
Bernadette Fisers has worked in hair and makeup for fashion and advertising photoshoots for over 20 years, and is now one of Australia’s foremost fashion makeup artists and hairstylists. She has travelled all over the world working on many famous faces – including Tina Arena, Jesinta Campbell and Jessica Mauboy. In 2017, Bernadette’s debut book The Little Book of Big Weightloss became an international sensation, selling in 29 countries worldwide. She is also the author of The Little Book of Big Happiness, published in April 2018 and more recently, The Little Book of Big Beauty