Hello, all my divas and gurus! I am reposting this interview from 2018. Due to moving my blog from Squarespace back to Blogger, unfortunately, I lost many interviews including this one. So, I will be posting what I was able to salvage from that platform move. Thanks again, everyone!
Hello, all my fashion divas and gurus! I am happy to introduce you to C.E.O Sylvia Russell of PUCKER'D Cosmetic. Sylvia Russell has been working in entertainment and with celebrities for over 25 years. She was the key makeup artist for the Tampa Bay cheerleaders and worked on various celebrities, ranging from Hulk Hogan and family to foodie Adam Richman and HSN show hosts. Russell has been a beauty and lifestyle expert host for 10 years in Tampa at WFLA, Channel 8 @ The Daytime Show, and Channel 10 @studio10. She has also worked for NBC Dateline, TLC Network, The Travel Channel and has been an educator in the classroom for top beauty companies, as well as owned and managed salon startups. Russell founded the business in August 2017 in St. Petersburg Florida and is a proud mother of 3.
So, without further ado
Here is Heavy on Fashion Talks to Sylvia Russel of PUCKER'D Cosmetic
How has your hometown influenced your sense of style?
I grew up in Bristol Pa, right outside of Philly. I believe it was the best time in fashion. Watching my mother and father get dressed to go out. They were always sharp. My sister was the real fashionista always shopping and buying popular Sassoon jeans or being the first to have Chuck Taylors. My close girlfriends (4 sisters) were always in the latest styles, their father would take them shopping every weekend it seemed. I grew up in the '70s when disco was born, everything was big, big hair, big bell bottoms. It was great! My father was the town photographer and so I grew up in front of the camera pretending to model the latest fashions. Because I wasn't the prettiest, it was always important for me to dress neatly and have my hair done.
What's your first memory of makeup?
My very first memory of makeup is of me watching my mother use her bingo marker as an eyeliner and eyebrows She had one color for her lips and cheeks. In the end, it looked great. When she would leave I would try and duplicate what I saw.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I have been a beauty pageant director.
What has surprised you most about working in the cosmetic industry?
What surprised me the most is that with all the advances in makeup and it's still difficult to find a line of cosmetics for black women where the colors actually look good, or if they even have them. The big companies don't market specifically towards darker skin, they always put us with 2 or more white girls why not a commercial with all black women. We have money to spend as well.
What were the deciding factors in starting Puckerd cosmetics?
I had taken a hiatus from the hair business and needed time to reflect on my next move. I was ready for change and I wanted it, I prayed for it to come in a big way. Separating from my husband of 18 years had a lot to do with me making the JUMP!!
What makes Puckerd different from other cosmetic lines on the market?
Puckerd cosmetics is beauty with a statement. I want our lipsticks to help women make a statement in their daily lives that spill over into their work lives and ultimately help them become empowered to pick and choose a life of independence and freedom. Free from what society says they must do.
What do you find most challenging about starting a cosmetic line?
Money... not having enough
What is your favorite product from Puckerd line?
I love the Mattetastic Metallics. They are creamy and long-lasting with a chromatic shine but still matte, and semi-transfer resistant. They feel weightless on the lips.
Finally, what does beauty mean to you?
Wow, Beauty is my life, from deep down inside, I remember a drawing I did when I was probably 7 or 8 it was of a salon that I was going to have, I called it the crystal palace. I have since had 3 salons. I was teased and bullied in high school, made fun of because of my dark skin, so I wore makeup all the time trying to look better. I learned along the way that beauty starts on the inside. No matter how pretty or ugly a person their appearance can change instantly the minute you get a good look at them on the inside. Beauty for me is about creating something out of nothing, giving life to something that didn't exist. Making someone smile, or cry because they see themselves as beautiful from the inside out.