Seven Secrets of Wellbeing: Tricia Cusden
We’ve known and admired Tricia Cusden, now seventysomething, since she launched Look Fabulous Forever, her makeup range specifically formulated for older women, in 2013. (And talk about looking fabulous – yes she does.)
When we wrote about the range on beautybible.com, the response was staggering. From an initial two makeup tutorial videos online demonstrating the products, there are now over 70 tutorials on YouTube. Added to which Tricia has written a book, Living the Life More Fabulous, which is endorsed by Joanna Lumley – need we say more? (Actually, yes… we think it’s great, too.)
We are fully paid-fans of Tricia Cusden so we are delighted that she agreed to share her seven secrets of wellbeing with Beauty Bible.
Accepting my age but not letting it define or limit me. People say ‘age is just a number’ but I found turning 70 very challenging, which surprised me as I sailed through the ‘I’m getting older’ milestones at 50 and 60. My wellbeing was severely affected by my 70th birthday, so I have had to find ways to come to terms with it. The solution for me has been to acknowledge my feelings but also question the true significance that turning 70 has had for me and my life. My mother died at 67, but I know that if she had lived, she would have carried on working, looking immaculate and being open to everything that life has to offer - which is what I intend to do!
Listening to my body clock. I have just read Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep and it was a revelation! I had long believed that sleep before midnight was qualitatively better than sleep later in the night, but I found it hard to fall asleep before midnight. I also thought there was something wrong with me because I am so groggy in the mornings. Now I know that this is perfectly normal for ‘owls’ like me. So I now go to bed when I am tired and read until about midnight, then I sleep deeply for eight hours. By listening to my body I am now sleeping better than I have ever done.
Exercise is an essential element of wellbeing in later life. I had never exercised before I started with a personal trainer at 68. I knew nothing about exercising apart from the fact that most people seemed to think it was a good idea! I can’t say I enjoy the actual exercising (yet) but my body is responding brilliantly and I do enjoy having all the benefits of a fitter, more flexible and stronger body.
I take pleasure in small things every day. I realised some time ago that savouring the odd moments of pleasure in a busy day is the key to a happy life. It’s about awareness, attention and appreciation of something as simple as the beautiful magnolia trees currently in bloom in my London street or the first sip of a delicious cup of tea - or whatever floats your boat!
I see my daily skincare and makeup routine as a creative ritual. I have never gone without make-up in well over 50 years! I have acne rosacea so I often peer into my mirror first thing in quiet desperation at my blotchy, spotty skin. I see the 30 minutes spent cleansing, moisturising and applying my makeup as a deeply satisfying ritual that helps me to face the day. Once I have completed my ‘maquillage’ (as Joanna Lumley would say…), I feel that daily renewal of confidence, which contributes so much to feeling good about myself.
I don't believe in counting calories! I have struggled with my weight for years and it’s taken me a long time to realise that my body wants nourishment not counting calories. I now eat a largely Mediterranean diet based around fish, vegetables, yoghurt, nuts, seeds and olive oil. I eat very little bread, cake or biscuits and am surprised at how much better I feel as a result. I have a very sweet tooth, so it’s not been easy but I know that the quality of my life in very old age will largely be determined by the dietary choices I make now.
Spending time with my family is so important. I have two daughters who both work with me and five grandchildren ranging in age from 18 months to nine years. India is six and has special needs and, like all my grandchildren, she brings me so much joy. It was her birth and the subsequent year that she spent in hospital that inspired me to start Look Fabulous Forever and I cannot imagine my life without either the business or these incredibly beautiful little beings.