“There’s a big trend of ‘no makeup’ makeup now. So, that effortless ‘oh you don’t have makeup on’ but your skin looks perfect? That’s makeup. Beauty and wellness are converging, and the idea is, that makeup is a form of self-care. It’s like, take 10 minutes to put on your sunscreen every day or a little makeup. In part, so that looking good on the outside, feeds feeling good on the inside.” Said Alberta Chu, Entrepreneur and Documentary Filmmaker.
Are you ready to reengage with the outside world? In the past three years, most of us were forced to become insular. But calendars are getting full again. And many of us have mixed feelings, between the logistics and social expectations, of meeting in real life. It’s a bit like getting on stage. And whether you’re filled with glee, or remorse, comes down to confidence.
We all need the right conditions and mindset to show up strong. And after being so attentive to others, like our families, it’s hard to return attention to ourselves. But it’s necessary. And there are benefits to reconnecting in person again. So, how can you find the tools to feel good about it?
Get Out from Behind the Screen
Alberta said, “The shutdown during the pandemic really pushed us into our screens more. And for some people, a psychological disorder, Zoom dysmorphia, arose. An anxiety syndrome, where people were so tired of seeing their own faces on Zoom, they started to hate their features. Dr. Shadi Kourosh, a dermatology professor at Harvard who is on our board, coined the phrase and published a paper with her colleagues about it.” You may wonder how a scientist turned filmmaker, and now tech entrepreneur, became an expert on faces. Alberta developed an app, with the original goal to build the largest “taxonomy” of face shapes. Which led her to an in-depth study on facial features.
Rediscover What Makes You Unique
Alberta explained, “A few years ago, my husband and I were giving public talks for a series called Nerd Nite. His was on the idea of genomics and social networking and mine was on the history of art and science. But he also talked about the genetics of faces. We got really interested in this idea. And developed a citizen science project for people to make 3D maps of their faces. And that went on for several years. We’re not sure how the word got out but people all over the world were finding it.”
She described the project to other entrepreneurs, including some in the beauty industry, during the pandemic. And was inspired to pivot use of the technology. She said, “They were like, ‘well you have a 3D face mapping app, why don’t you get into beauty?’ And so, I partnered with some makeup artists, and now it’s a beauty app. It shows professional makeup application techniques. And 3D augmented reality makeup maps, based on your face shape.”
And Love How You Show Up
The Zoom dysmorphia discovery came from higher numbers of people requesting plastic surgery during the pandemic. But long before Zoom, many had a love/hate relationship with their looks. Because we’re often judged on what feel like impossible standards. And the premium our culture places on youth, tends to disproportionately affect women.
But we don’t have to play that game. We can embrace what feels or looks good to us, without the self-judgement. Alberta’s been fascinated with the intersection of art and science for a long time. And now, how it ties to beauty, technology, and confidence. She said, “Honestly, it’s positive for women to have beauty, wellness, fitness, feeling good and taking care of ourselves, at the forefront.”
When Returning to Performance
Alberta admits she didn’t think much about makeup before developing this version of the app. She explained, “I had a huge learning curve in the past year working closely with makeup artists. And wow, there are a lot of little tips and tricks! I didn’t use concealer or highlight before. But they apply highlight to parts of your face that you want to bring forward. It’s little things that help the most in photos.”
Many of us use social media in our careers. And with the rise of video to build trust and connection, suddenly, we need more than just a new headshot every few years. She added, “You don’t have to do a smokey eye to go to the supermarket but it’s nice to be able to know how. And with social media, someone’s always going to want to take a picture, and that’s when it makes the biggest difference.”
Find Ways to Boost Confidence
Most Moms feel overloaded with responsibility and care for others. So, our needs can easily slide into the backdrop. Thoughtful attention, on ourselves, is a shift. Alberta said, “There’s a whole renaissance going on in beauty and wellness now. It’s all part of ‘look good, feel good.’ There’s new technology and multipurpose products, like contour sunscreen. I mean you can’t keep going with the stuff that you’ve had forever. There’s never been a better time to upgrade your regimens.”
Most Moms in our research study have given up all forms of self-care in the pandemic. So, the idea of refocusing on what makes you feel good and is good for your body, including your skin, is an encouraging change. But how do we embrace it?
Including New Rituals of Self-Attention
Alberta said, “We all need to make time for self-care. When I feel busy, it’s the first thing I stop doing. I’ll think, ‘I don’t have time to exercise or go on a walk’ but you know that is the last thing I should be giving up when I’m feeling stressed and busy! Do I really need to sit in front of my computer screen for another hour? No, I don’t. I need to go for a walk to clear my head and get some perspective.”
Alberta admits it’s difficult to do, not just as a Mom, but an entrepreneur building a business. “There is this whole thing about ‘playing is working’ that I love. You can figure out work problems, while you’re having a good time, doing something else. Like some people have their best ideas in the shower!” And it’s not as if you can reach the end to your to-do list.
Yet, when you’re exhausted, it’s difficult to make progress. Many of us result to the doom scroll versus shifting to something better. Alberta said, “You can’t keep beating yourself up doing social media every minute. Because it can be a huge time sink. Checking it can suck you in and how valuable and productive is it really? We all have to use it for marketing, but you need to have that daily break. Whether it’s a walk, exercise or visiting an art gallery.”
Many of us are returning to performance at some level in our lives. And as Alberta wisely states, feeling good about how you show up, attend to your needs and build confidence, is critical. We don’t have to live in perpetual service to others. So, go on and bring rituals that build confidence and energy back into your life!
Many thanks to the talented Alberta Chu!
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Facetopo Founder and cultural entrepreneur, Alberta Chu, thrives on innovation that builds bridges. By connecting people to information and each other. In developing Facetopo: The Beauty Education app, she combines technology and artistry to create a digital tool to advance inclusivity and wellness in the beauty industry.
The Facetopo app provides personalized face shape analysis and shows how to apply makeup according to your face shape with links to purchase cosmetics directly.
Her diverse work experience spans biotechnology research, science consulting, documentary filmmaking, and arts advocacy.
Tags: Confidence, Entrepreneurship for Moms, Self-Care For Moms, Self-Confidence for Moms, Wellness and Beauty Technology