The beauty industry is not the usual setting for a revolution. But since 2010, the BOOM! cosmetics company has been pushing a fairly radical agenda, one that is refreshing and long-needed for women like us.
BOOM! was founded by Cindy Joseph, who was first a makeup artist and then in her 50s became a model. The company’s philosophy is “pro-age,” a direct swipe at all the products that purport to be “anti-aging.” When the rest of the world is ignoring women 50-plus or making us feel as if we should apologize for our crows’ feet, BOOM! is celebrating our beauty.
Since 2010, the cosmetic company BOOM! has been pushing a fairly radical agenda.
For her daily regimen, Joseph uses only her Boomsticks (more about those below) rather than the usual makeup products. “I never use foundation, powders, eyeshadows, eyeliner, concealer, etc,” she says. “Every few months, I go without a stitch of makeup for at least a week no matter what the occasion. I do that to eliminate any ‘makeup addiction’ or negative self-judgment.”
As her company continues to…uh…boom, we caught up with her to discuss why her philosophy is important—for our faces and our psyches.
1. How long did you work on developing your products before you launched BOOM!?
BOOM! was launched July of 2010. My product ideas came to me within a nano second; I knew exactly I wanted to create. The business plan and the research and development took a little over a year. BOOM!’s pro-age philosophy was something I was already living, and I made BOOM! the platform for the Pro-age Revolution. My desire was to offer women an honest, realistic, and pro-age approach to their personal self-care.
2. What skills and experiences in your previous careers have helped you develop BOOM!?
When it was suggested to me to create a cosmetic line using the knowledge from my makeup career and blending that with the fame of my modeling career, my initial response was, “The world does not need another tube of lipstick!” However, it got me thinking, and once I realized women had no access to an age-positive message from any of the currently existing cosmetic companies, I decided to create the first pro-age skin care and cosmetic line in the world!
The women I made up spoke to me about how they felt about themselves and how the societal messages about beauty and age had impacted them.
My career as a makeup artist allowed me to work with thousands of women, which gave me years of experience with a huge variety of skin types and skin tones. I was also relating with the women I was making up. I listened to women of all ages and cultures from around the world. They spoke to me about how they felt about themselves and how the societal messages about beauty and age had impacted them.
When I started modeling at age 49, I was approached on the street by women who told me how my image inspired them to throw out their hair dye and anti-aging creams and that they were finally celebrating their ageful beauty. Both of my careers made me aware of how much women wanted support in feeling positive about their age.
3. Why did you choose to create a beauty company with three main products for the face?
I wanted to offer women pared-down, safe, easy-to-use products with nothing extraneous. I wanted to offer products that would give them added color and glow and a little bling, all the while keeping them looking natural and like themselves. The Boomstick Trio are three multitasking sticks that give moisture, color, and radiance to the skin. Any woman, no matter her age or skin tone, can use the Boomstick Trio to look healthy and vibrant with no fuss in just a few minutes.
4. You’ve got beautiful bone structure and skin. Can those of us who are not so genetically blessed get away with just applying three products?
I consider all bone structure as beautiful. So let’s start with that viewpoint and consider that makeup is simply for fun and skincare is part of our health regimen.
The Boomstick Trio has to be experienced to really understand how simple, universal, and effective each Boomstick is. Glo is for moisturizing any part of your body: your face, eyes, lips, cuticles, elbows, and more. Color creates a healthy blushed look for your lips, cheeks, forehead, neck, eyes, or where ever you choose. Glimmer is for a soft pearlescent radiance that can be use on any area of your face and body—eyelids, brow bone, cheek bones, shoulders, and more. All three match all skin tones from porcelain to chocolate. Our Boomstick Trios can be used separately, together, or with any other products you wish.
Shifting our anti-age viewpoints to pro-age could encourage us all to live our whole life, not just our youth, with enthusiasm and joy.
5. We love that you call your company “pro-age.” Tell us why you use that term.
Age gets a bad rap in our society. Ageism is prevalent throughout our country. We commit ageism against ourselves and each other every day. The truth is, aging is simply another word for living. You start when you’re born and stop when you die. Each year of our lives brings us more and makes us more. We collect skills, experiences, knowledge, and self-awareness and more. Shifting our anti-age viewpoints to pro-age could encourage us all to live our whole life, not just our youth, with enthusiasm and joy.
6. Were you using “pro-age” before Allure magazine took the step last year of banning the word “anti-aging”?
I have been speaking about a pro-age for many years. I have not only been speaking publicly about pro-age since early 2010, I have coined the name for this entire movement. It’s the Pro-Age Revolution, and it is certainly about time!
I led a walk in 2012 with the Silver Sisters in Time Square that was covered by the New York Times. I pulled together a Pro-Age Revolution rally in Union Square in San Francisco in 2013. I have a TEDx talk titled “The Pro-Age Revolution.” I have covered topics like “The Prime of Life” and “ Another Kind of Beautiful” and all things age positive in my video blog “Saturdays with Cindy” since 2012. We have an ongoing campaign called Women of the Pro-Age Revolution, which consists of women sharing their experiences of “getting older.”
7. What can you tell us about the growth of BOOM!, as far as numbers of customers or product sales. What are some of your favorite comments from customers?
BOOM! has grown exponentially over the last few years. We have over 600,000 email subscribers, over 300,000 Facebook fans, and over 350,000 individual customers. We had our breakout year in 2015 when our company grew by an astounding 1,000 percent. BOOM! gets over five million video views per month and reaches 4.6 million women on a monthly basis with our content.
The truth is, aging is simply another word for living.
I am proud to say that we have never compromised our ethics, philosophy, or products. We have an ever-growing community of customers and fans who share their stories of trials and triumphs with us. Many of these letters bring me to tears of joy.
8. What are your future plans for BOOM!?
We will continue to share our pro-age viewpoints throughout our videos and articles and our Women of the Pro-Age Revolution series. We are launching a new product this year. Stay tuned. I can assure you we will only offer products that are pure, safe, sustainably made, useful, and effective.
9. What advice do you have for women who want to start a new business or make a change in their careers after 50?
If it sounds like fun and your idea brings you pleasure and energy, then go for it. Passion for what you are doing is of the utmost importance. But that is not all it takes. You must have a clear head and focus. Start with a business plan that includes all your dreams and the step-by-step process of how you will manifest them. I was lucky to get advice from a successful entrepreneur who told me, “Your business plan is your passport. It will give your entry to investors, banks, talented employees. It is also your map. It will keep you on your path and lead you to where you want to be.”
You have a lot to bring to the table. Don’t take ageism personally.
Submerge yourself in every aspect of your business, even if you will eventually hire employees to fulfill each role. Use mentors to guide you. Read about those who have already succeeded in your field to learn about the possible pitfalls that you may encounter and how to avoid them. Also know that you will still experience trials and errors. Once you trust your vision and yourself, you can go forth.
Be gentle on yourself. Make sure you are having fun. Be kind to all those you work with and encounter: your partners, your vendors, your employees, and your customers. Remember you cannot do it all alone. Your team is your strength, and treating them well is critical to your success.
If you are changing careers in your 50s or later, trust that you have learned a lot. Wisdom, skills, knowledge: You have a lot to bring to the table. Don’t take ageism personally. We all do it. Keep your sense of humor about it. Brag with humility. Know that when you are confident, others feel confidence in you.