By Shahael Myrthil
Vera Moore aspired to be an actress, but little did she know that she would end up being the CEO of her own cosmetics firm who advocates to girls that it’s “not about a lipstick that should make you feel pretty, it’s about the beauty within that surrounds your heart.”
Moore’s Advice on Success
Moore visited Nassau Community College on Saturday, October 16th, to be interviewed by the participants in Long Island Girl Talk, a program sponsored by the Women’s Studies Project and the Carol Kestenbaum Foundation and made possible by a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The program is an academic enrichment program for teen girls who are given technical training in mass communications under the wings of Professor Marcia McNair (English Department), Elaine P. Smith of the Nassau County Board of Elections, Natasha Nurse of DressingRoom8, and former NCC student Stephanie Lombardo. In the interview, Moore shared her story about how she didn’t let her humble beginnings inhibit her from achieving the American Dream.
Raised in a family of six siblings, money was tight, and even so Moore felt rich with the love and support she had received from her family. Despite being the youngest out of her siblings, she was like a firecracker ignited with a fuel of determination, to rise out of poverty and make a difference for her family. She did just that when she bought her parents their very own home, five years after she was casted on the soap opera “Another World.” While starring on the show as Nurse Linda, she realized there was a void in the market, seeing that makeup brands were not catering to the skin tones of African Americans.
“It didn’t make sense to go to a department store and barely see products for black people,” she said.
Frustrated by that, a mission was curated where she vowed to eradicate that issue. This was when Vera Moore Cosmetics was born. Thirty-seven years later her company is still going strong. Moore said she’ll never forget her journey because, for one thing, the first 15 years of her business, she “starved,” working every day to see her vision come to life.
The audience was in awe, when Moore mentioned the decision she took in mortgaging her house to cover the expenses to finance her dreams in launching her own company and opening a store at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, NY. It took her three years to break down that barrier, but when she finally did, she expressed what an exhilarating feeling that was to be the very first African American to open a store there. She saw a niche in the market and went after it.
Moore’s Skincare Advice
“I specifically started my line for pitch-black women,” she said.
“Vera, I’m too dark. They don’t have colors for me,” she heard a lot from her customers before they grew familiar with her brand that offers an assortment of shades stocked, from caramel, to expresso, to mocha. Vera Moore Cosmetics has it all. Soon after capturing the hearts of African American women, who came raving about how thankful they were to have a brand of affordable makeups to them, she decided to expand her line and market to women of all skin colors, and even started a line of skin treatments with the help of her daughter Consuella Helms-Jeule, a licensed esthetician. Makeup is meant to accentuate your beauty, not hide it.
“If you have bad skin, your makeup won’t look that great.” she said.
Vera Moore Cosmetics can be purchased through their website as well at 56 Duane Reade stores and Walgreens’ specialty-makeup “LOOK boutiques” located across the U.S, and even in China and Puerto Rico.
When asked what sets her apart from her competitors, she said, “We advocate to take care of your skin. Our makeup is not oily, red, and greasy. It’s light and soft. It’s natural and still does the job!”
As Moore said, “Skincare is the foundation, and makeup is an accessory.” Moore’s daughter Consuella Helms-Jeule, who graduated from Howard University’s School of Business and Christine Valmy International School for Esthetics Skin Care & Makeup, shared that often people come to her thinking that they have acne when, more often than not, they have skin that is congested.
When asked what the difference between the two was, she said, “Congestion is more so skin that is clogged. You need to exfoliate. You need a distinct causation lotion, something that would break that down, so you can get it out of the skin.”
Meanwhile, she noted, “Somebody that has acne, or acne-prone skin, is somebody who is excessively oily, has overproduction of the sebaceous glands, which means that the glands that produce the oil, are over-producing oil, so you see huge white bumps that typically look inflamed. Sometimes it could be red. Oily skin looks more like an orange peel, the orange has a lot of holes it in it — those are open pores.”
For those with acne prone skin, Helms-Juele recommended that you try their purifying gel wash, the herbal balancer, the oil controlling skin conditioning lotion (a liquid moisturizer) or their calendula oil-free moisturizer (a cream moisturizer).
“Those are your basics, cleansers, moisturizers and lotions,” she said. “I would also recommend the glycolic scrub, which is something that somebody with oily skin would use two times a week at most three times. You should not exfoliate every day; some people buy the cleansers that have the exfoliating beads in them, which is too harsh on your skin. You can do more damage than good. You can strip the skin of what it needs; there’s a certain thing as not having enough hydration, and you need oil in the skin. I would also suggest the camphor masque, for someone that has open pores, because the masque would help shrink them.”
Once your face has been washed, you can use one of their specialty items, like their serums. Helms-Juele stated that “Glycolic serum would be good for somebody that has oily skin; it would help with discoloration that comes from picking (on the skin), which can cause you to get scars. It would also even out the skin tone, make it clear, and vibrant.”
So regardless of your skin type, you can always rely on Vera Moore Cosmetics to keep your skin looking good while feeling MOOREFABULOUS every day of the week while not breaking the bank!