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Glamour Women’s Month Series: Getting to know Nicole Norman

Owner of Digital Marketing Agency Normadic Media and Founder of Skinny Colour Cosmetics

The "skinny colour" concept entered my world years ago when I was a young girl. A first-grader like any other, except the princesses and fairies I drew only had one skin tone, that was, and that colour was beige. With Skinny Colour Cosmetics, I want to change that. I want to change the narrative of what "skinny colour" is because the truth is every colour is skinny colour. I want to change the narrative of othering people because they don't align with outdated and inaccurate definitions of beauty. With this purpose in mind, we felt that real, no-nonsense skincare was the way to go. To help people feel confident in their skin, instead of encouraging them to simply cover up flaws and hide characteristics that make their skin unique and reclaim, not only their Skinny Colour but what it means to be authentically themselves!

Which woman has positively impacted you in your career/business? And what is the one lesson she taught you?

I have always been inspired by women in business. I enjoy following their journey and taking inspiration from their stories. In terms of a business role model, I enjoy Maria Hatzistefanis, the founder of Rodial Beauty. She built Rodial from the ground up into a $90 million operation. In her book, she speaks about going all-in after being fired from her corporate job and how she did absolutely everything from a small back room in her house. I relate a lot to the challenges of bootstrapping my business and doing it all myself. Her story motivates me to keep going!

What inspired your business idea and how did you start?

I’ve always loved fashion and beauty from a young age and this was the industry I knew wanted to work in one way or another. I dabbled in modelling, fashion design and magazine before finding my feet in the digital marketing space. I started Skinny Colour Cosmetics during the 2020 lockdown, as many small businesses did. I guess we could no longer postpone our dreams due to “not having the time”. The initial idea came about years back and I was in the perfect place to go for it! The concept of “Skinny Colour” dates back to my early school days. We used to colour in with these twister crayons and we would always refer to the beige shade as ‘skinny colour’. It wasn’t something I even recognised as unrelatable at that point, it was just the norm. Now, years later I’m on a mission to reclaim my skinny colour and disrupt outdated definitions of the norm through inclusive cosmetics ranges and no-nonsense skincare.

What are the three words that spring to mind when you hear Women’s Day/Month?

Empowering, celebration and change

What inspires you to be beautiful?

I try to remember the times that I’ve felt really good about myself inside and out and use that as my inspiration to reach that feeling again. It's so important for me to hold that motivation within myself as it's so easy in the age of social media to fall into the trap of doing this for other people or so that you can look good online. As I've gotten older, I’ve also realised that feeling good for me, truly does feel the best!

Has being a woman impacted your level of success in the industry? If yes, please provide clarity as to hindrances etc.

I don’t believe that being a woman has hindered me in my career in any way. I believe that there were many instances where it made me the best choice for the opportunity at the time. I like to look at it as an advantage and would encourage young girls and women to do the same. Walk into the room and let they know they need you, not simply because you are a woman, but because of what you bring to the table!

What is your personal beauty mantra?

Good skin is everything! I’m at a point in my life where I now feel comfortable heading out with just a bit of sunscreen on and no makeup at all. It did not use to be that way! Taking care of my skin truly changed things for me.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female success?

A lack of self-belief will stop you in your tracks before you even get started. I whole heartedly believe that self-belief is the most important ingredient to making your dreams come true. You have to believe you can do it.

Your favourite beauty moment?

I want to say it is a tie between dewy and glass skin, but I am not going to lie – I was really into the heavy Kim K contour era!

Your biggest motivation?

I am motivated by progress. I need to see movement and once I do, it gets me excited to do more and more. That’s where momentum kicks in and you start to fly! That’s why I am such a big advocate of just starting. Don’t wait till you have it all planned out, or till it's perfect, just start and you can perfect it along the way. The quicker you start, the quicker you will see progress.

What goals have you set for yourself? And do you have motivation for women out there who sometimes feel like giving up when they don’t reach their goals at the time they had anticipated?

I am always setting goals for myself and always changing and updating them as I go along. I’ve recently started a weekly “manifestation journal” where I write down my goals for the week and tick them off once I achieve them. I’ll even include smaller, more manageable goals that I know I can easily achieve to get the momentum going! I would recommend writing down your goals and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. I also know what it feels like to set a goal for yourself and not achieve it. My advice, in this case, is to revisit your goal and try to understand the reasons why you may not have met your goal. Rework your strategy and try again!

What is the most rewarding part about what you do?

There are so many parts of what I do that make it truly enjoyable, but the number reason has to be being able to do what I want and love to do.

What does it mean to you to be a young female entrepreneur in South Africa today?

It's an experience mixed with challenges, opportunity, fear of the unknown, but excited about it too. It is a truly unique experience to build a business from the ground up in a continually developing industry in a developing country. It is quite something!

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) especially women and children abuse has been prevalent in the country for a very long time and there have been various initiatives that speak to this but the scourge of abuse still continues at a large scale, what would you advise as a solution going forward? And who should be involved?

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an issue that touches me very deeply on a personal level as I know it does for many of my fellow South African. It is a complex issue at its core and one that we cannot simply turn to the government to fix. It's something we as a nation need to drive change and that change needs to come from everyone – especially men. Without this kind of collective turnaround, our protests, social posts and campaigns can only do so much.

What are some of the great possibilities about being a woman in the world right now, that may not be easy to see but you feel women should take full advantage of without being ashamed or afraid?

It definitely can feel like a scary time to exist in the world, especially as a woman, but often times opportunities present themselves in these environments. I think one such opportunity is the chance to change the narrative surrounding women in various industries and become the role models many of us yearned for growing up.

How has self-care contributed to the woman you are in all facets of your life? Why is self care important, particularly for women, as most women are raised to believe that they have to put everyone else first before themselves?

True self-care is more than just the manicures and face masks, it truly does go deeper than that and it’s something that I continue to work on to this day. To me, self-care is truly giving yourself what you need so that you can continue to go out and do good.

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