From packing Beautyblenders in her mum’s garage to travelling the world to promote the brand’s latest launch, Erica Dickerson has been involved with the iconic makeup tool from the beginning.
Erica Dickerson of Beautyblender
Now a mum of her own, Erica Dickerson understands just how much her own mother – aka Beautyblender CEO Rea Ann Silva – had to work to build up a beauty empire and raise a family simultaneously.
And now, 17 years after the invent of the tiny sponge that so many makeup artists can’t live without, Erica is helping her mum fulfil one of her earlier dreams; launching her own makeup line.
From her involvement with the empire from the get-go to her beauty tips and advice for her younger self, Erica opens up over Morning Coffee.
Describe your morning routine.
The first thing I do in the morning is I wash my face and then wake up my three-year-old daughter. I get her ready for school, and as we have an office in New York they are usually ahead of me so I have conference calls, cook breakfast… I’m always later dropping her off at school, so I have a very hit-the-street and go kind of morning.
Tell us about your role in Beautyblender.
I’ve been a part of Beautyblender from the very beginning. My mum Rea Ann Silva founded Beautyblender 17 years ago – a lot of people don’t realise how long we’ve actually been around. I was actually the first Beautyblender assembler, we started packaging our product in our garage so my mum would always make deals with me; ‘If you want to go out, you have to package 20 or 40 Beautyblenders’.
Then my mum needed a model, so I was free, and then I joined our social presence and helped it grow, and now I moved into our broadcast business, so I think I’ve always been a brand ambassador. I wear many different hats.
How has this tiny little sponge created such a huge beauty buzz?
I think really it comes down to the fact that it actually works. It’s not a gimmick. People use it and immediately get results and makeup is such a personal experience. It can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it before, and Beautyblender takes the fear out of makeup. It’s easy to use, it’s fool-proof and we came onto the scene at the perfect time when YouTube was blowing up and makeup influencers were using our product and it’s so recognisable and it just caught on.
So social media played a major role?
It’s been an incredible tool. We are one of a few brands that really hasn’t had to do much as far as pushing it socially, it’s been very organic from the beginning. People just gravitate towards it and also I think our colour is so iconic, it just stands out. My mum is a professional makeup artist, so everything begins from a professional perspective. Sometimes that can be intimidating, but I think with Beautyblender we really bridged that gap where the consumer can feel like a professional makeup artist but not be intimidated by the products that they’re using.
What can you tell us about ‘Bounce’ foundation?
So Bounce is our liquid whip long-wear velvety matte foundation. There’s nothing like it on the market, I’m so proud of this product. The liquid whip formula is very light on the skin, but our foundation is medium to full coverage, so even if you are a woman who likes the full coverage look or a lighter application, Bounce can be sheered out or it can be buildable. It allows you to play with it.
The velvety matte finish is very unique as well. Traditionally matte can be very flat and drying, our foundation is matte but it has dimension. I love where you can see it in the sun, you still have a glow. The long-lasting effect is incredible as well. I was on a boat in Miami all day and I was wearing Bounce and it did not budge. It really does last. It lasts through heat, it lasts through the day, I can definitely proudly say that there isn’t anything out there like our foundation. I’m so excited that we can bring it out here.
My mum being a professional makeup artist, she always had a dream to have her own makeup line. Beautyblender actually happened first by accident, so when Beautyblender took off her plans to put out a makeup line took a back seat as she focused on growing her business. Once we solidified our position as the first and the original Beautyblender, she was ready to fulfil this dream. It made sense to start with complexion as that’s what a Beautyblender is used for and we really took our time creating a formula that works beautifully with our product. Our packaging has a built-in palette, where you can ‘bounce’ you blender so no more dispensing your makeup on the back of your hand, you use the foundation bottle as your makeup palette which is super innovative. Our brand is all about innovation and creating new ways of applying makeup. I’m so excited to see how we build out our line.
What can we always find in your beauty bag?
Obviously Beautyblender. Definitely Bounce. I also like our Power Puff which is our powdering tool, I’m obsessed with Fenty Beauty Glass Bomp lip gloss, and then mascara. Mascara can just brighten any look, even if you don’t have foundation on it can make you look awake.
What is your definition of beauty?
I think there are definitely a lot of definitions of beauty, but for me it’s confidence. I think self-confidence, whether you’re wearing sweat pants, makeup, no makeup, designer, thrift, if you have confidence when you walk into a room, people feel that, people see that. I think also being kind, humble, all those things define beauty for me.
Best beauty tip you can share?
Wear sunscreen. That’s what my mum has pushed into my brain since I was a kid, I’ve been wearing sunscreen since birth.
What beauty trends do you love at the moment?
Just beautiful skin. A lot of that starts with skincare, what you put into your body. Beautiful glowing skin. Obviously, I like highlighters, glossy highlights, that natural glow. Then I would also say, really beautiful ingredients. Skincare is becoming so important to so many brands and women and just having really amazing ingredients in our products.
For example, Bounce has birch water extract which is great for plumping the skin, and hyaluronic acid which has amazing qualities for the skin as well. So I think, ingredients and really pushing forward with skincare and colour in foundation, and bridging that gap.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
To be kind to yourself. It’s very hard in the time that we live in. I don’t envy teenagers growing up in this time of social media. But I think to be kind to yourself, understanding that everyone’s version of beauty is different and to not put so much importance of what other people’s definition of beauty. What matters is what you think is beautiful, which starts with being nice and kind to yourself.
Describe your personal style in one word.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a book on how to find true happiness and it also translates into business for me. The Four Agreements are to be impeccable with your work, don’t make assumptions do your best and don’t take anything personally. All those things really translate into life and business. As far as Podcasts go, I like This American Life. I also love murder mysteries and crime, it takes me away, it’s like going to the movies.
How do you want the world to remember you?
As a woman who empowered other people. When they were around me felt that I was lifting them up, and we lifted each other up. I think it’s so important in the time that we’re in right now to support one another and to push people forward and not backwards.