Hey Babe! Beautiful Outside And In: Unraveling Our Relationship With Makeup With Nicole Abbott
What is your relationship with makeup? Whether you decide to wear makeup or not, in this episode, Karen Pulver and her Goddesses talk about facing roadblocks and how Nicole Abbott, the Founder of Hey Babe! Cosmetics, found her passion to create her own makeup line. As a professional makeup artist, Nicole has always wanted to create her perfect PINK lip color. After several life-changing events that set her back, including being a widow twice and a house fire, Nicole learned that life is not a dress rehearsal and to embrace new challenges life throws your way. She discovered her Inner Goddess along this journey and created a line that she had fun doing for herself and that she is passionate about. Listen to her journey, marvel at her resilience and passion, and get some pretty awesome makeup tips to look and feel your best whether you want a light look, going out look, or even the “five min zoom” product lesson and products. Hey Babe, it’s time for you!
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Hey Babe! Beautiful Outside And In: Unraveling Our Relationship With Makeup With Nicole Abbott
What is your relationship to makeup? Are you wearing makeup? Do you feel like you have to wear makeup? Growing up, I was told by my mother to never leave the house without my eyeliner on. This was because when she grew up, she took a modeling class. They told her to always look her best and to feel like she was going to be meeting the Queen of England. She always put makeup on to leave the house. We’re going to talk about makeup, how and why we use it, how it makes us feel inside and outside, and we’re going to have no judgment. We’re going to be vulnerable. We’re going to talk about it. When I don’t wear makeup, a lot of people say, “Are you okay? You look tired. Are you sick?” It doesn’t mean that I always wear makeup. I’ll turn to them and say, “No, I’m perfectly healthy. I’m feeling great. This is me. This is my natural face.” When I want that little sparkle or that little radiant glow, I will wear it. What is your relationship to makeup?
Our guest is Nicole Abbott. She is a fellow Canadian. I was also born in Toronto, Canada. She grew up in a house of women surrounded by beauty her entire life. Her experience as a professional makeup artist has led her to follow her dreams. She has always had a passion for the beauty and cosmetic industry. She’s the mother of two wonderful children. She’s twice widowed and exceptionally brave. Her family lives by two simple mottos and I love these, “Life is not a dress rehearsal,” and “Embrace new challenges.” It is with this in mind that she’s fulfilled her dreams of creating her own makeup line. Hey Babe Cosmetics is an exclusive line of makeup developed and manufactured in Toronto, Canada. She believes that showing the world your natural beauty is right at your fingertips. Her formula is to keep it simple and occasionally add a pop of glam. Every Hey Babe has their own individual style. Let’s enhance your beautiful inner Hey Babe and as we like to say, your inner goddess. Welcome, Nicole.
Thank you for saying yes to joining us. I’m excited to talk about your relationship with makeup.
Like the other goddesses, mine started a young age too. I was probably fourteen when I was mixing with my mom’s makeup. I always had experimenting stuff like that. I was applying too much makeup. My eyes were always full of shadow. When I was walking, my eyeshadow turned the corner before I did. I’ve always had a love for it. I was seventeen when I got my makeup artist license and went to school. I always wanted my own makeup line. It was a dream and finally, it’s here, which is a long story.
We’re going to get into that story because it is quite incredible and being a grateful goddess, which I believe every single person is tapping into that inner goddess. I feel like you’ve done that and embraced your inner goddess. You’re like, “You go, girl.” You are doing it, but it was not without hardship. It was not without roadblocks, things stopping you perhaps or having setbacks. If you wouldn’t mind talking about that a little bit because that is important to our readers, especially if there’s something that you find that you’re interested in trying or doing, and you feel constantly being pushed away from it. How do you get past that? Tell us a little bit about your background, what happened to you, and then what inspires you to continue with your dream?
I’m married twice and widowed twice. That alone is a big pill to swallow. I’ve been dealing with grief for many years. My first husband, Charles, passed away when I was 28 and my son was eight months old. Charles had Burkitt’s lymphoma and his diagnosis to death was six months, which we can all talk about what we’ve done in the last six months, which was not a long time. I had an infant and within a few years after Charles passed away, I met Allen. He was my second husband. He had kidney disease. Allen had a transplanted kidney for 21 years. He had his mom’s kidney, which worked beautifully. Transplanted kidneys only last a certain amount of time. We were grateful that we had 21 years with his kidney. In the last four years of his life, his kidneys started to fail.
He needed to go on dialysis but he was fighting it. He didn’t want to go on dialysis because his whole dialysis life is something he didn’t want to give into. Those twenty years of two husbands and a lot of ups and downs, there was no time for me to do what I truly love to do. I could safely put that aside thinking, “One day, I’ll get there.” I wasn’t working full-time because I was dealing with raising my kids. Adam is my son from my first marriage and Maddie is from Allen, my second marriage. It wasn’t until Allen passed away. We backpedal a bit. I used to wear this brand, Shiseido PK 415 which was my favorite pink lipstick, and they discontinued this color.
Like many of us, it’s a little devastating when you lose that perfect pink or that color that you love. You try and source it. There was no sourcing, so I started buying it online, twelve at a time. I get my last shipment. I open up the tube and I smell something horrible. I realize it’s rancid. It’s bad. This was about three weeks after Allen passed away. I tapped it away. I was upset because I didn’t have my pink. I was also going through the motions of, “Now what? Here I am, a widow again for the second time.” It was different than it was the first time. Allen and I were married for fourteen years. Charles and I had a young love. Allen and I had older kids, so it was different.
Within a few weeks after Allen passed away, I said, “Now what? Yes, we’re in grieving mode.” I use the tools that I knew from the past and therapy and all kinds of stuff that we all need. I realized I finally had to do something for me and something that I’m passionate about, which is makeup. My Shiseido pink was rotten stale and I set out to make my pink. I started off with one pink. Hey Babe Cosmetics has five in the line. We didn’t get it right the first time. I created Girl Power and it is your everyday pink. It’s gorgeous. You can wear it with a liner, a gloss on top or on its own. I started with one lipstick, which turned into fifteen. It has then developed into lip lockers, glosses and shadow palettes. I have about 52 SKUs on the line of makeup, but it did start with one pink lipstick.
That’s the makeup side, the passionate side for me that I’ve always wanted. I always wanted my own brand. “How was I going to do it? How was I going to fund it? Where was I going to find it? Where was I going to manufacture it?” All these things were going through my head. What I chose to do was incorporate my past, what I’m passionate about, the two loves of my life: Charles and Allen. I created two fellowship funds in memories of both my husbands. I have this beautiful little line of makeup. It’s a makeup artist’s quality. I’m a makeup artist. It’s handpicked. Fifty-two SKUs in a line is not a lot of makeup. We have a specific fund for Charles and then we have a specific fund for kidney disease for Allen. Charles’ is called Charles Krowitz Burkett’s Lymphoma Fund at Princess Margaret Hospital and Allen’s is The Allen David Abbott Scar Wars Fellowship Fund at St. Michaels Hospital. That is what driving me and going.
It’s time for you to do it. I can relate to raising a family. I too raised my kids. They’re teenagers, young adults. I worked sporadically in between, but there are things I put off like this show. I put this off for the longest time and it’s time, but it’s hard when you have roadblocks. Those are not just a little bump.
Would you believe I’m in the cottage and there’s a bee in front of me, buzzing around?
I want to tell you what that means. You may or may not agree with this, but I have spoken with intuitive counselors and psychic mediums. I get messages, I get red cardinals and that is usually someone dear to me that has passed away. That would be, if you want to believe it or not, may be someone who’s passed on, that’s letting you know that they’re there. It’s up to you. People might think I’m crazy, but there is a lot of literature out there. Maybe that’s it or it could be a bee that likes your sweet smell. Thank you. That is incredible. I feel inspired by that and I do hope others will as well. I want to turn it over to Alyssa. She has a couple of questions for you.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s one of strength, resilience and perseverance with your business and it’s amazing. I wanted to ask you for some makeup tips. We’ve been spending a lot of time on Zoom for both friends and family. How do we change our makeup routine to look our best on Zoom? How do you look your best on a computer screen versus out in the real world?
A couple of things, we’re not wearing makeup these days. Like you, I’m going on Zoom meetings too. For me, it lasted about a week where I was like, “We’re all in this mode where the world is shutting down, but yet life has to go on. We have to interact. We have to get to our appointments online. We have meetings to attend.” For a week, I didn’t wear makeup and I looked in the mirror and I went, “What am I doing? How could I talk to people and not have something on my face?” There are a few things that I call the five-minute Zoom face. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time. What do I use? I do a tinted moisturizer or BB cream all over my face using my hands. I could use a beauty blender or a brush. Take it all the way down. On top of that, I use a corrector stick for under my eyes. Some of us have dark circles, some fine lines these days. My corrector stick, I take it to a V and then I take it right out. We can do the same thing on the other eye.
We use two products. A tinted moisturizer, a BB cream foundation, your corrector stick and very important are our brows. If we don’t take care of our brows or fill in our brows, we look naked. What I would do is penciling our brows. We’re also having to manage your eyebrows. We’re not going to our brow tech, we’re tweezing our brows. Some of us are tinting our brows at home. What I would do is I have my skinny, medium brow pencil. I would outline my brows first and then with light feathering strokes, fill in my brows. I would put on mascara, not necessarily eyeliner, and then I’m using Maddie Babe Gloss, which is a light, peachy hue, pearlescent gloss. That’s my Zoom face. If I have a little bit more time, I’m going to take some bronzer and highlight all around, frame my face and done. That’s all I’m doing.
It’s easy. Even I can do that.
We can all do it.
I’m using a bronzer. I have what’s called Bronze Babe, which is a two-tone bronzer palette. It does the trick. It’s fast. Although we have a lot of time, we’re not putting a lot of time in. Brows, a little bit of coverage, mascara, lips and you’re done.'I had to do something for me and that I was passionate about.' Click To Tweet
Dena, you have some questions too.
I too was inspired by your story and unfortunately, I’m also a widow. I share lots of things that you were saying, the constant grieving, the new grieving, and been with for years ago. I also remarried. I’m experiencing love again but different. Mine was young, the first one. Fast forward to that, I never took that Mary Kay job that I was offered in Starbucks many years ago, but I did end up getting involved with a company called Beautycounter. One of the reasons why my best friend brought me into it and what made me get into this company was their mission on clean products and passing here in the States, the laws to prevent certain chemicals to be in our care products. Raising two little girls and having their father passed from cancer, I was concerned about what they’re putting on themselves. I know your products are also clean. How do you feel about this? I see the industry changing here in the States dramatically. Most companies are going very clean. I pride myself on using only clean products from head to toe.
First off, I’m sorry for your loss. I understand your pain, although I’m not walking in your shoes. My shoes are slightly different. They’re tighter or a little looser. Clean products seem to be the way we’re going. That’s the way we’re heading with this fast train. Having said that, as a manufacturer manufacturing products, the cost is huge. There are safety factors, sourcing your products. If you’re fortunate enough to get in with the right manufacturer and keep your costs down from a manufacturing perspective, then you can do it. I’m a small little pea in this great big cosmetics world. There’s so much competition for me. Having said that, I do agree with you. It’s the way of the future, 100%. We have to worry about what we’re putting on our skin. Forget about the anti-aging stuff and those lines. We’re concerned about cancer and those parabens. I’m thrilled that my product is paraben-free, non-toxic and not tested on animals. It’s also made in Canada. I like that too given what’s happening in the world. I agree with you, so kudos to you because it’s hard to switch your entire life over to clean. It takes a lot of effort.
My daughters fight me a lot on that in certain things, and I have to pick and choose clean.
You’re saying, “I’m not buying anything that’s not clean.” Maybe you’re not buying that trending product for your daughter that she might love because it’s not 100% clean. I would imagine.
We do what we can do. It is hard to convert because of my husband too. He picks and choose.
Thank you, Dena. How about you, Rachel?
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis, what are some of the key products that are good to emphasize features where you feel like it’s minimal, but natural makeup?
We’re also rolling into summer, so things are light. What I would suggest is an SPF moisturizer and a lip balm on your lips. I start my day off that way every day. A simple lip balm and moisturizer, then I figure out my face. Your brows look beautiful. Did you do something with them? Are you penciling or shading them in?
I did nothing to my eyebrows. I normally get them threaded, but I haven’t had threading since Corona started.
You have a nice shape from what I can see. We’re cleaning up our brows with tweezers because we can’t get to The Brow Girl. We’re filling in our eyebrows with a brow pencil, shadow or a gel, whatever you have. We’re keeping it light. Nowadays, everyone’s feeling that they don’t want to wear too much. We’re wearing comfortable clothes. We don’t want a lot on her face.
I think we can go around again if that’s okay. We’re having a conversation about Hey Babe. Alyssa, what would you like to ask?
Nicole, what were your biggest challenges in starting your makeup line? You did mention it’s an expensive proposition and there are all these regulations in the beauty industry about clean makeup and everything being paraben-free, but what were your own challenges on the business side of getting Hey Babe up and running?
Finding my manufacturer was big for me. I wanted everything made in Canada. There are plenty of manufacturers in China, but I didn’t want to go there. Not that I want to travel way back then, but I wanted my products to be Canadian made. I’m a proud Canadian and I wanted to pay in the Canadian dollar so I set out to find my manufacturer, which is a Toronto-based. It’s convenient for me and I have a great relationship and that’s where we make my product. If we go back to the loss side of things in my life when I had to turn the switch from being a widow to saying, “My time, let’s get into work mode and figure that out.” There are a few bumps in the road along the way and we were able to get things rolling as quickly as we have. Hey Babe started September 2019. Since then, we’ve come a long way.
I noticed that your gloss is named after your daughter. Do you have other products named after people?
I have a Maddie Babe and Risa Babe. Risa Babe is my best friend. We talked about the name and how did I come up with Hey Babe. My best friend and I have been friends since we’re twelve. She’s been through it all with me. She’s my sidekick. She’s a strong woman and a goddess too. We were away and I told her about my idea of coming up with a makeup line. We were sitting there and I said, “Babe, what am I going to call it?” She said, “Babe, I don’t know.” I looked at her and I went, “Hey Babe.” We started laughing our heads off and that was it. A lot of people say to me, “I thought we were close friends. You don’t have a lipstick named after me.” I’m going, “Give me some time.”
Maybe you can make a Grateful Goddess lipstick or Goddess Babe. Dena, do you have another question for Nicole?
It’s a little bit more technical in the sense of products. You mentioned that you are highlighting with your bronzer. My girls use a highlighter and I’ve been playing around with that a little bit. I’ll do a dab in the corners of the eyes, which I love. Can you speak a little bit if that is the correct way to use that product?
This is a light brush. You’ve got all the right spots, especially on your cheekbone, even down on your collarbone. You’re going to highlight those. If you turn your head a bit and you can catch some light, it’s to add that shimmer. I have a product called Sweetly Kissed. It’s a two-tone highlighter palette and it’s beautiful. It’s a little bit under the eye, maybe in your arch, above your arch of your brow, even under the arch or your brow. You’ve got all the right spots down.
Rachel, do you have another question?
I have another technical question. First of all, back to Dena’s, did you say on the nose? That is somewhere I would love to try to add some shadowing. Do the light on the outside, is that what you said?'I wanted to create my PINK... I was driven to make it and I didn't let anyone or anything get in my way.' Click To Tweet
You have to have a light hand because what you don’t want is a couple of strikes coming down your face. You don’t want to overdo it with eyeliner, bronzer and brows. You might look like Groucho Marx. I would take a little bit of a darker shade to narrow it in if you want. I’m not suggesting to you exactly, but to narrow it in and then maybe on the tip of your nose but not much.
Is it darker on the tip of your nose or the side?
I take my larger brush and accentuate a little bit. That’s it.
I always struggle with my eyes and I never even apply eye shadow. I only use toner, but a color toner on my eyes. It’s a light creamy color and I’ll put that on my eyelids. Should I apply eyeliner across my eyes? Should I do the little thing up? Should I do it under my eyes?
From what I can see, you have a nice working eyelid. You have space where you can apply shadow and you have a beautiful jaw too. A few things that I would suggest are either one color all over nice and light. You might want something that’s triple-milled, highly pigmented, and the color is going to stay on your eye. It’s like when you take your brush and you put it on your eyes shadow. Sometimes you put it on and the color’s not there, so you’ve got to go again. A great quality eye shadow is going to be triple-milled. Your one stroke and probably put it on your lid. For you, I keep it simple. Don’t forget your brows too. You need to shade in your brows a little bit on the ends because it’s nice and dark here. It fades out a bit, it’s very normal. Use a brow liner. Fill it in lightly one shade across your eyelid. You could even do a highlighter, a creamy color up near your brow. I would do a liner on top straight across. You could use a dark brown or a black would be stunning, and mascara on top lashes will open up your eyes. You don’t need a lot of makeup. You have gorgeous hair that frames your face. Is this your natural color?
You’re not wearing makeup. We talked about why we wear makeup and there are many reasons why people wear makeup. I was reading about it that sometimes people wear it because they don’t feel confident. They want to feel a little more confident, want to hide acne or want to feel good inside. No judgment about why someone chooses to wear it and why they don’t, but it is fun to wear and put it on, especially when you know how to do it properly. Since I am in my 50s and I am starting to see wrinkles. The wrinkles that are coming in, how do we mask that if we choose to? Some people may not and they don’t seem to care. I will be vulnerable and honest, I don’t like a wrinkle coming in. I also don’t like when a gray hair pops in my head, that’s just who I am. I’m curious to know, how to effectively hide those wrinkles? Sometimes when I put on concealer, it’s too thick.
The best thing is to have a light hand. That’s my rule with any makeup. You can always go back, whether it’s your brows or your concealer under your eye because you’re trying to cover up these fine lines. Go at your face lightly because you can always add more. When you add more, you make things worse. When we add more shadow, we end up looking like we have a couple of black eyes. If we put too much under here, that stands out before you’re even in the door. Often what I say is take a step back. I think what women are being confused by is we’re worried about these lines when we shouldn’t be so much. We can’t forget about our brows. I know I’ve mentioned brows a few times, but it’s important. Don’t go for concealer for under your eyes.
I like the light hand because I don’t. I quickly put it on, so that probably will solve my problem.
You have to look in the mirror, look away and then come back and go, “How am I doing?”
Does anyone have any other questions that they’d like to ask?
I’m the same age as Karen. To keep your skin looking youthful, what are the best tricks and tips or products?
First of all, products aside, drink a lot of water because when we drink water, our skin looks better. It’s key. It’s not only we feel dehydrated, but you can feel the elasticity in our skin. You go out and drink, however many couple of liters a day to keep your skin looking and feeling elastic. You may want to apply a self-tanner or a tinted moisturizer. SPF is great. If you smoke, you’ve got to worry about these fine lines. You have to avoid alcohol. You can see all these things on people’s faces. Exercise is important. If you drink water, if you cut back on your alcohol, if you don’t smoke so much, if you stay protected, your face is going to look good. It’s all these other elements. You have to tone down. Skincare, it depends what line you’re using and where you’re at in your regime. It’s all the other elements that you have to be on top of and it is mostly water.
Thank you so much, Nicole, Hey Babe. You are a true goddess and you are grateful for all that has come to your life, even some roadblocks because it’s pushed you forward. The foundations that you’ve started are incredible in memory of your late husbands. If people would like to contact or find you to order products or give to the foundations, how can they do that?
Hey Babe is on HeyBabeCosmetics.ca. We’re also on Instagram, @HeyBabeCosmeticsInc. There are fellowship funds set up at the hospital, but I do encourage you to go through the website so then I can track things as well.
You’re an online business.
I always have been. We are not in stores yet. Even before COVID, I only knew from being online. I’ve gotten used to that whole world and I am working through, taking the time to better the background of Hey Babe.
When we’re out of settle in place and you can come travel to Chicago, we’ll have a gathering with lots of other goddesses and perhaps you can show us in person how to apply makeup and talk about your story. Thank you so much for joining us and for sharing how you too can take your passions, your inner goddess and unleash it to become the grateful goddess that you are.
We’re going to talk about our favorite things. These are things, not necessarily objects, but something out there that makes you feel joy and happy because as a grateful goddess, it’s about feeling that inner joy and passion, and then it will help you come out and become that outer goddess that you want to be. I’d like to first start with Dena. What is something you brought along, whether it be an object, a phrase, a quote or a book, anything that makes you feel good?
I brought a beauty product, a self-tanner by The Organic Pharmacy. It is a natural product. I don’t know if you have Credo in Toronto. It is my favorite place to go for my clean products. I don’t tan. I am a sweater person. I’m constantly made fun of by my girlfriends because in the summer, I am in the sweatshirt, in the jeans, but this helps my legs and arms and things look at least a little glowy. I find it to be a good one.
Alyssa, what’s your favorite thing?
I brought one of my favorite beauty products. It’s not a secret, but I love it. It’s these PowerGlow Peels from M-61, which is the in-house line at Bluemercury, down the street from my house. It’s convenient and I buy it by the metric ton here. I use them three times a week at night before bed, but in the beginning, I used it once a week. I tried to build twice a week, then three times a week. There are people at the store who told me you could use this every night.
Would you believe I’m allergic to mint?
When you eat it and also oils, it might have mint.
I get swollen lips and inside of my gums and stuff. It’s not a good thing to have a sensitivity too.
It’s good that you found out though.
Pineapple does that in my mouth.
Can you guess what this is? I know what you were thinking, but it was not that. It is my toothbrush and it is not just any toothbrush. It’s called the Quip toothbrush. First of all, this sticks on my mirror and it has holes in it so it keeps it dry. When I travel, it cleanly goes in its little case. The thing that I love about this Quip toothbrush is it’s battery-operated. When I brush my teeth and push hard, I get bleeding gums. I’ve had that problem my whole life, so my husband got this for me because when you start to push too hard, it stops vibrating. It’s like a little teachable tool. When I brush, it stops vibrating. It also stays on for two minutes, which is the recommended time for brushing.
It’s a subscription. You pay a certain amount per month, which is not expensive. They send you replacements because you are supposed to change this, especially after you’ve had a cold. It also has a tongue scrubber. It is important beauty-wise like you were saying, Nicole, about drinking water, limiting your alcohol and not smoking, your teeth, your oral dental health is important to helping you overall feel good. I’m not just saying this because my husband’s in that field. I’m saying it because I know I don’t have the greatest teeth. A lot of it is because I brushed too hard or I wasn’t taking as good care when I was younger, but now I am and I’m using this toothbrush.
What I especially love about my toothbrush is it sticks on my mirror and next to it is a little sticky pad. I’ve had this sticky pad and I should probably laminate it for over years. It sticks on my mirror and it says, “The gift of health is keeping me alive.” It’s a gratitude for my health of me brushing my teeth, flossing and washing my face because I’m grateful for my body to continue to keep me alive. It’s a simple statement. It may be hokey. I look at it every single morning and every single night because you are supposed to brush your teeth twice a day at least. The nighttime’s the most important. That’s one of my favorite things, especially for beauty and overall wellbeing. Nicole, how about you?
First of all, back to your little note there. If we don’t have our health, what do we have? You could have all of your friends and all the money in the world, but you need your health. I understand that statement. I’m only thinking about Hey Babe. If I could pick one Hey Babe product, it’s going to be my Maddie Babe Gloss and that’s my go-to. It’s my best seller and I’m going to send it to all of you because you need to try it. That’s it for me. I don’t have anything other than my Hey Babe.
Thank you all for sharing your favorite things and enjoy your day.
- Nicole Abbott
- Hey Babe Cosmetics
- Girl Power
- Maddie Babe Gloss
- Risa Babe
- Sweetly Kissed
- @HeyBabeCosmeticsInc – Instagram
- The Organic Pharmacy
- PowerGlow Peels
About Nicole Abbott
Hey Babe is me… I’m Nicole. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I grew up in a house of women, surrounded by beauty my entire life. My experience as a professional makeup artist has led me to follow my dreams. I have always had a passion for the beauty and cosmetics industry.
I am a mother of two wonderful children, twice widowed and exceptionally brave.
Our family lives by two simple mottos:
LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL
EMBRACE NEW CHALLENGES
It is with this in mind, that I have fulfilled my dreams of creating my own makeup line.
Hey Babe Cosmetics is an exclusive line of makeup developed and manufactured in Toronto, Canada. We believe that showing the world your natural beauty is right at your fingertips. Our formula is to keep it simple and occasionally add a pop of glam!
Every Hey Babe has their own individual style, let’s enhance your beautiful inner Hey Babe.
Welcome to Hey Babe Cosmetics.