Lara Blackwell grew up in a small English country town in The New Forest, before moving to London at 17 to intern for Fashion Agency Intrepid and Agent Provocateur, and eventually making the move to Sydney. She’s now Marketing and Consumer Engagement Executive at Estée Lauder, Aerin and Tom Ford Beauty. Here, Lara talks industry heroes, making meaningful change, her very British podcast obsession and how she found Future Women at just the right time.
“I was instantly drawn to Future Women as a platform that supported women. I moved to Australia from the UK a few years ago at a crucial time in the women’s movement. I wanted to be part of it and help make meaningful change locally. One of my favourite people, who introduced me to FW, is Emily Brooks. She’s also the Future Women Editor. Not only does she share equal enthusiasm for Donald Glover and his greatness, but she had also been an incredible mentor to me.
“I have found Future Women really beneficial in terms of personal development. Last year, I started a new role at Estée Lauder Companies. Working for such a highly-regarded company in a new country was daunting, so having FW feels like another good friend I can lean on.
“To put it simply, my passion is creativity. It doesn’t really matter what it is. As long as I am creating, I am happy. Whether I am shooting on my film camera, painting, drawing, creatively marketing, writing, or cooking. I love art and I am also passionate about beauty. I am so lucky to immerse and indulge myself in this everyday. I love what I do, and only want to keep growing in this career. Beauty is connection to me.
“I am obsessed with podcasts. I love the BBC’s Desert Island Discs. Listening reminds me of home and all the inspiring people I grew up following. I recently listened to [make-up artist] Pat McGrath’s, and it was so interesting hearing her take on diversity in the beauty industry which is something I am so passionate about. My partner Nick and I also listen to The Squiz on our commute to work, which is a nice routine we have every morning to start the day feeling informed.
“Reading a book is a rarity and a total treat to me. I am a total firefox and am always reading Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Into The Gloss and British Vogue. I have a few different reads on the go right now. What I pick up depends on my mood. If it’s self-help, I am re-reading Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I rarely have time for myself, so this book reminds me to reserve my f*cks for the right things.
“Working for a heritage brand like Estée Lauder has given me immense respect and understanding of the beauty industry today. I work alongside a brilliant team of smart, inspiring women. We are the world’s biggest beauty brand for women, and are constantly striving towards keeping a 70+ year beauty brand relevant in an ever-evolving industry. There is something so special about staying true to the incredible deep rooted history but innovating at the same time.
“I have not met Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss, but she is such a force I admire, I feel like I have. Glossier is now a beauty company with Unicorn status in the U.S. She built it from the ground up with her community. There is no better way in the digital age.
“Outside of work I like to shoot on film. I used to have a dark room in London which was a lot of fun. I love my vintage Canon camera. When I shoot it I still get that thrill. I guess it’s like escapism at its finest. I’ve put my poor friends through a lot of weekend shoots, but their Instagram accounts thank me for it.
“I would love to learn meditation. I need to carve out time to do this – and stick to it. If Oprah can do it…
“Self-care means a lot to me. As I get older, self-care to me is feeling like my strongest self. And that is when I’ve had time to myself. As life gets increasingly busy, this time is becoming rarer but it means I really cherish it. Self-care rituals for me are a hot bath with magnesium salts, a sheet mask, a Hendricks gin and tonic and my record player blasting out my favourites like Nina Simone and Freddie Mercury. I also live in Bondi and – since moving to Australia – the ocean has become a grounding and energising force in my life. I will throw myself into the ocean after a big day, and the salt water seems to cure it all. I feel my best self when I am fresh out of the ocean. Air-dried and salty, with my love, on the beach.
“I’m most fulfilled when I have the people I love around me. My family is far away, so I feel that I have built my own family in Sydney; with the love of my life, Nick, and my friends. We are all like a very dysfunctional, loving family who talk over each other and I feel fulfilled when we are all together. You’ll often find me finding solitude in the kitchen. My family knows to stay in the lounge with the bottle of wine.
“We can lift each other up when we support each other. Support, to me, is one of life’s greatest things. When you have support from your people, you feel confident to do anything.
“The future for women is strong, resilient and supportive. We are only looking forward.”
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