Embracing Mature Beauty: A Moment with  Kelly O'Doherty

Embracing Mature Beauty: A Moment with Kelly O'Doherty

At Erasa, celebrating beauty at every stage of life isn't just a motto—it's our guiding principle. In our latest campaign spotlighting mature beauty, we had the privilege of meeting Kelly O'Doherty: a mother, wife, and passionate 53-year-old Labor and Delivery Nurse from Archer Lodge, NC. But most importantly, she's Kelly—inspiring women over 50 to embrace their mature beauty with confidence and grace. Kelly empowers others to embrace the beauty of maturity with authenticity and pride, proving that age is just a number on the journey to self-love and confidence.

For our campaign shoot, we flew Kelly to NYC, where we spent two unforgettable days together. On the first day, we delved into the heart of Erasa's innovation at our lab, accompanied by our esteemed Chemist, Marina. Surrounded by vials of potent ingredients and cutting-edge formulations, Kelly immersed herself in our skincare creations, gaining firsthand insight into the dedication and expertise behind each product. It was a day of discovery and enlightenment as Kelly witnessed the meticulous process that goes into crafting skincare solutions that deliver unparalleled results. Later that evening, we continued our exploration of the beauty industry as we dined with our Founder, Jules. Over a delicious meal, Kelly had the opportunity to gain industry insights directly from Jules, from discussing emerging trends to sharing anecdotes from Erasa's journey. The evening was filled with enlightening conversations that deepened Kelly's understanding of the skincare landscape.

On the second day, our journey took us to Bushwick, Brooklyn, where we set the stage for our Mature Beauty Campaign shoot. Kelly's genuine spirit illuminated the essence of mature beauty, capturing its importance with authenticity and grace. As the camera rolled, Kelly's radiant presence brought our vision to life, reminding us of the power and confidence that come with age. Throughout the shoot, Kelly's insights resonated deeply, reflecting her personal skincare journey and experiences with menopause. Her words served as a poignant reminder of the beauty found in embracing change gracefully. With each shot, Kelly's unwavering confidence shone through, inspiring us all to embrace our beauty at every stage of life.

It is with immense joy that we present our conversation with Kelly below. We trust that her words will inspire you as much as they did us, serving as a gentle reminder of the beauty found in embracing change and aging gracefully.

Question: So tell us your age, where you're from, what you do?

Answer: My name is Kelly O'Doherty and I am 53 years old and I live in Archer Lodge, North Carolina. I am a labor and delivery nurse. I love my job. I love what I do. I love helping people through a difficult time, but I love the end product. It's great. And I'm married and I have two amazing young men for sons. 

Question: What has been your skincare journey?

Answer: My skincare journey probably started when I was a teenager. I was kind of lucky. I just had normal skin. The odd breakout here and there.

And I remember when I was probably about 16, my mom, she was using Mary Kay, and she bought me a set. So I started to take care of my skin a little bit then. But then in my early twenties, I started to have cystic acne on my jawline, around my nose, and my eyebrows. And it was a really difficult time. I kind of was in a place where I was just kind of figuring out who I was.

And then to have this awful, painful thing on my skin, it was hard. And I went to a dermatologist and they want to prescribe all sorts of medication and things, and I kind of just wrote it out. And I think the years after that, it's all a blur. I don't even know what I used. But starting about, maybe about eight years ago, I started to really notice changes in my skin as I got older.

And I was kind of like, okay, I need to start doing something now. I was not really good about using any kind of SPF on my skin prior to that. Like, if I was at the beach or outside a long time, I would. But just day to day I wasn't. So I started washing my face at night where I didn't before, and started using SPF and just started learning more and more about ingredients.

And I would say over the past four years, I've become more consistent with my skincare. And I baby it now more like it than I ever had before.

Question: If you had to give advice to your 21 year old self about skincare what would you say?

Answer: If I would talk to 21-year-old Kelly, I would say sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And when you wear the sunscreen, bring it all the way up to your hairline. Because that's where I found that I have, there's something called actinic keratosis. And I kind of call them like... old lady dry spots. You'll see them on older people, like on their skin. They're very, very dry and they can be precancerous. And I already have the start of that. So sunscreen. 

Question: What are some of the changes that you started noticing in your body throughout time and how were you going about them? Were you feeling very positive about them or was it something that started to make you insecure? 

Answer: I think physically as you age, it's like if you've had children, that's, you know, an amazing time and a pregnancy. But then those years after, you might neglect yourself because you're putting so much care into somebody else. And I think I went through a time like that. I wasn't worried about aging so much or how I looked because of age. It was just more of like how things fit and things like that. But I have started to notice, I would say, probably in my early 40s, the changes that came with perimenopause. 

And I went through menopause in my mid-40s. So in my early 40s, I started noticing that lost elasticity, crepiness in my neck. The places where I can see it, you know, you're not looking in a mirror all the time, the backs of your hands and your neck will just, you know, especially if I didn't wear sunscreen in the early years, that's where my neck shows that I wasn't, you know, taking care of things. I think that has been tough. You look at yourself in the mirror and you're like, okay, I am aging. And that is a fact. And I'm fine with it. I feel comfortable with who I am. But sometimes that person that I'm looking at is not the person who I feel inside. And I don't want to be any younger. I want to be my age. But I still want to... I feel as good on the outside as I do on the inside. And I feel like I am a happy person and I'm glowing and I want my appearance to show that. I don't want to bring people down with a down appearance. I want to be bright and happy and I want my skin to show that too. 

Question: I think that sometimes when we talk about aging, a lot of people, you know, kind of focus on like the negative things, like what you felt or this and that, but tell us one of the things that you're like so excited about that you don't have to deal with anymore that you feel like going into your 50s is like yes I love this?

Answer: Periods. Did I say that, am I allowed to say that? You do shed the weight of other people's opinions and that is a beautiful thing. Once I thought it would happen in my 40s no but that, I was happy to hit 50. I was very excited to turn 50. And like I said, you just, it's not that you don't care anymore, it's just, it's not important. You just take that and you go, what other people think. And you just, you just move on. You just keep going on. People say, you know,  you shouldn't, you shouldn't have let your hair go gray. You're going to look older. This is the color of my hair and I like it. I like the color of my hair. I like the color of my hair. So people will say, well, if you don't color your hair anymore, why do you wear makeup? Because I like makeup. Well, why are you trying to look younger if your hair is gray? 

I'm not trying to look younger with makeup. I wear makeup because I like makeup. And I like the way it makes me feel. I don't care about anybody else but me when it comes to this. 

Question: I know you mentioned your hair. Can you walk us through the journey of like when you decided that you wanted to go full on gray and what that looked like? 

Answer: I had always loved women who had gray hair, just pretty whether it was you know a little elderly lady that I was, when I was a nursing student like in the nursing home with just white beautiful hair or a woman in her 30s who chose not to color her hair I always really admired how it looked and that and I was I would always told my stylist I'm going gray. I'm gonna go gray. For probably about six years and I had gone on a medical mission trip to Guatemala and while I was there I felt my truest self I felt that you know I wasn't wearing any makeup I wasn't doing anything with my hair and it was so freeing and I came back from that trip and I had an appointment scheduled to get my hair colored and I sat in the chair that morning and I looked at Kayla and I said I'm not doing it. And she was like, okay, let's go wash. We washed, cut, and that was it. And it's one of the best things I've ever done for myself. There was a lot of growth inside me as the hair grew. It was painful at times because people, they have their opinions. And most people kept them to themselves, but there were a few people who were..I don't care about them anymore, but there were some people who were vocal. And, but I think the end result, I feel, I feel more me than I have in a long time by loving myself.

Question: With all the wisdom that you have now and all that you know about your skincare and all that you've lived, how are you paying this forward?

Answer: I love talking about caring for your skin, caring for your hair. makeup, all of these things that like make you feel good on a personal level. I love discussing those things with other women. And I love, I work with a lot of younger women, women that are 20s and 30s. And I feel like I love talking to them about it because I don't recall, all I recall growing up was hearing from women going, oh my gosh, it's awful when you get old. and this happens. There was so much negativity that I feel like I am being more positive about it than maybe the generation before me was to my generation. So I'm trying to, I'm like, it's a good thing. It's a great thing. Getting older, it's kind of fun.

Question: Through your life it seems like you've had multiple different careers. I know that you mentioned at 35 you started studying nursing. So what would you say to someone now about the evolution of choosing who you are whenever you want to be that or what that looks like to change careers and evolve? 

Answer: You know, I would love to say, go ahead, you can do it. Anybody can do it. You know, you can always change your circumstances. You can always, you know, but that's not true for everybody. And that's, that's hard. But I think if you're not happy where you are with what you're doing, you might not be able to change a whole career, but you can change something about that. 

You might could, find something that helps you align with the dreams that you had when you were younger, that it might not be a drastic change, but it could just help you feel a little bit more like you're on the path that you're meant to be on rather than the one straight track that other people told you to be on. It's convoluted. Your growth path is not straight. It's not linear at all. It is like a path that is just convoluted and goes in and out. And just because you're not where you want to be, you're going to get there and it might not be the same idea that you had in your head when you started. Because if you had told me at 18 years old that I was going to be a nurse someday, I would have laughed in your face because it was just not on my radar at all, not at all

(Question continued): And how about content creating?

Answer: Oh that, that was on my radar in my early 20s, but it wasn't called that back then. I had dropped out of college and to later find out at 50 that I have ADHD and that had played a big part in why I dropped out. But I was the girl who would get all of the fashion magazines and just go through. I don't think I ever read an article. I would just look at the pictures and think about what went on with that photo shoot or what went on in that campaign and who the models were, who the makeup artists were, who the photographers were. I'm like, I know who her was you know I'm like, I loved it and I envisioned being in New York City and, but it just, it wasn't something, you just didn't go and do something like that. And to be here, 30 years on from that, 30 some odd years on, is just, it's amazing. And I am kind of giddy about it and just, I'm very grateful to have this opportunity. Don't make me cry. 

Question:  Any final words you want to say before we wrap up? 

Answer: Don't be afraid to age. Wear sunscreen. That's a song, isn't it? Or like a thing. I'll find it. Don't be afraid to age. Wear sunscreen. Talk to other women about the changes that you're going through. Do not be quiet about perimenopause and menopause and your skin changes and your body shape changes. It's not something to be ashamed of. Everyone with a uterus will go through it in some way, shape, or form. whether it's chemically, medically, like surgically or whatever, everyone's gonna go through it. And it's not something to hide about. It's something to be celebrated. We're moving on into that third act of our lives. Let's make it the best one. 



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