Part of the Women Like Us series, this post is meant to help relate women to one another. By addressing self-care, self-confidence, vulnerabilities, and make-up routines, this post is meant to convey habits and insecurities that every day women work through.
An Interview with Leah Cowley
Leah Cowley is a creative, free-spirited, and hard-working artist and real estate broker. With her “women empower women” mentality, Leah did not hesitate to opt-in for an interview on Maple’s Mission.
1) Tell us about yourself. If you had to describe your identity, what key words do you think of?
“I’m a real estate broker. I have a son, I was a single-mom, he’s grown.
I moved to the Bay Area not knowing anyone four years ago and just had an adventure going to know a new place and city. It’s been a lot of fun learning a new area and new people.
I love real estate, I also love art. I’m an artist, I paint. I do that. For fun, I like to hike, run, bicycle, and travel.”
Self-Care, Self-Love & Beauty
2) What tactics have you found to be the most useful for building your self-confidence?
“I think staying fit. For one, I know that if I’m staying active, I am taking care of my body. So if I look good, I feel good.
Staying healthy, eating right.
I also make sure to listen to my body. If I need a down day, I take it.
I like to make sure I pamper myself too. It’s not all about working out. I like to do yoga, massages, facials so that I feel good about myself. Work hard, but also rest.
I like to read literature that’s uplifting, positive, and to improve myself. On the inside, it’s not all about the outside.”
3) When you’re having a bad day, what helps you get out of the funk?
“A 3.5 mile run. Anything less does not help. I’ve learned from experimenting. It has to be 3.5 miles. If i do that, then I feel good the rest of the day no matter what.”
Eileen: Well, what if you can’t run?
“I’ve reached out to some girlfriends, or my sisters. Talk to them.
Or if that isn’t available, something to make me laugh. I’ll put on a comedy show or listen to something that makes me laugh. Or I’ll go out and do something that resets my mood and do something that makes me happy. I’ll go shopping or something. Just something that makes me happy to reset it.”
4) What are the key areas you focus on for your beauty routine (outside of the makeup wheelhouse)?
“Skincare. I focus on skincare, moisturizers. I focus on, my hair, my hair has gotten curly. Sometimes it can be frizzy. I focus on what can tame that, tame the beast in my hair. I focus on massages, facial products (love Vitamin E – I put that on before bed. It helps with fine lines and moisturize).“
Eileen: Why do you do a certain routine over the others out there? Do you do anything for your eyebrows?
“I never touch my eyebrows. I like them thick, I might clean them up myself. I prefer them thick though.
I get my nails done every 4 weeks. I like them with long nails, they make me look feminine and my hands feel pretty. And I get my hair done every 7-8 weeks.
And for facials, I don’t get them regularly. But I do have facial creams that I use.”
5) Do you wear makeup? If so, what does your makeup routine consist of?
“After visiting my sister, I now know how to do makeup. S
he taught me that I was doing it wrong. She watched the videos and told me.
Now that I’ve aged, my makeup takes longer. Now I start with a serum, then moisturizer, then a primer, highlighter, the makeup, contour, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow.
Here’s a good tip: I found the roll on eyeshadow instead of the powder and I love it. Now I know how to put it on and it’s super easy for me. And then a lipstick and away I go.”
Eileen: How many products do you think I own?
“Oh, if you saw my bathroom. So I pull out a drawer and there’s two things full of it. Then I open a cabinet and it’s full of it. Then I have a shelf filled with face masks, hair products… I mean, I like to buy them. It’s a lot. I’m trying not to buy as many and use what I have. But it’s hard to resist a sale when you get samples.”
Eileen: Do you think you’d buy less if you knew you were getting products you like or trying new products consistently? Could it help?
6) What is your favorite self-care activity before bedtime?
“I like to read. Not a serious book, like a fun book. Like a mystery novel or a romance novel. A relax book, a fun book.”
7) If you feel comfortable with this, what is your favorite feature about yourself? Least favorite? (Intentionally vague question)
“My favorite feature is probably my lips or my beast of my hair.
My least favorite is probably my stomach.”
Eileen: I think that’s like a lot of women, especially after kids.
8) What’s helped you feel more confident in your own skin and maybe be more accepting of that? How have you learned to love yourself over time?
“I think, as you get older, the little stuff doesn’t matter. You learn that the outside stuff is superficial. And yes, it can bring people to you.
But what really matters is your personality, who you are in the inside, your intellect. That’s actually the important stuff.
That keeps relationships alive and furthers you in your career, your friendships, and in your life. The outside stuff is just for fun.
I wear makeup for nobody but myself. I like how I feel when I’m done up. But I would be just as confident going out without makeup because I wear it for myself, nobody else.”
Advice for Other Women
9) If you had one piece of advice for women out there fighting to overcome insecurities and building their confidence, what is that advice?
“Don’t take what other people think of you so seriously. Have fun. Do it for you. It doesn’t matter what other people think, what matters is how you think about yourself. If you’re happy with yourself, that’s all that matters. What I’ve learned, people project their own insecurities on you.”