Lea Black: Entrepreneur, Author, Philanthropist.
Interviewing reality stars is a strange gig. You either love them or you hate them. Most of them are just obsessed with the limelight and hope to stretch their 15 minutes of fame by making headlines every few months with a scandal. Trying to get them to say something besides “I’ll be launching my emoji app” in a few months is like cutting teeth. But once in a while, you get to sit across from someone who’s actually worth talking about. Lea Black was not only fabulous and glamorous, but also philanthropic, motherly, and quite blunt, which I appreciated.
Lea Black is the epitome of #nofilter – not only for her upfront nature but also for her incredible skin. Even her voicemail tells people not to leave a message because she never checks it. Don’t you wish more people did that? Alongside her toy poodle named “Baby”, the conversation flowed about her passion for her skincare line, her fabulous and affordable evening bags, and helping at-risk youth. We watched traffic slow down to a crawl as we enjoyed a late lunch on Sunset Boulevard and I learned there’s so much more to Lea Black than being a Housewife.
We all have a reason why we get into the beauty industry. What were your reasons? Who or what were your influences?
I started when I was 18-19 years old, concocting my own products. Neither of my grandmothers ever had a wrinkle because they concocted this product with aloe vera gel and albumin. They’d just slather it on their face all of the time. It kept them so youthful. I found another company that made a similar product but it wasn’t as good, so I went to a lab to have it made and we called it Sudden Youth!
Do you think the skincare industry has changed for the worse over the last 25 years? Are they taking more drastic, less natural, approaches to promise women certain results?
I think that the original skincare industry was more natural, organic, and out of necessity and health. It’s become very commercial. There’s nothing wrong with that and there are a lot of good brands, but there are also a lot of brands that people just stick a label on and start selling. They’re not unique. Mine all have clinical studies that back up the claims we make. We use the best raw ingredients. Mine take years of perfecting and continuing. Now it seems like people just come out with a skincare line overnight.
As you got older, did your beauty routine get more intensive or less? What did you add in and cut out of your routine?
I started out using Sudden Youth a couple of time a week and I’ve stuck with that routine my entire life. In the morning, I use a wash, serum, and lotion. At night, I use a wash, serum, and cream. I use the exfoliant every 2-3 days and the mask once a week. I like to keep it simple. You don’t need 100 products. You just need a few good ones.
All of the products in Lea Black Beauty are under $30. For someone who exudes luxury and glamour, that seems like a low price point. What made you choose a more relatable price point?
I sell online at the wholesale price. When I sell it internationally they double the price. So I just pass the wholesale price onto customers here. I really believe that this product is the best product for women of all ages. I want everyone to try it, and everyone that tries it sticks with it. I want to to share the product with more people that are struggling with their skin because they don’t have to be!
The Real Housewives of Miami ran from 2011 to the end of 2013. How did that show change your life? Did the show open up any doors that you were surprised about? Did it close any doors?
It didn’t really close any doors because I conducted myself the way I do in life. I didn’t go crazy like some of these girls that try to do anything for attention. It opened some doors; I met a lot of new and interesting people. People recognize me often and I’d say it opened a door that way.
How did it change your public persona?
In the beginning in Miami, people knew me as someone who was married to a prominent lawyer who worked on charity a lot. I don’t know if people knew I had a skincare line. So people now know I have it. I think having the show made more people buy the book (Red Carpets & White Lies), but I didn’t write the book for other people. I wrote it because it was a fun thing to do.