In this episode of Shit We Don’t Talk About, Mia is joined by Heather Fink to dish on some serious issues in the cosmetics and beauty industry.  Heather has been in the business since the late 1980s, so she knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to this industry!

Click to Read: Podcast Transcript

Click to Listen: Blog Audio Reading


  • The cosmetics and beauty industry can be awesome, but it can also create a trap in some ways. Laboring under the belief that you must never appear in public without lashes (for example) can be a burden in many cases.
  • Heather points out the lack of diversity in the beauty and cosmetics industry.  In the 1990s, cosmetics and beauty products were represented by “supermodels”.  Not exactly a diverse sample of humans.  In the years following, the industry has been very slow to diversify. Heterosexual, cisgender white women see themselves in the industry day in and day out.  Others? Not so much.
  • “Anti-aging”.  This is a term very widely used by the industry. Marketing based on the idea that getting older must be avoided while using much younger models to represent products aimed at older women is not a good look for the cosmetics and beauty business.
  • The industry has been highly resistant to the idea of embracing concepts like body positivity and racial inclusivity. Heather has been criticized openly by industry insiders for marketing her products using heavier models, and for having marketing that is “too ethnic”.
  • At a quick glance (and even at a slower glance), it almost looks like the industry only cares about selling products to white women.
  • Will men wearing makeup be normalized?  Some predict that this will become the norm within the next 50 years. Others don’t see this happening any time soon, but there is good news is in that at least some people in the beauty industry are talking about these things and working toward normalizing more diverse and inclusive ideas.
  • Being a critical consumer of beauty and cosmetics products is important.  Be aware of the casual approach the US FDA has taken toward policing harmful ingredients in these products.  Compared with the EU – which is far more aggressive in banning over 1400 cosmetics ingredients – the US is lagging behind in a big way (only 8 ingredients are banned by the US FDA).
  • Reading labels, knowing where your products are made, and knowing what the companies you buy from stand for, are all important aspects of cosmetics safety from a consumer point of view.
  • While the global beauty industry has taken a hit to the tune of 20-30% loss in gross sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Heather’s cosmetics company, The Sexiest Beauty, has thrived.
  • Heather has played key roles at Victoria’s Secret Beauty, MAC, Essie, and QVC  before striking out on her own.


Click here for the article we discussed about words to see excised from the beauty lexicon. Heather’s pick was “Anti-Aging”

Justine Bateman is aging, and she doesn’t care what you think about that:

Safer Cosmetics: Toxic & Non-Toxic Makeup Brands Investigation:

Terrance Williams Designs

David Lopezzz Instagram

Estee Laundry Instagram



Heather Fink knows sexy beauty. For over 30 years she has been developing world-class beauty products for some of the sexiest, edgiest, most sophisticated, provocative, fashion-forward brands in the world. She led the teams at Victoria’s Secret, MAC, essie, bebe and Agent Provocateur in the creation of some of the most iconic beauty products ever seen, and has the privilege of partnering with the best creative talents, labs, and suppliers from around the world. Her experiences at L’Oréal, Lauder, The Limited, Interparfums and QVC afford her enormous insights and resources related to trends, innovation, and the beauty marketplace. Heather was inspired to fuse the elements from her vast history with the powerful voices of real people speaking their truth to create a brand with an authentic point of view redefining the global concept of “The Sexiest Beauty”.

Heather’s website:

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Music Credits:

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