Baby Care

Sephora Beauty Director Shares How Moms Can Find Beauty In Work-Life Balance

There is a crossroads where women who become parents approach motherhood and work-life balance. While many people have written about countless ways to balance it all, Myiesha Sewell, Beauty Director at Sephora, said that it’s important to find ways to exude and prioritize your beauty no matter your career path.

As a millennial mother of two (one is on the way), Sewell encourages women to fearlessly pursue their career aspirations and parenting. While that might sound like a cliché, studies in the United States and Europe have found that women are delaying motherhood to experience career fulfillment, plan, and save for the costs associated with parenting.

Countering that notion by showing up as her authentic self in the workplace, Sewell said that cultivating a support system at work is instrumental in finding your rhythm. Over the years, Sewell has held three roles with Sephora. She joined the company working in retail, became a pro artist, and now serves as a beauty director. Beyond the titles, she said that her curiosity and skillsets made room for each opportunity to present themselves.

“Every time I got really bored, stagnant, or became so good at my job, I feel like something’s always happened,” said Sewell. That ‘something’ she is referring to is the opportunity she seized to take on stretch opportunities, which led her to each next role. “Leaning into that and activating that system is equally as important,” she added.

“If I find myself doing a different job than my job description, I go to my manager and express what I think I could do well or where I have strengths. My new positions show themselves. I love that. It’s very hard to know what exactly you want to go after when you’re artistic. Or in a creative field. There’s no direct path. It’s so hard to see,” said Sewell.

Slay In Your Lane

Advocating herself and her interests in the workplace has made room for Sewell professionally and personally. She shared that her team at Sephora, her mother, and her partner are key players in her success.

“Because my job doesn’t stress me out, I have space to just be open with people. I’m not constantly worried. To be clear, I have stressful moments, but at the same time, with our team, we take mental breaks – and that’s totally fine. There’s no explaining ‘why’ you’re taking time off. If you need time, you take it,” said Sewell.

That kind of trust in flexibility in the workplace has created a support system for her to do her best work.

As a kid, Sewell dreamt about wanting to share makeup and beauty tips in magazines. Now, on a typical day, her work entails doing research, sharing tips online, learning about the inception and stories of products and their founders, and hosting meetings with strategic partners. Right by her side is her, or on her lap is her son with her daughter on the way.

Create Your Own Balance

While parts of the pandemic normalized kids staying home and showing up on Zoom calls (voluntarily or sporadically), Sewell decided that parenting and working full-time was best for her and her family.

“Since my partner and I work from home, we share childcare. Not only am I a stay-at-home mom, but I’m also a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom. Which is exhausting, but you only have little kids for a few years. And childcare is so expensive,” said Sewell.

According to the Economic Innovation Group, “Early data suggests that workers are spending 11.1 percent of their saved commute time on childcare, and 15.5 percent on housework. Among those living with children, the share spent on childcare rose to 18.2 percent, which is consistent with pre-pandemic data showing that mothers and fathers who work remotely spend substantially more time with their children on days they work from home.”

“When I went back to work after seven months after having my son, I was trying to hide him in my Zooms like he didn’t exist. Now, after we wrap up a meeting, people ask where he is,” said Sewell. “It’s okay for people to know you have a home life. You don’t have to pretend you’re not a parent. I may have to work longer hours, maybe work on a Saturday, I may have to do a little bit more, but for my family, it works. And I get to keep like $2,000 more in my pocket.”

Make Showing Up And Looking The Part Your Business

A lover of all things beauty and her family, Sewell encourages moms not to forget to feel and look good for themselves first. Studies find that when parents prioritize their well-being and practice self-care, they can manage their stress, have higher self-esteem, and overall better health.

Earlier this month, at Sephora’s main event, SEPHORiA House of Beauty, Sewell took center stage to give a live beauty demonstration with her colleagues David Razzano and Melinda Solares while seven months pregnant. The event took nine months to plan, just about as long as she has been carrying her second child, and Sewell considers them both to be her baby. With a star-studded speaker lineup, including Danessa Myrick, Patrick Ta, Hector Espinal, Natasha Denona, and Lauren Ireland, more than 50 of Sephora’s most popular brands participated in this year’s activation, and thousands attended the hybrid event. And Sewell couldn’t wait!

While applying makeup to her model’s face and sharing tips, Sewell didn’t shy away from talking about motherhood and joking about forgetting lash glue behind the stage because of ‘pregnancy brain.’ In real-time, her team helped her out, and mothers in the crowd cheered her on.

To mothers, those expecting, and planning, Sewell has three beauty tips to offer:

  1. Don’t be afraid to show up as your authentic and beautified self: “It’s hard when you’re not yourself. Sometimes you try to give people what they want, but it’s more important to be yourself.”
  2. Be kind to yourself and your skin: “It’s hard to maintain yourself, be on camera, and be glamorous when you want to throw up, are sleepy, and your back hurts. It’s okay to have days where you don’t do a long skincare routine. Maybe you just use a little multitasker and a shower and some sunscreen. Don’t get too down on yourself if your skin is not the way it was before you became a mom. You’ll get back there.”
  3. Study baby sleep: “Study baby sleep because you need to sleep. I think I don’t know if I could work in the morning with the baby in my lap if I didn’t research sleep. It’s a complete science, and it will change your life.”

Working and parenting are two full-time jobs, but when you’re passionate about both, they’ll shape your life.

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