We recently chatted with Erica Dickerson, Global Beauty Director of the famed hot pink makeup sponge, Beautyblender, on how she’s artfully navigated her career in the ever evolving beauty industry. To put it bluntly, Erica has what it takes. She knows the Beautyblender brand inside and out, thanks to her celebrity makeup artist mum (whom she continuously praises throughout our Zoom call), Rea Ann Silva. Her mum, a woman of colour, founded Beautyblender in 2002 with the intention to create beauty products for the everday woman from the perspective of a professional makeup artist. This isn’t nepotism though. Erica laughs, as she mentions that Beautyblender first started when she was a teen and she had to box 100 sponges in order to get permission to socialise with friends. As she reminisces about the early days of Beautyblender, the lyrics “started from the bottom now we here” come to mind.
Success seemed to come nearly overnight for Beautyblender but Erica shares this notion is an illusion, not the reality. The brand itself had been around for quite some time and sold as a professional tool. Erica notes that as soon as Beautyblender hit Sephora and the influencer world, it got big…quickly. Erica knew that it was important for Beautyblender to position themselves as the leading makeup sponge on social media and also to convey that Beautyblender’s products, formulas, and ethos come from a space of integrity.
A gifted communicator, Erica soon became the face of Beautyblender brand. She tells us she produced more videos using the sponge than she can possibly count. She found herself continuously creating content for Beautyblender’s YouTube and Instagram accounts. Erica went on to be televised on the Home Shopping Network for Beautyblender which ultimately led to her leading training seminars worldwide as the Global Beauty Director of Beautyblender.
Erica tells us her progression in Beautyblender came naturally. It’s still a small, family-owned brand and she holds it dearly to her heart. She saw her mother build it from the ground up and understands the hard work to build it to the success it is today.
The Ugly Side of Cancel Culture
Things were quite bouncy when Beautyblender sold only their famed sponge. However, when they moved into manufacturing foundations, this happy brand saw the ugly side of the beauty world. Erica sighs as she talks about her experiences with the negativity of cancel culture and reflects on the sacrifices they made to create a brand of their stature. She laughs as she says that cancel culture taught her to quickly learn to grow a thicker skin. She wasn’t the only one who became more confident, however. On the flip side, Erica describes one of her proudest Beautyblender moments as watching her mum’s confidence grow during the evolution of the brand. She’s witnessed her mum receive multiple awards and recognition on incredible platforms like the Smithsonian’s “The Only One in the Room” exhibit and says she has big shoes to fill. Indeed, she does.
Another proud moment for Erica lies in the creation of Beautyblender’s Bounce Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer. She was at the forefront of the production process and oversaw every aspect including the shade range and ingredients profile. She also notes that Beautyblender has the deepest shade of foundation sold in Sephora.
Unlock the magic
When we asked Erica to give us a few tips using Beautyblender, she tells us that first and foremost, the sponge must be wet it to unlock its beauty and magic. She emphasises, not just wet, but fully wet. After saturating the sponge in water, squeeze it five to six times to remove all the excess. The sponge will double in size, be lightly damp, and soft to the touch.
When the sponge is damp, it can’t soak up any makeup. So, as Erica puts it, your expensive foundation and makeup products sit on the surface of the sponge, not get soaked into it. Erica also highlights that the Beautyblender is great for applying skincare. It stands apart from other brands because these sponges are built to last.
An open book
Outside of her career as Beautyblender’s Global Beauty Director, Erica has a very colourful and creative life. She is a single mum to her six year daughter. She laughs as she oh-so-relatably comments on how her daughter is six going on 14-years-old. Her podcast, “Good Moms Bad Choices” has been running for two years. She started the podcast with her best friend to discuss experiencing motherhood as a single parents. Erica shares that the podcast often interviews a wide range of people and touches on differing perspectives with love, relationships, and spirituality. Erica also keeps herself grounded by meditating daily, using deep breathing practices, and exercise.
Erica plays many roles in her life. From growing Beautyblender in its intial days to becoming its Global Beauty Director, to being a single mum and developing a podcast based off her life experiences, and finding balance in the in-between, we’d say that ultimately, she’s an alchemist. Erica is a force to be reckoned with and has the Midas touch. We can’t wait to see what she develops next.
Beautyblender can be purchased in the GCC at Sephora.