EPISODE 139

One day when she was on set, doing makeup for one celebrity or another, Rea Ann Silva became frustrated by the angled edges of the only makeup sponges available, which left tiny ridges and streaks picked up by the newest HD cameras. “Hmm,” she thought, and grabbed a scissors to snip and soften the shape for a totally smooth application. The rest is history…or at least the key to Beautyblender, her amazing beauty business that offers an array of blenders, tools and makeup. Rea Ann’s personal journey is as compelling as her business smarts. It’s all here…so make sure to listen.

AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™, hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody. It's Jodi Katz, your host of Where Brains Meet Beauty™ Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in. This week's episode features Rea Ann Silva. She's the founder of Beautyblender, and if you missed last week's episode, it featured Dr. Marc Ronert. He's the founder of Hush & Hush. Hope you enjoy the episode. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. I am so excited to be sitting with Rea Ann Silva. She is the founder of Beautyblender. Welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™.
Rea Ann SilvaWell, thank you Jodi. I'm so happy to be here.
Jodi KatzI'm happy that you're here it too. So you have a friend in the office, Natalie Banks.
Rea Ann SilvaYes. Oh my God. I was so happy to see her when I walked through that door. Yes, Natalie. Natalie was with me at the beginning of my Beautyblender journey, and she was really, really helpful and she worked at a PR firm that we used and we became fast friends and we've been connected ever since.
Jodi KatzShe's been telling me that she's been texting you for many months or maybe even years to come on the show and she finally ... it happened.
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. Yeah. I'm such a dummy sometimes. Right? Because when she texted me and was talking to me about her new job. She's had a bunch of kids, got married, had a lot of great life things happen. When I talk about work I ... When she does or whatever, I turn it off because we're just talking about other things and yeah, then I realize, "Oh my God, this is where she wanted me to come." I'm happy to be here. It's awesome.
Jodi KatzShe's very pleasant in her persistence.
Rea Ann SilvaYes.
Jodi KatzIts' a gift, right?
Rea Ann SilvaOh my God. She taught me so much when I was starting out. She was so helpful. Yes, she is, and she has a very lovely, lovely, pleasant personality, but she gets shit done.
Jodi KatzShe's the nicest publicist anyone's ever met.
Rea Ann SilvaAbsolutely. She took me on my first desk sides ever when I first was working with her at the old firm she was at, and it was just so pleasant, but it was so relaxing. Because she's so nice, she made it so easy. It could have been super nerve wracking and it was just so easy. So yeah, she's pretty awesome.
Jodi KatzWell, kudos to Natalie, and now let's talk about you.
Rea Ann SilvaOkay.
Jodi KatzOne of my favorite questions is to ask about the minutia of people's lives. So how will you spend the day today?
Rea Ann SilvaWell, I have a busy day today, Jodi. I'm launching a new product, so I have, again, desk sides. I'm doing tons of press today. So I will be spending most of my day talking about myself, which is totally annoying.
Jodi KatzI'm going to guess you're pretty good at it though.
Rea Ann SilvaGirl's got to do what a girl's got to do.
Jodi KatzWell, that is a great segue into what you've got to do. You told me that you started your career in beauty by spraying perfume on people in department stores.
Rea Ann SilvaOh yeah. I mean, if you ever want to be rejected in life, go be a perfume model at a department store. Everybody hates you, and everybody has an allergy. Nobody wants to get near you.
Jodi KatzBut yet we sell billions of dollars with the fragrance a year, right?
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. I liked it. I got to wear designer clothes. They let you dress up in their clothes. You look very nice. I smelled really good when I got home, but I don't know how good I was at up-selling perfume because literally people just would ... I mean if you want to repel people, walk towards them with a perfume bottle, and they'll be like, "No, no. Go away."
Jodi KatzWhat was the name of the department store?
Rea Ann SilvaIt was Robinsons-May. So I'm dating myself. I mean there is no more Robinsons and there is no more May.
Jodi KatzWhere was the store?
Rea Ann SilvaIn LA. Beverly Hills.
Jodi KatzHow did you manage to take that experience and turn that into a passion for working in beauty, when that's really just a really hard job?
Rea Ann SilvaRight. Well, I don't think anybody ever aspires to be a perfume model, so as you can imagine, I just fell into that opportunity. I was going to school at FIDM, and I needed a part time job. So I applied and they said ... I wanted to work in the cosmetic floor, but I didn't have experience and the result rules in the cosmetic floor, and each brand has their own team and I just was not a part of a brand, and I had never sold cosmetics before. I'd never sold retail at all. I had just really just graduated from high school.

So I don't know, I guess they looked at me and said, "Okay. Well, you seem pleasant enough. Maybe you can get people to let you spray perfume on them." They dressed me up and stuck me out on the floor. I quickly realized that, first of all, I'm not going to make any friends. However, I did make friends and I made friends at the cosmetic floor. I made friends with the women that worked behind the counter at the different brands, and I started to pay attention to the different job opportunities there.

In retail, there was a counter manager, there was a makeup artist, there was a market artist, there were employees from the store that would supplement and go in between all the different brands, and I thought, "Well, that seems a lot more fun because everybody's really happy to talk to them. They want to transform and look good, and they actually value what the people are saying." I just made it a goal for me to try to meet somebody that would give me an opportunity to work there. I was going to FIDM for ... which is a fashion design school. A design school at the time.

It was one of the first years that was ever in existence, and I was going there for fashion design. I thought I wanted be a fashion designer and I quickly realized I didn't the grading and the pattern making. There was all the backend stuff that actually happened. I liked all this stuff in the magazines, but I didn't really want to sew or do any of that. I quickly realized that I wanted to do illustration, and there was a woman there. Nancy Riggleman was my teacher there. She was amazing. She just passed away. It's really sad.

But anyway, so I started doing illustration, fashion illustration. I was good at art, and I thought, "Well, I'm going to get a job in the cosmetic department, and I think I can be a makeup artist. I think I can apply all of what you learn in art with color and texture and all of that stuff." I was pretty good at my own makeup. I mean, hell, they wanted me to be a model, so I must've done something right. So I was like, "I'm going to do other people's makeup," and that was just a quick idea that I thought this might work for me to do a part time job, it would be fun and I can make a little money.
Jodi KatzDid you have to pay for school yourself?
Rea Ann SilvaOh yeah. Yeah, definitely. I had school loans. Paid them off, thankfully.
Jodi KatzGreat. When we were talking, I started to see a theme in the way you were speaking about your career, of you realizing that you're reaching these income ceilings and then looking around you to be like, "Okay, well how do I get farther?" Right? "How do I make more money? How do I get more for my time?" And then finding another path to financial growth. So it sounds from department store then to freelancer, right? You weren't going to make a boatload of money at the department store.
Rea Ann SilvaRight. Yeah, definitely, I don't come from a family with money. I'm Mexican, Portuguese and Irish. My mother's Mexican, my father's Portuguese and Irish, and they were hardworking people but they were not really understanding the college path. They didn't really prepare me for my future. I guess they had faith in me that I would just figure it out, and apparently, that was the road I took. I did figure it out. So yes, very clearly and quickly I learned that I needed...

Once I reached a certain ceiling financially at a job and it was still challenging, I knew, "Okay, I need to make more money. How do I do that?" So then I would look at the next thing that I thought would give me a better income and make life a little easier and go for that. Yeah, that's how it happened. I went from department stores to then realizing ... Because by this time, I had some things that happened. I found a roommate who was a makeup artist, but she was going out on set. She was leaving the store and actually out of the store and doing makeup, and I was like, "Yes, that's what I want to do."

Of course living in LA is the perfect environment, really a great opportunity to be able to enter at some point the entertainment industry. That's what I started to focus on. I started to focus on trying to build a book or have some photos of my work. That meant I had to meet photographers. Well, I was young and I was hanging out and I was going out to clubs, and you would meet people that do things. I met a couple of photographers that did some test shots then they wanted me to do makeup or they let me. Let me say, they let me do the makeup for their test shots. I slowly built a book and then I slowly was able to start working as a makeup artist. It's just a crazy path that happened, and here I am today talking to you.
Jodi KatzSo we had these ceilings. We had the ceiling at the department store, then you would reach the ceiling as a freelancer, and you moved on to a union job on movie and TV sets. But there's a limit to your income abilities there too, and then to building a brand. I guess the big question I have for you today is why not just choose complacency? Why not just, "Okay, this is the income I can make at this career?" Why keep pushing for more?

Because there's plenty of people who ... they take the job, maybe it doesn't make as much money as they want, but they stay there, right? You've kept climbing, right? You kept gnawing at the wall or whatever it is to break through. What do you think is inside you that made you say, "Wait, no, I'm worth more, or I value my worth more than what this role is paying me?" What's inside you that kept pushing?
Rea Ann SilvaWow. I would love to say it was fully 100% of just an artist and people valued my work and they wanted to keep paying me more money. But in all honesty, I had a quality of life I wanted to live. Like I said, I didn't come from a family with a lot of money, but certainly the one thing that my family did do is they always moved us. We always lived in really beautiful areas. So the places that I lived in, I aspired to live like some of my friends families. Living in Newport Beach was an amazing experience.

I lived in a condo, but I had friends that lived in beautiful island mansions and flew around in private jets. I saw a different life. Even though my parents couldn't give it to me, it was definitely their plan to put us in places where we could see what you could have in life and what life could be and then it's up to you to do it.
Jodi KatzSo you said about your career, when you were on movie and TV sets that you just didn't want to be in the trailer forever.
Rea Ann SilvaI did say that. Don't get me wrong, I love ... Makeup trailers are the most amazing places. They really are. It's the heartbeat of the set. But I just had this thing in me. I was like, "I don't want to be ... If I'm 50 and I have to be in a trailer to work, I'm going to feel a little disenchanted." So my goal was to hit 50 and have that be an option, and if I wanted to be there, then I would be there. But if I didn't want to be there, I had an option. That was the most important thing for me.
Jodi KatzWell ,I think about that in my business too. So I have a creative agency. In five years, this whole social media thing, it might implode. We could be doing something else. I have my podcast, I have my other mishegas. I think we all owe it to ourselves to keep pushing moving forward because we can't rely on other forces, right? We have to rely on ourselves.
Rea Ann SilvaIt's a journey. I's just like walking down the street, you see different things as you go down this journey, and some things are going to inspire you, some things are going to teach you to avoid certain things. I mean, yeah.
Jodi KatzDo you consider yourself a risk taker?
Rea Ann SilvaOh yeah. Big time.
Jodi KatzWhat about with-
Rea Ann SilvaI just don't go to Vegas. I don't gamble. I work too hard for my money. I take risks in other ways.
Jodi KatzOkay. That's what I was going to ask. Do you feel like you take risks with the business? Like, "Let's put the money into this marketing initiative. Let's put the money into this launch." Do you feel like you can allocate money and it doesn't feel scary?
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. I don't know if I'm just a Labrador, and I'm just happy and I just don't really see what's going on around me and I have an idea and I try to do it, or if there's just a numbness that I have. I don't know how else to explain it. What I mean is when I have an idea and I want to make that idea happen, I do everything that I can to achieve that goal of making it happen, and I tried to just work with what I have to make it happen, for example, with money.

A lot of friends I have that are trying to start brands, and a lot of people come to me now and say, "Hey Rea Ann, how did you do it? Weren't you afraid? How did you deal with these people… dah, dah, dah, dah?" I never really looked at things from the perspective of it being stressful and scary. I looked at it as a challenge and an adventure, and really how can I enjoy this journey and have fun accomplishing my goal? Because that's the main.

I'm not the type of person, and the whole reason why I chose to be a makeup artist is I'm not the kind of person that can work in an office. No offense to all my many friends that I respect greatly that are able to do that, but to me, I would be really depressed. I don't have a linear way of thinking that, and although I am a creature of habit, I don't think that that would be a habit and I never thought it would be a habit that would make me happy. So I knew very early on that having this kind of personality, I am going to have to take risks, but I don't necessarily look at it. I look at it as an opportunity to achieve my goal. If it doesn't work out, then guess what? I learned a lesson.
Jodi KatzMy biggest entrepreneurial fear I think is rooted in financial insecurity, especially as I had my really lean years where I was like, "Can I afford to go buy an iced tea today?" Right? Real. I had a little kid, we had an apartment in the city. It was going out the door in New York City, you spend money in a minute, right? Can I actually do this? Then the business grew, and I really liked that better, right?

Just buying the ice day and not thinking about it. But my big fear is that there's this looming creature behind me that's going to pull it away from me. Right? So that's the ghost of financial insecurity path, and I've been unwinding it. Now I see it more of an adventure and like, "Let's do it. Let's try." But is there something that looms behind you that is that shadow of fear as an entrepreneur?
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. Well, look, I don't think anybody ... If you're somebody that has had to work very hard to achieve success and you've had those lean years ... Look, I used to go to Starbucks and steal Splenda. Okay? I was a Splenda thief everywhere I went because Splenda was fucking expensive. Okay? I was not going to eat sugar, and I'm always trying to do what I can to stay thin, which I'm failing horribly right now. But when you come from that mindset where you have to watch everything, you never want to go back there again.

But I don't let that fear or that anxiety that I would be bringing on myself because it's total fabrication, it's not happening at that moment. I don't let that really too much try to control the way I behave. There are things that loom in the background, Jodi, but I try to push them out as soon as they come in. I push them out because they take too much energy away from the things I'm trying to do to accomplish my goal. It takes a lot of energy to walk down a fear path and experience all of those phantom things that are absolutely not happening. But in your mind, you're going down this road.

I mean that's energy spent that I could be going in the other direction. So I just, as soon as a fear comes, sometimes you'll get a quake in your body. You'll just be like, "Oh, what did I just do?" Or, "Maybe I shouldn't have done that," or, "Maybe I just spent too much money," or "Maybe this idea is really stupid." But I push it out, I use common sense. I've made mistakes in the past that I learned from, and if those learnings are relative to the journey I'm taking, then I listen to them, but they're not looming negative things, right? It was a negative experience that I learned from, but something positive came from it. So I just push it out, girl, push it out.
Jodi KatzYeah. I think I'm getting closer. We're hiring a lot of people and all of a sudden, I'm like, "Oh my God, I have so many people on my team, and I'm able to just roll with it, have fun with it." It's like marketing camp here. This is fun. I think the biggest one that was hard for me for a long time was self doubt, just telling myself that I'm not worthy, and I was able to squish this down into a tiny little ball. I think I visualize it as it's in my freezer. It's a part of my past, it's who I was, so it's still in the freezer but it's the freezer in the basement, right? It's not the freezer we use every day. I'm hoping that the financial insecurity one will get to be stored in the freezer.
Rea Ann SilvaWell, I think what you're talking about too is intuition, right? We have a gut. I mean sometimes we do things. When you talk about scaling your business and growing your business and hiring people and giving them packages and insurance and 401ks and just all this shit, right? It's overwhelming. Then when you're the person that has to understand how all that works and explain it to people, it's overwhelming. Because that's not the way my mind works. I'm an artist and I'm learning, I've learned too.

But what I'm trying to say is if you start feeling some red flag come up, it's your duty to pay attention to the red flag. If the red flag is a phantom monster looming in your back and it's really not something to worry about. Because a red flag will ... all of a sudden you'll have three or four red flags pop up if you really start paying attention to it. One thing will pop up and you'll be like, "Well, what if this happens? And then if this ..." You're going down this road, right? You just have to stop and go back to what your first thought was about it and really what your first thought was about whatever the dream is you have for your business, because that's really staying very clear and focused about the vision you have for your business is always going to help you make the decision that you're doubting yourself about.
Jodi KatzRight.
Rea Ann SilvaDoes that make sense?
Jodi KatzYeah, it does. I think I'm getting close to recovery. I have an eye palpitation that happens when I'm nervous.
Rea Ann SilvaMe too.
Jodi KatzSometimes these things come through my hands or my eyes, but I really like listening to my body, I like listening to my dreams. I think my dreams are very revealing, in honest path, so what's going on. It's part of the day-to-day of being me. I'm just a work in progress, right? Listening to-
Rea Ann SilvaAren't we all?
Jodi Katz... what's happening.
Rea Ann SilvaAren't we all.
Jodi KatzI want to go back in time because you told me that your life before beauty was quite interesting, involves a lot of travel, and then it became more challenging when you got pregnant.
Rea Ann SilvaRight. I mean I guess it's quite a big story and I'll touch upon it, but I mean this is a whole other show. But basically, I told you my parents always raised us in really beautiful places, which put me in touch and in social circles with a lot of different people, and I met a lot of really wonderful people to this day I still have friendships with. I was a young woman falling in love and meeting amazing people along the way. Those experiences took me down a road where I was, for a little bit of time, living in London, living in Switzerland.

I mean, I found myself this poor little Latino girl living in the other side of the tracks, if you will, in the Newport Beach area, and suddenly met all these really amazing people that were generous. Yeah, took me with them, and it was a group of young people and that really ... they never had to work. They were beyond trust fund kids. I think I spent a couple years just traveling with them, eventually having to take a break from FIDM because they were like, "School, why are you going to school?" I'm like, "Are you kidding me? I'm trying to do something here. You and I are very different, although we're having a really good time."

Yeah. So that was my experience, and I was really intentional at that time to enjoy that opportunity. I like to take opportunities that come to me because I feel like when an opportunity comes to you, it's there to again teach you something haven't experienced, and this time in my life was really a time that I knew no other was ever going to come to me again. These were a group of royal people that were able to just fly me around with them. Groups of us. I don't even know that people do this anymore, but it was the most amazing thing. I was like, "If I don't do this, it's not like this opportunity is ever going to come again."
Jodi KatzWhat did your parents have to say about it?
Rea Ann SilvaWell, the good news and the bad news was that my parents were very involved in their own divorce, so it was almost like they were preoccupied with their own story. Thank God they got a divorce by the way, because they used to tell me I was the reason they stayed together. You know when parents do that? Finally when I was about 17 or 18, I think they were like, "Okay, this isn't working anymore." So it was when they were in the midst of the divorce, and no matter how much you think you're ready for a divorce, it's an emotional thing, and so my mom was in a fetal position in the couch for a little while, my dad was out trying to be 25 again, and they were doing their own thing.

So they were like, "Go Rea Ann. Go live your life, go do whatever you want to do," because they were preoccupied with just trying to survive that. It was traumatic for them. Yeah. Really again, my parents were pretty special people. Like I said, they didn't have a lot but they put us in places where they knew we would meet people, and I think this is the result of what they really wanted to happen. So in some ways, as a parent now myself, I think, "How did my parents just let me go out?" It was before cell phones, it was before ... I was in Europe for three months. I wouldn't talk to my parents for weeks at a time.

I would die right now if I didn't talk to my children all the time or have some form of tether to them digitally. But yeah, they stepped out in faith and was like, "She's smart, she'll take care of it," and I did and I had the most amazing time, I had the most amazing experiences. Like I said, I still have a lot of these friends today. God, it's so funny because Beautyblender is global and I see them around the world and yeah, it was really crazy. Then I came home, the love died and I was like, "Okay, I need to meet a nice American guy," and I came home and that's what I did.

I came back, that's when I decided I was going to be a makeup artist, that's when I continued to work with FIDM, but I ended up getting work. I started working right away. It Was the beginning of music video. Music video was huge and it was a great opportunity for a makeup artist that wasn't in the union to work and make money. That's how I entered my production makeup artistry before the unions, before film and television.
Jodi KatzWhat a fun place to play with your artistry.
Rea Ann SilvaOh my God, it was so amazing. I mean it was when music video had big budgets, it was when we were able to create all kinds of crazy looks. A lot of the stuff that I see people doing now, I did 30 years ago in music video. It's awesome. Not 30, that's a long time ago. Not 30 years.
Jodi KatzSo you had a challenging public situation with the father of your first child, and you told me that it was this experience that prepared you to be a fantastic makeup artist to celebrities. Right? This prepared you?
Rea Ann SilvaWell, that's a very jagged line there, but yeah, ultimately it did.
Jodi KatzRight.
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. Yeah. So I came back from Europe, and I had been with a certain guy, and he was culturally different than me. So there were different family values than the family that I had spent a lot of time with had. So yeah, I came back to the United States, I met this beautifully handsome, star football player in the NFL, new to the NFL. We locked eyes. It was one of those things, we got together, it was love, we had a great time. We were together for a couple of years, and I ended up becoming pregnant, and we were going to get married. He proposed to me and I showed my ring on the Oprah Winfrey show with him.
Jodi KatzReally?
Rea Ann SilvaYeah.
Jodi KatzI didn't Google far enough I guess.
Rea Ann SilvaIt's okay, that's another show. But yeah, and then all of a sudden, it just got really hard. I was pregnant and suddenly I was like, "Oh my God, he's gone all the time," and then I started realizing, "Oh, maybe he's not faithful." An athlete not being faithful. It didn't dawn on me. I figured he loved me, I loved him. He would be faithful, we're supposed to be faithful. I'm a loyal, faithful person. The truth of the matter was we were just really young. Our relationship today is awesome and amazing, and we have probably the most amazing daughter, the most amazing experience.

I believe all things happen for a reason, I believe we were together for the time we were together and we were supposed to be together for that time. But I would not be sitting with you here today, Jodi, having this conversation had him and I stayed together. My life would've just taken a different path. So I'm very much go with the flow, and what happened was supposed to happen for many, many reasons. The reason why I say that, it helped me in my makeup artistry. Isn't because there was anything that happened in that time that helped me with actual artistry, but what I had to go through emotionally.

First of all, becoming a mother, just the simple act of having a child, then thinking you're going to have a life that's going to be in this direction and suddenly one day it just goes in the other direction, and having to deal with that, all the while being a new mother and being a single parent suddenly. There's just certain challenges that teach you in life to be more focused, to reprioritize. I can no longer live with champagne and mustard in my refrigerator. I actually had to have food. I mean there were just things that happen, and had I not gone through that experience, I may not have been so focused or determined.

I was really determined. I was like, "I'm never going to come to him for a dime." That kind of motivation really fueled my flame to be successful and to really make something of my life. I wanted to show my daughter that I was a successful woman. I didn't want to struggle and see ... I didn't want her and definition of me to be, "Oh, my mother struggled and it was hard." It was hard and I did struggle, but in the end I succeed, and that's the story that I want to tell. So that's when I say it helped me.
Jodi KatzYeah, and I would imagine that being a private person to all of a sudden having your life be public was very jarring. But I imagine that is why being with a celebrity who has to go through this every day, that's her normal life. It'd be comforting to be around someone who understands that.
Rea Ann SilvaRight. Yeah. I did. I did understand it for my clients, but what I went through was a little different than what they went through. Because what I went through, when my daughter's father and I broke up ... and it's just one of the things that happens. Nobody planned this. He didn't plan it, I didn't plan it. It became like a public case, because he was so popular. He was at the time the highest paid player ever in the NFL, so that was big deal. To me, I never even watched football, so it was great, he was succeeding at what he wanted to do, but I had just come from this other situation where that is really great, but that was really great.

It just makes you rethink the way you look at life, right? It's funny because we talk about it now because now we're grown adults and we've gone through all of this anger and everything that you go through in these emotions of breaking up and then raising children and all of that. We just laugh because it's just meant to ... What's meant to be for you is meant to be for you, and it was just a learning experience, and we're both mature. He's so religious now. It's really crazy the way people change. Anyway, I don't know if I answered your question but it's all good.
Jodi KatzYeah. I mean one of my questions is going to be how do you make peace with the past, right? Which I think you just answered. We grow up, right? We evolve.
Rea Ann SilvaYeah, definitely. I remember going through it saying, "I can't wait until I see this happen, I can't wait until I see that happen." Mainly it was all really things like he's going to feel sorry about this, he's going to feel ... But you know what? All of those things never really materialize the way you look at them in your emotion, and yeah, you just get past it. At some point, we all deal with our mortality, right? We all deal with the fact that we're only here for a limited amount of time, and who ... How much time do you really want to spend carrying around negative baggage about somebody?

It weighs a lot and it takes a lot of energy. It drains you from the things that you want to do, and it prevents you from moving forward in your life too if you're holding on to stuff. I think we both got to a place where it's like, "Yeah, it's not. It really isn't worth holding onto this anymore. I mean, the fact of the matter is, look what we made."
Jodi KatzYeah, and it's so inspiring to hear that for our listeners who are maybe are ... they're going through a breakup in their personal life and maybe a business partner. There could be any number of circumstances where chaos is reigning, and to know that-
Rea Ann SilvaOh, I did that too. I didn't tell you about that?
Jodi KatzNo.
Rea Ann SilvaOh yeah, I had a business partner with Beautyblender in the beginning. Yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd you broke up?
Rea Ann SilvaYeah. I mean I felt more married to her than my partner. It was one of those learning experiences.
Jodi KatzAnd it was a messy breakup?
Rea Ann SilvaI don't know that I would call it messy. I think they're always challenging. I think especially when you have two people that aren't business people, we're emotional people not being able to really logically understand things. It took a while and it was challenging. We just were different people. I wouldn't say that it was messy. I think in the end it's been fine. But yeah, I mean just saying whether it's a partner in a romantic way, in a business way, breakups, you learn from them and you evolve through them and then away from them, and then what does the cliche saying hindsight's 2020. You learn from them. This whole life of mine is like I'm in the university of life. I am learning all the time.
Jodi KatzRight. This is our job though. I mean, that's what I think about myself, and I said I'm a work in progress. Yes, I spent a lot of time on the podcast and my work and my family, but I think I spend the most time in everyday working on myself. Right, I get to learn about myself through the work or learn about myself through my family, but that's the job I'm here to do, which is grow. That's the job number one.
Rea Ann SilvaThat's awesome.
Jodi KatzOkay, so my last question for you, because I think this is ... I love this topic. What does success look for you now?
Rea Ann SilvaThat is a very, very interesting question. Because in my daily life, I don't know that I look at myself ... I know I'm successful, okay? Intellectually, I know I'm successful, but I still have so many goals. I don't know that at this part of my journey that I sit back and say, "Oh, I'm so successful. What does this look like?" I mean, you get to own a car, you own a house, you're an adult. I think, at this point in my life, success for me is having the freedom to be creative in my business, having the ability to access resources and information that can help me get where I want to go.

When you don't have resources and you don't have money, it's hard to get information, it's hard to get people on board that will help you. Like Natalie, we were talking about her in the beginning, that's why she will always and forever be in my heart. She was so generous and she was so helpful for me in the beginning. Not everybody's like that. I think success really puts you in the position to be able to access people, places and things where it will really take you to whatever that ultimate goal is for me.

Success for me looks me on an island with my kids and grandchildren, drinking a Mai Tai in a muumuu with my hair up in a samurai bun, eating papaya. I don't know. Success means that I can just really enjoy the fruits of my labor, and I'm not there yet. I have a lot to do.
Jodi KatzThank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today.
Rea Ann SilvaOh! Well, I am a wise person.
Jodi KatzYou are.
Rea Ann SilvaCould you shut up? I am not.
Jodi KatzFor our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes, and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram at Where Brains Meet Beauty Podcast. Thank you.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.
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