Shaped by creativity, optimism, and courage, Cara Brook created Maskcara Beauty to share her love of beauty. Cara is a beauty blogger and makeup artist who believes that makeup should be used to enhance the true beauty in a woman’s face, rather than covering it up. On today’s show, she joins Dan McCormick to talk about how she built Maskcara and what she has to do to make her vision happen.
Listen to the podcast here
Maskcara: Enhancing True Beauty with Cara Brook
I have Cara Brook from St. George Utah. Welcome to the show. How are you?
I’m great. How are you?
I am thrilled to have you here. I got to tell our audience, I don’t know where people are going to be reading from. I know you’re going to have a lot of friends and fans. I know all have friends, fans, and people from all over the globe chiming in. When I started with the concept of having an episode on a weekly basis, I’m on the phone with our mutual friend, Paul Blanchard. I said, “Paul, I only know Cara through a mutual friend, Amanda. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have Cara come on the show?” Paul said, “She would be terrific.”
For those that don’t know Cara or don’t know me, we don’t know each other. We just know what each other does and we can appreciate the journey. We’re going to be here every Wednesday. I call it Wisdom Wednesday, 2:00 PM, Pacific. We are talking to the greatest salespeople in the world. Our lineup is loaded. I’m going to say at the outset for those that are joining us, The Greatest Salesman in the World was a book written by Og Mandino many years ago. This book was put in my hands as a young man at nineteen years of age. Somebody that didn’t have any self-esteem, self-worth, and net worth.
Somebody told me that if I read this book and I applied the principles, my life would change forever. Here I sit, many years later. I like to start the show off by telling you, whom the book was dedicated to by Og Mandino because it reads beautifully. The book is dedicated to a man that saved Og Mandino’s life. In a sense, it’s a pay it forward dedication. He says, “W. Clement Stone, who has blended love, compassion, and a unique system of salesmanship into a living philosophy for success which motivates and guides countless, thousands of individuals each year to discover greater happiness, good mental and physical health, peace of mind, power and wealth.” When I think about those words, Cara, and I hear what people say about you that know you, you stand for something important. I wonder if we could start the show off by you giving value to our audience. What are three things at the top of your mind that shape your leadership, your life, your family, etc.?
First of all, thank you for having me. Three things that shaped my life, one would be creativity. A lot of people see creativity as something. People that do creative things like drawing or music, those are the things that take the shift of creativity and make people see it one way. There are many different ways to be creative. I believe that every single person, no matter how right or left brain you are, needs creativity, and helps thrive within it. I see it as finding new ways to do things and to reach your goals. Creativity is something that shapes every day of my life.
I’m a natural optimist. I’m lucky that way, but I have found that optimism is the most vital thing for me and for anyone. It can be hard to stay optimistic, but I’ve never regretted it. It’s something that even if you don’t have a natural optimism, you can cultivate it and become where you see things from the bright side. It doesn’t mean a lot of people see it as you’re not seeing things the way they are. I disagree with that. You can see things the way they are and also see the very best of them. It’s not every single time it will end up being what you wanted it to be, but you’ll always get something out of it and learn something.
The third is courage. It’s another word that you can use in a ton of different ways. For me, one of the most important ways that I use courage is persisting until I succeed. It sounds cliché, but not giving up has honestly been the most important part of my journey in creating the business that I have. Even though you have to change course and you might have to give up on certain expectations, do not give up on your ultimate goal. If you’re not going forward, you’re going backward and never let those decisions get made for you because you’re just standing still. Those are my three that I thought of at the top of my head.
I had no idea what your answers were going to because we haven’t spent a lot of time together. Those are outrageous words for your life. I’m thinking about what you’re saying and I’m saying to myself, “You’re right. I could be more creative as a father. I could be more creative and engaging with my grandkids, distributors, and friends.” Dave Blanchard likes to call me Dan, The Sunshine Man. I need to be even more creative as a friend. I love bringing it out. Og Mandino was a friend to everybody because when you’re a principle-based person, you treat people the right ways. I am thrilled. I know that we’re going to have thousands read this blog around the globe.
Optimism is something that everyone can learn from. I know one great mentor says that he could be at the bottom of the deepest pit in Nova Scotia and he still should be an optimist. Your words ring true to great leadership and courage. You are using one of the scrolls inside of the Og’s book, “I will persist until I succeed.” How beautifully is that tied in? Thank you for giving that some thought. Let’s look at you as a leader of thousands and thousands of home-based entrepreneurs. What was the vision? You have a company called Maskcara. How did that start for you? Where did that vision of entrepreneurship come from? I’m guessing inside of creativity for you.
My story starts when I was in fifth grade, I had to do a science project. I come from a family of eight children. When I tell you that my mom and dad didn’t help with my science projects, you probably believe me. I remember distinctly that the teacher said that we could either do a typical science project or an invention that could count and fit into that whole science project vibe. I decided I wanted to do an invention because that sounded so much more fun to me than science, even though I didn’t know they were the same thing. I was trying to think of something to do an invention on. I noticed that a lot of the moms of my friends had makeup and they all seem to have a different relationship with it. I felt like most of them seem to complain about it a little bit. Either they complained that they didn’t understand it or they complained that it wasn’t easy enough or they didn’t do it well. I thought for something that all of them seem to have, even the ones that didn’t look like they wore it, why do they all have this thing and nobody’s done it right? Nobody’s made it work for them. Nobody’s done the thing that it should make it easy and make them feel confident and all of that. I thought, “I know what I should do.” I made a clay mask that forms fitted to your face.
How old were you when you did this?
Every single person, no matter how right or left brain you are, needs creativity. Click To Tweet
I was eleven. At night, you put all the makeup on the clay mask, and in the morning, you had to pop it on. The beauty of that in my eyes was you could sleep in. It would be easy and quick. It didn’t work, but I never lost that hope that someday I would be able to make a product that would make things easy and would fulfill what makeup should do, which is make women feel confident and beautiful and not make them feel less confident. That was always my goal, but I didn’t know how to reach that goal. It’s not that easy to do to start up a makeup company.
It seemed like you probably needed a whole lot of money to start and things that I didn’t have or have access to. I learned everything I could about beauty, makeup, and art. When I went to college, I didn’t plan on graduating. I planned on taking classes that I thought would help with my ultimate goals. I took entrepreneurship classes, art classes, and portrait painting. I was obsessed and am still obsessed with how beautiful the human faces. Ultimately, I finally came up with this idea of this product that I wanted to start. I thought, “I still don’t have any money, connections, or any idea how to even get this made.”
At the time, I had not seen beauty blogs, but they existed. There were hundreds, if not thousands of them already, but in my eyes, I had seen a bunch of other blogs. I thought, “What I should do is this beauty blog where it’s like a beauty magazine, but I teach people beauty.” I thought it was a novel idea and to this day, I’m glad that I thought that because it kept me thinking that it needed to be done. If I’d seen how many there were, I would have been a little discouraged and said, “I’ll let them do this.” I’m glad that I didn’t know, but I made the beauty blog and I did the highest. It was reaching about 3 million people a month. It was crazy and exciting. I was able to create this product and had this cool way to market the product and this group of women surrounding me that were supportive and amazing. That is the story of how I created the company.
Your name is Cara. The name of the company is Maskcara. Where was the genius in this? I love it.
Thank you. The genius was my sister. I know that names are important and it had to be cool and fun. We’d been brainstorming for weeks. I had everyone in my family thinking about it. My dad was throwing out ideas left and right. One of his greatest was BGorgeous. He was like, “It’s like Be Gorgeous, but BGorgeous,” which didn’t make the list. I was talking to my sister and she’s like, “I wonder if we should use something like a play on words with your name, Cara and then we could use mascara and maybe spell it differently.” I ran home as soon as she said. It was the best idea ever. I got the URL and I knew it was going to be a good one.
You sit as the Founder of this company. You have thousands and thousands of beauty artists. You have tens of thousands, if not more customers than I could ever even mention here. It looks glamorous maybe to some looking at you, but tell us when it was hard. What was it like the money, and hiring the right people? Everything that an entrepreneur has to do to make this vision happen.
There have been many hard parts along the way, just getting the money to make the order in the first place. I was a single mom who was barely even able to pay my bills. The blog started making some money, which I was able to save $30,000. That was incredibly amazing to me. While I was waiting to get the estimate on what the product was going to cost, I thought that’ll cover it. It will be good. I had told everyone about it and everyone was expecting this product. When the estimate came, it was $180,000. I didn’t have any credit. I didn’t think how are we going to do that. That’s an insane amount of money.
My parents were willing to give everything they had. My husband’s parents at the time, I didn’t think they had any money, but I thought, “We got to get this money. We have to make this order in two weeks. We didn’t even have time to waste.” His dad called him and said, “I have $120,000 that I’m getting from my retirement. I’m willing to invest in your company.” When we needed it, he got it out to us within two weeks, which was crazy. I couldn’t even imagine how that could happen, but then I had to wait for six months for the product, knowing that if this doesn’t work out, I’ve put in poverty, my entire family. It’s everything my parents, my friends, and we have. It was pretty wild and intense six months waiting and hoping that it was all going to work out, but it ended up working out.
I’m holding in my hand what you referenced and that is, “I will persist until I succeed.” You gave us three things and then you’re validating those three things by your creativity and optimism. I’m listening to Og’s words penetrate my mind and everyone can go read it, The Greatest Salesman in the World, The Scroll Marked III, when he says, “I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered into this world in defeat.” That comes back to your courage. I got nervous with you telling the story of somebody giving you their retirement money. How did you feel about that?
It is intense and scary. You don’t want to let anyone down. There have been many little moments throughout this whole journey where I remember going to bed and thinking, “Why have I done? Why am I doing this? Is this worth it? Can I go back?” It can be scary, especially when you make a big step. At first, it’s usually worse before it gets better. It’s a lot scarier. When you jump off, you’re not flying right away. I’m grateful at those moments. Those are the moments that a lot of people say, “This is too hard. I’m going to close up shop. I don’t want to do this.” It’s an overwhelming feeling and you want to get away from it. If you get through that little rough area, you get on the other side. It’s always been so much better once I got on the other side of all those times.
That’s why you’re the guest on the show because you did it, you’re doing it and living it. People that I know that know you talk about your character and your passion and how you feel about making a contribution. I wonder if you could take me back. When I look at the creativity, optimism, courage, when was the first time you read The Greatest Salesman in the World?
It was a couple of years ago.
Many people that jump on our show, we’re going to encourage everyone to take our free assessment at HabitFinder.com/actnow. That’s my page. You’ll watch my little 90-second video of me talking about how I had been reading these scrolls for years. Scroll II, wakes me up every morning when the first breath is taken and my eyes open. I realized, “I will greet this day with love in my heart.” If you think about where Og was going through alcoholism, and Today, I Begin A New Life with Scroll I and Scroll II, I Will Greet This Day with Love in my Heart. I grew up in a broken home. I didn’t have someone to say, “Son, I love you,” every day. It wasn’t a warm, fuzzy feeling. My brother and I are basically throwing hockey sticks at each other’s heads every day. We were annihilating each other. That scroll resonated with me in such a unique manner. I’m wondering for you, when you said that, “I will persist until I succeed.” Is that the scroll that stands out for you?
Yes, that’s my favorite because that’s the one I think is cliché. People say, “Never give up.” It’s one of those things that gets thrown around a lot. For me, I can’t point to anything else. If I was going to pick one singular thing that made all the difference and persisting and that being unwilling to take no for an answer and to not make it happen and knowing that it will.
If I understand your story correctly, you had some other options before going the direct selling route. How did that decision play into your life? There’s a fork in the road for a lot of us when we make big decisions. What was that like for you?
For me, the direct selling route was never a route that I was interested in or wanted to take. I had a lot of negative perspective on it. I didn’t think that it was a good route. I have strong principles that even if something was going to bring me more success, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t feel good about it or if I didn’t feel like it was right. It was never even on the table. I was looking into a bunch of different options and I was looking into retail. I had some huge retail companies that had always been on my dream board on places that I would love to have the makeup and it just wasn’t feeling right
You have this little baby and you’ve raised it and you love it in a way that if you’re going to let someone else love on it too, you want them to see it the way you do. I wasn’t getting that feeling. Meanwhile, this whole thing was brewing on the other side, where I had all these women supporting me and loving me. I felt indebted to all the people that followed my blog and helped me create this company. They changed my life in such a huge miraculous way. I was able to live the life that I had always dreamed of because of their help, support, and love. As they continued to support, love me, share this product, make parties and do all of this for nothing, I kept thinking, “We’ve got to make some system where we can pay them.” It was the people helping their friends, buy the makeup, and showing them how to look beautiful and doing it from a desire to help.
That’s how I went down the rabbit hole of, “How do we pay them back for their work?” One step after another, I saw the brilliance in the direct sales model and how you can use it to help people give themselves a chance to do something that they love, do it on their own time, and fit it into their life. It’s what I did and what I was able to do with my blog replicated. What better thing than to see something that changed my life and took me from a place of I was lonely and sad and felt like I did not have a lot of worth. It wasn’t just the financial change. It was with the feeling of being able to help people with something and seeing that I could make a difference in people’s lives.
That changed the way that I felt about myself. The idea that this company could also do that for others seemed like the best possible thing to do, but also who better to share this baby with than the other people who love it as much as I do and see it the way I do. I know they’ll take care of it and share it the way that I would. If it can help put food on their table, how could a huge corporation ever compete with that? That’s how I came around.
There’s so much to unpack with what you said. I’m thinking of the early stages of the book when Og Mandino is telling the story of half feed. He says, “I have always counted your friendship as my greatest asset. What I now bestow on you is of little measure compared to your unending loyalty.” You’re showing your loyalty to these artists and you’ve mastered the art of living, not for yourself alone, but for others. How does that make you feel that you get to wake up every day and work with these thousands of beautiful entrepreneurs that are sharing your vision with you?
It’s indescribable. It’s the best feeling that I could ever have. When I get to spend time with them, whether it’s online or in-person, it reignites that love that I have for each one of them. Truly, there’s a real connection there. We truly are all working on the same goal. It’s been something that when I was eleven, I wanted a makeup company. I dreamed of that. I could have never dreamed of this app. It’s much better than I ever could have imagined.
You let us to a point that is going to be profound for whoever listens to this on Spotify or iHeartRadio or whatever six months or six years from now. What’s interesting to me is that you had a dream board in your mind as an eleven-year-old, but you mentioned that you had a dream board. How did that all come up alive for you?
When I said dream board, I mostly did think in my mind. It was one of those goals you have in your mind. Every step of the way, I always wanted the same thing at the heart of it. That’s why my blog had the popularity that it had, the product, and everything. People are able to trust me because I genuinely want women to feel beautiful and I want to bring beauty to the world. That’s the truth. It’s never changed. The goals and the how to get there, and all of the details have changed, morphed, grown, and become bigger than they ever were before, but the heart of it has always stayed the same. It’s nice to know, at least because I believe that as long as that’s my goal and that’s where I’m headed, the rest will take care of itself and it always has.
One of the great things that I get to do is the show host is I get to learn and take notes. One of the great things about technology is we can reread it. I get to reread what you say. I get to say to myself as an entrepreneur, “How can I maybe take those three things you mentioned with creativity, optimism, and courage and be better at those areas?” People have commented so much about this. One of the things that are said was talking to Hafid in the book, he says, “True wealth is of the heart, not of the purse.” It seems like you’ve metabolized that. Stephen Covey probably said it best in The 8th Habit because The 7 Habits is a profound book. My wife had him as a professor in college and a profound piece of literature. The 8th Habit is what you’re living and that is, “You found your voice and you’re empowered to help others find theirs.” It’s a special thing.Beauty isn't just on the outside or inside; it’s all-encompassing. Click To Tweet
I felt lucky to be able to be part of that and the group that I’m part of.
To carry a little further on that, when you talk about helping women be beautiful and what we get to do with the Og Mandino Company with the show is trying to help people be beautiful and happy on the inside as well. That’s why we do the free assessment with HabitFinder.com/actnow. If anyone hasn’t taken that, do that, we give that away. The Og Mandino Company gives away a lot of stuff. I know that you’re empowered if you can make your team stronger on the inside, there’s going to be a lot more beauty on the outside for a lot of people. They are going to prosper at degrees of success that maybe they didn’t even see in themselves. Are you finding that with some of your team?
It’s fun to see people shine. Beauty isn’t just outside or inside. It’s all-encompassing to see people see themselves in a different way because of their accomplishments and what they are able to do for others and for themselves is such a beautiful thing to witness.
I got to say this in conclusion here that I am astounded by those three words that you chose. I don’t know that anyone would ever match you in that area. I thought it was profound for our audience to think about, even if we tried to take your words and analogize them to the way Og Mandino was as a writer. His creativity of telling this story, the title is not even close to what the book does for somebody’s life. It’s the greatest person inside of you. Your creativity, optimism, and courage, I got to imagine that when you took the assessment you did a debrief with Paul or with Dave, it had to be an invigorating conversation.
Were you like me at all? I was a little bit nervous to take that. I’m not a good test taker. Are you nervous in any way taking that?
I wasn’t going into it nervous, but it was weird. I kept thinking like, “Am I doing this right?”
For me, when I did it, I can still remember the feeling I had when Dave Blanchard, the President of Og Mandino Company called me and said, “I gave you this link to take the assessment. Are you still going to do it?” I finally did it and I remember spending 90 minutes with him. I remember him telling me what some of my greatest qualities were and maybe how I could move the needle a little bit on some of the weaker areas and bring these scrolls into full alignment with my life. I can only imagine the company you’re going to build, being the leader you are aligning yourself with these types of principles. What would you say to somebody that maybe is starting the journey? Maybe they’re brand new. Maybe they’re in your company or not. Maybe they’re in my company. Maybe there any direct selling company. What pearls of wisdom would you say in closing?
I would say along the lines with the persisting, one of the things that did stop me up in the journey is you get to a point sometimes where you think, “I need something outside of what I have in order to get to the next step.” It’s a trick we play on ourselves to keep ourselves from having to fail. It says, “You can’t do it without that thing.” That’s where creativity and courage come in and optimism honestly, is saying, “If I need that thing, this isn’t to wall, this is just a hurdle.” I need to find around it and find what I have now. I have to find a way to take a step forward and never let anything get in your way. Even if the step doesn’t feel like it’s going to get you there, as long as you’re moving forward, eventually you’re going to get there. At any point, if you think you don’t have what it takes to take the next step, you’re either seeing a much too big step or you’re missing four steps in between that you could be taking in the meantime. For anyone starting out, my biggest hope is that they keep moving forward and not being stagnant.
You said something there that made me want to ask you another question. Patty said that she was completely blown away. “I was stopped in my tracks when my assessment was explained to me.” You said something that, “It should be looked at as a hurdle, not a wall.” I love that because that comes back to your genuine, authentic you, of being an optimist. There’s no wall there. It’s just a hurdle.
Even being an optimistic person, there were many times when I thought, “I can’t do this next thing.” I couldn’t see my way around it until I stopped doing that and said, “I’m not going to stop for anything. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to the next step.”
I don’t know the answer to this question. Do you have a personal mission statement or a company mission statement that guides you on a daily basis?
The company mission statement is definitely what inspires my personal mission, which both have those three words that I used, that courage, creativity, and optimism, which is a huge part of what guides us.
That’s another example of how aligned you are with your life and your vision. If there are any entrepreneurs that don’t have their own business that wants to have their own business, Cara is somebody that hopefully is left some true pearls of wisdom here. Is there any link of anyway? If they wanted to reach out to you, how would they do it?
My Instagram is @MaskcaraBeauty. You can reach me there, follow me, and DM.
Cara, I look forward to getting to know you better in the years to come. Your artists better. Again, it’s an app, Maskcara Beauty. I hope everyone can appreciate what we’re trying to do here on the show. Cara, I want to wish you nothing but the best success. Congratulations on your journey, your team, your contribution to many lives here, and paying it forward. I hope everybody gets as much out of as I do. There are already people commenting, “I can’t wait to reread.” You get to grab your notepad and your journals and take more notes. Cara, I hope you have the greatest day of your life. Everybody, bye for now.
- Cara Brook
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
- The 8th Habit
- The 7 Habits
- @MaskcaraBeauty – Instagram
About Cara Brook
live in Southern Utah with my husband and four boys and one girl. (We’re a foster family!) When I’m not being a mom, I’m a makeup artist, beauty blogger and business owner. I created Maskcara to share my love of beauty. I believe that most women are twice as pretty as they give themselves credit for inside and out, I’m on a mission to change that.
For my 5th grade science project I created a clay mask that form fitted to my face. The idea was you can put the makeup on the mask before bed, then in the morning you’d just smash it to your face and voila! makeup finished! I created it because I figured it afforded me my two favorite things makeup & sleeping in.
It didn’t really work:) but I never gave up on the idea to make makeup easier and more fun.
Even at 11 years old I could tell that there was a problem with the beauty industry. Instead of making women feel more beautiful I saw a tendency to make them feel more insecure, by convincing them they needed more and more products and more and more rules to abide by in order to meet the standard.
I wanted my blog and my products to be different. I wanted to help create an environment and makeup that celebrates every type of natural beauty, that shares simple and useful tips, and to create and share about staple products that can be used by every woman time and time again.
I’m a face connoisseur. It’s almost distracting how much beauty I see in women all day long. Every face I work on inspires me because they each have such unique and stunning features. I’m honestly and truly baffled when they tell me about the flaws that bother them. My goal is to help them see the what I see.