The Kindness of Strangers

02 /20/ 2014 by under: ,

My first experience developing “The Everything Pencil ™ Face and Body Concealer was due to a desire I had to help strangers who were facing skin issues. As a “Post Operative” makeup consultant for cosmetic surgeons in Beverly Hills, I was tasked with teaching women who had experienced everything from elective surgery to car accidents and burns on how to develop a “whole again” look through the application of corrective cosmetics.

In 1986, the beginning of it all, I needed a quick, effective product that was portable and easy to manage. I scoured the beauty supply places in order to find “just the right” tool. The sales girl, a complete stranger, took me way in the back and sitting on the shelf, showed me an unmarked pencil that was filled with cosmetic concealer. I was immediately intrigued by the simplicity of the idea “A pencil…of course! That’s it!” I then set out to find more about this little incognito pencil with nothing more than “Made in Germany” printed on the side.

Finding the company in Germany, strangers answered the phone and were delighted that the little pencil was so right for my needs. In no time at all the people who were strangers at the lab across the world introduced me to a sister lab here in the U.S.A. where we soon became business associates and friends. They agreed to create a concealer pencil with ingredients and texture to my specifications. “What do you want to call the pencil?” they asked? “Well, it covers up and conceals absolutely everything so why don’t we call it “The Everything Pencil ™ Face and Body Concealer”. And so this little incognito pencil became the first true product in our line of cosmetics specializing the art of camouflage makeup

A dear friend, was once a stranger, gifted me with the Judith August logo, (believe me, my handwriting looks NOTHING like that) and one more piece of my business puzzle was put in place. I was helping strangers and strangers were helping me.

One evening, walking out of a party, I passed a woman who looked at me and said “I have to know you!” She was a complete stranger but I liked her immediately. Trading numbers, she found me at the coffee shop a month later with a stack of papers strewn on the table and a perplexed look on my face. What I had before me was the first writings from “Gotcha Covered, the Compact Guide to Camouflage Makeup”. “The Stranger” turned out to be a writer… Heaven! Three years later through a thousand cups of coffee, a lot of laughs and a whole lot of rewrites… the book was born. And where a stranger once stood, a solid friendship was realized.

When did you last depend on a stranger? When did you help a stranger by giving them information that will help their lives become better? When the last time kindness of a stranger made your day? Was it the person next to you at the stoplight letting your know your right front tire was low? The teenager at the grocery store who saw you struggling with the big bag of kitty litter and placed it into your trunk for you? Perhaps it was the woman at the bank who ran to give you the debit card you inadvertently left in the ATM machine. Strangers showing a bit of kindness in the world make our day.

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” to spread the word about my products and frankly, they have never let me down. In the daunting business called “cosmetics” I continue to thrive and I am grateful for each and every experience I have bringing me from stranger to friend. Who was the stranger in your life that turned you around and allowed you to face the world beautifully? Drop us a line at [email protected]. We love hearing from you!


Judith August

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