Jo Love on battling depression with a little help from lipstick
-May 15, Hannah Hargrave, Health -
Jo Love appears to have it all. She’s a beautiful, award-winning entrepreneur with an adorable three-year-old daughter. But she’s also suffered from crippling depression. This May, the world will come together to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues for Mental Health Awareness Month. Here, the campaigner talks to Lumity about the novel way she’s helping others fight the stigma and open up about their issues.
After the birth of her daughter Bella, Jo Love battled postnatal depression. Rather than hide away, she chose to boldly document her own struggles on her Instagram page and found herself becoming an advocate for maternal mental health.
But when she was bitterly trolled for looking ‘too groomed’ to be suffering from the condition, she took it upon herself to launch the hashtag #depressionwearslippy to encourage people to share their lipstick selfies in a bid to show the many faces of mental health issues.
Now she’s sharing with Lumity not only her beauty tips but also why her heartfelt hashtag has had such an impact.
When did you launch the hashtag #depressionwearslippy and what inspired you to do it?
“I was inspired to start the campaign #DepressionWearsLippy last October after a troll said I was ‘glamourising mental health’ as I looked too groomed to be suffering with a mental health condition. It inspired me to challenge what the ‘face’ of someone with a mental health illness looks like. So for World Mental Health Day last October, and again during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month in May the campaign went global.”
Did you expect it to be so well received?
“I’ve been blown away. Hundreds of women (and a few men and pets) across the world got involved to show their support, sharing their selfies and using the hashtag and with it challenging the misconception of what someone with a mental health condition looks like. Mental health conditions affect 1 in 4 of us in our lives and therefore it is all around us and looks like all of us. It doesn’t discriminate and neither should we.”
What does makeup mean to you because it’s clearly so much more than just a bit of cover up to make you LOOK good?
“The self care of my skincare routine and the self-esteem boost of adding colour to my face makes me feel accomplished. For me, makeup and my skincare regime, is less about the outside world, it’s more a great way to be nice to myself. Those 15 minutes in the morning that I put on make up is my “me” time before taking on the day. Say I know it’s going to be a hard day, or I feel like I need that extra boost of confidence, I’ll go a little more dramatic—a brighter lip, or an extra-bold winged liner. It can be my war paint when I feel I need an extra layer of armour, so to speak!”
Have you always been interested in makeup?
“I became interested in makeup reasonably late in my teens, up until my A-levels I had been a Tomboy and it just wasn’t on my agenda. But I clearly remember a friend showing me how to do my eye makeup when I was about 17 and there was no looking back!”
What are the beauty products you swear by to make you feel and look great?
“I’ve been using the Lumity supplements and Facial Oil for the past few months and seen a dramatic improvement in my skin’s health and texture. I’ve had so many people asking what I’ve done and I’m sure it’s down to the Lumity! I was a bit nervous about using oil on my combination skin, but it’s been wonderful and not greasy at all, oh and it smells divine!
“Another product I honestly couldn’t live without is Eight Hour Cream from Elizabeth Arden. I honestly think its strong contender in the beauty hall of fame. I use it for everything…as a moisturiser, overnight facemask, for cuticles, cracked heels, chapped lips, hair de-frizzer, dry elbows, eyeshadow primer… the list could go on and on. I mean, when a product hasn’t been altered (much) for eighty years you’ve got to be pretty confident in it!”
What are the other techniques you use for making you feel better when you’re having a down day?
“Having a nap! Sleep (or lack of) is a big trigger for my mental health. I need lots of it! The link between sleep and mood is well proven and so I will do anything to ensure a good night’s sleep and if I can’t get it I will have a nap. I won’t apologise and I try not to feel guilty about missing out, as I know I’ll feel better and everyone around me will benefit as a result.”
What advice would you give anyone suffering from postpartum depression?
You haven’t failed – I cannot emphasise this one enough, so I’ll say it again YOU HAVE NOT FAILED!
Do whatever you can to stay well, speak to your GP and get help. Also know that sometimes ‘me time’/ meditation/exercise just isn’t enough – don’t be ashamed if you need to go on medication.
Banish the guilt – good ol’ ‘mum-guilt’ gets to everyone at times, but don’t let it linger, remember being a good enough Mum is good enough.
You are not alone. One thing I’ve learned in my journey more than anything else is this is so prevalent. Whether people have suffered pre or post-natal depression, anxiety, anger, or whether their condition has been officially diagnosed or they’ve suffered in silence, there’s an army of women out there who’ve walked in your shoes and have got your back. So start sharing and as you do you will see you are not alone and the support is out there.
If you found this article interesting you might also like to read how Charlotte Reed used drawing to lift her out of her depression and the celebrities who have been open about their mental health issues too.