Imagine someone who sees or speaks no evil about anyone, and views life in an untarnished selfless way. That describes my friend Beverly Black.
With her Kardashian-style beauty and well put together look, Bev Black is truly a composite of love, warmth – and fashion sense. A Colorado native born in Boulder and raised in Fort Collins, Bev has a remarkable devotion to her family, friends and the community. She’s a passionate advocate for the elderly, people serving in the military, at-risk youth, and finding a cure for cancer.
Those of you on Facebook with Bev have seen her encouraging, comforting and supportive well-wishes; or you have been greeted by Bev with a welcoming smile at Macy’s in Cherry Creek where she is a rep for Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics. In fact, Bev has been in the cosmetic world for over 30 years - previously with the now closed Denver Dry and the Cherry Creek Saks Fifth Avenue working with such top lines as Chanel, Borghese, and Estee Lauder. She has also been in the jewelry business and sold graphic design to car dealerships.
Bev has overcome many challenges along the way. She grew up with a single mom who put herself through nursing school. Bev says: “My mom did very well in the nursing field knowing that it was a time when women in the workforce weren’t always treated fairly or paid well. It wasn’t that easy for a woman to become independent. For some who worked hard to make ends meet, they could end up with an illness like cancer… and it would wipe you and your family out financially.”
Bev lost her mother and sister within a half year of each other. She also never got to know her grandmother who died before her time of cancer.
Today, Bev looks forward to her husband coming home from the Middle East after being out of the country working in a high-security position for a private military contractor.
What makes Bev Black so willing to help out in the community and be there for her friends in need? Bev has a simple philosophy on life: “Be grateful for what you have now – because you never know what the future brings. Be present now, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” With her “treat everyone as an equal” approach, Bev Black is a perfect example of how to be a loyal and compassionate friend. She just sees the good in everyone!
What are your favorite charities to support? We know you are a big supporter of nonprofits helping the elderly, the military, and fighting cancer. There are several wonderful charities I have become involved with. Pat Robinson invited me to a Bessie’s Hope luncheon (info on next event on 4-25-13 bessieshope.org) several years ago. Bessie’s Hope enhances the quality of life for nursing home and assisted living elders and brings them together with at-risk youth so they both feel valued, needed and lifted-up as human beings. It touched my heart as I had just lost my mother, and I loved her dearly. She was a nurse who always took care of people who needed help. She had a heart attack and had several other health setbacks including cancer. She had to have full-time care and was admitted to a nursing home. We learned the hard way that there are good facilities and some not so good. It is heart-breaking to see the elderly not get the care they need and also to see how many never have visits from their families. We were lucky to get my mom into Shalom Park for the last years of her life. They were wonderful.
I have also become involved with Volunteers of America, and one of their best events of the year, “I Remember Mama” which brings 100 low-income elderly women to a Mother's Day brunch in honor of Mother's Day. I volunteer for the Volunteers of America's senior programs, support the Red Cross, and Kempe events to fight child abuse and neglect as well as events that relate to cancer.
In addition to supporting causes for the elderly and fighting cancer, you are also involved with causes that support veterans and our military/law enforcement. How and why did you get involved? Being married to a retired Aurora Police Lt. who served with the army in Viet Nam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and a step-son who is in the Special Forces, I have always been thankful for all our people who serve in the military. Police and firefighters who put their lives at risk for the safety of all of us are another group I support. I support TAPS, a 24/7 tragedy assistance resource, for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death.
You are such a “maven” when it comes to the latest in the world of cosmetics and fashion. What are some of the latest trends you see out there? According to “Shape Magazine” put away the smokey shadows, etc. “A smudgy, smokey eye is so 2012.” Instead, wake up your face with gorgeous pastel colors.
Bev, you are so good at doing make-up and advising women how to look beautiful with the right products, etc. How did you train for all of this, and when did you first get involved in the world of beauty? I was working at The Denver Dry Department Store in Denver when I was in my early 20’s for Chanel Cosmetics, and I was also the Borghese Cosmetics account manager for six malls across Colorado and a few in California also. When Borghese was pulled out of the department stores, I was a makeup artist for Estee Lauder at Saks Fifth Avenue in Cherry Creek. After the Saks Cherry Creek store closed, I started working for Macy’s in Cherry Creek representing Elizabeth Arden.
Tell me about your own beauty ritual? I try to get enough sleep; and I have been using Elizabeth Arden's “Prevage Skin Care” line for the last two years and have seen significant improvement in line minimizing. I really believe in it.
What might the rest of us be doing wrong? Maybe not using sun screen every day, but - it’s never too late to start!
What do you consider your own personal style? Of course I love St. John’s, but I’m not afraid to try something different with newer trends.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome? Finding out I have an auto-immune disease when I was 30… Losing my younger sister, Carol, to Ewing Cancer. She was my BFF… I really miss her.
What is the most rewarding thing you have done in your life? Tough question… I’d have to say help take care of my mom towards the end of her life and also my sister when she was going through chemo and radiation… She was so brave.
What would you change about your life if you could? Go back in time and spend more time with people I’ve loved and lost.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? There have been so many… Madeleine Albright and Barry Fey are two people with Colorado roots who I really admire and have led interesting lives. There are a group of older women who have taught me a lot and were able to overcome many things during their era: Cookie Gold, Ida Strauss, and Marie Cohen. Of the people active in our community, I admire Robin Chotin, Terri Fisher, Sheila King Morris, Pat Robinson, and Sharon and Saundra Sweeney for all the amazing things they do.
What do you like to do for fun? I love to travel; and I’m looking forward to going on a cruise this May that will go through Russia.
What do you want to do more of in the future? Try to do more traveling, be more involved with VOA, and try to spend more time with my sweet nephews.
What do you think is the most important message we need to share with our future generation of givers – or just our younger population in general? In every generation, the challenge is to find enough people who believe in causes greater than themselves.
What is your favorite motto or words of wisdom? The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
You are such a compassionate person and very comforting to those around you. How do you consistently stay that way? Thank you for saying that. My mother was a very kind, caring person, and I learned from her. I just try to remember to always give back.