She’s Behind Big Cover-Up: ‘Don’t Like It? Cover It Up’


The makeup maven is back. Flori Roberts, who pioneered a line of cosmetics for black women and developed Dermablend, a camouflage cover-up designed to conceal scars and birthmarks, is now on a mission to change the face of aging.

In November, Roberts and her son Douglas launched Smart Cover, a waterproof, all-over concealer that hides everything from age spots, stretch marks and fine lines to broken capillaries and varicose and spider veins.

Roberts, who is close to 70, said the idea for the product came from her own changing makeup needs, as well as from feedback from other older women.

“I’ve always believed that if you look in the mirror and see something you don’t like, you deserve to be able to cover it up,” Roberts said. “As far as I’m concerned, aging is only skin deep.”


To prove her point, Roberts uses herself as a model--liver spots and all--to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product. She appears on the Home Shopping Network, where the line is sold, and covers the skin imperfections on her hands and legs for the viewing audience.


Roberts is pleased to see the number of makeup and skin-care products catering to older women on the shelves today.

“This is a market that had been ignored in the past,” Roberts said. “But after the industry saw how alpha hydroxy took off, they took another look. Now anti-aging products are on the cutting edge, as they should be.”

When Roberts isn’t promoting Smart Cover, she travels the country conducting motivational seminars for women 50 and over titled, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Mirror.”

The main purpose, she said, is to urge women to make the most of life, whatever their age.

“Stay involved. Without challenges, you’ll bore yourself and others to death,” Roberts said. “Make a wish list of the things you would have done when you were younger if you’d only had the time--and do them now.”


Roberts follows her own advice. In 1993, after more than 30 years in the beauty business, Roberts and her husband retired and sold both Dermablend and the Flori Roberts line of ethnic makeup. Although they bought a home in Florida, Roberts didn’t spend much time relaxing.

She was the first woman inducted into the Sales and Marketing Executive International Academy of Achievement and was a founding member of the Committee of 200, an organization of the country’s preeminent businesswomen.

She also serves as one of the first female directors of SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives) and designs mentor programs to help women advance in business, politics and entrepreneurial ventures.

Now, six years later, she is back in business as well. Roberts said she was lured out of retirement by her son, who asked her to return as creative director of the Roberts Group and promote Smart Cover on the Home Shopping Network. Despite putting in 14-hour workdays, Roberts said she feels better than ever.

“The way I look at it, getting older isn’t the ‘rest’ of your life, it’s the ‘best of your life,’ ” Roberts said. “As long as I have health and energy, I’ll keep on going.”