As you guys know, I am a female business owner, and I am always fascinated to meet and hear the stories of other women who are kicking butt in their careers. To honor and highlight those women on my blog, I’ve decided to launch my newest series, Lady Leaders, for which I will interview women whom I have met who I find inspiring. So, let’s get started! First up…
LADY LEADER: ASHLEY TOURSO
LADY OF NYC / LEADER AT ESSIE POLISH, L’OREAL USA
Name: Ashley Tourso
Profession: International Marketing Manager for Essie Polish
Instagram Handle: @ASliceofSpice
“Positivity, positivity, optimism and just being genuinely nice goes a long way. You don’t need to be a bitch to succeed.”
– Ashley Tourso
I had the pleasure of getting to know this stunning Lady Leader through a dance organization and connected over our love for beauty and fashion. We both worked at L’Oreal for a period of time, and it has been amazing to watch Ashley grow higher up at L’Oreal as she becomes a true nail expert! Below is Ashley’s advice and thoughts on her career, beauty routine, and personal life.
What inspired you to join L’Oreal and how to get you get your foot in the door?
I knew I wanted a job in marketing and I do love fragrance, skin care, and nail polish so I figured L’Oreal could be a great fit. I was able to get my foot in the door with an internship at Ralph Lauren Fragrances which is under the L’Oreal umbrella. Ralph Lauren was one of my favorite brands growing up. I loved the boho look and Ralph Lauren always seemed to do it right so when I landed a job at RL fragrances it felt like my dream job.
When did you know that L’Oreal was the right fit you?
I knew that this job was working for me when I realized that L’Oreal is structured in a way that gives junior positions opportunities to make an impact on a brand. You can come up with an idea or product that you believe would work for your brand and you have the opportunity to actually launch it and work on it start to finish.
What motivates you the most?
The fear of looking back at my career and wishing I worked harder or achieved more. I want to be able to look back and feel really proud about what I accomplished in my career.
Word of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career:
Work hard, hustler harder and talk to as many people as you can in the industry that is willing to give you a few minutes.
Something practical every on-the-rise exec should own:
A nice watch. Coming from someone who isn’t punctual in her personal life, it was an effort for me to be super punctual in the work place. However, this is valued and respected so it is something that is very important. With non-stop meetings it’s hard to not have time slots that overlap when meetings run over. Checking the time on your phone is rude and can come off as uninterested. Just having a phone out in a meeting can be distracting too so having a good watch to casually glance down at when needed is key.
“It’s easy to say something looks great and experience gives you background behind why it looks great but leadership is really when you are able to give an opinion and back up why.”
Your style in three words:
Fun, creative, self-expressive
Beauty Products you can’t live without:
YSL tint-in-oil and a good moisturizer. I actually keep a small face cream (Kiehl’s skin rescuer) and hand cream in my bag for work because I hate when skin feels dry. I also love the tint-in-oil because it moisturizes your lips while also giving a natural-looking glow of color. (I also can’t live without my white eyeliner and a good blush- I use the white liner to line the inside of my bottom lid and it really helps brighten up your eyes and look less tired!)
Power-Boosting Beauty Hack:
use an eye shadow flat brush and dip it in acetone to clean up your mani. It makes an at-home mani look professional. It’s so easy to clean up the mess around the edges and it blurs any unevenly painted edges.
You have a KILLER bod. What’s your secret to feeling and looking so amazing?
Boxing. I’ve always loved boxing and Equinox just added a morning boxing class – I was so excited. It’s such a good workout and it’s awesome to feel so accomplished by 8am.
How do you incorporate your ‘personal brand’ into your career? Your nails seem to always be a different shade each week.
I always stay true to who I am and how I feel at that moment when I get dressed for work. I feel like my personal style helps me express myself and when you feel comfortable in your clothes you feel confident in the work place.
Best Style/Beauty Decision:
Spending money and investing in great skin care products. It took me until I was 25 but I realized that a good skincare routine is key. Growing up I always had at least one blemish on my face and now (for the most part) my skin is usually always blemish free.
The best piece of advice you have ever received:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” As I have grown within this company I’ve realized that people respect your words and opinions more when you choose your words carefully. Someone once said to me an intern will say “that looks great” an assistant manager will say “that looks great but it’s similar to our previous fall advertising” and a manager will say “it looks great but the object in the advertising won’t resonate with the consumer for XYZ reasons and I think we should do XYZ instead because it will help sell-in the collection and highlight it’s strengths”. It’s easy to say something looks great and experience gives you background behind why it looks great but leadership is really when you are able to give an opinion and back up why.
Also don’t always show all your cards – keep some ideas and facts in your back pocket for the right time to pull them out when it will be the most impressive.
Your #girlboss secrets to leading a efficient yet stylish lifestyle? You always look fabulous when I see you!
Comfort is key. There is nothing worse than a girl hobbling into a meeting with top management because she can’t walk in her heels. Be practical, pain doesn’t always have to be beauty.
I also always like to get dressed. Even if it’s going to the grocery store, I try and make an effort. You never know who you will run into and it just makes you feel more confident.
Challenges as a successful Lady Leader:
The hardest thing about working in a large corporation is making yourself standout through the thousands of creative employees all striving for the same thing. Know what you are good at and play on that. In order to be valuable you have to offer something that cannot be replaceable. So make yourself irreplaceable and go the extra mile. Create a presentation on why you believe in a project or a new business venture for the team. Do something no one has done yet.
How do you attempt to have a work life balance? The culture at L’Oreal can be intense!
When I first started out at L’Oreal I had very little time to myself, it was a lot of work and not much play. Over time, after “paying my dues” things balanced out better. I would say the most important thing is to carve out time for your significant other. I’ve had a long term boyfriend who has always been super supportive and would understand when I was working late which of course takes the pressure off. If you know you can leave work before 7PM, plan a date night with them and make it fun, make the time count.
Where are your go to spots in NYC?
I’m a foodie, I actually have a food Instagram with my boyfriend because we love exploring new places to eat in NYC and even in NJ where we grew up. I love roof top bars and restaurants in NYC. Mr.Purple is always a great place to go for a good view, Catch is one of my favorites in terms of food, and I recently went to Rouge Tomate which had amazing food as well, and it was healthy – highly suggest!
Make sure to follow Ashley if you want to get to know her further and I will be sure to introduce you to our next Lady Leader soon!