Chanel Tyler, Estée Lauder Director of Local & Cultural Relevancy, on Her Wellness Regimen, Inclusion & Diversity, Fighting Tokenism, and the Power of Communal Empowerment

Name: Chanel Tyler 
Title/Role: Director, Local & Cultural Relevancy, The Estée Lauder Companies
Based in: NYC 
Age: 31

1. In your words, who are you? 

Chanel: I am first and foremost a Black woman, I am a believer, I am a wife, a daughter, a friend, an entrepreneur, a young professional, a Virgo, a skincare enthusiast, a blogger, a student, a strategist, a creative.

2. Give us a day in your life.

Chanel: I wake up around 630am so that I have time to focus on selfcare, mainly my skincare routine.  I always take the bus to work, it has really contributed to lessening my anxiety levels and giving me more peace to start the day.  I love my job and I work a full 9-10 hour day usually followed by a workout that I booked on Classpass. I grab a salad from sweetgreen or groceries from Trader Joe’s and I head home to relax and decompress with my hubby.

3. What are some actions you take to keep yourself well (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually)?

Chanel: A huge part of my wellness regimen is tied to skincare.  Every Sunday I take time with my skin and I always Mask, it’s my #selfcaresunday ritual and I always make time for it.  Through my instagram page @buymechanel, I encourage the women and men that follow me to do the same. Once a month I also try to take a day for myself just to do the things I want to do whether that be doing nothing, getting a facial or massage, eating or cooking something gluttonous, going to hot HIIT, anything that just focuses on me.  It’s something I am finding I have less and less time for but it is also so important.  Mentally I focus on remaining positive, thinking positive, being optimistic.  Emotionally I focus on owning my feelings but not sitting in them, being introspective and working through the roots.  Physically I do my best to treat my body good, give it the things it needs to thrive, the things it needs to operate at it’s best.  Spiritually, I pray, I believe, I am faithful. 

4. How do you feel about talking about mental health? Is it something you comfortably talk about with friends or professional colleagues in person. If so, or if not: Why so or why not?

Chanel: Mental health is huge and I am so happy it’s finally becoming less taboo especially within the Black community.  The negative stigma is finally starting to fade but it still exists. I feel super comfortable talking about it especially within my friend groups.  Feeling stressed out, anxious ridden, exhausted, sad, insecure, those emotions were the norm for so long and so many of us never even knew where to begin to address it, we just lived in it and looked forward to better days.  Now there are options, therapy / counseling, support groups, podcasts, wellness apps, meditation. It’s so nice to be able to just admit and own how you truly feel and be met with the support and resources to get beyond it.  Life can be really tough and it takes dedication, focus, support, desire and love to push through, to grow, to evolve, to be better

5. What are some sources or tools that you believe have impacted your wellbeing? 

Chanel: For me it’s just about being focused, I pray, I take time to myself, I set boundaries (work in progress here), I exercise as often as I can, I eat fairly healthy but I also give myself the opportunity to really enjoy food, I spend time with the people I love and care about and I get energy from this.  The best IG page and platform that impacts my wellbeing is Refinery29 Unbothered— it is unapologetically Black, Millennial & Female; I feel seen and understood consistently and I am beyond proud of the work that team is doing. It’s impactful and it means something– something real.

6. Wellness and inclusivity – how do they come hand in hand? 

Chanel: I wouldn’t exactly say these come hand and hand but they are related.  Inclusivity by definition implies included, from a mental wellness standpoint if you feel included whether that be in your work environment or elsewhere you feel like you can be your full self and bring your full self. That, in my opinion gives you a level of peace and comfort.  You don’t have to code switch or bring pieces of yourself. You can be whole. That part of wellness is a luxury for people of color.

On Diversity & Inclusivity

7. What are some initiatives you are bringing to the fore in your role of marketing to a global audience and serving a multi-ethnic community for prestige and heritage beauty brands? What is something you hope to achieve in collaboration with these brands for the long term?

Chanel:  I focus specifically on the North America market and for me it’s important that women of color not just feel included but to also feel a part of, feel a sense of belonging, feel truly seen.  Everything I do is led with that being the priority. I want to continue to see beauty brands move far beyond tokenism, I want to see women of color also be known and seen as the standard of beauty, I want to see representation across ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, body shape, all of it.  I want to see women of all backgrounds celebrated, their differences and cultural nuances understood, their beauty put at the forefront.     

8. Top brands regularly appear in the news for being celebrated for a value that should be the norm, not the exception. When you see a brand that’s been an industry leader for decades just beginning to support inclusivity and diversity initiatives, what ought to be the consumer response? Should we be applauding? Should we be critical? 

Chanel:  I think we should always be critical, that proves we are always thinking and analyzing, but we should also recognize the importance of progress.  We should snap our fingers but not applaud when brands actually get it right, when it’s authentic and you can tell there is diversity behind the scenes.  That is the key for me, ensuring that brands have diversity across their teams, across creative, product development, marketing, strategy– we should be everywhere.  We should criticize when brands get it wrong because that is a learning opportunity for them so that they can not only do better but also recognize the power diverse consumers hold.  Additionally, brands “should” want to do what is right, and what is RIGHT is inclusivity, what is right is embracing and celebrating everyone not just certain groups.  

Inclusion & Diversity isn’t something that should have to be celebrated at all, it should be the norm, it should be expected, it should exist across every facet, it shouldn’t need a day or a month, it shouldn’t be a trend, it shouldn’t be a headline or even a department, but that is not the world we live in.  We live in a space of change, growing acceptance, increasing equality, and a plethora of other things.  I am proud of the progress that has been made over the last few years especially within the beauty space, but we still have a long way to go and I hope I can contribute and be a part of that progress.

9. You are a mentor and have been involved in that capacity with organizations such as Girls Inc. Why is it important for you to mentor younger girls/women or be a part in building community with TRIBE?

Chanel: In my opinion we are nothing without community, no matter that be friends and family communities, female communities, ethnic communities, it’s always important to give back, to build, and to foster a better world for yourself and for the next generation.  I’ve had tons of mentors throughout my career and would not be where I am without them. Mentors provide guidance, context, support, all things that help you navigate the complexities of professional and personal life. I mentor younger girls because I want to help them achieve, achieve the highest levels they want to go and help create a clearer path with less mistakes and less of the challenges that hold you back and take a toll on your confidence.  I want to help them shine, glow, and grow but also be, to know who they are and take pride in it. TRIBE is all about empowerment, connection, support and celebration…and that is the core of the community we build. 

10. Tell us about TRIBE. Who is it for, when is your next meetup, and how does one attend?

Chanel: TRIBE is for Black Women, it’s a safe space, a community, a celebration of us and everything we are.  TRIBE is not exclusive in the typical sense, it is inclusive of friends, allies, supporters but it is designed to meet the needs of professional Black women working in Beauty, Fashion & CPG.  These are industries where Black women in particular over-index in spend and monetary power, but are severely underrepresented across executive leadership, strategic functions, and marketing campaigns.  

Our next event is at the end of Sept and we will be posting the RSVP details to our Instagram @tribe_org and our website

11. What are some younger beauty brands you are in love with? 

Chanel: Vintner’s Daughter, Dr.Barbara Sturm, EPARA, Klur and of course ATEM!

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