Robin Downes is having a great year. The 59-year-old Yoga Flava owner and instructor, and partner at Harlem Late Night Jazz has been cast as part of the IMAN Cosmetics Naturalista campaign that features real women of different ages and different ethnicities. The silver-haired model is the face of the Forever Fabulous look, which includes 12 products that’ll give you a shine to help you sparkle at any age. Amongst the other beautiful women in the ad, Downes truly stands out with her gorgeous natural metallic tresses and healthy youthful skin.
The campaign comes at an important time in her life. In 1996, Downes mother began to lose a long battle with cancer. At the age of 60 she died, only one year older than Downes’ is currently. So as she nears 60 herself, she counts her blessings, and the campaign was a major one. Though she began graying in her forties, it wasn’t until the age of 55 that Downes embraced her natural hair color and allowed it to grow out and flourish.
“I didn’t even really have a role model for embracing the silver. So there was a lot of thought when I finally said I’m not going to color anymore. Because I want to embrace being seen as a senior and hopefully be respected as an elder,” Downes told ESSENCE.
With no audition, no head shot submitted, and the simple power of social media, she was chosen for the campaign. A former music coordinator for The Cosby Show, and for several Spike Lee films, the Emmy award winner was so excited to find out that this all came together through a Facebook connection.
“Overall, I’m really happy. I have that smoldering mature look [in the campaign] like, ‘If you see it, go get it.’ They captured that. And I appreciate that,” she said. “For a lot of women past 50 you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I still got it. I don’t know if I can hang.”
And the silver fox can hang. She said young men and women stop her on the street to tell her she’s beautiful, and to thank her for wearing her natural crown. She credits her practice of yoga, along with mostly clean eating and staying forever hydrated, for her near flawless skin, and healthy hair. Her unstoppable elegance and confidence radiate every day. The exotic spiced tones, and touches of metals in the collection simply complement what she’s already working with.