Redefining ageing with Maria

What does ageing mean to you?

Growing older can mean different things to different people but here at Jurlique, we believe it’s about being comfortable in your own skin, embracing inner beauty, celebrating our lives and ageing with confidence. We recently asked Jurlique customers to help us ‘redefine ageing’, going beyond previous negative perceptions of age and bringing it into the positive space it should be.

Maria Costa Bir is one of the women we spoke to. Originally from Goa, India, she lived in different countries around the world before arriving in Australia. After a long and fruitful career and raising a family, Maria is recently retired and enjoying the freedom to explore different areas of her life. She talks to us about how she’s ‘redefining ageing’ below.


Tell us a bit about you

I was born in 1951, in a village called Aldona in Goa, India. I was the eighth child of my parents, a pleasant surprise I was told! It’s true that it takes a village to bring up a child, and so it was for me. I went to school in the village and then I wanted to do a degree in Commercial Art, but I was only 14 when I completed High school, and you had to be at least 16 to get into Commercial Art. I went to university at the nearest town and did a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Psychology.

I got a job at a bank and contrary to my expectations, I absolutely loved it. I had met my husband at university, and he went to the United Kingdom after he graduated. I joined him in 1976 and we got married. I worked in several international banks in London, and when we decided to come to Australia, I was offered a position at a Sydney branch. I was a specialist in Trade Finance and the branch was setting up a Trade Finance Department in Sydney. With the advent of the internet, there was not much to do in Trade Finance, and as I like people so much, I trained in Human Resources. I was Head of Operations and Human Resources for the bank in Sydney until I retired at 55. My pet dog had incurable cancer and I wanted to spend some quality time with him. I was then asked to set myself up as a HR Consultant and worked until I turned 67.

Nine years ago, my eldest daughter had a baby and I took an active part in looking after her, now, it’s mainly at weekends and school holidays. My youngest daughter has a three-year-old and twins who are just over a year old. I look after them two to three times a week. I describe myself as a nearly full-time grandma.

What’s it like being a grandmother?

Being a grandmother has been as wonderful as being a mother has been. I absolutely adore my granddaughters and feel privileged to be able to spend quality time with them. I am lucky that I get to have one on one moments with them. Something that I kind of missed with my own daughters as I always worked full time. As a grandmother, when I am with the grandchildren, I don’t try to fit in the housework etc. I just do fun things with them. It’s truly wonderful!

How has your relationship with beauty and skin care changed throughout your life?

My younger self loved makeup, whereas today, I prefer to look after my skin, and I find that I don’t really wear much makeup. I do love lip balm, especially the Jurlique Rose Love Balm!

When I was young, I wanted to LOOK beautiful! Nowadays I want to FEEL beautiful.
If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self “DON’T stress” Just be the best person you can be and do the best you can. It is difficult to juggle work, house, children etc. etc. and you can only do what you can do. However, having said that, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

What do you like about Jurlique?

I love Jurlique products because they are plant based. I feel wonderful when I use them. The perfume of flowers and plants transports me to one of my favourite places, my garden!

Discover how our other Jurlique customers are redefining ageing here.