How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to work in the beauty industry?
I fell in love with lipstick when I first tried it at 7 years old, playing dress-ups with my mom. It was this obsession with finding the perfect lipstick that led me to create my own brand at 18 years of age.
When did you create Lipstick Queen, and how did it grow from an idea to reality?
Lipstick Queen is my second brand and I started it in 2007. Poppy was my first brand, which I started in 1992 and ended in 2002 when I moved from Melbourne to New York. Both brands grew the same way. Recognizing a gap in the market for 1940s-style lipsticks, putting together a business plan, finding a manufacturer and finding finance and then going from there.
What are some of the highlights in your career?
1) Having Barneys take both brands into their stores.
2) Being named Young Australian of the Year in 1995.
3) Meeting Nelson Mandela.
4) Meeting Leonard Lauder.
5) And every customer who uses and loves my products is a highlight of my career.
How do you continue to be inspired to create new products?
Words and colors inspire me. I may hear a word or phrase and I translate that into colors. And vice versa ... I will see a color and translate that into a name or word for a product.
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) Less is more. I believe in being strategic with makeup rather than using it for the sake of it.
2) Minimal eye makeup when wearing red lipstick makes it look fresh, young and modern.
3) Use blush on the apples of your cheeks for a dewy, just fallen in love glow.
What is your favorite Lipstick Queen product and why?
I love the Oxymoron Matte Gloss that you use on lips and cheeks. It is so unusual and easy to use. But of course I love all LQ products!
What are the products and brands you simply can't live without?
1) Chapstick for keeping lips moist during travel.
2) A spare toothbrush to use to exfoliate the lips.
3) Diorshow mascara.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Seeing a woman's confidence go soaring in a beautiful lips shade.
Playing with beauty products must be fun -- but what are some things you do for fun outside of being a product creator?
I love vintage shopping, revival cinema, collecting handbags, reading, knitting and yoga.