Business Dynamo Brings Cult Beauty Brands To Australia

Want highly covetable, hard-to-get, cult international beauty brands without the headache? Your prayers have been answered beauties, with this week’s national launch of new luxe beauty e-tailer Lulu and Lipstick.

The brainchild of Fleur Madden (pictured) – CEO of award-winning national PR and brand experience agency, The Red Republic, and graphic design studio, Design by Republic – Lulu and Lipstick was created to combat beauty aficionados’ frustration at not being able to get cult brands shipped to Australia.

Lulu and Lipstick stocks thousands of cult beauty and skincare products from around the world such as: Anastasia Beverley Hills Brows (pictured); Pink Holiday Lipsticks from NYC; Tata Harper, 100 per cent natural and non-toxic skincare from NYC (pictured below) and Lime Crime, cruelty-free lipsticks from LA.

Velour Lashes – the original mink lashes which Beyonce and J-Lo famously wear – are also available on the site, along with Cherry Blooms, the leading fibre lash mascara.

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But wait, there’s more: Lulu and Lipstick also sells celebrity cult skincare range Derma Doctor; UK skincare sensation Beetox – the natural alternative to Botox; Ayurda Skin Care – an organic, hand-crafted range with Ayurvedic principles; Mermaid Shampoo and Conditioner (because who doesn’t want beautiful mermaid hair) and Miss Jessie’s hair care from NYC – a leading US product for curly hair.

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It’s a busy time for Fleur, 34, a business dynamo who is also currently a Queensland finalist in the soon-to-be-announced Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Fleur, who founded The Red Republic – formally known as Red PR – in 2003 at the tender age of 23, has always had a passion for beauty. “I spend a quarter of my life at the beauty and hair salon, my hairdresser is one if my closest friends and I believe when looking to open any business you have to have a passion for that industry,” she says.

“One of the consumer industries we specialise in at The Red Republic is health and beauty PR, so I’ve worked closely with other beauty businesses in helping build their brand and drive traffic and very much seen first-hand where the opportunities are to enhance the brand and customer experience.

“I think the biggest mistake companies make is not investing in their online as much as their bricks and mortar – we live in a digital world and your website is as big an asset as a physical shop. If anything it’s bigger as it makes you global! By all indications, online shopping continues to grow while traditional retailing figures are declining, so I’m confident there is growth potential in the industry.”

Now Fleur, who has lived and worked in the US, is delighted to give women access to stunning beauty products she once had trouble getting herself. “I fell in love with so many cult brands that I couldn’t live without, only to return home and find out most of these brands would not ship to Australia – this is when Lulu and Lipstick was born,” Fleur says.

“It’s important to me that Lulu and Lipstick is about a brand experience. You may never walk into my shop, but you will buy from us on your computers, your phone or your tablet, and I want all of our customers to feel part of our world through our beautiful packaging, our signature range of make-up bags and brushes (pictured below) and our already strong online community.

“I believe this is where a lot of online stores fall short.”

Lulu and Lipstick HQ’s philosophy is built on old-school glamour: for women to enhance what god gave them, with products from all corners of the globe. “We believe it is always better to be overdressed than under,” Fleur says. “We believe in bright lips, shouldering eyes and rosy cheeks, just not at the same time.

“We believe in thick, dark lashes, even if they aren’t your own. We believe in loving deeply and finding a love that ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.

“We believe in nude high heels and Spanx are the very best invention and we believe NYC and Paris are always a good idea. Lulu and Lipstick is all about offering something special and unexpected.”

The e-tailer, which also has a passion for natural products, will continually source and add other new brands to its line-up. Watch this space! Visit

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Issada Cosmetics’s Beautiful Future

Ever wondered how you build a beauty empire? You create something luxurious and unique, as in the case of Brisbane Issada Cosmetics CEO/founder Fiona Neale, who literally created her boutique beauty brand in her living room and now oversees a thriving business set for rapid national expansion.

Issada is unique in that it is skin-treating mineral make-up with professional pigment strength, on-trend colour collections, performance and finish. Equally loved by spa therapists and cosmetic surgeons for use after invasive treatments, and celebrity make-up artists for photo shoots, runway shows and film and TV projects, Issada has loyal devotees all over the country.

The cult brand began 12 years ago with a range of unique make-up brushes ergonomically engineered with solid aluminium handles which became a favourite with A-list celebrities including Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gisele Bundchen, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Watts, Kate Moss, Miranda Kerr and many more. Then, Fiona’s chance meeting with a make-up artist in London saw the brand transform. The businesswoman had just set up the first-class beauty lounge for Virgin Atlantic in London Heathrow Airport, then discovered the brushes and that they were made by a little-known brand in Brisbane, but only sold exclusively to make-up artists and not the public. Seeing the great growth potential there, Fiona purchased the brand, and transformed it into Issada Cosmetics, incorporating a full make-up range, in 2006.

So, what began as an underground cult brand has now grown to become the beauty brand of choice for beauty editors, celebrities and skin-conscious beauty consumers who want superior skin-treating makeup.

“I don’t think there’s another mineral make-up brand that can claim to cover both bases (pardon the pun) so comprehensively!” Fiona says. “Our products are made from pharmaceutical-grade minerals (the highest quality, with the most skin benefits) organic botanicals, collagen and peptides, using the latest technology from chemists around the globe – and every product is designed with an equal focus on skin health and pro-strength finish, performance and colour.”

Now, Issada is favoured by the casts of TV shows like Offspring and Home & Away, and is also widely used by Channel 7, 9 and 10 news teams and local celebrities such as The Veronicas, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Jessica Gomes, Carla Zampatti and more.

And the beauty brand’s next big step is its new distribution deal with beauty giant BLC Cosmetics which will see Issada’s current 250 Australian stockists likely double within a year.

“Choosing the perfect distribution partner who would share our vision was a lengthy selection process,” Fiona says. “BLC ticked all the boxes; they share our devotion to the salon and spa world, their luxury spa brands align with Issada, and they have an excellent reputation.”

The brand currently has two Brisbane flagship boutiques, with an eye on future interstate expansion there too. “It’s important for us to control our growth at a manageable rate,” Fiona says. “We have national and international enquiries flooding in daily, so for us it’s about solidifying one region at a time while remaining open to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“In terms of opening stores in other capital cities of Australia, it’s on our radar, but for right now we have our hands full with all of our amazing interstate stockists, more of whom are popping up by the day!

“Having started the brand in my living room, its surreal looking at the potential and the projections of the magnitude of growth our boutique brand could see very soon.”

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