Friday, April 6th, 2012

By Kimberly Nissen of The Plastic Diaries

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Kimberly started her working life early at the tender age of 15. For most of the past 10 years, she has worked for some of the biggest media corporations her sunny country has had to offer. She always wanted to become a writer, but with no training and never having finished high school, it didn’t look like it was going to happen, but then she created The Plastic Diaries and The Styleless Diaries. She also co-founded the first niche-specific blogging event in Australia, the Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend.


Interview With An Online Retail Giant

Did you know that the size of Australia is slightly larger than the contiguous states of the USA? We might be bigger in land size but Australia has a mere 10% of the population of the USA, and when it comes to buying beauty products, every Australian will tell you that the Americans are very lucky.

Online shopping is a worldwide phenomenon, but it has only picked up in Australia over the last couple of years. Online shopping is especially important for many Australians as most of what you would consider to be “easy to find” products are unavailable to those outside of the main capital cities.

One lady who refused to let location or availability get in the way of the Australian woman’s quest for beauty is Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty. At the ripe age of 21 years old, Kate saw the need for an independent online retailer. Now 11 years on, Kate is one of Australia’s leading women in business and her store is the go-to place for any beauty shopper. Today, we speak to her about the changing landscape of Australian beauty buying.

Q. Your store, AdoreBeauty.com.au, stocks a variety of Australian and international beauty brands. What do you see as the main points of difference between our local brands and those of other countries?

That’s a tricky one – we stock quite a few Australian brands (e.g. Aesop, Jurlique, Bloom, KEVIN.MURPHY, Lanolips, Alpha-H, ASAP, ModelCo, Napoleon Perdis, Inika, evo, Unico, O&M, Subtle Energies and BECCA) and they are all so different from each other!

I think that Australian brands tend to have a sort of no-nonsense, straight-shooting directness in common. They say what they do, and they do what they say.

Aussie brands also tend to embrace natural and organic ingredients. You will also find lots of products with high SPF in Aussie brands, our sun is very harsh here so we need to protect ourselves.

Q. In terms of overall sales, what of percentage of your customers are buying Australian brands?

Australian brands are very strong sellers for us – nine out of our top 20 brands for 2011 are Australian. Obviously the most popular Australian brands with our international customers are those that aren’t available (or are very hard to find) outside of Australia.

Q. What foreign brands would you like to be seen made available in Australia?

There are a few that we used to have here that have sadly disappeared, and I’d love to see them make a comeback: Urban Decay, Caudalie, Nuxe. I love Fresh, not sure why that hasn’t made it over here yet. Also LORAC is a great brand, I have a blush of theirs that is fabulous.

Q. You have hundreds of brands at your finger tips. What are your 5 favourite brands, Australian or foreign, and why?

You know this is like making me choose my favourite child, right? Here goes:

  • Aesop – is unbelievably cool. Every bathroom should have their hand wash in it.
  • BECCA – such great products, such chic packaging. The mascara is my Holy Grail, and my handbag always has Vendela lipstick and at least two Beach Tints in it.
  • SK-II – is responsible for Cate Blanchett’s luminous skin. Say no more. I particularly love the masks.
  • Clarisonic – I am a skincare junkie and have at least 6 cleansers on rotation, but one thing I do always stick to is using the Clarisonic every morning in the shower. Makes a huge difference.
  • KEVIN.MURPHY – Kevin always has his finger right on the pulse of the latest hair trends and this brand is so innovative. The POWDER.PUFF volumising powder is brilliant, and we can’t keep the new COLOR.BUGS on the shelf, they sell out so fast!

If you want to stock up on some of those great Australian brands, head to AdoreBeauty.com.au. They ship globally!

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