Thursday 18 May 2017

Interview: Poppy King | Founder of Lipstick Queen

Poppy King is a serious beauty boss. She is an Australian entrepreneur who entered the industry at just 18, launching what was one of Australia's biggest cosmetic brands. Her journey eventually led to the creation of Lipstick Queen, what I consider to be one of the best and most innovative lipstick brands on earth.

Poppy Kings is not just a ballsy business women, but a champion of natural beauty, inner confidence and individualism - which couldn't be more refreshing in a world where 'Instagram Face' is now the go-to makeup look. I recently got the chance to grill Poppy on all things beauty, both inside and out. Here's how it went down...

What inspired you to work in the beauty industry? And how did your career journey begin?

I was inspired more to work AGAINST the beauty industry meaning that I hated the homogenized ideas of beauty that the industry put forward and wanted to create a brand that sold 1940’s style matte lipstick in a highly imaginative way. So my journey began when I started looking for matte lipsticks and couldn’t find them, so I decided to just create a brand myself and not use models but art instead.

What is your career highlight?

Putting on my own lipstick that I made every single morning. I love that I can wear something I have created and enjoy all the hard work I have put into it. I wanted to start creating lipsticks as I couldn’t find what I wanted in a lipstick, so it's just great to be able to put on the exact shade, pigment and colour I want every day from my own range.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?

Do it differently. The world of beauty is changing and there are so many different ways to be beautiful, the more diverse your idea of beauty the better, meaning that it’s not about fitting in anymore. Beauty is about standing out and being yourself. So in order to succeed in the industry, figure out what is unique to you. Put that into your product or brand philosophy and messaging and you'll find your niche in a crowded market.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

“Everybody has something beautiful about them in some way. Open up the definition of beauty and you find it everywhere. I don’t believe in beauty icons. I believe everyone has something iconic about them that is beautiful. It doesn’t have to be physical features, it can be beauty in what they do or how they speak. Beauty is a doing word, not a being word to me.

What are your beauty essentials?

Imagination, confidence and generosity, oh and red lipstick which helps with all of the above! Red Sinner is my go to red lip that I wear every day, as it is so versatile and makes me ready to take on the day. It is the perfect bold matte red that looks great on everyone.

Find the products that make you feel good about yourself and it will show. For me that’s mascara, lipstick and tinted moisturizers.”

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Being mean to yourself rather than encouraging about how you look. Lipstick Queen is all about reminding women that lipstick is more than just a cosmetic, it’s a state of empowerment. We are all our worst critics, so stop that criticism and look for what you like about yourself and focus on that. It’s like exercise, the nicer you are to yourself, the better you'll feel and the better you'll look.

What is your top beauty tip?

Remembering that physical beauty is just one form of beauty - there are so many ways to be beautiful that don't involve looks. No matter her age, size, or income, any woman can be glamorous. Unlike physical beauty - which is apparent in a set of physical features - glamour comes from a mind-body connection. The magic of lipstick is what happens on the inside when you wear it, which then manifests on the outside. You are capable of anything with your lipstick on.

I have often said that lipstick is to women what sports car are to men - something all women are mesmerized by, but not all believe they can pull off. Through all the triumphs and failures I have been through, all the dreams and disappointments, lipstick has remained my constant. I return to it day after day as a source of enchantment and strength. When I swipe that red across my lips, I never know the adventures I might go on. Lipstick tells a story. It tells the world you are here and ready to participate in all it has to offer. Many of us feel a deep, emotional connection to lipstick, more so than to any other makeup we might wear.

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