The Most Influential People in the Australian Makeup Industry
By Samara Nilsson
Looking for your daily dose of inspiration?
We take a look at the imaginative entrepreneurs and makeup artists that have been influencing the most change and creating some serious waves in our industry. These creative minds are using their talents to actually influence a change of market: be it a new standard, trend or product offering.
Some of these you may know, some of them might be the brains behind your favourite makeup brand, magazine or makeup styles. In no particular order, here are our some of our favourite creative entrepreneurs, making waves in the beauty industry:
Trish Lee (Founder, Laud Magazine). You may not know Trish personally, but she founded and now carefully curates the content for Australian beauty heavyweight magazine, Laud Magazine. With a diverse background as a makeup artist, hairdresser, IT guru, Trish is a multitalented entrepreneurial genius creating a digital and print platform for artists to showcase their work.
Emma Chen (Makeup Artist, Hairstylist, Trainer). Emma has exploded in the industry over the last two years. With a beautiful Instagram showcasing her effortlessly styled texturised hair and flawless glowy makeup, coupled with a huge number of dedicated followers, it is not hard to see why. However, behind that beautiful Instagram is a hairdresser with over ten years experience and she has worked in all areas of the industry before deciding commercial makeup was her jam. Emma’s unique hair styling skills has set a new standard of expectation for artists on set. However not to worry, Emma is sharing the love and rolling out both hair and makeup workshops for artist to upskill and learn her techniques.
Jo Horgan (Founder, Mecca Maxima, Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca in Myer). Hailing from the UK, this former Loreal executive had a dream of creating makeup hysteria in Australia. In 1997, she launched her first Mecca Cosmetica in Melbourne and the rest is history. Jo credits her success to her tenacity and not taking no for an answer.
Max May (Celebrity Makeup Artist). Australian celbs have this guy on speed dial and one look at his portfolio, you will wish he was beating your face too. However outside of celebrity glam-bam and swoon worthy makeup and hair, Max’s portfolio is stocked with a solid dose of edgy editorial beauty. He is regularly published in high end beauty and fashion magazines and to just confirm that this bloke is boss at what he does, the guy is a damned Giorgio Armani ambassador! #goals
Zoe Forster Blake (Author, Beauty Blogger, founder of Go-To Skin Care). You may know her as Hamish Blake’s other half, or for her book The Wrong Girl, which formed the basis for the television show. However outside of all that hoopla, Zoe was a beauty journalist for Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan and had her own highly successful beauty blog. She has written two beauty guides and now is the brains behind Go-To skincare, which is just about to launch in the USA.
Sheri Vegas (Makeup Artist, founder of Makeup Weapons). With over 10 years working in the makeup and beauty industry, Sheri is an award winning makeup artist, having just slayed the 2018 Australian Makeup Industry Awards (winning Best Independent Brand and Business Thinker of the Year). She is also the founder of vegan and cruelty free high end makeup brush company Makeup Weapons. Being a full time creative holds no barriers for this babe, outside of the beauty industry, Sheri also has her own successful resin art business and does creative art workshops!
Adam Johansen and Damian Martin, (Prosthetics and Special Effects Makeup Artists, directors of Odd Studio). These two artists are putting Australia on the map in terms of film and television special effects makeup. Creating prosthetics and puppets for movies on a blockbuster scale, think Pirates of the Caribbean, The Great Gatzby, Peter Rabbit, Pacific Rim 2 – just to name drop a few!. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, they have won an Oscar, Bafta and Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylists Guild award for their outstanding work on Mad Max: Fury Road
Rae Morris (Makeup Artist, Author, founder Rae Morris Brushes). Rae is the OG makeup guru and the reason this copy writer is even in the industry! Outside of inspiring the writer personally, Rae has written a whole swag of books, all of which to the same high standard and utterly inspiring. She is regularly shooting for some of the biggest brands and most famous faces. She is also to credit for creating the world’s first magnetic brush range, create by Japanese artisans and now stocked in Mecca Cosmetica.
Ania Milczarczyk (Makeup Artist) Ania has a profound ability to create skin goals. Her entire Instagram is stocked with dreamy snaps of glammed up babes wearing her signature effortless glowy beauty.
Nikkia Joy (Australian Makeup Artist, Beauty Blogger, YouTube star and Founder of Nikkia Joy Cosmetics). Nikkia is a You Tube superstar that creates videos that both makeup professionals and enthusiasts adore. She has her own cosmetics line and she has lived every beauty hard-core’s dream by designing her own lipstick for MAC. For a little of Nikkia trivia: Nikkia is also a qualified Paramedic Nurse and still works in the industry!
Becca Gilmartin (Makeup Artist, Author, Trainer). Known for her quirky way of injecting body art into her creations, Becca has pushed the boundaries of what can be considered ‘beauty editorial’. She also has created her own bespoke makeup boot camp and book, which teaches both the importance of mindset along with her own signature creative techniques.
Lynette Phillips (CEO and founder of Max Media Lab and Max Connectors). After 20 years in senior executive publishing roles, Lynnette turned her passion for magazines and content creation into two highly successful businesses. Her digital and media agencies manage some of the leading (a few of them are even named in this article!) names in the makeup industry as well as some of Australia’s biggest social media influencers.
Nicole Thompson (Freelance makeup Artist, MAC Global Senior Artist). This creative cookie has travelled the wold directing beauty at international Fashion Weeks, working with the likes of Just Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood and Moschino (just to name a few). She has also worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Val Garland and Alex Box. Nicole’s work inspires you to get out crazy colours and push your artistic boundaries.
Shelley Sullivan (Founder, Model Co). After spending years running her own modelling agency, Shelly wanted to provide an affordable solution to women needing quick-fix beauty products in their handbag. Starting humbly with a lash curler, ModelCo now has over 250 products in I’s collection and is sold internationally. This certified #girlboss was also cast in The Nine Network’s Celebrity Apprentice as both an advisor to the host and mentor to the contestants!