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Join beauty writer Gemma Watts in conversation with some of Australia's, and the world's, biggest beauty pioneers. We're picking the brains behind the beauty products that fill your bathroom cupboards- the CEOs, founders and creative minds heading the brands that shape the beauty industry. From cult favourites to the products you reach for every day, from young entrepreneurs to companies steeped in history, these are the stories behind the most successful beauty businesses on the planet.

Glow Journal Gemma Watts

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Join beauty writer Gemma Watts in conversation with some of Australia's, and the world's, biggest beauty pioneers. We're picking the brains behind the beauty products that fill your bathroom cupboards- the CEOs, founders and creative minds heading the brands that shape the beauty industry. From cult favourites to the products you reach for every day, from young entrepreneurs to companies steeped in history, these are the stories behind the most successful beauty businesses on the planet.

    Michelle Feeney | Founder and CEO of Floral Street

    Michelle Feeney | Founder and CEO of Floral Street

    In episode fifty three of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the founder of Floral Street, Michelle Feeney.


    Michelle Feeney has been described as one of the most powerful women in global beauty- and rightly so. 


    In 1993, Michelle was headhunted by the team at Estée Lauder and, after 10 interviews (including one with Leonard Lauder himself), was given a senior role with the company. Lauder had hired Michelle at a time when they were beginning to acquire other brands and, in 1994, they tasked Michelle with developing a launch strategy to turn a pot of moisturiser into a global cult product. That moisturiser was Crème de la Mer. 


    In 1998, Estée Lauder Companies acquired MAC Cosmetics and, given that Michelle had already proven her ability to turn a great product into a legitimate icon, she became MAC’s Vice President of Global Communications, leading the growth of the brand and launching into 40 countries. When Michelle took on that role, MAC was a $65 million company. Less than 7 years later, it was worth $1 billion. Michelle is also largely responsible for spearheading and bringing mainstream awareness to the MAC AIDS Fund, signing the likes of Elton John and Mary J Blige to front the Fund’s campaign. That initiative saw Michelle sit on a board in the United Nations and hand $750,000 over to Kofi Annan. 


    Beyond Estée, Michelle spent 4 years as the CEO of St Tropez, quite literally transforming the way the entire world viewed self tanning and turning the brand into the market leader. In 2017, Michelle founded Floral Street- an award winning, “quintessentially British” fine fragrance brand with sustainability and eco-responsibility at its very core.


    In this conversation, Michelle explains why it’s so important to stay open to opportunity rather than having a concrete plan, what the beauty industry can do to ensure it doesn’t lose its creativity and what it really takes to turn a product into an icon. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/
    Follow Floral Street on Instagram at @floralstreet_


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 1 tim. 11 min
    Jamie O'Banion | Founder and CEO of BeautyBio

    Jamie O'Banion | Founder and CEO of BeautyBio

    In episode fifty two of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the founder and CEO of BeautyBio, Jamie O’Banion. 


    I sincerely believe BeautyBio to be one of the most exciting beauty brands in the world right now, and one I watched closely for years ahead of their highly anticipated launch into Australia this week.


    Jamie is the daughter of a dermatologist, something she calls an “unfair advantage” and something that has shaped her entire beauty ethos. Jamie didn’t just receive an education in skin- she lived it. As she tells me in this conversation, one of her very earliest beauty memories was travelling with her father as he helped file the patent for microdermabrasion. An early curiosity about skin and science saw Jamie take a job alongside her father at his clinical skincare laboratory, with the pair working to develop and manufacture new ingredients and raw materials for some of the world’s largest skincare brands. Jamie watched brand after brand purchase bulk ingredients, use them in tiny, tiny quantities in their products, so small they barely had an effect on the skin, but still claim that the ingredient was in their product in an effective capacity. Having grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of transparency in the beauty industry, she decided to launch her own brand- and so, Beauty Bioscience was born. 


    One of the things that I find so exciting about BeautyBio is that transparency. Jamie is so passionate about empowerment through education and the democratisation of information, which is something that really came across in this conversation and something that is evident in everything the brand does. Her strategy is certainly working- in 2016, the same year BeautyBio launched their now cult GloPro microneedling and LED tool, the brand hit $30 million in sales- in a triple digit growth from the year prior.


    This episode was, of course, recorded remotely with myself in Melbourne and Jamie in Dallas which does of course mean something of a disparity in audio quality, so if you would prefer to read the interview OR even follow along like a podcast with subtitles, you can do so by accessing the complete transcript on glowjournal.com. 


    In this conversation, Jamie and I discuss how the idea of “seeing is believing” gives consumers a higher intent to commit to your product, what it means to be a truly omnichannel business, and how a vase full of M&Ms may well be responsible for BeautyBio’s now cult status. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-beautybio-founder-jamie-obanion
    Follow Beauty on Instagram at @beautybio
    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 1 tim. 6 min
    BONUS | MORE SPF Myth Busting with Dr Cara McDonald

    BONUS | MORE SPF Myth Busting with Dr Cara McDonald

    What’s better- chemical or physical sunscreen? Do we really need to wear SPF every day? Should we apply sunscreen before or after our skincare?
    How do we reapply sunscreen over our makeup? Does SPF50+ foundation provide the same protection as SPF50+ sunscreen?


    In this Bonus Episode of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts is joined by dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald. We recorded an episode covering all things SPF, skin and sunscreen with Dr Cara late last year, and although that episode remains one of our most downloaded ever, as we inch closer to summer there are still a few SPF myths that need debunking. 


    For complete transparency from the outset, this episode is sponsored by La Roche-Posay Australia however all of Dr McDonald’s views are her own and, as per all of our Ask An Expert interviews you will hear absolutely no specific product recommendations throughout this interview. 


    I took to Instagram to ask you exactly what you wanted to know about sun protection, and I’ve taken your questions to the expert. In this conversation, Dr Cara answers your questions- the difference between “chemical” and “physical” sunscreens, whether or not you really need sun protection year ‘round, if makeup with SPF really cuts it, how often you should be reapplying your sunscreen and why everyone needs a skin check. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/spf-myth-busting
    Follow La Roche-Posay on Instagram at @larocheposayaunz
    Find out more about La Roche-Posay at laroche-posay.com.au


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 43 min
    Taylor Frankel | Co-Founder of Nudestix

    Taylor Frankel | Co-Founder of Nudestix

    In episode fifty one of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the co founder of Nudestix, Taylor Frankel. 


    When Taylor Frankel was 17, the year was 2014 and she was launching Nudestix with her then 14 year old sister Ally and mother Jenny, a now multi million dollar beauty brand boasting Hilary Duff and Chelsea Handler amongst its celebrity investors. 


    Taylor tells me that, given just how heavily saturated the cosmetics industry is, consumers are craving minimalism and simplicity. It’s a position she and her sister found themselves in as teenagers, scrolling through hour-long smokey eye and full coverage foundation tutorials with neither the time nor the inclination to recreate those looks themselves. Their mother Jenny, a chemical engineer who co-founded CoverFx and developed cosmetics for MAC, recognised Taylor and Ally’s disillusion with the beauty industry, and so the three of them worked together to conceptualise and launch Nudestix- a brand of multitasking, cruelty-free products designed to be literally drawn onto the face and smudged in, and formulated to enhance, rather than cover.


    Nudestix was picked by up cosmetics giant Sephora within a few months of its launch, forcing Taylor, Ally and Jenny out of their basement and into their first office. Six years on, and a brand that came to be around a kitchen table is now stocked across Australia, the US Canada, Europe and Asia. Taylor’s role within the company sees her travelling from region to region to educate retailers on Nudestix’s innovations. What she tells me has been the most inspiring part of the Nudestix story thus far, aside from working with her sister and mother, has been learning that regardless where in the world they live, women all want the same thing- to feel good. 


    In this conversation, Taylor and I discuss Nudestix’s truly impressive sustainability program and why it’s so important to the brand, what it was like to be a teenager sitting at the helm of a global business and the challenges of remaining true to such a specific brand ethos and DNA- plus, we get exclusive insight into the brand’s new product skew, set to launch next month.


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-nudestix-co-founder-taylor-frankel


    Follow Nudestix on Instagram at @nudestix


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 53 min
    BONUS | Scars and How to Fade Them with Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs

    BONUS | Scars and How to Fade Them with Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs

    Is it ever too late to fade a scar? Can C-section and endometriosis scars be healed topically? Do hypertrophic and keloid scars need to be treated differently? Is there ACTUALLY a way to erase stretch marks?


    In this special bonus Ask An Expert episode I’m joined by dermatologist Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs. A recipient of the Schering-Plough Award for her laboratory-based research, Dr Dawes-Higgs is the New South Wales State Examiner on the National Examiners Committee for the Australasian College of Dermatologists and has a particular interest in women’s skin health and ageing. This in mind, I felt that Dr Dawes-Higgs was the ideal doctor to answer your questions on this episode’s rather specific topic- scarring, from C section and endometriosis scars to those from surgery, injury and even piercings. 


    Away from our regular brand founder conversations, I am asked so many highly specific questions about the skin. Given that I am an educated consumer and by no means an expert, it would be extremely unethical for me to even attempt to address your skin concerns which is why I insist on taking those questions to a medical doctor. This Ask An Expert series is giving you, the Glow Journal audience, unprecedented access to medical doctors, professors and dermatologists and, while the series is sponsored by Candela Medical, doctors legally and ethically have to remain completely objective in interviews like this. For this reason, this series is giving you, the listeners, completely unbiased expert answers to your most specific skin questions- questions that I cannot answer myself. 


    In this episode, we’ve taken the questions YOU submitted on scars to Dr Dawes-Higgs - from how to treat C section scars as compared to endometriosis incisions and how to treat facial scarring as opposed to scars on the body, through to scars from injury, surgery piercings and stretch marks.


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/ask-an-expert-how-to-fade-scars


    Follow Candela Medical on Instagram @candelamedicalanz
    Discover more at candelamedia.com


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 41 min
    James Boehmer | Global Artistic Director of Shiseido

    James Boehmer | Global Artistic Director of Shiseido

    In episode fifty of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the Global Artistic Director of Makeup for Shiseido, James Boehmer.


    Shiseido are, undisputedly, one of the largest and most influential heritage brands of all time. Founded in Japan in 1872, Shiseido has cultivated a reputation for innovation in beauty, celebrating the synergy between art and science. It was that very reputation that drew now Global Artistic Director, James Boehmer, to the brand.


    Having studied fine art and costume design prior to becoming a makeup artist, James has long worked best within that very intersection of art and science. Having spent close to 20 years at NARS under the close mentorship of Francois Nars himself, the bulk of which he spent as the brand’s Global Artistic Director, James’ personal approach to beauty encompasses the arts of performance, collaboration and construction. 


    In 2016 James became the Global Artistic Director for Shiseido Makeup, tasked with visiting the archives to redevelop and, in turn, relaunch, the then 144 year old brand’s entire colour cosmetics collection. James’ role sees him direct Shiseido’s innovations across colour and texture to tell the brand’s story- one that celebrates the marriage of form and function in all parts of Japanese culture.


    More recently, Shiseido have announced the appointment of Hunter Schafer as the brand’s Global Makeup Ambassador, cementing their status as pioneers of not only product, but of progression and inclusivity in beauty. “Beauty should be democratic, and it should be for everybody,” James tells me in this episode. 


    This episode was recorded remotely, myself in Melbourne and James in Beverly California, so if you would prefer to read the interview I have made the complete transcript available on glowjournal.com. 


    In this conversation, James shares how far you can get with warm, gracious energy, the global appeal of the J Beauty movement and how his background as a “frustrated dancer” has shaped his work for some of the world’s biggest beauty brands. 




    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-james-boehmer-shiseido
    Follow Shiseido on Instagram at @shiseido


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 59 min

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As a beauty entrepreneur and former journalist myself I was really happy when a good friend in Brisbane recommend this podcast. I love the integrity and I listen intensely as I learn so much and get inspired by the Glow Journal. I’d listen to it even if I wasn’t in the industry.

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