A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by the team at Her Fashion Box A Q&A about me, Lipstick Republic and where it all began.
Lipstick Republic is the go-to website for the best global cosmetic brands. Providing some of the best quality and affordable brands from the US, UK, Canada and Australia, Lipstick Republic promotes both well-known and indie products that are 100% cruelty free.
We spoke with Michelle Georgiou, the CEO and founder of the Melbourne based business about Lipstick Republic and her own beauty tips!
What was your inspiration behind creating Lipstick Republic?
Well it all started back in 2012 when I (very) briefly moved to Toronto, Canada. I say briefly, because I only lasted 6 months! But while I was there, I had my first experience with brands of cosmetics that I had not heard of in Australia or didn’t have the opportunity to purchase back home. Brands like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Bite Beauty, Makeup Forever and so many more! So when I came back home to Melbourne, I will admit to having some major withdrawals.
So I wondered if I could build a website and import some of these brands that I had grown to love and make them more accessible to everyone (a task that proved a little harder than first thought). So I took the big plunge and did it! 2 years later…I couldn’t ask for more! I am doing something I love, meeting amazingly talented people, and hopefully bridging the gap between Australia and the rest of the world, one makeup brand at a time! We started our own distribution company in late 2012 called Republic Direct, where we help other retailers big or small gain access to these amazing brands.
Lipstick Republic is more than just lipstick; can you describe your product range?
I have tried to bring a mix of both the colourful, affordable and the edgy; brands that you may or may not have heard of, from the indie to the mainstream. I love introducing something new to my customers whilst supporting those who support the cruelty free way. The name “Lipstick Republic” to us meant something strong, independent and powerful partnered with something that was sweet and uber feminine. It started off as a homage to lipsticks, but there were just too many killer products out there that we couldn’t resist showcasing a full range of must-have make-up products from lipsticks to eye shadows and everything in between. I’d like to think that we have become the go-to website for the hard to obtain brands in Australia, as we have introduced Australian’s to brands such as Saucebox Cosmetics & Lippy Girl to consumers and given indie brands like Concrete Minerals, Sugarpill Cosmetics & Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics better exposure. There is nothing bland about the products we sell! It has become the home of unique and the underground.
What are your top tips for applying the perfect lipstick?
If I am headed for a night out and want to wear a super eye catching lip colour that I don’t continuously need to touch up, I start off with a good lip scrub. Whether it be a DIY one you whip up yourself or a purchased one, if you start with a clean canvas everything will be easier! I then lightly moisturise my lips with a balm, as I often find lipstick in general to be fairly drying. Define your lips with a coordinating lip pencil that closely resembles your chosen lipstick, then apply your first layer of lippy!
I am not sure if girls “blot” their lips much these days, but I am still a fan of blotting with a tissue gently before applying a final coat of colour on your lips.
What is your most popular product? Why?
By far our most popular product is the Lip Tars by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. They are not only Vegan and Cruelty Free but are so super pigmented with an intense range of shades (61 shades at last count, but I think there may be a few more since then)! They go on with the smoothness and ease of a lip gloss but wear like a satin lipstick and are one of the most long wearing lip products on the market today!
The Lip Tar’s can be mixed together, to create an endless range of custom shades, so they are quite the versatile little lipstick for makeup artists and the novices (like me) alike.
Why is 100% cruelty free makeup so important to Lipstick Republic?
The term “Cruelty Free” was a little bit of a unknown to me until I stumbled across a few makeup brands with the little bunny logo so I decided to do some research on the topic. When I learnt what is often and sadly common practice for a lot of the major cosmetic brands, I was stunned. The whole concept seemed utterly barbaric in this day and age.
The simple thought that an animal might be blinded or worse for my makeup wearing pleasure horrified me, so I began a more conscious effort in my own life to favour the cruelty free over the mainstream. I think today, most people are becoming more and more morally conscious of their shopping habits and are generally more interested in what happens behind the scenes.
I am an animal lover, as are most people I’m sure. So I felt a real need to represent the Cruelty Free alternative with Lipstick Republic as I have done in my own life. And help to educate and encourage consumers to do the same.
What do you prefer, a nude lip or a bold colour?
Personally, as I usually wear a dramatically dark eye look, I tend to go for the Nude shades on the lips. Bite Beauty’s Lush Lip Tint in Watermelon or Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in the shade Memento or Hush. But when I am set for a night out, I tend to go for the classic Red.
What is your go-to lipstick shade?
My absolute Go-To Everyday lipstick shade is the Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Watermelon. As the name suggests, it is just a light, nourishing lip colour that really enhances your natural lip skin tone by adding a subtle candy pink pop to your lips! Bite Beauty are a Canadian brand (based in Toronto, close to my heart) which use all food grade ingredients. So it is definitely perfect for all the crazy Australian weather conditions year round.
What makeup trend are you rocking at the moment?
The vintage winged eye liner! I absolutely love a warm neutral eye with shades of Browns, Taupes & Blacks with a strong black winged eyeliner, a lightly bronzed complexion. And a nudie lip during the day or a bolder shade for night!
What are your five winter beauty essentials?
A great Body and Lip Scrub – Over the winter months I for one have skin that likes to dry out and flake. One of our beauty bloggers Sarah recently wrote a great article for a Do-It-Yourself body scrub with ingredients most of us can find in our pantry. This scrub is gentle enough to use EVERYWHERE including your lip and face area!
A nourishing Face Mask – Again I am all about the DIY and not having to spend tones of money on things that you can whip up yourself at home. An avocado face mask is great! Avocados are loaded with essential nutrients such as Vitamin A and antioxidants. Add some natural yoghurt and lemon juice to the mix for its anti-bacterial properties and you will have a mask which will both rejuvenate the skin and give you a healthy glow!
Moisturise! – It’s simple, we all know we need to take care of our skin, especially in the cooler months. Find a moisturiser jam packed full of all good things (preferably a cruelty free brand) and use it day and night! I am loving the Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion by LUSH right now; there is something warm and cosy about the smell of vanilla in the winter time.
A super hydrating lip balm – I am completely addicted to lip balms all months of the year! I always look for lip balms that are infused with vitamin E and, where possible, jojoba oil. I find they are the most nourishing. My absolute favourite is the Lippy Girl Lip Love Conditioning Stick. It protects, softens, conditions and moisturises with 100% natural ingredients and smells amazing with minty freshness, leaving your lips tingling.
For those of us that love to wear a good lippy, I highly recommend getting your hands on aBite Beauty Spring Cleaning Trio Pack. It has all the essentials including a Fruity Lip Scrub, Lip Butter and a SPF 15 Sheer Tinted Balm all in one little gift pack!
Drink plenty of Liquids – A lot of people think that summer is when we should be consuming the most amounts of liquid, however during the winter season when the temperature drops, winds increase, and the air becomes drier it essential to keep hydrated! Now drinking chilled water during the winter may not appeal to everyone my winter time ritual of late has become a cup of hot water with lemon and honey.
Some warm water in the morning to start off your day with a squeeze of lemon and a drop of honey not only hydrates you but helps to improve sluggish, winter digestion. It also cleanses the stomach, gives you an instant boost of energy, improves your mood (which I for one need in the winter) helps to promote clear skin, and most importantly will fight off those dreaded cold and flu’s.
We love your Shadow Shields here at HFB! In what different ways can you use these shields?
Aren’t they great!? They are an extremely versatile little tool. For someone like me who isn’t a makeup artist, it helps me to master that smokey eye look without making me look like I have been punched in the eye!
A hands-free, disposable time saver, Shadow Shields are most commonly used for under the eye area, especially since the rise of indie brands that often produce loose pigment eye shadows instead of your standard pressed pans. With so much fall out and such a major clean-up operation to contend with they are the perfect solution! But they are not just limited to the under eye area. You can use Shadow Shields to help create a perfect crisp line for eye liner as well as your lipstick, or for preventing those mascara smudges during application.
They are fast becoming an essential tool for the majority of makeup artists and enthusiasts worldwide!