I wouldn’t really say I have been in the ‘beauty business’ for all that long. I certainly have been interested in cosmetics for a very long time however, since I was a teen. In 2010 I started out beauty blogging and then moved into opening up my own company producing artisan cosmetics in mid/late 2011. My interest in cosmetics has not been as a way to just enhance features or natural beauty, my interest lies more in the use and play of colour and effects.
What prompted you to start Femme Fatale Cosmetics?
As mentioned I was doing beauty blogging for quite some time. I have a huge passion and obsession for eye shadows, especially duochromes and colour-shifters. So late 2010 I had a bad experience with a few 'indie' cosmetics companies, found I had purchased repackaged products. It was a very disheartening experience, and it led me into researching how artisan powder cosmetics are produced. I started experimenting for my own benefit and I absolutely loved it. Eventually I built a small range to begin with and opened Femme Fatale.
Starting my own artisan line for powder cosmetics and lacquer was not even slightly easy by any means. I was one of the first companies in Australia to produce hand-blended mineral cosmetics at internationally competitive prices, and I think I am the only one that currently offers powder cosmetics as we as hand-produced nail lacquer (that I am aware of).
Having my prices being internationally competitive means I walked a very fine line financially in my first year, it took me around 10 months to really turn any sort of decent profit that wasn’t readily absorbed back into the business. In addition to that it was very time consuming and difficult to sort through all the licensing, cosmetics regulations and safety issues, as well as locating vendors for all my materials (which are mostly imported). There are no guides for what I do, everything about my business I have done myself – from researching how to formulate my products through to website design, promotional material, product photography and locating viable local and international vendors for materials and equipment. It has been very difficult and I have made costly mistakes, but overall I have loved every minute of it and continue to learn new things every day.
How long has the company been around?
Since September 2011, so we're still quite young but we make up for that with our enthusiasm for new products and regular releases :-)
What inspires color choices for your makeup and other products?
With powder cosmetics I don't start with a particular colour in mind. I love being spontaneous and I like to throw together ingredients, see what the result is and then tweak a few things here and there. Sometimes I can formulate a colour in one go, sometimes some colours will take up to 5-10 rounds of formulation to get it just how I want it.
With my nail lacquer I rarely work off of a specific image in mind, but sometimes I do take inspiration from other things. A good example of this is my nail lacquer Keeper of the Grove which is inspired by World of Warcraft’s ‘Path of Cenarius’ buff.
What is your most popular selling item?
With eye shadows I definitely have a few. My strongest duochromes are the best sellers by far – Desecration, Dispersion and The Nightmare. Other popular shades are Illusions, Faerie Fire, Sunfire, Moonglow, and Unholy. Popular blushes and illuminators are Fire Bloom (matches our Sunfire eye shadow), Exotic, and Golden Lotus (illuminator).
Our range of nail lacquer has definitely moved to be the frontrunner as far as best sellers goes. Our popular shades include Fatal Attraction, Keeper of the Grove, Suspended Starlight and above all – Winter Hyacinth. Winter Hyacinth sells out incredibly quickly with my stockists, and it’s another World of Warcraft inspired product.
What can we expect from Femme Fatale in 2013 ?
I always have a TON of products waiting to be made. During 2012 I had huge plans for new products but was swept up in establishing myself overseas as quality artisan lacquer brand. For 2013 I hope to get back into the swing of things with releasing new eye shadows, blushes, illuminators as well as facial products like mineral veil and primer powders. I have been slowly working on an eye shadow primer but it is definitely on hold at the moment as we work on expanding our business to stock not just our own products but also local and international artisan lacquer lines. Our local customers can already find the two biggest indie lacquer brands available – Emily de Molly and Gloss ‘n Sparkle; and can look forward to seeing us stock a great variety of popular international lines that are shortly to be announced! Unfortunately we only offer national shipping for lacquer at this point in time, but in future we hope to be able to secure an account with a carrier that will allow us to export lacquer directly to individual customers.
We have also just released a new polish trio (Sparkling Sands, Abyssal Reflections and Veil of the Siren), and we are donating $5 from every bottle to a friend of mine, Astrid, who is requiring heart surgery for PFO (hole in the heart). Her surgery is costing $17,000 so we jumped at the chance to contribute what we could. I absolutely love the new shades and am so happy to be able to help a friend as well as producing beautiful products.
Tell me a little about yourself and if others work with you about them also.
Well I am a soon-to-be 27 year old who lives in sunny Brisbane (Australia) with my fiancée of nearly 6 years and pet (grumpy) cat. As you know I’ve had my home-based business, Femme Fatale Cosmetics, since I was 25. Before that I worked in various fields including retail management, administration and I had a fantastic job working at a decorating company for a few years, which was an absolutely amazing experience and really opened my eyes as to how much I need a creative outlet both as a hobby and for business.
When I’m not working with the company I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, watching movies, and reading sci-fi / horror novels. However most of my time is spent working with Femme Fatale. I do 8-14 hour days 6-7 days a week, and I absolutely love it! J Having branched into exporting my own line and importing others has really required a lot more time and effort (not that I am complaining in the slightest of course). Recently my partner has dropped a few days at work so he can assist me with my wholesale orders and packing my direct-customer orders.
I’m extremely lucky that I have been as successful as I have been with Femme Fatale, and am eternally gratefully to all our customers for their continued support.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog .