It’s mid-year 2013. Prime Minister Julia Gillard is about to ousted, Lorde’s Royals dominates the airwaves and Phoebe Philo is making hearts swoon at Céline. In the beauty industry the Australian market is experiencing an overhaul towards global price parity and insiders are abuzz with rumours of Sephora finally descending on our shores. I’ve just arrived in Sydney, a beauty journalist from New York whose knowledge of the Australian market is more or less limited to Jurlique and Aesop. Thanks in large part to social media, the local consumer focus isn’t on Aussie brands, but rather on keeping up with the hot products and trends launching overseas.
“The definition of beauty is changing to include the ethos of health, wellness and authenticity. The idea that beauty starts from within is a big change from the idea that beauty starts at the make-up counter,” says Grant, whose softly-softly approach includes bespoke facials with LED therapy rather than injectables or harsh lasers.
“Australian beauty has always been about this ethos, a natural look, and a voice that supports education so people can make up their own minds. We’re now realising that what we thought was uniquely Australian is actually a global and modern ideal of beauty.” Matthews, Carriol and Grant all agree that social media has largely bolstered the A-beauty boom. “The tyranny of distance that’s kept Australian voices quiet in the global world of beauty has been conquered with technology and social media,” says Grant.