The Irish Girl Boss Series – My Shining Armour’s Nicki Hoyne.

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” – Michael Kors.

 

To date, I have been amazed by the positive feedback received in response to my “Irish Girl Boss Series”. This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the fabulous, quirky and hilarious girl boss, Nicki Hoyne. Nicki is the absolute epitome of a girl boss, having worked relentlessly to launch her very successful brand, My Shining Armour. My Shining Armour is an online haven filled with gorgeous accessories, built on Nicki’s ethos to be her own hero. “All the women, who independent” will really enjoy this interview – even Queen Bey would bow down!

 

my-shining-armour-nicki-hoyne

1) What inspired you to create My Shining Armour?

My Shining Armour niggled at the back of my mind for a long time. I have always been massively into accessories. My friends will tell you I give the best presents. I am a big online shopper and as technology and the internet advanced, I saw online stores open and I thought to myself; I can do that and I can do it even better. Online is an even playing field. With a good site you can easily compete with the large multinationals and with social media being free and making it so easy to promote businesses, I knew I was onto something.

When I look back now, I see how it all fell into place and that every experience I had (both good and bad) led me to this point. It’s true what they say, if you lived your life backwards it would all make perfect sense. I am really passionate about brands and doing good, honest business. I am fortunate to have worked with brands like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Nintendo, Balenciaga and Chloé so I have learnt how big brands conduct themselves and why they are so successful. Aliza Licht said it best; “I came to the point where the job I wanted didn’t exist so I had to create it for myself”.

 

 

my-shining-armour-disco-ball-party-cup5

“Disco Ball Tumbler” – Available Here.

2) Often, it’s our flaws, blunders and setbacks that actually allow us to advance in life by altering our perspective. Throughout your career, what do you think was the most important mistake that you have learned from?

I firmly believe that you learn more from a bad experience than a good one. Every negative experience I have had in my career has been a lesson that I am grateful to have learned. Although it is extremely difficult at the time, these experiences made me a better person, business-person and now, boss. I always tell myself that setbacks and challenges are building my experience so in years to come when the stakes are even higher, I know exactly how to handle them correctly. Setbacks will always happen, what’s important is how you deal with them!

3) What does your typical day look like?

Every day is different. I am in Dublin usually once a week for a jam-packed day of meetings which is always fun. When I’m in the office, I will walk to work and Snapchat – I’m always full of beans in the morning. I like to get in before the team, have my coffee and get my head straight for the day. I am a big list person so I’ll run through my “urgent” and “important” tasks and try plot out my day. I do all of the social media imagery in real time. I’ll plan to post what’s new, back in stock or just something that the mood of the day calls for. I’ll shoot flat lays, reply to social media comments and questions, answer emails, order stock, update the website and anything else that comes at me. If new stock arrives we’ll drop everything and fawn over it. On busy days, I will help pack orders for an hour or so. I love imagining the person on the other end opening their package. The day flies so I usually eat lunch at my desk and try to get out of the office when the girls are leaving at 5.30pm. Then, I’ll go for a run or do a fitness class. My family live close by, we eat out a lot or I try to drop by conveniently at dinner-time! I get home at 8pm or 9pm and chill out for an hour browsing online or reading before bed.

 

 

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“Pouch / Make Up Bag” – Available Here

 

 

4) Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

I love reading stories of other women in business. My favourite books so far are Tamara Mellon’s “In Her Shoes”, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, Sophia Amoruso’s “#Girlboss” and I am dying for Marissa Carter’s book to come out. I love the Image Networking Breakfasts. I always leave with a bounce in my step and lots of ideas. I also love my Acorns gang they are so supportive and uplifting. It is an awesome government funded program for women in business in rural Ireland. We are each other’s biggest fans and supporters. I don’t think I would be where I am today without their encouragement and support.

 

5) The thing that I love most about My Shining Armour is the voice of the brand. In my opinion, it’s not just about glamorous accessories; it’s also about reflecting the state of mind of women who believe that fashion and confidence go hand in hand. Do you have any items in your wardrobe that give you an instant boost of confidence?

We all have those pieces that make us feel good and put a pep in our step. I have a pair of gold sequined ballet pumps I got in a Zara sale about 5 years ago. I wear them all the time especially when the day needs a little sparkle. I can be going to work, running to the supermarket or out for weekend brunch. They just make me feel like me!

 

my-shining-armour-alphabet-spotty-mug-a-with-box-500x500

“Alphabet Spotty Mug – Available Here.

 

 

6) How would you describe your personal style?

Comfortable, classic and cool with a pop of colour, print or sparkle. I love statement accessories whether jewellery, bags, shoes or sunglasses. I always keep my clothing pretty simple and love to find unique one off pieces to make my outfit pop. I have the most beautiful ring from the Souk in Marrakesh, crazy Indian earrings from Portobello Market in London and I love a discreet designer bag to add a bit of luxury. I don’t feel me if there’s not a pop. That’s just who I am!

 

7) Who is your style/beauty hero?

Olivia Palermo all the way. She is flawless! She gets it right every, single time. The girl has serious accessories game and I love how she takes risks and has fun with fashion. That’s the secret to having great style, do you and make a look your own. No one can have the exact same accessories as you. You will always look like you put lots of thought and prep in when you really put on a piece of jewellery, shoes, grabbed a bag and ran out the door.

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“Strawberry Computer Mouse” – Available Here

 

 

8) Tell us about your beauty essentials. Do you follow a particular make up routine?

I’m not a big make up person. I like to look like myself and as if I’m not wearing much make up. Saying that I use quite a few products, everything but foundation. I am big into skincare. I think that if you look after your skin, you will always look good. I love fresh dewy looking skin and have yet to find a foundation that I like so I just don’t wear it. I used to work for Elizabeth Arden so I’ve learnt about a few insider cult products. I use everything from serums to eye cream and masks. My must have products are Elizabeth Arden’s “Visible Different Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser”, Elizabeth Arden’s “Prevage Serum” and I do a weekly deep cleansing clay mask called Freeman’s “Avocado and Oatmeal Mask” that I get in US drugstores when I visit. I never sleep in my make up and drink lots of water.

 

 

my-shining-armour-bel-earrings

“Ber Earrings” – Available Here.

9) If you had to choose three favourite pieces from the My Shining Armour website right now, what would you choose?

The “Gisele Ring”, “The Bombay Duck Spotty Initial Mugs” and the “Ban.Do Lady Of Leisure Agenda”.

gisele-ring

Gisele Ring – Available Here

10) What are your top entrepreneurship tips?

1. Always strive to be better. Good and great are not enough for me I want to be excellent.
2. Write it down and make it happen. Set goals and work towards them. There is nothing better than ticking things off the list.
3. Care. About your employees, your business, your customers and yourself.

For more information and a look at the extensive, beautiful range of goodies available; check out My Shining Armour online.

And, if you enjoyed this piece you can check out my interviews with Custom Vintage Dublin’s Ali DelaneySculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan BoyleAYU Make Up’s Suzie O’Neill and Juvi Designs’ Julie Danz.

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Custom Vintage Dublin’s Ali Delaney.

“Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.” – Anne Klein.

 

Ali Delaney is the creative mastermind behind the Irish clothing company Custom Vintage Dublin (CVD) and at the age of just 22, has achieved remarkable success. Her designs are personalised, unique and ultra trendy – so much so that Ali has built up an impressive celebrity clientele. I mean, how many of us can say that Kylie Jenner has worn our own designs? Yes that’s right! Kylie along with other celebs such as Ireland Baldwin and Vogue Williams are all fans of CVD and, we have the Instagram pictures to prove it.

 

Kylie Jenner Custom Vintage Dublin

This week, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series”, I had the opportunity to interview the fabulous Ali and I cannot wait to share our chat with you. This lady will be taking over the world in no time at all!

Ali Delaney Custom Vintage Dublin

Can you tell us what inspired you to create Custom Vintage Dublin?

It all actually happened by accident – I didn’t set out to start up a business at all! I just started to make some denim shorts for my sister and my friends for festivals and other events. Once I had made a few pairs, I set up some social media accounts for CVD and it all kind of spiralled from there and it has been growing organically ever since!

I adore the fact that every piece designed by CVD is one-of-a-kind. When you were creating your company, how important was the ethos of the brand — the idea of self-love and individuality?

I always thought it was important to be allowed to be individual. And, with something as simple as denim shorts, it doesn’t take much to be a bit unique, allowing girls to be more involved in the design process. For example, choosing the length and cut of the shorts that they feel will work the best for their body shape gives the customer a sense of confidence, knowing that they won’t be too short or that they won’t feel conscious or uncomfortable in them! Equally, some girls prefer the super-short style and some might prefer a brightly coloured or patterned pair of shorts. It is so nice for them to be able to email back and forth with me, and this really allows me to get a feel for what they are looking for.

Custom Vintage Dublin

Photo credit: Image.ie

 

Often, it’s our flaws, blunders and setbacks that actually allow us to advance in life by altering our perspective. In your early days of working in the business world, what do you think was the most important mistake that you have learned from?

I am still learning from my mistakes to this day. I am not sure I can place a specific mistake or blunder but you definitely learn from experience. There is absolutely no way of predicting how things are going to go from the outset, so you really just need to take it as it comes and work with it, always moving forward. It is easy to make a small mistake and let it get you down but you’re only human at the end of the day and there is no “rule book” or set plan to follow, you just have to do your best and learn as you go!

 

Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

I definitely do! I follow and keep up to date with so many amazing Irish women in business through social media and every single one of them inspires me. When I go to events, for example the Cocoa Brown #KindGirlBoss Brunch last week, and get to meet all of these other women who run their own businesses and who go through the same struggles/highs and lows, it is so nice to get to have a chat with them and share ideas etc.

 

Do Not Disturb Hat CVD

“Statement Sun Hat”

 

In my opinion, Custom Vintage Dublin strives to reflect the state of mind of women who believe that fashion is a reflection of personality. What item of clothing do you own which you would say best describes your personality?

That is SUCH a hard one! I don’t think I could pick just one thing, but I LOVE shoes. Not designer shoes in particular or anything, but I always feel like shoes make or break an outfit and most of mine are a bit of a statement.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

Day to day I am SO casual! I work from my office in Dalkey alone most of the time so I am usually found in gym gear mid-week! Also, with the creative nature of the shorts and hats etc, where I am constantly around dye/bleach/glue/sewing machines, I would always be in something that I don’t mind if it gets too wrecked (although I did splash bleach all over a brand new jumper last week which I still haven’t gotten over). At the weekends, my style would either be quite casual (jeans/flats/top) or if I am going out for the evening, I love getting dressed up and have quite a polished style I would say, simple hair/makeup and a nicely tailored/fitted dress or skirt.

 

Custom Vintage Dublin Wanderlust Shorts

“Wanderlust Levi Shorts”

 

At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

At this very moment, I just got back from a long weekend down in my mobile home in Wexford, so it is bit messy. But, I have my phone charger, hairbrush, lip liner/lipstick/lip gloss (ALWAYS), purse and keys! Nothing too exciting!

 

My favourite item on the CVD website at the moment is the “Wanderlust World Map Print Levi Shorts”. If you were going to Marbella for a weekend break and could only take three favourite pieces from your current collection, what would you pick?

Oh this is a good one, I was in Marbella earlier in the summer! I would definitely bring a pair of the mirrored sunglasses. When I went in June I brought the Aqua “Fly” sunnies, one or two of the bikinis, probably the “Wine Crochet Bikini” and the “Blush Pink Bikini”, and finally I would bring a classic pair of Levis – I have a few pairs I have made for myself but I always leave them plain because I can never decide on anything. Spoilt for choice!

 

Crochet Bikini CVD Dublin

“Blush Pink Bikini”

 

What are your top entrepreneurship tips?

My top tips would be:

A) Not to overthink things, it is SO easy as a business owner, especially if you work for yourself/on your own, to OVER THINK things, this is so dangerous and can completely freak you out and halt your progress. Try and just take things as they come.

B) I have only learnt this after a few years, but try not to worry about what anyone ELSE is up to, just focus on yourself and your business, don’t be worrying about another businesses that might be copying you or that you might feel you need to compete with, just do you!

C) Say yes to every opportunity that comes in your direction. Again, this has taken me a few years to discover, but just try and say yes to as many things as possible – even it it throws you completely out of your comfort zone. I am still learning this one but it definitely helps!

 

For more information and a peak at Ali’s designs, you can visit the Custom Vintage Dublin website here.

And, if you enjoyed this piece, you can also read my interviews with “Irish Girl Bosses” Siobhan BoyleSuzie O’Neill and Julie Danz.

Let us know if you have any feedback in the comment section!

Rouge x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Juvi Design’s Julie Danz.

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” – Harry Winston.

 

For me, the selection of jewellery has always been a very intimate and personal experience. Over the years, I have been gifted jewellery to mark special occasions and have given similar gifts to loved ones. I believe that gemstones can represent personality and emotion and for this reason, I attach sentiment and memories to every single piece in my jewellery box. The goal is to build a high-quality collection which can be passed down through future generations. Diamonds are forever, after all.

For this reason, I was determined to find an Irish woman working within the jewellery design industry to participate in Rouge Writing Hood’s “Irish Girl Boss Series”. I was absolutely delighted when Julie Danz of Juvi Designs agreed to participate in an interview, giving us an insight into the industry and her life as a female entrepreneur.

 

Julie Danz Juvi

Julie, together with her husband, Vincent Tynan, founded Juvi Designs. In doing so, they have created a brand that aims to provide women with exquisite jewellery which is both luxurious and affordable. Julie is inspired by travel and the world around us, communicating this through the creation of pieces which are stunning, yet practical enough for everyday wear. I cannot wait to share her interview with you!

Julie Danz Juvi Designs

 

1) Can you describe to us how your background in interior design has influenced where you are now?

Colour, colour, colour! I had the privilege of working for the adventurous, colourful interior designer Carlton Varney in New York in the early 00s – a time when beige was ‘in’ and colour and pattern were less popular. He was renowned for his large prints, flamboyant colours and gold pineapple lamps! I worked on many bright and beautiful projects which, on reflection, have totally inspired my desire to work with gold and silver as well as colourful gemstones which are both bold and delicate.

 

2) Tell me about your design style. What makes your jewellery unique to the fashion industry?

I’m not sure if our jewellery is unique but it is definitely our own style. Our love of travelling and colour have inspired our collections. Each collection is named after a place we have visited which in turn has influenced the design and gemstones we used in each collection. The ‘Egadi’ collection was inspired by the beautiful laid back islands of the same name located just off the coast of Sicily. The ‘Boho’ collection was inspired by travelling in general and our love for discovering unspoiled places and the feeling of being away, free and adventurous. The ‘Antibes’ collection was inspired by the beautiful, colourful landscapes of the south of France as well as the little provincial villages and is a little more sophisticated than other collections. The ‘Shooting Star Collection’ was inspired by the night’s sky in the Ballinskelligs in Co. Kerry (one of the top 3 spots in the world for star gazing) where we camped under the stars. Our latest collection features a cocoa pod and was inspired by travels through magical Mexico and visiting a cocoa plantation there.

We use so many beautiful gemstones including, but not limited to: rubies, aqua chalcedony, green onyx, coral, turquoise, amethyst, citrine, tourmaline – our workshop is often referred to as ‘Aladdin’s cave’.

 

 

Cocoa Pod Necklace Juvi Designs

“Gold Cocoa Pod Tulum Pendant” – available here.

3) I adore the fact that every piece designed by Juvi is luxurious, yet affordable. When you were creating your company, how important was the ethos of the brand — the idea of providing everyday, working women with an opportunity to spoil themselves without the feeling of guilt which is often associated with a very large price tag?

It was very important. We wanted to make beautiful pieces of jewellery for every day and for those special days so that everyone could treat themselves, without breaking the bank! Juvi is a brand that is made accessible to everyone, no matter what your budget is. There is also a certain sentimental value attached to the Juvi brand. We wanted people to be able to afford to mark the big occasions in their lives without compromising on quality.

4) Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

Yes I do. Style wise, I take inspiration from the stylist and socialite Iris Apfel in New York. I admire the designers Alice Temperley , Diane Von Furstenberg and Helen Steele for their use of colour, pattern, texture and embellishment. The jewellery designers Monica Vinader and Astley Clarke have been inspiring in their career journeys because they have an international presence and stand alone stores worldwide.

5) Personally, I am drawn to jewellery that has personality and sentimentality attached to it. I love to find meaning in gemstones, purchasing them to remind myself of anniversaries or important milestones. If you had to choose one gemstone to reflect your own personality which one would you choose and why?

I would have to include ruby as it is such a beautiful, vibrant gemstone. It is also the gemstone that we named our daughter after. However, the stone I think that reflects my personality best is labradorite. It is my favourite gemstone as it is subtle and appears one colour when you first look at it, but it has a hidden magical quality so when it catches the light it has a beautiful, vibrant, petrol-coloured sheen with blue, green and gold hues.

Juvi Laborordite Earrings

“Egadi Labradorite Drop Earring” – available here.

6) Who would you most like to see wearing your designs?

I love seeing people of all ages and styles wearing our pieces. Seeing someone out and about wearing a piece always gives me a thrill and I love to see how they style their Juvi. If I had to name a celebrity, I’d love to see Kate Hudson, Sienna Miller, Angela Scanlon or Amy Huberman wearing Juvi designs. They all have great relaxed style yet also look fabulous when they dress up. You have the opportunity to wear Juvi pieces from day through to night,  on an every day basis and on a glam night out.

7) How would you describe your own personal style?

I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl with Converse being a staple for day-time wear but, I also love getting dressed up for a party. Our collections reflect my personal style, with understated, simple pieces for every day to more glamorous, sparkly gems for a night out on the town!

8) Do you have a most treasured item in your own jewellery collection?

I am fortunate to have lots of jewellery, but if I had to choose my favourite it would be a set of hammered gold stacking rings that Vincent made for me with different coloured tourmaline and diamonds set into each one, which I never take off. Otherwise, I would have to say our original ‘Little Bean’ pendant which I also wear nearly every day, our ‘Lucky Star’ studs and my chunky, statement gold and labradorite ‘Egadi’ ring. I also love our new ‘Cenote’ bangles, which I wear when dressing up to go out.

Little Bean Pendant Juvi Designs.jpg

“Boho Little Bean Pendant” – available here.

9) To date, what is your favourite piece that you have ever created and why?

I would have to say the entire ‘Cocoa Pod’ collection. It was inspired by our many travels through magical Mexico and the beautiful shape of the cocoa pod itself, which we discovered when visiting a cocoa plantation. It is a very cohesive collection and although I generally do not tend to wear matching sets I would wear all of this collection together.

Juvi Cocoa Pod Ring

“Cocoa Pod Lago Ring” – available here.

10) What are your top entrepreneurship tips for those interested in getting into the design business?

Accepting criticism when it comes is hugely important especially in design. The best way to improve is to learn from your mistakes. I think this applies to business in general as well. It’s important to be adaptable and work hard, but don’t forget the important things in life are friends and family.

For more information about Juvi Designs, and a better look at their beautiful designs, you can check out their website here.

For those of you wondering, it’s my birthday this month – and yes, I want it all! I also want to hear all about your thoughts on the brand and their designs, so let us know in the comment section or on social media.

If you enjoyed this interview, you can also check out the most recent articles in our “Girl Boss Series” with Sculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan Boyle and AYU Make Up’s Suzie O’Neill.

Rouge x

 

Cocoa Brown “Kind Shampoo and Conditioner” – Review.

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge”. – Ivanka Trump.

 

Anyone who reads Rouge Writing Hood on a regular basis will already know that I’m a huge advocate for Irish women in business. And, I’m not the only one. Lately, it seems like every single woman on our little island has been swept up in the whirlwind that is Marissa Carter mania. Marissa is the entrepreneur behind Cocoa Brown, a self-tanning brand that is taking over the world. She is the ultimate “girl boss” and is constantly on the lookout for the next hot product to take the beauty industry by storm. And, yes – she’s gone and done it again. However, this time, some of you may be surprised to hear that Marissa changed the game by stepping outside the self-tanning zone and jumping head first into hair care. Let me introduce you to Cocoa Brown’s “Kind Shampoo and Conditioner”.

 

Cocoa Brown Travel Pack Review

 

A couple of weeks ago, the gorgeous ladies at Cocoa Brown heard that I was making a little trip to New York City and very kindly sent me this super cute travel set which is filled with Marissa’s latest creations: “Kind Shampoo”, “Kind Conditioner”, “Kind Shower Gel” and “Face & Body Self Tanning Wipes”. Now, I did my best to save the products until I head off on a jet plane but, then I read Kate Kelly’s review of the shampoo and conditioner (check it out here) and my willpower faltered. So, I sneaked the hair care combo out of the very handy travel pack and stalked off, prepared to be transformed into the ginger version of Blake Lively.

 

Cocoa Brown Travel Set Available Here At Cloud10Beauty.com.

Cocoa Brown “Kind Shampoo”:

Cocoa Brown Kind Shampoo Review

 

 

So, this baby is marketed as “volumising shampoo that’s kind to hair, scalp, colour and extensions”. Now, I know many of you are wondering what makes this formula more “kind” than other hair care products on the market and the answer is that it’s simply a paraben-free, alcohol-free and formaldehyde-free product. Hair care without the nasties, if you like.

And, I love it. I can definitely say that after only five washes, my hair feels thicker and more healthy. If you’re like me and you really enjoy a squeaky clean finish, then this formula is perfect for you. It gives a really nice lather without leaving dry, flaky scalp in its wake. The primary cleansing agents in the formula are coconut oil and fruit sugars so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty moisturising.

 

 

Cocoa Brown “Kind Conditioner”:

 

Cocoa Brown Kind Conditioner Review

Again, this gorgeous formula is free from chemical nasties and ideal for sensitive scalps. Both the shampoo and conditioner from the Cocoa Brown “Kind” range have a soft peach and Tahitian gardenia scent but, this fragrance is so subtle that under Irish consumer law, it didn’t have to be listed as an ingredient on the packaging. So, it’s safe to assume that those who live in fear of strongly scented products need not worry about this formula.

For best results, I recommend leaving the “Kind Conditioner” in your hair for 3-5 mins before rinsing. This allows it to work its magic and moisturise the hair enough to create a noticeable shine.

 

 

 

So, what do you think? Both of these products are available in 200ml containers (for pre-order) on Cloud10Beauty.com at only €3.50 each – an absolute bargain. They will also be available for purchase in Cocoa Brown stockists nationwide on July 8th 2016. Will you be rushing out to purchase them? Let me know in the comments section.

 

 

 

Rouge x

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Sculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan Boyle.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. – Coco Chanel.

Chanel, Nars, Clarins and Benefit – these are just a few of the international cosmetic brands that every Irish woman stockpiles into her beauty bag. Last week, I interviewed Suzie O’Neill, creator of AYU Make Up who illustrated to us that home grown, Irish beauty tools could be manufactured to equally as high a standard as their foreign counterparts so, what about make up itself?

 

Sculpt Cosmetics

Let me introduce Siobhan Boyle, the “girl boss” behind Sculpt Cosmetics. Sculpt is a diverse brand who offer everything from in salon services at the “Sculpt Studio” in Co. Donegal to professional training courses at the “Sculpt Academy” to the sale of a diverse range of products online and in store, including their own brand formulas. Sounds like an awful lot of work for one woman, doesn’t it? Well, this week, I caught up with Siobhan to find out how she manages to juggle it all – with a 7 month old baby to boot!

Siobhan Boyle Sculpt Cosmetics

  • What inspired you to create and develop Sculpt Cosmetics?

As a make up artist of 12 years, I felt that there was not a mid-range brand that focused on giving women what they needed. Most brands tell us what we want, they don’t actually help us figure out what suits us. It grew from there! I opened up a make up studio and began offering training courses, finding that the demand was huge! I started my first training course and I knew it would work. I had a really extensive training, make up and professional background in this industry – I am a qualified trainer and assessor. Then, I started with a cosmetics range. That took me a year to perfect. Now almost 4 years later, I have a training school offering professionally accredited (by VTCT) courses, full services and a full make up retail store. It really has been an amazing journey but we’re not finished yet. We are currently looking for the right premises to offer a stand alone retail store focusing on make up and beauty products – an Irish Sephora!

  • What does your typical day look like?

I will be honest, my life is crazy at the minute! I just married my husband, Barry, and we have a gorgeous baby, Gia, who is just 7 months old. We just moved into our new home and I am working full time! So I really don’t have typical day. I get up early with my baby girl Gia, the three of us have breakfast and then I start getting ready for work and getting Gia ready to go to her babysitter. Then, if I am not teaching my make up courses; I am in the studio and usually have clients for the majority of the day for make up, tanning, brows etc. I also do a lot of bridal make up and this is a much earlier start of about 6am and I always go to the brides venue to make it easier for her! Weddings are amazing to see from my side as an artist so I really enjoy those. Most weekdays, I teach night classes so I don’t get home until 10pm or after.
Sculpt is currently being transformed into a full-blown make up haven with my main focus set on turning our store into the ultimate make up boutique. I hope to make us the main shopping destination for make up junkies both online and offline, so I am am always researching the best stock for us and restocking. There is a lot of boring admin squeezed in everywhere too – not all make up is super glam! My job and lifestyle is tiring. So many people tell me I am crazy working how I do, but I love my work and the mixture of work I do – teaching, clients, retail and brides!

  • Sculpt provide numerous “Personal Make Up Courses” for women who wish to improve their make up techniques. Can you tell us what make up technique you have found the most difficult to master?

When I started out in make up 12 years ago, I really struggled with not perfecting things and gave myself a very hard time. However, I learned that with practise and great patience, you can become better. My first proper job was in TV. I worked for TG4 as a trainee artist and I struggled with my timing as we were always under time constraints on set. It was the best training I ever had – directors do not wait for trainee artists, so I had to get better and I did.

  • Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

Oh, there are so many ladies that I admire. I am a huge Beyoncé fan. I am in awe of her rise to the very top of the world, from performing in local talent competitions. I also admire how private she is. In terms of the beauty industry, I have always loved Bobbi Brown. She started off her line of make up with just a few lipsticks and built an international brand based on enticing women to appreciate their own natural beauty! That is pretty amazing in my eyes. Marissa Carter is a huge Irish inspiration – she took the beauty and tanning industry on and rose to the top through hard work, knowledge and persistence!
In terms of bloggers, I absolutely respect the success of Suzanne Jackson (So Sue Me) and Joanne Larby (The Make Up Fairy) for showing that with self-belief, hard work and talent -anything is possible!

  • Who is your style/beauty hero?

I adore Victoria Beckham’s fashion. It is sleek, sophisticated and practical (at times). I like clean lines, block colours, black, whites and neutrals for work so I envy her wardrobe in a big way. There are so many talented make up artists out there, I love Paula Callan’s make up artistry style – she loves to see skin look like skin. Skin looking stunning is my make up philosophy, so her work is a huge inspiration for me. I believe if you can build a look based on flawless skin, then everything that follows is bonus. I can’t but mention Pat Mc Grath here as her MAC campaigns from the noughties are what inspired me to get into make up in the beginning! That whole “MAC mania” era from 2001 – 2004 was like an addiction for me. I would go to Dublin a few times a year and pick up the art work that accompanied their ad campaigns to try and recreate them! Those were the days of internet dial up in my house so I couldn’t access things as quickly as I can now! I remember my first few MAC eye shadows were bright and fabulous – “Electrical Eel”, a bright blue and “Chrome Yellow”!

  • At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

I have recently switched handbags to a bigger one to carry more bits – my other one was breaking! I have a large Longchamp tote so I can fit my laptop into it. Other than that; it holds my purse, keys, my notebook, pens, my make up bag and 7 lipstick & glosses (these are all nudes or pinks in a mixture of cream and matteformulas). I go through lip colour phases and I am in a nude phase now. Having my baby girl Gia means that I also have 2 dummies, a few bibs and a set of plastic rattle keys – all pink of course. My phone is usually in my hand so it never makes it into the bag!

  • If you could only take three of your own brand’s products to a desert island, which three products would you choose?

Oh god, just three?? I’d definitely have Sculpt’s “Great Lengths Mascara” – essential to open up your eyes. The “6 Well Powder Palette” which has contour, blush and highlighter in it – that on his a bit of a cheat! And, the final item would be the Sculpt “Oil-Free Foundation” to keep the shine at bay and give me gorgeous coverage. That question was the most difficult to answer!!

sculpt cosmetics foundation

  • If you could give your 16 year old self some beauty advice, what would you say?

Be more confident in yourself and your look, individuality is beautiful! I would of liked to have given myself more confidence in general and allowed myself to believe in my own creativity. I found school very focused on the straight route to college and career. I would have preferred exploring what I wanted to do or was good at doing!

  • With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase Sculpt Cosmetics?

The beauty of my brand is that I truly won’t sell you anything you won’t use. I encourage clients to purchase what they actually need and what suits them, rather than what they think they need. This way, I build a relationship with my customers and people come back to me. I also built the brand based on what was missing from the Irish market. In Sculpt, we stock other brands as well as our own range. This allows you to browse various brands, should our own range not suit your needs. That is what really sets us apart from other beauty brands. We have various brands like Paese, Amazing Cosmetics, Flormar, Morphe, Dermalogica, Sleek, NYX, Sculpt, SOSU, Bellamianta Tan, theBalm and Lilly Lashes to name a few so if one thing doesn’t suit you then we can find something that will! We are constantly adding more and more brands so you have more choice.

  • Any tips for aspiring business women?

GO FOR IT! Look to others for support and guidance – you cannot do everything yourself and must take help and guidance in areas that you struggle in.

 

For more information on Sculpt Cosmetics, you can visit their website or Facebook.

Now, tell me. What do you think of the second post in our “Irish Girl Boss Series” and, who would you like to hear from next?

Rouge x