Behind the Brand: ModelCo

June 29, 2016
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How do you create something women want before they even know they want it? In Shelley Barrett’s case, it was eight years as a model agent that sowed the seeds for her iconic Australian beauty brand, ModelCo, which did just that!

Surrounded by models, makeup artists, and stylists on a daily basis, Shelley Barrett was face-to-face with the best (and worst!) of the beauty industry. She listened to models complain about the quick-fix, multipurpose products they wish existed, and was privy to the tricky nature of applying makeup and tanning products on set. After years of seeing the big brands fail to meet these needs, she took matters into her own hands and launched the first ModelCo product in 2002: the LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler. It was the only product of its kind, and an instant hit with everyone from celebrities to international beauty experts.

Did you know? One unit of ModelCo TAN Airbrush in Can is sold every 36 seconds worldwide.

The success of the LASHWAND proved innovation and smart design were the industry’s missing links, and when ModelCo launched its next product, The TAN Airbrush in Can, there was no mistaking cutting-edge creativity had become the root of the brand. Another world first, the tanning can dazzled the industry and revolutionised the way women self-tanned with its unique aerosol packaging, and blue-green formula that did away with the undesirable ‘orange’ shade. The Tan Airbrush in a Can put the brand on the map, and what had started as a self-professed ‘pet project’ catapulted Shelley into the world of running a global beauty brand.

ModelCo has set itself apart from the rest with a focus on practical innovation as opposed to fleeting trends. It has injected every corner of the cosmetics and self-tanning categories with smart products that make beauty fuss free. Notable designs include the LIP LIGHTS Lip Gloss, which has its own built-in LED lights for application; and lip liners and eyeliners with inbuilt sharpeners. Famous ambassadors have helped promote hundreds of unique ModelCo products like these over the years including: Elle Macpherson, Dannii and Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham, Lilly Allen, Jade Jagger, Cheyenne Tozzi, and more, with the beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whiteley currently carrying the baton.

“Rosie is wonderful to work with. We love that she makes everything look so effortless and glamorous, and that’s what ModelCo is about: achievable, everyday glamour.” Shelley Barrett

There’s no sign of slowing down on the ModelCo front. Each year the brand continues to push boundaries when it comes to smart products, and 2016/2017 will be no different. Whether it’s makeup, skincare or beauty accessories, innovation is at the heart of the business, and ModelCo is committed to solving your everyday beauty problems with research and development.

ModelCo CEO, Shelley Barrett, spills on what’s in her beauty bag and trends to watch.

What’s the one ModelCo product you can’t live without?
Definitely Tan Airbrush in a Can – I love a good self-tan! When it hit the market as the world’s first airbrush ‘tan in a can’, it truly changed the way woman self – tanned, delivering professional results with the convenience of an at-home application. When the product first launched we could not keep up with the demand for orders.

Which on-the-go beauty products would we find in your handbag?
I love to play up my eyes, so I always keep a ModelCo Lash & Line Superlash Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner in my bag. The handy 2-in-1 feature is perfect for on-the-go touch ups. I am constantly reapplying lip gloss throughout the day, too. At the moment I am obsessed with ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Morocco. ModelCo Double Sided Exfoliate Wipes are super handy to cleanse my face before I hit the gym after work. And hydrating your skin from the inside is key, so you will always find a bottle of water in my bag.

What are the three beauty trends we need to keep an eye out for next season?
Brows are still huge. Every ModelCo brow product we launch flies! I love to use ModelCo More Brows for thickening and colouring my brows, and then I apply ModelCo Eye & Brow Duo Highlighter for definition.

Lip liner is back! This was definitely a 90’s trend that is now back in fashion. It is such a crucial part of perfecting your pout. ModelCo Illusion Lip Liner gives you naturally fuller lips which is what every girl wants.

Glowing, dewy, bronzed skin. The natural sun-kissed look has never been so hot. Key is to exfoliate your skin so that your self-tan looks as effortless as possible.

Which celebrity’s beauty style have you been admiring lately?
I love Hailey Baldwin. Her understated, cool, effortless beauty has me captivated.


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