One of the greatest assets any woman can have is confidence. In business, her body image, her personal style and how to apply natural-looking makeup, at any age. Janet Muggivan has spent years working in corporate communications for the beauty industry, both here in New Zealand and her home Australia. Her new online business is a guide for women with any skill level, who want to learn new makeup tricks from the comfort of their home. Editor Trudi Brewer caught up with Muggivan in Sydney about her smart new concept, Beauty Dossier.
After decades of working in PR for corporate companies, what made you step out and launch, Beauty Dossier?
I have always loved beauty. And for several years, this idea has been percolating, about real, practical advice for women on makeup application. When you work in the beauty industry, you live and breath it. But most women don’t. They dip in and out as needed, and I believe the industry as a whole thinks most women know more about beauty than they do. It was also an area I felt had been neglected. If I had a penny for every time I’ve been asked about what to use, or buy, and how to apply makeup from my friends and colleagues - I’d be rich. It’s because women want someone who knows about beauty to tell them, not sell to them. There's a huge difference.
What have you learned on that journey?
Apart from creating Beauty Dossier, the process itself has been invigorating; it has been a gift. I have learned so many new things, every single day; online business is exciting. And, it can be anything you want it to be; there are no rules.
Explain the concept of Beauty Dossier?
Beauty Dossier is on online beauty course essentially for women in their 40’s and 50’s. It’s a paid course, so women are buying information without any sales pressure. It's a year’s unlimited access to makeup tutorials, to review in the privacy of your home. It is a mix of tutorials, with me demonstrating on myself, to show how easy it is. Then we repeat that same process, for women with different hair and skin tones, to show that the techniques work on all women to deliver a soft, flattering, neutral makeup look. The techniques will make you look younger, but that’s not the aim. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a woman looking her age. It’s about looking your best version of yourself.
What woman did you have in mind when you created Beauty Dossier?
Real women. It's not for beauty devotees, who love exploring new trends and products. Beauty Dossier is for women who want to look better, who want a natural look, and want to invest in themselves to upscale their knowledge, without the pressure of being sold to.
It's exciting to see women of every age starting online businesses, how did you find the transition?
Terrifying and fun all at the same time! In my fifties, it would have been very easy (and I had these thoughts) that it was too hard to adapt, coming from a corporate role to owning my own online business. That is rubbish. Online business is brilliant because there are no constraints. My advice would be to imagine the business you want and then build it. Also, for women my age, it’s liberating. From my experience, I would say to other women, if you have an idea research it, and make sure you get your position and proposition right, and then go for it. Also, find great people to work with. My Operations Consultant, Mitch Brown, is 35 and has taught me so much through this process, which has contributed to the result.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
Be agile. Be open. Be flexible. Beauty Dossier has morphed from its original business model, into what it is now, by taking advice and being prepared to be agile.
What’s the number one tip you’ve picked up from working closely with makeup artists and stylists?
Find your style. A couture outfit or a fabulous makeup will look odd, if the woman who is wearing it does not feel it represents 'her'. For example, most top makeup artists wear very light, neutral makeup. They’re not sporting the latest trends. They know their face, and how to make it look the best it can.
Beauty means different things to different women, and the word can be polarising, what does it mean to you?
Beauty to me means confidence. That’s it. For me, it’s not about looking younger. It’s not about changing the way you look. It’s about looking the best you can, and that translates into feeling confident. Confidence is just as big a part of Beauty Dossier.
What's your philosophy when it comes to age management?
Embrace whatever age you are. There might be some physical aspects to health that need management, so address that. I care less now about the little things. I appreciate what I have now at this age, more than I ever have.
What is your go-to beauty look?
A soft smokey eye, fresh, dewy complexion and a neutral-coloured lip.
What would we always find in your beauty bag?
Revlon 2 in 1 Compact for touch ups. Avène Hand Creme. Go-To Lips. And Chanel Coco Rouge Lipstick in Edith. That’s all I carry. I keep my makeup bag light.
What do you always keep on your bedside table?
Avène Lip Balm.
Do you have a signature scent?
No, I have a slight obsession with fragrance. I’d be embarrassed to admit how many 'favourites' I have. My current one is Chanel Coromandel. Every time I wear it, someone comments on it. It’s unique.
Your sleek blonde bob has become your trademark style, what's your secret to keeping it looking so good?
That’s kind. It’s a matter of work with what you have. My hair is baby fine and straight and to be honest, it's a pain. So I keep a simple style and have a great colourist in Sydney, Roz Khoury.
What are your ultimate skincare essentials?
That’s a tough one as I do rotate my skincare. But the consistent products I use daily are Go To Face Hero (serum) and Gernètic Synchro Moisturiser, Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, and Avène Eau Thermal Water spray. The best tip ever is to spray your face after cleansing and toning with the Eau Thermal Water, then straight away apply your serum and moisturiser, while your skin is still damp. You trap in the nutrient filled water, and it makes an incredible difference to your skin’s hydration. (It mimics how a skin therapist uses a vaporiser generating warm steamy air, whilst massaging in treatment products.) And I’m a huge fan of Micellar Waters right now too.
What beauty tip do you always share?
For skin - moisturise. And for makeup - experiment. Changing up your makeup can make you feel so much more confident and look more modern.
Beauty Dossier cost $80 AUD for a one year course. For more information visit Beauty Dossier