9 Tips For Launching A Successful Beauty Startup

With over 20 years of experience as a modeling agent, Shelley Sullivan turned to makeup in 2002. Her line, ModelCo, now boasts more than 250 products and collaborations with Hailey Baldwin, Stella Maxwell, Elle Macpherson, and Karl Lagerfeld, to name a few. Considered one of Australia’s leading female entrepreneurs, ModelCo founder and CEO Sullivan has earned accolades including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the American Express award for fastest growing small business. 


“I always had a strong desire to create my own business,” says Sullivan. “This feeling was innate in me from an early age. I have a relentless drive to succeed which is driven by personal ambition and determination. I love a challenge, being creative, and the thrill of building a business I can be proud of.”

It was her experience owning a modeling agency that surfaced Sullivan’s desire to create a line of products. She feels her current role at ModelCo is a manifestation of her life purpose, providing her with a sense of achievement and satisfaction. For example, through securing a worldwide beauty license deal with Karl Lagerfeld, she believes she has paved the way for other niche beauty brands to become serious contenders in the beauty world and contributed to “Australian Made” being perceived as a hot commodity.


As a leader, Sullivan feels she is constantly challenging herself creatively and from a business perspective. Her first trial came when she realized that the beauty industry was not what she expected. “ I thought I was launching a beauty business when in actual fact I was going into the world of retail, wholesale, marketing, logistics and finance ," she says. "It was a real learning curve for me. It taught me that you have to understand the business you are going into and surround yourself with people who have more knowledge than you do who can guide you through the process.”

She also experienced several bumps along the road to success, Sullivan says. ModelCo’s first product, Lashwand, was less than a year old when global orders started coming in too fast for the company to fulfill them. Sullivan had to get on a plane to visit the factory in Korea in order to sort out the situation in person.

“My manufacturer had a contact in another factory next door who stepped in to help, but they needed to work 24 hours round the clock – and it cost me four times the price,” Sullivan explains. “I had to take a large financial loss on the product in order to deliver to my customers because that was my utmost priority. There was no plan B; we just had to do whatever it took to make it work. Ultimately, we got the product to stores, but it was a valuable lesson. In the future, I knew that when I launched a new product, I would always have a plan B. On the flip side, I learned that when the going gets tough, I can handle it.”

Sullivan enjoys inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs. “I started the ModelCo brand from a one-product dream and turned it into a multimillion-dollar global beauty brand. I have a motivational story to tell,” she proclaims. She achieves this through mentoring sessions, media interviews, public speaking engagements, and personal communication with thousands of fans via email.

Here are nine tips from Sullivan on launching a successful beauty startup:

  1. Prepare by learning as much as you can about your customer, market, competitors, technology and trends relevant to the beauty industry.

  2. Learn from others where you can. Surround yourself with people who have more knowledge than you do about your industry.

  3. Clearly define your target audience. This will give you direction in your marketing and allow you to connect with your consumers.

  4. Take your time hiring the right people, even though you probably need to hire fast. People are the core of your business and having the right minds behind you will accelerate your business.

  5. Follow your instincts. I strongly believe that trusting my intuition has been the key to ModelCo’s success.

  6. Ensure you have the best IT, logistics, finance and digital processes set up from the beginning

  7. Identify the funds you require to start up, then double what you think you need.

  8. Set out your business strategy, then ensure you and your team are on the same page.

  9. Finally, never give in, never give up, and never take no for an answer.

I am a New York Times bestselling author, coauthor and ghostwriter of over a dozen non-fiction books and hundreds of articles for publications including Huffington Post, Self, Stanford magazine, and MindBodyGreen. I specialize in health and wellness, spirituality and psycho...


MeiMei Fox is a New York Times bestselling author specializing in health, wellness and positive psychology. As a writer and life coach, she helps people align careers with their life purpose.

How to Shoot Photos People Want to Buy

It's a safe bet to say a majority of photographers would love to get paid for their photos. Well, what photos would people want to buy?

The couple over at Mango Street teamed up with Stefan Kunz for their latest video where they discuss what you can do to take photos that people may want to buy, more specifically, graphic designers, clients, or anyone who would want to use photos for invitations, flyers, and other pieces where they will be incorporating text into the shot. 

They go over six different tips to keep in mind when shooting; some of the tips focus on the actual scene, while others focus on what lens would be best and some of the settings for the shot. 

These are some important tips to consider and not confined to only photographers that shoot for stock. Think of the different ways your photos could be used. Senior and graduation portraits could turn into the invites, engagement photos for save the dates, and product photography for ads, just to name a few. 

Are there any other tips to keep in mind when shooting photos that may be used with text? Leave your answers in the comments below.

3 Tips for Nailing Your Next Modeling Go-See


You’ve been called into a go-see for a modeling job and you’ve successfully done all the things I suggested in my last article to prep for the audition. But once you’re all signed in and ready to go, how do you ensure you have the best go-see possible? What can you do to give yourself the best chances of booking the job? Here’s how.

1. See if the ad layout is available.
Look around the casting office or photographer’s studio to see if the ad’s layout is available to view. This is a physical description of what the ad will look like, and can be helpful in directing the way you interact with the camera. Providing an ad layout at a go-see isn’t common, but if it is available, study it. 

Often, a stock image or other generic photo will be used as a placeholder, but it can still give you a sense of what they’re looking for in the final product. Check out the expression, hairstyle, pose, etc. If there’s a headline or copy on the ad already, that will let you know the tone the ad agency is going for. Use the knowledge to your advantage in prepping and while your photos are being taken.

READ: How to Become a Model

2. Offer your headshot or composite sheet.
When you’re called in to have your pictures taken, always ask if they want a copy of your headshot or composite sheet. I find it’s rare for a casting director or photographer to actually want either of these from models, but make the offer anyway. Even if they throw it away as soon as you leave, at least they’ll have seen a  great shot of you. 

If they do take your headshot or comp card, it’s likely to show the client what you look like in a professional photo.

3. Ask the photographer what he or she needs in the shot.
An actor would never ask the casting director how to play a character in an audition—part of being a great actor is making those choices ahead of time by studying the script and sides. But with modeling, you need to know why you’re posing or reacting in a certain way. 

For example, if a doctor is being cast for a modeling job and the CD or photographer asks you to smile, ask why. Should the smile be “I just saved someone’s life” or “I’m offering patients a better type of medication with less side effects”? Both scenarios are reasons to smile, but the type of smile will be different. So ask what’s giving you a reason to smile so you know exactly what look to share with the camera. 

When you ask, be prepared. Some photographers will give you more details so you can use your acting skills and offer a specific look. Others might simply say, “Just give me a smile.” Don’t argue or get into a discussion about why it’s helpful to get the additional information. Just make a specific decision on your own and give the look to the camera or wherever you are asked to look. 

Having a game plan and strategy while attending a go-see will not only help you relax and take the mystery out of the audition, it will also give you your best chance for success. Good luck!

Styling tips every man should follow this season Here are some ideas by stylists you can pick up from to look sharp during the winter season.


After the relentless heat of the summer, it’s hard not to get excited about the fall. The winter styles are all about mixing different colours and; keeping everything sleek and minimal so its time to start preparing for your essential acquisitions which you need for this fall season.

Rohan Khattar, Co-Founder of Minizmo high fashion menswear label and Avneet Chadha, Celebrity Stylist have suggested ideas for looking sharp during the winter season.

Introduction to light layering

Investing in the right layering pieces and right material with different colours and shades is something one needs to be cautious about. Stock up your wardrobe with a great mix of long and short sleeved T-shirts, lightweight collared shirts, a cool sports jacket and of course a comfortable sweater.

Wool it up

The time one spends buying upper body layers leaves them with a limited amount for warming up the legs. Giving comfort to your lower body in the cooler months is to switch to wool fabric. Lightweight woollen pants work great for the season, and you can always team it up with your basic shirt and blazer.


Woollen knits, suede or velvet and even cotton fabrics with velvet ribs is a good way to keep your look interesting while keeping it easy on the eyes at the same time. This can be best done when you follow solid colours in textured fabrics. You can always match them up with dark solids or lighter greys and other soft shades.

Play it solid

With the layers taking its place, it is also time for solid, muted colours. It might not be a rule to follow, but the solid earthy tones and darker shades of orange, green go well with the season. Men should always keep it minimal with solids and not layer them in a way that makes the look come across as overpowering. Keep the colours varied, but they should mostly be solid and try creating a pattern with the solid layers you plan to wear.

How to take better cycling photos

Looking to pap a rider during a race, or want to take better pictures in the mountains? We've got tips from a pro


It’s hairpins that always get me. There’s an exquisite right hand swoop about a mile from my house, it features on a regular training ride and has tormented me from day one.

The scene looks like a tantalisingly good picture to the naked eye yet the quality simply won’t allow itself to be recreated with a camera. At least not by me.

“I’m the same… I always look at hairpins… occasionally it works but usually they look really bland and boring,” says cycling photographer Michael Blann.

Despite sharing the same frustrations with those elusive hairpins, Blann’s photography know-how has seen him secure a job as Getty Images’ ‘London Creative Photographer’, shoot commercial projects for some of the biggest brands in cycling and publish a stunning collection in his book ‘Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs’.

Blann spent a year racing for an elite team in Australia, but quickly realised his place in cycling wasn’t as a professional rider. It’s only recently he’s been able to focus his career so squarely on his lifelong love of cycling: “It’s been a slow process but has picked up pace in the last five to 10 years as cycling’s really got popular,” he says.

His most recent collection focuses heavily on the climbs which have given bike races so much of their colour over the years, the mountains where riders have engaged in battles we rarely see on the flat – probably because the whole display is moving so fast you need to be in the melee to catch the detail.

“In my heart I’m a landscape photographer. I’m not one to focus on the action – my approach was to take a step back and put the whole of the race into a context with the landscape,” says Blann.


Ever improving smartphones and the continual upward growth of platforms like Instagram means that – whilst the pros will always have a quality we can’t even hope to emulate – a lot of us are having a go.

If you’re looking to get a coveted picture of your favourite riders in action, or you’re seeking Insta-stardom that isn’t all about ‘hashtagmylunchtoday’, then Blann has some tips.

Don’t disregard popular culture, but know your overall goal

“Having any sort of social media platform to get your work out there is good – I’ve found lots of interesting photographers via Instagram, I think it’s a great thing.

“There’s an awful lot of people on there photographing their café rides and lunch… which is fine… but it really depends where you want to place your work. Are you trying to make stunning photography, or trying to document your day for your friends to see?

“If you’re more business focused I think you have to theme your page, you can’t just throw everything up there, jumping from dinner with friends to landscape photography.”

Know the goal of each picture

“You’ve got to work out what their motive is – what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to capture action, or scenery, or something incidental?

“Work that out first – then it doesn’t matter if you’re on a smartphone or an expensive camera. The principles of photography are all the same.”


Light and composition are key

“So much of photography is about light and composition, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re shooting off after that point.

“A lot of [judging that] that comes from experience, practice and instinct – you look at things and can see how it’s going to frame up. There are some basic rules we can all learn and apply, like the ‘rule of thirds’*.