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Bella Interview: Natalie Bloom, Founder of Bloom Cosmetics

It's no secret that we LOVE Australian beauty brand Bloom Cosmetics. Back in 1993, at just 22, Natalie Bloom created what is now a world-renowned brand with a cult-like following that includes celeb fans Elle McPherson, Kylie Minogue and Liv Tyler. Now, 18 years later and over 300 bath and body, skincare and cosmetics products on, Bloom continues to grow. Natalie took time out of her busy schedule to give us the lowdown on breaking into the beauty biz and what's next for Bloom.

When did you know that you wanted to get into beauty? I guess you could say makeup is in my "make-up," as my love affair with all things beauty began as a child watching two oh-so-stylish women—my grandmother and mother! I remember watching my grandmother sitting at her boudoir meticulously applying makeup. I also have such fond memories of pouring over my mum’s cosmetics case. While my mum was into more earthy tones reminiscent of the late '80s, my grandmother never swayed from her signature shades of coral and blue! It was from these first memories that I truly became mesmerised with the colour and texture of cosmetics.

Keep reading . . .What drew you to the trade? As far as business is concerned my love of design and packaging led me to start my own business in gift ideas. Slowly this seed of a business evolved into cosmetics with a selection of aromatherapy products including candles, essential oils and lip balms. The range then grew into lipgloss and lipstick and before I knew it, a full cosmetics line was on the horizon. In many ways Bloom’s early growth was organic and natural—getting into the beauty business was never a conscious decision. I was just following my heart. I’m creative by nature and thankfully the beauty industry inspires me in this way. Everything from product development and packaging to marketing and visual merchandising allows me to scratch that creative itch—so this really is the perfect business for me!

What’s been the highlight of your career so far? I get such professional satisfaction out of the fact that Bloom is not just a bunch of products but a beauty brand with incredible brand awareness and integrity. In fact, I often have to pinch myself when I think that what started as a hobby has grown into such a well-known and well-loved brand.

Who is your favourite person that you’ve worked with so far? Without a doubt it would have to be artist David Band of Mahon and Band. He is a pure creative talent who gave Bloom Organics a fresh spirit that broke with the conventions of the past.

Who would you LOVE to work with? I’d love to collaborate with the most influential makeup artist of our time, Pat McGrath. While she has no formal training, her impact on both the beauty and fashion industry is legendary.

What are you favourite products? Choosing just one beauty product is like asking me to say which of my children is my favourite! But if I had to whittle down to a few treasured faves, I’d pick these must-haves: Full and Flirty Mascara (even if I don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, a quick lick of mascara instantly gives me a beauty boost); Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow (every day of the year I wear this product! Its revolutionary water-based formula dries to a powder finish and is versatile enough for a subtle day look or can be amped up at night); Nuts About You Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil (this cleansing oil is the most effective and gentle way to remove all traces of makeup and skin impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils); and Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (rich in vitamin A and essential fatty acids, this certified organic oil is a powerful antioxidant that hydrates skin, decreases the appearance of fine lines and improves skin elasticity—who doesn’t want that?!).

Tell us something we wouldn’t expect about you . . . I’m a homebody who loves the quiet life. I’ll take a night at home over a night out any day of the week!

What’s next for Natalie Bloom — the woman and the brand? In January 2011, we launch the next stage of our diffusion line, b collection by Bloom, in Target stores nationally. This range extension will herald the arrival of a bold, new colour cosmetic line-up. We’re also working on some very exciting strategic brand developments in the online space. So, definitely watch this space!

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