MEET THE TEAM: Sophie Kouznetsoff, Makeup Artist and Sales Coordinator



Q: Take us through your job – what does a day in your life look like?

SK: My days are always different! Every client brings with them something new or exciting. Working between the two concept stores, it’s my clients that bring diversity to my day. I always start my day with a coffee from my favourite coffee shop (having a go to spot for each of the stores). Once I’m in store, I choose a lip colour to suit my mood and get ready to open the store. From there is just all about looking after each and every person that comes in to see me. Coming into see me involves a lot of laughs, personalised service and always a good music playlist. My main role is as a Makeup Artist, or as I like to call it, a ‘beautifier.’ Second to that, I am a consultant for all our beautiful products that we stock in our stores. Specializing in the Issada makeup and Elemis skincare, I tailor and hand pick the perfect products for our gems individually. No one’s skin is alike; therefore no two clients will have the same needs. Thirdly, I am there as your doorway to looking and feeling amazing.


Q: What attracted you to the Issada brand initially?

SK: I have always been a stickler for quality skin products as I used to spend a lot of time performing on stage and needed heavy coverage and bold colours, but with that came bad skin and a lot more coverage then needed. It was a vicious cycle. Issada was actually something I just stumbled upon because it is the brightest store on Oxford street, seriously you couldn’t miss it, it’s that bright and dazzling. When I wandered in and found out it was mineral cosmetics and all the good it would do for my skin, I was hooked. It was another few years later and a change in my career that I then stumbled across a job advertisement for the company and thought I would apply and see what happens. That was nearly three years ago now! Now I work not only in store, but on many of our events and marketing promotions, which is what I love doing the most!


Q: What is it that’s kept you here for all these years?

SK: Issada is a family. As a team we are a tight knit community, totally devoted to the products. Fiona is also a very understanding boss. I’m the only employee that is also studying at university and Fiona has always considered my shifts according to my study requirements. You don’t find many bosses that actively support someone’s career that isn’t related to the business.


Q: If you could only take 3 Issada products to a desert island, what would they be and why?


  1. ‘Panna Cotta’ Mineral Baked Foundation – not only is it my perfect powder colour it is also amazing in terms of ingredients and what it does for my skin. I can wear it for a sheer natural look or build it up to have a velvety semi matte full coverage finish. Its flawless and I cannot live without it.
  2. Mineral Baked Shadow in ‘Sugar’ – I am a highlighter FIEND!! I could put it all over my body and it still wouldn’t be enough…. Do I need to say anything else?
  3. ‘Ninja’ Ultimate Gel Eyeliner – Most of my clients know me as the ‘Flick Queen’ and Ninja is my trusty steed for the perfect liner flick. It’s great as a base for a smokey eye, all day wear liner and it’s smudge proof, who wouldn’t love that?!


Q: What is your favourite thing about your job?

SK: I love the feeling of knowing I made someone feel beautiful. A woman’s face is her most important part of her appearance so being able to help her shine from outside and in is my favourite part of my job.


Q: What does it take to be a good makeup artist?

SK: LISTENING!!! As a makeup artist, you have to listen to your client and understand exactly what they like or don’t like. Being on the same page and being honest if something wont work and why is the single most important part of my job. Also it is imperative that you keep up to date with the latest styles and trends and also application methods and ideas. In the world we live in with Social Media being a sensation for the industry, if you don’t keep up with what’s happening outside Issada, you’ll be left behind. My Instagram feed is 80% makeup, it’s a complete obsession!!

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to work for Issada?

SK: Just apply! We are always looking for new faces to join the team. Every risk not taken, is an opportunity missed.


Q: What is your go-to, never fail, favourite makeup look?

SK: 100% flawless base with Velvet Cream and Baked Foundation, soft but defined brows, strong contour with ‘Earth’ and ‘Sand’ Baked powders and obviously ‘Sugar’ highlighter everywhere. 2 Spicy baked shadow in a cut crease style with the gold from 2 Amazing on my lid for a pop of glitter. Always a BIG flick with ‘Ninja’ and ‘Onyx’ gel and finish it off with ‘In the Buff’ lip Crayon.


Q: You have spent a lot of time in the Bulimba community – name your second favourite store on Oxford Street (after Issada of course) and your favourite restaurant?

SK: I love ‘Mugged’ down the street from us. They have the best coffee on Oxford Street and a rival music playlist to mine. My favourite store would be ‘Thousand Island Dressing’ as they have some really funky knick-knacks in there and I’m a sucker for funky little trinkets.

Being in the city however, I cannot go without a coffee from ‘Duce & Co Espresso’ and I’m well known by the guys at ‘Pigeonhole’ as I stop in there all the time to look at their new things, again that place is knick-knacks galore!


Q: Take us through your skincare regime?

SK: My skin is super temperamental being a 22-year-old Uni student and stress head! I can’t go a day without my favourite things being:

  • Skinstitute Gentle Cleanser and Glycolic scrub
  • Elemis Papaya Peel
  • Elemis Ginseng Toner
  • Elemis Advanced Brightening Serum
  • Elemis Hydra Boost – Sensitive Day Cream
  • Elemis Hydra Nourish Night Cream
  • Elemis Advanced Eye Treatment
  • ASAP Clear Skin Gel
  • Skinstitute 50+ facial sunblock
  • ‘Silicea’ silicon tablets for strong nails and silky hair


Q: What’s the number one most FAQ from customers in store?

SK: “Can I try that on?” Of course you can! Our testers are there for you to try things on and see how they feel and look on your skin. I wouldn’t have a job if you couldn’t try on our products!


Q: Who is your number one celebrity beauty icon and why?

SK: This is such a hard question because there isn’t just one celebrity that I’m drawn to for inspiration. My favourite makeup icon would be Rae Morris, she’s amazing and I have all her books and nearly cried when I met her in 2014 at a beauty expo. She makes makeup seem effortless. I also love beauty blogger Shannon Harris (@shaaanxo on social media) she’s so hilarious and I feel like our personalities are very similar so I like her a lot. I also love icons like Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Monroe. I love anything vintage or burlesque so their styles are always a go to for inspiration.


WATCH: Easy Face Sculpting with Issada ProSticks

Contouring, highlighting, strobing; these buzzwords have taken the beauty world by storm. We save you from sifting through all the info online and de-mystify these techniques for you, for the quickest and easiest way to sculpt your face!

#todayinLA: Issada x Grace


Issada recently collaborated with triple-platinum selling, Aria and Grammy nominated artist, AND fellow Brisbane girl, Grace Sewell, on a photoshoot in Los Angeles.

Following the huge success of her single, You Don’t Own Me and debut album FMA, Grace is finishing up her second album and we couldn’t be more excited for her new music.

For Grace’s photoshoot we channelled beauty muse Brigitte Bardot for a look that was all about 60s peachy perfection; smoky eyes, lashes galore and pastel peach cheeks and lips.

Stay tuned for the final shots, but in the meantime, check out the sneaky behind-the-scenes pics we snapped while on location in Hollywood.

Grace’s must-have top 10 product picks for Brigitte Bardot perfection:

  1. Issada Mineral Velvet Cream foundation
  2. Issada Mineral ProStick and Glostick (contour and highlight)
  3. Issada Mineral Lip and Cheek Cream in Mango Frappe
  4. Issada Mineral Baked Blush in Champagne Diamond
  5. Issada Mineral Baked Velvet in Earth
  6. Issada Mineral Baked 2 Eyeshadow in 2 Spicey
  7. Issada Ultimate Eyeliner in Ninja
  8. Issada Luxe Lashes in Doll
  9. Issada Ultimate Lipliner in Bashful
  10. Issada Mineral Neon Gloss in Neon Phobic
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Issada may have been born in Brisbane but believe it or not – our brand grew up in Hollywood! It was on A-list film and TV sets (when the mineral makeup colour collection was but a twinkle in our CEO/Founder Fiona’s eye!) that Issada’s Couture Brush Set really started to command global attention, being used on celebrities like Beyonce, J-Lo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and many others.

Our very own marketing coordinator/LA tour guide Alex has been working abroad from the City of Angels, so she knows her way around town – but not before she was put through her paces. Someone had to take on the tough job of eating, drinking, swimming, shopping, staying and playing their way around one of the world’s most glamorous cities to bring you the best of the best!

Over the next couple of months, Alex will bring you her must-visit hot spots from different areas around Los Angeles, this time – Silverlake.


Silverlake borders Los Feliz and Hollywood and is the hipster, it-crowd capital of LA. The secret to Silverlake’s allure among the cool kids? It maintains the charm of Hollywood yesteryear alongside some of the most modernist and trendy architecture and street style in the city. Full of diversity, colour, contrasts and juxtapositions, Silverlake’s hills are dotted with stunning homes with beautiful views of downtown and Hollywood (even the famous sign!), while down below on popular shopping and eating precinct Sunset Junction, a grungy, rock-and-roll, alternative attitude pervades. There’s always something to do in Silverlake – the reservoir is the perfect workout spot, its brimming with great food and coffee (with lots of organic and vegan options), there are a host of fun nightspots, from divey live music venues to upscale bars with craft cocktails – while new boutique retailers, like candle and fragrance apothecaries and specialty hat shops pop up seemingly every month.

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1710 Silver Lake Blvd Los Angeles, CA, 90026


Worth heading to for the renowned Tortellini in Brodo alone, Alimento offers delicious Italian fare and American favourites with an Italian twist, designed by chef Zach Pollack. The fried chicken sandwich is one of the best in town, the atmosphere is young, fun with great music – a perfect pre-party dinner spot. Organic, biodynamic wines join local fresh produce for a dining experience that will delight the senses.



ISSADA APPROVES: Intelligentsia

3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029


The place to see and be seen in Silverlake is the ubiquitously instagrammed, blue-tiled patio of Intelligentsia Coffee. Silverlake’s coolest and most beautiful people (young actors, models and bloggers) frequent this haunt. LA isn’t known for truly great coffee, which is why this gem usually has a line around the block.




ISSADA APPROVES: Silverlake Farmer’s Market

3700 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers market

The ultra hip Silverlake Farmer’s Market, held on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, is the trendiest place to pick up your produce. Vintage clothing and jewellery stalls, second hand books and records, crystals and candles cater to the stylish crowd – peppered between the requisite organic vegetables and fresh blooms. Incredible international food trucks line this neighbourhood market – we recommend the tamales and crepes if you get hungry while browsing!




ISSADA APPROVES: Mohawk General Store

4011 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029


Mohawk General Store features carefully curated pieces from Dries Van Noten, APC, Commes des Garcons, Acne and dozens of other designers. If you’re not interested in clothes, local jewellery designers’ artisanal wares sit alongside candles from 370-year-old brand Cire Trudon, polygonal terrariums by Score + Solder and printed stationary by Postalco. Brimming with records and coffee table books on design and art, Mohawk General Store is the perfect place to find a special gift.






As the hipster capital of LA, the only way to stay in Silverlake is Airbnb. There are dozens of quirkily renovated apartments, condos, homes and ‘artists retreats’ available for short and long term stays, like this stark and uber hip converted barn.





4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027


An historic landmark built in 1923, the Vista Theater eschews the digital age and still plays movies on actual film reels. Brimming with character and quirk, the single screen theatre showcases huge Art Deco light fixtures and Egyptian-themed wall details. The Vista’s manager Victor dresses up in character for major film openings – think Willy Wonka for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Joker for The Dark Knight and the Vista’s website claims to have the most leg-room in Hollywood – so stretch out, relax and enjoy the show!


MEET THE TEAM: Maggie Catlow, Social Media Manager

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Q: Take us through your job – what does a day in your life look like?

 MC: After being an Issada intern a couple of years ago, I recently started looking after the social media for Issada. The best part about what I do is getting to work with our amazing products and coming up with creative ways to show you what we’re all about. I also love being able to interact with our Gems on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. In my role it’s crucial to stay on top of events and all that is #trending in beauty, fashion and culture. I love keeping you updated on what’s happening at the Issada HQ as well as what inspires us.


Q: What attracted you to the Issada brand initially?

MC: I met Issada’s CEO/Founder Fiona in my previous job before working at Issada. Having the opportunity to work with Issada has been such a blessing as the makeup has helped my problematic skin. I love converting my friends and family to Issada as I know it’s the best for their skin. Fiona is someone I look up to as she has built a beautiful brand with a genuine philosophy and integrity. It’s great to work for a company that I’m passionate about with people who I can always learn from.


Q: If you could only take 3 Issada products to a desert island, what would they be and why?


  • Mineral Velvet Cream in Brisbane. If I’m going to a desert island, I’m taking an even skin tone with me.
  • Mineral Liquid Light. If I’m in the middle of nowhere, I’ll keep my look quite natural. With its illuminative particles, Liquid Light will brighten and nourish under my eyes for radiant perfection.
  • Mineral Lip Gloss in Daiquiri. Island life will be warm and sunny. To keep my pout nourished in the heat I’d have this product to moisturize my lips with a dose of botanicals, antioxidants, and minerals.

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Q: What is your favourite thing about your job?

MC: I love knowing what’s going on in the beauty world, equally I love sharing what’s going on in the world of Issada. Being a social media manager gives me the opportunity to keep learning about everything I’m already obsessed with.


Q: What does it take to be a good social media manager?

MC: Knowing the brand is a must. Translating the philosophy and values into images and posts gives an overall sense of what the product and company stands for and has to offer customers. Being adaptable to the changing environment of social media helps as being abreast of what’s new keeps your audience excited. A large portion of managing social media is having an artistic flair and coming up with new concepts for engaging posts.


Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to work for Issada?

MC: The right qualifications are important but I think passion and enthusiasm is paramount. Issada is such a unique brand of makeup that has skin enhancing minerals and botanicals; I believe it’s important to be someone who is invested in skin health. Have an up-to-date resume that outlines your experience and skills. Lastly, a cover letter that showcases your personality is the first step in making a great impression.


Q: What is your go-to, never fail, favourite makeup look?

MC: I love my makeup to look like me, only the best me possible #wokeuplikethis. It’s all about a fresh complexion and Mineral Baked Velvet in Earth swept where the sun kisses my face. A nude lip with a touch of Mineral Lip Gloss adds the perfect finishing touch for an effortless look.


Q: You have spent a lot of time in the Bulimba community – name your second favourite store on Oxford Street (after Issada of course.)

MC: Coco Bliss Superfood Bar is my regular each morning – I wake up craving their smoothies!


Q: Take us through your skincare regime?

MC: I have the most high maintenance skin ever and it doesn’t take much for me to break out. That’s why I love that Issada helps with sensitive complexions! In terms of skincare, I love the Elemis Fruit Enzyme Peel for exfoliating and gently resurfacing without scratching. I love simplicity in my ingredients. I have recently discovered Alyssum Alchemy, a beautiful range of oils and mists that are infused with healing energy from the moon, gemstones, flowers and white light reiki. I also use our Issada Canvas Foundation Primer every morning without fail.


Q: What’s the number one most FAQ from customers on social media

MC: We get local and global enquiries. Usually they are about where to find stockists and if they can get products shipped to them.


Q: Who is your number one celebrity beauty icon and why?

MC: I have always thought Sharon Tate, an actress and natural beauty from the 1960’s is a timeless icon. She was the definition of carefree, yet polished in her approach to beauty.

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In this heat, we’re dreaming of a summer escape! High on the local bucket-list is Port Douglas. This stunning coastal resort town is the perfect gateway to The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, and equally fantastic as a relaxing international holiday destination in its own right. In the 80s and 90s, Port Douglas was a haven for celebrities like John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Mick Jagger and Claudia Schiffer who have all been spotted enjoying the pristine beaches and frolicking on super yachts. After a wane in tourism in tropical north QLD in the 00s, today Port Douglas is enjoying a stylish resurgence! Our CEO/Founder Fiona recently spent a long weekend there with her partner and son, and shares with us her favourite ‘Issada-approved’ places to stay, eat, sip, shop, swim, play and relax.



ISSADA APPROVES: Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas

Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas QLD


This 5-star resort was built by Christopher Skase in 1988 for over $100million dollars and was the jewel of Port Douglas’ crown, before tropical north QLD tourism quietened, leaving the extravagant resort in need of a facelift. Enter a spectacular $43 million dollar renovation, just completed this year, which has restored the Sheraton Mirage to its 5-star former glory. The property is the only Port Douglas resort with direct access to popular Four Mile Beach and it boasts 2 hectares of saltwater lagoon pools, pumped ecologically from the ocean.



Shop 5, 31 Macrossan Street, Port Douglas


Watergate is a must-visit for delicious modern Australian cuisine and an amazing cocktail and wine list. Grab a seat at the bar for a sunset sip and a delicious light bar bite, or book a table for a sumptuous meal utilizing local, fresh seasonal produce. Chef Lee Neate has designed an innovative menu that reflects contemporary trends in Australian cooking and, as is to be expected, the fresh caught seafood is incredible. Issada recommends the Grilled Snapper, and the Geisha Girl cocktail.



44 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD

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The perfect afternoon or sunset cocktail spot, Barbados’ cocktail menu is to die for and offers spectacular views over the Dickson Inlet, Coral Sea, Mossman Ranges & Daintree National Park. The menu specializes in fresh, light starters and share plates, with some delicious salads. From the cocktail list, Issada recommends The Garden of Eden and the Mimi Mimosa, and for a bite, the lime and coconut prawns and rainbow tomtato salad.

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ISSADA APPROVES: Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

Captain Cook Hwy, Wangetti QLD


The best way to spot a croc in Port Douglas! And plenty of other wildlife – with over 2100 metres of timber boardwalks and pathways leading you on a journey of discovery through woodlands and rainforest where you can see tropical birds, reptiles, insects and other native fauna. Enjoy Hartley’s entertaining and educational wildlife presentations, including snakes, cassowaries, koalas, crocodiles, quolls and much more. Take a boat cruise on Hartley’s Lagoon to see crocodiles and other wildlife on our melaleuca wetland, and learn about sustainable use and conservation on our Crocodile Farm tour.



ISSADA APPROVES: Sheraton Mirage Country Club and Golf Course

Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas QLD


Bordered by the Coral Sea and a panoramic mountain backdrop, the Sheraton Mirage course is a golfer’s paradise. Challenge yourself to a combination of 6 par 3, 6 par 4 and 6 par 5 holes all within two quite different 9’s. Also at the country club, a tennis court, designer pro-shop, gym and lap pool for all your recreational sporting needs!



ISSADA APPROVES: The Sheraton Mirage Pool

Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas QLD


The pool is definitely the best option for swimming, unless you want a run in with the crocs! With 2 hectares of saltwater lagoon pools, pumped ecologically from the ocean, there is no shortage of spots to have a relaxing dip.




14/56 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD


We love the Seafolly Concept Store on Macrossan street – a comprehensive range of this Australian swimwear empire’s designs, and fantastic staff who make the sometimes daunting prospect of swimwear shopping enjoyable.


ISSADA APPROVES: Spa Q at Hotel QT – Issada Stockist!

87-109 Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas QLD


Experience the art of unwinding at Spa Q! We recommend the Metamorphosis Treatment Package: A Warm Oil Back Massage + Uspa Concept Facial + Mini-Manicure & Pedicure. Don’t forget your post-treatment Issada mineral makeover before you leave!




Issada was the official makeup sponsor for the annual Ladies and Gents Sparkling Luncheon for Gold Coast’s Magic Millions Racing Carnival. The Issada Creative Team joined runway fashion maven Sonia Stradiotto Couture, and other key sponsors Porsche Gold Coast and Esteem Medispa for the exclusive fashion show luncheon at the Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort. Guests were dressed to the impress in full racewear regalia, and the event was brimming with glamour, style, high society and elite fashion.


The Makeup Look:

Inspired by Sophia Loren with bronzed contoured cheeks, defined brows, dramatic winged liner and modernised with a bold neon lip, in shades of red, coral, orange and pink.

Product Essentials:

– Issada Mineral Ink Felt-Tip Liner.

– Issada Mineral Baked Velvet in Earth.

– Issada Mineral Neon Lipsticks: Extreme, Nitro, Shock and Fierce.

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It’s the one night of the year when there’s no such thing as OTT. Throw caution to the wind, abandon makeup rules and go for no-holds-barred glamour. We asked Fiona Neale, CEO/Founder of Issada for her tips on how to steal the show this New Year’s Eve.

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Fiona’s Top 3 Things to Be this NYE

  1. Be photo ready

You are probably going to take a lot of photos on New Year’s Eve so make sure you’re camera-ready! That means, priming your skin, applying a flawless foundation finish, setting with powder, and contouring and highlighting your face to sculpt your features. Any kind of dimension disappears slightly with flash photography, so make sure you go a little further with your contouring than you would for a regular night out, to ensure your bone structure still stands out! False lashes are also a must, to make sure your eyes still pop under harsh photo conditions. Our NYE pick is Issada Luxe Lashes in Glitz – flutter these and heads will turn!

  1. Be daring

Go for colour! A pop of neon on lips and/or nails is the perfect way to get the party started. Issada’s Ultimate Lipliners are your insurance against wearing off, transfer, feathering, bleeding – AND they’re kiss-proof! Trace your lip border and then colour in the entire lip – this will withstand canapés and cocktails with just minimal (if any) touch ups. Try Hazard or Ribbon for a pop of ultra-bright colour. For even more of a jolt, apply a neon lipstick over the top for high-wattage glam. Try Issada Neon Lipstick in Bold, Burst, or Intense.

  1. Be radiant

Metallic textures are perfect for standing out on NYE. Try Issada’s Ultimate Eyeliners in Diamond, Cleopatra, Occult, Libido or Shiver– these ultra soft mineral gel pencils will glide across lids for a completely opaque bold metallic coverage that won’t smudge or fade while dancing the night away. A metallic nail will shimmer in the moonlight and act as an accessory to your outfit. Try Issada 5-free Nail Polish in Alexis.

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