THE LIFE: Virgos are notorious perfectionists with unparalleled attention to detail. They’re composed, refined, and intelligent. As an earth sign, Virgos are grounded, practical and methodical. Keen observers, Virgos can come across as a little cool or stand-offish – but they are usually just taking in all the details, analysing their surroundings. Virgoan #Gems are unfailingly loyal friends and definitely the first to call in a crisis – they’ll come armed with a 10-step action plan and put it into motion!
THE LOOK: Aesthetics are very important to a Virgo! A flawless complexion with sculpted cheeks is a cornerstone, and soft earthy tones like browns and taupes are perfect alongside ladylike pinks and nudes. Application is key – no gritty textures, smudginess or undone edges here. Classic Virgo beauty is perfectly defined, blended and smooth.
Q: Take us through your job – what does a day in your life look like?
AV: It’s completely different every day, which I love. A typical day could include writing press releases for our products to send to media, copywriting for the website, blog, and the backs of our product boxes, and other marketing collateral, shooting flat lays and creating artwork and post concepts for our social media platforms, naming and helping Fiona develop the strategy for new products, shooting videos, responding to social media enquiries, and posting on our social media platforms. I am also a makeup artist so from time to time you might also find me working alongside the creative team backstage at a runway show or on set. I am based in Los Angeles this year – so I’m also integrating the Hollywood part of our brand story into our social media more and more. A lot of people may not know that Issada first found fame on Hollywood movie sets and our brushes have been used on everyone from Beyonce to Kate Winslet.
Q: What attracted you to the Issada brand initially?
AV: I was in waiting in line for my local cinemas on Oxford Street, Bulimba, and spotted the brand new Issada Concept Store (I think it had been open for 2 days). I was so excited to see a new makeup store right in my suburban neighbourhood, that I abandoned the movie line and walked straight in. I was a makeup junkie and had never seen anything like the products. The textures, colours, the packaging and the stunning store layout had me completely intrigued. At the time, Fiona was in the store by herself working and I remember absolutely bombarding her with questions. I was about 17 or 18 at the time and had problem skin that I was trying everything to fix – I had JUST discovered mineral makeup, so when Fiona told me Issada was mineral and designed to treat and improve skin – I couldn’t believe my ears. Apparently my excitement and enthusiasm were visible and contagious, because we exchanged details and the next week I had a job with Issada in the Concept Store. I worked there during my degree, and then when I graduated I started doing PR and marketing for the company. I worked in magazines and for PR agencies for a few years in between, but always kept in close contact with Fiona and in 2012 I came back – so I’ve now worked with Fiona on and off (mainly on!) for the last 10 years.
Q: What is it that’s kept you here for all these years?
AV: A genuine, wholehearted passionate belief in the Issada brand and what it stands for. As I’ve been around since it began, you could say I’m pretty invested! I just love it. The relationship I have with Fiona and the loyalty there – I can’t imagine ever not working with her. Fiona is like family to me at this point, we have eachother’s backs and we can pretty much read eachother’s minds and finish eachother’s sentences. I also love the variety and being able to utilize my different skills in so many different ways – Fiona has always worked with me to tailor my role to bring out my strengths and she is incredibly supportive of all my pursuits – what’s not to love?
Q: If you could only take 3 Issada products to a desert island, what would they be and why?
DEFINITELY the Mineral CC8 Cream in Autumn. It will give me hydration, sun protection, redness reducing and skin brightening properties, and generous coverage to even out my skin-tone in case any handsome rescuers come to my aid.
Mineral Baked Velvet in Earth. I would use this to lightly contour and bronze my cheekbones, forehead, nose, jawline and eyelids. I don’t feel like me without a bit of a face sculpting! At a pinch I could use some Earth wet as a bronzey lip colour.
Ultimate Lipliner in Elixir. I am a serial lip-liner. I can’t live without it. It was a tough call for this third one between brows and lips, but my brows are pretty full so I think I’d just let them run wild, go for untamed island Brooke Shields 80s vibes and have my lips instead!
Q: What is your favourite thing about your job?
AV: Helping develop, test and name new products, and figuring out how to describe them to media and customers in a way that does them justice! It’s such a fun challenge.
Q: What does it take to be a good marketing coordinator?
AV: You need to be really creative and think outside the box. You definitely need to know your brand inside out, and be fluent in your brand’s tone, philosophy, brand values, mission statement and language – you’re actually helping create this language and managing how it translates to consumers. You have to have a solid and constantly evolving understanding of the marketing mix, and stay up to date with the latest media and social media trends. You also need to understand your customers and audience, speak to your demographic, and be constantly dreaming up new ideas. A marketing or communications degree is also pretty essential.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to work for Issada?
AV: First, get the necessary qualifications and experience. Research the brand, learn the products, ingredients and formulas. Have a can-do attitude. It sounds cliché, but you wouldn’t believe how valuable that actually is. Diversify your skill set and be prepared to multi-task! If you’re in the store you’re not just a retail assistant. You may find yourself visual merchandising, doing VIPs. If you’re on the creative team, you may find yourself taking snaps backstage and answering questions from film crews. If you’re in training and education, you may have to film videos and be on camera – and the list goes on. Write an amazing cover letter that demonstrates your personality, what you bring to the table and your passion for the Issada brand. We also take very selective interns, so there’s another way to get your foot in the door.
Q: What is your go-to, never fail, favourite makeup look?
AV: A flawless complexion, strong contour and highlight, full brow, an earthy eye with a false lash and a full nude lip, and an emphasized beauty mark. Just classic 90s supermodel glamour. That’s when I have plenty of time to get ready! My 10 minute makeup look is much more fresh faced! It involves CC8 Cream, Protein Mascara, the Mineral Lip and Cheek Cream in Mango Frappe on cheeks and lips – and not much else!
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?
SF: My favourite store on Oxford Street is Frankie & The Fox and my favourite restaurant is The Jetty.
Q: Take us through your skincare regime?
AV: My essentials are:
Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream
Elemis Pro Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment
Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser
Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub
ASAP Clearskin Gel
ASAP Daily 50+ Moisturiser
Q: What’s the number one most FAQ from customers on social media
AV: We get a lot of overseas enquiries, often from Aussie expats who fell in love with the brand at home and then moved to the US or the UK or Europe, asking how they can get their products shipped internationally to them, because we don’t sell online. We also get random international enquiries all the time – everywhere from South Africa to the Middle East!
Q: Who is your number one celebrity beauty icon and why?
AV: I am such a mixed bag, I can’t choose one. My beauty icons are Cindy Crawford, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Kardashian. I am also loving Bella Hadid lately.