Shelley Barrett is the founder and CEO of iconic Australian beauty brand, ModelCo. At just 21 years old, Shelley started her career as a model agent. For 10 years, she owned and operated one of the most highly respected management groups in Australia. During that time Shelley managed a talent pool of 1200 people across Australia and her models graced the pages of fashion magazines and worldwide advertising campaigns.
After seeing firsthand the frustrations from leading make-up artists and models who wanted products that were not available on the market, Shelley saw an opportunity for innovative, quick fix beauty solutions.
From this came the launch of the phenomenally successful TURBO LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler in May 2002 followed by the world first, TAN Airbrush in a Can.
“I have always craved a challenge and after working with models, hair and makeup artists, saw a niche in the market for innovative, quick-fix and multi-purpose beauty solutions. Creating something women want before they know they need it is a philosophy we use every day at ModelCo. It’s the crux of our business – innovation and smart beauty”, says Barrett.
Impressive as Shelley’s agency career was, she craved a new challenge and the launch of her international best sellers TURBO LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler and TAN Airbrush in a Can saw the birth of a beauty brand. Shelley didn’t realise at that time that she was launching a cosmetics and tanning company but things escalated from there and she saw a gap in the market for dual purpose, smart beauty solutions for women on the go.
TURBO Lash Wand Heated Eyelash Curler was the first ModelCo innovation and launched into the market in 2002 with resounding worldwide results. The only product of its kind, Lash Wand reinvented the manual curler with advanced heating technology and quickly caught the attention of international celebrities and women of the world.
In just a few months, stock of ModelCo’s Lash Wand had sold out worldwide and was featured in beauty editorial across the globe in international publications such as VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, marie Claire & InStyle. The staggering success from just one product was the beginnings of ModelCo and stockists including Collette in Paris and beauty mecca SpaceNK in London and USA were soon on board.
ModelCo’s next product and major innovation was TAN Airbrush in Can – the world’s first aerosol ‘tan in a can’ self-tanning product to hit the market, which spawned a new international beauty category.
The unique concept developed by ModelCo transcended convention and changed the way that woman tanned, delivering professional results with the convenience of an at-home application. Not only was the aerosol packaging a first in self-tanning, it was also the blue-green based DHA ingredient that banished ‘the orange effect’ often found in tanning products, something ModelCo is now renowned for. The ‘Tan in a Can’ concept has since been followed by some of the world’s largest global beauty houses and continues to be a best seller for ModelCo.
ModelCo now boasts over 150 products in its range with innovation the inspiration behind each and every one – LIP LIGHTS lip glosses and lipsticks come with inbuilt LED lights and a side mirror for ease of application; FLUIDSPLASH 3-in-1 Foundation comes with a matching concealer in the lid; GEL EYELINER has an inbuilt brush and the all new BODY BRONZE Dry Touch SPF50+ combines high protection sunscreen with an instant wash off bronzer.
“I’ve learnt that beauty doesn’t have to be hard,” says Barrett. “I create products for women who are style-savvy yet time-poor, who want to look & feel their absolute best whilst enjoying a busy lifestyle. All of our products are dual purpose and quick fix. That’s what ModelCo is about – achievable, every day glamour”.
Loved by some of the world’s most stylish women, ModelCo is a favourite amongst Dannii & Kylie Minogue, Elle Macpherson, Victoria Beckham, Lily Allen, Jade Jagger, Cheyenne Tozzi, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Sienna Miller.
“It’s an absolute honour to know that we’re creating products that international celebrities and women of the world love and use religiously,” says Barrett.
As well as a strong celebrity following, ModelCo has worked with celebrity ambassadors throughout its history including Elle Macpherson, Dannii Minogue and Cheyenne Tozzi.
“I am a believer in organic partnerships; it is important that whoever represents ModelCo loves and identifies with the products and who we are as a brand. I have great respect for strong and empowering women and our ambassadors, Elle Macpherson, Dannii Minogue and Cheyenne Tozzi, have all embodied everything we stand for as a brand,” says Barrett.
From 2006-2007, Elle Macpherson was named as ModelCo’s first official celebrity ambassador and the face of revolutionary, anti-aging, cosmeceutical product ‘ERASE Those Fine Lines’. In 2011, ModelCo named Dannii Minogue as the global face of FIBRE LASH Brush on False Lashes. In 2012, ModelCo added another product to Dannii Minogue’s portfolio and was joined by international model, Cheyenne Tozzi as the face of SUPER TAN Instant Self Tan, the deepest, darkest self-tanner in the ModelCo range. ModelCo has also recently announced model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as the new face of the brand.
“Now into our eleventh year, we see ModelCo as a beauty and lifestyle community not just as a beauty brand. We’re ecstatic to have one of the world’s most sought after models join the ModelCo team. There’s no denying how incredibly beautiful and glamorous Rosie is but she also has an amazing attitude. We look forward to working together to take our brand to the next level”, says Barrett.
ModelCo continues to create products that surprise and delight their customers and also work hard to keep ahead of trends and meet the needs of the modern shopper. The iconic Australian beauty brand has developed a content-rich commerce destination, featuring smart and informative content across beauty, celebrity and how-to editorial pillars on a global URL, www.modelcocosmetics.com.
“Modelcocosmetics.com is your guide to a glamorous life,” says Barrett.
“High quality editorial alongside commerce is a modern and effective way to drive sales online. The new, convenient shopping site will provide customers with exclusive online-only product offers, 3-hour delivery within Sydney metro and next-day delivery across Australia. As a whole, we see the new website as an invaluable tool where we can welcome customers into our brand community, as well as provide them with a hub of advice and inspiration.” Says Barrett.