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As teenagers most girls are just investing in their first tubes of lipstick. Not Poppy King! At just 18, she took the make-up world by storm, and boldly created her first line of lipsticks, appropriately named “Poppy. After gaining great success with her line and inspiring women to paint their pouts with dramatic Hollywood flair, Poppy moved away from her home in Australia and began a long and established career at Estee Lauder in New York City. Years later, she’s returned to doing what she does best – giving our overly glossed lips something new and daring to smile about with her new line Lipstick Queen!

How do you find inspiration for new shades?
I find inspiration any and everywhere…from a cake store to a paint store to an antique store. Also sayings…words inspire colors for me….for example… “the Devil’s in the detail could inspire a whole collection of very detailed oriented reds. However my biggest inspiration are the ladies I meet at my counters all over the world and the feedback they give me on shades.

We’ve all been lip-gloss crazed for some time, do you think we’ll see a widespread return to lipstick?
I do think there is a slow but steady return to lipstick. I think women want to feel sophisticated again and lipstick is nothing if not sophisticated.

You started your first lipstick line when you were 18, what motivated you to dive into the industry at such a young age?
I desperately wanted a lipstick that had the depth, intensity and chic element of the old fashioned Hollywood era. At that time ALL the lipsticks out there were shimmery and pink. When I didn’t graduate with high enough grades to get into the college of my choice I decided to look into starting a lipstick business instead to fill the above gap. I never expected it to become what it has and I still pinch myself!

Do you personally wear Saint or Sinner? Or does it depend on the occasion?
I love both…but my staple is Red Sinner. Strange staple I know as usually red lipstick is thought of as sooo daring but for me I feel daring when I wear my other shades.

What are 3 items (aside from lipstick) in your make-up bag that you can’t live without?
Shu Umera Eyelash Curler. Nars blush in Orgasm. Maybelline cover stick in Invory.

How did your time at Estee Lauder and your move to New York from Oz influence your latest line?
New York City has been the single biggest influence for me to go back to my original dream of having my own lipstick line. Just the skyline alone makes me feel that anything is possible here.

What are your top tips for finding the right shade of lipstick?
Trust what you see in the mirror! Forget all the overload of information out there and the people trying to sell you more than you need. Women know when something looks good on them so put on a shade…..look in the mirror and ask yourself this question…Have all my features come to life (hair, skin and eyes) with this shade on? If the answer is no it is not for you and if it is yes…then volia!

saint_sinner_lipstickqueen.jpgYou’ve partnered with Katherine Kin (formerly of Alice Roi) to create the stunning Poppy Purse for holiday 2007. How did the collaboration come about?
I know Katherine and was aware of her beautiful fabric designs for Alice Roi. So when I decided to do a very special little lipstick purse for holiday…I knew that Katherine would design a fabric that could go into a museum as well as your handbag.

How do you come up with the beautiful packaging for your lipsticks?
Through my love of fairytales, seventies album covers and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I then had a graphic designer interpret these three influences into what you see today.

What beauty trends should we take note of for Spring 08?
Romance! Romance! And more romance! Spring 08 is a time to be romantic and do your face with dignity and grace….think Jane Austen.

Can you share 3 pieces of advice from your soon to be released book (Lessons of a Lipstick Queen) that young, entrepreneurial women should take to heart?
A good idea doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking! In fact, the more obvious the idea seems the more likely it is a good one.

Ask questions. Anybody and everybody is a resource. As long as you are polite in how you go about it…questions the way to find the answers.

Passion can get you further than knowledge alone. It is the passion that sets the entrepreneur apart…knowledge will come.

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