Innovator-in-Chief: MODELCO’s Shelley Barrett

As fun as it is playing with products, it’s even more fun hanging out with brand founders and hearing the real story behind their creations. That’s why this month we’re debuting a new series that will introduce you to the inspiring leaders driving these innovative companies. We’re kicking things off with Shelley Barrett, the powerhouse founder of ModelCo. The Aussie beauty visionary got her start as a model agent when she was just 21 (what were you doing when you were 21?) and started ModelCo to meet the needs of models, makeup pros, and regular people alike. Now the brand is known for its genius self-tanners, crazy-cool heated eyelash curlers, and much more. Here’s a peek into Barrett’s world.

Describe your brand in three words.

Innovative, unique, dual-purpose.

Where do you find inspiration for new products?

Everywhere! My staff, stylists, models, friends, and family. I create products for time-poor women. The crux of our business is innovation, so I am always looking for solutions to everyday beauty problems.

Party Proof

Do you have personal evidence that your Party Proof lipstick can really survive a party?!

Absolutely! I try everything personally so I can stand by the claims that we’re making. Party Proof Lipsticks are highly pigmented, matte formulations that without a doubt hold their color. Truffle is one of my favorites, and I can eat, drink, and talk the night away with just one touch-up.

What’s your morning routine?

I start every day with a glass of hot water with lemon. It kickstarts my digestive system. I also have breakfast at home with my girls and then pick up a soy piccolo on my way to the office. I can’t live without my morning coffee!

How does the Australian culture in general influence ModelCo?

The Australian culture is centered around the outdoors, and our products are a reflection of that. We’re launching two SPF 50 products in late August that will be an extension from our self-tanning range.

What’s your traveling style?

I pack in neat folded piles that I can easily move around and layer on top of each other when trying to figure out what I want to wear each day. All of my suits and shirts I leave on hangers and hang on a hook in my suitcase—it creates less creases and I can easily hang them in the wardrobe when I arrive. All my lingerie goes in two silk drawstring monogrammed lingerie bags that I bought in Italy many years ago.

What are your travel essentials?

AVEDA Peppermint Shampoo and Conditioner smells like heaven. A tan makes me feel healthier, thinner, and more confident so I always bring a selection of ModelCo’s Jet Set tanning range, including Super Tan, Tan Mousse, and Blend Buffing Mitt. I love the way Dermalogica Cleansing Gel makes my skin feel, and I can’t live without La Prairie caviar balls. And melatonin is great if you need a natural way to fall asleep. Gold Coast

Favorite escapes?

I love the Gold Coast [of Australia] with my two girls, Aspen in the winter, and, always, Paris.

What's your happy place?

There’s not just one place! I love going on holiday and staying in new hotels that have a great day spas. Most recently I stayed at The Park Hyatt in my home town of Sydney and they have a fabulous day spa! I was definitely in my happy place there!

You just threw a fabulous 40th-birthday party with a Gilligan's Island theme—why Gilligan’s?

Gilligan's I chose Gilligan’s Island as I held my 40th on the beautiful Hayman [off the coast of Queensland]. It seemed fitting—and it was fun! I have an extremely close group of friends, some who I have known for over 20 years, and I wanted to celebrate with them all while also enjoying some downtime away from home.

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