Interview: Celebrating Ten Years with MOR Cosmetics

There’s nothing more Aphrodite than a brand that’s committed itself to delivering beautiful products in every possible fashion. MOR is such a brand, packaging its amazing scents into products you love to use on your skin or to add a little ambience to your home. Chasing Aphrodite Intern Tara Anderson had a chat with co-founder Deon St Mor to find out a little more about the brand that’s just celebrated its first decade in the bodouirs of Australian women.  

  1. Tell us about your MOR journey so far?

As per any journey through life, MOR has taken us on a 10 year journey of various experiences.
Some of these have been absolute highs, yet on the flip side there have been times we have encountered road blocks with some disappointments along the way.

All of these varying experiences have given Dianna Burmas (MOR Co founder) and I the strength and understanding that anything is possible. In many ways it has also given us the insight to build a better brand for the future. Hindsight and experience are wonderful things.
 
2. What inspired you to launch the MOR brand ten years ago?

Inspiration behind the launch of MOR came from varying influences. Having our home wares brand prior to MOR allowed us an insight to consumer wants and needs. Having this knowledge inspired us to create new categories that lead to the exploration of beauty and lifestyle products. It was literally through experimentation and a growing love for what we refer to as ‘modern apothecary,’ in blending age old and contemporary ingredients, which lead the way to the brand as it stands today.

3. Did you ever predict the success of MOR because it is now a globally recognised brand?

Yes, we had always thought about MOR being a global brand. We have always been inspired to grow the brand beyond Australia and allow consumers globally to have access to the MOR offering.
 
4. MOR is recognised by its beautiful fragrances, what is the process of making your scents??

Firstly, fragrance selection and development is actually quite a complex process. It is quite difficult to balance that fine line of what will be a commercial success and what we personally love.

At MOR sometimes we conceptualise a new range from a scent or fragrance we have fallen in love with and then we may be inspired by a colour, texture, social or cultural theme.

We then take the steps towards designing a fragrance around this. For example, if the theme is bright, light and pastel in colour, then the fragrance will be developed to reflect this.

5. We find Aphrodite in your packaging, why is it important for you to create beautiful designs?

Ah, how can one not be inspired by the Goddess of Love and Beauty!

Creating beautiful designs in our packaging is the foundation of the MOR brand.  We work hard to remain known and admired for beautiful packaging and are considered market leaders as demonstrated by our awards. This in turn is delivered to our consumer who appreciates the finer details in our exquisite presentation.
 

6. What inspires each of your collections?
Inspiration for our collections comes from many areas. We never limit ourselves in where we find our inspiration. That is the beauty of MOR.

Sometimes our inspiration comes from a global trend that is happening; a travel destination we have visited; old books; a theme we want to explore; or a fragrance we have created.   It comes in so many guises. To give you an example, our Marshmallow collection was inspired by botanical gardens.  

7. What inspired you to launch the range for Target? Do you think it’s important to have a range that is more accessible to Aphrodite chasers on a budget??

Dolce by MOR was inspired by a previous collection that was brought back to life and re-designed. This range is exclusive to Target and made available in three popular fragrances; that being Sorbet, Honey and Pomegranate.

Dolce by MOR enables us to give consumers a price friendly option and bring back some old time favourites.  We believe that beautiful products should be accessible to everyone from all demographics.


8. What products are a must-have for your customers?

A few must-have products for our customers are our heavenly scented candles from our Emporium Collection. These candles create a beautiful ambient atmosphere, delivering room filled fragrance. The other must have product is our Little Luxuries Hand Cream, which is silky and rich in texture and is small enough to fit in an evening clutch.
 
9. MOR Cosmetics has come a long way in ten years, how are you celebrating the ten year anniversary?

As part of our 10 Year Celebration, MYER invited us to dress their windows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, which was a wonderful success. We basically bought our “Wonderlandia” campaign to life.  The feedback was absolutely amazing, with people literally lining up to take a look. That brought us enormous pleasure. We even had Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle request to see our window display!

In addition, we are also doing a lot of MOR Website promotions and facebook for our fans. One might say our celebration has been very understated, and although 10 years is a wonderful milestone, overall we feel it is important we remain focussed on growing our business and product offering so we may welcome more people to the “World of MOR”.

10. What are some other goals that you want to achieve at MOR in the next ten years?

So many goals! To give you some ideas we are looking at the potential of concept stores and also possibly moving into skin care and colour cosmetics. Increasing our global distribution will also remain a priority. For us the passion will always remain in pushing the boundaries in innovative package design and producing unique fragrances in bath, body and lifestyle products. That alone will always keep us busy!

L’Oreal reveals more of its make-up Studio Secrets

In 2009, L’Oreal Paris launched Studio Secrets Professional, a range of cosmetics inspired by professional makeup, so that the women of the L’Oreal) world could make themselves up in the same approach used by their favourite models and celebrities.  The range was created in close collaboration with internationally renowned L’Oréal Paris Make-up Director James Kaliardos, and L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador and supermodel Linda Evangelista, based on their vast knowledge and experience in the industry.

Upon its launch, the range featured foundations, shadows, liners, powders and more, but L’Oreal has now enriched the promise of the range by expanding it to include:

  • A Duo Sculpting Blush: This product is premised by the way that a make-up professional will use their products to enhance a model’s natural beauty, by applying contrasting colours to the cheeks. This powder duo sculpts the face too, thanks to the shape of the brush, which was specifically designed so that a lighter shade is applied to the upper cheek and a darker shade to the hollow of the cheekbones at the same time. 
  • Mascara Primer Base: Simplify your mascara’s job by applying this primer base first. It has a false eyelash effect thanks to the fibres that attach to lashes for visible lengthening and volume.    
  • 90’ Easy Mascara: Readers of beauty blogs and beauty pages ought to know by know that the only way to apply mascara is to bend the brush first, because that’s what all the pros are doing. Kidding, it’s because it aids application and allows a better result. However, there’s no need to bend thanks to this wand, the first L’Oreal product with an innovative 90° flexi-brush that bends for higher precision – allowing each and every lash to catch from the root to the very tip, lifting and curling them upon application.More time to get ready no?

The new additions to the range have already hit priceline stores, so if you’re no pro where make-up application is concerned, take note. And if you see me heading out of the store, arms full of mascara wands, don’t be alarmed. I’ve been practising for years, and yet, I still need all the professional help I can get.

What about you? Do you bend your mascara wand? Do you know how to sculpt perfect cheekbones? Don’t answer that, because if you do, I might just ask you to come over and show me…

News: Kiehl’s prices are going down, down, down, down*

* Sing to the tune of Jay Sean’s hit single for effect.

The other night, when I turned 25 but was desperately trying to forget about it because I was not ready to be a grown-up, I was invited to hear some news about cult beauty brand Kiehl’s at their Paddington store. While I was there, I talked the ear off some beauty PR gals and probably assured all of us there that I will not be granted an invite to anything again for a while. Not because I ate all the sushi they were offering us, but because they did not need to hear about my husband’s tonsilitis and the pink bike I wanted to buy for my birthday, even though I live in south-western Sydney where the transportation modes of choice where giant SUVs to match the giant wog palaces, and hotted-up ‘rexy’s’ with immensely loud speakers (that’s a Subaru WRX to you non-residents) to match the un-hotted-up mullets of the wannabe gangsta drivers. Anyway, I digress from the point (which I do alot).

What I did hear about when I managed to stop talking will alarm you all: The Kiehl’s brand was, drop your jaws for effect, LOWERING ITS PRICES. By a significant amount (not by 33 cents).

I can see some of you rolling your eyes, and I beg you ladies, stop. I know Coles and Woolies are currently engaged in a price war, but this is an American brand, therefore justifiably a bit pricier than the average Aussie-owned and made product on account of delivery and such. And yet, it was letting us in on a bargain. And on its most popular, best-selling products no less.

Some examples:

  • The ever-popular Creme de Corps, slashed from $89 to $68
  • Ultra Facial Cream from $105 to $64
  • Acai Cleanser from$55 to $36
  • Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub from $52 to $38
  • Lip Balm #1 in Pear from $19 to $12
  • Dermatologist Solutions Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate from $116 to $89 
  • Ultimate Man Facial Fuel from $68 to $48.

I find myself particularly impressed with this. Admittedly, I had not known much about the brand before stepping into the store but loved that it was borne out of a New Yorker’s apothecary (and the Paddington store’s layout really reflected this, which was awesome, thanks to the apothecary jars and the giant chest of many teeny-tiny drawers).  but that is just my silliness talking. (Shut up, silliness).

Anyway, I bagged myself a few different products and samples to try out and review, and booked myself in for a mini-facial in their cool relexation room, complete with old-school record player and snazzy quotes on the chalkboard. Shall trial and report back about their Aphrodite factor shortly. In the mean time, head to their store in Sydney’s Paddington and check out their apothecary-ness for yourself.

Until the next chase,
Sarah, aka the Chaser-in-Chief x

The Aphrodite Chase…now extends to Napoleon Perdis Set Skin Care

There’s nothing more Aphrodite than perfect, glowing, clear skin – courtesy of a happy, healthy body and the simplest of skin routines.

And Napoleon Perdis, an Aphrodite chaser from way back, is more than aware of this, which is why he’s recently released a skincare collection to complement his stellar budget beauty brand, NP Set.

As we all know, our skin is under constant assault from stress, pollution and UV rays, so our skin routine needs to fight back against its common aggressors. But a complicated skin routine that’s filled with too many harsh ingredients can also complicate matters, which is why going back to hard-working basics can be so important.

The new range comprises four products that are gentle but effective, leaving the complexion feeling cleansed, balanced, and rejuvenated. Inspired by Napoleon’s Palm Springs weekend getaway (just outside of Los Angeles), the formulas are laced with fruit, floral and plant ingredients to deliver maximum benefit on NP Set’s affordable price points for glam girls who like their Aphrodite on real-girl budgets.

The NP Set skin collection features:

  • Purifying Facial Cleanser ($32.00): A fast-working cleanser that rids the face of makeup and impurities without drying the skin, thanks to extracts of Mandarin, Orange, Carrot, Tomato and Spinach Extracts which also boast detoxifying and free radical-fighting benefits. It also contains Aloe Vera Extract, Shea Butter and Moringa Seeds to strengthen the barriers against all the baddies that aggravate our skin.
  • Detoxifying Facial Toner ($32.00): This baby is compatible with the cleanser above thanks to the aforementioned fruit and vegetable extracts, but also  contains Green Tea Extract, Allantoin and ProVitamin B5 to help calm and balance any skin irritation. It’s great for refining that clear skin without harsh dryness.
  • Wake Me Up Day Cream ($35.00): This nutrient-rich moisturiser marries skin-nutritious extracts with a silken texture, leaving skin smooth, hydrated, and happy. Rice Extract, Rose Extract, Argan Oil, Moringa Seed, and Vitamins A and E, encourage supple and youthful skin that is ready for whatever the morning, day and afternoon will bring.
  • Say Goodnight Night Cream ($35.00): A velvety night cream that helps to restore skin elasticity as you sleep. The clever combination of ingredients helps to regenerate cells and replace lost moisture. Shea Butter softens, ProVitamin B5 protects, and Moringa Seeds purify the complexion. Glyceryl Glucoside, a new anti-aging ingredient inspired by nature’s own survival strategies, helps to repair the skin’s texture. This is what sweet dreams are made of.

And the best part that only shallow girls like moi are into? It smells divine and comes in really cute, Palm Springs-inspired packaging. Bring on great skin!

On your marks, get set, chase:
Available from 1st May 2011 at Napoleon Perdis concept stores, David Jones and Target stores nationally, npsetcosmetics.com and over 200 pharmacies and salons throughout Australia.

MOR Aphrodite for your buck, and it’s called Dolce

Ahh MOR. I didn’t think you could get any more perfect. For one, there’s those delicious scents that make me want to eat your products even though I shouldn’t. Scents like Tonka Bean Musk, Lychee Flower, Belladonna and that ever-amazing marshmallow, which I vow to never live without. Then there’s that amazing packaging, in gorgeous bottles and pretty paper swirled with bright colours mixed with gold, and lovely ribbons and bows. Packaging that reminds me of the boudoir of a countess in a French Chateau. And the fact that you’re stocked at Myer, which means I can get Myer One points that’ll earn me vouchers towards by never-ending Lay-Bys at Review. But I stray from the point.

In short, I love you. You know it, I know it. So does my husband, and yes, the girls in the Myer cosmetics department know it too. And never in a million years did I think I could love you more, until you decided to release a range for girls on a budget, exclusively for that dashing discount department store that’s just made for diffusion lines, Target. And because a budget MOR range wasn’t fantastic enough (ie, MOR bang for your buck, which means plenty of $$$ left over for Lay-Bys), you decided to call it Dolce, for that delectable Italian sensation we like to call sweets/ confectionary.

And this range, this Dolce, is made up of three fabulous flavours that each feature a dazzling arrray of products that you have perfected in your ten year gig as the must-have brand for girls who like their body products scented and amazing. Flavours like Sorbet [Lemon, Lime & Coconut on a Vanilla base - perfect for those lasses already missing Summer, it has the Hamptons written all over it]; Honey [a cute scent for cooler climates, featuring Amber, Cotton Candy and Vanilla drizzled with honey]; and Pomegranate [my favourite scent - musk - blended with pomegranate, Raspberry and Black Currant over Jasmine & Violet].

And boy does this Dolce deliver an Aphrodite the likes of which I go nuts for! After all, we here chase beauty and love for the everyday, and the prices are not what pampering experiences are made of – because they’re just so affordable and thus perfectly suited to the everyday. The Dolce collection features (in each flavour) a soap cake (150g for $10); Hand & Body Lotion (350 mL for $15); Hand & Body Wash (350 mL for $15); Hand Cream (80 mL for $10); and fragrant candle (170g for $15).

But it gets better. Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Dolce collection also comes in Gift Packs containing a soap cake, hand cream and candle for only $30.

It’s all just Aphrodite overload. And it’s so sweet, it’s Dolce. Then again, with a brand like that behind it, I really didn’t expect anything MOR. Available in Target stores nationally from April 18th.

Until the next chase,
Sarah aka Chaser-in-Chief

SAVVY, SINGLE GAL SEEKS HER MR BRIGHT.

SAVVY SINGLE GAL SEEKS MR BRIGHT TO BRING A GLOW TO HER FACE AND A WARMTH TO HER HEART COMPLEXION. NO SCRUBS, LIARS OR LOSERS PLEASE. AVERSION TO PASTY, DULL SKIN A PLUS, A FLUENCY IN GORGEOUS IS NECESSARY. FIT THE BILL? CALL 02 8353 5000.

Screw friend set-ups, speed dating and RSVP profiles, finding your Mr Right has never been easier thanks to the latest release from those amazing Aphrodite Chasers over at Benefit Cosmetics.

Based on the premise that one never knows if Mr Right is years away or just around the corner, this teeny-tiny contraption (read: fits into your Chanel, or, ahem, your Oroton) is like a love potion guaranteed to make you look your best and brightest at all times, lest he appear out of nowhere and sweep you off your stiletto-clad feet.

All your brightening, complexion-enhancing needs are found in the make-up kit worth raving to your mum about, complete with a little dating advice (aka instruction manual) from Benefit’s Dating Doctor, Miss Thing. She’s got picking up a man who’s worthy covered with her tools of the trade:

  • Girl meets Pearl: The liquid-pink glow-maker which can be worn over make-up or on its own for an all-over sparkle, guaranteed to attract his attention 
  • Posie-Tint: Little sister of the loved world-wide Benetint, Posie-tint’s gorgeous poppy finish gives an I-have-a-secret flush of intrigue that’ll make him come over and suss you out (Plus it’s my own personal trusted lip and cheek tint, and my Mr Right is in bed next to moi)
  • Erase Paste: To erase your dating history and bad relationship demons with one swipe over blemishes, or in that pesky under-eye area – keeps him wanting more
  • High Beam: To shine the light on your new relationship and say, yes world, I’m taken, so please stop throwing rocks at my window.

On your marks, get set, chase:

If this sounds like a recipe for romance, log out of that results-less dating website and head down to your local Benefit beauty parlour to get your relationship (and face) fix for only $45. Call o2 8353 5000 for your nearest stockist.

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