Ashleigh Sharman travelled to Adelaide to meet Musq Director, Emma Reid.
Emma Reid isn’t fond of interviews but a trip to Adelaide wouldn’t have been complete without meeting the director of a brand that has truly skyrocketed on social media. And so much so, it has most of us thinking it’s a new arrival on the beauty scene.
As the petite, softly spoken, elfin beauty, with the most enviable creamy complexion, talks me through her latest releases — a trio of products which take their power from indigenous ingredients including Kakadu Plum, Quandong, Eucalyptus, Lilli Pilli and Lemon Myrtle — it is clear that Emma’s personal beauty philosophy infuses itself into each and every Musq creation.
“My philosophy is less is best. That means keeping the product range small, simple, in keeping with our clients’ lifestyle,” explains Emma of her collection encompassing products to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise in addition to basic makeup and lifestyle items.
“Want great skin? Start with what you’re eating and build your skincare regime on top of that. Everyone wants a quick fix: from how do I cover this blemish to how do I get glowing skin? First, tell me your diet, tell me your lifestyle,” Emma says of pour fixation on aesthetic (outward) perfection.
Both humble and diligent, she’s just come from hours of sticking labels on products with her assistant, Emma has successfully rebranded Musq in her own image — and a stylish one at that.
“What most people don’t realise is that the brand is eight years old! I only bought the brand fully last year but have been involved since its early days. The latest spring releases are the first three products I’ve launched entirely on my own, under the new branding, and I’m really very proud,” Emma explains.
“The brand was growing organically but needed a push beyond word of mouth alone. So I designed the new look around social media — that is, a brand that would stand out on the shelf and importantly, on social media flat-lays. We needed to be a brand you would remember,” she says, adding that an organic, natural brand doesn’t always have to be green and brown.
“A natural brand can have style, be classic and that’s what consumers want. We did a lot of research into one-word logos (think Chanel, Prada) and iconography. Now, products follow simple colour categories, are stylish and fit neatly on a shelf which makes both professional clients and customers happy.”
Simplicity at every angle, Emma puts her philosophy down to a thorough skincare education care of her Grandmother who helped cultivate a strict routine from age 13. And it’s this knowledge that has helped steer Emma in the right direction.
“I don’t have a pharmacy or makeup background but knew a lot from the products I was using, all thanks to my Grandmother. She is very regimented in her skincare regime so much so that even though she is 90, people think she’s my mum! Skincare is our passion,” says Emma who proudly labels herself a ‘no-makeup’ kind of gal.
And it was this status that steered Emma to pulling most of the makeup in Musq’s original ranges.
“I see foundation as an extension of skincare really with ingredients like Jojoba and vitamin E: But in regards to the other products, we can’t compete with the big name makeup brands and more importantly it’s not part of my philosophy.”
And whilst it’s important to remember that although you are the creator, you are not always exactly your client; you are drawing the client into your world and hope they’ll adopt some of your ways of thinking along the way. For Emma, that means starting to include makeup-free days in your schedule.
“We try to get across to our customers that they should feel comfortable with themselves, not to need to cover up their face.
“With external factors like pollution, cleansing is incredibly important but you don’t need to pile on the makeup to prove you are pretty or feel perfect. Be a raw, natural beauty, be you. Less is best, you’re ok!
“My Grandmother encouraged and supported me from 13 to feel comfortable in my skin and that meant skin education, not makeup to cover up. And now, when I see these young girls, with so much makeup, who look older than me, I think this message is more relevant than ever.”
12 months of exciting growth then and it’s all Emma. To the industry, even its day-one clients, Musq feels like a new brand yet supported by seven years of critical business lessons. And with an outlook that has domestic consolidation, US growth and international trade shows in the mix, the training wheels are well and truly off.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to take that much longed for holiday. Such is the life of a booming beauty brand.
Emma Reid is Director of Musq www.musq.com.au