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Through passion for Makeup comes a Journey to success

Written by Wendy Hill on April 14th, 2016.      0 comments

The inability to access a makeup range particularly suitable to New Zealand women that she could use herself as a makeup artist and retail to her clients, was what led beauty clinic owner and makeup artist Wendy Hill to create her own cosmetics range back in 2000.
Today, her creation — Wendy Hill Cosmetics — is used by beauty clinics, hair salons, professional makeup artists and tertiary training institutes from Kerikeri to Invercargill.
Her motivation was sparked by the fact that in her beauty therapy business in Ponsonby Road, which placed a lot of emphasis on makeup, she was unable to access a professional-quality makeup range to use in the business or to retail.
She was particularly fascinated with the boutique lines that came through in the 1990s like M.A.C, but felt that New Zealand professionals such as beauty therapy clinics, hair salons, makeup artists and productions were not well catered for and didn't have enough options. That helped to crystallise her plan to create her own brand designed specifically for the southern hemisphere.
“In New Zealand we have a beautiful natural golden light and the way that reflects on the skin has a significant impact on the results of a makeup,” she says.
“A lot of the makeup being used in New Zealand at that time — and even now — was designed for the northern hemisphere which has a bluer light, and it can look quite ashy on our skin. So if a makeup is being used for a special occasion — for example a wedding — it’s crucial for the best photographic result that it suits our more golden light.
“So when I started to put the concept together for my own brand, I knew that the tones and shades would have a slight golden hue.”
Because the makeup was targeted at the professional beauty market, Wendy had a number of strict criteria:
  • it had to have a high performance factor
  • its quality had to be very high for professional use, and
  • it had to have a fashion edge to have retail appeal.
 After five years of planning and research she found manufacturers in the United States and Europe who could produce to her specifications, and Wendy Hill Makeup was launched on the New Zealand market in 2001 to instant success that continues today.
Wendy says support from the profession was instant with beauty therapists and makeup artists taking to the product right away, and that support was quickly followed by other professional bodies such as the beauty tertiary training sector and productions.
Today Wendy Hill Cosmetics is under the control of Wendy’s stepdaughter Tiffany Pule with Wendy filling a consultancy role, and as well as being the mainstay of leading beauty therapy clinics, it’s also the major provider of cosmetics to the tertiary sector and a major provider of ongoing professional development training.
Makeup and beauty were part of Wendy’s life for as long as she can remember, and the creation of the Collection was the fulfilment a life-long dream.
“I’ve loved makeup for as long as I can remember, and the creation of my own signature brand was the fulfilment of my childhood passion,” she says.

“As a two-year old, I had a little handbag that always had a lipstick and a cake of rouge in it. From primary school on, I read everything I could to do with women and beauty, and when I got to my teenage years, there were the huge icons like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Mary Quant – the models and designers of the times. I was always following them and their fashion creations and was highly influenced by them.”

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“As a two-year old, I had a little handbag that always had a lipstick and a cake of rouge in it. From primary school on, I read everything I could to do with women and beauty, and when I got to my teenage years, there were the huge icons like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Mary Quant – the models and designers of the times. I was always following them and their fashion creations and was highly influenced by them.”
In her early 20s, Wendy left for England and Europe on her O.E. and was “blown away” by the London fashion scene. On her return to New Zealand, she found there were few opportunities in the makeup field – at that time there was no makeup training available and virtually no career prospects as a makeup artist unless you went into retail, working on a makeup counter which she said wasn't an option for her because of her freelance personality and her determination to work for herself.
Subsequently she became involved in interior decorating eventually creating a chain of home-decorating stores, but continued to take every opportunity she could to learn more about makeup. She developed a list of personal clients that she did personal styling and makeup for, and eventually became involved in handling makeup for live theatre productions, including NBR New Zealand Opera where she became head of makeup and design.
Encouraged by the growth she experienced in her styling, grooming and makeup work, in the 1990s she quit the home-decorating store chain, and opened a beauty therapy clinic in Ponsonby Road.
“We were pioneering because the clinic was ahead of its time,” she says. “We were doing beauty therapy, therapeutic massage therapy, wardrobe styling and makeup. Ponsonby was a great position for it and we were a very busy clinic.
“In a short space of time, styling and makeup had grown to such an extent that I sold the therapy business to focus entirely on those areas. By then my direction was set on makeup. Working in the clinic had given me a great understanding of the industry and I just loved it and found it really exciting. I knew I had really found my niche.”
Largely self-taught until this time, Wendy then headed overseas to brush up her skills, attending specialised makeup courses in New York and the UK.
Inspired by the wide range of boutique makeup brands in London, Europe and the USA, and recognising the opportunities that existed in New Zealand, on her return she set out to develop her own range of makeup specifically for the New Zealand and Pacific markets.
Wendy Hill Cosmetics is now run by Tiffany with a small but dedicated team who are committed to providing the highest possible level of customer service to all their stockists, large and small, right around the country. 
Since Tiffany came aboard in 2013 she has moved the business forward using social media to support stockists and increase brand awareness including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and of course YouTube. In fact, one of the newest members to the Wendy Hill family is Billie Michelle Walters Makeup Artist, who is now the Online Makeup Artist. She first trained with Wendy Hill makeup many years ago before building a hugely successful international career including representing in Europe for Elizabeth Arden, Revlon, Dior and Estee Lauder. She has somewhat returned to NZ and now proudly uses and retails the brand for her professional photographic work.
Tiffany is proud of the close business relationships that exist between the family business and stockists, and that there is a real level of trust and rapport with the clinic and artists that are part of the wider Wendy Hill family.  That is one of the benefits of working with a Kiwi business.  Future ambitions are to remain the leading professional photographic makeup brand in NZ and the original NZ brand designed by NZ women for NZ women. We will continue supporting local business women to succeed in their industry and provide great service and quality makeup to help women be the best version of themselves.
You can contact the Wendy Hill team on 0800 WENDYHILL, or on facebook

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Topics: Business, Makeup




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