akisaYou may remember that at the Nuffnang Christmas party I met Akisa, the brains behind a cool beauty website called BeautySwatch. I liked her idea so much (a huge colour library containing swatches for thousands of lipsticks) I thought you might be interested to hear more about Akisa and her work with BeautySwatch.

Hi Akisa, can you tell me a little bit about your background?

I’m a corporate rat by day and BeautySwatch editor by night – I have no affiliations with the beauty industry but do have a love for beauty products and the way they make you feel when you transform yourself.

How did you come up with the idea for BeautySwatch?

Ever since I started following beauty blogs, I found myself being more daring in purchasing beauty products online that one would typically prefer to buy in-store.  To decide on lip colours, I would google for other bloggers’ “swatches” of the product to get an indication of whether it might suit me.  Sometimes the search results would produce useful photos.  Other times I would get utterly useless search results with unrelated shades or brands.

One night after fruitless hours of searching for a lip colour swatch, I decided I was going to build the world’s largest online colour library of lip colours. I have certain criteria to ensure the photos on BeautySwatch are of high quality and useful to readers.

How do you find the women to contribute to BeautySwatch?

I knew I couldn’t do it alone and called upon the help of fellow beauty bloggers.  Some of the team members were bloggers I already followed.  Others have contacted me from around the world to either contribute or join the team!

Since BeautySwatch is a blog resource, I rely on my team’s goodwill for contributing their images with no commercial benefits.  I try to direct traffic to their blogs as much as possible, as their swatches often come with reviews that I don’t bring across to BeautySwatch.   I also share our successes in the media and feature lip interviews with each team member to help build their profile.

What are your next plans for BeautySwatch?

One step at a time!! My goal for 2010 is to build further traffic, expand the colour library and hopefully migrate to WordPress.  Also seeking more sponsored products to help us maintain the project without hurting our wallets.


Do you have any tips for a lipstick-buying novice?

  1. Start with a safe shade that brings out a natural but better you.  (Eg. pink-beige or rose)
  2. Try the shade on your lips, not the back of your hand.  (Don’t forget to sanitise it too!)
  3. If the lipstick jungle is all too much for you, browse BeautySwatch to help inspire what shade you’d like to try next.  Products are categorised by shade and brand.

What do you predict will be the next HOT trend in lipsticks?

Move over gloss, hello matte lipsticks.  On the catwalk, there will be more adventurous techniques for applying lipstick (2009 was the year of duo-toned lips by Ungaro and Shu Uemura).  On the street, we will see new earthy shades launched as Autumn approaches.

Personally I hope black lipstick is a fad that stays within the walls of 2009.

Where do you turn for make-up advice and inspiration (other than BeautySwatch, of course)?

PRIMPED.com.au – it’s an e-magazine that has lots of eye candy photos of beauty trends and lots of advice (how-to’s, videos and trend updates.

What are your tips for what’s HOT in Melbourne?

For more HOT Chats with interesting Melburnians, click here.