She is New Zealand’s go-to for all things beauty, but while Trudi Brewer’s work became best known in the country’s leading magazines, she is now commanding attention in the online space with Beauty EQ.
Beauty EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is where the much-loved beauty editor shares stories, tips, recommendations and trends—and it’s also responsible for catapulting her career to new heights.
It was a strong desire to become her own boss, after working for many years in corporate media environments, that started her online journey. It was also print media’s “massive decline” in popularity that cemented her decision.
“The female-centric businesses I worked in were predominantly run by men, who had little or no EQ. They certainly had no understanding of what it’s like to run a family and a full-on career,” she says.
The female-centric businesses I worked in were predominantly run by men, who had little or no EQ.
“I saw a space for a beauty-focused online community that catered to women and not just millennials. So BeautyEQ was born.”
I caught up with Trudi to chat about where she’s been, why she left print publishing and the success of her online venture, which is based on the premise that “beauty is anything that gives joy”.
How did your beauty editor career begin?
I started my career as a hairdresser and then went to London to study makeup artistry. After years of working in the film and TV industry back in New Zealand, where the hours are not kind to your work/life balance I decided to do a journalism course and work in magazines. The rest is history.
Why did you start Beauty EQ?
I wanted to be my own boss. I had worked for years in corporate environments and while I loved every minute of it, it’s not a giving business. The female-centric businesses I worked in were predominantly run by men, who had little or no EQ (emotional intelligence quotient). They certainly had no understanding of what it’s like to run a family (most women’s unpaid job) and a full-on career. Also, print publishing is in massive decline.
I saw a space for a beauty-focused online community that catered to women and not just millennials. So Beauty EQ was born. We turned two in January 2018 and are now a team of four. I joke with my husband all the time – I think I have a business on my hands!
What is the Beauty EQ philosophy and why?
Authenticity and integrity. As a person and in business that is all you have and it’s what sets you apart from the crowd.
Do you have any particular ingredients that you draw a line at putting on your skin/hair/nails?
Anything you wash off ultimately ends up in our oceans and rivers. So it’s sulphate-free haircare and microbead-free cleansers and exfoliants. Why pollute our environment with chemicals and those tiny plastic beads become food for our fish.
Today, most beauty companies are sustainable and environmentally focused, and you as the consumer have the ultimate buying power to choose who you support. Don’t buy brands that don’t think about our health and wellbeing, as well as our planet. With that in mind get familiar with ingredients and always read the labels of the cosmetics you use.
After so long in the beauty industry, how has your perception of real beauty changed over the years?
It’s more thoughtful and kind. It’s no longer white and blonde. It’s multicultural and comes in all sizes— thankfully. Beauty to me is being positive, and while we live in a crazy world where social media dominates our lives, it’s important not to be envious of others and to remember comparison is the thief of joy.
How have you seen the industry change, in regards to the popularity of all-natural products?
It is the fastest growing sector of the industry and for good reason. What you put on your skin you ultimately put in your body.
What do you find New Zealand women care about most when it comes to beauty?
They want natural, active products that deliver on their promises. Where ageing is concerned pigmentation (brown spots) worries women more than wrinkles. And as far as makeup goes, it needs to be natural-looking, yet skin illuminating.
What are your top all-natural beauty product picks and why?
After looking in my bathroom, here’s what I buy:
Davines Hair Care
For its commitment to our planet with their reforestation projects and food grade package. Davines also creates gorgeous-looking hair and is so luxurious to use.
Because I love the story behind a beautiful makeup brand.
I love everything about this brand from the lip balms to the cotton makeup wipes, and especially the Brightening range.
Burt’s Bees is available in: • New Zealand at Farmers • Australia at Priceline
Great value body washes and scrubs that are divine.
Again the story behind the brand is inspiring, and the smell of the products addictive.