Poppy King, the celebrated figure in the world of lip cosmetics, is making a noteworthy return to the beauty industry.
Her resurgence is less of a comeback and more of a reconnection with her cosmetic origins. In 1991, at the tender age of 19, Poppy founded her own cosmetics company, Poppy Industries, which gained fame for its extensive range of matte lipsticks. The company quickly grew to become one of Australia’s leading cosmetic brands, earning her the Young Australian of the Year award in 1995 and significant profits.
However, expansion into the US market in 1998 led to financial troubles, resulting in the company’s receivership and subsequent sale. Despite the challenges, Poppy persisted, launching Lipstick Queen in 2006. She sold that to global beauty giant Manzanita Capital in 2011 and then worked for the company for a further six years.
For her latest venture, Poppy King is resurrecting the iconic Seven Deadly Sins lipstick collection, releasing one shade each month, starting with Original Sin.
Speaking exclusively with Retail Beauty, Poppy said Australia holds a special place for her, as it represents a blend of nostalgia from her previous brand, Poppy, with the enduring allure of Lipstick Queen, and she was excited to get to know her new customers intimately.
“I’m venturing into the world of DTC (direct-to-consumer) because I genuinely value the intimacy it offers,” she said. “It allows me to understand not just who’s purchasing our products, but also the why behind their choices. It’s an exploration of what role nostalgia plays and what’s driven by a desire for something new and exciting.”
Poppy’s marketing strategy is a departure from the norm, as she will exclusively feature user-generated content on Instagram, highlighting authentic customer experiences.
She said this unique approach underscores the brand’s authenticity and commitment to celebrating its diverse customer base.
“Instead of featuring models or staged imagery, we’re solely showcasing content from individuals who have actually purchased our products,” she said. “It’s a fully user-generated content campaign. While other brands might want to meticulously control every aspect, we’re embracing the authenticity of real people. What’s truly inspiring is the incredible diversity I’m witnessing on my Instagram. Women of all ages and backgrounds are embracing the lipstick, from young enthusiasts to those who are 65 years old. It feels like a revolution, a celebration of lipstick’s timeless appeal that transcends age.”
While Australia remains a core market, Poppy hinted at future expansion into international markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and China.
However, she said it was crucial the Australian public were the first people in the world to have their hands (and lips) on “the world’s most universal red ever crafted”.
“My priority was to introduce the brand to Australia first,” she said. “It was somewhat unexpected that the United States had to wait behind Australia (the brand will launch exclusively in the US on Moda Operandi). But I genuinely feel that my investors are the Australian public, and they’re the ones who will guide me in the right direction. It’s almost like they’re steering the ship.”
Original Sin is now available to buy online at https://poppyking.com.
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