Chloe Brinklow has made a name for herself in the beauty world that reaches far beyond the bounds of Sydney. Working in media before diving in deep to the seemingly saturated space of online beauty blogging, Chloe tapped into an audience that has been craving something more authenticate and relatable, enter TOMBOY Beauty. Also, the Director of TOMBOY Consulting and Digital Beauty Contributor for Harper’s BAZAAR, Chloe takes timeout of her busy schedule to talk about how her career in beauty has exploded across digital platforms, and when at home in Sydney, her top go-to places for essential beauty treatments.
Q&A with Chloe Brinklow
You run a very successful online beauty platform, TOMBOY Beauty. What was the inspiration behind it and why is it so unique?
When I started researching the online beauty space everything was very polished, very commercial, and a little naff. There was nothing in the sphere that spoke to real girls who are understated in their approach. Also, there wasn't anyone creating 'magazine quality' content with teams who produce the magazine content. So, that's where I stepped in. I like to think TOMBOY Beauty's point of difference is its attitude: Fearless, effortless, irreverent, progressive. The TOMBOY Beauty girl is wearing her Saint Laurent suit with dirty converses that someone left at her front door, vibes.
How did you come to be where you are today?
I've worked in beauty and media for almost 10 years. Like most people, I interned (for three years) while studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Journalism – I dropped out when I secured my first gig at InStyle Magazine. After three years as Beauty Writer, I left to up-skill on the agency side with luxury full-service agency MAXMEDIALAB.
A year ago I took the jump to start my own media platform, TOMBOY Beauty and its sister consultancy. Someone asked me the other day what I call myself, and I'm basically the biggest slashie I know. I've always been interested in all facets of media – I edit, write, produce, and art direct for my editorial destination, TOMBOY Beauty, which is really a live portfolio for what is possible. On the consultancy side, I work with global brands and talent, to create content, manage talent, develop campaigns, media and publicity strategies.
Does it surprise you that more people are turning to online sources for their beauty tips and tricks and even to make their purchases? What happened to good old fashioned try before you buy?
Not at all. I think online has been a wonderful thing for beauty and influencing women's purchase decisions, because it's more real. We're not just looking at billboards of supermodels anymore – the aspiration is balanced with accessibility.
If someone could splurge on one beauty treatment a month, what should it be?
A personalised facial at Melanie Grant. It's an investment, but it's well worth it. She's results driven, holistic and she transformed my skin.
Are you a lipstick or eye make-up kind of girl?
Both. Sometimes together, sometimes worn alone. Eye makeup is always imperfect, a smudgy liner, clumped mascara or glossy lids. I wear lipstick on days I don't feel like I have my shit together, but kind of need to. Red, matte and blotted, so it looks like a stain.
What's your number one can't-possibly-live-without beauty product?
Can I pick one for each category? Let's say Lanolips 101 because it doubles as a lip balm, highlighter on my cheekbones, and gloss for my lids.
What are your secret seven beauty hot spots in Sydney?
Melanie Grant Skin Health, Double Bay
The space is beautiful and chic, without feeling intimidating. Mel is the type of person you feel like you've know your entire life, she works with the best products (Cosmedix, Sisley, Chanel et al.) and takes a holistic approach to achieving the results you want/need.
RAW Anthony Nader, Surry Hills
Anthony Nader who spends his time between Sydney and New York cuts my hair. He has created a cool sanctuary for clients to get their hair done, including a soundproof, relaxation wash room and a studio 54 inspired bathroom. The salon is an experience in itself, Anthony is too!
Orchard Street, Bondi or Paddington
I'm a big believer in beauty from the inside out. Orchard Street stocks The Beauty Chef, which is an organic range of beauty and health products. The health products are a large part of my daily routine; the cleanse powder and protein powder are very good.
Kristin Fisher Eyebrows, Paddington
I don't go nearly enough as what I should, but when I do, the results become a conversation starter. Kristin is a specialist and super lovely and the space is beautiful, minimal and chic.
Privée Clinic, Bondi Junction
Don't freak out, but the injectable hydration facial is skin changing. It takes two weeks to kick in and then GLOW! I'm not yet at the Botox/filler stage of my life, but if you are, Natalie is one of the best in the biz.
Tan Temple, Bondi Beach
I'm not sure if it's the vulnerable nature of standing in front of someone naked on a weekly basis, but my spray tanner usually turns into my best friend. Lizzie Robertson, is a Northern Beaches based mobile tanner, and the best tanner I've ever worked with. For big events, I'll travel an hour to the Northern Beaches to see her. When I can’t see Lizzie, I go to Tan Temple in Bondi - they're the best in the East.
Wilson Marz Hairdressing, Paddington
It's the place you go when you're done with the scene-y, intimidating salons that make you feel like crap while you’re sitting in the chair. At Wilson Marz, the team is top tier and owner Sally Schmidt (ex-Valonz) is real and transparent about what's possible, and what's not.
Tell us a beauty trend we can expect to see in the future?
When I worked in mags we'd look to the runway because that's where trends were born - the Chanel nail polish would become the it-colour that season, and anything Guido says, became a thing. The bleach blonde tresses at Alexander Wang this season were my reference pic for my colour change. That said, now I think trends come from social media. Glossier, the product line of US beauty website Into the Gloss, just launched liquid cheek tints in cool colours, so I think blush is about to have a moment again.
Complete this sentence. Right before I leave the house the last thing I do is....
Check I've turned off anything that can burn it down, mess up my hair, and check that I have my keys and phone. I've got a knack for losing things and locking myself out, so it's a necessity.