Meet Janelle Jerusalem, MECCA’s long-time Hair and Makeup Education Lead, whose deep interest in mental health and wellness led to her studies in psychology and some insightful thinking beyond that. Here, the beauty expert shares the secrets behind OROTON’s fresh-faced runway looks for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (and a time-saving morning routine to help get you on your way).

Can you tell us about your role at MECCA – we’re particularly interested to know more about your focus on wellness and psychology, and how you bring those themes together:

“We have our own education platform called MECCAversity, and my role is to work directly with our makeup and hair brands, to collaborate and deliver educational content to our store teams – and that is truly what inspired me to pursue my studies in psychology, I’m finding it all so interesting because it really ties in my interest with the human mind and behaviour. In the beauty world, there are so many elements that you can take into consideration, such as how an individual feels on the inside, not just how you look on the outside.”

Do you believe that fashion and beauty can have an impact on mood and play a part in confidence-building?

“Absolutely. We know there are ways in which fashion and beauty can make you feel more confident in your skin. I've been lucky enough to have a lot of touch-time with our customers, I've had the pleasure of meeting so many people, hearing different and unique stories, and that's what really sort of reinvigorated me and inspired me to dig a little bit more. I do think there is a synergistic relationship between these themes, really talking to someone and finding out how they're feeling on the inside and how they want to translate those feelings into something positive on the outside are the core ideals of beauty and wellness. It’s about capturing the essence of how a person is feeling, ensuring that all of our customers look and feel their best.”

Can you tell us more about that journey, exploring the mind in order to better fulfill your role in beauty:

“It all came down to hearing those different stories from the women that I was meeting on a daily basis, whether it be customers or colleagues. I think, too, the universe aligned me to a lot of people that have experienced challenges throughout the last two years, there has been so much shift in the world. So I felt inspired to better understand their challenges and goals, I wanted to find out more beyond what I'd been exposed to. We’ve just been through this huge shift in people's daily lives, and I was keen to see if I could tap into a new skillset, to understand how I could take a different approach in this industry. It has been interesting having a different lens on things and being able to look a little bit wider and deeper. I think it’s important to have curiosity in life.”

Can you talk us through the runway beauty looks for OROTON’s Fashion Week show and how you translated its inspiration?

“I think that the relationship and connection between [MECCA and OROTON] is a no-brainer. Both are Australian, and we have a shared focus on the modern Australian customer. What really attracted us to the brand is the fact that OROTON celebrates classic elegant pieces that are fuss-free, yet cool and contemporary, so we wanted ease of application, sophistication, we wanted personalisation all at the same time. The show beauty took inspiration from nostalgia – there is an ode to the feeling of escapism, which I think is such a romantic touch from the resort collection. The resort collection celebrates such special moments, whether it be a walk in the garden or time in the sun, and in that sense we created a look which felt like the girls had been outside, like the sun had gently kissed their skin.”

How can we recreate these looks at home? What are the secrets?

“I would say the first step is to use a powerhouse skin prep product, this will allow your makeup to adhere to your skin, whether it be a tinted foundation or moisturiser. The great thing is that there are so many brilliant hybrid skincare-makeup products these days, all-in-ones. In the show, we also used our very own MECCA Weekend Skin Glow Serum. It's this beautiful skin-prep hybrid makeup product that perfects the skin, is infused with Vitamin E and her Jojoba oil to create plump dewiness. We applied that first to all the girls to uplift their complexions and evoke that sense of joyfulness and freedom, inspired by the collection. We then used a peach tone blush from the MAC Pro Face Palette all over the cheeks, and you go a little bit higher on the points all the way up to the temples and on the centre planes [of your face] to create a really beautiful windswept effect. Then, the very last step of your beauty look, and this is something you can actually do throughout the day to refresh your skin, is to gently pat a cream highlighter stick on the high points of the face, the upper cheek bones, the bridge of your nose and the temples. It's the ultimate secret to a dewy glow and it really elevates your makeup look.”

Which leads us to our next question, which is all about streamlining your morning routine, that ultimate goal, which is all about getting out the door, looking and feeling as good as you can in the least amount of time:

“We all live such busy lives and that’s something we take into consideration with everything we do in terms of the beauty looks we create. Skin preparation is key, finding that makeup hybrid that has a lot of nourishing ingredients to really nourish and feed the skin first thing in the morning and reenergise the skin is vital. I also think we shouldn't underestimate the power of a good facial massage – a two minute massage with your fingertips is really all you need, just get that blood circulation going and you'll see an incredible difference. Also, I find a forgiving and blend-able concealer is essential. A good concealer will really rewind the clock by brightening the undereye area.”

Lastly, what are your thoughts on the future of fashion and beauty, what do you think are the key factors the industry must focus on moving forward?

“There has been a huge shift in terms of consciousness. Consumers are more aware than ever, we all have so much information at hand, not only on sustainability and how things are created, but also in terms of where an item is sourced. A brand's ethos, its philosophy, is so important, as is being able to capture raw moments of storytelling, especially if there is a link to the challenges attached to societal health and wellness. I think it’s about honesty, transparency and awareness and how we can enhance the feelgood factors.”