Nicole Warne Shares Her Korean-Aussie Beauty Secrets

In our new monthly series, Self-Directed, we invite influencers in the world of beauty and fashion to direct their own editorial story and create the looks they love with the glam teams they trust. You’ll learn about their best-kept beauty secrets, favorite products, and more.

Featuring Nicole Warne as the next subject of our Self-Directed series is incredibly fitting given the Aussie fashion mogul is a self-made success story. Having started a small eBay vintage shop (Gary Pepper Vintage) that later blossomed into one of the largest online vintage retailers in Australia, curating her own beauty shoot was probably cake for Warne. And the ease of the project was apparent throughout our time together—she happily went about each aspect of the shoot, even once excitedly grabbing my phone from my hands to film a Snapchat story for Byrdie’s followers. Warne’s roots may be in vintage, but on this day, she channeled a childlike happiness that transcended the entire room.

For each of the day’s three looks, Warne forwent a theme, instead choosing to literally take a page from editorials for a high-fashion vibe. And Warne is no stranger to glossies—she’s been the cover girl for Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and Malaysia, Elle Australia, and Nylon (to name a few), and her seasoned status in front of the lens was obvious.

 Scroll through to see how Warne, with the help of makeup artist Katie Mellinger and hairstylist Clay Nielsen, brought her editorial beauty looks to life.

BYRDIE: How did you come up with the looks that we shot today? Was there any inspiration behind them?

NICOLE WARNE: “I’ve always wanted to experiment with beauty looks as I find runway shows so interesting and inspiring, but the only chance I get to collaborate with makeup artists is on set or for an event, so the beauty looks are natural rather than theatrical and editorial. I wanted to create three looks that I personally love that aren’t oversaturated online. I was excited to see how Katie would interpret the looks for my Asian features, as often beauty looks I reference are on Caucasian models.”

BYRDIE: How has your Korean-Japanese and Australian background played into your beauty habits and routines? Can you briefly describe the common beauty practices of each heritage?

NW: If I had grown up in Korea, I would have translucent skin, but growing up in Australia, the outdoor lifestyle has definitely influenced my beauty regime. Australians are very active, and now that I’m older, I make it a priority to protect my skin. I wear an SPF 50+ sunscreen every day and hardly wear makeup. I think it’s important to look luminous from within, which means regular exercise, eating clean, vitamins, and investing in effective skincare products. In the last two to three years, I have definitely inherited the Korean beauty culture, though my skincare regime can range from eight to 12 steps every day.

BYRDIE: What’s your go-to everyday look?

NW: I have a four- to six-step skincare regimen morning and night, so I opt to wear minimal makeup during the day to let my skin breathe. When I do wear makeup, I use foundation to cover redness around my nose, lightly fill in my brows, add a peach blush and highlight my cheekbones and underneath my eyebrow for a natural glow. It’s very minimal, but it keeps my skin looking dewy and hydrated.

BYRDIE: Which celebrity’s beauty look do you most draw inspiration from?

NW: As I’m constantly on Pinterest collating inspiration for my photo shoots, I really draw inspiration from beauty editorials, rather than celebrities.

BYRDIE: Which celebrity do you wish you could switch beauty looks with for a day?

NW: Cate Blanchett, a fellow Australian with the most incredible complexion. We share the same skin specialist, Melanie Grant, but I’d do anything to look like Cate when I’m her age. She’s such a beauty icon.

BYRDIE: How do you keep your skin looking so flawless? (Seriously, we need to know all of your secrets!)

NW: Melanie Grant. Whenever I’m home, I visit her as much as I can. She’ll tailor facial treatments to my needs or recent travel schedule, but she usually does a light microdermabrasion, an organic facial peel, and a light treatment called Omnilux that boosts collagen production. I always leave her clinic with glowing and hydrated skin! She’s my skin secret.

BYRDIE: How do you style your hair daily? What products do you use?

NW: My hair can be quite oily, so I try to refrain from using any products in it unless it’s for work or an event. I usually let it dry naturally or I’ll add texture by making waves in it with my straightener. Other than that, I’ll use Olaplex once a week to repair my hair from all my color treatments—I leave it in overnight.

BYRDIE: What would we currently find in your makeup bag?

NW: My makeup generally stays the same unless a makeup artist introduces me to a new product on set. Day to day, it’s Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($42), Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer ($62), MAC Blush in Peaches ($22), a Burberry Effortless Brow Definer in Ash Brown ($33), and a few Chanel lipsticks in peach or flesh colors. For night, it’s Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($26) in Red or Plum—there’s nothing better!

BYRDIE: What’s the biggest beauty lesson you’ve ever learned?

NW: Never spend more than a few minutes plucking your eyebrows! It’s about maintaining them rather than reshaping them every time. If I spent more than three minutes plucking my eyebrows, it would result in my eyebrows getting thinner and losing their shape. Thin eyebrows should stay in the ‘90s.

BYRDIE: Does your love for vintage play into your beauty looks?

NW: I started my online business in vintage, so I’ve constantly been surrounded by classic and iconic looks, which has definitely influenced my beauty look and is perhaps where I inherited the winged eyeliner and red lipstick look.

BYRDIE: What’s a little-known product that you love that you think we should know about?

NW: Actinica ($49)—it’s a facial moisturizer with 50+ sunscreen that I use every single day. It’s quite sticky, but doesn’t leave a white residue like most sunscreens, so I find it leaves my skin looking quite dewy. I even use it at night as a primer before I go out, as it creates such a glowing complexion.

Head on over to our sister site, Who What Wear for more of Warne and her chic, enviable style.

Photographer: Sacha Maric; hair: Clay Nielsen; makeup: Katie Mellinger; styling: Jess Roberts.

Who would you like to see featured in our next Self-Directed? Sound off below!