How Holme Beauty Is Teaching Women to Love Themselves

Curiosity got the better of Hannah Gay, who was eager to learn more about Australian-owned Holme Beauty. What she didn’t expect to find was a makeup brand rooted in genuine philanthropy.

If, like me, you’re one of Holme Beauty’s 8.5k Instagram followers, you’ll have delightedly spotted images from the brand’s Women of Colour (WOC) Masterclass event last month. Scenes of bright, artistry lights framed the faces of smiling women, joined together over bubbles and conversation, I discovered, was based on both makeup and identity. 

The Masterclasses

Hosted at Holme HQ in South Melbourne, special guests joined brand founder Hilary Holmes for a lesson in makeup application. The evening was dedicated to the launch of Holme Beauty’s new Base Primer in the shade Boom!, as well as the brand’s first brush – ‘Number One’.

On the very Instagram post that promoted the event, Hilary described the night as “all kinds of powerful”, and as an opportunity for WOC to be provided a space to share “their values, their ideas, their compassion, their resilience and most importantly, their soul.”

A makeup artist of 15 years, Hilary first launched her Masterclass series back in 2016. “What started out as a very transactional hands-on class has now also broadened to work with clients’ own face shapes, makeup preferences and through discussion,” Hilary said, “changing the narrative of how someone feels about themselves and of why they apply makeup.”

Hilary Holmes

Treated to a cheese platter, prosecco, and personal makeup stash to work with, class attendees are notably well taken care of. While Hilary likes to keep a tight lid on her itinerary, she shows serious attention to detail when it comes to making her guests feel welcome. “It’s a really immersive experience from the fragrance of the room, the visual set up, the catering, and the hands-on experience.”

Classes run for three hours a pop and focus not only on makeup application techniques but on the why of application; running the show on a face-by-face basis. “Sometimes there are full revelations, tears, whoops, and cheers, but it always comes back to a whole new understanding of themselves and how to get the clients feeling amazing.”

The brand

Visiting the Holme Beauty website, you’ll come to learn more about Hilary’s story. She describes her uptake of makeup use as a teenager as a means through which to gain approval from others. “I was a big girl, wasn’t cool, and had really poor self-worth,” Hilary tells me. “Once I started getting into [makeup], I saw the creative powers of it; how fun it was to create such amazing shapes and colours to compliment my look!”

Having transferred her passion into a career, Hilary came to draw on her own experience as a motivator for change. She sought to “show clients what no one else has been kind enough to: that you don’t need to look like that girl, be skinny like that model, have the brows like that ad, or the full lips like that friend.”

Hilary prides herself on not having a typical clientele, ensuring classes are decidedly as unintimidating as possible. “With that comes clients of all the demographics, skin tones, ages, makeup approaches, and upbringings.” The goal for Hilary is clear: that clients are to learn to back themselves and that makeup should serve us as a tool as opposed to an armour. “Unanimously we can all agree that for too long we have not been shown how to love ourselves, who we are, and what we look like – it’s always to aspire to be someone else. Not with the Holme Beauty experience, we are here to change the game.”

Women join together for Hilary Holmes’ Masterclass

This philosophy extends into the Holme Beauty cosmetics brand, which Hilary first launched in 2021. Taking a practical approach, she said of the move: “I wanted to create Holme Beauty as a way of creating an epic, performance product that made sense to a user’s makeup bag and gave them easy and educated decisions on how to feel that day.” Despite numerous delays, economic struggles, and an inability to create content caused by Melbourne-based lockdowns, Hilary reflects on this period with positivity, having utilised her time to better her product.

The products

Her opening SKUs? A primer and a brush. An odd duo? Apparently not, Hilary argues. “It totally makes sense! The primer is a product that every single skin type and person can wear. The brush was an easy support tool for it. I want clients to feel educated and not anxious when buying so by going slowly and introducing brushes around each product launch means they don’t have whole sets sitting there not being used. Every brush we launch will have direct relatability to the product being sold.”

Hilary’s passion is palpable. Her drive to support women – all women – runs as much through Holme Beauty as it has through her Masterclasses. “I want to remove the push, the exclusivity, and the narrative that we aren’t worthy to be cool like so many, thus creating the hustle to try and be. I want the client to feel confident in who they are, what they want, and what they need to give them the choice to choose without fear of getting it wrong.”

The future

While more products are apparently on their way, Hilary insists her time won’t come at the sacrifice of her educational platforms. The Masterclasses, as always sell out really quickly and we are excited to have them consistently being presented to the public. We are excited for the second half of this year and in 2023 to take them around Australia and further strengthen our online Masterclass course.”

Visit the Holme Beauty website here, and discover Hilary Holmes Masterclasses here.

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