What better way to kick off our new blog series ‘Happiness Inside & Out’ than with the founder of Nuggett x Charlie, Nuggett McCabe.
With over 30 years experience working as a professional makeup artist in the film, television, fashion and beauty industries, Nuggett has painted countless celebrity faces and worked with a wide range of skincare products. From the most expensive to high street skincare brands, Nuggett struggled to find cruelty free formulas without harmful chemicals that delivered long lasting hydration. With a commitment to making her talent look and feel their best on screen, Nuggett saw this challenge as an opportunity and was inspired to create her own skincare line ‘Nuggett x Charlie’ - but it didn’t happen overnight.
Nuggett has dedicated over 20 years researching, formulating and blending the most potent natural, organic, vegan and anti-aging ingredients to create skincare that hydrates, nourishes and protects the skin. With the simple philosophy that skincare doesn't have to be complicated to make a difference and that if your skin is healthy and hydrated you feel happy and confident, Nuggett launched her first product, the iconic Happiness Revitalise Face Mist. This became a staple on set to refresh and revitalise her talents complexion and her exclusive signature scent did just that. The success of her Face Mist led her to create a complete skincare collection appropriately titled ‘Happiness’.
When you meet Nuggett one thing is clear, she radiates happiness wherever she goes. Her warm smile and contagious personality lights up a room and her love and passion goes into each and every product she makes. Nuggett created her skincare collection to provide a feeling of happiness, inside and out, with her signature scent oil blend of lemongrass, lime, lemon myrtle, sweet orange, peppermint and rosewood uplifting and creating happiness within.
And for those still wondering who is Charlie? Charlie is Nuggett’s late and much loved pug who continues to be a source of inspiration and legacy for the brand. As her best friend and companion for 18 years, the embodiment of the brand is dedicated to Charlie who lives on forever in her heart.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Nuggett and finding out what Happiness really means to her.
What is happiness to you?
Happiness is a lifestyle that you create for yourself.
Happiness is being healthy, ageing gracefully, turning your dreams into a reality and doing what you love with passion.
To love and to be loved is Happiness.
3 Words to Describe Yourself
Happy, Loyal and Optimist
Who have been the biggest influences in your life so far and why?
I have 3 amazing women who have shaped and influenced my life.
I would definitely say My Aunty Pam, who was an International Fashion Buyer for Myer. After school I used to visit her at work and I loved seeing all the immaculate and glamorous women at the beauty counters. They always looked so stylish and well groomed with absolutely beautiful skin (this was before botox and fillers). I used to admire and test all the makeup and perfumes from Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder and YSL.
My Aunty Pam is an inspiration to me in so many ways. She instilled in me to always believe in yourself, pursue your dreams no matter what other people think, don’t be jealous and always look your best. She put me in a modelling course when I was 13 years old. It was the Brisbane version of June Dally Watkins called Sabcar Modelling School. This was definitely not my calling but I loved fashion, makeup and have always had a fascination with skincare from a very young age.
I moved to Sydney when I was 17 and I used to (and still do) get my hair done by a beautiful woman and lifetime friend named Helen Cornish. Helen was also a leading hair and makeup artist for fashion editorial and I used to assist her doing Women’s Weekly Fashion Editorial. Helen ended being Maggie Tabberer’s makeup and hair artist for over 30 years and in my opinion Maggie is one of the most stylish, beautiful and successful women who has paved the path for women and represents what we can achieve if you have vision, love and passion.
The third woman is someone I have never met! When I was a teenager I read a book called RAW ENERGY by Leslie Kenton, who was the Beauty Editor for Harper’s Bazaar UK in 1975. It was here that I started to learn about raw healthy eating and what you put inside you can affect the way you feel on the outside. Growing up I always preferred eating my vegetables raw and all her recipes contained my favourite foods. This book educated me on the secret to keeping healthy, my skin youthful and ageing gracefully.
What are some of the happiest moments in your life that you will always cherish?
Having Charlie for 18 years and also the time I spent with my Aunty Pam. I grew up with boys so I always had to hold my own and felt like I had to be a tomboy to be included. But my Aunty Pam would spoil me with all the things a little girl loves.
Becoming a Makeup Artist and getting paid to travel and do something I love is a blessing. Launching my Nuggett x Charlie skincare brand and being nominated as a finalist for my Revitalise Face Mist by Marie Claire Australian Beauty Awards. Just to be nominated was true Happiness and hopefully there are many more to come.
When was the last time you laughed til you cried?
Yesterday 😂 Laughter is everything to me. There is nothing better than connecting with someone you can laugh with and at. I love to smile and laugh at the silliest things, whether it’s myself, animals or human situations.
What songs make you happy?
At the moment I’m listening to The Weeknd and it always makes me want to dance but I love all types of music. From relaxing and calm yoga music to Motown, classical piano, chilled, hip hop and country. Music is Happiness.
I haven’t owned a TV in over 10 years so I love discovering new releases on Spotify.
What’s been the biggest challenge creating Happiness?
I think going into any business, especially skincare, comes with so many challenges as the market is inundated with choices. You can't do everything on your own so it is crucial to have the right people who are brilliant and happy in what they do to help you spread the Happiness.
How would you describe your skincare routine?
I’m a big believer in the importance of having a skincare routine from a young age. French women start their skincare very young and that combined with exercise and healthy eating is why they have such beautiful skin.
Just like exercising, consistency is key.
Each morning when I wake up I spritz my skin with Revitalise Face Mist. I then exercise and dry brush my skin for 10 minutes before showering using my Ultra Moisturising Shower Oil. I don't use a cleanser on my face in the morning but I do like to splash my skin with lukewarm water. Throughout the day I like to keep my skin fresh and hydrated so I never leave home without my Happiness Face Mist and Ultra Lip Balm.
It doesn't matter how tired I am, removing my makeup at night is a must. I use my cleanser and exfoliate a couple of times a week to keep my skin smooth and polished. I shower and wash the day away with my Ultra Moisturising Shower Oil and follow by slathering my body with Luxurious Body and Hand Créme. I have also been trialling a face serum I made which hasn’t been released yet - stay tuned! My Nighty Night Créme and Revitalise Eye Créme are a must and before I shut my eyes I give my skin a spritz of Happiness and coat my lips with Ultra Lip Balm.
Can you share 5 tips for maintaining happy, healthy skin?
- Never go to bed with your makeup on - always cleanse and moisturise no matter how drunk or tired you are!
- Use a good face mist and moisturiser that actually keeps your skin barrier hydrated and protected.
- Exercise and eat lots of fresh, raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and drink fresh cold-press juices and lots of still water.
What are your favourite Happiness skincare products?
All of them but if I had to choose just one product for me it would be my Nighty Night Creme.
My Nighty Night Crème, which I call my fountain of youth in a jar, is like a serum/creme with over 24 powerful anti-ageing Botanical Oils with Heptapeptide 8, Magnesium plus Hyaluronic Acid. I use this morning and night and I’ve seen amazing results and anyone that tries it gets hooked as the texture is like a press serum that melts into your skin. I also use this as a mask after I exfoliate, massaging it over my face and neck with my face roller. I then compress my skin with a warm face cloth, spritz with my Revitalise Face Mist and then reapply a small amount of Nighty Night Créme.
The Revitalise Face Mist was my first product I created many years ago for my talent working in Film and TV. Back then most people used Evian water but there is no other spray mist out there like Happiness! I use this continuously throughout my day and it’s my saving grace. When filming they usually do close ups at the end of the day but after spending 12 hour days in makeup I noticed how dry most actors' skin was which caused their makeup to separate and aged them. When HD came in you couldn’t hide like before. This is where my background and passion for skin came in. If you prep and prime the skin it creates a perfect canvas for long lasting makeup plus it keeps my talent happy. It is super hydrating for all skin types and will revitalise and refresh skin and makeup all day! The Signature Scent I created for my Happiness range makes you feel happy inside out and when you have happy, healthy skin it gives you a feeling of happiness and confidence.
What do you do if you're experiencing unhappiness, stress, anxiety or just overwhelmed?
Exercise creates happy endorphins so a regular exercise ritual is happiness for your body and skin. I also believe this can help you look younger, healthier and more radiant.
Meditation and Deep Breathing is a very powerful tool to help your body handle stress and is also important for healthy, youthful skin.
Burning my Happiness Scent. Creating a relaxing space and ambience with candles, relaxing meditation music and soft lighting does wonders for the mind, body and soul.
How do you like to spoil, indulge and reward yourself?
Going to the beach, swimming the ocean point to point and then basking in the sun. Long lunches and dinners with good friends, going to art galleries, massages, reading and cruising around on my motorbike. I also enjoy kayaking on the harbour on a Sunday morning. If I am at home I like to treat myself to a pamper session with my Happiness products and Netflix.
What foods do you like to nourish your body with?
I love eating healthy and raw organic salads with fresh fruit and vegetables. I also enjoy drinking lots of water and cleanse once a week with fresh vegetable cold press juices I make.
I am 80% Raw and 20% Indulgence, It’s important to treat yourself from time to time.
What else do you crave that makes you happy?
I love travelling and catching up with friends overseas. Living a balanced life doing what I love doing with passion and plenty of Pug hugs!
Who has the best skin you have worked with?
Cate Blanchett - one word, flawless!
Who is the happiest celebrity you have worked with?
Wow I’ve worked with a lot of happy, wonderful and talented people. Two standouts who both have really happy auras are the talented singer and actor from Neighbours, Rob Mills and the amazing singer Casey Donavan, who is our Aretha Franklin. I know right, both from Australian Idol!
There is also another standout. When I first started out I did a Telemovie called Balmain Boys with this cheeky and talented 15 year old guy named Mark Furze, who later made his mark on Home and Away. It was his first big role and he would have us crying with laughter as soon as he stepped into the makeup trailer which wasn’t good for makeup 😂 He was like a natural, young Robin Williams and great at impersonations. He was special and made everyone else feel that way too. As a makeup artist it’s important to be happy and relaxed as we are pretty much the last person the performers see before they go on stage or set.
What is the best show/film you have worked on and why?
I’ve been blessed to have been part of some amazing makeup teams including Farscape, Cirque du Soleil 'Algeria', The Matrix, Moulin Rouge, Star Wars Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and The Great Gatsby.
All these shows introduced me to new techniques for makeup, hair and wigs.
Farscape was an American Sci-fi filmed in Sydney (with a big budget considered at the time in Australia) that paved the way, especially for makeup artists, to create some amazing and iconic characters using techniques that were taking makeup to another level such as airbrushing and prosthetics. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best Makeup Artists in the world alongside the best costume designers, set designers, stunt team, puppeteering team, actors and directors.
Your favourite quote or mantra to live?