With winter knocking on our doors, Linda Hall asks Ima Asali, the founder of New Zealand online cosmetic company Mellow, some questions about her business and winter makeup

Ima Asali started a cosmetic company working out of her garage while on maternity leave in 2014.

However, when it was time to go back to her corporate job, she decided she didn't want to leave her child in someone else's care so she quit her job and followed her dream.

The Mellow range started with just a few products but has expanded rapidly.

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Tell us how you have built your business up over the past five years.

It has taken a lot of hard work, working at nights and weekends, making lots of mistakes along the way but learning from them!

I started Mellow not knowing much about growing a business. The marketing side was a struggle. The first year was an absolute fail as I had some great products on my hands but did not know how to market and sell them. I started researching, taking online courses.

I learnt from scratch how to work with influencers and run social media accounts and how to run successful marketing campaigns and that's where it all started! Mellow was seen by more people online and the problem at that stage was to keep up with customer demand. I started with three products and now have more than 72 SKUs in my range and it is only growing bigger year by year! It's actually our fifth birthday soon and we are celebrating with the next product launch in June!

When did you first start experimenting with makeup?

I've always loved makeup and fashion - it's my number one hobby. I was around 15 when I really started experimenting and applying makeup - I never stopped.

When the idea of Mellow came into my head I was so excited and I knew this is it! This is what I have to do. Receiving samples of products from labs and playing with them is always the most exciting part of the job for me. I love playing with makeup and to share my excitement and love for it with my followers is the best thing ever!

What is one of the most common mistakes made when apply foundation?

Not everyone wants to wear makeup but we all want our skin to look flawless, right? Foundation can make your skin look flawless if applied correctly.

The number one mistake in my opinion is not wearing the right shade. You need to choose the shade that matches your complexion and complements your skin tone.

The second one is using the wrong applicator - a good foundation brush or a beauty blender is key in even, flawless application of foundation. If using a beauty blender dampen it before applying foundation. It will give you a dewy finish and evenly distributes product on the face.

The third mistake is failing to prep the skin. Cleansing is the first step, then moisturising, followed by primer application. Applying primer will make your skin look even and will ensure your foundation lasts longer.

If we have dry and unbalanced skin we will only end up with patchy, blotchy and slippery foundation.

How do you know if you have the correct foundation colour?

It's easy to wind up with the wrong foundation shade. We need to ensure the colour of our face and neck match, and a tip is to always bring what's left on your foundation brush down to your neck to ensure an even blend.

Different foundations have different understones, and we need to pick the one that matches our skin tone perfectly.

I personally always go a beauty counters and ask for my foundation to be matched for me.
I have an olive skin tone and I don't tan in summer so for me my foundation shade usually stays the same all year around, but I know a lot of people like to tan in winter and usually end up using a darker shade of foundation in order to make their face match their neck and body and that is totally okay, as long as the difference between the face colour and the neck colour is not too dramatic!

What eye makeup colours are popular for winter?

Definitely gold and coppery eyeshadows. Especially this year, we have seen a lot of runway makeup looks using gold shimmery eyes and you can easily go from day to night by adding a bit more shimmer and deepening the shadow in the crease using warm brown tones.
Mellow's Treasure Chest Palette is the best for creating the perfect eye look for winter - it has a few gold and coppery shades and a couple of warm brown tones for the crease.

What about lips?

I would say bold berry and plum tone lip colours are perfect for autumn, especially if you've gone easy on the eyes.

A shimmery eye and a perfectly bold dark lip are a perfect match. I usually wear the shade New York from my Creamy Matte Lipstick range at Mellow during autumn and winter.

Give us some tips for applying eye makeup.

Always apply eye primer or concealer before applying eyeshadow - it will make the colour more intense and it will last all day and night.
Using the right brushes is important. You need a good blending brush for the crease and a flat brush to apply shimmers or mattes on to the eyelid. Blend until the lines of different shadow shades are indivisible on your eyes. Blending is key.

If you had to have just one makeup product, what would it be?

My brow definer. I do not leave the house without doing my brows and the brow definer from Mellow makes this step so easy for me - it only takes me two minutes. The formula is so creamy and glides on so smoothly and I just love it.

Being a mum of two I don't have a lot of time in the morning to apply a full face of makeup and if I have my brows on and nothing else then I'm good with that!

¦For more information and to purchase products go to mellowcosmetics.com