Beauty / IN THE BAG

Kathy Gilbert on the perfect shade

Known for creating the perfect colour – from vivid purples to the perfect shade of blond, Kathy Gilbert is the Sydney-based colourist that has become the go-to for those in the know.

My breakthrough career moment was …
Being introduced to Glenn O’Reilly and Stephen Price, who at the time were opening a new concept salon (Helmet in Sydney’s Darlinghurst) based on understatement and specialised hairdressing – colourists and session stylists who worked collaboratively to create beautiful hair. They brought together session styling and salon work, which until then had been separate entities. We worked cohesively, bringing together these differing areas of our craft.

The top 5 most useful products in the salon / on set are …
Olaplex – ultimate maintenance of hair integrity
Christophe Robin Chamomile shampoo and Shade Variation Baby Blond mask – for the optimum clean blond using natural hair care in two steps.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumising Rose Paste and Hydrating Santal cream – instant volume with the Rose paste and weightless smoothing.
Iles Formula – the perfect three-step product range for instant repair of all hair types.
David Mallett Australian Sea Salt spray – to create effortless, undone, beachy hair without the crunch.

The product(s) most worth the investment are …
If I had to pick two, they would be Olaplex and anything by Christophe Robin.

My biggest beauty trick / tip is …
Oribe Airbrush for immediate coverage of regrowth in a ‘hero’ texture spray.

My favourite career memory / highlight is …
Seeing my work editorially. How other people interpret it – session stylists and photographers bring images to life. Some of these have included Sophie Roberts, Michele McQuillan, Kellie Stratton and Peter Lennon. One of my editorial highlights has included Charlee Fraser for RUSSH.

My advice to people getting started in the industry is …
Start by learning from the best, be prepared to work hard, develop a creative mind by feeding it creatively with creative pursuit. Essential is an interest in others, and a desire to meet new people. It is a service industry in a creative environment. Consistency and perseverance are the tools you will need – but when you make that first client smile because they feel good about themselves and you love what you’ve created, that moment is priceless.