Right time, right place!
Follow Kate’s diary to see where she’s been lately and what’s coming up
- it’s time for a british beauty lobby
Earlier this week I was invited to join the minister of state for digital, Matt Hancock MP, and the minister for arts, heritage & tourism, John Glen, at a reception to celebrate the myriad ways that digital is supporting culture. The event was at The Natural History Museum which has launched a fascinating programme to digitalise all 80 million of its artefacts to allow people to experience the museum as a virtual reality. I went as co-founder of the British Beauty Lobby (BBL), an initiative spearheaded by Millie Kendall MBE – founder of BeautyMART and the pioneering Ruby & Millie makeup brand – to ensure that the beauty business has formal representation at government level. Incredibly, while the beauty business contributes over £17 billion to the UK economy every year it has no voice at government level – unlike fashion and music, so no say on how policies affect those of us who work in the industry or our own businesses. While there are groups which represent different areas of the beauty industry, there is no consolidated alliance that covers every sector from hair and cosmetics to salons, services, retail, media, manufacturing, tech and logistics etc. So we have created a manifesto as a direct conduit to relevant government departments, in order that the issues which affect our industry can be voiced, heard and acted upon. We have also met with the culture minister’s team and are now setting a launch agenda for the group (so far media, trade and industry, health and careers/employment) and preparing to commission an in-depth report (by Oxford Economics) into the actual size and impact of the UK beauty business, so that when we ask to be listened to and taken seriously, we can do so armed with statistics. You can join us as a member via our website – just click the ‘I WANT TO JOIN’ button – and join the conversation on Instagram @britishbeautylobby and twitter @bbeautylobby
- being serious in Biarritz
Meet two of my closest beauty confidantes and fellow dog lovers: Kirstie Garrett (left) is the founder of EBO (Essential Body Oils) and one of the most talented massage therapists I know, and Clare Rogers (right) is the owner of The Treatment Rooms, Brighton’s top beauty salon. Kirstie has made her home in Guethary, a small town near Biarritz, so Clare and I went to spend a few days with her last week to get some rest. As well as walking along the Pyrenees, drinking a dubious version of Irish coffee with absinthe, laughing till we cried and having a memorable lunch at Atelier de Gaztelur in Arcangues, we had a proper pummelling with water jets at the local thalassotherapie centre at St Jean de Luz. My only regret was not getting a picture of the three of us in our bathing hats in the pool with the local octogenarians.
- in the garden with Liz
The world was put to rights last Friday south of the river when I zipped over to have a natter with Liz Earle at her studio in Battersea. We sat in the garden and chuckled about life, the business of beauty and – inevitably – menopause .. Liz is one of the most prolific and accomplished people I know; she’s incredibly good company – a tonic to be with, and I’m so proud to have a friend who has created such a footprint on beauty – the natural, botanical approach – and wellbeing. Her legacy is remarkable. It was one of those bright, sunny mornings when work doesn’t seem like work at all – which really is how it should be. Associate Editor Philippa has interviewed Liz for the September issue of Lift Off, so keep an eye for that and a rather special competition to go with it.
- SpaceNK launch
Look at this lovely lot! Legology will be available via SpaceNK online from Monday 26 June so this week I went over to their warehouse in west London to talk to the fulfilment/logistics team about the brand. They were lucky I didn’t cry – I usually do when I tell the Legology story (tragic), and we had a lot of fun talking about leg care and that insanely wonderful place The Leg School on the Italian island of Capri, which was part of the inspiration behind the brand. I remember when the very first SpaceNK boutique was opened in Covent Garden by founder Nicky Kinnaird some 20 years ago, and now here I am working with them as a proud supplier. Happy days!
- wolford swimwear launch
Last week saw the launch of Wolford’s new swimwear collection in the body department at Selfridges. I joined Wolford’s Sidonie Goldman and Clara Mattioli for a preview of these beautiful new pieces – soft as butter, super flattering in the way they contour the body and completely seamless.
- a bite of the big apple
Meanwhile, over the pond, we’re delighted to have launched Legology in New York’s newest luxury speed salon concept DreamDry. Co-founded by Robin Moraetes and Legology fan and HBG creative director Rachel Zoe, the concept is to bring everyday grooming requirements – blow dry, mani, pedi, leg wax, massage and so on – to one great spot, saving busy women from having to hop from salon to salon all around the city. DreamDry has already opened two salons in Manhattan, two in Chicago and one in Georgia and there are more planned around the US this year in Neimann Marcus stores.
- hello legs central
We moved into our new office on Fulham Palace Road, between a beauty salon and mini supermarket, in September, and after some months working behind a huge plate glass window – and feeling like a couple of goldfish in a bowl, available to anyone who happens to be passing and feels like a chinwag – we now have some new window panels to hide behind. The curious thing about this development though, is that even more people now come in to ask for even more unusual things than before – from the price of a pair of prosthetic legs to the whereabouts of a lost dog and how much we want for our office sofa.
- the lifestyle edit
It was a joy to meet Naomi Mdudu, editor of The Lifestyle Edit, a beautiful blog which champions the kind of modern, honest approach to business that I subscribe to. If I could turn the clock back I would be Naomi, travelling between London and NY, meeting people, writing, photographing, and creating a business with a genuine supportive purpose on her own terms. She’s loving it and, as is always the case when there’s good energy and intent, it manifests in the end result. Everybody wants to talk to The Lifestyle Edit, so it was an honour to be included. You can read the full interview here.
- get ready for cellu-lite
By now surely beauty’s worst kept secret, Cellu-Lite Salon Secret For Legs is our biggest launch this year and the lab samples arrived at HQ in April to be delivered to our friends in the beauty press for review. We kept a few bottles aside for Legology addicts to try too and these went to the first 8 customers who ordered Air-Lite so that they could try my powerful aromatherapy detox oil at the same time as the editors. We have also set up a preorder form on the site for those who are interested in reserving a bottle of the real thing when it launches later this year. Sign up and you’ll be first in the queue to receive Cellu-Lite when it’s ready.
- international fragrance day
Founded to give us all the chance to appreciate and share the scents that play important roles in our lives, International Fragrance Day on 21 March turned out to be a double celebration at Legology HQ as I signed off the formula for a new Capri Crush splash that day too .. Between us, this is a body fragrance with benefits (hydrating, toning ..) created with the signature ‘holiday bubble’ scent that perfume house Robertet first made for Legology. You’ll be the first to know when it’s ready friends 😉
- colour play
If Legology was a nail polish what colour would it be? Trialling shades for a new toenail varnish feels a bit like being a child in a sweet shop, and while bottle, brush and cap have been sourced, it looks like the colour choice has finally been narrowed to coral – a cheerful, sunny suit-all shade, and especially good on tanned feet. The jury is still out on which nuance of coral mind you .. Watch this space.
- mini miracles
There’s something rather irresistible about baby sized beauty products – they’re useful too. It took us a while to get to the point where our budget extended to sample sizes, but the minis – purse-sized 30ml Air-Lite and Sun-Lite tubes – finally arrived in February and we’re now able to offer a taste of the Legology experience to anyone who wants to try before they buy. Email us if you would like to add a sample of either to a Legology order while stock lasts.
- the jet set
I can’t imagine a more on-brand way to travel than in a Piaggio Avanti Evo, the sleek new private jet launched by Connect Jets at London City Airport. So I was delighted to join Connect Jets founder Gabriella Somerville for the inaugural flight and naturally I took my leg-lightening hero Air-Lite with me – the perfect inflight travel companion!
- travelling light to st tropez
There’s nowhere quite like the south of France at the beginning of the season – quiet, warm, fresh, colourful and filled with the scent of mimosa and fir – it’s inspiring and invigorating. I spent a week in La Garde Freinet, kicking about with my sister, two cats and my camera, and travelling light with standing room only for Legology Air-Lite and Sun-Lite in my washbag. I barely bothered to brush my hair let alone wear makeup (as evidenced by the disintegrating pedicure on the cocktail sausages in this picture), and it was wonderful.
- breakfast with TheirWorld
French actress Lesley Caron – star of movie greats Gigi and An American In Paris – gave a speech at a breakfast hosted by Sarah Brown on International Women’s Day in March at the IOD, which I was lucky enough to be invited to. Sarah and Gordon Brown founded the charity TheirWorld to promote girls’ education and empowerment around the world, and the breakfast brought together women from across media and the arts to hear more about their work.
- london fashion week
I was delighted to be invited to Paul Costelloe’s a/w 17 catwalk show at London Fashion Week in February, and even more honoured to be able to go backstage with Legology photographer James Bedford to record the pre-show preparation and gift the girls our limited edition Strip-Lite kits containing samples of Air-Lite and Sun-Lite. Thank you Paul for your generosity and support.