Oxshott star Louise Redknapp on Wild about Beauty and Surrey style
She’s a TV presenter, Surrey mum, charity fund-raiser, Mrs Jamie Redknapp – and now founder of make-up range Wild about Beauty. Adele Mitchell catches up with one of Surrey’s most hard-working celebrities…
When I arrive at the Wild about Beauty counter in House of Fraser, Guildford, to meet Louise Redknapp, I can hear her chatting, but I can’t see her. It turns out that this is because she is crouched down, reaching into a cupboard to find a specific nail polish shade for a customer. Louise is working on the counter today as part of a special Wild about Beauty launch event, and she’s clearly determined to give great service, eagerly recommending make-up to her guests and handing out champagne. At one point, she changes her sky-high heels for a more comfortable (but still very stylish) pair of flat, black patent brogues before adding, “I knew I’d be on my feet all day!” She tells me later that she’d bought them at Russell & Bromley on Guildford High Street. She’s so down-to-earth and friendly that I half expect her to add “in my lunch hour” (she doesn’t, but you know what I mean).
Louise has created Wild about Beauty with good friend and international make-up artist Kim Jacob. They’re passionate about their new colour cosmetics: Louise has even invested her own money in the project rather than, as is often the case with ‘celebrity’ brands, simply endorsing it for publicity. “I’m the creative director,” she says proudly. “This is our own business.”
She met Kim seven years ago on a photo shoot. “I’d developed skin pigmentation after my first pregnancy and Kim’s clever make-up application made me confident that I could achieve a natural, glowing look without using heavy make-up.” They’ve worked together on Louise’s photoshoots ever since, and Wild about Beauty is aimed at women who, like its creators, have busy lifestyles. “Most women want to take care of their appearance and look modern. But they’re also savvy: they want quality and a good price point – and that’s what we deliver.”
The emphasis is on ease of application and wearable shades. “You can apply it on in the car before the school run or on the train going to work,” she enthuses. “It’ll instantly make you look more glamorous and refreshed.”
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Home is in Oxshott and Louise describes her life as “one-part glam career – while the other part is being a busy mum”.
As well as founding her new beauty brand, she’s a TV presenter and has been married to ex-footballer and sports journalist Jamie Redknapp for 14 years. They have two sons: Charlie, aged eight, and Beau, aged three. “I do the football run at the weekends, go to Pilates, and pop out for dinner on a Saturday night with my husband. Wild about Beauty is what I wear – it’s make-up for real life.”
Launched in October, best-sellers so far include Multi-Purpose Tint (�14) for eyes, cheeks and lips and Eyeshadow Pencil Duos in brown/gold and grey (�13.50). Endearingly, each product shade is named after family or friends – no prizes for guessing where the inspiration for ‘Jamie’, a ‘classic taupe’ nail polish (�9) came from.
Wild about Beauty is available nationwide but the counter in Guildford is one of Louise’s favourites. “This is my local town – I often shop in here,” she says, confessing that shopping for clothes is a bit of a weakness (we have so much in common!).
Now aged 38, her look is on-trend and stylish rather than attention grabbing or loud; today she’s coordinated the aforementioned brogues with turned-up jeans and an embroidered white shirt from House of Fraser, and wears her long hair tied back in a simple, high ponytail – a popular catwalk look this season. In fact, she’s a copybook example of how to look good for anyone heading towards 40.
Her interest in fashion and a belief that charity begins at home led to Louise recently offering her support to Fashion For Good, a charity established by a group of Cobham mums to support community projects benefiting local children and families. Wild about Beauty provided make-up for their spectacular catwalk show held at the Brooklands Hotel in November, and hosted a stand at the retail event. “I love that Fashion for Good is supporting Surrey,” she says. “I’ve done charity work as far afield as Uganda for Comic Relief but there is poverty here too and it’s great to support an initiative that is tackling that.”
Charity work, launching a beauty range, pursuing a career and being mum to two small boys is no easy feat – and Louise is refreshingly honest about how tricky it is to ‘do it all’. “I can get really stressed – but I have a great network of support – from the team at my office who are all willing to be hands-on, to my family and especially Jamie and my mum.”
Most of all, and despite her celebrity status, it’s clear that Louise Redknapp understands how important it is to put her family first and keep her feet – patent brogues and all – very firmly on the ground.
My favourite Surrey…
Restaurant... “The Thai restaurant at The Victoria pub in Oxshott. It’s amazing – the best Thai food you’ll get anywhere”
Independent fashion shops... “Club in Esher and cSee in Cobham. I like to mix and match my labels!”
Place to chill… “At home!”
Place to visit… “Bockett’s Farm, Fetcham, with my family. We can be ‘mum and dad’ there!”
View... Painshill Park in Cobham
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without… “Visiting Father Christmas at Harrods, late on Christmas Eve. My kids absolutely believe he’s the real Santa – all the others are his friends!”