When Abi Met Lou Dartford, Organic Make Up Artist


At Odylique we LOVE make-up and as though of you fortunate enough to join in our webchat know, we’ve long been a fan of Lou Dartford, a respected make-up artist championing organic beauty with her celebrity and model clients alike.

We were thrilled to have the chance to catch up with Lou not long after her triumphant fashion week success to ask her all about her love for make-up, her career aspirations and any tips she could share with us all.

Where did your interest in make-up start?

I can’t remember what actually triggered it but I do remember walking around with bruises and gashes on my head that I had created with a theatrical makeup kit my parents bought for me when I was about 11 I think.

I did my careers project on make-up when I was 13 to be told that I’d never make a career out of it. Luckily I didn’t listen!

How did you get started in the industry?

I actually started more in TV and Film after studying a degree in Costume and Makeup for the Performing Arts at London College of Fashion.

I remember doing lots of cold calling and sending off lots of CVs in the post – I didn’t have an email address then!!

After deciding that I wanted to work more in fashion and music I started calling different people and assisted other makeup artists. I used to say yes to everything that came my way no matter what it was or where it was.

Gradually I built my contacts and started getting booked for my own jobs.

Were you always a fan of organic beauty or did something happen to encourage it?

I’ve always been interested in natural health, my parents are advocates of it too so it was normal in our house.

I’ve always had a thing for a good health shop too, in another life that’s what my business would be. I remember buying an organic body moisturiser years back, it was rubbish – it took about an hour to rub in – but it planted the seed about what we put on our body being as important as what we put in it.

What has been your biggest career success to date?

That’s quite a tough question as every job I do is so different and a success in its own right. I was really chuffed when I was voted into the Natural Beauty Yearbook’s Top 25 influential personalities last year.

Do you always use organic make-up and skincare?

On myself I always use organic skincare and predominantly organic and natural make-up (I have a liquid eyeliner that isn’t as I have very watery eyes and it ends up everywhere if I don’t use that!).

I always use organic and natural skincare in my professional kit but the make-up is not quite there yet.

I need to be able to deliver in any situation. There will always be a need for a neon eye for example, or something that needs to be really heavy duty.

What made you start your blog?

I’ve always dabbled in beauty writing, it’s something I really enjoy and would love to do more of.

When I started converting my kit it made sense to write about it as it was and still is very exciting. The blog has had various guises over the years and various amounts of attention – it’s something that I would like to develop more for sure.

If you could make any organic product what would it be?

Definitely lip balm. Anyone who knows me, knows the look and lecture they’ll get if they get anything that has as much as a drop of mineral oil in it.

I’d love to have a lip balm range, I’ve made a few up in the past and even have a name – just another thing on the list!!

Which Odylique product do you most love?

I love, love, love the Coconut Candy Scrub, it’s amazing. After just one use it makes a huge difference to how your skin looks and feels.

It’s a year round product too, brilliant for summer skin and keeping flip flop feet fresh, but also perfect for the winter months to keep delicate skin hydrated.

If someone wants to switch to using organic makeup what would you suggest is an easy way to do it?

I would say to do it bit by bit. It can be very daunting and expensive to do it all in one go. As your current products run out switch organic ones in.

Don’t freak out, if you’ve got a favourite lipstick that isn’t organic, it’s ok to keep it, just wear it occasionally rather than every day. Make-up is a very personal thing – organic or not – what one skin loves another will hate. Try and get samples so that you can try before you buy.

Can you share your best party beauty tips?

Prep your skin well before applying any make-up. I love to use an oil such as the Superfruit Concentrate, take the time to massage it in well to get the blood flowing and give skin a natural glow – this is great if you’ve been to a few parties already!

A smoky eye is a winner that will never date and takes any outfit into a party mood. You also don’t have to worry about touch-ups throughout the night. It can be really easy too, just use a kohl pencil to draw into the lashes and smudge. How high you take the pencil up onto the lid depends how bold you want your look to be, just make sure you smudge any hard lines away.

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