i am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes shut
— milk and honey, rupi kaur
i am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes shut
— milk and honey, rupi kaur
Happy 2019!! I hope you all had brilliant Christmases! I’m still trying to get my head around how fast last year went and how much happened in that time. It flew by! I’m not one for setting too much (read: any) stock in the deafening ‘new year, new me’ mantra that gets bandied about this time of year - I don’t think it’s healthy and I think it’s mostly aimed at women which is really frustrating - but I do think it’s ok to use this time of year and reflect and look forward. I’m hopeful for 2019: I turn 30 this year, I’m visiting Berlin for the first time ever, I’ll be hanging out with my dreamboat boyfriend even more, and I’m actively looking for a marketing and communications role in a kind, brave and inclusive organisations (hit me up if this is you - firstname.lastname@example.org).
Romantic, textured and sparkly are the things I’m loving this this month. All from my Pinterest. I simply L O V E doing these little mood boards. They work really nicely with the #colourmood stories and posts I do each Sunday over on my Instagram. This new colour palette of tans, mustards and greens that started to sneak in in my December Mood Board is here to stay. I’ve been watching a lot of Strictly (Come Dancing) and I’ve been so inspired by winner, Stacey Dooley’s, whole aesthetic. It’s my perfect wardrobe: a palette of neutrals, in billow-y shapes, clashing against that amazing copper hair. So beautiful.
And, just in case you missed it, I’ve started a new blog series reviewing the branding and marketing of campaigns and brands I love. You can read the first one here, k? I hope you all have a brilliant first week back at work. loooovvvvvvvve.
Hello! It’s 2019 so I thought I’d try out a new series on the blog: reviewing the marketing and branding of new campaigns and product launches! I get so excited when I start seeing teaser posts on Instagram that it seemed like the perfect thing to write about, plus these types of blogs will be really pretty, related to my areas of expertise and if I’m interested in it someone else has to be, right? I have a sneaky feeling these are going to quickly become my favourite type of blog.
I thought I’d start with a recent favourite launch of mine, Le Rouje de Paris! The launch of this five-piece collection, four lipsticks and a palette containing all four colours, was elegant but really quite simple at the same time, a strategic ploy to give an effortless vibe that nods to its French roots, as well as its mother-brand, Rouje. Jeanne Damas, the Parisian muse, author, genuine babe and founder of Rouje, is renowned for being a great lover of lipstick (a girl after my own heart) so it made sense to firstly, create a beauty line and secondly, start with the mouth. In fact, her look is so coveted that if you google ‘Jeanne Damas’ ‘lipstick’ is the third search term, coming only after ‘age’ (* frown-y face *) and ‘wiki’. Rouje know their customer and they've created the product that she’s been asking for.
Le Rouje opted for a simple colour palette of a peachy-nude and gold, with the gold mostly being used in the product casing and then as a secondary colour against the peach. The gold indicates a vintage type of glamour that we’ve come to expect from timeless French style and the Rouje brand. The lipstick tube itself has vertical ridges that, while being another nod to vintage (like this Cartier lipstick holder of Audrey Hepburn’s, recently auctioned at Christies - check out the whole lot if you have time, it’s lovely) but they also make the product easy to open one-handed; ideal for the on-the-go, no-effort make-up of a Parisian girl. It should be noted that the vintage-style tube is also uncannily similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks; the most notable difference being Tilbury’s rose gold tube to Le Rouje’s yellow gold. I can’t tell if this is simply an overlooked point, a strategic effort to position the new line in amongst other luxury products or an acceptance that the two products simply look similar… what do you think? Regardless, the gold case is striking against the collection’s four colours: Jeanne, a bright blue-red; Lamia, a soft plum with a hint of brown; Camille, a deep red, also blue; and Emilie, a pink-nude. These colours show that not only do Rouje know their customer (these are Damas’s most worn looks so you’d assume they’re her most asked-for lipstick recommendations) but that they also have the confidence to start with a small number of products. When Rouje launched their original clothing collection in 2016, they did so with only 20 pieces: “[It’s a] small collection because it’s important for me that I like every piece and can wear it in my everyday life,” said Damas. While also continuing with their brand vibe of simple, Parisian-cool, this five-product strategy also allows Le Rouje to create future excitement, press and commercial opportunities with new additions to the collection, such as new colours, finishes and even entirely new products like mascara and blush (fingers crossed!).
The structure of the packaging box is similarly classic and practical. It features a single block of the peach-nude in an uncoated heavy weight stock with small touches of gold, including the Rouje logo, in a surface debossed foil. Très timeless. Like the ridges of the lipstick tube, the stock and debossing is both unfussy and gives a pleasing weight and texture to the product, adding to that effortlessly luxurious vibe. Each purchase also comes with a complimentary satin pouch in Le Rouje’s primary coral colour. This extra, which is also available to purchase seperately, is not dissimilar to the Glossier Pink Pouch in its idea but it unfortunately lacks the thoughtfulness of Glossier; both in its manufacture (the 100% polyester of pouch clashes with the elegant, vintage feel of both the Rouje brand and the Le Rouje line) and in its lack of multi-purpose functionality in contrast to Glossier’s bubble wrap pouch. I’d be delighted to receive one with my purchase of a new lipstick but what use it has beyond initial excitement, I’m not sure.
As always, Rouje’s photography is the loveliest. The ‘street-style’ shots that appear largely untouched and are captured predominantly in natural light have three main functions for the Le Rouje brand: firstly, they make sure the beauty line is unmistakably in the Rouje family by using the same style of photography as their parent-brand; secondly, the grainy quality of the shots, featuring diverse faces with natural hair and almost-unruly brows, hints at the vintage, timeless style of both the product and the French woman; and finally, these shots echo the candid, Instagram-ready photography that Damas herself is so well known for and, by using this style, Le Rouje make sure that Damas’s following know that they too can achieve that look. Bravo, Le Rouje!
Like it’s branding, the beauty line’s marketing was simple but effective too with just five teaser posts within a month of the official announcement, a short launch video, an interview with beauty-bible Into The Gloss and just enough quirks to keep this girl happy.
Rouje used their Instagram and Damas’s to hint at their launch, with just five posts in the run-up to 1 December. Le Rouje kept it characteristically cool by posting pictures of French style icons like Vanessa Paradis, using emojis (🔜💄💋) instead of copy and not actually keeping the launch a secret at all. Instead the responded ‘Yes!’ to everyone who guessed that a Rouje lipstick was on its way. The small, two-minute film celebrating the launch was debuted exclusively on Vogue Paris. This positioned the new beauty brand firmly in the luxury product category as well as allowing Le Rouje to be seen by their ideal target market: women, between 18 and 65, with an interest in fashion, beauty and luxury, and with mid to high disposable income. The film was directed in a new-wave style which not only speaks to the romantic and vintage vibes of the brand but is also super meme-worthy! So, the film and its stills are likely to be shared and reach even more potential customers!.
To soft launch Le Rouje, Damas also did a ‘Top Shelf’ interview with Into The Gloss where she discussed her skincare routine, her favourite make-up products and her approach to hair and body care in general. The interview, which includes a candid photoshoot of Damas applying makeup, predominantly lipstick, in her Paris apartment, had been requested by ITG readers for a long time. This too, was a brilliant way to reach an ideal market for Le Rouje de Paris; female, 16 to 40, interested in new products and already coveters of Jeanne Damas’s style. And the quirk? The logo colour on the Rouje website changed from black to Le Rouje de Paris’s signature coral-nude colour. The seventies-inspired font used for the brand is already soft and curvy; now, in the colour of their lipstick collection, the logo looks like a kiss for the page! Perfect!
My Christmas Gift Guide is here!! I’ve had so much fun piecing together this collection. It’s a selection of treasures for the home, wardrobe and body from my favourite makers or independent boutiques. Ever since I moved to Yorkshire 10 years ago, I’ve tried to buy gifts for birthdays and Christmas from independents - it feels so much more special to give something someone’s carefully made or selected for their shop. Coffee shops that also have homewares and plants are a particular favourite. Luckily for me, there is no end of makers and independents up North! Maybe that should be a blog; The Leeds Independent Shopping Guide? I’ll be sharing more ideas on my Instagram over the next week or so as I know lots of makers will be releasing new stock for sale before the Christmas post guarantee ends so keep an my stories for even more inspiration.
I’m getting thoroughly into the holiday spirit now so look out for my decoration post next too! Anyway, I hope you have the cosiest weekend, and let me know what you buy!
Happy Wednesday! These are a few nice things I’ve been pinning recently. I’m really into romantic, billowy shapes at the moment, like these beautiful balloon sleeves and this wavy, retro-looking magazine holder - and of course, Solange’s jumper! LOVE. I’m still into muted pinks and oranges but duck egg blues and greens, in particular, have been creeping in and I’m really loving it. Follow me on Pinterest for more goodness.
You may also notice that I’ve made a few changes on the site - I’ve added a Projects page so you can read all about the launch of my latest project with Leafy Couture! After launching their new site a couple of weeks ago, I’ll be working on their blogs and a couple of other really cute projects with them in the New Year.
I’ve been getting thoroughly into the Christmas spirit by watching just about every cheesy Christmas film on Netflix so look out for my Christmas Gift Guide blog later in the week. It’s going to be a cute curation of presents and decorations - from small businesses only! I hope you all really enjoy it!
I’ve been crushing on dried and faux flowers recently. Particularly, pampas grass. They look, contradiction, both soft and structured. And the texture is a beautiful contrast to delicate (seemingly in this case at least) flowers. I’ve been picturing a low vase or urn of floaty chocolate cosmos and big white roses on a coffee table. Dyed grasses in blush pinks and violet blues are also lovely. I want to piece them together in a whimsical romantic arrangement, maybe for a dinner party with friends, a la Mary Lennox or brrch.
Earlier this week I walked into Anthropologie to be greeted by tall buckets of dried foliage in deep reds and gold sprays and I was inspired to create this edit of dried and faux flowers with the vases to match. Enjoy!
From left to right: Nordal Marbled Plant Pot with Feet, £16.50; Sunset Vase in White, £26; Lindform AB Dusty Pink Bud Vase, £26; Winter Protea, £25; Dried Plumosum Bouquet, £22 for nine stems; Amelie Shell Vase, £535; Sunset Vase in Pink, £42;. Madam Stoltz Diana Vase, £12.50; Natural Dried Wide Cortaderia Pampas Grass, £16 for 12 stems; and Bloomingville Orange Ceramic Planter, £19.
Cold weather is the perfect time to brave a dark bold lip a là everyone’s favourite French cool girl Jeanne Dumas. And, as every Rouje coveter knows, nothing ruins a berry pout faster than chapped lips. So it’s the perfect time to pull together a blog on one of my all-time favourite things: lip balm!
I’ve had a serious thing for lip balm for a few years now. I have a lip balm by my bed, at my boyfriend’s house, tucked away in jean pockets and in just about every bag and coat I own. I lean towards a thicker balm, no waxy finish that sinks in after two seconds for me please(!), so they’re often multi-purpose for sad skin and nails. Handy. Here all six of the best lip balms available in the UK for soft (sometimes tinted) lips, from £5.99 to £39.
1. Korres Lip Butter in Plum, £8 2. By Terry Baume de Rose, £39 3. Myroo Fragrance Free Lip Balm, £8 4. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus, £5.99 5. Glossier Balm Dotcom in Cherry, £10 6. Kiehl’s Buttermask for Lips, £22.
Autumn and winter have been my favourite times of year for as long as I can remember. I love the crisp misty mornings, a nice jumper with jeans, and the excuse to drink way more cups of tea than is actually necessary that comes with it.
But I especially love it because the dark nights, Halloween and the big, low moons mean that things can get a little witch-y. Being a big fan of witches, I’ve pulled together this mood board of things to shop, look at and listen to that’s perfect for this time of year.
(Above) I recently discovered Grainne Morton over on Pinterest and I cannot get enough of her earrings. Particular favourites are the jewelled, abstract pair above and her hand hook earrings. They’re spooky and delicate at the same time; and right up my alley. Shop her collection.
I’ve also been watching the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix and it’s brilliant! Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose, (the new Salem) has a wardrobe of moon-covered silk robes and pyjama shirts to match but it’s the pilgrim-meets-Vampire-Academy style of the Weird Sisters (pictured) that I loved the most. Highly recommend. Watch it here.
Kim Petras released a surprise album full of Halloween goodness last month and it is lovely. It’s full of haunting instrumentals and chilling lyrics about life after death. Listen to Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1 now.
Another recent find: the Forde Abbey and Gardens Instagram. The shots of the abbey, particularly in the morning, are so beautiful. The post-er also writes the loveliest descriptions to go with their photos. It’s darling. Check it out here.
I’ve been doing a lot of pinning lately. So I’ve had a bit of a tidy and created some new boards, including one to match my witch-y vibe at the moment. Follow me.
So it’s here! I finally did it. I have officially gone freelance, and now I’ve made a brand to go with it.
My business is built on the qualities of the type of company I’ve always wanted to work for and the type of people I’d like to work with now: lovely, modern, honest and with a touch of witches. Ok, so the last part is optional for clients but I’ve always had a thing about witches so it’s staying for now.
Over the last week or so I’ve built this site as an online portfolio and service list but also as a fun space where I can experiment and test my skills in coding and graphic design. And I’ve actually had so much fun doing this it (and another site that I’ll be launching soon - read below!) that I’m adding website design and build to my list of services!
In the near future I’ll be adding a Work page, where I’ll be putting my project portfolio as it grows. The blog will be a space for sharing all things lovely, from fashion to interiors, books and music. I’ll be updating it a couple of times a week so make sure you come back to see what’s new.
Lastly, I’ve spent the past few weeks working with Yorkshire wedding florists Leafy Couture and it’s been a dream! The photography of their arrangements is often so breathtakingly wonderful, and the team themselves are such a joy to be around, that creating their new site and their new social media strategy on Pinterest (amongst lots of other things) has been just lovely.
All in all, coming up with my own brand has been tricky. I’ve spent a lot time writing for clients, trying to find their tones of voice, or working within the parameters of a pre-established (or new – if that’s the project I’m working on) brand, that trying to figure out my style and tone of voice has taken me a little while. It’s funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?
Thank you to everyone who’s been so supportive and excited as I start this new venture. I’ll be keeping you updated on here with everything that’s happening. Wish me luck!