With all your talents, what made you choose beauty?
I was curious about beauty from an early age – actually, I can trace it back to the moment I first set eyes on a lipstick of my mother’s. It was a tiny bullet in a metal case with a push up lever, and little glass stones studded around the neck. It was mesmerizing. I got my first job in the fashion department on a magazine – Harpers Bazaar (Harpers & Queen in those days) – and moved from fashion into beauty when the first opportunity came up.
I loved it from the word Go, 25 years ago now, and I’m very happy and fortunate to be in a position where I can work in all the aspects of the business I love the most – writing, brand development and retail. All bases covered!
What I love about beauty is the way it can make a woman feel so much more confident and positive. There’s nothing like the feeling you get from a great blow dry, it’s the same when you discover a fantastic lip colour or foundation. You own the world.
When did you realise how important it is to take care of your skin?
At around 14. I went to boarding school and I clearly remember some of the girls in my dormitory having the full Clinique 3-step system and wanting it badly. As soon as I was able to buy my own products I bought pots and pots of cold cream because it was cheap and you could use it to cleanse and moisturise.
What made Dr. Lipp a must-have?
A great deal of my curation for MyShowcase is based on intuition. I work the same way with it as I do with my page in the Telegraph Magazine. It’s very obvious, very quickly when a product has the right credentials. Sometimes these are hard to define, but invariably the appeal comes down to soul – if a product has personality and soul it’s a rare and beautiful thing, and it always turns me on because I believe the consumer also recognises it and buys into it.
In addition to that, MyShowcase Stylists sell the best of the independent beauty brands because we wanted to give these brilliant brands a better platform for distribution and to tell their stories. At the moment it’s very hard for entrepreneurial brands to get this leverage and launch pad.
I love fashion, but when it comes to clothes I like to wag my own tail. For me it’s all about accessories (great sunglasses, hat, shoes) and detail – I tend to buy classic pieces in black, grey, cream and fawn and I like to customise things: give me a needle, thread, buttons and trim and I’m away.
I love the 60s vibe – cigarette pants, silk shirt, boatneck fur coat, three-quarter-length sleeves, low stiletto and pointed toe – that’s my work style. At home I’m happiest in cashmere jogger pants, any jumper as long as it comes out of my husband’s cupboard and no makeup at all.
Like Dr. Lipp, Legology is a one-product brand. This is quite unusual these days. What has made you decide to do only one product, and do you feel that will be enough?
Budget! And time! In order to really be able to manage my first brand well I realised I needed to be able to focus on one hero product, then work it out from there. I’ve never had a grand plan or really even written a business plan, it’s all in my head. I have additional products lined up for launch next year, but one of the best pieces of advice anyone has ever given me was not to press the green light until you are 100% ready. That’s why I launched Legology Air-Lite in September – completely the wrong time of year, but it still performed so well it became Liberty London’s second best seller!
What do you like about Dr. Lipp, and what is your favourite use for it?
Love Dr.Lipp! It goes on my lips – and in plentiful amounts. Walking the dogs, driving the car, in front of my laptop, there is always a tube handy. I’ve also used it on my heels before now – it’s excellent after you’ve used a foot file.
So much is going on in your world of business, but what is your favourite off-peak activity?
I love exploring London. Also sewing, reading and walking my two Scottie dogs.
Finally, what’s next for Kate Shapland? World domination? Maybe a cheeky kiss from Dr. Lipp?
Definitely don’t want world domination. What’s next I hope is more of the same; creating and curating. A kiss would be nice too!