When Lottie Tomlinson – younger sister of One Direction's Louis – was 15, she began assisting the band's makeup artist, Lou Teasdale, on tour. Little did they know, a mere six years later the pair would be landing in Sydney to promote their very own line of tanning products.
The brand, TANOLOGIST, is currently one the UK's most popular. And with Lottie as founder and Lou taking on the role of creative director, it's not hard to see why it has already expanded beyond Europe into the US and now Australia. Tanologist is now available to buy at Priceline.
BD sat down with Lottie and Lou to find out what goes into creating a global beauty brand, their top performing content and the Aussie girls they love to follow.
Lottie on creating TANOLOGIST...
"I've always been into tanning. It's still amazing to me how much better you can look with a tan! A lot of the different ones I tried used to make me break out because I've got quite sensitive skin.
I basically created something that has everything I want in a tan - a clear formula, a non-patchy application, doesn't smell bad or include anything that will lead to a break out.
Lou on using social media to market the brand...
"As an influencer working with big established brands, you often don't get that much say in how you want to market a product on social media, or even how you respond to followers about that product once you've posted about it.
Creating a proper beauty business from scratch meant that we could have full authority over how it was promoted. Lottie knows what she wants and what works best for her followers, so marketing this brand on social media almost gives her longevity and credibility in what she's doing on those platforms."
Lou and Lottie on their top performing content...
Lottie: "I think a really polished makeup selfie always does really well. Sometimes if I take a picture of my makeup that is completely unplanned, it will end up getting so many likes...I always think I need to be doing more of that.
Often if we do a big 'look' people aren't as bothered. I think they just want to know what my everyday makeup is. It makes it much more personal."
Lou: "It's definitely when it's personal. If I post a picture of me and my daughter, or one with Lottie when we do stuff together it gets so many more likes.
In London there's four or five of us that have been doing this for so long and we all live on the same street, we all met in the same place, and I think people really love seeing those relationships. It's relatable. Anything relatable gets loads of likes.
Transformation posts do well too. If I take the same selfie weeks apart and talk about my brow journey, for example, it will literally get five times the amount of likes that the first one! I think you've got to give people something to like, rather than just a picture of your face."
Lou on first meeting Lottie...
"Lottie came to assist me and everyone was like, 'she's really shy!' and I thought she would be rubbish because she's Louis's sister so she's probably not going to do anything! But she was amazing and had such a great work ethic. She ended up showing me all these YouTubers...
As a makeup artist I would always work with brands in an expert capacity, I had contracts with them because I worked on celebrities and that's how they used to market beauty products. Then Lottie comes along and starts showing me how the products can be showcased online in less stiff way. So we learnt from each other really."
On celebrities and who they follow...
Lou: "We always used to laugh because we'd be on tour and see the biggest celebrities at the [One Direction] shows – like Obama and his kids – and not be too phased. But we'd get back and meet someone from TOWIE [The Only Way Is Essex] and be completely starstruck!
But Instagram wise, we used to really buzz off NikkieTutorials or any of those original makeup girls that absolutely nail it. You still get excited about what they're going to do next..."
Lottie: "I love Shani Grimmond at the moment. Skye Wheatley is also really cute – it's nice to see how she incorporates her her little boy into her work. There are some really good Aussie girls..."
Lou: "...Aussie girls are so much better! I think Australia as a market, when it comes to influencer marketing and independent brands, they're just nailing it. The girls are super healthy, outdoorsy, tanned and that kind of life translates on Instagram so well.
It's such an exciting market, especially in beauty."