How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. © Sugarscape
If you’re at all clued in to the international beauty world, the name Lou Teasdale will be a familiar one. She’s been on the scene since 2010, when her association with a certain X-Factor-formed boyband pushed her into the public eye. She was the primary hair stylist for the famous fivesome for years, though this, in my opinion, is the least of her accomplishments, which certainly says a lot.
Before spending her life touring with the band, Lou earned a degree from the London College of Fashion. She assisted other stylists for five years with no pay, not averse to doing her time on the beauty training circuit in order to get ahead. Her first ‘big break’ came when she earned her spot assisting stylists on the X Factor, where she worked for five years. She was picked up by the X Factor tour and shortly after skyrocketed into worldwide fame as the sharp-accented beauty styling quiffs in the behind-the-scenes clips of the band.
During this madness, Lou wrote and released her book, The Craft. I will try not to get too emotional about The Craft since I am a grown woman and I like to playact at dignified, but it is the exact sort of girl-power beauty manual I wish I’d had as a teenager. In it, Lou teaches novices and skilled stylists alike how to try new, edgy styles, all while encouraging adolescent women to ‘try their own styles’ and ‘be individual’. It is a spunky, awesome ode to girls everywhere with advice on everything from foundation to braiding to properly applying (the right) false eyelashes.
All of that is surely enough reason to admire the creative, funky spirit that is Lou Teasdale, but we haven’t even reached the true cause of my near-worshipful adoration: she’s also a mother.
She had a kid with her then-boyfriend in the middle of her whirlwind career, when she was touring with the band and getting used to the rock’n’roll lifestyle of constant travel. Any sane woman would have considered giving up, taking some time off, maybe settling down for a bit before considering getting back into the mad swing of living by the schedule of an explosively popular boyband. Lou Teasdale, though? She just popped out quite possibly the cutest, most English child ever made, and then got right back to it. She folded her daughter into her routine so seamlessly that it made any other option seem ludicrous.
Seamless. © Lou’s Instagram
When I was pregnant and a junior in college, I felt hopeless. I felt like the doors of life had all slammed firmly shut before they’d even opened, and this feeling carried on well after Lucy was born, well after I’d successfully earned my degree. I was a mother now and my future was set, regardless of what might have been. That’s how it felt, cloistered as I was behind thick Southern values and the well-meaning, condescending eyes of the women around me, all of which seemed to scream ‘well, yeah!’
And then I stumbled across Lou. I became borderline obsessed with her, poring over her Instagram, her old Vine account, her Snapchat. She was amazing; she was traveling the world, she was creating fresh, original art, she was being so openly and unapologetically individual and unrestricted, all with her daughter in tow. She didn’t make apologies for having a child around; she simply adapted, ensured that her little girl (whose name is Lux, by the way) was taken care of with noise-cancelling headphones before plugging right into the the lifestyle she’d known before. She was doing everything she’d done before and more, and I couldn’t get enough of her.
To be fair, I still can’t. How could I? She’s the definition of a successful, dynamic woman. She works for London’s trendiest hair salon, Bleach, which was founded by her twin sister Samantha. She jumpstarted and co-taught a fully-funded program called Beauty School Dropout, which selected a handful of talented young women and familiarized them with the finer points of hair and makeup artistry. She has been such a poignant, intelligent example on how to co-parent with an ex, one so lovely and mature and friendly that it assuaged my own ‘what-if’ fears of me and Orie not working out. She’s a regular contributor at Elle UK and has an Instagram filled with soft-grunge inspired looks, not shying from the feminine though never scared to dirty it up a bit.
In short, I love Lou Teasdale. I love her as an artist, because she undoubtedly is a genius at her craft. I love her as a woman, because through her own fearlessness and determination, she has proven that a girl can be anything she wants to be, regardless of what factors may try to hold her back. I hope she continues to know boundless success, and I will continue to voyeuristically watch her Snapchat stories every day and wistfully wish that I was one of her fabulous Book Agency gal pals, with Lucy a member of the darling English playgroup of children who all say “mummy”.
Probably the other children in the playgroup. © The Queen, I guess?
Thank you, Lou <3