Michelle Rosenberg meets two women determined to transform Hertfordshire into their own ideal beauty spot…
LAURA Taylor Vann has never done things by halves. Her young son and twin daughters would attest to that. The 47-year-old owner of beauty business Maison du Vann, which offers pampering, beauty and personal shopping services, realised at a young age that she loved making over people. Including men! she laughs.
By the time she was 19 she had secured a place on a BBC theatrical make-up course while completing a business studies degree at college at the same time.
Long hours and even longer days on a shoot were the norm, she recalls. At that point in time the BBC would only train in house, so all meetings took place up at Portland Place. The studying and photography shoots would be wherever they decided you would go. It was extremely competitive as it was the only way in to the industry then.
Lauras passion for make-up began on the high street in Top Shop and Miss Selfridge. They used to sell these fantastic metallic eyeshadows that I would use for other things, including as highlighters, lipsticks and brow lighters. I would mix them on the eyelids to create combinations of colours it was the 80s and we could do that back then! I also liked combining them with Vaseline on lips and various translucent powders to create an interesting illuminating look for various parts of the face.
Some ten years later, having had a family and whilst working full time managing a software company, she decided to return to the beauty industry and create Maison du Vann, her own vision for a one-stop beauty shop with a difference. The company runs trials of all the latest fads and then tweets their findings.
How many people do we hear saying they feel so much better because they had their hair or nails done, or found a wondrous new product that works miracles? We need a one-stop-shop that can actually offer impartial advice to its customers and help them in their quest to feeling great.
A chance discussion about eyelash extensions led to a meeting with the revered Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa in New York and it grew from there. Laura was commissioned to teach them everything she knew.
From New York, it was a quick jump to a pivotal meeting in Los Angeles in 2009 where she was introduced to a make-up artist and hairdresser salon owner at one of the prominent restaurants near Rodeo Drive. She soon found herself with access to celebrity clients and an invitation to do eyelashes for the Oscars.
Now Laura has brought this expertise and passion back to Hertfordshire and is continuing to grow her business.
I absolutely love giving makeovers or unders to people and helping them feel glamorous and good about themselves, she says.
And her advice? I do recommend users to try all types of make-up, sticking with those that work and look good but also trying new things at the counters, leaving them on for the day and seeing how they wear.
Whilst she loves the Dior range and Estee Lauder, Laura recommends Georgio Armani.
I love their award-winning illumination range of make-up: bronzers, foundations, bases and highlighting. They are the easiest to apply either with fingertips or brush.
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