I’ve been very lucky in my career so far, I’ve had some incredible opportunities and amazing experiences. But my trip to LA with Urban Decay definitely sits at the top of that list… So this is a long blog post guys – I didn’t hold back! Grab a cup of tea/coffee and settle in – here goes…
An Insta-perfect wall made for photos!
Having stayed the night in a gorgeous hotel on the beach in Orange County, I arrived early on Tuesday morning at the Urban Decay headquarters in Newport Beach, an inconspicuous khaki-coloured building (purple, the brand’s official colour, would have attracted too much attention) nestled in an industrial estate off the main road.
I posed up outside the headquarters in my matching outfit
I was shown around the office, a huge expanse of warehouse decorated with opulent chandeliers and mementos – think hundreds of trophies and previous campaign shots – from the brand’s colourful past.
Imagine if this was your office? I’m applying, ASAP
The office is dog-friendly, and almost every employee had a canine friend either resting at their feet as they worked, or playing with the other dogs present. Sold – this tipped me over the edge and I promptly enquired into how I could apply to work there.
Yet the best was yet to come… Once I’d explored all the nooks and crannies of the building (the founder Wende has designed all of the toilets and they are INSANE! One is Alice and Wonderland-inspired and is as trippy as it sounds), I was led into the product cupboard, where all my beauty dreams came true. More of a big room than a cupboard, the space was filled with racks, drawers and pigeonholes stuffed full with every Urban Decay product you could imagine. I was told to take ‘anything you want’ and so a supermarket sweep commenced. Just kidding… Kind of. I left with a very big bag.
Tour over, I had the rest of the day to explore Newport Beach before two days of filming began on Wednesday. So, accompanied by really lovely girls Charlotte from UD and Nina from Debenhams Beauty, I headed to Laguna – mainly in the hope of spotting Lauren Conrad or Stephen Coletti (if you know, you know). We ate lunch on a rooftop bar overlooking the sea and sipped gin cocktails… Bliss. Take me back!
Looking out for Lauren Conrad at Laguna Beach in an ASOS dress
Watching the sun set from the pool at our beautiful hotel Pasea
After an early wake-up call on Wednesday morning, we headed back to UD HQ to begin filming. There was a hairdresser on hand who gave me the braided, wavy hair of my dreams (see below)! The actual filming went by in a bit of a blur… I’m not gonna lie guys, it was really scary. I was in a room full of people who watched in silence as I created intricate make-up looks on (a high res!!) camera. I’ve done lots of videos and Facebook lives at HELLO! but this was another level! To make matters worse, the camera I was talking to was behind a mirror, so I was actually just talking to my own reflection… Which is not ideal at the best of times!
My hairstyle for filming
In the middle of filming – probably v. flustered at this point!
How the final videos will look…
It was so much fun though, and I was really proud of the looks I created. I can’t wait for you guys to see them. On Thursday, I filmed another two videos with Amanda, UD’s make-up artist in residence. She’s super talented, and has an adorable pug called Fox (see below). Fox took a shining to me and we kept having to interrupt filming as he wanted to play fetch with his toy turkey!
Amanda’s gorgeous dog Fox, who took a shining to me!
Amanda and I did a contour tutorial, using the new Shapeshifter palette (it’s amazing, guys, you have to try) and then discussed our favourite UD Pro brushes. And that was a wrap! I was knackered, but on a high after creating some really cool content and having such a cool experience at the headquarters.
Filming with Urban Decay’s make-up artist in residence Amanda
And that’s a wrap! Filming at UD HQ ✓
We rounded off our Newport Beach trip with a gorgeous meal at The Deck, where we sipped some (well-deserved!) champagne cocktails and watched the sun set into the ocean.
Cocktails at The Deck in Laguna Beach
I then had the weekend to explore LA – one of my favourite places in the world! It has such cool, laidback vibes and is second-to-none for people-watching, my favourite pasttime. I stayed at the Mondrian, a very cool hotel in West Hollywood with a rooftop pool. I stationed myself at the pool and caught up with life admin/everything I’d missed from the past few days – all with a cocktail in hand, of course. I enjoyed two days of chilling, mostly by the pool, but also had lunch in Silverlake with author Lindsey Kelk (her books are awesome, check them out) and brunch at Soho House West Hollywood with my friend Michelle Trachtenberg.
The rooftop pool at the Mondrian in West Hollywood
The view from my hotel room!
If you are visiting LA, try and go to Soho House – it’s such a gorgeous spot with panoramic views of the city and the Hollywood Hills… The sunset there is beautiful. This time, I spotted Niall from One Direction, who was brunching with TOWIE’s Mark Wright (who was staying at my hotel, I’d bumped into him a few times) – a random pairing, I thought?!
The brunch was a great way to top off the most amazing trip. I was sad, but really excited about going home to see Benny and the cats! I flew back with Virgin Atlantic, who invited me into the cockpit to have a look around and take a picture (of course – if you don’t have a pic, did it even happen?).
My turn in the cockpit!
I’m now battling jetlag (it’s awful – anyone got any good tips?!) but so excited to share all the details of the trip with you! I really hope you enjoyed reading and if you have any questions at all please comment below or go to my Instagram!
Until next time – I need to leave the house before I crawl back into bed and fall asleep… Bloody jet lag!! xx