HLN meets… Lo Dobie
We chat to the Geordie make up artist about glamming the stars and launching No Filter Beauty with Vicky Pattison.
Lo Dobie – aka The Beauty Bom – has been working her magic as a professional makeup artist for over 10 years now.
The North East native has wielded her brushes to create standout looks for fashion shows, TV, campaign shoots and the red carpet – not to mention teaching masterclasses and creating content for world-renowned beauty brands. She’s painted the faces of stars including Love Island’s Mille Court, Paige Turley and ChloeBurrows, model Ellie O’Donnell and TV’s Katie Piper.
She sat down with HLN to chat about her career so far, share her top beauty tips, and let us in on an exciting announcement she’s been working on with her close friend and collaborator, Vicky Pattison…
Becoming a make up artist wasn’t always the plan, was it?
I’ve always been a creative person and, whilst I didn’t always know I wanted to be a makeup artist, I always really enjoyed doing mine and my friends’ makeup. I went to stage school from the age of 3 to 16 and always imagined I’d end up that field. At 16, I found I could no longer keep up with my peers and thought perhaps I’d lost my passion for it. But over the next couple of years, I became very unwell and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome. My body just wasn’t keeping up and I had stop stage school.
Is that when you discovered a love for make up artistry?
Kind of. I began working for a tanning brand, then later on the beauty counters at MAC and Urban Decay. After a while, I found my chronic pain and fatigue weren’t allowing me to stand all day and I had to leave, so I decided to focus on freelance work instead. Even on really bad pain days, I’d drag myself to shoots and then I could go home, crawl into bed and cry in pain. But getting up and doing something was a huge help. I started a creative studio with fabulous North East-based photographer, Marie Harkness, called Hidden Heights Creative Studio. I would glam all my fabulous clients there and soon became busy travelling the UK with work. My work took me down south and I later made the move to Essex.
When did you begin to work in campaign, television and celebrity make up?
I first started working with celebrities on red carpet makeup and photoshoots for events such as the National Television Awards. This was when various makeup brands would provide glam for the attendees, as a sponsor to the event. Before celebrities and TV personalities all had their own personal glam squad (as is the norm now), celebrities would come to an event room in a hotel and have their hair and makeup done by the team there, which is where I started out.
What’s the number one thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is to just be you and do you. There’s a lot of pressure and madness in this industry and trying to do what someone else is doing won’t get you far. Trust your own path.
You’re back living and working in the North East again – was that always the plan?
Yes, I always planned on coming home to the Toon! I wanted to live down south for a few years to give all parts of the industry a go and figure out where I fitted in. Now I’ve got to a point where I have lots of fabulous clients who support me and I get to pick and choose the work I really want to do. I just had a gut instinct it was time to go home. I started to realise, working non-stop down south for five years, that I had missed out on a lot of life and that I needed to find a better balance. So, now I’m usually in London a few days a week and then spend some quality time at home.
You’ve been a close collaborator with Vicky Pattison, becoming great friends along the way. How did the two of you meet and hit it off?
Vicky messaged me one day, as she needed her makeup done at the last minute. That was around eight years ago and we’ve just stuck together ever since! I’m super grateful for all the jobs Vicky has taken me on, it’s been quite the journey of travelling around the world – wild call times, 18-hour days and trying to keep each other sane! But it’s been fabulous.
We’ve heard you and Vicky have just embarked on a new collaboration in the last week, too…
Yes! I’m excited that myself and Vicky can finally reveal that we’ve been working on a beauty brand for the past two years! There have been lots of delays because of the pandemic, but No Filter Beauty has officially launched.
The collection will feature an eyeshadow palette and six lip kits. The shadows and lips come in colours we constantly use for looks, in the exact shades and formulas we want. It’s a dream come true to create products we love and I’m super grateful that Vicky had me join the project with her.
No Filter Beauty is the legendary Barry M’s first sister brand, and we couldn’t be more excited. Barry M helped us to find the perfect formulas – we have been really hands-on and it’s been such an interesting process. We wanted to create a brand that was all about being yourself and show the power makeup can bring in changing how you feel, without needing a filter.
And what advice do you have for readers who want to up their make up game?
One of my top tips is to work on your skincare first. If you’ve tried every foundation and powder going and can never get it to sit right, it could be more to do with skin dehydration or over-producing oils, etc. Makeup is amazing, but a good skincare routine massively helps. Seeing dermatologists and skin experts to get the right regime has made a huge difference to my own skin.
Another tip is looking for base products specifically for your skin type. If I had a tenner for every time I see someone post on social media saying: ‘I need a new foundation, what’s the best one?’ and then floods of comments come in from people saying what they like, but nowhere in the conversation is skin type or finish mentioned. Your best friend might love one foundation and look like a glowing goddess in it, but on you it could feel cakey if it’s not right for your skin type.
Can you let us in on how a big editorial shoot comes together? We loved your recent Cosmo cover shoot with Love Island’s Paige Turley.
I usually get a brief from the brand or magazine I’m shooting for. But, when your model is a celebrity rather than an editorial model, that person has their own identity, style and way they like to look. It’s up to me to find the balance between the brief and making the subject feel happy and confident in how they look.
Making up Paige for Cosmopolitan was super easy because she is so easy going! You could paint that girl blue and she would just smile. The brief was a soft, glowy, golden glam, which is Paige’s style, so it was just a lovely, fun day. Once I’ve finished creating the look, I go on set with Paige and check her makeup and hair on camera in a test shot, as lighting can really affect the makeup. If it’s really strong it can wash people out slightly, and they may need bronzing up or a little more powder. You always have to think about lighting when doing glam.
What keeps you going on a long shoot day?
So my go-to pick-me-ups are Sprite, hot chocolate and my chihuahua, Baloo! I’m allergic to coffee, so I basically run off sugar and good vibes. I can’t always take Baloo to work, but when I do he really makes everyone smile. He gets way more attention than me on my Instagram, someone suggested I release Baloo merch! I do question how my dog became a little celeb though – he was actually in a magazine recently with my client, Saffron Barker. It cracked me up!
What’s your favourite part of your job? And the least glamorous aspect?
My favourite part is making people feel amazing and the worst part is all the prep that goes into that, and struggling to switch off. I spend a lot of time cleaning a tonne of brushes, working long hours and replying to emails 24/7. The job does creep into your personal life a lot, and I’m trying to find a better balance with it all. All of that on top of being chronically ill is a little extra hard work, but it’s just what I have to do in order to do what I love.
Tell us your favourite places to go out in the region…
My favourite place for food in the whole of the North East is Dabbawal – it’s Indian street food and it’s everything! I highly recommend the chef’s surprise menu. I head to R Place for hot drinks and the best sweet treats. My friend Emily owns this place with her lovely friend, Rachel, and they make the most amazing donuts. I get my lash extensions done by Lexi at LMR in Cramlington and always get compliments on them!
And be sure to follow No Filter Beauty for all the info on the brand’s latest launches.