A lover of all things mid-century, Lynsey Le Keux founded Le Keux Events after finding it hard to source supplies and accessories for her own vintage wedding in the UK. Since going into the wedding planning business, she has added organizing burlesque and dirty dancing nights for bachelorette and bachelor parties, in addition to other special events. Once again, necessity required the multi-talented Le Keux to teach herself vintage hairstyling for promotional photo shots, and ultimately opened Le Keux Vintage Salon in Birmingham, England, and Sugabillys pin-up model agency in 2010. In 2012, she launched Le Keux Cosmetics, knowing exactly what her customers need to create the vintage looks they so desire.
Your makeup line as well as your events company are inspired by styles of the past. Why do you love vintage so much, and what era particularly speaks to you.
Firstly, it’s the aesthetic of mid century design that I love, whether its kitchenalia, atomic fabric patterns, or perfectly polished hair, I’ve always been drawn to the colors and looks of those eras. The fifties is my absolute favorite era; I love rockabilly music and style and Americana—diners and such like, and the cars! My favorite beauty looks are big victory rolls and curls, think Wanda from Cry Baby meets Bettie Page, with bold eyeliner flicks and red lips.
What eras and hairstyles are popular with your clients at the Le Keux Vintage Salon?
Victory rolls are hugely popular in the salon, along with traditional curl sets such as a Rita Hayworth wave or bombshell curls like Marilyn Monroe. Classic 30s inspired marcel waves are also popular for our bridal customers, its so pretty and glamorous for your big day.
The great thing about the classic vintage look is that its achieved with a simple makeup kit. Matte complexion is essential with a peachy blush. Eyebrows are a key element of vintage looks too, and shaded correctly can really frame your face and polish off the look. Eyeliner flicks are next, focusing color on the top lid only, drawn at an angle toward the edge of your brow is super flattering. And finally red lips of course, pillar box red is best and blue tone reds tend to suit all skin tones and colorings. This was the inspiration for our three products, a bright red, flexible lip color that can be worn matte or glossy for a Hollywood finish, peach lip and cheek paint, and true black liner with staying power and smooth application. Your brushes are also a key part of achieving the look, firm, high quality fibers are best, and look into the types of brushes your need for each product.
My trick is to apply, blot, apply, and then seal with translucent powder. Like all your makeup, sealing it helps with staying power and blotting compacts the color pigment and removes excess moisture which you might “wipe” off.
Any words of wisdom regarding starting a business, and following your passion?
I always say “discover what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” When starting a business, let your love of it lead over a desire to be super rich. Do your research and be honest with yourself about true demand for what you want to offer, and be true to your brand. I wear our makeup range every day so when I sell it to customers I know its something they will love and truly perform for them.
It’s exciting times with new ranges for our makeup and brushes currently in development. We’re also launching into men’s stag parties and grooming, all vintage themed of course. And we’re opening new salons across the UK too!