Women Leading – Phee’s Makeup Tips

Phee is a Sheffield based beauty blogger who blogs at Phee’s Makeup Tips and sells her own makeup at Phee’s Makeup Shop.


I really do love it when people see a gap, and just get up and fill it. I bought one of Phee’s eyeshadows last year and am still amazed at the quality and staying power.

What *first* made you think of making and selling your own make-up?

It was so hard to find products that were made in England that suited me and were what I was looking for. There are so many more indie brands in the US that follow the same concept as I do with Phee’s Makeup Shop products, but you either have to pay the shipping to get them from their own sites, pay an inflated price at UK stockists or wait until they come to a trade show like IMATS.
Being very pale, things like highlighter would always oxidise on me during the day or just wouldn’t look right, so that’s where the idea for The Original Glow Highlight Powder came from. Then from there I did my research and it was actually much easier than I thought, so I gave it a go!


Are you branching out into any new products this year?

Hopefully! The plan is there to do so, but it just depends if I get everything else done that means I’m able to invest in the development for them. I’d really like to create a new Glow Highlight Shade for Summer, and more eyeshadows. I also really want to give brow products a go.
For now all I know is that I’ll definitely be releasing the Marbled Glow Highlight Powders. I’m trying out a bigger pan size that’s almost double the original ones and a new technique to marble two highlight shades together.

Where do you find inspiration?

This sounds completely naff but it’s true: everywhere. If I’m clothes shopping and a texture or colour catches my eye, TV shows that I like, all sorts can set me off writing notes on new products.
I have a big box of sample jars that I’ve collected from developing the products that are on the shop so far. Sometimes I’ll just sit at my desk with that and pick out the ones I really like, then think what the product is going to be, when I’m going to release it and go from there. And inevitably order more sample pots because I’m like a magpie for those things!

What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?

Do it in little steps. Don’t think ‘right this month I’m going to change my diet, go to the gym, start my own website and begin building a business.’ because it’s very rare you’ll be able to focus on all those new things.
Even go as small as picking one task that makes up your end goal. For me I start with ‘today I’m going to write one email for my subscriber sequence’, and I’ll usually get that done in a couple of hours, so I set my next task.
I have a really short attention span, so I have to focus really hard on getting one thing finished before moving on to another. Going to the gym really helps me focus, I think of my day around the gym so I’ve got time frames for getting things done based on when I need to eat. It’s really worked for me.


Women Leading – The Travel Hack

Monica Stott is a travel blogger who runs The Travel Hack – one of the best travel blogs out there! I first came across Monica almost five years ago when I’d just discovered blogging and Twitter.


Last year, I got to meet her at an event in Leeds and despite such great online success, she’s remained incredibly down to earth and humble.

Monica has a real passion for travel and leads by example, even taking her one year old son George on trips around the globe with her. Anyone who leads by example is a leader in my book.

Monica, tell us about an experience that made you fall in love with travel.
I’ve always loved everything about travel – everything from the planning to the booking, packing and even going to the airport!
But the one experience that really made me love travelling was a trip I took to Jamaica when I was 19. Jamaica is a beautiful country but most people who visit end up staying in a 5* resort and rarely see much further than their private beach. We did something a bit different and stayed in eco lodges and tiny beach huts.
We hitch hiked to get around, ate at the street stalls where the locals cooked up the most amazing jerk chicken and really got to explore the country. It was such an amazing trip – especially when I was so young and everything was so new. After that trip I began saving for a long-term travel adventure. Two years later I went to South East Asia and I was truly bitten by the travel bug!
Do you have any trips planned for 2016 that you’re really looking forward to?
Most of my trips are pretty last minute so I don’t have too much organised for 2016. So far I’ve been to Valencia, Florida and I’m currently in Budapest so it’s been a pretty hectic year already. I’m really looking forward to spending some time chilling out at home!

I have lots of weekends away planned in the UK with some glamping trips to the countryside. I really love glamping and the British countryside is so beautiful that sometimes I don’t feel the need to go abroad.

I’m going skiing to Tignes next month too and it will be the first time my little boy will have been in the snow so I’m pretty excited for that!

What would you say to someone who is nervous about travelling solo?
If you have the choice between travelling solo or not travelling at all, which should you choose? Travelling solo can be scary but it’s much better than never living your dreams and visiting the places you’ve always wanted to see.
My number 1 tip is to make sure you’re super organised so that nothing can go wrong – that way you have nothing physical to be scared of. Now it’s just the mental fear of being alone which is probably the hardest thing to conquer. Start by having days out by yourself. Go shopping and go for lunch and you’ll probably have a fantastic time. Now imagine shopping and going for lunch in Paris and you’d have an even better time!
What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
Remember that you’re the only person responsible for your life. No one else is responsible for making you happy, for you having a successful career, for you being fit and healthy, for you making friends or anything else. It’s all on you. That sounds really scary but it’s true!
I think too many people blame others and blame external factors for things going wrong but the only thing that can make things right is you!
Thinking like this is definitely what helps me stay disciplined. When you work for yourself there is no one else to keep you in check so you have to be disciplined or you’d never make a living.
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Women Leading – Rachel

Meet Artist Rachel Horne – a creative maker based in Doncaster.


She co-edits Doncopolitan Magazine, works as an art therapist at a local hospice and delivers a number of commissioned projects.

Rachel is extremely passionate about injecting new creative life into Doncaster in all kinds of different ways. After six years of living in London, she returned to the North and quickly began to see opportunities where others saw nothing.

This led to the foundations for Horne & Draper, Doncopolitan and the design studio they now use.

Rachel, what has been the highlight of your life as an artist?
Exhibiting two of my film pieces at Tate Modern as part of ‘Art In Action’ in 2012. At that time the Tate seemed to be recognising new art forms and movements; things like connective aesthetics and social/political art work.
I knew an artist called Tracey Sanderswood who invited me to the Tate. She and I met at an arts space called The Foundry in East London – both Tracey and the venue were known for bringing together a wide mix of artists and activists. Tony Ben did radio from there, Pete Doherty ran a poetry night – until he got really famous, and was replaced by a poet called The Worm Lady whose poems all started with ‘Wiggly Woo Woo Wormy’.
At the Tate there were about 20 artists all screening short films about their work or projects – it was a real honour to exhibit. What added to the experience was the main artist chosen by the Tate to present Art in Action was Suzanne Lacy – Suzanne has been a huge influence on my work.
The other crazy thing was that my tutor from my degree was there – I hadn’t seen him in six years but he remembered me! He had gone on to become head of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Then I went back to my bar job in #TheDonx.
How does creativity enhance people’s lives?
This is difficult to answer because being creative is something that comes naturally to me. I’m just beginning to realise that not everyone is creative or knows how to be.
I believe creativity can help people and I’m passionate about helping people. We live in a society where we’re conditioned to consume rather than create – I think this makes people feel powerless. I think creativity is the starting point to empowering people, and this can and often does have a knock effect to other parts of their life.
What would you say to someone feeling frustrated and uninspired in a small town where ‘nothing happens’?
I think they should move away and experience other places, even if only to then appreciate that small town – there’s a famous Chinese proverb I love:
“Travel the world and all you’ll discover is the back of your neck.”
For me, moving to London led me to finding my identity as a miners’ strike baby from Doncaster! After London I saw Doncaster very differently and felt excited because it was a blank canvas in comparison to the big smoke.
I wasn’t planning to stay in Donny, but I kept meeting lots of interesting and creative people – who I’d previously snobbishly thought only existed in London. A small town has its advantages – it’s much cheaper, so you can make art while living on a shoestring. There’s no way I could afford the life I lead if I was in London.
I think a lot of people are cottoning on to this now – I think creative people will increasingly move to small towns because it’s the only affordable way to make art. I would have ended up living in a squat if I wanted to lead an artist’s life in London, my mum wasn’t very keen on that idea!
What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
Well, this made me chuckle – I’m crap with discipline! However, this year is a big year for me work wise. We’ve set up our publishing company Horne & Draper and taken on a design studio. There’s wages to pay and deadlines to meet so the struggle is real.
I’m having to sort out my typical artist attitude and am trying to channel my inner army general who gets shit done, delivers and is on time – I hope it’s going to work!