TRIGGER WARNING: This month's They Say, By Rey Journal discusses the heartbreak of miscarriage & fertility. 

Through a year of ups, downs, learnings and love - we’re closing out the year with a journal that feels just like a big hug. Rey family - meet one of our fave ladies Lou Rae. While we pestered Lou for all the tea on celebs she has worked with over the years, we came away with more than just a few giggles but a sense of empowerment & privilege to cross paths with someone so genuine, relatable & resilient. 

As a female owned and operated business, we always feel our journals connect and provide a sense of comfort amongst our community. Hearing from other women going through similar life stages, achievements and challenges reminds us about what’s important - it’s love, it’s friendships and it’s purpose. This month we felt that a little extra and can’t wait for you to read all about our beautiful guest.


Lou! Anyone that knows you, loves you and we’re no exception. A long-time friend of rey, the label, Mum, makeup artist and a million other things. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us and be a part of our monthly journal.
Aww! Of course! Thank you for having me, I feel honoured you asked me and it is true, I am a long time friend and fan of rey – I love rey!

Firstly, so many of those reading will relate to you as they too have a zillion balls in the air. Tell us a bit about yourself, your current role with Mecca and your side business Y&L Beauty.

I am born and raised in Auckland and am a North Shore girl through and through. I love the beach and have to put my feet in the sand every day to feel grounded. I am a single mumma to one beautiful human tween, Nia-Grace and a fur baby Coco. 
I have been in the beauty industry for over 25 years, starting out as a hairdresser then fell into makeup and have been lucky enough to travel the world, work with incredible people, celebrities, and opportunities for my job as a beauty educator and makeup artist - I often think I could write a book on what not to do as a makeup artist, as I tend to find myself in rather funny, outrageous circumstances in the beauty industry! 

This past year I have been focusing on my new role with MECCA in the Education Department and I also have a side beauty business with one of my beauty besties. BUT.. don’t be fooled…I drop one of those zillion balls on the regular – what I have come to realise recently is that you have to be kind to yourself and remember not every day will go according to plan and run smoothly and that’s ok!

A pretty incredible career path you’ve had (guys, Lou did the make up for Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas and we can’t deal!) What have been some career highlights so far? And please spill some of your favourite celebs you’ve worked with…

Gosh I have had so many highlights, I am very grateful and lucky when I look back on my beauty career - I still can’t believe it’s my job?! What always stands out is working with like-minded creatives and making memories most people would never experience in their lifetime. 

I have travelled to amazing places like Hong Kong and Sydney to work on Fashion Weeks, I have been able to attend makeup masterclasses in the likes of NY, L.A., Canada, Miami, Puerto Rico and Sydney. I have watched and learned from the world's best in beauty. 

I lived in Sydney for a time and worked on a TV show about Super Models and created makeup looks each week for the likes of Shanina Shaik. I have worked in photo and TV studios, they are always so interesting and fun plus being backstage at events like the Australian MTV Music Awards will always be a highlight. 

I probably feel the most comfortable and natural in-front of a room full of people talking about beauty, sharing knowledge and helping other artists grow. I am very lucky to have been given some incredible opportunities in my time, however it’s only since joining MECCA have I finally become “cool” (according to my 12 year old! – eye roll!)

Re the spilling…..Dancing with John Legend, The Black Eyed Peas and Common at a very small afterparty as I finished touring as Fergie’s makeup artist was pretty cool. Helping Kim Kardashian pull up her undies.....that’s a whole other story.
Dropping a whole tub of loose powder on Dizzee Rascal’s pants was not so much a highlight but definitely stands out in the ‘LOUISE GET IT TOGETHER’ moments I have had – haha. I have so many and they are generally all embarrassing and hilarious. Actually, one thing I look back and think, ”WHAT!” was the time I was asked to do Lady Gaga’s makeup and I said no because I had tickets to the Pussy Cat Dolls concert with my big sister on the same night and wasn’t available! HAHA looking back, not the best decision. 

Almost everyone reading will have a huge stash of makeup in their bathroom, it’s so common that we forget what a true artform it is. We know how incredible it feels to get your makeup done professionally, but for you that’s your day-to-day and is so unique from a 9-5 desk job. How do you maintain your creativity and passion? And what do you do on the days you aren’t feeling that artistic spark?

My role in the beauty industry has evolved over the decades and I have always been in and loved beauty education – so I am lucky I have a nice mix of hands on artistry, education, planning and mentoring and helping others grow their confidence in the beauty industry. I do have times when I am faced with artistic blocks and second guess if I should even be a makeup artist. 

Aside from work life, you’re a solo Mumma to the most rockstar 12-year old I think we’ve ever seen. It’s easy to tell she’s your daughter, effortlessly fashionable (and probably a little bit sassy?) As a team of girls, some of us have been raised by single Mums and wouldn’t have it any other way. We feel the bond becomes more like sisters, navigating things together. How did your perspective change after having Nia-Grace and what are some of your favourite parts of your lifestyle together?

I love Nia-Grace or Nini or Nia as she likes to be called (sigh!) with all my heart – recently we have both been through another big life change and I am so incredibly proud of how she has handled everything and adapted to our new normal with grace and maturity. I never thought we could but over the past few months we have become closer than ever, I can’t even explain it. I am so proud of her and I for all that we have been through and I look forward to the day in years to come when we can both have a cocktail, debrief on our past and cheers to us and how strong we are! In terms of my perspective on life - she comes first no doubt, she teaches me so much about life and myself and I will be eternally grateful for that.

We feel that style and makeup go relatively hand-in-hand - have both been something you've loved since you were young or did one come first?

I loved putting together an outfit from my Mum’s early 80’s wardrobe when I was little (yes I am that old!) I still have plenty of photos I love looking back on. Like every girl, I had a heap of Barbies I would style in cool outfits and design clothes for them and beg Mum to make the designs for me. I also loved styling my room, I would strategically place open fashion magazines or books (Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan book anyone) on my bed and my walls were covered in Dolly Magazine photoshoot posters. So yes, always been a big fan of styling in many areas but I was never into makeup until I was older but I definitely loved deep burgundy 90’s lipstick according to all of my teenage ball pics!!
*TRIGGER WARNING - MISCARRIAGE* You have been candid about your fertility journey and the heartbreak of going through multiple miscarriages. As a woman we admire and someone who has had to hold down other areas of life, while also processing such a difficult time. What advice do you have for any women experiencing the same?
I am very vocal about my struggles with not only fertility but mental health, heartbreak and being a single mum. I find talking openly about personal areas in life and getting things off my chest to be therapeutic and my hope in sharing my journey is for people who are also going through similar situations to know that they aren’t alone.
No matter what someone’s fertility journey looks like, it's hard, heart breaking, confusing and sad but it is so important to remind ourselves and each other that we are not alone. For a long time I tried to hide my heartbreak and miscarriages from Nia-Grace but then I realised it's part of life and unfortunately not everything goes to plan - it's how we deal with it and what learnings and growth we take from our experiences that’s most important. Nini knows she has 8 angel brothers and sisters up in the clouds looking down and guiding her, as do I. 
Most people would be surprised to know how many women in their circle will have quietly been through fertility problems. Do you feel your perspective in other areas has shifted through this journey?
I think we need to talk more about fertility issues and the heartbreak of miscarriage – 1 in 3 women in New Zealand have experienced it and it makes me so sad to think women (like myself at times) are out there navigating it alone.
My life has been full of ups and downs and looking back on every single experience, I wouldn’t change a thing as I know it has all made me stronger and the person I am today. Even though I still have a long way to go in my own journey of life - recently starting the single mum road again and navigating everything that has been thrown our way, it has only made us stronger. However I am looking forward to a holiday in the sun with many cocktails!  
Thank you so much Lou, we feel extremely privileged to hear about all areas of your life. You are such a special person and represent so many of our core values here at rey. Before we finish, our final question which we ask all our guests - What would we find in your handbag right now?
HAHA easy – 2 Summer Fridays lip butter balms in Pink Sugar and Vanilla, a M.A.C Fix Plus Spray, one thousand hair ties, two thousand lollypop sticks from my wee mini me, my PRADA wallet I was given when I lived in Italy in my very early 20’s which I love and still use to this day and my car keys which I lose on the daily.

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