WORKING with an international popstar on a cosmetics business and living in rural Aberdeenshire are not the most obvious bedfellows.
Yet meeting Laura McComiskie of Love the Planet, it is clear to see how she manages to take everything in her stride. Cool, calm and collected, Laura, 37, has run her own company for more than 12 years and began working with the Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt, four years ago.
Next month, Laura and Kimberly launch their own make-up line in Holland & Barrett. All of the products have been masterminded by Laura and Kimberly from Laura’s home base in Culter, south of Aberdeen.
“Kimberly and I first met when we had dinner together with my fiancé David at Nobu in London. We instantly hit it off as Kimberly shared my love of horror films,” laughs Laura. Since then, the two have come up with their own skincare range, Beautiful Movements, a mineral-based make-up range that has reduced allergens and is not tested on animals.
It is not Laura’s first venture into the cosmetics world, having founded her company, Love the Planet, in 2002 as a way of creating ecologically-minded products not tested on animals and using recyclable materials.
Kimberly had been a fan of Laura’s products for some time and when Laura’s fiancé, David Nicholson, former keyboard player with Scottish band Driveblind, first met the Pussycat Doll, he was playing a gig at the renowned Viper Room in Los Angeles. The Pussycat Dolls were often hanging out at the Viper Room and were also big fans of David’s band. Since that time they have continued to support each other.
Laura’s home has been the hub of the business for the past five years. Situated in the leafy suburbs of Royal Deeside outside Aberdeen it is a world away from Hollywood and Rodeo Drive where the couple used to be based.
Laura spent five years travelling back and forth from Los Angeles to Aberdeen when David’s band were at the height of their fame.
“I would go for a few weeks at a time. The boys in the band stayed in a little apartment in the Hollywood hills and we would either stay there or else move around in motels in the Hollywood area. I loved LA, but I couldn’t imagine living there forever,” Laura says.
“We had quite a surreal time there. We would go to parties and see people like the cast of Frasier and Friends. After David’s contract ran out we stayed for a while in the pool house of friends. It was an idyllic existence and we also travelled around that part of America. But reality struck and we came back to life in Aberdeen. I began seriously working on the cosmetics business and David took up a very different job working for the council,” she says.
Within a few months of their return, the couple bought their current home, a two-storey, two-bedroom cottage dating from the 1930s with a large garden. The garden was integral to their plan as they decided to build a cabin where Laura could work.
Stepping inside the cabin feels like walking into a little house. With pine walls and floors it has a fresh, inspiring feel to it.
A huge clock that Laura resprayed in bronze sits above the desk, and underneath the cupboards are filled with the creams and lotions that make up Laura’s unique brands
“I tend to spend most of my days tucked away in here,” says Laura, much like a young scientist. She was actually a finalist in the British Female Inventor of the Year award in 2002 for her re-usable washable make up pads.
“At the time I was a goth, wearing loads of black eyeliner and make-up, and one day I just thought it would save so much if these cotton pads could actually be used more than once,” she explains. Winning the accolade confirmed Laura’s commitment to her business and from then on she worked full time on her own company.
The couple’s home itself is relaxing and cosy, with a wood-burning stove in the centre of the sitting room and two chocolate-coloured leather sofas. An upright piano sits in a corner of the room beneath photographs of David playing at the famed House of Blues in California. A rich chocolate Dulux mocha paint colour adds to the feeling of warmth in the house.
Next to the sitting room is the kitchen, which is painted in pink and blue tones. A table is positioned to look out on to the grassy garden. Laura and David completely renovated the kitchen area, a space that had previously been a pantry and coal cupboard.
“Much of the house had not been touched since the 1950s,” explains Laura. The plaque above the door saying “Press & Journal” was a present from Laura’s father.
Upstairs, the bathroom was another area that had been untouched for half a century. The couple had to lower the level of the bath to accommodate the shower they installed.
The master bedroom is a mix of coffee colours, with a feature wall that sports an abstract floral print. And with her work space just a few steps away, this Aberdeen home has proved the ideal space for creativity. k