Short and Sweet

Hello All,

So I’ve been up in the country being lazy once again!  I should in fact say attempting to be lazy as no time off is ever really ‘time off’, as the countless telephone interviews and emails to answer seem never ending at the moment!  All for exciting projects to work on when I get back to London so can’t complain really.  I last left you on my return from Edinburgh, where the next morning I found myself running round like a headless chicken trying to get some loose ends tied up before I set off back up to Herefordshire.  I had a quick lunch meeting in town at my current favourite restaurant Pollen St Social with a top BBC exec, well I say it was meeting it was more of a gossip for an hour, and a lovely yet naughty one at that!  Then home to pick up my bags and off we went…

As you all know every time I head to the country I wave goodbye to my diet, as the countless dinner parties with friends and everyone from Hons, Lords, Ladies and locals seem to overwhelm me.  I figured it might be easier to keep in check this time if I invited them all to mine so I could at least keep an eye on what I was serving, so needless to say we’ve had a house full the past week.  Days spent vintage shopping around Ludlow and Leominster, and rifling through charity shops from here to Abergavenny.  I really do find so many of my red carpet dresses in these shops, and a broach or fabulous necklace from my QVC collection just adds the finishing touch. 

One of the days I was here I took the train over to Cardiff with Tully my assistant PA to watch The Sound of Music tour, and let me tell you Jason Donovan was a revelation.  I did a workshop with him many years ago, and to say the man couldn’t dance was an understatement, and yet here he was dancing the Lendler with such elegance it took my breath away.  Overall the show was fabulous, and if you get the chance do go and see it.

Sadly the following day the trains were all cancelled and so I couldn’t get down to London to celebrate Craig Revel Horwood’s British Citizenship ceremony, but I’m sure a right royal time was had by all, and congratulations Craig!  We’ll crack out the champagne when I’m back.

Another fantastic family day we had out was to the seaside town of Aberaerron.  I’m sure you all saw the picture I posted on Twitter of the immense rain, but that didn’t stop us from exploring around and having yummy fish and chips (well no chips for me!) and enjoying the amazing views and pretty town.  If ever you find yourself over in Wales make sure to take a trip as the fresh sea air is so exhilarating, well bracingly freezing actually!  

As much as I’ll be sad to leave as it’s the end of the summer and I know I won’t be back for another couple of months, I have so many great things happening in London, and I cant’ wait to get started on the next round of projects. So many fantastic things I’ll soon be able to share with you…  Just wait till next week’s blog for starters, it’s going to be a busy week!

Till next time

Love Arlene x

Busy, busy and busy

Hi guys,

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last checked in with you, and I’m so glad you all liked Alana’s blog on my makeup secrets last week, might have to get her to do another one soon! 

So the week began with a photoshoot with both myself and Alana to promote a charity that I’m involved in, The 4children and Family Heroes Awards. For more details and to nominate your hero go to  The closing date is the 26th August so there’s still time to apply if you can think of anyone you know who deserves this. “he Family Heroes Awards are all about celebrating those incredible people who go above and beyond the call of duty to help strengthen families in times of need. Bringing up a family is not easy and sometimes it’s only the support of others that gets you through the toughest challenges. Family is the most important thing we have and the heroes these awards honour are worth their weight in gold. I look forward to October when the awards take place, and I get to meet all the amazing people who have been nominated.  Just hearing about some of the wonderful and selfless things that people have done for each other just brings tears to my eyes, and I know it will be a very special night.

We all know what a devastating  week we have had and  it’s so sad to see the city take such a tumble.  My heart goes out to the poor people who lost everything. Let’s get London dancing again and put the life back into it!

Tuesday was a very self indulgent morning, not something I often get to say – and I went for a facial at QMS Medicosmetics.  I have to say I have never experienced anything like it, having pure oxygen blown over my face and a special mask that moulds to your skin it was like nothing else, and the results were miraculous, my skin felt and look just heavenly.  So fresh faced and glowing I made my way home for a day in the office with Coco my fabulous PA – or should I say right arm!  It’s been a while since we really got a chance to sit down and go through everything together, it sometimes astounds me just how much there is to do, even Coco has an assistant, the equally fabulous Tully, who I suppose we’ll call my left arm!

Wed was a super busy day, starting with work on the DVD for my new dance book, then it was on to a lunch meeting with the divine Ben Latham Jones, where we sat and came up with ideas to turn a very iconic film into a musical, oh if only I could tell you about it… Some things are worth the wait though, and wait you shall… 
After lunch it was over to the Wizard of Oz to see how my little Munchkins were getting on, and of course being over that way I couldn’t resist popping into Liberty, one of my favourite shops, not just for what they sell but also the building itself.  To say I left empty handed might be a fib, so I won’t.  But it was only a little something…  Oh why does shopping always make me feel so guilty!  Still it was back to work again, and then home for a delicious roast with some family friends, where of course I felt guilty all over again for stuffing my face, but the company was wonderful, a good day all round I’d say.

It was an early Thursday morning, and Radio Scotland was the first stop to talk about my trip to the Edinburgh Literary Festival.  Then on to do some filming with my very old friend Brian Grant, who I worked with on many of the huge pop videos back in the 80’s, and that of course was our topic for discussion.  After filming we went for dinner and a proper catch up, and discussed a very new and exciting project we want to start working on, it seems there’s so much in the pipeline at the moment I wish I could share it all you with you.  I suppose we’ll see in a few months what I get to write about, and how many of these wonderful ideas are realised.

Friday and Saturday blended as both were about my Marisota clothing collection, Friday was a day of fittings in preparation for Saturday’s shoot, so not much to report there, but Saturday was a fantastic day, so many outfits to shoot and we raced through!  My hair and makeup looked the best yet, and I love this new collection so much.  Lots of bold prints and gorgeous structured dresses, delicate cardigans and flowing trousers – I just know you’re going to love it.  

Bright and early on Sunday morning Alana and I made our way to Heathrow to wing our way to what was surprisingly sunny Edinburgh.  Due to our flight annoyingly being delayed we didn’t arrive till lunchtime, so of course it was straight to find food on arrival.  We were staying at the beautiful Missoni Hotel, right at the top of the Royal Mile where the heart of the festival is, and all around us were people handing out flyers, acting out scenes and generating  audiences for their productions, so busy was not the word!  A trip to my beloved vintage shops was all I wanted to do so Alana and her astounding knowledge of how to get around the city lead me to a few, but no success and we returned back to the hotel empty handed.  It was a long afternoon out, so by the time we had unpacked, showered and changed it was time to make our way to dinner at the famous and fabulous Witchery, where we were joined by my good friend and wonderful children’s author Francesca Simon, who writes the Horrid Henry books.  The food was divine, and it was like time stood still as two and a half hours later we were still chatting away, so it was back to the hotel to continue gossiping late into the night. 

Monday morning was my reading at the book festival, and after getting me ready, Alana came to watch with another old friend of ours Frances Ruffelle, who I have know since the beginning of the Starlight days!  `The event went brilliantly, and the enthusiastic response from both the kids and their parents who came to watch was so overwhelming.  I read a section from one of my books, and then had a Q&A session with some great questions being asked, and then had my picture taken as a visiting author, something I was very proud to do!
Myself, Frances and Alana then went off into town for the afternoon, shopping and lunching, although actually all I bought were tea towels!  Who says my life is glamorous…
Soon it was time to return to the hotel, pack up and make our way back to the airport to return home, where this time the flight was so speedy we actually arrived early!  As much fun as I have away, I always say “there’s no place like home”.

So this brings me up to today, 

So till then…

Love Arlene x

Its my turn!

Hi everyone!

 So, due to Arlene being away and hibernating in the country last week I thought I’d take over and write about “being my mother’s daughter” as I’m so often asked what it’s like being related and working together, and how I create Arlene’s ‘look’.

 Growing up in the shadow of someone so successful has been a somewhat daunting experience, but ultimately it has made me a really driven person, which is great when it comes to work ethic as I don’t know anyone who works harder than Arlene.

 I got into doing makeup about 5 years ago after giving up a career in Musical Theatre – yes of course being the daughter of Arlene Phillips, dance was always going to be the main influence in my life – but it wasn’t until quite recently when Mum felt I was really good enough that we started working together as much as we do. 

 It’s funny as when we’re out and about as a family and Mum is in her usual get up of casual clothes, no makeup, hair in a clip, she usually get’s something like “Oh you look just like that Arlene Phillips”, but should we be on our way out or if we’ve just finished a shoot and she’s in hair and makeup – the reaction is quite unbelievable.  She must get stopped every 5 paces by someone telling her how much they miss her on Strictly, or what does she think of the show this year.  I can’t imagine what it must be like being so recognisable from one show, which in reality was such a small part of what she did throughout the year anyway.  Of course it’s so lovely to know people still miss her and the support she received from the public was and still is amazing – but it must be hard as well to always be reminded.

 Anyway, working as Arlene’s makeup artist is the same as any family business, you try and leave personal feelings at the door, but of course there are always going to be those days when one of you is in a bad mood and that personal connection just sneaks through and we can’t help but take it out on each other, although on the plus side she always makes sure I have nice food and I get from A-B, definitely the perks of the job! 

 Arlene looks amazing for her age that we all can agree on, but a good diet and great skincare routine certainly help and make my job as a makeup artist that much easier as I have a great canvas to work from.  I always use a makeup primer to start with as that holds the foundation in place and helps create that flawless look.  Arlene likes the Dr Murad Oil Control Mattifier and the Perfecting Serum to protect the skin and prevent any oiliness, and then the Laura Mercier foundation primer – and that’s before we’ve got the foundation on, of which she loves the Armani brand, available in Selfridges.

 I always have the Urban Decay ‘Naked’ eyeshadow palette with me, a great range of golds, browns and greys perfect do the simple smokey eye look Arlene has, and also the Urban Decay brand is cruelty free, something Arlene and I are very aware of when it comes to cosmetics.  Boujoirs smokey effect black eyeliner inside the eye, and lots of Rimmel Grow Lash black mascara complete the effect, and then I finish with a translucent blot power and plenty of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick to bring out her amazing cheekbones and voila!

 For anymore tips and tricks, or if you see Arlene on a particular show and want to know how I created the look please email me at and I’ll answer all your questions on how I did it.

 To sum up, working with my Mum is a dream come true, and I hope to continue to do so for many more years to come.

Arlene will be back next week with all the gossip, so until then…

Love Alana x