My first year heading up the backstage tanning teams as a beauty pro meant I was under pressure to look and perform my absolute best. This year I made sure my skincare and haircare were up to scratch with an ultimate photo ready grooming and beauty London fashion week kit…
When it comes to London Fashion Week (or any stressful busy time in our careers) – it’s a mirage of late nights, early starts and an ever growing level of fatigue across my face. I’m using London Fashion Week as my reference here to the time in my calendar year when life gets tough. It’s my busiest time, clients flying in from all over the globe wanting spray tans, designers wanting me backstage working with their models to create golden skin, and make up artists wanting me as part of their teams. Needless to say – I get busy!
I’ve reached a point in my career after years of assisting the amazing Nicola Joss, whereby I’m now leading a team of assistants and working alongside PRs and digital teams. This comprises of devising tanning trends and new looks as well as working with new products backstage before they get launched to the consumer (ie YOU!). But it also means I am working late nights, sometimes with people I have never met and in this industry first impressions really do count. I also have to talk on camera at the drop of a hat and brief in groups of beauty journalists when I’m mid spray tan backstage (don’t worry I step away from the tent, there is no stark naked model fear not). What I guess I’m trying to put across to you is that I have to look my absolute best.
Two weeks before the madness kicks off I detox. Summer is over and thus I stop drinking, I stop eating carbs and I reduce the amount of dairy intake drastically to make my body less bloated, my skin clearer and also make me feel more ‘on it’. I book in to have a glycolic acid and lymphatic drainage facial – this might sound terrifying but it isn’t at all, it’s essentially having the skin massaged upwards and the glycolic acid just improves the skins texture so I look more alive. Think glowy, not beekeeper.
During London Fashion Week I am forced to rely on 6 hours sleep a night. Some nights I only have 4 (I can hear Mums rolling their eyes) so I plan my skincare kit down to a tea – I have no time for rummaging around at 4am for a products in the darkness while my other half sleeps and my taxi is outside.
I rely on the collagen boosting eye masks from Elemis. A firm staple in my grooming and beauty kit – they not only de-puff and sooth but you know what, when fatigue and tiredness kick in around the eye area – the Elemis eye masks simply feel amazing. They stick to your face too so you literally can carry on pottering about while they do the hard work.
Time really is of the essence and if you follow me on my Instagram you’ll know from my comments that I am in no way on this earth a morning person. I lost my favourite primer recently (Bare Minerals) but have found this spray on Photo Finish Primer Water from SmashBox to work a treat. I spray onto my face, and then brush my teeth so it has time to sink in a little.
I discovered Make Up Forever during my time working with a celebrity from America who absolutely couldn’t stop raving about this brand. I really like the HD foundations ability to stay put and look natural. I don’t wear foundation in the day usually, but backstage I am around some of the biggest make up artists in the world and the coverage from this isn’t cakey at all – it just makes the skin look more polished. The Make Up Forever HD Foundation also contains technology that permits it to not reflect the flash from a camera – winner (good for in-da-club selfies). As a beauty expert I am also expected to talk to TV channels and have my picture taken which requires a thicker base than using just a tinted moisturiser. If you’re worried about a foundation looking too thick, just mix it with moisturiser when applying it for the day.
My hair has recently been cut and bleached – and short hair looks great with a paste wax – especially if it has bleach in it (as bleach gives hair oodles of texture). I road tested this Volcanic Hair Paste from Sebastian. It stays put, and lets the hair look textured all day. I initially put way to much in my hair first time round, the hair wax definitely is a less-is-more.
If I’m working as hard, as I usually do during London Fashion Week, I crack into some SK-II. The secret weapon and hardcore aunt of the skincare world – SK-II is pretty pricey but boy does it deliver. The SK-II Mid Day Essence is a mist that can be sprayed on top of make up, and contains Pitera and MoistureLock Complex which penetrate through foundation and give the skin a midday drink. If any of you work around strong lights, backstage especially, this is brilliant as it prevents skin from drying out.
I discovered Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis a few months ago. I’m a sucker for fragrance as my sense of smell is incredibly sensitive – which means I’m constantly swapping scents and changing everything about. This brand is from the creators of Le Male Jean Paul Gaultier, so the founders know what they’re talking about. I actually use it to spray my bed linen (which it says you can do – it’s an all round scent). My room smells AMAZING when I come home stinking of sweat and feeling gross from a life backstage, and so this chic fragrance helps me relax. Call me ridiculous I don’t care. It’s DIVINE.
Finally, before bed I have to wash my face. Even if I’m not wearing any make up I physically cannot sleep without cleansing off the dirt. I go through cleansers at a pretty speedy rate – currently this one from Aveda is getting some hammer. I mix the Aveda Cleansing Balm with a pea sized amount of water and rub into a lather on my hands before applying to my face. My skin is left soft and clean, and the aroma instantly begins to help me unwind. Brilliant.
To some this routine may seem ridiculous. Maybe it is. But for me this is a well oiled ship. A slimmed down skincare routine that acts fast, delivers with a punch and doesn’t mess me around. Don’t get me wrong I’m back on the red wine now but fashion week, much like a stressful campaign or project – really can take every last fragment of your energy. Proceed with caution but ensure your kit is more than ample.