Facialist: Dominika Dracz-Le Grange

After my facial, I thought I’d find out more about the beauty professional behind my treatment.  Hailing originally from Poland, Dominika Dracz-Le Grange has been a professional therapist for 11 years; working with only the most luxurious, niche brands in the industry.

 

Explain your role at Biologique Recherche (BR)?

As a National Trainer, I am responsible for providing initial and refreshing training to all our sites – this includes new and existing therapists, reception teams.

I ensure all the teams who work with BR are up to date with the knowledge and provide the highest customer service when dealing with clients.  I also represent the company outside during different industry events. I deal with different enquires from our clients.

Did you grow up in London?

No, I’m originally from Poland, but I’ve been in the UK for the past 12 years. London is my home now. I grew up in the South of Poland, in a small town. I studied in the big city. After I qualified, I decided to move to London.

How does the typical Polish skincare routine differ to the English?

Eastern European ladies have got a different approach to skincare. We rather prevent it, then treat it or fix it later on. So, I remember going with my mum to the beauty therapist – I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I remember waiting for her until she got her treatment done and it wasn’t once every 2 or 3 months…it was like once or twice a week sometimes! (laughs). My mum believes in massaging, and the different massaging techniques. She was always going for a massage.

We look after our skin, and in general, I think we do more at home. However, obviously, it’s changing over here, but that’s just in comparison.

“Eastern European ladies have got a different approach to skincare. We rather prevent it, then treat it or fix it later on”

 

How did you get into the beauty industry?

I initially worked for skincare brands in retail. I always knew that I would be a trainer for a skincare brand. So, I worked my way up really! So that’s how it started.

Have you always had an interest in skin and beauty?

Yes, pretty much. Biology and Chemistry were always my favourite subjects at school. So that’s why I felt that going into beauty would be a good choice for me. However, it wasn’t my first choice as I studied Economics back home (in Poland). But the knowledge hasn’t gone away..as I still combine it with what I do now.

Why did you choose to work for BR? Was there something in particular that attracted you to the brand? 

Yes, there is lots of science behind the brand. Also, it has very different techniques for facials. In the UK, BR is still very niche. Throughout my career with beauty, I have never worked with high street brands. I’ve always worked with quite niche brands. I think the quality of the products is always much better and they are passionate about the products and what they do…and I found that in BR.

They are constantly developing and evolving. They work on improving the existing formulas and work on coming up with new formulations. BR always aims for the best. You never stop learning with BR – there’s always something new to learn.

How would you describe BR in 3 words?

Cutting-edge. Innovative. Highly bespoke.

How would you say that BR differs from other skincare brands in the premium market?

Again that goes back to the high personalisation…we are a highly personalised brand. We prescribe you the products, while other brands don’t. Other brands may have started to do that, but we’ve been doing this 40 years. We started it first.

There’s loads of science behind it, always new techniques because obviously, we have Dr Allouche working on new protocols for new products too. BR is constantly growing.

What are your three favourite BR products?

It’s difficult to say, but I would say for me it’s Lotion P50, Biomagic Masque – I like the lifting, toning effect. Serum T.E.W.L – because I love oils, this is the only oil we do at BR. So it has a really rich formula and its based on mink-fat. It also contains raspberry seed oil and cranberry seed oil. A combination of different oils, so it’s nice and rich. I find my skin to be very dry and it absorbs oil very well.

 

“…we are a highly personalised brand”

 

Really?! I wouldn’t know that you have dry skin?

Well.. (laughs). BR products are working magic on it. My skin likes rich formulas.

What is your morning beauty routine?

I cleanse my skin with the Au Micellar Water Biosensible, I then use Lotion P50V, and then a combination of different quintessential serums. So I use the Colostrum, Collagen Natif, Elastin Pure. So I mix them together and then apply the Creme VG Derm. I also use eye cream – the Creme Contour Sensibio. Then finish with makeup.

What about your night time routine?

My night time routine is very simple. I just remove all of my makeup with the Lait E.V, and Solution Démaquillante pour Les Yeux. Then I either use one of my creams either VG Derm or Crème Dermo-RL, depending on what I used in the morning…so I do alternate them or I do the Overnight Masque Vernix – this is a very good overnight treatment for drier skin.

How do you maintain your body skin?

Well, obviously I take a shower every day! (laughs), sometimes a bath – but I’m too impatient for bathing. I then use the Lotion P50 Corp (only 2 or 3 times a week). It comes with a silicone glove, which has a great effect on stimulating the lymphatic and blood circulation.

I use a combination of different body products – so I might use the Emulsion Corp VIP 02, or the Creme Dermo-RL (depending on the season, or whether my skin feels very dry). I like to use Creme Dermo-RL on my legs during the winter.

If I’ve been standing or walking a lot during the day, I use Crème Défatigante on my legs. It’s a cream which calms the legs and promotes blood circulation.

What are your beauty secrets in achieving great skin?

Everything in moderation! Don’t overdo it. I try not to over-exfoliate, although sometimes I’m really tempted to. Especially nowadays, we tend to think the more we do something, the better – which is not always the case, unfortunately.

What three skincare/make-up products could you not live without?

A Good cleanser- Biologique Recherche Lait EV, a moisturiser – Biologique Recherche VG Derm (at the moment) and mascara.

 

“Everything in moderation! Don’t overdo it”

 

How much do you spend a month on beauty (skincare and makeup)?

Not much to be honest as I’m not a product junkie at all, so it’s probably anything between £50-£150 a month depending what I need to replace.

Regarding the clients/customers that you meet, what would you say are the most common ‘skin mistakes’ that they make?

Over-exfoliation, especially for more mature clients. Using loads of different products which are acid-based, as sometimes they don’t work together. For younger clients, not taking off their make up off is a big thing! Or not even thinking about the necessity of taking off their makeup.

The two most important products I would say for your skin are a good cleanser and moisturiser. You can have the best moisturiser, but if you don’t cleanse your skin – it’s not going to do anything for your skin.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love yoga – so I go a few times a week. I also learn French. I used to speak French when I was at school, but because I haven’t been using the language for almost 18 years – I pretty much forgot it all. I decided to go back to it and start again. Otherwise, I just hang out with friends for dinner.

Where’s your favourite place to eat?

That’s hard to say; there’s so much available in London! I like this restaurant called Kiln – its Thai, and it’s on Broadwick Street. I like Bao. I love Italian too – especially seafood pasta.

 

Brunch With Sebastien

When you think of all things French; baguettes, macaroons, Chanel and the Effiel Tower are probably some of the first things to come to mind. With that being said, Bioderma is usually not far behind on this list.

Bioderma, founded in 1977, has become synonymous with the ‘french pharmacie’ – also known as the treasure trove of highly effective skincare products at reasonable prices.  The brand’s Micellar water is a firm fixture in the bathroom cabinets of every beauty obsessed consumer.

It was only fair that I met up with Sébastien Pergeaux from Bioderma at NAC, a French-inspired bistro in Mayfair. Apart from the bread bowl, Sébastien’s grooming regime and journey with the brand were also apart of the menu.

 

 

What is your role at Bioderma?

I am a medical representative for Bioderma UK. It means that I am the link between my company and healthcare professionals. I am proud to be a Bioderma ambassador because the people I work with give me their trust as the preferred intermediary – the UK’s health care providers have.

My role is to promote the products but also the philosophy of Bioderma. Doctors are always interested in knowing more about what is available on the market for their patients and are keen on recommending them the best skincare. Personally, I am very interested in exchanging with doctors and nurses about their daily challenges.

 

Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in London?

No, I arrived in London on the 31st March 2015 via the Eurostar. I’m from North-West of France – Normandy. I was born in Granville, Normandy – where Christian Dior was born. My parent’s house is next to Christian Dior’s original home.

 

What is your background?

I studied Pharmacy at Caen University, Normandy (Université de Caen Normandie). In France, Pharmacy takes six years to complete. We obtain a PhD. So you get a doctorate in Pharmacy.

 

“My parent’s house is next to Christian Dior’s original home.”

 

I was more interested in the business side. I was attracted by the pharmaceutical industry – because, in typical French pharmacies, pharmacists are usually confined in a shop setting. Whereas, the pharmaceutical industry is more exciting and innovative. That’s just my personal preference.

I enrolled in a Specialized Masters degree at ESCP Europe Business School in Paris. This degree allowed me to develop my marketing skills and knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. It also gave me access to an important network of pharmaceutical professionals.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Faithful. Practical. Funny.

 

How did you end up at Bioderma UK?

Thanks to my background in Pharmacy! Bioderma is more so considered as a cosmetic brand in the pharmaceutical industry – however, it’s a scientific, medical brand. It is the perfect balance between cosmetics and medicine.

I wanted to have the experience to live abroad and learn English. So I specifically looked for opportunities in English speaking countries.

At the beginning of this search, I was more attracted by California or Australia – because of the waves (I love surfing). But then I found this opportunity in London. It’s an English speaking country, but without the waves – however, it’s close to Normandy so I can go back and visit family easily. When I saw the advert for the job, it matched all of my expectations.

 

Where did your love of surfing come from? 

My first family home was along the harbour near Granville. Then we moved to a house on the cliff. So every morning I woke up with views of the ocean.

What is the history of Bioderma?

Bioderma was founded in 1977 by Jean-Noël Thorel.

Mr Thorel is a biologist and pharmacist. When he created the brand, the first product was a shampoo (Nodé – Hair Care range) – which comes from the word ‘non-detergent’.

This was pretty innovative in 1977 to create shampoo without detergent (sulphates and SLS). This type of product was not available on the market at the time.

He studied the functions of the skin, which allowed him to provide the best solutions for the skin. Thanks to the biomimetic concept, he was able to mimic the natural components and natural functions of the skin. The aim is not to reduce the causes but to act upon the consequences of the skin issue. Essentially, it was a way of him being able to provide products that are safe but also efficient. With regards to expanding the Bioderma range; his biological and pharmacological expertise shone through.

 

Bioderma’s Micellar Water is somewhat of a cult beauty product. What is the science behind it? 

Bioderma invented the 1st and only dermatological micellar water perfectly biologically compatible with the skin in 1995. We didn’t the invent the ‘micelles’ (similar to the phospholipids of the skin cell membranes and naturally help rebuild the skin’s hydrolipidic film), we were just the first to use these ‘micelles’ in a solution as a cleanser. This was innovative and a revolution in the cosmetic industry.

When we created the micellar water, it was a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin on the face, not necessarily a makeup remover as it is today. It was made for people who are sensitive to things like hard water, soaps, detergent and alcohol. We wanted something gentle and efficient.

Micelles are a group of molecules, and all of these molecules are the same. Each molecule has a lipophilic (attracted to lipids) part and a hydrophilic (attracted to water) part. When you put these molecules together – the lipophilic part of the molecules will gather in the centre and then hydrophilic part surround it…. imagine it to be shaped like a ball.

You have trillions and trillions of micelles in the Micellar water. So basically, when you put the micellar water on the cotton pad, it will open up the ‘ball’ of molecules. The hydrophilic part will stay stuck to the cotton pad, and the lipophilic part will catch all the impurities in the skin.

How does the French and British skincare consumer differ?

Firstly, I think in France there is an emphasis on looking after your skin and being knowledgeable about your skin. This difference is reflected in the set up of French pharmacies. In a French pharmacy, you will be advised on the best cosmeceutical products by a pharmacist (with a scientific and medical background).  Pharmacists are seen as healthcare providers. Whereas in the U.K., if you want help with your skin you have to go to a dermatologist.

 

How do you feel about working in a ‘female-heavy’ industry?

I got asked this question in a job interview when I was applying for a part-time role in a chemist in Granville!

The owner said that a lot of the customers and employees are women. Then he asked, “Would that be a problem with you?” (laughs) – it just reminded me of that moment.

It ended up not being a problem at all. I’ve been told that women like having men in the beauty industry – to act as a balance to the team. If I’m being asked specific questions about makeup, it would be difficult to answer that. All I can give is my scientific opinion. If I don’t know certain things (to do with female grooming or makeup) – I won’t be ashamed to admit that.

 

“In France, there is an emphasis on looking after your skin and being knowledgeable about your skin.”

 

What is your morning and evening grooming regime? 

I have my shower in the morning (laughs). I basically only use Bioderma products obviously!

I use Atoderm Shower Oil. I like the smell and the texture of it, and it’s so moisturising. It’s called an ‘oil’, but it’s actually water based! They’ve created a nice texture of oil, but it’s water. So when you wash off your body, it doesn’t leave a funny texture or film to it.

After I use the Sensibio Foaming Gel. It’s gentle and even with its pink packaging – I really like it (laughs). I’ve tried a lot of different face washes from Bioderma, and this is the one I prefer.

Then, I wash my hair using Nodé Shampoo. Sometimes I use the Klorane Dry Shampoo when I don’t have enough time.

After I moisturise my face with Hydrabio Gel-Crème. It’s light in texture. It’s moisturising, and I like the way it spreads. At night, I just use the Sebium Micellar Water – the range for acne and oily skin.

I shave with Nivea Men or Gillette because it’s the cheapest one I can find in Boots and it’s usually on offer! (laughs). I prefer shaving foam than foaming gel….I prefer to have the foam straight from the container. My favourite is razor is – Gillette Fusion Pro Glide. It gives you baby skin – that’s why I like using it!  After shaving,  I use Sensibio Forte – which helps to soothe any burning sensation or irritation of the skin. It’s really good!

Do you use anything else on your hair? 

No. However, I’m trying conditioner, but I’m not convinced if it works yet! (laughs).

 

What book are you currently reading? 

Nothing at the moment. I’ve been advised by a friend recently to read ‘Barbarian Days – A Surfing Life’ by William Finnegan.  To be honest, I’m focusing on Netflix (laughs). I’m currently watching ‘Bo Jack Horseman’ and ‘Power’.

 

What was the last song you listened to?

Cassius, Daft Punk & Dimitri from Paris – Shut It.

 

What are your three favourite Bioderma products?

Micellar water. Sensibio Forte. Photoderm Aftersun – this smells so good, and the texture is amazing.

 

What are your favourite colognes? 

Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme and Guerlain L’Instant de Guerlain for men. I don’t wear much perfume because I don’t like aggressive, strong smells –  you know the ones that have a strong smell of alcohol. However, I love it when a woman walks past, and I can smell her perfume.

 

What makes a woman sexy?

No revealing outfits. Women are sexy when they are elegant. A woman with long, nice hair and smells good!

 

“I love it when a woman walks past, and I can smell her perfume”

 

Where do you like to shop for clothes? 

For work – Gap, Uniqlo and Primark because it’s cheap.  I really like sneakers. I have 60 pairs of sneakers! The brands I like are Nike, Supreme (not because it’s famous thanks to the Louis Vuitton collaboration). I liked the old school 1994 Supreme when it first opened in New York. I also love Carhartt.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

To be honest, I have no idea. The only thing I hope for is that I’ll be happy in 10 years and I’ll be able to surf every day – in a place like California.

How much do you spend a month on grooming? 

Not a lot. Let’s say £15 a month.

 

Can you tell us about any new Bioderma products?

There are a few exciting things coming….

 

Shoes or Trainers? 

Trainers.

 

Suit or Tracksuit? 

I prefer to be elegant but comfortable. I like hoodies but not tracksuit bottoms. Jogging pants are forbidden! I prefer jeans.

 

Gin or Rum?

Rum.

 

London or Paris?

London. I like Paris for the weekend, but I prefer London for daily life.

 

Beard or clean shaven?

Clean shaven.

Close-Up: Sharmadean Reid

Sharmadean Reid, Founder of WAH Nails, has achieved more in 10 years than most have in their entire career.

Her journey started as a brand consultant and fashion stylist for Nicola Formichetti. With all the sprinklings of millennial feminism, WAH Nails, an acronym for ‘We Ain’t Hoes,’ set up shop in Dalston in 2008. Its ethos was to act a space for women to get super cool nails done, gossip and party. This same ethos has catapulted the brand into somewhat of a cult-like force representing women worldwide living life on their terms.

Reid was awarded an MBE in 2015 for her visionary contribution to the beauty industry. If this wasn’t enough, she’s got her own Nike trainer, authored two books, Wikipedia-certified, a clothing line with ASOS, spearheads a community of budding female entrepreneurs, has her own international girl crew and still manages to turn up to investor meetings decked out in chunky braids.

If it wasn’t obvious, Sharmadean is kind of a big deal.

You can get a slice of the movement, at her tech-kaleidoscope of a salon on Peter Street, Soho; or in Boots stores nationwide offering WAH nail products.

 

Sharmadean’s Instagram | WAH Nails 

 

 

 

 

What time do you wake up?

I wake up at 6.30-7ish when I have my son. When I don’t, I’ll have a little lie in till 8 am.

 

Do you have any morning rituals before leaving the house?

No.

 

Do you have any bedside beauty essentials?

I can not go to sleep without putting something on my face. Like I’ve been so tired, or drunk – but I will pull myself to the bathroom to put something on my face before bed.

What I use before bed varies, it’s like a merry-go-round. So it might be Vitamin C, Coconut Oil or Dr. Roebuck’s serum. I don’t really like serums at night; I prefer oils at night. I find oils have much more of an impact.

But, if I go to bed early I will actually do 2 because I always wake up during the middle of the night to go to the toilet. So what I’ll do is, say if I go to bed at 11 pm, I will put on a serum on knowing that I’m going to wake up again at 3 am – then I can put something else on.

 

What products do you use on your face and body in the morning?

I’ll wake up in the morning, have a shower. In the shower, I use Nubian Heritage Shower Gel – it’s my favourite…I’ve always used it. I prefer the African Black Soap (by Nubian Heritage) — but I can’t manage to get a hold of it in Paks. It’s got sandalwood in it, so it smells really expensive. The smell of the Nubian Heritage Black Soap is the nicest thing I’ve ever smelt in a Black product. It’s a really good smell.

Then, I use a body brush to scrub in the shower gel. I used to do dry body bushing, but I always would forget. So now, I just brush my whole body in the bath with the shower gel.

I use a back brush as well because I recently started to get ‘back spots,’ which is crazy! I haven’t had them since I was a teenager. I think it’s because I’ve just neglected my back, and I’ve forgotten about it. Then my son said, ‘You’ve got loads of spots on your back’ and I was like ‘What?!’

Before then, I never even properly looked at my back. So now I use a Botanics Brush on my back and wash that with shampoo. I think its just more of a stripper, like a clarifying shampoo.

I wash my face with Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser because it’s basically nothing. I bought Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser – but I actually don’t like milky cleansers, because they don’t remove product. They just don’t. It’s more so soothing, and it puts moisture back into my face.

I had a lot of eye makeup done the other day, and I was trying to wash my face with that Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser – but the eye makeup just wouldn’t come off. I thought ‘Oh my God’, every time I wash my face, nothing is coming off.

 

 

Then, I get out the bath, and I use a mix of Kiehl’s Creme de Corp and Elengé Body Butter, especially because we’re going into winter now. Kiehl’s Creme de Corp and Elengé Body Butter, both do the same thing, which is heavy duty moisturising with a sheen finish.

In the summer I use Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer. It doesn’t leave any grease whatsoever. The smell is insane…like it’s a smell to drive boys nuts! Because it is imported, it’s so expensive. I use it more as a scent now, then as a moisturiser – because it’s such an amazing smell.

Then I use my perfume which is Cuir 28 by Le Labo. I use a natural deodorant that I found in a Whole Foods in New York. The smell is perfect, and it contains Vetiver. Again, it’s a smell people don’t use very much in natural products.

For my face, I use the Biologique Recherche P50 lotion. To be honest, I sometimes use the P50 before I moisturise, to let it soak in. Then I’ve got an issue. I don’t know which moisturiser to put on top of the P50. So sometimes, I don’t moisturise. This is a new thing for me.

I’ve been so tired, or drunk – but I will pull myself to the bathroom to put something on my face before bed ”

 

 

What’s your morning make-up routine?

I’ve been using Fenty Beauty Foundation, which has changed my life. It’s the best foundation I’ve used in my entire life. The finish looks like skin. It’s a bit like putty or play dough, where it’s wet but then when you put it on it dries to a perfect finish ever. It’s like the exact same colour of my skin. It’s amazing!

I just do two pumps in my hands, and I rub it all over my face like a moisturiser because I’m very unsophisticated like that. I do my make-up in front of my sink because I wash my hands between each step. All my spots come from dirt, apart from the one I get on my chin every single month on my period. I’ll get an under the skin spot every month, without fail. So have to mitigate that by using the P50.

I got my eyebrows microbladed by Rachel Pitman. Changed my life! I never really had eyebrows before. I looked like a crack-head with no make-up on. Before, I used to use the brow pencil from Rimmel, which I’ve used since I was 15 years old. Now, I just use a brow brush to comb through. I just bought a MAC brow gel

Then if I haven’t managed to get a neat line with the brow gel, I still use my trusty Rimmel, just to tidy the line underneath.

I then take the Bobby Brown Foundation Stick in Warm Almond and put it under my eyes, as if it’s concealer, but it’s not. I’ll then get a MAC Mineralize Powder and I use it on my lid area. Then I use a thin line of Eyeko Liner in Black Magic.

Then a bit of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Highlighter down my nose and on my cheek. I use a Sleek Matte Me Lipstick in Bittersweet. Sometimes, I might rub my lipstick onto my cheeks a little bit. I get lash extensions all the time, but I haven’t had the time recently, so I’m wearing a mascara by Eyeko.

 

What’s your hair situation in the morning?

At the moment I’m trying to not wear weaves as much as possible. I’ve had my hair in extensions for the last eight years. I have them bonded and not sewn in, which isn’t healthy at all for my scalp. I know it’s not healthy but a) I prefer the speed and b) I prefer the finished look and c) I hate not washing my hair.

I would get this bonded weave done every ten days – two weeks. So it’s quite high maintenance. So then I was like, my hair is not healthy, it’s dry.

When I was younger, I always had long hair. When I was 13 years old, my cousin relaxed my hair. My hair just got fucked from there on.

Products wise, I find Jim & Henry – Eight, really good. It’s actually amazing. I use it on mine and my son’s hair. It just makes my hair so soft and manageable. So then after I use that, I slick my hair back. If I want it to stay for the day, I use the Bleach Hard AF Hairspray. I really like the smell; it doesn’t have a clinical smell..it smells like perfume.

 

What perfume do you usually reach for?

I only have one. Le Labo – Cuir 28. I know that some people have perfume wardrobes – I find that weird.

(I tell Sharmadean that I currently have five perfumes and counting in my collection). 

It’s insane to me. When I walk into the room, people should know that’s Sharma.

 

“When I walk into the room, people should know that’s Sharma”

 

What’s your routine after a long day at work?

I always have a bath every night. I like to get into my bedsheets clean.

I use Dr. Teals Lavender and Eucluplyuts Epsom Salt. Dr. Teals has the best Epsom salts – I’ve used so many. You can get a giant bag for £7.99 from Boots. I’ll then a put a few drops of lavender essence, vetiver or sage – just some essential oil.

I wash my face with Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water. Then, I put on whatever my skin needs – like oil or serum or whatever. To be honest, out of all of them, Coconut oil is just the best.

 

Do you add anything else to your make-up look at night?

Pretty much nothing. I might put a bit more eyeshadow. I just like to look like me.

Sometimes, I might do a coloured eyeliner like aubergine. I love coloured eyeliners, and sometimes I use eyeshadow as an eyeliner. I’m not very experimental with my makeup. Sometimes I wish I was.

Do you have a routine to make you feel sexy?

There are two songs when I put my makeup on they make me feel sexy.

I’ll always play Jennifer Lopez – I’m Real and Machine Gun Kelly – Bad Things

 

Describe Sharmadean in 3 words?

Curious. Persistent. Magnetic.

 

What do you have on your nails currently?

I’m wearing a nude gel by Nail Harmony because I didn’t have time to get nail art. I love this colour. It’s like rose brown colour.  Number 52 in the salon (WAH), if you wanna go and get it.

Do you feel pressure as a beauty professional to always look on point?

Not really, because my nails before this were shitty for two weeks. But I think everyone kinda knows I’m busy.  For me, If I’m trying to get people to buy into what I’m doing, they should see that I have an understanding of their industry and that understanding should come from consumption.

 

How do you balance motherhood and looking beautiful?

Well, this is where it’s a bit shit…because it means I get loads of beauty treatments in the middle of the working day and I can’t do that. It just takes up too much time. I wish you’d seen yesterday. I got my braid girl to come to the office. I sat at a little desk, and I was working, and she braided my whole hair in 2 and a half hours, and I didn’t even notice. Literally. It was fully quite sick you know.

 

“One night if alcohol can make your skin look good the next day. Several more in a row and it doesn’t”

 

 

How much do you spend on beauty a month?

I’d say on average £500. 75% of that is (beauty) services. Even though I get a lot of products for free, I’ll still buy stuff. It makes me feel nice.

 

Beauty brands you are currently obsessing over?

Fenty Beauty.

Favourite beauty products under £20?

Do you wanna know something really fucked? I really don’t look at the price of stuff. It’s really bad, isn’t it? I tend to only go shopping unless I’ve got a lot of money. Like, if I have to look at my bank account – I don’t go to Liberty.

I guess it would have to be a product from the drug store like Thayers Lavender Witch Hazel. I feel like it’s well underrated. It just provides this clean freshness.

 

Beauty Secret?

One night of alcohol can make your skin look good the next day. Several more in a row and it doesn’t.

 

Ride or Die beauty product?

I’m not really loyal to anything. If anything, probably Coconut Oil. If I could only have one thing that would make me look good forever, and I’d have to never wear makeup again – I’d put coconut oil on my face every day. Guaranteed within two weeks, I’d look amazing.

 

Any beauty regrets?

Chemically straightening my hair and plucking my eyebrows as a teenager.

 

One thing you learnt from your mother about skincare?

Nothing. My mum wasn’t into beauty. All my other aunties were. The only thing my mum would wear every single day is this dark lipstick. Her hair was always in braids.

Even now, I feel it’s so important for mums to pass on black hair care to black girls to make them love their hair. The only reason I chemically straightened my hair, was because my hair was so unmanageable.

The reason it was unmanageable was because my mum didn’t even use conditioner on my hair. Can you imagine using a cheap, own brand shampoo and no conditioner? When I discovered that conditioner was the secret to black hair, which was only as recent as five years ago, I was like ‘why does no-one know this?‘ , ‘how am I an educated person and I don’t have the basic knowledge that your natural hair should be completely drenched in conditioner before you comb it!’.

Mum never taught me this; it’s all been from magazines and the internet.

Lipstick or Lipgloss? Lipgloss

Natural Lashes or Lash Extensions? Lash Extensions

Matte or Dewy Skin? Dewy Skin

Contour or not to Contour? Not to contour

Eyeshadow or eyeliner? Eyeliner

Highlighter or Bronzer? Highlighter

Bare Skin or Foundation? Foundation

La Mer or Chanel? Neither. La Mer if I was gonna use one.

London or Wolverhampton? London

Magazines or Books? Books

Dinner or Rave? Dinner

Tesla or BMW?  Tesla

Lil’ Kim or Foxy Brown?  Lil’ Kim

 

What are you currently reading?

 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

 

Books that changed your life?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

 

Most played song at the moment?

I get obsessed with songs; then I play them to death. I haven’t got one right now. But my last one was Machine Gun Kelly – Bad Things. If I need to put on a song at work, I’ll always start with Beyonce – Sorry. It’s just such a good song.

 

Who would your dream dinner be with and why?

With my future husband.

 

Where did you last eat?

I had a really great meal at Yuzu on Artillery Passage, Spitalfields London.

 

Favourite place to eat in London?

Depends on what for… It’s so hard because food is my weakness. Every day is exciting for me when it comes to food. I spend all my money on food and beauty.

 

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?

Beautystack. It will be a networked platform that allows beauty pros to build a site and get bookings directly from their social style images.

 

What is the future of the beauty industry?

Well, this is obviously biased to what I’m currently working on. I feel like the future of the beauty industry is respecting beauticians, the trends and the community that they create – which is the foundation of the beauty industry. It’s the foundation, and it gets left out.

 

What is your view on the ‘self-confessed beauty influencer’?

I believe strongly in peer-to-peer influence with beauty.

Pretty much every product I have, has been a direct recommendation face-to-face or I’m at someone’s house, and I look in their cupboard …or we’re both doing our makeup together, and I’m like ‘what is that?’

What you’re essentially going to a beauty blogger or influencer for, is the latest up-to-date news but I don’t weight that recommendation with the same weight if I read a business magazine. I’m not quite sure why.

If they don’t look similar to me or have my taste…that’s why my friends are more important.  I know my friends are on my level. I know that they aren’t using crap products. I know that we have the same ethos of product selection.

 

“I know my friends are on my level… I know that we have the same ethos of product selection”

 

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

I’m not there yet. I’m just not.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

43 years old. Married. Doing a lot of philanthropic work. I would have sold my company. Using my money for good.

 

How do you stay inspired? 

Reading. Reading always inspires me. Talking to people that are outside of my industry – I find that the most inspiring. Documentaries are my number one, if I’m feeling unmotivated, I’ll watch a documentary about someone amazing in history, and it will be like..’I’ve gotta do something!’.

 

What keeps you motivated?

The freedom that money brings.

 

High of the week? Low of the week?

High –  Getting a term in contract changed, that I really wasn’t sure about – I just stuck to my guns, and it came through.

Low – Starting the week realising that I can’t be vegan. I was so depressed on Monday that I had no reason for the sadness because I love Monday’s. The only thing that had only changed was that I hadn’t eaten meat for two weeks. It affected my mood so greatly. I’ve tried to go vegan or vegetarian several times in my life, and every time it doesn’t work for me. Then I had a bowl of pho and a glass of prosecco, in the middle of the day, and then I was fine! So insane!

 

How can we join your International Girl Crew?

Just by being fly, working and loving travel as much as we do. That’s it! It’s not membership club!