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Ellie Goulding reveals her teenage beauty secrets

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Musical luminary Ellie Goulding talks exclusively to Stylist about her beauty journey

Words: Fiona Embleton
Photography: David Roemer

While most female stars who top today’s music charts can seem untouchable, Ellie Goulding has that knack of making you feel like part of her inner circle. She speaks with a soft gravelly tone, belying a powerful vocal range. But beneath the charm, there’s steeliness and determination.

At the grand old age of 28, Goulding has already sold more than four million singles in the UK, won two Brit Awards and performed at the Royal Wedding. And this month, she’s stepping foot onto to an altogether different stage: beauty, with the launch of her 12-strong make-up collection with Mac. Here, she talks Stylist through the various chapters of her life in beauty – discovering concealer, goth hair and an illicit affair with fake tan.

“I was probably 11 or 12 – really young – when my grandad gave me Versace Red Jeans Eau de Toilette (£14, boots.com). It was my first introduction to fragrance and I don’t think he had a clue that I might have been too young for it. When I smell it now, it gives me a really shivery nostalgia.” 

“Up until a few years ago I always had this paranoia about being pale. My mum is a redhead with lily white skin and she and my sister were really into self-tanning so I copied them. I had regular Saturday jobs from this age – in a restaurant and hair salon – so I had a little bit of pocket money to spend. L'Oréal Sublime Self-Tan Gel Face and Body (£12.99, boots.com) was the first beauty product I actually bought for myself.”

“I’ve always had issues with my nose and chin. I started to use make-up as a way of distracting attention away from them when I was younger. I loved black liner because it was a way of playing up the facial feature I did like – my eyes. Plus, I was getting into a lot of rock music like System Of A Down, Pearl Jam and Muse, so Rimmel’s Soft Kohl Eye Pencil in Jet Black (£2.99, superdrug.com) went with the territory. It might seem a little young but wearing make-up was a common thing for girls at my school.” 

“When I hit my teens, I would moan about stuff – how I was always the one with no boobs, and the one that didn’t need to wear a bra. But I thankfully never went through a spotty phase. It meant I could use the cheapest skincare products, like Simple’s Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (£3.25, tesco.com).”

“Boots was like the centre of the universe for teenagers in Hereford! So my family still get me Christmas presents from there – candy pink pots and tubes like Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Butter (£10, boots.com).” 

“When I met a whole new group of friends at university, I started taking make-up a bit more seriously. It was the first time I discovered under-eye concealer but I was still at a point where I couldn’t afford anything really luxurious. So I used Benefit Boi-ing Industrial-Strength Concealer (£17.50, feelunique.com) to disguise dark circles.”

“My hair has gone through various reincarnations over the years. I was a proper goth and would dye my hair black at home with Garnier Nutrisse Crème (£5.79, boots.com). It’s funny looking back at pictures of me with a jet black bob, black eyeliner and a lip piercing! A year later, I went blonde and my hair has been blonde ever since.”

“I’ve definitely been through phases of trying things to make my face look different. But now I’m older I’ve grown this confidence that I never had before. Rather than change my features, I now wear make-up to enhance them – which is why I guess I’m drawn to natural shades like the ones in my Mac Halcyon Nights palette (£39.50, available 17 December, maccosmetics.co.uk) for eyes and cheeks. No woman ever has to rely on make-up for self-confidence. With my collaboration I want to encourage the idea that the natural look is still very beautiful. It’s like making the best of yourself isn’t it?”


Ellie Goulding's Mac collection will be available online from December 17  

Photography: David Roemer/trunkarchive.com

To read this week's issue of Stylist, download from app.stylist.co.uk

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