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Expert beauty secrets

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Ever wondered about the grooming habits of women who work in the beauty industry? Stylist interviewed three experts in hair, make-up and cosmetic dermatology to uncover their personal recommendations

Louise Galvin, Hair colourist and founder of natural haircare range, Sacred Locks, 39

“Organic and natural beauty is very important to me, so I always try to opt for the purest products I can. My own range of non-chemical haircare, Sacred Locks, has taken years to create and I always opt for non-chemical skin products too.

My favourite all-time product is Dr Francis Prenna Jones’s Formal 2006, £93. It’s a cleanser, toner and moisturiser all in one and is amazing. For me, less is more, especially as I have skin that can break out easily. I’m religious about sunscreen, and would never leave the house without it. I always use Dermalogica’s Pure Light Moisturiser SPF 30, £49.05. It gets so hot in the salon that I like to keep some Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £22, and the travel bottle of Ren’s Rose Synergy 012 Restoring Facial Oil, £40 in my handbag to calm the skin.

I’m definitely a bath person, I always make time for one at night. I love Ren’s Rose Otto Oil, £25, both the bath oil and the body oil are fab. I shampoo and condition my hair daily using my own Sacred Locks line, from £22, but I’ll alternate between the Fine Hair Conditioner and Treatment Masque every other day, unless I’m on holiday, in which case I use the masque every day. I love my Volumising Spray, £15, too which I spritz on over my rollers before heading out to a party, and style with Aveda’s Wooden Panel Brush, £17.

I’m currently developing my own line of hair supplements, but in the meantime I always take Omega oils, a strong probiotic and Vitamin C with Iron. I love those Emergen C sachets which I take daily to keep my skin shiny and my hair glossy. I really believe in looking after yourself from within.

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, only if I’m going out. My friend Fiona Jolly who is a make-up artist taught me to mix Chanel’s Vitalumière Foundation, £43.50, with a bit of Mac Strobe Cream, £21, which works brilliantly as it leaves me looking as though I’m not wearing any make-up while evening out my complexion. I’ll brush on a bit of Mac’s Gingerlilly Blusher, £16.50, and I will layer on Mac eyeshadow, £11, using black close to my lashes then brushing over with a grey to soften it. My favourite mascara right now is Max Factor’s False Lash Effect, £10.99. I also adore Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss, £8. I always wear the same scent which is Chanel’s Rue du Cambon, £160.”

Alex Box, Make-up artist and Creative director for Illamasqua, 37

“I’m seriously into skincare, and in truth I’m really high maintenance. Having been a painter and artist before I became a make-up artist, textures and colours are so important to me, hence my obsession with using products that give you the best possible complexion.

The first thing I do is cleanse my face with Dermalogica Chroma White Tri Activ Cleanser, £24.60, then I use their Microfoliant, £22.99, which really polishes your skin. I like whitening products because I love the way it evens out your complexion. In the morning, I also do an intense Japanese face massage. I really roll and pinch and use a little rolling machine to get a lot of blood circulating to my face, and then I plunge my face into freezing cold water so it really tightens the pores. As you might imagine, this does get my face looking quite red. I love Natura Bissé products, and layer these on, especially the Inhibit Tensolift, £460. It doesn’t relax the muscles so to speak, but it does smooth down the lines – liquid Botox if you will.

For my eyebrows I use loads of Illamasqua’s Eyebrow And Lash Gel, £10.77, to get a really sharp shape. For any problem areas I have Dr Hauschka’s concealer, £15.31, with lavender and rose, which doesn’t clog up the skin but makes it looks flawless. For my eyebrows I use Benefit’s Babecake, £15.50, which I wet with a brush then I fill in the brows with an eyeshadow by Illamasqua called Gimp, £14.

For the eyes, I use bone-like contour shades by Illamasqua such as Slave, Servant and Succumb (all £14) so I can deepen the sockets. I use a liquid eyeliner then I apply Lancôme’s Hypnôse mascara, £20, to my lashes if I’m not wearing false ones then I use Illuminator, £11.74, under my eyes, just around my nose and around my lips. My favourite lip colour is the Box Red Lipstick, £14, by Illamasqua finished with Cherry Lipliner by Mac, £10.50. I always have red lips. I just love wearing make-up. I love applying it, I love how it makes me feel.

Every morning I use a dry body brush and have done for the last 16 years. I’m a massive bath person, I have one in the morning and use epsom salts because I’m a runner. After the bath I have a freezing shower then a hot shower then a cold one again. I rub Rosemary Leg And Arm Toner by Dr Hauschka, £22.46, an old-fashioned alcohol toner, which I use to tighten the skin on my legs, and then I use Bliss Fat Girl Slim, £28, before I go to bed to tone my body while I sleep.

My emergency trick is Shu Uemura’s DeepSea undereye patches, £38, which are amazing. You can see when you take them off that the area turns white, lightning any dark circles and lifting the skin. I also mix egg whites, really fluff them up, and add some lemon juice then put that around my eyes, it gets my skin super-tight so I can’t move while the lemon juice kind of bleaches my skin, really toning and lifting all the while. But best of all is exercise, getting some colour into your cheeks from a good session at the gym or run is fantastic for your complexion. I haven’t tried Botox yet, but I probably will, anything for the pursuit of perfection. I’m not against technology, I have a mobile phone so why wouldn’t I use Botox?

I’m obsessed with make-up, with fragrance, with skincare: in my head I’m on a Forties Hollywood film set even if in reality I’m sitting here in Peckham.”

Dr Samantha Bunting, Cosmetic Dermatologist at Renew Medica Clinic, 35

“I treat people with skin conditions and ageing concerns daily which means that I understand the function of every ingredient that goes into a product. Having tried everything from high-end luxury skincare to the most basic mass market creams, I look for products with real research behind them, for something that I know is going to work.

For the last five years I’ve been using the Obagi Nu-Derm Programme. It’s a prescription-strength line with the highest level of Vitamin A you can get. Because of my profession I look at all the ingredients and I’m strict about alternating with the Vitamin C Serum and Glycolic Peel (both prescription only) to get the maximum results. Retin A in particular is such an effective anti-ageing ingredient, minimising blackheads and stimulating collagen.

I don’t leave the house without sunscreen, and my favourite is Sunsense Daily Face, £9, which is factor 50 and has a neutral matte finish that’s great for UVA and UVB. For any major breakouts I use Duac, £12.92, a prescription strength antibacterial and benzonyl peroxide which dries out spots, but otherwise I rely on Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, £24.50. If it was an absolute emergency, I would have a tiny injection of hydrocortisone, which I have administered on patients to bring down a spot if they’ve had an eruption at a major event like their wedding, but I would use a terribly small amount and be very cautious.

I do get fine lines under my eyes. I will need Botox on a regular basis and I’ve already used it around the frown area. I’m Irish and quite animated and this is where most people try it first. It’s tolerable and no more painful than a bikini wax but so important as a preventative measure.”

Photos by Gemma Day

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