We chatted with X-Factor winner and Bleeding Love songstress Leona Lewis to pick her brains about all things beauty. In our exclusive interview she revealed her ultimate beauty tricks, favourite products and her biggest beauty regret...
What’s your morning skincare regime like?
My morning routine is really simple, it always starts with a good cleanse. RMS’ coconut oil cleanser is one of my favourites, it’s really gentle and hydrating too so it doesn’t leave skin with that weird squeaky feeling and you don’t feel like you have to moisturise straight away.
If I’ve been performing or on TV and had a lot of makeup on and feel like I need a more hardcore cleanse then I’ll use Pai’s muslin cloth and cleanser. It’s great at removing all the impurities. If my skin is feeling dehydrated then I love Raaw in a Jaw. It’s a plankton enzyme cream that nourishes the skin and makes it feel so smooth and soft. If my skin needs an extra boost, I’ll do a Skyn Iceland mask.
now: Pai Muslin Cloth for £12 from Amazon
What makeup brands are you loving at the moment?
Ilia is great for lipsticks, I love the tinted moisturiser from Josh Rosebrook. It’s great if you want a sheer coverage and looks like you haven’t got anything on.
Ilia Lipstick for £22 from Net A Porter
Are you a high-street or high-end beauty girl?
That’s really hard! There are some really beautiful high-end natural ranges out there that I love, like Tata Harper, but at the same time I love a bargain! I think I’m a mix of both. Coconut oil I’ll buy from anywhere, you don’t need to get a fancy one. And Shea Butter too.
now: Tata Harper from £26 from Cult Beauty
If you had to pick: lips or eyes?
I’m definitely more of an eye girl. I usually go quite neutral on the lip. Just with a bit of balm or something peachy coloured. I’m really into lashes so always get big on those. If I’m performing the lights are so bright I’ll always wear a big set of falsies.
Blow dry or nails?
Nails. I used to be crazy with them and have bright colours and nail art. Now I love a little detail like a simple stripe down a bare nail or some tiny dots on a beige or natural shade. A few years ago I went to Tokyo and tried some really wild nails, they had things stuck on them like bows and all sorts. They were so elaborate I basically couldn’t use my hands the whole time I had them!
You’ve naturally got dark hair but went blonde recently. Were you nervous about such a dramatic colour change?
I wasn’t actually. I decided to do it because my friend who is also mixed race and has really similar hair type to me went blonde first. She looks after it really well and it looks healthy so I knew it could be done. If you dye your hair having a good care regime is so important. So I made a deal with myself that if I bleached it I wouldn’t use chemicals or heat on it. I’ve stuck by that and I never straighten it anymore. I use the Boucleme range which is designed for curls so I can let it dry naturally, the Curl Cream is great for creating a nice, defined curl.
We love your hair curly!
That’s so funny, when I was younger I didn’t like it at all. I always wanted straight hair like my friends but now I love the curls.
You’re working with Kiehl’s and the MTV Staying Alive Partnership at the moment on a special project. Can you tell us a bit about that?
A few years ago I visited Africa and I met a lot of children who were affected by HIV and Aids. I met children who were orphans because of the disease and some children who had the disease themselves. It was a hugely eye opening experience for me so when I met the MTV Staying Alive team and heard about all their work raising awareness and much needed funds to tackle the disease I felt it was so important to support them and this partnership with Kiehl’s is a great way to raise money and draw attention to the cause.
You’ve been to quite a few festivals this summer. What’s your go-to festival look?
Glitter! You always have to use glitter – it’s an essential! I went to the Isle of Wight festival recently with four girlfriends and they really went for that look. Diamantes, glitter round the eye – the whole thing! I’m not usually into glitter that much but I did use a little bit just on the inner corner of my eye and then a Ilia creamy shadow, which has a subtle shimmer.
Do you have a favourite perfume?
I love perfumed oils. Usually I drop some essential oils into my body lotion. Vanilla or tangerine are my favourites. I’ve got a little trick where I mix a few drops into my body lotion and it smells delicious.
What’s your best beauty trick?
There are these silk gloves you can buy that you use in the shower. All you need to do is massage yourself in the shower with them every morning and it’s a really easy way to help break down toxins and improve your circulation.
now: Garshana Gloves for £19.99 from Amazon
Do you have any bad beauty habits?
When I get nervous I bite my nails, I’ve never been able to stop myself doing it but I know it’s really bad.
What beauty advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t pluck your eyebrows. It’s taken me so long to grow them back after years of over-plucking I’d definitely say to my younger self to step away from the tweezers. Now they’re in a better shape and are a bit thicker I use a little Anastasia brow pencil to fill them in and some of the Anastasia clear brow gel too.
Do you have any makeup regrets?
Yes, there are so many but I’m not going to go into all of them. Probably one of the worst looks I’ve ever done is white eyeshadow all over my eye up to the brow bone and then pink shadow underneath the eye. It was so scary! I don’t know why I ever thought that was a good idea…
What do you do to keep fit?
My animals keep me fit. I try and go on a little jog with my dogs about twice a week and I love going out with my horses. Occasionally I’ll go running and do hot yoga too, it helps to loosen up my back and get my joints moving especially if I’m performing a lot and feeling stiff. If I want a hardcore workout I go to Barry’s Bootcamp. Once you’ve done that you feel like you can do anything! Over the years I’ve learnt that it’s much easier to keep fit if you eat well. I’m a veggie and I love cooking. If I feel like something sweet I’ll have warm fruits, I love baked pears or apples or a delicious cooked fruit spicy tea. I try and avoid gluten so have coconut bread as an alternative to regular bread but otherwise eat almost everything.
How often do you go to the spa?
I haven’t been for a good few months but when I go I love having a proper full body scrub, it’s the best to way to encourage lymphatic drainage and break down cellulite.