Angela Scanlon on life-changing hair products, foodie heaven and meeting Noel Gallagher

'It's basically the thing I love more than my family'

Angela Scanlon Beauty Bytes
(Image credit: Matt Holyoak)

'It's basically the thing I love more than my family'

Welcome to Beauty Bytes: a place where I chat to celebrities about all things beauty – from their favourite products, to their biggest beauty disasters. Plus I grill them on everything from their social media habits to their all-time favourite meals. You know, all the important and essential things that we need to know about.

It's a fact that Angela Scanlon is one of the most LOLs women in the business, but FYI, she also has excellent taste in beauty products. I sat down to chat with the mum-of-one and Thanks A Million podcast founder to go through the contents of her make-up bag and bathroom cabinet, as well as discussing all the other important topics like Instagram stalking and last meals. Below she shares her weird and wonderful party trick, ultimate TV and film watches, and the genius way she bagged an interview with Noel Gallagher...

LA: What's the worst beauty trend you've ever attempted?

AS: Worst beauty trend? Oh, it's over-plucked eyebrows isn’t it? I love a feral, wolfy brow. So that over-plucked, nineties brow – I was teetering on the edge and a friend kindly pulled me back. But yeah, that’s got to be the worst.

LA: You’re so lucky if they grow back, as well.

AS: I know! Also, [Rimmel] Heather Shimmer lipstick was pretty punchy back in the day.

LA: How do you take care of your skin? Do you have a day and night time routine?

AS: I’m experimental; it sometimes works and it often doesn’t, but [my routine] changes depending on what my skin needs I suppose. Morning time, I don’t use any face wash or anything, just water, and at the moment I’m using Sunday Riley Tidal Cream, which is a really hydrating moisturiser. I’ll sometimes do a serum, Environ have an amazing one, Advance Elixir. And then my favourite SPF is Heliocare because it doesn’t block up your pores, it's not greasy and gross or white and sheeny under camera lights, so that’s good.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, £20, Cult Beauty

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AS: Also, OSEA is a new brand that I’ve found recently. It's completely cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free and quite hippy dippy. I use their Eye Gel Serum, which I really like, and they've also got a blemish balm which is good too. Then nighttime I use an Environ cleansing gel, which just gets rid of make-up, and then Dr Dennis Gross, these are an absolute game-changer…

LA: Oh, the pads!

AS: The pads!

LA: They’re flipping amazing, aren’t they? I love them.

AS: They’re unbelievable, absolutely brilliant. I use the Ultra Gentle ones because my skin is quite sensitive, then maybe whack on some sort of hydrating spray like the Avène one. Then maybe my favourite product in life is by Allies of Skin, it's called the Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial. It is amazing, if you’ve got an angry face going to bed, you wake up and your skin is really clear. It's hydrating but it also exfoliates and I absolutely love that. I’ll kind of intersperse different masks; Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask I like, and a charcoal mask by Omorovicza that’s really good for your pores and breakouts as well. Sorry, that’s quite extensive!

LA: This is the level of detail I’m here for, Angela, it's all good. How has your routine changed since you became a mum?

AS: I have less time for a facial, so I find that I’m doing them at home more; trying to do a face mask in the bath, or I’ll bring a little hydrating spray with me and feed my face a bit without a high maintenance facial. With work, I find it hard to take half a day off to get a facial at the moment. I really, really miss it, so it's definitely a bit more DIY, I suppose. I definitely need more eye cream, I certainly need more concealer! But I also think I’m a bit more forgiving to myself since having a baby. Before I would really get my knickers in a twist if I had a breakout or allergy that affects my skin, and I would be really self conscious. Now I don’t get upset as much as I maybe used to.

LA: It puts things into perspective I guess.

AS: Yeah, I'm a bit less hard on myself.

LA: What are your top three beauty brands? These can be across skin, make-up, hair...

AS: Oh gosh, that’s a tricky one. I’ll say Environ for skincare and I love Bobbi Brown. I find it really difficult to get colours in the right shade for my skin, which is very pale.

LA: I’m a shade zero at Bobbi too so, can relate.

AS: Oh my gosh, yes! It's really hard, sometimes they feel a bit chalky but mostly they’re good. I think there are a lot of brands that just… are shit. It is getting better, but it’s a bit of a process. And then Heliocare because SPF is so [important], I always wear it.

LA: It’s so important yeah. What is the best beauty advice you have ever been given? This can be from anybody in life.

AS: This is a boring one, but it’s taking your make-up off isn’t it? I had really bad skin as a teenager, so I would always have to come in, cleanse my face and do all the things, and that habit has actually really served me because at the time I had really quite bad acne. If I wake up and I touch my eyelashes and there is mascara on then, I know it was an absolutely wild night.

LA: What about the best product recommendation you've ever received?

AS: Oh, The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mask. One of my friends, Christine Lucignano, she’s a make-up artist and recommended it to me. I think you can use it overnight, you can use it on dry areas and leave it on. It's not crazy expensive, it's just brilliant.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sleeping Mask, £11,

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LA: Everybody loves a bit of The Body Shop.

AS: I love The Body Shop, yeah.

LA: What is in your make-up bag right now?

AS: I have got a couple of brushes, I’ve got a MAC Eye Brow Pencil, I’ve got a Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector, a pair of eyelash curlers from Sephora, some Glossier glitter jelly thing that you put on your eyes – I find that when I don’t have time to do anything to my face I put that on and everyone thinks I’ve made loads of effort.

LA: Those are the best kind of products.

AS: They are great. I’ve got an Elizabeth Arden volume mascara and a MAC Blot Powder, and then I’ve got a Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Gel in Auburn. I mean, it's really about the eyebrows!

LA: Again, very blessed that they grew back. Happy that you’ve got something that you can put brow gel on.

AS: Yeah, thankful, exactly.

LA: Whats the best tip that a professional make-up artist has given you?

AS: Put the charcoal mask on. If you’ve got a howler of a spot that’s about to come through, putting something charcoal on it usually kills it by the morning.

LA: How do you look after your hair? You've got amazing hair, so I’m into this answer.

AS: I try to do hair masks once a week. It doesn’t really work out like that but, I definitely tend to use those. Kérastase I love, and I recently found a brand called IGK – I’m probably way behind, but they have got really great products. There’s one called Mistress which is like an anti-frizz, leave-in conditioner, so I put that on the ends but it doesn’t weigh it down too much. They also have a spray hair mask that's dry that you put on overnight [Prenup], so you don't have to do the high maintenance hair mask in the bath. You can wash your hair as normal, chuck this on and go to sleep, then you’ve got baby hair in the morning. They also have a coconut oil-gel [Rich Kid], which makes things nice and gritty. The go-tos for me are Bumble & Bumble Thickening Spray and then a bit of Surf Spray.

Bumble and Bumble Go Big Thickening Tonic, £24, Lookfantastic

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LA: Oh lovely, they’re good picks.

AS: For tools, I like the ghd Curve for a gentle wave that’s a bit messy and haphazard. And then I’ve recently got the BaByliss Cordless Straighteners, which you basically charge up and bring in the car with you, and then you can do your hair in the back of the car. It's the best thing I have ever had in life.

LA: So good, when you’re on-the-go so much I feel like that is a game changer.

AS: Yeah, it’s absolutely brilliant.

LA: Do you have a signature fragrance and, if not, do you have like a few go-tos that you like?

AS: So, I have actually previously worn men’s aftershave. I love Miller Harris, I love Hermès. However I am now currently obsessed with, and have been for the last year, Moon Mist, which is by this amazing guy, Paolo Lai, he’s a reflexologist. He creates a Moon Mist every month, under the full moon with crystals and essential oils, and it's honestly the most – every time I wear it, which is every day, people are like, 'what is that smell, that’s amazing, I love it'. I also wear a little oil thingy by a brand called Mama Moon, which is like this magic manifestation. It's called Magic Potion and it's again lots of essential oils, and I think there’s a lot of sandalwood in that. I'm drawn towards really burst-y, natural fragrances.

LA: It's definitely a sign of a great fragrance when lots of people ask you about it, too. How does your beauty routine change when you are on holiday?

AS: It's low key. I always wear sunscreen, I don’t do my hair at all I basically just wash it in the sea. I will usually try to get my eyelashes tinted before I go away, so I don’t even have to bother with mascara, and it's bare skin. I suppose with work, I tend to have to wear make-up quite a bit and so when I’m away its completely bare, I chuck a hat on and I’m naked on my face.

LA: It's all about basting yourself in SPF isn’t it, and then leaving everything else.

AS: Yeah totally, exactly.

LA: What are your three most-used emojis?

AS: I like the prayer hands one, obviously quite on brand with the podcast [Thanks A Million], and then the cheese emoji gets quite a bit of use.

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LA: Favourite book?

AS: A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride. It's quite dark, it makes me cry, but I’m into that. Oh, and both of Sarah Pascoe’s books I love.

LA: Ah, she’s great. What would your last meal be?

AS: I would have to say sushi, a big platter of colourful sushi, tempura vegetables, like a Japanese banquet.

LA: Divine. Nice bit of Katsu, lovely.

AS: Yeah, lush.

LA: What would you say is the weirdest pick-up you’ve ever heard?

AS: I mean, I don’t know if I remember specific weird pick-up lines, but I have a trick where I can turn in one of my eyes. So, I have previously had quite strong come ons; he offered to buy me a drink, I asked for a gin and tonic with my eye gone – and he handed me the drink and he left.

LA: That is amazing! 'Bye'.

AS: He left very quickly. I said, 'can my friend have one too?' It comes in quite handy.

LA: 'See you later', that’s a good one. What about your favourite TV show to binge watch? Are you a Netflix-er?

AS: Oh, Peaky Blinders every day of the week.

LA: So good. How did you find the new series?

AS: I loved it. I hated the first two episodes and I thought, the new director is on crack. I really was so deeply offended and upset by the whole thing because it had gone so cinematic and unreal. But I think he found his level and it got good towards the end. But it's basically the thing I love more than my family.

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LA: No spoilers for people reading who haven't watched, but I'm intrigued to see what happens in the next series. What about your all-time favourite movie?

AS: All time favourite, Mannequin.

LA: Oh yeah?

AS: How old are you, because this is the second time I’ve said that in a few weeks and people are like… Oh yeah? (I have no idea.)

LA: ......... I’ve never seen it.

AS: So it's a proper 80s movie, it's Kim Catrall as a mannequin in a shop, but she [comes alive and] falls in love. It's honestly joyous, fashion, it's so camp, it kind of has a bit of RuPaul vibe to it.

LA: OK I’m into it, you've sold it to me.

AS: You should honestly watch it, yeah it was fab. Also, throw in RuPaul [for TV shows] – a binge of its own.

LA: I binged that in the smallest amount of time I have ever watched a series, it's just the best thing.

AS: It's great, isn’t it?

LA: Are you into the UK one as well? I can't wait for the second series.

AS: Oh I love it. It's absolutely genius.

LA: Favourite Instagram accounts to stalk?

AS: I love Busy Phillips, I like Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye, love him. Jenny Mollen, do you know her? She’s married to the American Pie dude, the guy that shags the apple pie. She’s very funny. I also follow really weird psychology accounts, motivational quotes and advice around trauma.

LA: You’ve got to have balance.

AS: Yung Pueblo and then @the.holistic.psychologist is my favourite account, it's fab.

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LA: What does the word 'wellness' mean to you?

AS: Do you know what its weird, it's kind of strange. A year ago wellness meant like, yoga and a face mask, it felt different. I think wellness now is much more holistic, it's more about self-compassion, kindness, learning and acceptance.

LA: What is the first thing you bought with your first big pay check? Did you crazy at all?

AS: It was a handbag actually, by a designer called Pauric Sweeney. I stalked it for months and I had been doing the whole manifesting thing, 'I could totally buy this, I could totally buy this' – no, I couldn’t buy this, but I really believed that one day it would be mine. And then it went in the sale, I got paid and I bought it.

LA: Aww, full circle.

AS: Yeah, I was quite sensible at time with money and I tried to not buy things when I don't really need them.

LA: Do you have any tattoos?

AS: I don’t have any tattoos.

LA: That’s fine, I won’t ask you to talk me through them. What about piercings?

AS: I’m not very modern on the old piercing front, I have my ears pierced twice.

LA: I think keeping to the ears is quite nice. You see so many nice curated ears at the minute, don’t you?

AS: I love a curated ear, but it felt like a really bold move when I got two done. Now I think I might just jump in and do the whole shebang.

LA: Just add another one on there, you'll barely notice it. Who were you most star-struck meeting? I always think this is quite a funny one.

AS: Oh, you know what, this is the weird one, because I don’t know if it's quite the right one but, Noel Gallagher.

LA: That’s a great one!

AS: Oh my God, so I have interviewed him twice for The One Show and one of my very first live interviews, which was for T In The Park on BBC Three back in the day. Growing up my sister was a massive Oasis fan, so obviously I was too, so it was a real moment. He had said he wouldn’t do an interview, and then his beautiful wife who I now know, she was like, 'she’s Irish Noel, do the gig, do the interview!' And so I got an interview with Noel Gallagher because his fabulous wife was like, 'my mam will kill you'.

LA: That is not only a great star-struck story, that is a great story full stop.

AS: Yeah it was, and he was so lovely. Maybe a few years later on The One Show, he read out gardening questions for the viewers, which is honestly one of my favourite moments of TV with Noel Gallagher.

LA: I’m going to find this on YouTube, it sounds amazing.

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.