Toff talks make-up, good books and being comfortable in your own skin

'You're going to think I'm really morbid...'

Georgia Toffolo, aka Toff, is best known for her role on Made in Chelsea, but really became one of the nation’s sweethearts after winning I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in 2017. For the second year in a row the super smiley 24-year-old is one of the faces of Dermalogica’s #Skindividual campaign, which is all about celebrating the healthiest version of your skin.

In this instalment of Beauty Bytes, Toff and I sat down to talk all things skincare, make-up, self confidence, books, and the unusual London landmark she goes to when she’s down in the dumps. So, we covered just about everything, really…

LA: How do you take care of your skin? Talk me through day and night-time.

GT: Oh my god, love it. First I use the Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse Oil. I used to use the balm but I’ve switched to the oil now and I really, really like it. Then I use my Foaming Wash from the Clear Start range and  I’ve just switched over to Hydramist. Then, my Clearing Serum on top, and then I’ve just started using the Intensive Moisture Balance in the past month or so. It’s a tiny bit thicker than the moisturiser that I was using, but I absolutely love it. This is my night-time routine, by the way.

In the morning I do the same with the Pre-Cleanse and same cleanser after. You’ve always got to double-cleanse, I’ve learnt this. Then I will dab on the Spot Fader, snazzy little thing. It lives with me in my make-up bag, but I also use it in the morning. Then, I will do my Clearing Defense Moisturiser, which has got factor 30 in it. I switch up moisturisers from morning to night – and I’m taking such joy in my routine!

Dermalogica AGE Bright Spot Fader, £40.50, Lookfantastic

Georgia Toffolo Dermalogica Spot Fader

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LA: So nice isn’t it? You realise you’re obsessed when you look forward to washing your face.

GT: I know, how weird is it? Oh, and I don’t exfoliate every day, I do every other with the Microfoliant. It’s the best, it’s not too harsh on my skin, the perfect amount.

LA: What skin type would you say you have?

GT: It’s really interesting, because I have suffered so much with spots, everyone’s like, ‘oh, you must have oily skin’. But I don’t really. I would say it’s quite normal, just I suffer with blemishes sometimes and I get very dry sometimes. Some days I wake up and I’m not worried about my spots that day, so I mix up things in my routine. That’s why I really like the new serum because not only is it dealing with the spots, it’s preventing the ageing side of things too, which is quite nice. I’m in my mid-twenties now and I had never thought about it as much as I have in the past few months. So it’s lovely to have a product that does two-in-one.

LA: Prevention not cure.

GT: Yeah, quite right!

LA: Tell me more about the #Skindividual campaign.

GT: I’m so proud to be a part of it, it’s the second campaign that we’ve done. We had a meeting and floated the idea about doing it make-up free, because I’ve been on this journey with my confidence where, a year ago, the thought of doing something on that scale without any make-up on filled me with dread. And so last year, we didn’t. We made that choice to just cover up the few blemishes that I had. But this time we went for it, make-up free. The campaign is all about feeling confident in the skin that you have and making sure that it is at the healthiest point that it can be. That’s why the campaign worked so well, because that’s how I feel at the moment. It was such a joy to shoot. Then to see the final video, the engagement and the wonderful messages that I’ve had off the back of it, has been really amazing. The three new products are insane.

LA: It’s so nice to see people thinking and feeling, ‘oh yeah, I can go outside without putting make-up on’.

GT: It’s the most important thing.

LA: Do you find you’re now happy to say, ‘I’m going to go outside with my hair like a pineapple, make-up free’?

GT: Oh yeah, of course! But not because I feel as though I should, it’s because I want to. It’s because I have that inner confidence now. But I didn’t before, I really didn’t. Looking in the mirror and thinking, gosh, I really feel nice,’ when I look at my reflection – I just never thought I would, to be honest. That’s why the whole campaign is quite an emotional one; we didn’t do a script, it was just an honest review of the past 10 years. I don’t like how celebrities are seen as perfect beings, because it’s so far from the truth – no one is. It’s so important that people who follow me know that I feel I don’t look very good sometimes, because that is completely normal. Everyone feels like that.

LA: Yes, we’re all human beings.

GT: Yeah, it would be strange if you didn’t! I went to Barbados in January and had make-up on the whole day, because there were paps everywhere. One day we got on the bus to the other side of the island, to have no press or whatever. Someone had obviously told them where we were and there were these really awful pictures of me printed in the press where the side of my face was really, really angry and red. I was just having a bit of a funny skin week, I had just eaten a burger, I didn’t look very good. I was so upset about the pictures going up, but then I read all the comments and they were amazing. They were like, ‘That is just a 24-year-old girly on holiday!’. It was the most empowering thing. I thought about it and I’m actually really glad that they did that. How silly of me to spend the first three days of my holiday sat on the beach with my make-up on! A really positive thing out of something that could have been a real negative.

LA: That’s so interesting. I was really worried where that story was going then!

GT: It really is! The Daily Mail comments are always savage, but not that time. A picture of the side of my face, with my acne scarring and pigmentation, sells for so much more than one of me sat face-on. It’s really bad. I understand that it’s their prerogative and naturally, I don’t care now. So, what a lovely stage to be at!

LA: That is nice. Do you feel like you have got more used to being a celebrity?

GT: I think so, although it will never be normal. But because I have been such a spokesperson for positivity with a few things, particularly my skin, I feel I have leveraged it for good. So even though there are a few drawbacks, what I’ve done and the messages I get from people make all of it worth it. And, I do love what I do. I’m so lucky.

LA: What’s your favourite skincare product? I feel like you love Dermalogica so much this will be quite difficult. But if you had to pick one?

GT: The one for me in the past month… Can I have two? Do you mind?

LA: No, go on.

GT: It’s so hard! OK, the Spot Fader is so good because I’m always panicking about them, and it lives in my bag so I can just dab it on. And this Max Factor thing – oh god, it looks so battered because I use it every day. It’s called Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Copper 03. What I love about it is that I can put it on my cheeks, my eyes and my lips at the same time. But I really struggle to get it, so have to get it online. I would say those two.

Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher in Soft Copper, £6.99, Superdrug

Georgia Toffolo Max Factor blusher

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LA: I hope it’s not been discontinued.

GT: Oh my god, don’t even start. I would be beside myself.

LA: Favourite three beauty brands?

GT: OK! Dermalogica, obviously. I like Eucerin, quite simple, plain. And I love Charlotte Tilbury as well; I love the products, but also the packaging is so pretty in my make-up bag. I’m such a sucker for it, but they actually work as well.

LA: Yes! It’s that coppery, rose gold thing that we’re all obsessed with at the moment.

GT: My lips are always dry but the lipsticks are really good with me. They don’t dry out too much.

LA: Yeah, they are matte but they don’t dry. I’ve got one on now, so nice. What about the worst beauty trend you have ever attempted?

GT: Oh, definitely when I was boarding when I was younger, we used to do bronzer everywhere. I never did foundation lips, but we did Rimmel Bronzer all over! I’m so fair that I don’t know how I got myself to be that shade of orange.

LA: It was quite impressive, wasn’t it? I was really fair and had the old Dream Matte Mousse in the wrong shade.

GT: Dream Matte Mousse, oh my god, I used to love it! I used to stick my finger in that pot.

LA: And you used to dry it out in about two seconds.

GT: Oh, of course. I forgot about that!

LA: Best beauty advice you have ever been given?

GT: It’s got to be the double-cleanse. It’s got to be. Particularly because I wear make-up a lot for work. I kick myself over the past eight years, the amount of shoots I’ve been on and have cleansed once in the evening. You’ve got to do it twice.

LA: Even if you’re not wearing make-up, you have to get SPF, everything off.

GT: And living in London as well! All of the pollution. Really important to double cleanse.

LA: Ugh. Yes. Best product recommendation you’ve ever received? What has somebody put into your hands and you’ve thought, I cannot live without this again.

GT: I like my make-up to be quite natural and I’ve been on a bit of a journey with it. I’ve sort of gone full-circle; I’m so proud of the way my skin is now that I don’t want to cover up as much. So anything natural. I screenshot this for you because I thought you might ask. My auntie got it for me for Christmas in my stocking, I put it on my Instagram story ages ago. It’s SmashBox and it’s a Sharp Lip Liner in Safe Word. It looks like your natural lip colour.

LA: It’ so nice when you find the perfect colour.

GT: Yeah, and now my whole family all have the same lip colour!

Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in Safeword, £16, Fabled

Georgia Toffolo Smashbox lip liner

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LA: Let’s say that the house is on fire, all of the important stuff is safe but you can only save one beauty product. What do you grab?

GT: Oh my god, that’s so hard. My thinking is I want something that will cover slightly, but not too much. It’s got to be that primer, Dermalogica Skinperfect SPF 30. Because, it’s not coverage, but whenever I put it on it takes my redness down a bit. You can’t see it but it smooths everything over. I think it would have to be that. Really difficult, that question.

LA: You’re kind of getting two-in-one. That’s good, clever.

GT: I’m trying to think of that! Would I be that thoughtful? Well done me for thinking about it.

LA: What is your beauty secret?

GT: Mmm! Good question. I put setting spray on the end of an eyebrow brush and I comb my eyebrows over, because they are a bit bushy and then they stay in position all day.

LA: Very good tip. What’s in your make-up bag right now? I feel like you’ve got it with you…

GT: I’ve only got the bare essentials, I haven’t got much. I’m really into brown mascara at the moment, I change my mascara so much. I’ve gone for No. 7, I really like it, I’ve bought it about three times. It’s a good one. Today, I’m just Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer. I’ve only been using it for the past month but I really like it, and because my skin is in a good place I can get away with not wearing foundation. But… I still don’t like being too far away from my foundation. This one is called Chanel Perfection Luminaire Velvet, SPF 15 – not enough – but it’s very light so I just have been putting it on the sides of my face if I’m a bit red.

LA: If you need a little bit of coverage.

GT: Yeah, just a little bit with my Max Factor thing. This is literally all I need now, which is so good. Occasionally, I will use a kohl eyeliner – the standard MAC one. But I don’t put it on the bottom inside, I lift up my eyelash and I’ll put it on the inside there. And, I love Real Techniques’ brushes – this is the best foundation brush I have ever used, the 200 Expert Face Brush.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, £8.99, Lookfantastic

Georgia Toffolo Real Techniques brush

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LA: A nice little capsule there.

GT: It’s not the extensive one but yeah, the day-to-day.

LA: What is the best tip a professional makeup artist has ever given you?

GT: Ooh gosh, I must have heard so many over the years. Let me think. When putting on foundation, it’s so much better to put tiny bits on and build it up slightly so you don’t look caked in it. Because when my acne has been really bad, I have been very guilty of putting loads on the palm of my hand and just going ‘woooosh’, all over my face. What else? Highlighter up right underneath my eyebrow and then on my cupid’s bow. It makes a real difference.

LA: It gives you a nice glow, doesn’t it? How do you look after your hair?

GT: Ooh! I’ve been very good with my hair. I used to have extensions in for volume. Then I had them taken out one day and I looked in the mirror and thought, I actually don’t look that bad without them. But it needed a bit of TLC, so, every time I wash my hair now, I do a mask in the bath. And I brush all of it through with one of those wet brushes. But yeah, I cannot tell you the difference in my hair.

LA: Hair masks are so good.

GT: Oh, they’re so clever! I flip between different hair masks. I really like Kérastase and the Philip Kingsley one, but it’s so expensive so I only use that once every couple of weeks.

LA: Elasticizer?

Georgia Toffolo

GT: Yeah, it’s so good but I just can’t use that all the time. I mean, the pot is like that big.

LA: You can get one that is absolutely enormous, *this size*.

GT: It must be about four hundred thousand pounds.

LA: Probably, yeah. How often do you work out and what is your favourite way to exercise?

GT: I used to be really sporty. Now I do the odd thing, I try to walk a lot, I’ll go for a little jog occasionally, but it’s only when I feel like I want to. I don’t like doing really rigorous exercise. I don’t mind a bit of yoga. I do a lot of walking in the city and on the weekend I’ll do a big walk, but I won’t go and do a HIIT class every morning at 6am. It’s just not me.

LA: I don’t know how people can do that. I’m too tired at that time.

GT: Yeah, me too. It’s just not for me. But I make sure I get my 10,000 steps, it really affects my mood when I do. It’s not about going for a 10-mile run, I couldn’t do that. But moving a bit and getting out is really important.

LA: Fresh air.

GT: Yeah, I think so. I grew up in Devon so I had loads of that growing up, so I do slightly miss it. But, yeah, I’m good. If I have meetings here, I’ll walk and it’s quite a long way from mine. Not that I did this morning, but I do normally! Sometimes I run but that’s when I’m feeling really agile.

LA: Do you have a signature perfume?

GT: I do! Miss Dior.

LA: Do you have a few other go-tos as well?

GT: This one that I have had since I was about 11, Juicy Couture, I really love it. I don’t know why it smells so nice. Boys always comment on it.

LA: Really nostalgic.

GT: Yeah, it smells like school. I keep them all over the house.

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, from £45, John Lewis

Georgia Toffolo Miss Dior

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LA: Does your beauty routine change when you’re on holiday or travelling? What do you do?

GT: Yeah, for sure. With regards to my makeup, I try to just wear concealer and I go up a shade. I take my Chanel bronzer thing, you know, the big one. I think they are such a good investment, I’ve had the same one for so long and it makes you look really sun kissed. With regards to my skincare, I make sure that I’m really good in the morning with my moisturiser, which has lots of SPF in it. I am quite militant with wearing factor 50 everywhere because of my skin, just paranoid.

LA: It’s great to do that.

GT: It is definitely good to. I don’t travel light with my beauty box when I travel. I like to have all my bits, because I’ve put so much effort into making my routine as good as it is now. I also want my skin to be the best that it can be on holiday, so I don’t want to throw it all away.

LA: What are your three most used Emojis?

GT: Let’s have a look. I like the sandwich one, I like the bat one and I like the beers one. Sandwiches, bats and beers.

LA: Great combo, sandwiches and beers. What is your favourite book?

GT: Ooh! Jilly Cooper, Riders. It’s my favourite. I could read it over and over.

LA: You’ve got your book club as well, haven’t you?

GT: Yes, yes! I’m announcing the new book today. I love reading, I’m such a bookworm.

LA: Same.

GT: It’s my downtime, I love it. I thought it’s quite a sweet idea to do the book club online because there are so many of my friends, we all love reading but don’t have time to go to a book club.

LA: It’s so much easier to do it online. You can check in wherever people are.

GT: Exactly. I found it hard to find a happy medium for everyone, because a month is quite a long time for some people, but for others it’s not enough. So I’m going to do one every two weeks, with recommendations as well.

LA: I’ll keep my eye out. What else have you read recently?

GT: I’ve been reading a really good book but I can’t bloody remember the name of the title. It’s by a French journalist called Marie Le Conte and it’s all about the goings-on in Westminster. It’s not party political, it’s more the interesting back room things that are told to journalists off-the-record that somehow made it to the front pages. [Haven’t You Heard…? A Guide To Westminster Gossip And Why Mischief Gets Things Done]. It’s not out yet.

LA: Interesting!

GT: The other book that I’m really excited to read is by Nimco Ali. She’s an amazing woman who has campaigned against FGM for years. I’ve bought it and I think that’s the next book I’m going to read. I think it might be my recommendation for book club next month.

LA: Cool. What would your last meal be?

GT: Right so, it would either be a six inch tuna Italian Subway, or it would be beef wellington with mashed potato.

LA: Gravy?

GT: Yes, really rare, delish.

LA: Favourite TV show to binge watch?

GT: Downton.

LA: OH, same!

GT: Don’t – the movie is coming out in September.

LA: I know, I’m so excited. And I’m really happy that all my favourites are still in it.

GT: I know, thank god. I was swiping through like, ‘where is everyone?’

LA: Yes! I checked the poster like, ‘you’re there, you’re there, good.’ Going to have to watch it all again before September. Favourite movie or movies?

GT: Anything Richard Curtis, so Notting Hill, that vibe, yeah.

LA: Did you watch the Children In Need thing? They did a remake of Four Weddings.

GT: Oh I haven’t seen that, you know. I’ve got to watch that.

LA: It’ll be on YouTube.

GT: There is a new movie that Richard Curtis brought out last week, I haven’t seen it yet. It’s called Yesterday – I’m sure it’s called Yesterday – or Yesterday something? Apparently it’s great.

LA: Weirdest pickup line you’ve ever heard?

GT: ‘You’re so much better looking in real life, do you want to go for a drink?’ It’s like, god do I look that rancid on the telly? I didn’t know how to take it.

LA: One of those backhanded compliments. Like, ‘thank you?’

GT: Yeah, thank you – or not?

Georgia Toffolo

Lucy: Favourite Instagram accounts to stalk?

GT: Mrs Alice, I love. Do you follow her? She is so epic. Love Lily James as well, because I think her Instagram is quite organic. I quite like that. She doesn’t treat it as a business. She will tag in people and be like, ‘OMG, I had the best day on this shoot’ and it won’t be a picture from the shoot, it will be a picture of a director. I really like that.

LA: What does wellness mean to you?

GT: I think it means looking in the mirror, being confident and liking what you see. I think everyone has different levels of that, and I think most people are on a journey and there’s ups and downs. But it would be wonderful if most people looked in the mirror and were like, ‘yeah, I like that.’ I think that is wellness.

LA: So feeling comfortable in yourself. What do you do if you’re having a bit of a bad day to perk yourself up?

GT: Go for a long walk, listen to a podcast – a really silly one, you know, nothing too intellectual. What else? It sounds really weird, you’re going to think I’m really morbid.

LA: I love weird things.

GT: I really like walking through Brompton Cemetery. It’s really peaceful.

LA: I mean, it’s considered a tourist attraction.

GT: I love all history and there are some really amazing people buried there. The lady who started the Suffragette movement is buried there. I just think if you’re having a bit of a shit day, it’s really peaceful and there are lots of lovely things written on everyone’s graves. It’s quite a nice thing to do.

LA: I actually think that does sound nice. Do you have any tattoos? No? What about piercings?

GT: No, only these two. I’m just not cool enough for that!

LA: I don’t even think it’s being cool.

GT: You think?

Lucy: No, just when I was a teenager I put loads in my ears. Who were you most star struck meeting?

GT: Joanna Lumley. I know, I died, I died. She was like, ‘My darling girl!’ Where do you go from there? I can die happy now.

LA: Maybe her and Jennifer Saunders in the same room.

GT: Oh god, that would be amazing. I love the movie! Both of them.

LA: I haven’t seen the newer film actually.

GT: I watched it on the plane. I think it is brilliant, it’s just those two having fun. Yeah, of course. Definitely her.

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