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 favourite cheat meals. You know, all the important and essentials things that we need to know about.
As we’re reached the end of January – a.k.a. Veganuary – I wanted to chat to someone who’s better versed in the subject of cruelty-free and vegan beauty products. Who sprang to mind? Pixie Geldof, who’s pretty vocal about her love for both these topics. We met up to chat about exactly that, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brightly coloured hair and the small things that everyone can do to help save the world’s oceans. KT – Digital Beauty Editor
KT: IT’S VEGANUARY!
Pixie: It is!
KATIE: I SUPPOSE IT’S VEGANUARY FOR YOU ALL YEAR
Pixie: Veganuyear at all times!
KATIE: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE VEGAN BEAUTY BRANDS?
Pixie: Ummm… ‘The Body Shop’ although they’re not completely vegan, but the majority of their products are. ‘Cover FX’ which I am obsessed with and Lixirskin. Have you tired it? It’s so good I use it religiously.
KATIE: YEAH I LOVE IT. HAVE YOU TRIED THE RUBBING PRODUCTS THERE’S THIS RUBBING PRODUCT.
Pixie: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, the clay mask thing? Yeah I’m really lazy with things like that, but I did that last week and I was like “I feel so posh right now” but it’s really good.
KATIE: AND WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKE-UP BAG RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF SPECIFIC PRODUCTS?
Pixie: I don’t wear much make up, but I use Milk mascara. Push, smush, or…
KATIE: KUSH. YEAH MILK’S CRUELTY-FREE ISN’T IT?
Pixie: Yeah and vegan, so they’re pretty bang. And then I use a Milk, it’s the best lip balm.
KATIE: THAT’S IT?! IS THAT ALL THE MAKE-UP YOU USE?
Pixie: Pretty much. If I’m ‘wearing make-up’ I use the Glossier Skin Tint, which is just the best in the world because I don’t like to look like I’m wearing make-up. I really don’t like thickness, I don’t really understand powder or any of that stuff, so I use the lightest of everything I can use. Skin Tint is like putting water on your face. Then maybe a bit of brow. I like brow stuff actually.
KATIE: WHAT BROW STUFF DO YOU USE? GLOSSIER BOY BROW?
Pixie: Yeah that’s the best one. Although I want to try the Milk one. So yeah, all pretty simple.
KATIE: BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Pixie: Wash your face. I say wash your face all the bloody time. No, actually, do you know what? Face wipes: not a thing. You’re just putting dirt around your face. You’re just moving it. It’s like wiping a table with like a dirty rag, it’s just not how it works. I used to only just use face wipes, but not any more. First of they’re just bad for the environment and second of all they don’t work. So that’s probably the best advice I’ve been given.
KATIE: SO HOW DO YOU CLEANSE YOUR SKIN NOW?
Pixie: I actually think I do it the wrong way round. So I do two cleansers. I use the Milk Cleanser Stick, which has got a slight exfoliating thing in it and then I use the Lixirskin one which you leave on for a minute.
KT: THAT SOUNDS OK TO ME.
Pixie: Yeah, but then I remove my make up after. Well like whatever’s left.
KT: NO NO, THAT’S TOTALLY FINE.
Pixie: But in my head, I’m like: ‘should I take of my make up first?’ I use The Body Shop’s Camomile Eye Make-up Remover. It’s really gentle.
KATIE: WHAT’S THE BEST BEAUTY PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Pixie: Primer. And especially the CoverFX primer. I’d never used one before and I didn’t really understand what they were and then I used it and on the occasion that I actually wear make-up, it lasted so much longer. So I was like ‘oh into it!’ Primer.
KATIE: IF YOU HAD TO HAVE ONE HAIRSTYLE, ONE MAKE-UP LOOK AND ONE NAIL COLOUR FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU COULDN’T CHANGE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Pixie: I mean that sounds quite menacing, but OK. I’d wear a tight top knot like today. I like a little facelift. Then probably this make-up, so basically none. I like as much moisture on my face as possible, so I think I would just put on a thick base of heavy-duty moisturiser, then brows and mascara. And I do like a very light see-through blush, which I normally to use lip balm for.
KATIE: LIKE A TINTED LIP BALM?
Pixie: Yeah, so that. And then a lilac on the nails.
KATIE: OK NICE! AND WHAT’S THE WORSt BEAUTY TREND YOU’VE EVER ATTEMPTED?
Pixie: Anything I did with my hair until like three years ago.
KATIE: OK, WHICH WAS THE WORST?
Pixie: When I got extensions at 15/16 – they were really bad. I think probably anything to do with my hair was not great. I just look back and there are so many weird haircuts! I think I was doing them myself in fairness, no one else to blame but myself.
KT: I HAVE QUITE A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HAIR COMING UP…
Pixie: Oh my god who doesn’t?
KATIE: LET’S CHAT MANI’S. YOU OFTEN HAVE QUITE JAZZY NAILS…
Pixie: I do love a jazzy mani.
KATIE: LET’S TALK ABOUT THEM. HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET YOUR NAILS DONE? DO YOU LOVE GETTING NAIL ART? AND WHERE DO YOU GET IT ALL DONE?
Pixie: I used to like nail art. I used to have the proper really long nails with the sharp pointed tips. But due to my laziness I stopped having it, because they’re so high maintenance. You have to do that shit constantly – I had to do that every two weeks. It was incredibly expensive. The best thing I ever discovered when I had acrylics was encapsulating. Not many places do it in London, but they put the art inside the acrylic and then put it on your nails. That was a big moment for me. But I don’t have it anymore; I’m not so fussed about art anymore. I’m such a biter and if they look nice I won’t bite them. I do it every three weeks now and I love a pedi. Pedis are more important to me than manis
KATIE: BECAUSE OF THE ACTUALLY SCRUBBING OR BECAUSE OF THE PAINT?
Pixie: There’s just something about having nice looking feet that really gets me. As a nail biter I’m so used to them not looking nice that I’m kind of like ‘whatever’. But feet, I have a thing about nice looking feet.
KATIE: AND WHAT COLOUR DO YOU TEND TO GO FOR?
Pixie: I always go for really dumb colours. I like light colours on my feet, kind of exclusively. Currently they’re lime green, which is really not the colour your supposed to have on your feet, but I love it.
KATIE: WE’VE KIND OF TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN. DO EVER YOU GET FACIALS?
Pixie: Every now and then. I had a break out last year and not to sound like a dick, but legitimately for the first time ever I had the experience of breaking out and nothing was fixing it. And when I was in LA I went for a hydra facial kind of thing, with microdermabrasion and hyaluronic acid and it completely fixed everything. It was mad.
KATIE: DO YOU GO FOR REGULAR TOP UPS?
Pixie: Not that regular. I had another one six months later here in London. My spots were all cheek focused and it really helped with my blackheads and things like that. So that really the only facial that Iswear by.
KATIE: HOW OFTEN DO YOU WORK OUT AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO EXERCISE
Pixie: I work out four to five times a week.
KATIE: SHIT, REALLY?!
Pixie: Yeah, it’s a lot. I know it’s horrible. But I like it; I do enjoy it. I do two to three weight workouts and the one or two cardio days.
KATIE: IN A GYM?
Pixie: In a gym. I hate cardio. I hate it, I hate it.
KATIE: ME TOO, I HATE BEING OUT OF BREATH.
Pixie: Yeah, I hate it. It’s just not enjoyable. Every now and then I’ll be like, ‘oh I’m quiet looking forward to going for this run’, because I’ll be with my own mind and then as soon as I start doing it, I’ll be like: ‘lets stop this, I don’t want to be here.’ I really like weights. Not while I’m doing it obviously, I’m not insane.
KATIE: SO DO YOU JUST GO INTO THE WEIGHTS SECTION AT THE GYM AND JUST START LIFTING?
Pixie: I have a trainer that helps me with the weights.
KATIE: I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
Pixie: No, and now I do. Technically I could do it alone now, but I have no motivation to do that so I need someone who is like ‘I’m waiting for you!’ Otherwise I would just not show up. But it’s been really interesting because I’ve always thought that like fitness and everything was all about cardio and there’s a lot of emphasis put on it. And actually what’s changing my body the most is the weights. I’m a big fan of fit not thin. I want to feel strong. It’s only been about five months and already I feel much stronger, as does my back. I’m hyper mobile, especially in my back, so it used to hurt a lot, but it doesn’t any more and that’s become really important to me, more than anything else.
KT: ALRIGHT, HAIR. LET’S DO IT.
Pixie: My long-suffering hair.
KATIE: YOU OFTEN CHANGE THE COLOUR. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO DO EACH TIME, HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHANGE IT AND WHERE DO YOU GO?
Pixie: I go to Bleach; they’re the best for me.
KATIE: THEY ACTUALLY DID MY WEDDING HAIR.
Pixie: Did they?! I’m obsessed it with and I also like the environment at Bleach, like I always feel quiet awkward in posh salons, but at Bleach my friends and I can just hangout. I’ll just spend the day at Bleach!
KATIE: AND HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH COLOUR? BECAUSE YOU’VE HAD A FEW.
Pixie: We’ve had a few. Boy oh boy have we ever. Well due to trying to grow my hair back I had it dark for a while.
KATIE: YOU’RE NATURALLY…?
Pixie: I’m naturally kind of like auburn sort of a mix. It looks a lot darker at the moment, because of the bleaching and also the greys. I was dark for a while so I could grow it out, and I’ve spent the last six months going in every six weeks to bleach it back to blonde. I used to go into a salon with black hair and come out with white hair, but that is not how you’re supposed to dye your hair. And I’m kind of a bit mad that any-
KATIE: THAT THE SALON LET YOU DO IT?
Pixie: Yeah. I mean Bleach would never do that. Bleach told me that we’d have to do it in increments, and I was like ‘ugh boring!’, but they told me that I had to protect my hair and it’s survived. I genuinely thought I’d have to shave my head again. I just love all of the different multicolours. I want blue hair at the moment really badly, but I know that if I dye it blue I’ll have to bleach it a bit again and I’m like ‘it just can’t take it!’. But I shall do it too.
KATIE: I REALLY LIKE THEIR ‘ROSÉ’ SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER…
Pixie: It makes a really nice colour. It makes it kind of creamy after a couple of washes. I love that. I love a cream colour.
KATIE: SO HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR HAIR IN TERMS OF SHAMPOO/ CONDITIONER? DO YOU USE MASKS?
Pixie: I do. I use the Maria Nila Heal range on a day-to-day basis, and then I’ll use the Bleach Reincarnation Mask like every three washes as my conditioner. I also use an Argan Oil from Maria Nila because my hair is naturally quite dry and puffy, so I literally just brush it down with some oil.
KATIE: OK COOL. HOW DO YOU DEFINE BEAUTY?
Pixie: So deep! Oh my god this is so cliché answer, but generally you can tell when people feel comfortable. People sort of take the piss out of ‘feeling yourself’, but there’s something to say for it! I think if more people got into ‘feeling themselves’ it would be a good thing. And I don’t mean like taking hot selfies and putting it on Instagram. When people are feeling themselves I’m like, ‘yeah I’m into you’ and that looks really beautiful to me. I think it’s just everyone’s natural state, when they’re most comfortable. They’re most natural state is always their most beautiful state
KATIE: DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE?
Pixie: I don’t really wear perfume; I have this oil, which is just like a random oil that I found in a little store.
KATIE: IS IT SANDALWOOD?
Pixie: It’s like sandalwood and jasmine or something. I really like oils for smells; I like to put them in my hairline or things like that. But traditionally I like floral scents so like jasmine or rose.
KATIE: OK SO I’VE HEARD THAT YOUR CRUELTY-FREE AND VEGAN PRODUCTS CHOICES STRETCH TO ALMOST EVERY PART OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD…
Pixie: As much as it can. So cruelty-free cosmetics and cruelty-free medicine are very different things. The Body Shop have always campaigned for cruelty-free cosmetics and they have to be very specific in saying that because obviously there are different laws. Medical testing on animals is not something that I can weigh in on, I have no ability to and also there’s nothing I can really say on it. But with my house, all of the products we use are cruelty free.
KATIE: DOES THAT COUNT FOR CLEANING PRODUCTS?
Pixie: Everything. I think a big myth about cruelty-free and vegan is that it’s quite expensive and inaccessible, but not any more; it’s everywhere and it’s so easy to get these things. Waitrose own brand is completely cruelty-free. Their washing up liquid, their surface sprays etc and it’s not expensive. I do enjoy a home of ‘ no animals have been hurt in the making of this house’. But it’s harder with veganism. I’m not going to pretend that I am not still in the process of veganising. I’m not going to throw out things that I brought ages ago just because they have leather on them, because I think it’s wasteful and I don’t believe in that. So I try my best to not buy any new clothes with animal products, but that is hard and that’s something I am still learning. But more often than not it’s vintage or second hand. I’m not buying into the industry, but it is hard and I think people need to be very gentle with themselves about it. A lot of people beat themselves up about it but you’re doing your best, everyone has to do their bit.
KATIE: I ALSO HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE CRITICISE. MY HUSBAND IS VEGETARIAN AND SOMETIMES FEELS LIKE HE NEEDS A BIT OF OILY FISH EVERY NOW AND THEN, SO HE HAS IT AND SO PEOPLE WILL SAY ‘ I THOUGHT YOU WERE A VEGETARIAN?!’
Pixie: Yeah I’m not into that at all, because I think if you’re going to do something fair-fucking-play. I don’t know whether or not it’s absolute fact, but they say if everyone in America went vegan for a day a week, it would be the equivalent, emissions-wise, of taking eight million cars off the road. So if you’re doing it one day a week, you’re smashing it. No ones asking you to be perfect. If you’re on a diet and you eat some fucking pasta – give yourself a break, it’s ok. Don’t feel guilty. If you want to not eat animal products, but you want to wear them that’s your choice. It’s all everyone’s choice.
KATIE: WHAT ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY?
Pixie: What about sustainability? I’m a big fan.
KATIE: I READ THAT PART OF THE REASON YOU BECAME A VEGAN WAS FOR SUSTAINABILITY REASONS. WHAT OTHER WAYS HAVE YOU ADAPTED YOUR LIFE TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE?
Pixie: Obviously plastics is a huge thing and everyone talks about it. That’s been relatively easy to be honest. The dairy industry and the meat industry are the biggest emitters of CO2. I mean if you’re cutting out that, you’re pretty golden omissions wise. I have a big thing about sunscreen for example. I only wear reef-safe sunscreens. There are some amazing brands that are cruelty free and reef safe. My favourite is Kiss My Face.
KATIE: IS THERE A SYMBOL FOR REEF SAFE?
Pixie: No there isn’t actually, that’s funny. So for me it’s chemicals, banning plastic, being vegan.
KATIE: OK WE’RE MOVING AWAY FROM THE SERIOUS, TO THE RIDICULOUS…WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MOST USED EMOJI’S?
Pixie: Heart eyes, these guys, I love these guys. I use that for pretty much everything. And then, either probably just a heart or a rainbow. I love the rainbow. Also I like this one – hand up lady.
KATIE: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE?
Pixie: Not a fan of the booze. I’d rather have a Shirley Temple. But if I were to have a cocktail on the beach I’d have a Pina Colada. But that could be booze or no booze, I wouldn’t care.
KATIE: FAVOURITE BOOK?
Pixie: Call Me By Your Name. I’ve read it five times. I’m not kidding, I cry hysterically every time. Oh and it’s the best soundtrack. I listen to that soundtrack every time. It’s my favourite drive music. Have you read the book?
KATIE: NO I HAVEN’T, I’VE GOT IT AT HOME THOUGH.
Pixie: Read it. Oh my god please read it. Message me when you’ve read it. I’m obsessed with the film and Timothee Chalamet, but there’s something about the way the book is written and they way things are described; it’s just heart-breaking. But in a beautiful way and my god, killed me.
KATIE: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TV SHOW TO BINGE WATCH?
Pixie: Oh my god, so many and they’re all so embarrassing. I don’t give a shit: Gossip Girl. I’m a big fan of One Tree Hill, I don’t care. No one likes One Tree Hill, I’m the only one on planet earth, but I fucking love it. I’ll watch those sort of shows just to re-watch them.
KATIE: LIKE IN THE BACKGROUND WHILE YOU’RE DOING STUFF?
Pixie: Exactly, like when I’m cooking. Like One Tree Hill is the big one when I’m doing that. They’re my two favourites. Oh my god, wait Buffy! I’ll just sit and watch it forever. Buffy is the be-all-and-end-all. But Buffy I didn’t want to put into the same category as the others, because Buffy is actually good and genuinely important to me. And the soundtrack – fuck! There are so many songs that I know, only because of that. I’ll hear them and go ‘Buffy’! If I hear the Buffy and Angel theme song, I’ll start crying. [She starts humming the tune]. Oh my god, when she kills him! I actually can’t fucking handle how much I love that show.
KATIE: I LOVE SPIKE.
Pixie: I love him too. He’s got some great speeches actually. In the Lovers Walk episode, which I think is season three, he does a really good speech about love. I love him. That show taught me everything. Everything I know I learnt from Buffy. I genuinely think that’s true.
KATIE: IT WAS SO AHEAD OF ITS TIME.
Pixie: It’s so well written and important. It had a woman lead, two very strong female leads in fact. It wasn’t just about her relationships, it was about her relationship with herself predominately and I think that’s very rare in a teen TV show based on nonsense. It was a very good show.
KATIE: AND FINALLY, ENDING ON A HIGH, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT?
Pixie: Anything ocean based. Probably 50% of the things I follow are ocean based. I must say the Project Zero Instagram is particularly fantastic.
KATIE: WE HAVEN’T ACTUALLY SPOKEN ABOUT THAT.
Pixie: It’s an ocean marine conservation charity; we do big activation and fundraising events to help fund marine projects around the world. We are basically a funnel for other charities and projects. We just think it’s really important because of charitable giving world wide, if it was a pie chart 3% of charitable giving goes to the environment and of that 3%, only 6% of that goes to ocean charities. So there is no money going into what covers 70% of our earth. We really want people to be engaged in what’s happening. Like the plastic thing has been amazing, because it’s given something very tangible to people that they can take control of. When it comes to ocean issues, it’s so vast and so abstract, like ‘we’re going to save the ocean’, you’re like, ‘What does that actually mean?’ But if you look at it in terms of the threats that the ocean faces, they’re very sort of tangible and easy and really affect us. For example, overfishing is probably the biggest problem the ocean faces. So an easy thing for people to do is make sure the fish you’re eating is sustainably caught; make sure it’s not trawling nets. Trawling nets can be the size of four football pitches and then they throw out, I think it’s 16 billion or trillion tonnes of by-catch every year. By-catch is turtles, seals, dolphins, sharks, whales – things we’re not supposed to eat. 16 trillion! I’m sure it’s trillion, it may be billion, but either way it’s a lot of dead animals. So we can actively engage in stopping that, so where plastic has given us this push, I think now people are starting to get involved in these other things, like shark-finning and coral bleaching. It kind of started with Sir David Attenborough and Blue Planet II – he blasted a well-known problem into peoples’ homes and made it unavoidable. And I think that kind of pressure is necessary.