Emma Gunavardhana, Host of podcast The Emma Guns Show, talks us through the beauty products she swears by…
‘If my hair isn’t right I can feel a little bit undone. I have really fine hair and while there’s a lot of it at the back, from the ear-line forward my follicle density drops by about 50%. It means that my partings can, if placed in the wrong position, make my hair look incredibly thin and a little bit bald. The cause was hormonal alopecia in my teens, a symptom of PCOS, so I’ve become pretty good at disguising the sparse patches. Before I colour in my scalp with the new breed of pencils, powders and sprays – which really do give the illusion of a thicker hairline – I have to use a shampoo that won’t leave my hair limp or too smooth. The Ouai range by Jen Atkin, from £16, delivers that kind of ‘dirty clean’ finish that fine hair really needs. Anyone with thin or fine hair will know that days two and three, if you haven’t succumbed to grease, are when hair looks best and this shampoo and conditioner combo makes freshly washed hair feel a day or two old – in a good way.
Growing up I was obsessed with makeup and although I did cleanse, tone and moisturise with supermarket 99p-a-bottle protocols, which felt very grown up and glamorous, it’s only in my 30s that I’ve really taken skincare seriously. One of the first fashion shoots I ever went on was on location in Morocco and at the airport the entire crew stocked up on Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £27, saying how they couldn’t fly without it. I use it religiously on my lips at night and it’s actually a really excellent highlighter if you’re going for that dewy ‘no makeup makeup’ look.
Most days I do my face twice. I realise that sounds excessive, I don’t mean two full faces of makeup, but I’m usually up and out early to exercise or walk in the park nearby. I am pretty fastidious about protecting my skin so I’ll wear Ultrasun SPF30 for the Face, £18.99, which has a tint of coverage or the Erborian BB Cream, £36, that gives a really even, fresh-looking coverage and contains energising ingredients like ginseng to wake up my sluggish, lacklustre skin. Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Wake Up Balm, £46, is a product that really speaks my language. It feels incredible, contains optics that actually make your skin look more radiant and it’s packed full of anti-ageing ingredients.
I’m currently a bit obsessed with creating and faking that dewy, healthy-looking no makeup skin so I’m besotted with the way the Estee Edit Beam Team in Bronze, £34, adds a non-metallic warmth to my complexion. I also use the Hylamide Glow Booster, £20, most days to eliminate that dull, tired look that my skin gets, especially in winter. There’s a keto-sugar component that reacts with your amino acids to create a subtle glow to skin and it’s way more natural than anything containing DHA. The smallest amount of Tom Ford’s Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust, £52, on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose somehow manage to make it look as though I’ve just caught the sun somewhere fabulous, you know, like Capri…
In the morning after I cleanse I religiously spritz with the A’kin Hydrating Mist Toner, £12.50, that contains coconut water and makes my skin feel refreshed. It’s also wonderful at the end of the when my skin gets quite tight; I get in from work and a few spritzes can be a really satisfying pick-me-up too.
My hands get red raw in winter and as I’m hurtling towards 40 I’ve really noticed a changed in the texture of the skin on the back of my hands. I’ve used so many hand creams but nothing has worked in the way Skinfix Hand Repair Cream, £13.99, does. It’s packed full of natural ingredients and absorbs incredibly easily, which is what usually puts me off the creams that leave your hands claggy and greasy. I notice a real difference when I use this.
I’m so obsessive about taking care of my skin now and I saw a huge change in my complexion when I started double cleaning a few years ago. When the Pixi Double Cleanse by Caroline Hirons, £24, came out earlier this year it was ideal as I do like to cleanse with two completely different textures – the first to cut through makeup, the second to soften and soothe. This does that perfectly.
Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup is one of those ranges that gets me really excited and I’m slowly working my way towards getting one of everything. With the lipsticks I’m nearly there and the Hot Lips Super Cindy, £24, and Matte Revolution Pillow Talk, £24, are close enough to my natural lip colour to enhance and flatter really easily. It’s the last thing I apply before I leave the house and the texture is really compatible with the fresh, dewy skin I try to achieve with my base.’