Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh, new beauty series where you’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favourite celebrities. They’ll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute-routine product lineup they can’t live without, the one good-skin tip they’ll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy.
This month, we're getting up close and personal with one of Britain's favourite TV presenters and the founder of My Little Coco, Rochelle Humes. As a fellow skincare enthusiast and beauty-product fanatic, she's answering all of our beauty questions and sharing her top product picks below. Enjoy!
How would you describe your relationship with beauty?
I’ve always been a product junkie for as long as I can remember, and I always will be. Even if I know that it's a product that's similar to something else, I still have to give it a go. I was probably about 10 when my mum got me a skincare set. I remember it so clearly. It was from The Body Shop, and it was a cucumber cleanse, tone and moisturise routine. That’s what my mum always taught me. Obviously, things have really developed since then, and there’s so much more that can be part of your regime now. But I remember watching my mum take her makeup off and just really loving it. I’m into skincare much more than makeup. Just because I love that it’s a pamper, a bit of self-care. My dream is to walk around the Liberty beauty hall. That’s my favourite place. On my own, no kids, nobody sat asking me what time I’m going to be home, just strolling around there. It’s dangerous, though—you need to remortgage your house once you’ve left [laughs], but it’s my idea of heaven.
If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what products would you use?
I’d put some moisturiser on. I use the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base (£45), and I just think it’s the best moisturiser for my skin. I use the eye cream as well. It’s the best thing to go on underneath makeup because I can’t bear it when moisturiser starts rolling off when you put stuff on top. This one just sits on the skin really well, and it can hold makeup, which is important. I would use a concealer from Estée Lauder, the Double Wear one because they do really good warm tones. I need that yellowy base versus the pinky or cooler colours. I actually use that as a foundation. I just use it on and around the bits that I need to cover up. For my brows, I use Eyebrow Queen Brow Fix (£25), and then that would probably be if I was in a rush, as I can do that in 20 seconds. Then I can obviously build on that, but I’ll always make sure I’ve got my brows and concealer on. Always. And a good lip balm. I use one from Summer Fridays, and if you’ve done that, then I think you’re fine. That’s how I do the school run most days.
Can you talk us through your skin routine, both morning and night?
My nighttime is more full-on than my morning. For my morning, I'll put an SPF on, a moisturiser—the Bobbi Brown one if I'm using makeup—a bit of eye cream and hyaluronic acid. I use the L'Oréal one. That's it in the morning, really quick.
In the evening, I use a scrub a couple of times a week from ZO Skin Health. It's a gritty one. I don't love a chemical scrub, but this one is amazing, and their stuff is lovely. Then I alternate that with a mask. I use one from Shane Cooper, who is my facialist, and he has his own skincare line—it's the Oxygenation Mask (£90), and it's foaming. Or I use one from 111Skin. They're expensive but so worth it for a special occasion. I'm so lucky because they send me lovely gifts, which is unbelievable. But when Alaia wants to play around with my products and asks if she can put a face mask on, I'm like, not that one [laughs].
So I do that and then a good eye cream and a serum. I always double-cleanse too—strict rule, there's no getting away from that. I do really try to take care of my skin, to be honest. I really do. I always have done. I’m good with keeping up facial treatments and I just find it really important. If you’ve got good skin then that’s half the battle.
What's the best piece of skincare advice that you've ever received?
That’s a good question—there are lots of things that I’ve picked up over the years! One of my best friends is called Nilam, and she’s an amazing beauty therapist. She told me to whack RevitaLash (£89) on my eyebrows, and it makes them grow. I was trying to get these little hairs to grow back in at the front [of my brows], and it was taking forever. For some reason, when I’m pregnant, my eyebrows just shrink in size. It’s really weird. So she told me to do that, and they all came back.
The other bit of advice is that I always put my eye cream on before anything else. I'll use retinol maybe once a week, but because the eye area is so delicate, it means you have a kind of barrier to protect that area before using any actives. I'm really into using different ingredients. You just have to be careful with those harsher things [like retinol], but they work so well. They're nothing to be scared of. You hear hyaluronic acid and think, Acid on my face? But it’s so good for hydration. I adore skincare. I wish I didn’t as much as I do, to be honest [laughs].
Are you a bath or shower person? If we looked in your bath or shower right now, what products would we find?
Bath. Always. Even in a rush, I’ll have a bath! I just run it and plonk myself in. Honestly, I just love a bath. Unless I’m washing my hair, then I’ll have a shower, I’m always a bath girl. I use my own bath soak from My Little Coco, the Baby Mama Bath Soak (£9). Obviously, I developed it to be exactly what I wanted to be. It was pretty self-indulgent [laughs]. It’s an oily but milky bath soak. It’s such a great texture, and it smells great. That's all I actually use at the minute. Before I had that, I'd use something like the Laura Mercier Honey Bath (£41). The vanilla one smells incredible; that’s a nice treat. But I think anything just really comforting and rich in a bath is lovely.
You launched My Little Coco in February last year, and the products are so lovely—congratulations! What was the driving force behind that, and how did the pandemic affect your plans after launch?
I mean, I remember we launched on the 17th of February, and by the next month, the world was in pandemonium everywhere. So at the time, I thought, Oh what a lovely time to have launched my first business [laughs]. But I retail at Boots. At first, I wasn’t sure if we were just going to sell the products from our own site or how I was going to retail it. I just knew what I wanted for the products. But then I thought, Wouldn’t it be really nice if you could grab this on the high street? Have it be accessible but with that premium feel—that's really our ethos. So in a way, I lucked out because Boots is a pharmacy, so it was one of the only shops that stayed open, so I felt really lucky, and I just can’t believe how brilliantly it’s done.
I’m just so shocked because we’re a small company. And when I say we, it's me! And it’s up there battling with the big guys, so I just cannot believe it. I started creating it when I got pregnant with Valle. I shopped quite expensively for Alaia because I couldn’t find anything on the high street that I thought did the job it needed to for her hair. Her hair is obviously curly, and finding the right products that were also environmentally friendly and organic and all of these things was hard. Bizarrely, when you’re trying to find stuff without certain ingredients, they tend to be more expensive, which is funny and a bit strange to me. So that was my real goal, and I’m just so chuffed that we did that. I’ve got a great team, and I love getting messages from mums who say things like they couldn't do their child's hair before these products or it's the only range they can use on their child because they have sensitive skin. The messages are just incredible to read.
If you could only use three products from the collection for the rest of time, which would you choose and why?
For me, I’d use the Moisturising Body Cream (£6). The cream is really rich. A lot of kids’ creams, you put them on, and they just disappear, and that really bugs me. I think typically, when you’re of a Black background, your skin is dry, and everything I tried before just wasn’t doing what it needed to do. Then I would use the bath soak, and I use the Detangling Water (£6) every time I wash my hair, the blueberry and grape one, just to get the knots out before I dry it or style it curly. For the kids, I would definitely say the Conditioner (£6), the Curling Custard (£6) and the Detangling Water (£6) as I just couldn’t do their hair without them.
Talking of hair, you’ve spoken previously about how you’ve made a conscious decision to embrace your curls since becoming a mum. Can you talk us through your hair journey?
Alaia was going through a phase where she wasn’t happy with her hair. She felt like it wasn’t princess hair because in all of the films she watched and the books that she was reading, the princesses didn’t have hair like hers. So I thought it starts with me, really. She’d never seen me with curly hair because I hadn’t worn it curly at all. She didn’t even believe me. She said, “No, you haven’t. You’ve got straight hair.” So I thought oh, gosh, okay. I used to relax my hair, but I cut all of the relaxer out and all of the heat damage and wore my hair curly continually. I didn’t have a day off for two years. Now, I kind of dry it one day and then go curly the next, whatever I feel like. I think it’s really important for kids to know that variety is the spice of life, and you can be what you want to be. One day you might fancy having a sleek pony, and the other day you might want massive hair. I’m letting her see that she’s lucky that she can do a bit of everything.
What are your must-have curly hair products?
There’s a brand called Twisted Sista that I think is really good, and I always use the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (£35). Then I use the L’Oréal Wonder Water (£10). Have you tried it? It’s so good! It almost feels like it heats up on your hair in the shower. I’ve literally run out at the moment, and I need to get some more because it’s so, so good. My hair just doesn’t dry as well when I don’t use it. If I’m going to blow-dry my hair, that is the ticket for me.
As a busy mum of three, do you have any time-saving beauty hacks or multipurpose products that you swear by when getting ready?
[Laughs] I don’t know how any of us do it! You just have to get on with it, don’t you? That’s what I use my balm for—it’s a multipurpose balm. We call it the My Little Everything Balm (£6) because it’s just a shove it in your bag, and it really does everything—your kids, your lips, dry patches, that’s what I created that for. It’s universal, and it’s unscented, which is nice when it’s for using on you and the kids and everybody.
Has anything about your approach to beauty changed over the last year, and are there any particular beauty looks that you’re looking forward to trying once we’re out of lockdown?
Obviously, it’s been all change because nobody has been able to go anywhere and beautify themselves in the way that we used to. I think everyone’s had to create their own routines at home—whether that be working out in the morning or a lunchtime class, you’ve had to try to give yourself some sort of routine. So skincare just really picked up for me in the pandemic more than ever. I was trying different masks and hair masks just because I could. I wasn’t seeing anyone, so I could put on a hair mask, and then all of a sudden, I hadn’t washed it out, and a week had gone by [laughs].
I really looked after myself and got good at painting my own nails, which I’ve never been good at—I’m good at my hands, but not at my toes. I’m going away on Friday, and I’m filming The Hit List. We record three episodes a day, so I’ll be in my element glamming up, different outfits, and it will be really, really nice. I haven’t got a proper red carpet event in yet, though. Everything is so up in the air still. I had one, and then it got postponed, so we’ll see, but as soon as there is one, I will be planning a look for it. That’s for sure!
You must spend a fair amount of time on set with makeup artists and hairstylists. Are there any game-changing beauty secrets that you’ve picked up from the experts?
Always mix your foundation. I always buy two foundations, and I mix. That way, it takes me forever to run out because I’ve got double the amount, but you might find you’re more tanned one month or there are certain areas of your skin that need a lighter finish. There’s a Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick (£66) that I love and I’ve used for years. I also use MAC Studio Fix Fluid (£27), and it’s quite matte, which isn’t very me, but what it allows you to do is put quite a lot of moisturiser underneath and then just buff it in. So you’re not actually using that much product, but what is there stays put, which is really good.
Do you have any “guilty-pleasure” beauty practices you like to indulge in?
I’m a picker. That’s my issue—the fact that I can’t just see a little spot and think it will go down tomorrow. I have to pick it. Fact [laughs]. And that goes for my husband as well! If he’s sat there, and I can see something, then I’m picking it, as much as he gets really stressed with me. I can’t help it. And when I go for my facial. Nilam or Shane, who I see, will be like, “You’ve been picking again,” and I’m like, I know, I know. I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t not.
Wellness and beauty are so intertwined. Do you have any wellness practices or supplements that help to give you a boost both mentally and physically?
Pilates is my favourite form of exercise, and I really needed that in lockdown. I do feel good after it. As much as I might dread getting up to do it in the morning, I’ve never ever regretted doing an exercise in my life. You just have to think of afterward. I don’t ever want to get up is the truth of it. My alarm will go off or Blake will cry and it’s always too early. I never feel like I’ve had enough sleep, but as soon as I’m up and I'm there and I’m doing it, I feel on form.
In terms of meditation, I’ve never really been into it. Honestly, if I have a bath, then that’s all the meditation I need. I just need that bit of time on my own with my bathroom door locked and no one disturbing me. For me, it’s about switching off, and that happens in Pilates too. Because I’m finding whatever I’m doing hard, there’s no time to think, so it’s kind of a form of escapism for 45 minutes or an hour.
I go through phases with supplements. I think I’m going to stick to it, and then I don’t. The only time I ever stick to it is when I’m pregnant, and I know I have to! I try to do a lot of it with food instead. If my iron is a little low, I’ll just boost that in what I’m eating, and you do see a difference.
Finally, what’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?
I think life is short. You are you for a reason. Embrace your beauty because you are beautiful, and don’t worry about social media because none of it’s real. You know, someone has taken a million selfies to get to the right one. They’ve chosen a good angle, the one they look the best in. We all do it. So just don’t compare yourself to that. You live once, so just enjoy it. That was way more than seven words, but we got there [laughs].
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