Removing your Make Up…Kindly!

Before modelling, I hadn’t been allowed by my mum to wear make up, except for a dab of natural lipstick for special occasions, concealer on my (many) spots and a bit of a play with a Collection 2000 eyeshadow palette for school discos. At the time I was desperate to experiment with green eyeshadow, foundation and doing my hair into knots all over my head a la Gwen and Bjork…


I love Bjork but this would NOT have suited me…


…Nor would this

I’m very thankful to Mum now for being so strict. Natural always looks best, especially on young girls.

The thing is though, that when people started applying make up on shoots…WAH! My skin rebelled! What was this all of a sudden attacking my pores? Those layers and layers of slap, powder, and multiple looks taken off and reapplied made my already spotty skin far, far worse. I now had acne, and skin that was simultaneously incredibly shiny, and incredibly dry.

So what did I do to combat these spots that I felt were taking over me and my face? The shine that radiated from my nose so badly that I could see it in my peripheral vision? The dry skin that made smiling feel uncomfortably tight?

I did what any normal person would do, and started cleansing with DETTOL.


Dettol: Use it to clean toilets, but not your skin kids.

I’d also keep my shoot make up on for nights out with friends or just to show my parents when I got home. Dettol as your cleanser + heavy make up left on for 15 hours aren’t really beauty techniques I’d recommend. In the end I used medication to clear up the spots, and got savvy with my skin care. From the age of 18, my beauty knowledge had clicked into place and I started really, deeply looking after my skin.

If I was to share all of my knowledge with you in one go, this blog post would be longer and heavier-going than Moby Dick, so I wanted to focus on one of the most vital components of looking after your skin in modelling (and, indeed, if you live in a city/wear make up every day) one at a time.

Removing Your Make Up.

The second your shoot is over, and before you cleanse at night, you want to take off every last trace of make up. It’s important to do this as kindly as possible, to avoid stressing the skin (which can give you spots, oily skin, rashes and more) and as gently as possible (dragging the skin can give you lines).

You’d be shocked to see how vigorously girls take their make up off after shows and shoots, often dragging alcohol-laden cleansing wipes over their tired, reddening skin.

It’s best to avoid cleansing wipes unless there isn’t any other option, as they are often incredibly harsh and drying. Let me talk you through what I recommend.

Micellar Water


1) Bioderma Most self-respecting make up artists have this. It’s a very gentle micellar water (this has incredibly mild surfectants that gently pull away the make up), which and is fantastic and getting off stubborn mascara and layers of make up, whilst keeping your skin calm. Apply to cotton wool and gently remove make up until not a trace is left.

A saviour to girls who are doing numerous shows in a day, it feels cool and refreshing without that drying sensation after that other make up removers can give. One of my favourites. You can buy it in any pharmacy in Paris, a few places in London so I recommend you go online, here at The Garden Pharmacy where it’s £4.50 for 100ml. Check out Avéne’s, too, a brilliant brand for sensitive skin.



Neals Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm is my ultimate balm. It’s £37 for 50g – very pricey, but worth it.

Balms are fantastic for anyone with dry skin, though they do take getting used to and they are a little messy. I love it though, as it replenishes your skin’s moisture whilst removing the make up, so at no point will I suffer from that dry, tight feeling and reddened skin on the journey home.

Simply place a small amount in the palm of your hand, rub together and get it nice and viscose. Then rub all over your face, gently (especially gently on the eye area). When you look in the mirror, you will look a bit like this:

The Scream by Edvard Munch

‘The Scream’, which is what my boyfriend does if he sees my at this point of my ‘cleansing ritual’

But don’t worry. All that cakey mascara will have come off, and it’s just about removing the make up by cleansing or using some micellar water to get it off.

I love Neals Yard’s Wild Rose balm, which I realise is very pricey. It’s beautiful though, and will last you all year.


Like balms, oils are great at removing make up whilst maintaining the skin’s moisture balance. They’re also a little easier, as you don’t have to work them up in the palm of your hand. It can just sometimes be quite hard to get rid of a certain oily residue, so do this if you have nothing else that night other than stay in and watch House of Cards. If you head out for a night on the tiles, photos will show your skin will be reflecting everyone’s faces back at them.

Shu Uemera’s is a bit of a cult, and for good reason: it’s gentle, soothing and effective.


It’s also £30 – not bad, but let’s have a look at what you can use if you’re on the lower end of the budget…

Budget removers

Not everyone can pay nearly £40 for a balm or head off on the Eurostar to get a micellar water. There are two great multi-taskers you can have at home!

Olive Oil (or other oils: avocado oil, almond oil etc)


Ainsley and I just love olive oil…

It’s a simply a brilliant make up remover – simply put some in the palms of your hand and work all over your face until the make up has come away. These are very nourishing and rich in Vitamin E, which is soothing and healing to skin.

Coconut Oil


I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconut…oils. Tiana is my favourite.

I buy the slightly pricier extra virgin stuff because the quality is so much better, but when you consider that this is a cooking oil, a moisturiser, a hair mask and a make up remover it’s actually very economical! Miranda Kerr waxes lyrical about it, and who’s gonna argue with that?!


If it’s good enough for Miranda…

I actually use this the most regularly out of anything to remove make up after shoots – and I eat a spoonful while I’m doing it, too. Cos I’m greedy like that!

The most important thing is to always be gentle with your skin, and always remove it before you go to sleep. Promise me that you will never fail to do this!

Rebecca x

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