Health

Katie Piper: As a feminist, I don't do my hair and make-up for guys

Activist and author Katie Piper says she has enjoyed having more time for pampering during the pandemic

Katie Wright, PA

Katie Piper says she doesn't do her "hair and make-up for guys" but probably "more for other women, like friends and colleagues". Picture by PA Photo/Handout

AS much as Katie Piper loves indulging in a bit of pampering while working from home, her skincare routine doesn't come without risks.

"Sometimes I put facial oil on in the day, just to give my skin a treat, but then if the Amazon delivery guy knocks on the door, I look like this crazy, oily, greasy person," she says, laughing as she describes her typical lockdown look.

We're speaking just before the latest easing of Covid restrictions.

"The other day, I was like, 'I'm so glad I'm not single', because I'm answering the door in my hotel shower cap with my hair up, my oily face and wearing my tracksuit that I never change, it's stayed the same for months," she says.

She may not have been getting suited and booted very often, but the activist, author and broadcaster, who lives in London with husband Richard and daughters Belle (7) and Penelope (3), has certainly been busy over the past year.

Alongside mummy duties, the 37-year-old has been running The Katie Piper Foundation - which supports burns victims - from home, writing her 10th book (A Little Bit Of Faith, out in September), hosting her podcast Extraordinary People, and acting as ambassador for Pantene.

And while much of her work has been online or socially distanced, Piper has still found plenty of excuses to get glammed up.

"I have become this real saddo that does a full face of make-up at home, for Instagram - or for nothing, really," Piper says, explaining this is because she derives so much pleasure from her getting-ready rituals.

"As a feminist, I don't do my hair and make-up for guys. All this stuff I do - this self-care, these treatments and the glam - I actually do it for me, because it's part of my identity and who I am," she says.

"Lockdown made me realise I probably do it more for other women, like friends and colleagues.

"And I just enjoy the process. In the evening, I'll put my hair mask on, I'll get my wide tooth comb and section my hair, then put my shower cap on and start plucking my eyebrows. That's like the new going out for me."

Katie Piper and husband Richard Sutton. Picture by Ian West/PA Photos

It's a sentiment to which beauty buffs can relate, whether you've become skincare obsessed during the pandemic, or are loving wearing make-up again now that lockdown restrictions are being relaxed.

So, what hero products does cosmetics queen Piper recommend? Here, she shares her fail-safe favourites and latest discoveries...

Pantene Pro-V Colour Damage Reverse Hair Shot, £1.98 (was £3.99), Superdrug

"I would definitely say the new Colour Damage Reverse Shot from the silky and glowing range from Pantene.

"It feels like a real add-on to using hair masks, and I think it's really important to work that into your routine, particularly if you colour your hair."

Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Moisturiser, £23.32 (was £34.99), Boots

"I've just started using a retinol product. Loads of things kept coming up on Instagram about retinol. I was like, 'I've never done this before, I've got to do it properly'. So I did my research from all the blogs and reviews, and I've got one that's incorporated into a night cream."

Olay Brightening Eye Cream for Dark Circles, £24.99, Boots

"I also invested in an eye cream from Olay. I pat that under and above my eyes before the retinol so that I don't get retinol in the sensitive area near the eyes.

"That's really helped, because being indoors a lot - you feel a bit sallow, so I wanted to do that to help with the collagen and elastin."

Ardell Fashion False Lashes Demi Wispies, £5.49, Superdrug

"I've been wearing less and less make-up [recently], so I've been doing things like my brows and my lashes. I really like the Demi Wispies by Ardell, because they're not the big glamorous ones."

Sanctuary Spa 10-in-1 Super Secret Facial Oil, £20, Boots

"Sanctuary Spa face oil is really good. I apply it all down my neck and actually down to my chest, and then any excess I wipe on the tops of the hands, because they age.

"Then I massage it into my cuticles as well - I hate wasting products."

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