Before bestselling author Lindsey Kelk wrote her first novel I Heart New York, before she became a renowned beauty blogger, before she moved to New York City and even before she became a Marie Claire columnist, she studied in the Loughborough area. I had a chat with home grown Lindsey about her tips for Style, Stripped.
What trends do you think Loughborough students should be wearing this Spring/Summer?
My favourite trends at the moment are pastels (I keep leaving the house looking like a big ice cream), neon colour pops and clashing prints. Today I’m wearing a white skater skirt with giant polka dots and a stripy t-shirt. People keep looking.
I have brought it on myself. Trends are a great way to discover new looks but the most important thing you can do is adapt it so it works for you – style is more important than trends! Always be true to your own sense of style. My favourite item is my TopShop biker jacket. I wear it with everything, all the time.
Are there any beauty products which you buy and buy again?
Dior Lipglow. It’s a very sheer balm that deepens to a natural pink on your lips, like your own lip colour but better. I’ve gone through about six of the buggers.
Do you have any tips for home-made beauty products?
I used to be all about this stuff when I was younger but having wasted several thousand hours trying to wash olive oil out of my hair, I’ve got to say no. Just go to Superdrug and try the cheapo face mask/hair mask sachets. They’re better and cheaper, really.
With the Olympics just round the corner, what beauty products would you recommend for active students?
I think wearing make up when you’re being active is a bit sad. I want to be one of those impossibly fresh-faced girls who look like they’ve just come back from running a marathon with a rosy glow but when I run, I look like I’m dying. So, really, the Dior Lipglow and probably a touch of concealer if you need it. If you’re super active, think about tinting your eyelashes. Super active or hitting on a boy at the gym, panda eyes on the treadmill are not sexy.
What product will you not be leaving home without this summer?
I am the palest girl in the world so I can’t go out with SPF everywhere. I love Neutrogena products, they go up to SPF 100. I’m also all over YSL’s Glossy Stains. They’re not cheap but they are really great summer buys because they last and last without looking cakey or feeling uncomfortable. Good investment buy.
Which five beauty and make-up essentials could you not live without?
Armani Foundation, Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Dior Lipglow (have I mentioned I love this?) Rimmel Hide the Blemish and L’Oreal True Match Pressed Powder. I’d have to try to use the Lipglow as blusher. That might not be ideal.
Which beauty products should we be splurging on and which ones can we save money on?
In all honesty, these days there isn’t a lot of difference. I’m super pale so I tend to have to go to higher end ranges for foundation and concealer, just because the mass market ranges don’t make the right shades for me.
If you’ve got a bit more colour, I love Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse and L’Oreal True Match foundations. Maybelline’s gel eyeliner pot is one hundred percent as good as MAC’s Fluid Line. Maybelline Age Rewind illuminator shits all over Touche Eclat. Same for mascaras, L’Oreal Million Lashes and Maybelline Colossal Volume are brilliant, I only prefer Benefit They’re Real because it lasts longer without smudging and I have chipmunk cheeks.
The luxe brands tend to last a little longer and have a lot more pigment, plus they come out with new products sooner and let’s not lie to ourselves, they have much nicer packaging. I’m not proud.
In your first book, we see how hot the summer can get in New York, do you have any tips or products you can recommend to keep us looking fresh-faced all day?
Just try not to overdo it. This will be my fourth summer in NYC and I’ve just about got it down – tinted moisturiser (with SPF), concealer, a cheek stain – I love Cha Cha Tint – and some lash definition, either a long-wear mascara, tinted lashes or eyelash extensions are amazing (I know, I know, I’m disgusting). After that, just a touch of tinted gloss or balm and you’re ready to go. I hate being all made up and matte in summer. It looks weird.
Which parts of the face are most important for us to showcase our natural look?
I’d say go either lips or eyes. I like to play up my eyes because I’ve got such a long fringe, if I don’t wear eyeliner and mascara, I look like a newborn kitten. And not in a cute way. In a ‘I’ve got no eyes’ way.
Who is your favourite natural beauty?
I’ve seen So Much of Jennifer Lawrence on TV and in magazines lately, I think she’s beautiful. Ooh, and Emma Stone. Faux redhead solidarity.
Who is your favourite make-up artist/ make-up brand?
I love so many different brands but a quick review of my make up bag says I favour MAC, Benefit and Maybelline. I met with Charlotte Tilbury once and she was amazing. Completely terrifying but amazing. She made me rethink the way I looked at colour and helped me realise what make up actually worked for me as opposed to just picking the colours I liked.
Are there any beauty products that you miss from the UK?
There isn’t much you can’t get over here but I’ve heard L’Oreal has a knock off of (can you guess?) the Dior Lipglow that I’m dying to get my hands on. I do always stock up on anything awesome in TopShop or the Boots 17 or No 7 range but you can even get that here at Target now, it’s just pricier.
What is the best moment from your Loughborough memories (particularly interested in a great charity shop find/a great night out where you had to dress up?)?
I worked at Broadmarsh, Nottingham in Toymaster for two years so I did a lot of shopping in that area. There was a great British Heart Foundation charity shop that I used to pop into and quite frankly, I wore a lot of Pokemon t-shirts from C&A. Please note that it was 2000 and I was quite the trendsetter at the time…
Is the inspiration for Angela's (the main character in your series) style based upon your own preferences?
Definitely. I shop vicariously through her. And then sometimes physically because of her. It’s hard to research all the pieces online and then not go to check them out, she’s been responsible for some of my more ridiculous purchases. What a bitch.
Lindsey’s I Heart… series are available online and her new novel I Heart London is out June 7.