The first thing you notice on meeting Fearne Cotton is that she has amazing skin. I first met her back in 2011, and her skin is as flawless and glowing now as it was then. Even after having babies, which of course amounts to endless sleepless nights, she still has an incredible complexion.
The second thing is her hair. Very blonde, it’s also impossibly long—a pairing you don’t often see, as many have to sacrifice length in order to go so light. That makes Fearne the obvious choice as the ambassador for Garnier’s new Olia Super Blondes range. A shade extension to the existing range, the Super Blondes at-home hair dyes have the same technology as the existing shades—no harmful ammonia, which means they are gentler on your hair, but thanks to some clever scientific innovation they are still able to take you super blonde (hence the name). Keep scrolling for Fearne’s beauty tips on how she keeps her hair in the best condition, her skin looking quite so incredible and the secret strategy she has for boosting her energy levels so she can contend with two small children and Keith Lemon.
BYRDIE UK: How do you manage to get your blonde hair so long?
FEARNE COTTON: I tend to, if I’m not at work, wash it and let it dry naturally. I won’t use tongs at home; I just let it rest and chill out. I think flip flopping from doing work and having lots doing to it to leaving it alone has hopefully made it okay. I’m lucky. I’ve got quite thick hair naturally, so it’s less brittle and can withstand it. I think it’s luck of the draw that you can bleach it and get away with it, or sometimes you can’t and you have to use certain shampoos, but mine is pretty low-maintenance, thankfully. I quite like it to be ratty in texture; I’m not looking for a sleek blunt-ended hairstyle. I quite like it looking a bit messy and crazed.
BYRDIE UK: Your blonde hair looks great. What do you ask for in the salon?
FC: At the moment, I have balayage but I’ll be using the Olia Super Blondes soon, which means I’ll probably have it done every month, I guess. It depends what shade of blonde I end up going, so if it’s quite a light blonde, my roots will look dark and I'll probably have to do it quite often, which is okay; it's very easy to dye it.
BYRDIE UK: Do you know which Olia Super Blondes shade you’ll be going?
FC: It will be a blonde, but I don’t know what shade ye—that’s all part of the fun! A lot of the shades are really creamy and white, not that brassy blonde; they're much softer.
BYRDIE UK: What are your morning and nighttime skin routines like?
FC: Okay, so in the morning, I will usually give it a wash with water and a bit of soap and then use a Murad toner. Then Murad Anti-Aging SPF 30 Moisturiser (£42). Sometimes I’ll wear makeup, but I usually can’t be bothered if I’m not working. Then at night, again I’ll cleanse, then use the toner. I’m obsessed with face toners; you feel so clean once you’ve used it. Then I’ll use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer (£32); it’s really lovely and very greasy, which I like at night [because] it feels like you’re putting a mask on. I go to bed all oily and just slip into the sheets. Their Eight Hour All-Over Miracle Oil (£29) is gorgeous too.
If I’ve had makeup on all day at work, I’ll really cleanse it until nothing is coming off. I use face wipes at night to get my makeup off. I’m pretty militant about it, even if I’ve been out or at work until really late, I will always take my makeup off. I couldn’t bear going to bed with makeup on, eurgh, it would just freak me out. I just use a wet wipe that can do it all—sometimes I’ll even do it in the car on the way home from work, as I like to optimise my time getting into bed. [Laughs.] So I just do it in the car—I always have face wipes with me. The Simple wipes are really good, but whatever I pick up at the supermarket; I’m not fussy about it.
BYRDIE UK: Do you ever have time to do at-home facials?
FC: I don’t have time as much these days, but what I will do is if I have a bath with my kids, all three of us in the bath, which is quite regular, I’ll put a face mask on and then my son’s like “Mummy, what’s on your face?!” He gets quite freaked out and tries to pick it off. I will occasionally use the Murad Clarifying Mask (£35), which is like a clay mask and is quite a nice for any blemishes—it dries and draws it all out. I rarely have facials, I probably have two a year if I’m lucky. It was my cousin’s 21st the other week, so I took her for a facial and we had an Oskia treatment; they are really nice. I really love natural products—I’m not into skincare that’s too chemically.
BYRDIE UK: Do you think about your diet in relation to your skin and hair?
FC: Yes, I think about what I eat in relevance to everything in my life, if I’m going to feel good and balanced and feel energised and ready for the day. Gone are the days where I’ll be dashing about drinking 80 coffees and eating any old crap. I bring Tupperware everywhere with me; I’m very organised. I sound like a boring mum with my Tupperware collection, but I need energy to be able to work and be a good mum, so keeping that regular is important for me. I always have snacks in my bag. I always have a pot of sunflower seeds and goji berries, dried apricots and almonds; my husband’s always like, “You’re like a little bird, always eating seeds,” but I like little pots like that. Or I’ll make bars at home with oats and fruit in; Bounce Balls are good, they’re pretty natural. Anything that I can take with me to see me through the day. A lot of the time, like yesterday at Celebrity Juice, I’ll make dinner and take it with me in case there isn’t anything I’ll like. So I’ve cooked it myself and I know exactly what’s in there and I’m going to feel good for the show; I’m very boring like that.
BYRDIE UK: What have you learnt about beauty since being in the TV industry and being on camera and photographed a lot?
FC: I think I’m still learning about it now, like what suits me, what doesn’t and that sort of thing. I’m up for trying new things and experimenting. I think in photos, anything but a natural lip doesn’t suit me; it makes me look like I haven’t got any lips. I like something that’s natural or pinky-coloured. Any dark colour instantly makes them look smaller. I think just keeping your makeup fresh and light and dewy, rather than it being harsh contours and loads of blusher; I think it just ages you and I’m at an age where I don’t want to feel aged! Less is more.
[With younger girls, it’s all about] contouring and lots of eyeshadow. Contouring the eyes! When you’re that young just be yourself; you have such beautiful skin and no eye bags like me, no crow’s feet like me. You have beautiful, fresh, plump skin—just have that! That’s as gorgeous as it gets; you don’t need all the sheen. I don’t get it. That would be my only advice to teenagers: Don’t bother—literally mascara and a bit of lippie [then] whatever, done! You’ve got gorgeous faces. When you get to my age, you’re like Right how am I going to sort out these eye bags?!
BYRDIE UK: You wear liner a lot, any tips?
FC: Just practicing, you know. Don’t do it in the back of a car. Even if you think Oh, I’ll give it a go—never good. Keeping [the line] really thin. Actually, what I do at home, I use a kohl pencil first and then I go over it with the liquid liner, so it’s got a bit of a smudgy finish anyway, because the liquid line is slightly lower than the line of the kohl. I don’t like it to be too perfect, anyway, and the kohl gives you a bit of a guide for the liquid, it's more forgiving too.
We'd forgotten how obsessed we were with Fearne Cotton's hair, so here's all her best hair looks through the years.