Natural beauty with Ellie Gill
We’ve spent this month catching up with one of our favourite Kent beauty and skincare experts, Ellie Gill. Originally from Tunbridge Wells, but practicing throughout Kent, Sussex and London Ellie has a wealth of experience in facials, massage and make up.
We’d never turn down the opportunity to get some of Ellie’s advice, and we’re really excited to share it. I have been working as a freelance makeup artist for ten years and shortly after trained as a massage therapist. I started doing facials almost by accident Quite a few clients were asking me if I offered facials so I thought why not? I did some training with Neal’s Yard remedies and nowadays this is what I love doing the most and am lucky enough to spend most of my time doing.
When I first started out I had no idea quite how powerful and healing facials could be. Not just on the skin but on the mind and emotions. Holistic facials are incredibly relaxing and 99% of the time my clients fall into a deep sleep on the couch then drift out of the door in a relaxed haze. I use completely natural skincare because I have found pure ingredients to be incredibly effective; Something like rose water can help reduce redness and clay can help draw out any impurities from the skin.
Our skin is the largest organ we have and absorbs whatever is put onto it, for this reason I would never put anything onto the skin which might contain toxic ingredients. Natural, organic makeup has got so much better within the last few years. I much prefer the quality and the range of colours/textures available now is amazing.
We love the idea of cruelty free and natural products – but are a bit lost as to how to find them, or even identify them when we think we have – is there a mark we should look for, and how do we know who we can trust? I know what you mean. It can be confusing and lots of brands are out there claiming to be cruelty free/natural when they’re not! The Soil Association logo is a good one to look for. Their rules are pretty strict so if you know a brand has got the seal of approval from them it will be safe. I also read the ingredients labels on everything!
Try to see past the clever marketing messages and look straight for the ingredients list. What does your personal skincare routine look like? My personal routine is actually very simple. I cleanse with oil, removing with damp cotton wool. I then spend a good few minutes massaging my face with a facial oil and either my hands or a gua sha tool. I might treat myself to a face mask once a week too. Are there any myths in skincare and beauty you think should be dispelled? I think my number 1 pet hate is foaming, soapy products for the face or hair.
We’ve been conditioned by the beauty industry to think that we need to be squeaky clean but I find these products often strip the skin or hair of it’s natural oils, resulting in all sorts of problems.
What make up and beauty looks are you loving at the moment? Is there anything coming in on trend?
I love berry stained lips for autumn with nothing but mascara on the eyes. We all love a natural make up look, but it’s sometimes so hard to achieve! What are your top tips? Natural makeup products are actually a lot easier to apply than regular makeup. Lots of ‘green’ products have been designed to be applied with the fingers. Skincare prep is also really important and can make a huge difference to how your makeup looks and lasts. If your skin is already looking healthy and radiant you’ll find that you won’t need to wear as much makeup anyway.
Eating well for good skin – how important do you think this is? Is there anything you avoid, or eat a lot of?
Oh my god this is SO important! There is the obvious thing of drinking enough water it’s also really important to make sure that you’re getting enough essential fatty acids. Sources include flaxseeds, oily fish and some nuts. What we eat can have a direct impact on the skin, I will often refer clients with severe problems to a nutritionist colleague of mine. Tell us a little more about your treatments and where clients can find you, and what to expect!
During the first half of your facial I will cleanse, tone, exfoliate and apply a bespoke mask. Your hands or feet are then massaged while the masks works its magic then I spend thirty minutes massaging the muscles of the face and neck. Massage is the best anti-ageing solution in my opinion as it helps boost circulation, and helps to remove toxins from the face leaving you looking glowing and radiant. Having regular facials once a month is an ideal way to switch off and relax from the stresses of everyday life and help maintain a healthy complexion. I’m fortune enough to work in lots of wonderful places and no two days are the same.
Tuesdays you can find me in Shoreditch. Wednesday, Thursdays Tunbridge Wells, Kent and Friday-Saturday I’m in Lewes, where lots of the skincare products I use are made. Visit http://www.elliegill.co.uk to find out more