English actress Laura Haddock has a multidimensional approach to beauty. For filming and photoshoots, she welcomes total transformation – “a lot of insecurities about myself disappear as I become somebody else,” she tells us, while in her personal life she prefers to keep things unfussy but feminine. “On the red carpet, though, it’s about presenting yourself in a more polished way,” the actress says of her personal approach to style.
It’s on this occasion, as she prepared for the 2022 Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards, that we caught up with the White Lines and Downton Abbey star. With her trusty glam professionals – the visionary Halley Brisker, who was busy crafting Haddock’s hair into a braided bun for the event, and creative Naoko Scintu (who too “works really intricately”), using Armani Beauty to ace Haddock’s signature polished make-up – the 37-year-old shared what she’s learnt about beauty throughout her career and since becoming a mother of two.
Generally speaking, what is your beauty philosophy?
“The older I get the less make-up I wear. I can’t put too much on my face otherwise it just sits in the creases and you can’t buff it out as easily. So, skin prep for me is really important now. In my 20s I’d go to sleep having not done a full cleansing routine and wake up the next day thinking nothing of it. Now it’s all about that double cleanse, lots of serums – all of it!”
Do you stick to a specific skincare routine?
“I had an incredible facial with Renée Lapino [a medical facialist], who works with an amazing company called GetHarley [an online dermatology and skin consultation platform]. I’ve seen her multiple times, at different stages of the month, and she monitors how your skin is reacting to different things and then you get prescribed this magic list of products. I now stick to the list religiously and have seen a really big change in my skin.
“The products are from a mixture of brands, includingDr LevyAllies of SkinNeostrataLa Roche Posay
, – which I love – and ; I always use their SPF50. Beforehand I was trying this and that, which wasn’t necessarily right for my skin type, but now I feel like I’ve found some products that are really right for me, and I stick to them.”
What are your all-time favourite make-up products?
“Brows are my big thing. If I can’t do anything else, I pop a quick brow in and I feel like I can face the day. I lost my brows after my first pregnancy – and they never grew back! So I have to pencil them in to frame my face. I use the Glossier Brow Flick in Blond; I never want to go too dark. It’s a liquid pen and I just very finely just paint in the brows.
“The bare minimum I’d do is a brow, lip balm, and if I have time the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation. It’s the foundation that works for me. For summer I use shade 6.5 and for winter I use 5.5, but in between those seasons I mix the two together. Then I like to use the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek cream blusher, I dab it between my two fingers and pop it on the apples of my cheeks.
“My favourite lipstick is the Armani Beauty Lip Power in shade 109 – it’s like my lip colour but better. I also use love their NeoNude Melting Colour Balm and Luminous Silk Glow Fusion Powder in 11.5.
“Make-up is such a personal thing for a woman, you know your face the best and what makes you feel confident. That’s why in my industry the relationship between a woman and make-up artist is really important. I just sit in this chair and trust Naoko. Hair and make-up professionals know our inside life as well as outside life!”
What are your favourite professional beauty treatments?
“I really swear by lymphatic drainage massage, I think that’s brilliant for healthy skin and reducing inflammation and to depuff. Renée has a drainage massage suit [such as the Body Balancer] which you wear lying down, looking like an astronaut without the helmet! For the whole treatment you’re in this body sock which squeezes you.
“I also saw Flavia Morellato the other day, who brought this lymphatic drainage treatment over from Brazil. It’s something that Brazilians do regularly as part of their routine to keep their body healthy, it’s good for digestion and inflammation. It’s not something that I can do all the time, but I do try to add it into my routine before a red carpet or photoshoot because I really feel the benefits of it.”
How is beauty essential for your professional life?
“While in my personal life I’m always leaning towards make-up that’s really fresh and natural, for events I have fun. I pump everything up a little bit. On the red carpet it’s about presenting yourself in a more polished way – although I love to make brave choices, actually if I’m being completely honest I feel most comfortable if I look like myself but just in a more elevated manner.
“When it comes to filming or a shoot I feel my most confident if I am being transformed into something else. So if I’m using wigs, or we’re doing my make-up in a very different way to a way that I would do in my real life, then I can really get into character and be playful with the story of the shoot. I love a big transformation, because then you leave your inhibitions behind and launch yourself into a completely different character. It makes me feel brave – a lot of insecurities about myself disappear as I become somebody else. Like, when a wig goes on, I can think ‘right, if this woman were an animal she’d be a predator,’ so I start to behave like that. I can’t channel that as myself, but if I’m transforming, I can have loads of fun in that space.”
What is your natural hair colour, and which hair colour do you feel most ‘you’ with?
“It’s a dark blonde, similar to how it is now. Again, I really lean into as natural as possible with my hair. While Halley mainly cuts and styles my hair I also go to see Jason at Josh Wood, and John Clark at Nicola Clarke – they’re two hair colourists that I like.
“I’ve been all different colours for jobs, for my last role in The Recruit, which is coming out soon, I’ve got black hair with a little short blunt fringe, it’s very cool. If I was to be asked to play that part without that cut and colour I wouldn’t be believable to watch – it’s amazing how a haircut and colour can transform you into someone else.”
When do you feel most beautiful?
“I think that completely takes you by surprise. For a long time I wouldn’t let myself feel beautiful, and then I had a daughter and I realised how important it is – in moments, not to dwell on it – to feel beautiful. And it can happen at different times. I like catching the way somebody else is looking at you, that can sometimes make you feel beautiful. It could be in your pyjamas having taken all your make-up off – though having done a really good skincare routine, with five different serums on, of course! [Laughs]”
Do you view your beauty differently now to in the past?
“I used to get called a hamster at school because it looks like I can store food in my cheeks! Also, I’ve got a full lip which wasn’t something that was celebrated back then. All the things that you’re conscious of when you’re little then become things you’re grateful for when you get older.”
How else has your relationship with beauty evolved over the years?
“In my 20s I was trying to recreate a look on myself that I liked on somebody else, but it didn’t necessarily work for me and my face shape or skin, but now I really feel like I know my face and what works and what doesn’t. I’m much more confident now in what I like and what I don’t like. In my late 30s I don’t need to be trying things that might not work!
“For sure, the skincare routine is way more important to me now than it ever has been. There are loads of different avenues that you could go down with your face, but right now I’m trying to stay in the world of products.
“Also, I definitely don’t put my face in the sun anymore, when I was younger I would just get out there and not think about it. But now I’m using SPF50 and wearing big hats and big sunglasses. It’s looking after it rather than just thinking everything will be okay!”