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Health and beauty products…  where do we start?  Despite the abundance of sumptuous well-meaning products on the market, it feels as though the hunt for the perfect one is always on. Too many brands, too many colours, too many options – how does anyone actually decide what suits them without spending hours in soulless department store beauty counters!?

Step in beauty writer and ex InStyle UK Beauty Director turned blogger and podcast host Madeleine Spencer.  Madeleine – a local Queen’s Parker, has had an illustrious and varied career in the beauty industry but since turning her hand to blogging, has built up a loyal Instagram following under the handle @madeleinelovesthis.  Think tutorials on how to apply the perfect makeup for all occasions (we love her IGTV sessions), top tips for glowing skin, experimental therapies and lovely snapshots into her world outside of beauty.

More recently, Madeleine has turned her hand to the world of podcasts with Beauty Full Lives which features a multitude of guests from Kylie Minogue and Holly Willoughby to Meg Matthews and Dolly Alderton – all bearing their beauty souls.  They’re a little voyeuristic and very compelling.

Now as a local, we couldn’t resist turning the tables and giving her a little interrogation on all things beauty (we can’t cope with the beauty counters!), life as a blogger, and as always – her favourite spots in Queen’s Park.

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Despite having a successful career in magazines, you made the bold move to start your own blog, and grow your online following. What inspired you to make the transition?

I started my blog while I was still trying to crack into the beauty industry, so, really, that came first. I quickly went from writing my blog full-time to working in magazines too, but it wasn’t easy to do both as at that point journalists and bloggers seemed to regard one another with suspicion, and I didn’t fit into either camp neatly. Now, the overlap is greater and juggling the two easier.

What do you love most about your job?

I love meeting interesting people and being thrown into situations that require me to think on my feet. There’s also something about the variety of what I do that I like. I don’t think I’d be terribly good at a job that required the same thing of me every day.

Building an online following looks so time consuming – how do you find the balance between your work and home life or do you find it all merges together?

It can become a bit of an extension to life, so on occasion I take a step back to reestablish boundaries. The thing is, I really enjoy social media (particularly instagram) and do it as a part of my daily routine without too much difficulty. 

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Madeleine talking about her wellness routine in The Times Magazine

Where is your favourite place for a business meeting?

If daytime, it’s either The Alice House or Milk Beach.  If I do an evening meeting, I tend to go to Chiltern Firehouse.

What drew you to live in NW London and what do you love most about living here?

My family have a restaurant on Westbourne Grove, so I wanted to be nearby to I could see them as often as possible, and the community atmosphere of Queen’s Park, along with the park itself, really appealed to me.

Podcasts are increasing in popularity and yours Beauty Full Lives has had great reviews (not to mention some fabulous guests).  How has the podcast enhanced your career?

I treat the podcast as another place to share stories. Fortunately, some of them have resonated with my listeners and they’re now really engaged, which has led to more broadcasting opportunities. 

We’re big fans of your Instagram stories, particularly your ‘Get the Look’ makeup tutorials and we’re very envious of your glowing skin – what’s your secret?

Thanks. I don’t think there’s any one thing that makes skin glow, annoyingly. I like to get fresh air, eat a fairly balanced diet, and am into yoga, and try to body brush before I get in the shower. I have facials about every other month with Pam Marshall at Mortar and Milk, and use a lot of PHA-rich products to gently exfoliate and also hydrate. 

If you had a whole day to do exactly what you wanted with no phone or deadlines to worry about, what would you do?

I would start by reading in a bath laced with an Aromatherapy Associates oil (probably their Revive Morning one), then go for a walk, maybe do a little bit of writing of the non-work variety, have lunch with a friend, then sit on a sofa somewhere and gulp down the rest of whatever book I started that morning, before heading for dinner with friends and then maybe watching a film. I’m a big fan of simple pleasures.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Not to obsess over making things happen quite so much. I used to push for everything all the time: work, boyfriends, nights out. And while I think that was useful at the time, I now realise that letting myself have a bit of time to just enjoy where I was would’ve been a wise thing to do.

Lastly, we can’t let you go without picking your well cultivated beauty brain so we asked our readers what they would like to know and the resounding response related to eyes!  So please do tell us your go-to products for eliminating under eye shadows and reducing eye puffiness?  If you also have a cheats way of producing clear and sparkling eyes that would be a fabulous bonus!

Tackling anything going on around the eye is a real pain because the skin is so delicate and so thin. Unfortunately, beauty products can only go so far – if you have puffiness and constantly have dark circles, it’s well worth considering what lifestyle factors are at play and addressing them where possible.

After that, I’d suggest using beauty tools and tricks. For puffiness, I like to apply something cold. A gel eye mask kept in the fridge works well, but if you don’t want to buy anything, try putting spoons in the fridge and pressing them gently to your eyes when you’ve applied moisturiser. 

I have also found using a Gua Sha tool (mine is by Hay’ou) around eyes and gently pressing the jade stone in a circle reduces puffiness. 

To cover dark circles, use a concealer that’s lightweight and hydrating but highly-pigmented. I like Clinique Airbrush Concealer for moderate darkness, and if there’s a little more to cover, I mix it with a dash of Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. 

To see and hear more from Madeleine, visit her at:

www.madeleineloves.com
Instagram: @madeleinelovesthis
Podcast: Beauty Full Lives

 

You can catch Queen’s Park Mums on Facebook, InstagramTwitter –@queensparkmums.

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