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Voice Notes From... Celebrity Facialist, Michaella Bolder

Notebooks at the ready! 

With over a decade's worth of experience working in the beauty industry, the skincare guru speaks to the merits of facial massage and fake tanning for a feeling of sunshine in February.

Michaella Bolder is one of the most in-demand facialists, tanning experts and skin finishers in the international beauty industry, counting Dame Helen Mirren and Elle MacPherson as just some of her celebrity clients.

Here she dishes on her beauty cardinal rules. 

MORNING ROUTINE

“To be completely honest, I don’t bother with an overly complex ten-step skincare routine – I use max two or three products every day. I believe a lot more in the application of products than the actual products themselves. I start my morning with a gentle cleansing balm, then I splash my face with cold water thirty times to rejuvenate the skin and then I’ll use a hyaluronic acid serum, a day cream and SPF. Skincare doesn’t need to be complicated.”

EYE CREAMS ARE A MYTH

“I’m not a fan of eye creams, I don’t feel like they’re necessary. I take my serum, my hyaluronic acid, my facial oils up to the eye area. I find eye creams just overload the skin.”

PRODUCTS TO GO INTO QUARANTINE WITH

“If I had to pick one product to go into quarantine with, it would have to be a really good cleansing balm. I could use it to remove my makeup or SPF, I can go in for a second cleanse and it’s the best to practice facial massage. Cleansing balms are also super hydrating so I could leave it on as a mask or use it as a day cream, it’s such a versatile product.”

BOUJÉE VS BUDGET

“My ultimate boujée buy is the SISLEY Black Rose Cream Mask (€120) which is just unbelievable. I love the product so much I wear it as a day cream as it’s a sin to wash off as a mask. However, my ultimate budget buy has to be the Soap and Glory Glow Your Mind Nourishing Cleansing Balm. It’s so light, has a silk-like texture and is just so easy to use.”

Soap and Glory Glow Your Mind Nourishing Cleansing Balm, €9, Boots – SHOP

SKINCARE HACK

“For me, the most underrated skincare trick in the world is facial massage. The impact it has on the skin’s health, its texture, its appearance is just beyond what you would imagine.”

CAREER ADVICE

“The best advice I’ve ever been given is to ‘always be true to yourself’ and it’s so true. You never know who you’re going to meet at the different stages in your career and it’s so important to always be authentic, never try to be anyone else and ultimately, just be nice.”

THE MOOD BOOSTING PROPERTIES OF TAN

“You should absolutely be wearing tan even if you're just sitting inside all day. There’s just something about wearing tan that makes you feel good in yourself and in your heart. When you look at yourself in the mirror or at yourself in a zoom call, you want to see your best self, you want to feel good in yourself and tan can help you with that. We're all feeling extremely low so if something like applying tan is going to make you feel better, I say do it. There’s always time for tan.”

THE ONE PRODUCT WE SHOULD ALL BE USING IN LOCKDOWN

“The St Tropez Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Body Mist is the perfect product for this summer. It’s a lightweight and easy-to-use tan that simply spritzes onto skin for a super dewy sunkissed glow. It also contains hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and D boosters to mimic the effects of the sun – perfect for when we’re stuck indoors.” 

St. Tropez Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Mist, €39.95, Cloud 10 Beauty – SHOP

TANNING MISTAKES

“The biggest tanning mistake I’ve seen throughout my career – and from just scrolling through Instagram – is people wearing a tan that’s far too dark for their skin tone. Be really selective and, most importantly, be honest with yourself when it comes to selecting your shade in tan. You may want to be ultra-dark, but the truth is you’re a light-medium and that’s okay. Selecting a tan that reflects your skin tone gives you a believable tan rather than one that is miles too dark for you.”

TANNING HACK

If you have really dry areas in places like your hands, knees or elbows, try mixing in body butter with the tan. It dilutes the tanning solution so that the colour will be lighter there than everywhere else on your body. You want your tan to look 3D, never 2D. 

And when applying tan to the hands, only ever use the leftover tan that’s on the mitt. Never, ever use an extra pump for your hands.

THE ULTIMATE FAKE TAN IN 3,2,1...

“To get the best tan possible, prep the skin in the shower 24 hours before using an exfoliating glove or a really strong exfoliating with exfoliating crystals. Then, whether you use a spray, mousse, lotion – always apply with a mitt. Wash the tan off after the stated time and moisturise the skin every single day with a rich body butter and exfoliate the skin on day three. Only top it up on day seven or eight.”

Main image by @michaellabolder

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