Our resident beauty editor and social media manager holds the title for most grooming products obtained in a lifetime and her beauty knowledge would take at least 100 years to write down on paper. At least. Lipstick obsessed and nail polish impressed, Kristina Ioannou is fixated with Harry Potter, abbreviating words (yolo, incred, awks), and the way to her heart is with quality old skool rap and a sliced mango. She also can't pronounce the word 'almonds' properly. It's 'arr-mon-dz' Kristina, get it right! (Disclaimer: Kristina paid Maddie in products to write this).
1. What are your top 5 can’t-live-without beauty products?
2. What’s your favourite hairstyle to rock during the week?
Bed head! Generally I'm just getting out of bed and straight into the car for work, so I'd have to say this is my day-to-day 'do (I feel sorry for the ladies in the office who have to bear witness to such a sight). Thank god I've got dry shampoo to see me through! On the weekend, if I'm in the mood for a pamper sesh, I love getting a treatment and blow wave, creating loose cascading waves and whacking in my extensions. Shiny long hair gives me mane-gasm's.
3. How do you keep your skin in shape?
When my skin is really playing up, I pull out the big guns. I'll either double cleanse with an oil formula like Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution or a soft, all-natural product like Chantecaille Flower Infused Cleansing Milk. I then slather on a highly nourishing serum — either Sunday Riley Good Genes, Jojoba Oil or Perricone MD Chia Seed Serum are my faves, and let them sink into my skin for a few minutes. Sometimes I skimp on moisturiser and layer my serum with Rose Hip Oil, or I'll slather my mug in either EVE Lom Moisturiser, Chantecaille Flower Harmonizing Cream or La Mer Creme de La Mer. It depends on how bad my breakouts are — serum for dryness and breakouts, moisturiser for minimal issues. I finish with an eye cream — usually Dr Brandt Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum or Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream because I have seriously awful eye bags and anything helps! Once or twice per week I apply L'Occitane Angelique 3 Minute Moisture Masque or the most recent addition to my skincare family, GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, for an extra radiance boost. I exfoliate with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant about three times per week and have taken to following this up with their Skin Hydrating Booster for an extra hit of moisture. I spot treat pimples with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion or Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment, and lately I've been washing my bod with Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (thanks Penny for getting me onto that!) or Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash as these formulas are super gentle on the skin and leave behind flawless, smooth surfaces. On a daily basis, I spray my entire body with Pevonia Dry Oil Body Moisturizer right after the shower and finish up with Kate Somerville Goat Milk Body Lotion. It's a godsend! Phew. That was a mouthful.
4. Which beauty secret do you swear by?
Tapping in concealer under your eye, not swiping it across. Always blend with a soft patting motion until the product has completely absorbed because rubbing it in will simply highlight fine lines and won't make the formula sink into the skin. I also don't go a day without gently exfoliating my lips with a soft toothbrush. It gets rid of any dead skin that's accumulated overnight and preps your pout for smooth lipstick application.
5. What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
You are what you eat! The look of your skin generally depicts your eating and lifestyle habits. Eat greasy, salty or sugary foods and your skin will look oily, dried out and/or you'll get more breakouts than usual. Eat nourishing, wholesome, healthy foods and you'll glow from the inside out!
6. How do you unwind on the weekends?
Unwinding? What is this unwinding you speak of? My weekends are for working! But occasionally when I do get to play, I love spending time with my niece or family and being a couch potato watching back to back episodes of Geordie Shore and The Valleys (judge me). During summer, my favourite weekend activity is hitting the beach and not leaving until sun down. Ah, bliss.
7. Describe a typical working day.
There's never a typical working day! It always changes! I'm a Beauty Editor and Social Media Manager here at DDG, so my working week is always varied and exciting. In a nutshell, I'll show up to the office and get straight into e-mails, unpack beauty products that PR peeps have sent over as well as update Facebook and Pinterest. It's then time to write! I compile a minimum of 3-4 beauty articles per day and they vary between feature stories, galleries, tutorials or reader Q&As. Occasionally, I might duck out of the office to go try out a beauty treatment, head to a product launch or interview some kind of beauty expert, but most of the magic happens at the DDG HQ. I also usually shoot the products I write about, so assembling them and making sure they look picture-perfect is always fun. It's a pretty easy-breezy job and it's THE BEST! My desk is constantly flooded with new beauty loot, so there's never a dull moment — I get to play with makeup 24/7...and get paid for it! #DreamJob. When I'm not here, I do some freelance for other websites and brands, so my day usually consists of lots of coffee and loud hip hop beats to see me through. Night times I'm still in work mode, checking out what's going on with social media and reading all the reader comments from the items published that day. I also stalk beauty and fashion blogs to keep up to date with everything, do some Pinning and blogging for other clients and update Instagram religiously. Yes, I'm a workaholic but it's so much fun. I wouldn't trade this career in for any other, not even Ryan Gosling's personal assistant's! Okay...maybe that's the exception.
8. Favourite fragrance?
I have a few! Anything sweet or fruity has my heart. So I switch it up between Calvin Klein One Summer (beach), Urban Rituelle Cotton Candy EDP (carnivals) and I've just discovered Sohum Limequat Perfume Petite (heaven). I'm a Summer gal at heart, can you tell?! When I'm trying to be all classy and grown up but still maintain my sweet tooth, I reach for Prada Candy EDP and when I want to be reminded of my favourite place in the world — Europe — I'll dowse myself in Escada Island Kiss.
9. Favourite beauty brands?
NARS! NARS all the way! I'm yet to find a product from their range that disappoints. They're pretty much beauty perfection in my eyes. Kester Black Nail Polishes also take the cake and Tigerlily for candles (in particular their coconut, lemon, lime 'Viva' one which smells like island paradise). Skincare has to be Chantecaille; they're an all natural range and so gentle on the skin (bit exxy though, watch out wallets!) and Sohum or Urban Rituelle for anything bath and body. I also love O&M and Kerastase for hair — these products revive my almost-dead locks every single time!
10. If you could wear one colour of polish for the rest of your life which would it be and why?
Neon orange. I love bright nail shades against tanned skin — I think it's the perfect combo.
11. Walk us through your daily makeup application.
It begins with lots of water splashed on my face to wake me right up (you can hit me with a sledgehammer and I probably still wouldn't wake up). Then I smash out my skincare regime to get a nice, smooth canvas so my makeup doesn't look streaky and bumpy (although, lets be honest...by 2pm, none of that matters. It's disappeared from my face!) then it's face-painting time! I begin with my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation or Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation if I want a little extra coverage. Next, I dab on my Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector Concealer under my eyes. I then layer this with a concealer — I have about 6 in my makeup case so I just grab whatever's there and apply it in an inverted triangle shape, a trick I learnt here. Next, I apply NARS The Multiple on my cheeks, and sometimes just above my eyebrows for extra glow factor. Then, I apply Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer all over my mug and down my neck and layer it with a touch of NARS Orgasm Blush on my cheeks. For the eyes, I generally always have lash extensions so I'll either go bare (you'd be surprised what thick, voluminous lashes can do for your peepers!) or if I'm without my extensions I'll create a quick cat's eye with Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner and layer with loads of Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara before grooming my arches with Eyeko Brow Gel. No matter what, I always apply my beloved YSL Rouge Volupte lippie and I'm good to go!
12. Who inspires you?
Anyone who can stay on a pogo stick for longer than one minute and make a seriously good cup of coffee is inspirational in my eyes. I also get inspired by sloths — if they can be happy with a life that consists solely of sleeping, eating and slow-crawling up a tree or across a road, then so can we!
13. If you could be any superhero who would it be and why?
It's going to sound super corny...but my parents. They're both superheroes in my eyes and if I'm as marvelous as them by the time I reach their age, then I'll be one happy chappy!