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Emma Willis: “A smile can get you out of a lot of trouble on live TV”
July 21st 2016
The Big Brother beauty and presenter talks all things makeup, motherhood and live television mishaps with us
When it comes to Big Brother, quite literally anything can happen. However, come confrontational contestants or raucous crowds, host Emma Willis not only recognises the challenges of live TV, she embraces them.
Calm, cool and collected and never putting a foot wrong in the hair and beauty stakes, she’s the perfect fit for the show, having been a die-hard fan since the very start. Transitioning from front of screen to front of camera, how does she maintain her composure and confidence when the realities of reality television threaten to create the most scandalous of media storms? We caught up with the BB presenter and face of the new Oral-B Genius (a genius pairing with that smile) to find out and to gain an insight into how she juggles work, life and career as a busy mother-of-three.
GTG: What is the key to on-screen confidence in your experience?
EW: For me, I feel confident if I’m comfortable. It’s a collection of everything from the production and camera crews to my style team who get me ready. As long as I feel comfortable with those things, I feel confident, as I know then that I’ve got the people who are best for me around me. From a beauty perspective, I’m a creature of comfort and I like to stick with what I know. That’s why I’ve been with my makeup artist for 15 years. I’ve also been with my hair stylist and stylist for years too. We’re all mates.
GTG: How important a role do you feel a person’s teeth and smile plays with regards to that confidence?
EW: A huge one as you can hide a lot behind a smile I think. Multiple things can go wrong doing what I do and when it does, you can just grin and bear it and crack on. If it’s my fault and I do something wrong, I just try to laugh it off - a smile can get you out of a lot of trouble in a live TV situation. The new Oral-B toothbrush has really blown my mind - it’s amazing the way that it syncs up with your phone and takes images of your face. It tells you if you’re brushing too hard, automatically reducing the speed if so, tells you where to brush, protects your gums and enamel and it gives you a score at the end too - basically what your dentist would tell you to do, without having to actually see one. I had really bad teeth when I was a kid because I ate so many sweets, so I think it’s so important that I look after them now. Having kids of my own has also made me so super on it with tooth brushing and oral health as well.
GTG: Could you give us an insight into your morning beauty regime?
EW: I start the day by juggling the three kids. When I’m not at work, my daily routine comprises of getting the children ready first and whatever time’s leftover, is left for me (usually very little!). It’s all about speed and simplicity - I’ll shower, brush my teeth, clean my face, moisturise, slap a bit of mascara on and head out the door. What I do try to do to save time though is tint my brows and then fake tan once a week to save having to put moisturiser and foundation on every day. I have very fair and minimal brows, so if they’re not tinted, I look really pale and washed out.
It’s all about speed and simplicity
GTG: When it comes to the types of products you like to use on your children, which ones are your favourites?
EW: I like to keep things as natural as possible. I really love Bloom and Blossom, it’s my favourite, as well as Neal’s Yard. I’ve used both on the kids since they were very little and still continue to do so. The kids also have electric Oral-B toothbrushes as well, as our dentist said it would be best to get them using them now instead of manual ones. They love them. They feel really grown up when they use them - “just like mummy and daddy.” I also use some of E45’s products as they get very dry skin and they seem to keep it in check.
GTG: If we were to look inside your makeup bag, what would we find? How does your dressing room makeup bag differ from your at-home one?
EW: I’ve got my makeup bag actually with me now and it fits into the palm of my hand. My dressing room one on the other hand comprises of 3 suitcases, so it’s vastly different! Nudestix Eye Pencil in Burnish, £24, is brilliant. It has a little blending brush at the end, is really quick to apply and is a great day to night colour too - you can just whack a bit more on to make it heavier.
I’m also a fan of L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara, £8.50, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, £27.50 - it’s so good, you feel like you’ve got hardly anything on. I also always have Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, £26, in my makeup bag too just in case I need a little more help in filling in my brows. It goes on really naturally and has a little brush and sharpener in it too.
GTG: You always have the most amazing skin - what are your staple pieces of skincare?
EW: I’m a big fan of Skinceuticals. They have really great hydrating serums and a really good face balm too. I also love Kiehl’s - they do really good cleansers. If I’m in a hurry, I always have a pack of Simple Face Wipes, £1.29, on me to get my makeup off as fast as possible.
Mama Mio products are amazing too. I found out about them when I was pregnant with my first child and have continued to use their Tummy Rub Butter, £23, ever since. Neal’s Yard and Bloom and Blossom also do really nice products for grown-ups as well as kids. Again, I’m a creature of habit and so stick with what I know.
GTG: What best helps you to juggle work, kids and general life?
EW: Other people best help me. We’re very lucky as our jobs aren’t 9 to 5 every day of the week and I have my parents and Matt who are there when I need them - the juggling is done through our family. It’s other parents who are the real jugglers.
Sometimes it gets busy when Matt is on tour, I’m working and my mum’s working and we’re scrambling around to ask people to look after the kids. But you just do it and find a way. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes you have all your ducks in a row and it all works out. I don’t have a formula as such as anything can happen. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to take our kids to work with us or have a live-in Mary Poppins. Life isn’t like that though.
GTG: What do you enjoy most about presenting Big Brother?
EW: I love everything about Big Brother. I always have - even from day one when I wasn’t even involved. I’ve watched it ever since the first episode and don’t think I’ve missed a single one in 17 seasons! What I loved about it initially was the psychological element - how the contestants adapted to social situations and to each other; if they learned anything about themselves, going in one person and coming out another, or don’t and learn nothing at all. It’s really interesting to watch. I also love how much it’s evolved - something it’s had to do after 17 series. I’m very nosy - I’d be great at neighbourhood watch, twitching behind curtains! I find it fascinating how people react in different circumstances. With £100,000 at stake, it’s an interesting thing to see if people choose to be themselves or play the game.
GTG: If you could choose, who would you love to see in the Celebrity Big Brother house?
EW: Richard Madeley. He’d be brilliant as he’s very honest and straight-talking - it can be really refreshing. It would be great to see him and Judy together! I’d also love to see Eamonn Holmes and Ruth [Langsford] as I love their relationship and how they talk to each other. I just want to see what they’re like at home!
The new Oral-B Genius is available to buy online here.
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