From the £1.27 bargain that's always in her bathroom to the hair health injections she has in her bottom, Cat Deeley's beauty regime is all about the glow (you'd never guess she survives on 4 hours' sleep!)

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Sitting next to Cat Deeley at breakfast, I have to remind myself to eat, because the conversation flows as easily as the bottomless coffees. Cat, who began life as a model and was a fixture of our Saturday mornings on SMTV Live, the show she hosted with Ant and Dec until 2003, really is as open, engaging and witty as you’d imagine with minimal makeup, an animated face, and trademark honey hair. Her Birmingham accent is still very much in evidence despite more than a decade in LA hosting prime time shows such So You Think You Can Dance, returning in 2020 with husband presenter Patrick Kielty and their young sons, James and Milo.

Still regularly shuttling between London and LA for work, Cat is an organisational ninja, despite struggling with her sleep (four hours and she’s happy). One of her secrets, she says, is  “Post-It notes everywhere”. Another is having a skincare routine that does the thinking for her. To that end, she’s become an ambassador for Ella & Jo. “What I like is that the products do exactly what they say on the tin," she says. "There’s not this vast array that you get all confused about. They're incredibly effective and affordable. So often, women don't take time for themselves and we are always short of time.  I know I am. They're super practical, and they get the job done.”

We probed deeper into her beauty and wellness regime, where we discovered some great budget buys (starting at a very un-celebby £1.27), an encounter with Lionel Richie, fake tan fails on This Morning, and the news that the secret to her fabulous hair is in her bottom!

After a day under the TV lights with studio makeup, how do you get everything off?

"By the time it comes to the end of the day I use the Ella & Jo Melt The Day Away Cleansing Balm,£30.22 first of all, and I might even ‘double balm’, if I've got false eyelashes on and they're being a bit more tricksy. Then I'd use the Brighten and Glow Hydrating Exfoliating Cleanser, £30 too, which takes any dead skin cells off. Then slather myself in as much moisturiser as I possibly can."

You're shuttling between London and LA - how does your beauty routine change to suit each climate and vibe and is there one you prefer?

"Right now [in the UK] I miss the sunshine desperately! There’s nothing nicer than it being 75 degrees in December. Your skin and hair definitely change being there. LA is essentially a desert so it's very dry."

"When I first moved to LA, I wasn't exfoliating my skin enough. I was getting like little bumps under my skin and I went to see Dr. Lancer, the [Beverly Hills] dermatologist, and he said to me, ‘you need to exfoliate more here’ because of it being a desert. Then there’s the water softness in LA. When you wash your hair here in the UK, it doesn't lather up so easily, so you tend to overload with shampoo."

"Then of course there's the sun. I am really good at putting on my SPF. They're so into that there, that it's automatic."

Tell us your ride-or-die SPF

"It depends where I am. There's an SPF 30 in the Ella and Jo Plump and Protect Day Cream, which I find here in the UK is enough. But if I'm in LA, I like a factor 50 like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Uvmune SPF 50, £15.92.  It has a little bit of a hint of colour, so you don't get that white film. I like to take it right down to my chest, which always goes pink."

What’s your in-flight beauty routine?

" I'm really strict with this - I don't wear any makeup at all during the flight, I keep remoisturising and drink a bottle of water." 

"I have a little bag of tricks that I take with me into the loo. I take everything off - there isn't even a bit of mascara because I like to really oil myself up. I use a moisturiser and a hyaluronic spray and I keep reapplying them. I tie my hair on top of my head in a silk scrunchie, so that when I take it down it looks quite nice. Because it's been on the top of my head so it creates volume. I ask the flight attendant for a huge bottle of water. I say ‘you might as well just give me one big bottle now because otherwise, I'm going to drive you mad with it’. Then I know how much I’ve drunk as well."

"One time I was on a first class flight with Lionel Richie and when I walked back to my seat and he was like, ‘what beauty parlour have you been to?’."

As a frequent flyer with a famous face, how do you land looking your best?

"When I get ready to land, I go to the loo, do a bit of Wunderbrow, £14, I use Kevin Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, £22, some mascara and some kind of sheen such as Jones Road Miracle Balm, £36 on my cheeks, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid's bow, followed by a bit of Ateh Jewel Beauty Blush of Dreams, £25. Sheeny is the best way to go when you get off a flight."

You're in a house full of boys. Are there any beauty items you have to hide from them?

"It's funny, Paddy uses my hyaluronic spray (Ella and Jo 3-in-1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist) all the time now because he's going backwards and forwards to Dublin on the plane to do The Late Late Show." 

"My boys love messing with the makeup. I remember doing the same with my grandma or going through her jewellery box. It felt like there were treasures in there that you knew nothing about. My boys are always like ‘what does this one do mum?’ and ‘can I can I just put this one on you?’ They love anything bright, sensory or shimmery."

You’re used to early call times. How do you look fresh after so little sleep?

“I do struggle in all honesty, and I struggle with my sleep too. I've resigned myself to it because it just stresses you out more otherwise. If I can't go back to sleep, I get up, I'll do some yoga, have a coffee, so then the ritual feels nicer. I'm 47 now so it also gives my face time to wake up. I always say 'we can have the early call time of five o'clock but Cat Deeley as you know her isn't turning up till nine'. It takes me that long for the creases to go and for me to open my eyes!”

Tell us about your sleep struggles, when did they start?

Even when I was a little girl, I would wake up and I'll have read two-thirds of a Malory Towers before my mum had even opened her eyes. I find it very difficult to turn my brain off. It starts off as really useful stuff. I make a to-do list – did I cancel the boys' violin lesson? Have I booked tennis? And then it just disappears into this abyss of nonsense and worrying about things we can't control. As women, we tend to shoulder that burden."

"I've tried everything: magnesium, salt baths, pillow sprays, sleepy teas, meditation, breathing exercises. I've tried stories – as lovely as Matthew McConaughey's voice is [he narrates a bedtime story Wonder on the Calm app] whispering sweet nothings in my ear, it still doesn't work. I've just come to terms with it now and as long as I get four [hours sleep] I'm alright.

Have you noticed any hormone-related changes in your late forties?

“My friends and I are talking about it now and the idea of menopause and being perimenopausal is a lot more out there thanks to people like Davina and Lisa Snowdon and being very vocal about it. The more we all talk the better. But I keep having my bloodwork done and there's nothing, I haven't got any changes yet in my hormone levels yet.”

What's the longest relationship you've had with an item of makeup?

"It would be Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £29, I've used it forever. SMTV was three hours long and we'd get there at five or six o'clock in the morning to go into hair and makeup. I'm very animated when I talk I pull lots of faces or chew my lips and I can never keep any lipstick on. It tends to go dry whereas this just gives you a little bit of sheen. I've got naturally quite dark lips anyway. And so that's enough for me. First of all, I used the fragranced one - it's got an unusual, potent smell. Now they make a lightly scented Eight Hour Cream and it's brilliant. I keep it in all my handbags."

Any cringeworthy beauty moments you are happy to have left behind?

"Sometimes I look back and I'm like, ‘Oh my Lord, what was I doing?’. The fake tan is always a recurring nightmare. I recently stood in on ITV This Morning and I was saying to Rylan [co-host Rylan Clark] that I was trying remember the last time I hosted This Morning. It was years and years ago; Cilla Black was getting her bus pass, Paul O'Grady was hosting the show and I knew them both very well. Savage {Paul O’Grady] wouldn't wear an earpiece, so they got me in to be the sensible one with the earpiece while they were having champagne and being hilarious. Rylan managed to find the clip and I was like, ‘Oh God, what is my hair doing? And is my skin colour the right side of gravy browning? It would depend on the day. Luckily that day it was."

"Back then, I would use anything and anything I could get my hands on. I used St Tropez quite a lot. But it was it wasn't the product, I was the problem. I still use fake tan but much less and much more subtly. I use St. Moriz Advanced Express Tan Foaming Water , £7.32. It’s a light mousse that and put it on with a brush."

Beauty on the inside – what supplements do you take?

"I love Pre and Probiotic from the Nue Co, £53 and celery juice in the morning too. That's something I started in LA it's supposed to be helped with anything inflammatory at all. I add ginger, lemon juice and a tiny bit of cucumber."

Any treatments and wellness practices you like?

"I miss the sunshine here and sometimes I need to get my body going a little bit. I go to London Cryo where I use the infrared sauna for 45 minutes (I put my legs up the wall to try and get a bit of lymphatic drainage). I love sweating out all the rubbish that you put into your body, plus it gives you a massive glow. It makes me feel like any products I then use sink in better." 

"Then I go into the cryo chamber for three minutes. It started after I had Covid when my hands were aching and sore and my joints weren't great. It seems to be helping. It helps with sleep too on the days when I do it." 

"I also have IV drips there, and B12 injections if I’m travelling. I try to be proactive about my health, if I know I'm going on an aeroplane, for example, OK what can I do?"

"I love yoga because I'm not naturally flexible, even though I've been doing it for 25 years."

How do you look after your hair?

"Since I had my boys, my hair has changed so I have started taking a supplement The Nue Co Growth Phase, £65 and having biotin injections in my bottom! I have to expose a cheek, lean on one side and cough!"

"When I’m in the infrared sauna I use The Nue Co Supa Thick Hair Treatment £65. I save my sauna until hair wash day, otherwise it's a pain in the butt. I wash it out with Kerastase - I have always used their products. I went through Olaplex phase but I'm not sure it was great for my hair."

"In LA, I can just let my haor dry by the pool. In the UK, I have to give it some welly with the Bondiboost Blowout Pro, £51.67 hairdryer and hot brush."

Favourite fragrance

"My own E11even Fragrance Oil, £80 It was developed way before the terminology functional fragrance was even around, but weirdly it can ground you and energise you or relax you."

Best budget buy

"L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara, £9.99.  I don't think you need to spend big. I like to get it from America because I prefer the one in the States for some reason."

Best tip a makeup artist has told you?

Less is more. Concentrate on your skin. You then don't need as much makeup on top.”

What are you gifting all your friends this year?

"The  Ella & Jo Glow Up Enzyme Mask. It’s my absolutely favourite in the whole range. It's the closest I've ever got to the Kate Somerville Exfolikate, £78. It's just at the right tipping point where you can feel it working but it doesn't feel as though it's taking the first five layers off. It's gentle enough to do before an event.”

Favourite body care?

I love a body oil. I discovered one in LA called Undaria Alage Body Oil by Osea, £50, in a lovely glass bottle. Space NK do a really nice one called Nordic Wilds Body Oil, £16. It's in a plastic bottle, so I can throw it into my luggage. I have always loved Badedas and still use the Badedas Shower Gel, £1.27."

Cat Deeley is an ambassador for  www.ellaandjo.co.uk