From her £6 budget skincare favourite to makeup advice from Kim Cattrall, the podcaster and mum-of-3 tells all about her beauty and wellbeing regime
When I chat with Giovanna Fletcher - actress, author, host of podcast Happy Mum Happy Baby and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here winner - over Zoom, we realise that we are the epitome of working-from-home mums. We’re both in our home offices, she in her comfy Scamp & Dude grey hoodie, me in my finest Sweaty Betty workout leggings that never get worn for exercising. We’re discussing Giovanna’s beauty must-haves. She’s telling me the makeup she uses for work- the 38 year-old is starring in a touring production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie but is constantly on shoots for her various endeavours.
We discuss her hair - it has "a mind of its own" - as she is an ambassador for haircare range OGX, a role which has helped her embrace her natural curls. We delve into the skincare, body care and fragrances that boost her mood, and the surprising thing she keeps in her office for those days when everything seems a bit much.
Ever had any hair disasters?
“I didn’t think they were hair disasters at the time, but looking back I do think ‘oooooh, that was a bad time!’ It’s mostly about frizz levels. There weren’t lots of products to choose from when I was growing up so my hair would always be frizzy and I wore it in a massive combover on the side - I don’t really know why!”
And when do you think your hair has looked its best?
“Definitely during my pregnancies [Giovanna has three boys with her musician and author husband, Tom Fletcher]. Pregnancy keeps all the hair locked in so it got thicker, it got glossier and the frizz wasn’t there anymore. It was just gorgeous. I did also love my wedding day hair. But in hindsight I made a mistake because there were loads of hair extension strips glued in and we were going away the next day. I didn’t have the right tools to take the extensions out so I went from having all this hair on my wedding day to having to rip it out for my honeymoon!”
Tell me about your morning routine?
“My approach to skincare, makeup and hair has always been a bit slapdash. I’d like to say it’s changed as I’ve got older, but adding three kids into the mix has meant that it hasn’t. But in the morning putting moisturiser on my face is a non-negotiable. I hate that feeling of trying to talk and your skin feeling tight or dry. I use It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream, £45. If I have to get the kids to school then I feel like hair can be dealt with later on. And I tend to swerve makeup too.”
How about the evening? Is that when the 12-step routine comes out?
“No! But I do more now than before. I didn’t always regularly cleanse, but now I have to take the day away. If I’ve been doing shows and wearing lots of makeup then I like to use the Elemis Pro Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm, £38.40, but if I just need to wash my face before bed then I use Trinny London Better Off, £28. I choose cleansers where you use a cloth to remove them, as I wash my face in my pyjamas. I hate water dropping down my arms and getting wet just before I climb into bed.”
What are the 3 hair products you could never be without?
- "OGX Renewing + Argan Oil, £8.99. “I use this when I do my hair curly or straight. For curls, I wet my hair and scrunch it in and on straight days it really helps with the smoothing and adds really nice shine.”
- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Dry Shampoo, £27. “I try to wash my hair every three-to-four days so when I’m on day three this is what it needs! It works really well on my curls. I spray it in and then spray some water onto my hair, scrunch it in and it gives my curls a lovely shape.”
- Only Curls Enhancing Curl Gel, £9. “I really feel like this reactivates my curls. It kicks everything back into shape.”
I hand you an empty makeup bag – you can only put 5 things in it. What would they be?
“My look is very natural and not too ‘done’. That goes back partly to me being quite slap-dash but also my limited makeup skills!”
- It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF50, £36.50 - “When I’m looking particularly tired I put this on. It’s like skincare but with foundation and it’s really light and easy to use.”
- Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, £46 - “I probably shouldn’t admit to this but I’ve had this bronzer for eight years! It’s a bit pricey but I haven’t used another in all that time which must make it pretty cost-effective.”
- Barry M Lipstick in Angel Kiss, £4.99 - “I have quite a few lipsticks that I like but this one is really creamy and easy to wear and feels really nice on.”
- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, £29 - “My character in the show I’m in wears a full-on red lipstick and when I take it off my lips are a bit stained so I like to pop this over the top when I leave the theatre.”
- Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49 - “This is so easy to use. You can use it for contouring and highlighting.”
Do you have any wellness rituals you turn to when you need a confidence boost?
“Going for a walk, it’s about going somewhere where I know I will bump into strangers that I will never see again and have a moment of human connection - even just a simple little ‘hello’. So often everything we do is on email or over Whatsapp, it’s not face-to-face interaction so I think going back to being with humans is really vital.”
How about if you can’t get out of the house?
"Well… I have a punching bag in my office and there’s nothing like putting on a great song - my current go-to is Victoria’s Secret by Jax - and just putting gloves on and having a good punch or kicking session. It’s amazing.”
Are there any beauty buys that help change your mood?
“I always have the mini tube of L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream, £18 in my handbag. My hands get so dry. We keep chickens, so I’m always doing things for them. I love being outside and doing things in the garden so I’m always washing my hands after. The term self-care is so overused nowadays, but I honestly feel like a hand cream is like that. We’re always doing things with our hands and with this you are almost thanking them and putting a bit of love back into them.”
What is your favourite budget beauty buy?
“Palmers Cocoa Butter Daily Skin Therapy, £6.49. I was in Namibia with a friend when I was 18 and she had the cream. We put it all over ourselves and the smell takes me back to great times. I used it during all my pregnancies as it’s such a nice thick cream that really cares for your skin.”
What’s the luxe product you will always splurge on?
“Jo Loves Golden Gardenia EDP, £115 for 100ml, is the most expensive product I own but I don’t think you can put a value on smelling good! And this scent in particular really lifts me in the morning and also makes me feel really powerful. I have a collection of other perfumes that I mix and match but I always come back to this one.”
Is there anything you have to keep hidden from Tom?
“Not creams, they’re safe but he does take my YSL Touche Éclat, £27 ! He likes using it under his eyes especially when he’s doing TV or a show – so that gets hidden!”
What’s the best piece of advice a hair professional has given you?
“It’s not really advice but when I did the OGX campaign with hairstylist Michael Douglas he styled my hair curly and that’s the first time in years I had worn it like that. Months on I’m still wearing it curly. I used to find making my hair curly was a massive mission but he made me see it just needs stuff putting in it. It craves that.”
So what is your curly girl hair routine?
- “Everyone’s curls are different so you do really have to find what works for you but this is what works for me."
- Step 1: “I wash my hair with OGX Damage Remedy+ Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo, £8.49. I really like the smell. “
- Step 2: “While I’m still in the shower, I apply Only Curls Hydrating Curl Creme, £9 and I brush that through so it has covered my hair. Then I pop it in a microfibre towel.”
- Step 3: “Then I get my Only Curls Enhancing Gel, £9 and I can scrunch that through. And then I put the OGX Renewing + Argan Oil, £8.99 on, to give it that shinier and smoother look.”
And what’s the best piece of makeup advice you’ve ever been given?
“It was the actress Kim Cattrall. In 2006, we worked on a play together [The Cryptogram] and I arrived at work one day with a spot. She told me,‘Dab don’t rub’, when I was trying to cover it up. And I’ve stuck with that ever since!”