Beauty entrepreneur, heiress and reality TV star Tamara Ecclestone on being judged, breastfeeding her 4-year-old and why being wealthy doesn’t solve all life’s issues.
We’ve all seen a lot of press about Tamara Ecclestone: her £70 million home documented in her programme Tamara's World in ITV recently, that famous £1 million bath that was reportedly carved out of a piece of white crystal and the fact that she still breastfeeds her daughter Sophia, whom she calls Fifi, aged four.
I was intrigued to meet the lady behind the lens and was delighted to find a very sweet glamourpuss as preened, polished, sculpted and perfected as she is on screen (leopard skin dress and lots of diamonds, obvs). It was also fascinating to gain an insight into the entrepreneurial side of Tamara who owns a super swish blowdry salon brand Show Dry (across London, as well as in Harvey Nichols and in House of Fraser nationwide). She also runs Show Beauty a range of super luxe hair products as well as Fifi & Friends , a range of skin-friendly baby and child products named after her daughter.
As we all know from her TV series, Tamara is a doting mother, almost to the point of obsession. There's been a lot of press about the fact that Fifi shares the marital bed and has never slept on her own. However you have to admire Tamara's committed way of parenting and the fact that she hasn't allowed the critics to stop her in her unwavering mothering.
Fifi & Friends was born out of her desire to look after her daughter’s skin and hair in the most natural and gentle way possible. The products are hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested, free from parabens, silicones, sulphates and wheat (many of the products are also vegan) and I can attest to being a fan, especially of the calming, clean baby smell.
Tamara also believes that mothers should be allowed to raise their children as they wish, free from negative commentary from other women. It's this voice that fills the ' Fifi’s Journal ' section of her website – a brilliant space where mothers and journalists write about their honest experiences of motherhood. “We have tonnes of women writing in with their own stories and birth experiences,” her PR tells me.
Here she speaks about Fifi & Friends, which is launching this week in Harvey Nichols, her beauty regime (not as high maintenance as you think) and why she still breastfeeds.
GTG: Do you have a specific skincare regime?
TE: "I’m really bad on skincare, to be honest but Waterwipes (the baby wipes) have just brought out makeup wipes £3.49 which I love. I also love La Prairie Anti-aging Eye cream SPF15 , £130 (I’ve used this forever as my mum has always told me to use an eye cream), I use Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream on my face, from £120, Kiehls Richly Hydrating Hand Cream , £14 hand cream, Bliss Body Butter, £22 , and Eve Lom Kiss Mix Lip Balm , £16."
GTG: What are your favourite makeup products?
TE: "In the daytime, I don’t really wear makeup unless I have a day like today where I need to look presentable, but on a day-to-day basis, I put my moisturiser on, my lip balm, and I brush my eyebrows as they can be quite unruly.
"However, if I had to make myself really presentable fast I would slap on some Armani foundation , £40, some Dior Show Mascara , £25.50, Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer by Fenty Beauty , £16, the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick , £42 which I love because it gives great coverage.
"I then use highlighter and Nars bronzer in Laguna, £29 which is an absolute staple, I’m obsessed with it. I also like wearing eyelash strips from Eylure rather than extensions. I used to wear lash extensions, but they took all my lashes away so I stopped. I then used Revitalash , £39 however and now they are back to being great."
GTG: Are there any treatments that you swear by?
TE: "I had Dermapen done on my face yesterday (a treatment using very fine needling that causes a repair response in the skin), apparently its meant to make your skin look amazing in four days time but right now I just look really sunburnt! If I’m really tired I like the To Go Spa eye masks which I put under and above my eyes. I also love the Rodial Dragons Blood Eye Masks , £39 and the Bliss Triple Oxygen Energizing Face Cream, £46 makes my skin look really dewy and glowy.
"I also have shellac done on my nails by a company called Naildit who have salons over London but they come to my house - it lasts forever and I love it."
GTG: You have incredible eyebrows with a full, amazing shape...
TE: "I do them myself – I have naturally really bushy eyebrows. I’ve had them threaded a few times and I just follow the shape."
GTG: What about your hair – do you do it at home?
TE: " I can do my makeup but I can’t do my hair very well so I get it done for me at either one of my salons ( www.showdry.com) or someone comes to my house."
GTG: What has been your biggest beauty mistake?
"My biggest was probably using foundation to look tanned when I was a teenager. I didn’t realise that bronzer was the way to go rather than foundation and my neck was a different colour to my face! Green eyeshadow was also a shocker and I was blonde once and it really did not suit me – I mean REALLY didn’t suit me!"
GTG: What's the one product you wouldn’t live without?
TE: "The Show Beauty Premiere Dry Shampoo , £16 is a total favourite. I love the smell and in between washes it really revitalises my hair. I even use it on clean hair to add texture, as my hair is prone to looking quite flat. A bit of pouffage is always good!"
GTG: Do you protect your skin in the sun?
TE: "I do. To be honest, I never used to - my mum has been telling me for years not to go in the sun and I have finally started to listen. I use a product called SunSense Daily Face , £20.99 SPF 50, it’s slightly tinted so gives my skin a bit of coverage on the beach too. I admit to still tanning my body, but wear a hat and sunblock on my face."
GTG: Do you use self-tan?
TE: "No, I’m really not a fan of all the faffing and the waiting and the sheets going brown and my bra being stained. I do however use Sally Hansen’s Airbush Legs, £9.99 which I use on my legs if I’m going out."
GTG: Do you exercise?
TE: "I love Pilates. I go to Vita Pilates regularly with my sister, which is near my daughter’s nursery and then sometimes we go in the gym and have a go on the treadmill."
GTG: Your products are clean from harmful chemicals, do you eat cleanly too?
TE: "I don’t eat meat or dairy. The reason I don't eat dairy is because I feel when I don't my skin looks a lot better. After a few days of having a milky coffee, my skin definitely breaks out. Generally, I try to be fairly healthy but some days I’m just like ‘Give me that pizza’. It’s all about balance right?"
GTG: Do you pay attention to your nutrition?
TE: "I think it’s all about making it a lifestyle - I don't do faddy diets. I do try and eat healthily so my daughter sees that I eat well which in turn will make her want to too, but I’m not obsessed with it. I still breastfeed Fifi (aged four) and it's been such a long time that I discovered I was low in some vitamins. I went to see a doctor and they told me to take extra vitamin C, D and E as well as magnesium."
GTG: Do you see yourself breastfeeding for the foreseeable future?
TE: "I only breastfeed at night, not in the day anymore, and it's Fifi's way of falling asleep. It's like a night time ritual, a moment of calm for both of us at the end of the day but I know there’ll be a day when she won’t want it anymore and I’m prepared for that too!"
GTG: After you had a baby did your health suffer at all?
TE: "I actually felt really healthy and have never felt better but my hair really fell out and was really short and broken around the front. It’s taken forever to grow back - until now really. I took Biotin for a while and I think it made a difference."
GTG: Fifi & Friends was obviously inspired by your daughter – was it because she had skin issues?
TE: "No she had no skin problems but I just wanted a range of products that had everything under one roof from suncream to nappy creams, wipes and swim products. I feel that babies and children’s skin is soft and so pure and I just felt I wanted to keep it that way. I hated the idea of anything that smelled of say fake strawberries or apples or seemed harsh on the skin. I wanted to create something very very gentle."
GTG: Did you use natural products when you were pregnant?
TE: "Oh my God I became really obsessed, I didn’t dye my hair or wear nail polish or anything. I used paraben-free Naked Body Butter from Bliss, £22 and coconut oil on my body and drank zero coffee. I was very ‘in the zone’."
GTG: I heard that adults use the products too – do you?
TE: "I use the Conditioning Detangling spray , £7 as my hair gets really knotty."
GTG: Are you incredibly organised juggling family with work life?
TE: "I am naturally very organised - I’m a list writer. I like ticking things off and I plan things way in advance whereas my husband is the complete opposite. I don’t like anything unpredictable or last minute. My whole life I’ve been about diaries and lists - I’m a free spirit in some ways but when it comes to organisation, I’m regimented.
"I also delete all emails I don’t need – I find it very therapeutic."
ST: The Fifi’s Journal part of your site is a brilliant help for mothers…
TE: "Luckily my sister had a baby at the same time as I did but it can be really isolating if you are the first to have a baby or you’re in a different country or your parents aren’t near. I wanted people to feel like they were part of a community and be able to read articles from other mothers. Also all the advice has changed from when our parents were young – my mum would say 'Why don’t you put her to sleep on her tummy?' but I've had to tell her ‘No it’s not considered safe to do that anymore.'"
GTG: You’re a very very wealthy lady – do you feel that people criticise you because of that?
TE: "Yes. I think it’s so unfair and women seem to tear each other down and I feel as women we should empower each other. Obviously having money gives me the freedom to not have certain worries but at the same time your child is still the most precious person in your life. You still go through bad things, that's part of being human - having money doesn’t make all that stuff go away. My sister is going through a divorce for example. I do get criticised but I’ve come to accept it and I don’t let it get me down. I used to when I was younger but I think I’m in a really happy place right now."
GTG: Were you pleased with the TV programme Tamara’s World?
TE: "I actually was – I think it was a fair representation and Fifi loved being on TV and she still asks for the film crew to come back!"
GTG: What’s most important to you about Fifi’s upbringing?
TE: "Just to be kind – I think people put so much pressure on kids to be academic or be really smart (and of course I want that) but what’s important to me is being compassionate and kind. I’m trying to raise a good human being."
Fifi & Friends is available at fifiandfriends.co.uk , Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Trotters.