Awarded an MBE in 2007 for her contribution to the cosmetics industry, Millie Kendall is one of the beauty world’s most respected names. The Co-Founder of Ruby and Millie and BeautyMART, as well as a strong force behind the success of many other beauty brands, including Shu Uemura and Aveda, who better to ask about skincare, make-up and everything in between?
We caught up with Millie to find out the products she couldn’t be without…
First things first – what are your make-up bag essentials?
This changes week in, week out, but at the moment, you’ll find an old pair Ruby & Millie tweezers; Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet No 5, £26; Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipstick in 08, £5.49; Honest Beauty’s Crème Blush (available in the US); Jillian Dempsey’s Kohl Eyeliner in black (also only available in the US – sorry!) and Maybelline’s Volum’ Express Mascara, £6.99.
What’s your skincare routine?
I am a true product junkie and have about a hundred products on my dressing table so my skincare changes daily. It can be anything from James Read’s Hydrating Tan Mist H20, £20, to Darphin Stimulskin Serum, £165, to Drunk Elephant’s C Firma Day Serum, a cult hit in US Sephora but also available on Amazon. It really depends on how I’m feeling and what my skin looks like.
If you had to pick one skincare essential, what would it be?
I use an oil every night before bed – so it would be a toss-up between Votary’s Night Oil, £75, and Oilixia’s Explorer Blend, £43.
And for body?
Whilst I love body creams, I find oil easier and quicker to apply – Prismologie’s Red Body Oil, £40, and Weleda’s Birch Cellulite Oil, £22.95 are favourites. If I’m working out, I use Origins Hit Refresh, £29, as it has a cooling sensation when applied.
Do you fake tan?
Only on my face, James Harknett is my go-to-guy for a spray tan.
Any tips for dealing with breakouts?
Origins’ Super Spot Remover, £15, is the best product to treat a breakout. Any salicylic acid-based treatment product will work, and if you want a natural option try Weleda’s Aknedoron Purifying Lotion, £7.50.
Where do you have your hair done?
Which hair products do you rely on?
For my curly hair I find Iles Formula shampoo and conditioner, from £29 each, the best, and Curlsmith do a great curl quenching conditioning wash, which leaves hair with a natural bounce and sheen.
Any recommendations for beauty treatments?
In my line of work I’m lucky enough to try a lot of treatments but Su-Man Hsu is probably one of my greatest finds. I first saw her in her shed at the bottom of her garden for a facial that absolutely blew me away – she is now in residence at the W Hotel. She does this thing with massaging your ears that's crazy but brilliant.
How do you shape your brows?
I got to Blink Brow Bar in Topshop or Selfridges – the staff are all excellent. A bad brow arch can make you look angry, but everyone at Blink is really well trained, so I never worry about the results.
What‘s your top anti-ageing tip?
Enjoy life and make sure to spend some time in a park at the weekend. How you look and how you age is mostly genetic so make the most of what you are given. Also, as a young girl and teenager, I was obsessive about skincare – cleansing, toning and moisturising every morning and evening – and I think a good routine from a young age is important.
Ultimate beauty tip?
Exfoliate and moisturise your breasts – mine are surprisingly good for my age in terms of firmness, and I put it down to this! I use a new brand (launching soon) called Stellar Décolletage, but I’ve always used oil on my chest area for moisture. Also, ensure you wear SPF 50 when in the sun. As you age the décolletage, hands and neck are the areas that reveal a lack of care and attention, so remember to show them some TLC.
Do you have a favourite fragrance?
Anything by Mary Greenwell – I love her scents – and also Gigi by Jardins D’Ecrivain, £75.
What have been some of your favourite BeautyMART finds?
EOS Lipbalms, £5.99 (we were the first to bring them to the UK), Homeoplasmine cream, a cream loved by make-up artists the world over and the Japanese mascara Fairydrops are all classics. We were the first company in the UK to launch Korean products, too, which I’m very proud of. It’s not about size to me but the ripple effect you have on the industry when you do something well, you do it first, you make a lot of noise about it and everyone follows.
Do you take any beauty supplements?
Yes, quite a few actually – Pure Elixir, Glotrition and Lumity are current favourites, they slow signs of ageing and boost collagen production, and I’m also a huge fan of Press Ginger Fireball Shots. They’re the one thing that get me up and going in the morning, I swear they’re better than caffeine!
Lastly – what's your ultimate cult beauty buy?
Isn’t everyone’s Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream? It’s a firm favourite in our house, but for those who don’t like the scent I would say Japan’s version, Yu-Be cream, £13.50, is a close contender.
Shop Millie’s beauty essentials here...
Best For Body
Best For Face