We’re excited to continue our new series, The Close-Up, where we take a closer look at celebrities, influencers, and pop culture phenomena. You’ve read about them on the internet and clipped their photos out of magazines—but now you’ll have the chance to get to know them personally through fun Polaroids, handwritten beauty advice, product recommendations, and so much more.
London-born Ella Eyre was very nearly not a singer, her powerful lungs had taken her down a different path, one that lead to an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Unfortunately, ear infections put a stop to her budding sports career, but lucky for our Spotify accounts, she soon took up singing instead. Before long, she won a place at the Brit School, where fellow alumni include Adele, the late Amy Winehouse and Jessie J. A school trip to the 2011 Brit Awards, and Adele’s emotional performance of Someone Like You confirmed to the then 17-year-old Eyre that she wanted to be a pop star, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast-forward five years and she has a number one single Up All Night with Rudimental, the debut album Feline, a BRIT Award and two Mobos under her belt. I meet Eyre at the Mondrian Hotel in a suite overlooking the Thames on an unusually hot June day to talk about her new role as the face of Emporio Armani’s limited-edition summer Diamonds Club fragrance (£38).
“I think my fave thing is that when you put [Diamonds Club] on it unfolds gradually, you get the mandarin, then the rose and then the patchouli. It’s really fun!”
Does it work for day or is it better for night, as the name Club suggests, I ask. “Smell-wise, I’d say it’s both for day and night; it’s got a really lovely floral scent but at the same time you might want to smell like that at nighttime. I wear the men’s fragrance sometimes, too!”
Besides wearing the male Club scent, Eyre also relies on the classic “mist and walk” when applying her perfume. “I don’t like to put too much of it on my skin. I like to spray it into my hair just because I feel like that retains a lot of the smells.”
Ah yes, Eyre’s hair. It’s so recognisable that she rarely wears much makeup on stage when performing, “I think my hair is quite a staple piece, so I can get away with a simple face if I want to.
“I end up sweating [makeup] off anyway, so all that hard work has gone to waste. A bit of foundation to cover any blemishes, a strong eyebrow, strong lip and if I’m feeling like some mascara or some lashes, that’s probably all you’re going to get—I think it’s important to not waste it on towels!”
I ask if she would ever experiment with her look, like so many other pop stars do. “I’d quite like to try doing my hair a different colour, but the thing is every time I [change the] colour I just end up missing the blonde dip dye. I’d like to try doing some colour temporarily, but I know I’m so fussy!
“I’ve always wanted ginger hair. I love red, warm colours. I’ve always loved the big luscious Lana del Rey kind of hair, in like a really gorgeous orange.”
We couldn’t touch on Eyre’s hair without finding out what products she uses to keep it so curly yet miraculously free from frizz. “I think most curly-haired readers will understand that curly hair is really hard to maintain, it’s about keeping it moisturised. I really like to use Kérastase all their treatments, the damage repair shampoo (Bain Force Architecte, £18) is really good for it. And I never wear it straight—curly-haired people understand, unless you get some kind of semi-permanent treatment done to it, the humidity will ruin it in a second, so straight hair never really works out for me.”
In person, it’s Eyre’s brows that caught our attention. Expertly groomed but not too done, they are the perfect brows. “I used to get them threaded. But I’ve only got one lady I trust to thread them and she lives really near my mum and my mum lives miles away. With brows, it’s just a question of knowing your shape, plucking but not over-plucking. Every week or so I take a look, often I’ll leave bits to let them grow because then you have more to play with.
“I use an eye shadow from a Bobbi Brown palette because I feel like the powder is easier to manipulate and if you make a mistake it’s easier to rectify. I have a really good Armani brush that’s really thin and has a toothbrush thing on the other end, I don’t know what they’re called! It’s really great for getting the bottom line of the brows really neat.”
Having your makeup professionally applied as part of the job has its perks, and Eyre has picked up plenty of tips and tricks along the way. “My makeup artist likes to put hairspray on a toothbrush and brush it through my eyebrows because it makes them stay in place.
“Also, use a really thin brush and highlighter just to outline your lipstick so it shows the shape a lot better and helps to neaten it up. It accentuates the lip shape, too!”
When it comes to her skincare routine, she keeps it simple. “I wake up and splash water on my face. I like to wear Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Day Cream (£24), then I use the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£37) because it’s really light and doesn’t feel like icing on cake! Then in the evening I take my makeup off with micellar water, maybe the Garnier one, then I use a Lancôme night cream which I try to remember to put on! It’s very simple.”
“You know what? I’ve never been one for beauty treatments, I’ve never had a facial! I’d love to try them, but I don’t want to get addicted to them because I know that’s quite a financial commitment.”
The one treatment she does book in for is deep tissue massages, because despite not making it as a swimmer, Eyre is still serious about fitness. The secret to keeping fit is finding things that you like doing, she says. “I used to really hate running, so I started doing interval sessions instead. Weights, a mix of cardio, and I always keep it short so 30–45 minutes so I don’t have to waste my day dreading a session or waste my morning going ‘push it back, push it back.’ So I like to do things that are intense, for a short amount of time—no complaints, get it done.
Then you feel great after.”
Talking of short amounts of time, the interview is being wrapped up, so I asked what Eyre would buy if she had just 10 minutes in Boots? “Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£3), Meal Deal, Lancôme Hypnôse Star Mascara (£23), Estée Lauder Double-Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer (£23); I love that stuff. And Armani Diamonds—all of them!”
Want more of The Close-up? Check out our exclusive interview with Taylor Hill…