Darcey Bussell: A ballerina"s beauty secrets

Beauty confidential: A ballerina's beauty secrets



16:20 GMT, 28 June 2012

New Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell is one of those women who always looks immaculate. A principal ballerina with the Royal Ballet for almost 20 years, the 42-year-old mother-of-two has maintained her dancer’s poise. When I meet Darcey, her hair is in a beautiful bun (of course), her make-up is flawless and her bare, toned legs are a gorgeous golden colour. So what’s her secret to looking prima-ballerina perfect

What’s your everyday skincare regime

I used to be lazy but now I’m in my 40s I have to make more effort. I need help to ensure I grow old gracefully! So now I always apply moisturiser and foundation with an SPF, to protect my skin from the sun.

Darcey Bussell: The new Face of Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse

Darcey Bussell: The new Face of Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse

My skin often looks quite dehydrated, so I add the Sanctuary Active Reverse Lipid Recovery Oil (22, thesanctuary.co.uk) to moisturise at night and sleep with it on. I also like The Sanctuary Active Reverse Power Peptide Serum, 25, and since using it I’ve noticed fewer lines around my eyes and forehead.

What’s the secret weapon in your bathroom cabinet

Bathing in Epsom Salts (1.25, Boots). Your body feels tight and taut afterwards and it’s very relaxing. The best thing is to lie in a warm Epsom salts bath for 15 minutes and then go straight to bed. You will sleep really well afterwards.

Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen

Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen

What is your make-up must-have

I don’t get much sleep, so I have really bad bags under my eyes. My number one product have would be Givenchy Mister Light Corrective Pen (22.50, Debenhams) for daytime, as it’s lovely and light. In the evenings I use Benefit Ooh La Lift (16.50, benefit cosmetics.co.uk), to give the eye area an extra boost.

What’s your ultimate tried-and-tested tip for clear, glowing skin

Smiling a lot really helps! I also follow an anti-ageing diet, which means cutting down on sugar and processed foods. I love healthy snacks such as avocados, dates and prunes, but do enjoy red wine and popcorn, too. And I go to Zumba — it’s good fun and the endorphins keep you young. In Zumba classes I have been known to go in the opposite direction to everyone else, though.

What make-up tips have you learned as a ballerina

Being on stage taught me how to apply eyeliner. You should never to take it to the inner corner of the eyes. To lift the eyes, the trick is to take your eyeliner along the top lashes, outwards and upwards. Heavy eyebrows are also good for the stage as they make your eyes look larger.

Be honest — is your beauty bag full of pricey products

Over the years I’ve had good advice from make-up artists on TV and photo-shoots and I know how to mix and match inexpensive and expensive products.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good quality products.

In my make-up bag I have Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation (7.69, Boots), Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric (29, armanibeauty.co.uk); Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (33, available at Space NK) and any Maybelline Mascara (from 4.99, Boots).

What’s your best bargain buy

I like the Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub (11.25). I use it in the shower and I find it’s a great way to prepare your legs for a tan.

What’s your best money-saving beauty tip

I’m quite thrifty. I have an art of squeezing the last drop of toothpaste out of the tube. I save those tiny tubes of Colgate that you get inside small in-flight kits on planes. My dad was a dentist, so I was brought up to brush my teeth twice a day and to floss.

Charles Worthington Sunshine Spray

Charles Worthington Sunshine Spray

Moroccanoil Treatment

Moroccanoil Treatment

Do you have any favourite hair-care products

I have been dyeing my naturally dark hair since my late 20s, when I started getting greys. I go to Real Hair in London (020 7589 0877) — Jo does the colour and John cuts.

I use Charles Worthington Sunshine UV Protection Spray (5.19, Boots) in the sun, and I try to give my hair a hot-oil treatment, such as Moroccan Oil (from 12.85, lookfantastic.com) when I can. I also like Fudge products (Boots).

What’s the best beauty advice you learned from your mother

She told me not to wear foundation until I had to. I had open pores when I was a teenager. My mother told me how important it is to have fresh, young-looking skin and not to wear pancake-thick make-up. A bit of blusher (my mother called it rouge) was OK, but that was it.

What’s the best tip you would pass on to your daughters

My eldest, aged 11, uses my lip gloss, which gives her lips a little bit of sheen. When my girls get older I’ll advise them to be delicate around the eye area and always sweep upwards when taking off their make-up.

Finally, what is your favourite perfume

Bvlgari Rose Essentielle (54.81, Boots), but I like to change it sometimes, so I also wear Eau d’Issey (from 33, House of Fraser). It’s amazing how you grow out of a smell — you can sometimes go off scents.

Darcey Bussell is the ambassador for the Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse skincare range


Simple Cleansing Wipes with vitamin goodness

American beauty

Britain’s best-selling skincare brand, Simple, is going down a storm in the U.S. The Americans can’t get enough of the gentle range, which went on sale across the pond two months ago.

The brand’s hero product, the award-winning Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (3.12, nationwide), is a hit both sides of the Atlantic, with one pack sold every three seconds in the UK.

The wipes are a favourite of singer Alicia Keys, who loves them so much that she once bought Boots’ entire stock on a visit to London. ‘I went to virtually every Boots and wiped them out,’ she said. Now she doesn’t have to.

Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Viva Pink

The bright stuff

When it comes choosing to nail shades for summer 2012, the brighter the better, says Marian Newman, the manicurist responsible for Alesha Dixon’s talons on Britain’s Got Talent. ‘Always use a top coat with neons as they usually dry a bit matte,’ she advises. ‘Don’t be tempted to apply thick coats if more coverage is needed. Always apply two or even three thin coats.’

Try Avon Nailwear Pro + Nail Enamel in Viva Pink, 6 ( avonshop.co.uk). Bourjois’ new 1 Seconde Nail Enamel (5.99, Boots) has one of the best brushes we’ve come across, with a fan effect, so almost the entire nail can be covered in one sweep. Gel-textured polish lasts for days, too.

L'Oreal Oil

Hair today

The space-age looking Curve Straightener from Nicky Clarke (69.99, Argos) gives hair extra volume and bounce after straightening, rather than the lifeless locks some irons can leave you with. It also has tourmaline-coated plates, which help to lock in hair’s natural moisture, reducing heat-damage.

And look out for L’Oreal Elvive’s Extraordinary Oil (9.99, Boots). It does feel strange using oil on just-washed hair, but this has no greasy residue and leaves locks looking healthy. Great for holiday hair that’s been fried in the sun or ravaged by chlorine and salt water.