I’m very excited to be launching my series of interviews with fabulous S.H.I.T. people with none other than top makeup artist, Florrie White.
Florrie is not only fabulous, but she is also S.H.I.T. having called London her home for 20 years after moving back to Blighty from Ibiza.
Before, during the summers, and after studying at St. Andrew’s University, Florrie worked in bikini shop, Graffiti, in Ibiza, which is where she first met Charlotte Tilbury, whose assistant she later became after completing her makeup course at Glauca Rossi in 2002.
She kicked off her solo career in 2005, and has worked with some of today’s most style-feted and glamorous women.
Apart from her amazing talent, to spend time with Florrie is a joy. She has an energy and joie de vivre which are both dazzling and contagious, and I am very proud to call her my friend.
So without further ado, let’s hear from the lady herself…
What do you most love about your job?
The thing I both love and hate about my job is the uncertainty. Despite still struggling from freelancer’s angst (hate), I love that every day and/or week can be different – a different team, a different country, a different model or actress. One minute I’m in a studio in London, the next I could be on a mountain top in the snow in May, wearing a turban on a beach in the Maldives in January, or in Claridges with an actress I admire.
I also love beauty products and am so lucky to get to play with them every time I go to work. My first ambition was to be a witch, now I transform people with the power of makeup and just a little magic!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a busy mum to make their skin look good – sleep often not being an option?
Spend more time on skincare and plump up your tired skin instead of smothering it in makeup which will make you look even more tired.
If you properly cleanse your skin at night and apply a rich appropriate moisturiser or mask, you will wake up with skin that is hydrated and healthy.
Cover any redness, shadows and bags with concealer, then apply a bright lip colour to distract from any tiredness in the eyes.
What’s the most amazing location you’ve been to for a shoot?
On a desert island, what are the three luxury items you couldn’t do without?
I can be very low maintenance and wear a lot less makeup now than I did before I was a makeup artist.
I think I could survive and still look and feel confident – just in case a very handsome and strapping Robinson Crusoe appeared – with Sisley Suncare, By Terry Baume de Rose and Troy Surratt eyebrow gel (I am assuming that a comb, nail file and eyelash curlers are given essentials?).
I would make kajal kohl from my fire embers to create a smokey eye when I seduce Robinson Crusoe over my catch of the day!
If you were able to do the makeup of anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Your favourite item of clothing with a story behind it?
I am a lazy dresser yet love fashion. I generally opt for a dress and boots and I wear them both until they fall apart. You only live once. I am not keeping the designer dress I bought for a special occasion in its dry cleaning wrapping at the back of the cupboard. I will wear it to work or out to the local pub until it literally falls apart, or I sell it on eBay and buy something else.
However, one of my favourite pieces is an embroidered Stella McCartney bomber jacket which my boyfriend at the time gave me for my 30th. I have worn it all over the world – it doubles as a pillow on a long haul flight and I lent it to one of my best friends, Shelley, when she was eight months pregnant as it fitted perfectly over her beautiful bump. Her waters broke in it and now her son Elliot is my godson.
I claim I want to be cremated in it when I die, but I think it’s too beautiful to leave this earth so I will pass it onto one of my nieces.
Describe a typical day in the life of Florrie White.
There isn’t one which is perfect for a Gemini, yet I do always start my day with a shot of raw apple cider vinegar followed by a Nutri Bullet blend of Supergreens, raw turmeric and ginger, lemon, coriander and parsley. This keeps me alkaline and has cured the most momentous hangovers which I confess I still get at my age as I love a dance floor.
I would like be disciplined enough to do a short yoga workout but I always opt for extra snooze time, and need to be in a class with a teacher instructing me otherwise I just lie on my mat dosing or fretting about the dust on my floorboards!
Trendy bar or old man’s pub?
Who’s your make up style icon?
Stuck in a lift with Peter Kaye, Peter Stringfellow or Peter Gabriel?
I did a two hour shift in a tutu as a barmaid in Stringfellows when I first moved to London after university and that was enough for me.
I do like Peter Gabriel’s music, but prefer Robert Palmer, and recently I have spent time watching Peter Kaye’s Car Share, so as a romantic myself still looking for love, I would like to spend time in a lift with him. We could sing acapella to a few of our favourite tunes. I will start with Fever by Peggy Lee. He will love it!
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
You’re sitting around a table with a few bottles of prosecco in the fridge and thousands of crisps. Which five inspirational people would you like to join you for a chat?
A random fact about yourself.
And finally, what makes you S.H.I.T?
Being home in Brixton and grounding myself after travelling, talking to the local business owners who I regard as my friends, although we never meet up out of their shops or bars, going to yoga and the lido, eating delicious food on my doorstep and catching up with friends and family.
I love travelling and equally love coming home.
To see and hear more from Florrie, find her on Instagram: @florriewhitemakeup & Twitter: @florriewhite