I met Hackney-born Betty recently on a beauty shoot for netaporter’s online magazine The Edit. It was a feature on gold make-up looks so I was thrilled when I saw Betty’s name on the call sheet- her rich mahogany skin showed the gold to the max!
My earliest beauty memory is of my mum applying a red lipstick. I remember how she would apply lipstick in a certain way with care, she would always save it until last out of all when putting on make-up.
I remember how I learnt just by watching her that beautifying was a delicate activity.
I feel most beautiful when I come out of a bath. I believe that being completely bare and natural is when we are most beautiful as we’re completely raw and pure. Having a bath is both physically and mentally cleansing and I think cleanliness is a part of beauty.
I find my mother beautiful because she has the most amazing smile. She’s a vibrant woman and projects a youthfulness from within. I’ve grown up watching my mother being able to capture a room with her presence. She enjoys having a good time and her energy radiates which makes her glow naturally.
When I was a child I remember my mother using cotton wool and rose water to cleanse her face. She would use cotton wool for multiple purposes. I remember her always using a face flannel to wash her face at the beginning of her beauty routine. She would use the flannel to steam and wash her face first followed by some cleansing with rose water and cotton wool. She would then use a toner and moisturiser.
If my mother was going out, after she had cleansed and moisturised her skin she would apply a powder foundation followed by a thin black eyebrow. She would always pluck her eyebrows first making them quite thin and narrow and then filling it in with an eyebrow pencil. Lastly she would apply a red lipstick, always a blood stained red.
5. Is make-up a chore or a delight?
I don’t really wear make up, it’s not really my thing. I enjoy being done up when I’m on set. Experiencing the process, the before and after is always a delight. Being completely transformed is always enjoyable to experience.
In the beauty industry I’d like to see more celebrations and interpretations of beauty. I believe that what we are currently exposed to in terms of beauty is still very generic and limited. There needs to be more dynamic images and visuals that reflect our current time.
The last time my mascara ran was when I was on set a few weeks ago shooting a commercial outside. It was very windy and I have sensitive eyes so I kept tearing in between shots, which made my mascara run.
The one beauty gift I would give anyone is the advice to wear a smile.
Smiling uses less facial muscles than frowning and instantly brightens up your appearance. People are more approachable and more attractive when they smile because a smile alone is beautiful in itself. A smile is best thing you can wear.
See Betty’s portfolio here