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Holly Hagan's Style Journey: Spots Like Rice Krispies and Boob Tube Skirts

For the first instalment of our new column 'Celebrity Skin,' the former 'Geordie Shore' star talks about Botox, glamour modelling, and wearing nine pairs of eyelashes.

by Lauren O'Neill
08 August 2019, 8:00am

All images by Chris Bethell

Celebrity Skin is a fashion and skincare column where we try to get famous people to tell us what moisturiser they use, amongst other things.

Holly Hagan is most famous for one sentence: “I’m fit, I’m flirty, and I’ve got double Fs.” It was her original opening ident on Geordie Shore, a show she has appeared in since she was 19 years old. In the early seasons of the show, she was best known for her bright red hair, and heels so high that just looking at them made you fear for the safety of your ankles.

Hagan is now 27, and quit Geordie Shore for the second time earlier this year (though she hasn’t left reality TV completely behind – right now, she’s starring in MTV’s Geordie OGs, which follows her and fellow Geordies Gaz Beadle, Marnie Simpson, and Aaron Chalmers in their post-Geordie Shore lives.) She has left the clip-in extensions and stilettos that look like they could grind bone behind in favour of a more muted look. When we meet in late July, she’s wearing a comfy t-shirt, flared leggings and trainers.

I’m interested to hear about Holly's style evolution and her approach to skincare and beauty. Now that she is the owner of a make-up brand herself, has been pleasingly open about her use of Botox and fillers, and has consigned her old Geordie gear to the big wardrobe in the sky (RIP), what’s she wearing?

Holly Hagan VICE

VICE: Hey Holly! What’s your morning skin routine?
Holly Hagan: I’ve got a silicone ball-type-thing with little prongs which doesn’t harbour bacteria, so I use one of them, and then I use an Avène cleanser which was recommended by a doctor because I do have quite sensitive skin. But I use a baby wipe first – which isn’t the best I know – and then I use the cleanser, and then I tone with Pixi Glow Tonic, and then I will just use an Avène rich moisturiser. That’s pretty much it.

And then your make-up over that?
And then my make-up over that. But I don’t tend to wear make-up regularly. Day-to-day make-up, I would just wear mascara and do my eyebrows.

What’s your nightly skin routine?
At night time, I will remove my make-up with Simple baby wipes, and then the same routine again, but maybe I’ll use a mask if my skin feels dry or it needs hydration because I have combination skin. It’s oily and dry, so I need to get the right balance which is really difficult. I have to be really careful because I come out in spots a lot and it can be a bit of a nightmare. So yes, a mask and then probably the same routine with the cleanser.

Do you like the sheet masks or the clay masks?
I like the sheet masks. I like the blackhead peel masks. I quite enjoy pulling them off but they do hurt a lot.

What’s the weirdest skin product you’ve ever used, or procedure you’ve ever had done?
I think there is one that has got snail juice in it? It’s called ‘Snail Slime’ or something. I’m not really sure how true that is but they are all just fads, aren’t they?

Did you notice any good results with the snail slime?
No – sometimes I think the more you do, the more it can affect your skin. It’s really hard to know what is right for you because you have to keep up with something for a good six weeks to know that it is working. So I try to keep it as simple as possible.

What’s the most expensive skin product or procedure you’ve ever used?
The most expensive product has got to be La Mer cream which is unbelievable, when I was using it I literally felt like I was J-Lo or something, it’s the best cream ever. But I can’t justify paying that amount. The cream that I use is £14. The most expensive procedure is the Botox, which obviously costs.

Holly Hagan VICE

What was your most inconvenient zit?
Oh my god, the most horrific one I had was recently! I hadn’t done a photoshoot in so long and I had this really big shoot for a wig company and all these beautiful Instagram girls were going to be there. I was really stressed about moving house and my mortgage, and I had been having a lot of sleepless nights. I woke up and my entire chin had broken out and it was spreading across my face and honestly it looked like I had Rice Krispies on my chin. This was a big shoot and I was getting paid good money to be there, so I messaged them and I said, "I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it, what are we going to do?"

So I told them that I would do my own make-up if they were happy for me to do it. I did the day and it was great, but then I went home and cried. [Bad skin] is such a normal thing and so many people go through it but honestly, it makes you feel dirty and like people are looking at you because they think you’re unclean. Sometimes it can be the opposite – that you’re doing too much.

What’s the best budget skin care product you use?
My nana has always been a huge fan of Nivea. I’ve grown up watching her put her Nivea on, and she still looks incredible, so I get the Nivea vibe from her. I mean my moisturiser is only £14 – I have heard that there are really good dupes of the Pixi Glow Tonic in Aldi.

Wasn’t there a really good Estée Lauder Primark dupe too?
I couldn’t find my shade but I did go looking for that.

What’s the most outlandish piece of clothing you’ve ever bought?
I’ve got these shoes, they don’t have a heel but they just have a platform – Lady Gaga used to wear them. I have these spiked ones too – I think they might be Louboutin or something, but they were expensive and they have spikes coming out of them, like a shoe-boot. They were probably the weirdest thing I've ever worn. They didn’t even go with any of the outfits I would wear them with.

Did you get about in them much?
Oh yeah! They were really comfy to walk in.

Holly Hagan VICE

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever worn?
I think the only thing I have is my Prada handbag and I even got that from eBay. I honestly begrudge spending a lot of money on things because you wear them once. You can get outfits cheap enough now – you know, fast fashion.

Do people point out when you wear the same thing twice?
Honestly, I wear this top pretty much every time I come to London because I have it in every colour, I thought that I would mix it up today by wearing some flares instead of leggings but it’s usually this top and leggings in grey or blue. I don’t care, I love being comfy.

What’s been your most High Fashun experience?
High fashion isn’t really my kind of thing, I think I went to the BRIT Awards and I had an off-the-shoulder black bodysuit on with a long black floaty skirt and I think I looked quite good. That’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve worn.

What’s your favourite shoot you’ve done?
I used to love all of the glamour shoots. They were the best times of my life. I was so gutted when Nuts and Zoo and everything ended. On Geordie Shore, I was always the girl who felt bigger and those shoots made me feel really confident and I loved it. Those kinds of things get a bad rep in the press, they get a lot of stigma, people think that it’s forced upon us but it’s liberating and I really enjoyed it. For a girl who wasn’t very confident to get highest-selling cover quite a few times in a row, that really built up my confidence.

Have you ever done a shoot with a funny or weird concept?
I did this one with Now magazine, do you remember that iconic Kim Kardashian shoot where she had her bum out, her hair’s up and she’s holding Champagne? I did a copy of that and honestly it was the best shoot ever, I loved it. I mean they Photoshopped the Champagne on because I don’t think my arse is anywhere as big as hers for me to balance it on. I still had to bend quite a lot. We had the Champagne and we were spraying it, it was such a fun shoot.

What do you wear when you’re by yourself chilling?
Literally leggings, a crop top and trainers is my vibe. I like comfort but I do like my clothes to be quite figure hugging. Jeans aren’t for me I’m just not comfortable in them at all.

Holly Hagan VICE

What’s been your biggest fashion disaster?
Oh God, so many in the first series of Geordie Shore. I used to literally wear boob tubes as skirts. We didn’t have any money then so everything that we were wearing was recycled or reworn. I used to cut the bottoms off tops to make skirts, we just had to make do. It wasn’t like Love Island getting shipped clothes from the UK, no one wanted to gift us anything because that wasn’t even a thing.

Do you think it’s weird that that happens now?
They are very lucky, they don’t have to go through the trauma of running out of clothes halfway through a series and going to do a Primark shop. It was character-building because we started from the bottom and we climbed our way to the top very slowly.

It must have helped you to develop your own style?
Yeah, definitely! I think it’s great to look back at your fashion disasters. I think it’s funny to see how far you’ve come – and you can’t do that if you’re given all of your clothes. A lot of these people now are 14 years old and they look like 18-year-olds, but they’re skipping a whole era. They didn’t have to go through the sperm brows – they’ve all got the bloody Scouse brows now, we only had a few eyebrow hairs between us.

What’s your holy grail Only Celebs Know make-up tip?
I think using foundation without SPF in – sometimes it’s used as a cheap thickener but it can cause flashback on photos. So if you use foundation without it in you actually get a better result if you’re taking photos. Probably only celebs who have had their make-up done professionally will know that.

What’s the most bizarre thing a make-up artist has done to you?
A lot of the times I do my own make-up but I do remember when I was in series one of Geordie Shore, I used to wear nine pairs of false eyelashes. I looked fucking stupid but I thought it looked great! This make-up artist only wanted to put two pairs of eyelashes on me and I had a full on meltdown and I mean a meltdown! I thought I looked ugly, so I ended up putting even more lashes on in the end and I actually looked so much worse. That was my comfort blanket, I wouldn’t even be seen without make-up, it wasn’t until season two that I would take my make-up off in front of people. I have come a long way.

Geordie OGs airs Wednesday nights at 9PM on MTV.

@hiyalauren / @christopherbethell