Chicks Chat Beauty with…
The beautiful Czech born Petra Bryant, actress, beauty and fashion blogger. The star of the film ‘The Disappearance of Lenka Wood’ is currently filming ‘The Wedding Invitation’ and ‘Looking for George’ in LA. Petra took the time out to speak to Those London Chicks about her beauty and make up regime!
Petra, through your blog you’ve documented that you battle with skin issues? At this point I must say you always look flawless. What are your skin issues and how have you worked with or around them?
I have always had good skin as a teenager but lately I have been hit with adult acne! Breakouts are annoying for everybody but when you are on camera, it is even more anxiety provoking. My skincare regime, diet and make-up routine has evolved to get my skin back in control. I have declared war on sugar and diary as well as gluten and I avoid using make-up products with silicone and gluten. Sadly most make-up artists on film sets use silicone heavy foundations! I try to bring some of my own products to the set and work out a compromise with my make-up artist. This makes me a somewhat difficult customer but if I get a huge breakout, the make-up artist has to work twice as hard to cover that.
What does your beauty routine entail?
My morning routine is about swift cleansing with a purifying cleanser from Living Nature or wiping my face with a cotton wool pad soaked in Thayers witch hazel alcohol-free toner or washing my face in the shower with a Konjac sponge. I never leave my skin bare and apply hyaluronic acid serum from Katherine Jackson, followed by a moisturizer either from Gaia or Living Nature. If I am staying at home, I load up my skin with Antipodes Avocado & Rosehip oil and don’t apply any foundation. Evening beauty routine is about deep cleansing with Living Nature make-up remover (it takes off heavy eye make-up in one swipe!). I like to splash my face with water and use my Konjac sponge as well. This makes my skin feel super clean but not stripped or sensitive. Acne should not be treated with harsh products!! I also use a deep cleansing mask once a week and never use grainy scrubs. Skin is a living organ, not old wall paper in need of stripping, ladies!
Has your routine evolved over the years, if so, how?
I am very careful with reading labels on skincare products and try to avoid parabens, SLS, perfumes. When I was younger, I would stupidly go for a moisturizer that ‘smelt nice’. Now I always take off my make-up before going to bed, no matter how tired I might be after filming, even if it is 5am. In my younger days I used to wake up with panda eyes and glitter on my face!!!
Skin isn’t made of perfume, so why use it? Stick with hyaluronic acid as our body makes it naturally.
Also I often reach into my kitchen cupboard for olive or avocado oil and use it as a lip balm, hair treatment or body oil. I have moved on from using chemicals.
You suffer with Celiac disease (autoimmune condition caused by gluten intolerance) you’re very careful with your diet. Do you think you’re general mindfulness has a positive effect on your skin?
Absolutely. Celiac disease forced me to listen to my body and I am now super careful what I eat and which products I use. I even buy gluten free toothpaste. My skin has improved with gluten free diet and I definitely have positive attitude towards wellbeing and looking after myself. I have even stopped drinking alcohol. Happy mind equals happy body, which shows on your face too.
I am also very cautious with sun exposure and wear sunscreen as I am very pale and burn easily. I have already had 5 pre-cancerous moles removed in the last couple of years. I am terrified of skin cancer.
You just moved to the US, are there any new products you’re experimenting with, that are unavailable here in the UK. If so, how are you finding them?
I buy my beauty products from WholeFoods, Sephora and online. I have fallen in love with Nubian Heritage body products. My absolute fav is Honey & Black Seed body lotion as it is made of shea butter and smells simply divine. My skin and my nose adore it! Thayers toners are also fantastic but they are hard to get in the UK. It is an old fashioned pharmacy style brand that uses honest natural ingredients such as witch hazel or aloe vera. Witch hazel naturally shrinks pores so it is my go to beauty product. Both of the brands are made in the USA.
What are you beauty sins, there must be at least one?
Shamefully I sometimes squeeze a spot or two when I know I am not supposed to do that!!
As an actress you would have worked with many a make up artist over the years. What tips have you picked up that you find invaluable?
Using high quality make-up brushes is important to deliver a polished look. Also one make-up artist told me to never buy make-up brushes from Ebay-some companies (especially from China) make their brushes from cat or dog hair. Imagine using one of those brushes on somebody with an allergy to felines or canines! Streaming eyes and sneezing galore.
What are your ‘can’t live without’ beauty, makeup and hair care favourites?
My facialist Katherine Jackson, I wish I could import her to America, but at least I can get her custom made serum that she ships over for me. Living Nature Manuka Honey Gel for tackling spots-this is such a potent little miracle. Konjac sponges, especially the green one for combination skin. The natural fibre sponge is infused with minerals and clay and is an amazing gentle exfoliant. My make-up can’t live without item is definitely YSL purple mascara in Fascinating Violet. The deep purple shade brings out the green in my eyes and separates lashes beautifully. My hair must have Kevin Murphy Born Again Essential Treatment masque. This is the only product that transforms my naturally frizzy curly hair into soft manageable tresses.
Have you had any hair, beauty or make up disasters?
Plenty! When I was 18, I decided to do my own highlights at home. It was the worst idea ever as the cheap dye turned yellow and brassy and burned my hair. It took years to get my hair looking ok again. I don’t mind make-up disasters as much because you can wipe it off and start again. Hair takes a long time to fix as it doesn’t grow fast. Never again!!
Who are your beauty icons and why?
I love old Hollywood glamour so M. Monroe is on top of my list for her full on glam and Veronica Lake for her luscious waves. More current beauty icons are Jennifer Aniston for her glossy locks and clear skin and Sienna Miller for rocking red lips, glowing skin and perfect eyebrows.
Finally Petra, what does beauty mean to you?
Beauty doesn’t mean walking around with heavy make-up on but clear skin and healthy glossy hair and huge smile, to me that is beautiful. Being happy is better than a facelift!