If you follow me on Twitter and tune in about 10pm on a Monday, you may know that I’m slightly obsessed with the drama of Made In Chelsea. Love rats, cheating scandals, awkward pauses, cocktails with lunch, endless shopping trips and the most brilliant one-liners, it’s a guilty pleasure that I just can’t miss. Binky (or Alexandra Felstead by birth) has been one of the main characters from the start, documenting her dramatic love life, endless happy hours and the amazing relationship she has with her mother. She already has a beauty blog and numerous columns to her name, so it’s no surprise that her love of tan has landed her a contract with Rimmel London. Now the legs and body of their fabulous Sunshimmer range, Binky is keeping it real and helping us all to ‘Get The London Look’ for a fraction of the Chelsea price tag. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Binky, grill her on all things Made In Chelsea and find out about this collaboration with Rimmel London; here’s what she had to say…
Hayley: So tell me about the collaboration with Rimmel Sunshimmer and how you got involved?
Binky: I love tanning. I tend to burn in the sun, so instead I fake it (which is obviously better for you.) I feel like having a tan makes you feel healthier, look healthier – I’m just addicted to it. Sunshimmer is my favourite because of the great guide colour and its lovely finish. The smell is really nice too (and most fake tans don’t smell great,) so it’s perfect. If you mess up you can just wash it off and start again.
H: And which is your favourite from the range?
B: For me the Water Resistant Instant Tan shade in Medium Matte.
H: Which one product would you advise people to start with as an introduction to Sunshimmer, if you’d never used the range before?
B: Any of the shades of the Water Resistant Instant Tan, but I would still say the Medium Matte. You could start with any of them really, it just depends on what you like and what you’re after. They’re all wash-off and easy to apply with your hands. (Wash your hands after obviously, you don’t want to give the game away with orange mitts!) You can see where you are applying the Sunshimmer thanks to the guide colour, which really helps.
H: Is it weird seeing your face on a Sunshimmer poster when you walk into a store?
B: Yeah, surreal but very cool. I haven’t seen it in store yet actually, but I need to go and see it.
H: What does your tanning routine look like?
B: If you are having a bath or shower use the Pre-Tan Exfoliator as it sloughs off dead skin, so that when you apply the fake tan it goes on evenly and smoothly.
H: And what would you do to maintain your tan?
B: Moisturise daily and I would apply Sunshimmer every other day, to keep your tan topped up and keep that bronzed look.
H: Do you have a make-up routine to enhance your tan?
B: I would use the Sunshimmer bronzer, as I always contour my face with bronzer under the cheekbones. I suck in my cheeks and brush it on: it makes your face look slimmer. Don’t forget to take it down onto your neck and shoulders, as you don’t want that to be white and the rest of your face tanned! I like to have a shimmer on my shoulders, collarbone, my temples and brow bone, so I use the 3-in-1 Shimmering Bronzer as it has highlighter in it too. Just dust it anywhere the sun would naturally hit your face.
H: What do you have in your ‘touch up’ makeup bag that you take with you on a daily basis?
B: Bronzer, and MAC Face and Body Foundation. I use a coral lipstick from MAC too, black Rimmel Mascara and an eyeliner.
H: I see that you’ve got quite bright green nails painted on…
B: This is from my Binky London range; it’s called Parson’s Green. I do have to keep my nails looking good all the time, especially now that I have a nail varnish range. You can’t be seen with bad nails!
H: Does your makeup and tanning routine differ if you’re going filming? Are there things you do on a filming day as opposed to a non-filming day?
B: Yes, definitely. The cameras do pick up colour quite easily; I have been subject to going a little overboard with my tan and it comes up strong on screen. If I stand next to Rosie Fortescue (she’s very pale and she can pull that off, but I don’t pull off pale at all,) it’s like completely different skin tones and quite obvious. Also I go darker on the makeup, because when you do film the camera makes your face look like a blank canvas. It’s really annoying, so you have to go a bit darker on the contouring and the eyes. Same if I’m having a coral lip, I tend not to as it just washes out my face. They’re high definition cameras, I don’t like them. I hate myself on camera.
H: Do you actually watch the show?
B: I do. I have to watch it, I can’t not watch it. It’s so long ago that it’s filmed you want to see and remember stuff.
H: How far in advance do you film?
B: Six weeks ago, we filmed what you are seeing now.
H: Is it weird then looking back to six weeks ago and thinking ‘OMG that was really dramatic but now its passed and it’s fine’?
B: It kind of brings back stuff yeah. You forget a lot of stuff, and think ‘Oh yeah, ok’.
H: What one feature would you steal from an MIC cast member if you could?
B: I like that. I’d probably steal… Louise’s skin. Louise has amazing skin and she’s always got a nice tan as well. I think Mark Francis’s flamboyancy; I think he’s great. I love him, he’s one of my favourite boys in the world.
H: He does make me laugh a lot… He’s got some great one-liners.
B: Yeah he’s like that. He’s exactly like what he is on the show and what people see. Amazing.
H: How do you think MIC has affected your life, being on the show for so long, and being one of the original cast members?
B: It’s all been quite gradual; because when I first joined the show I was with Ollie and Cheska, doing funny silly scenes and nothing too serious, and now I’ve got a lot more of my life in the show. It’s intense; I signed up for it so I’ve got to take it really. The people are lovely on twitter and who I meet, and as long as that continues I’m happy.
H: Is it strange going onto Twitter, especially when the show airs, receiving instant feedback and letting millions of people into your life?
B: It is yeah. Like I said, luckily I’m ok – I’ve got lots of lovely people who tweet me. People want to be nasty sometimes, some people do, but with me it’s normally very lovely. I know that some of the other cast have had a few twitter trolls and it’s not nice; they can make you feel like a piece of poo if they want to. I think it’s unacceptable, but hey you’ve signed up for it so you’ve got to deal with it I guess. But I’ve had great things come out of the show too, like Sunshimmer, and I’ve got a book coming out with top tips of where to hang out in Chelsea, helping people with bullying and dealing with a parents divorce. A bit about me, for whoever is interested!
H: Do you feel like you’re a role model? A lot of teenagers look up to you; do you feel that’s a responsibility or do you take it in your stride?
B: I kind of didn’t think that I was until I had kids writing to me, lovely letters. It is a responsibility; you don’t want to mess up because if you are looked up to, that’s a great thing to have. It’s very flattering. I don’t want to upset anyone.
H: What has been your favourite moment in all of Made in Chelsea?
B: I get this question all the time. One of them would be when Ollie was in a gold thong in the park, doing a photo-shoot. I was the photographer, and I was making him climb a tree like Tarzan trying to get him to pose. Cheska was trying to give him a shoulder head up the tree and it looked from the position I was photographing as if she nearly had her head up his bum basically! Ollie was hilarious on the show, I love him to pieces. I still see him so it’s fine. We had some great times.
H: Who do you think on the show has got the best makeup look?
B: Rosie and Louise both have great makeup looks. Victoria and Sophie too actually, they look glamorous and amazing all the time. Very chic as Mark Francis would say. I can’t be bothered to look in the mirror all the time!
H: I think that’s quite refreshing of you though, because people do get so obsessed with the way their makeup looks and what their hair’s doing.
B: I don’t want to look bad, but I don’t obsess about it. There’s a level that I don’t cross, even though I probably should.
H: Tell me a bit about your style… You’re quite relaxed with what you wear.
B: Yes, I like being comfortable. I like a wedge, I like height. I like skinny jeans, dress or a short skirt, or just shorts. I like getting my legs out in the summer. Boho chic, relaxed, hair down and I’d have flowers in my hair, like a tiara. Chilled and peaceful and happy.
H: Would you say your legs are your favourite feature?
B: Yes, definitely. I’ve got my mummy’s legs, although hers are better than mine. I think that the way you dress affects your mood as well… No dark colours. For me.
H: And what are you most looking forward to in 2014?
B: Well we are going to New York next month for two months doing MIC out there. It could go two ways – it could either be incredibly stressful or just ridiculous fun. My sister lives out there, so it will be nice to spend some time with her. Obviously I have my book coming out, more Binky London stuff coming out… I just think there are lots of opportunities out there that I need to grab by the horns and just go for it. I’m doing a calendar shoot in a couple of weeks, so my agent is banning me from eating carbs or cakes and I’ll be drinking lots of water. There are lots of exciting things coming up, and of course this Sunshimmer campaign for me was one of the biggest things I’ve ever done and its been a massive opportunity. I’m very happy that I’m involved, so it’s great.
H: How do you feel about being a Rimmel Spokesperson? We’ve had Kate Moss, Rita Ora, Georgia May Jagger and all those amazing people… Now you are in that line up!
B: I know, it’s ridiculous! I can’t believe it. I’m very touched, and overwhelmed by it all. Seeing my face on ads and on the box, it’s bizarre. I couldn’t have asked to be part of a better campaign or with such a fantastic company like Rimmel, it’s been great.
So Binky is as lovely off screen as she is on, well deserving of all those great things 2014 is sure to hold. And here’s a cheeky photo of Binky and I just before she ran off to film another episode of MIC. See you on Twitter, Monday at 10pm!