Instagram star and blogger Freddie Harrel is the face of a new campaign for the Boots No7 Lift and Luminate range of products.
Along with Olympic fencer Monica Aksamit and blogger Zoe de Pass, Harrel features in a video about confidence and the role beauty plays in that (shown above).
Harrel is a mother, entrepreneur and confidence coach who empowers women to explore and find strength in the various aspects of their personalities.
HuffPost UK caught up with Harrel to get her thoughts on beauty and how forgiving yourself leads to confidence.
You’re someone who oozes confidence – with the beautiful, bright clothes you wear and that famous smile of yours. What’s your secret?
I think I come across really confident but for me it’s a journey.
When I started blogging, I developed a few tricks for myself that I’ve been using ever since. I’m continuously trying to find ways to feel happier in my skin and more confident.
It’s all about the “self”. Confidence starts with a lot of positivity in the relationship you have with yourself. Mine used to be very negative.
By being a better friend to yourself and treating yourself the same way you treat the people you love, by being more compassionate and forgiving with yourself, I think you become more confident.
If you look into self development, yoga, meditation and all the things that are really trendy at the moment, they all encourage us to look within and to look at ourselves more.
I think we’re much more than what we think. It’s really about self-acceptance to get to confidence.
I think now there’s definitely an opportunity to be confident in your skin even if you’re not what’s thought of traditionally as ‘feminine.’
It’s now an established opinion that we need to be more fluid with the way we look at gender and sexuality. So I think it’s only normal that we can no longer restrict our idea of women’s beauty to being about just how feminine they are.
I remember how excited I was when Chimamanda Adichie became the face of No 7 so it’s a huge honour and milestone for me to (almost) follow in her footsteps and to be part of the #No7Ready campaign.
Frédérique Harrel on Instagram.
No7 has also worked with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. What do you think of highstreet brands starting to cater to women with less ‘standard’ complexions – whether deeper shades or very fair ones?
I think it’s about time. I really like the products they used on Chimamanda for different reasons.
You know, sometimes when brands offer shades for black women they tend to go for women with lighter skin tones.
I really love that they went for someone who is like me with dark skin. I’m really happy about that because I think there’s still a lot of hypocrisy around diversity.
I think it’s good when big superstars who are part of the entertainment world are used as ambassadors, but I’m pleased they used a black woman who is very smart: a great novelist, a great writer and an amazing speaker.
I’m glad they chose that woman and put her forward, as opposed to going for a pop star which is not a bad thing, but it’s good for a change.
And she’s also grown up, you know? She’s a woman, not a teenager.
What’s your philosophy on makeup and skincare?
I think beauty is definitely something worth investing in. Back in the day that is not something I would have considered.
But when you think about going on a night out and spending maybe £60 in one evening, you can easily invest that into a day cream and a cream can last for about six months.
I started to look at things from that perspective about three years ago, when I started to take my skincare seriously. I realised that buying longer-lasting better quality skin care products was worth the investment.
My skin has changed so much.
Also, drinking lots of water and indulging in face masks.
How did you decide that working with No7 was the right fit for you and your brand?
We talk about confidence and self love more and more. But at the same time there’s a debate around, ‘do you really accept yourself if you wear makeup?’
So I think it’s important to have these conversations that say you can use makeup, fashion, jewellery etc. as a tool to express yourself. I think that’s really what it should be – about self expression.
This encourages younger girls to have a healthy relationship with makeup. It’s better to have these conversations as opposed to having messages about buying the new lipgloss all the time.
So being part of this campaign and this conversation has been really interesting for me.
I worry that young girls, when they start wearing makeup really early now and with the ‘magic’ effect of makeup today, plus Snapchat filters and all that, I worry they’ll find it hard to wear their faces bare and to just be who they are.
So I think it’s more positive to talk about it as a way to express yourself and explore your creativity or who you are, as opposed to as a way to cover.
On a practical angle, how has being a new mother affected your daily beauty routine?
At the beginning there was no routine at all. I wouldn’t even leave the house, so who needs routine if you don’t even shower?
I’m quite lucky because my husband has some time at the moment. It’s been amazing having him around because he looks after [our son] Hugo full-time and I get to work.
Because there’s the two of us, it means I do get to have a routine.
What are some of the beauty products you swear by?
Lip balms (I have the driest lips!), I absolutely love serums and masks you wear at night.
Oil to take off makeup and clean the skin – I can’t live without that. When it comes to makeup, I absolutely adore strobe cream.
If it’s a rainy day (literally or figuratively), what are your tips for getting yourself back up on your feet?
I think face masks are so good for gloomy days, because you get this instant glow on your skin.
I also love to drink lots of tea when the weather’s bad. It’s really comforting and it’s a good way to make you drink lots of water. My favourites are turmeric gold and a coconut green tea.
And definitely music, I think it’s a really good way to lift the mood.
Discover the Lift and Luminate range on Boots.com.
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