I’m very excited to be launching my series of interviews with fabulous people with none other than top makeup artist, Florrie White.
Florrie with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and George Northwood.
Florrie is not only fabulous, but she has also called London her home for 20 years after moving back to Blighty from Ibiza.
Before, during the summers, and after studying at St. Andrew’s University, Florrie worked in bikini shop, Graffiti, in Ibiza, which is where she first met Charlotte Tilbury, whose assistant she later became after completing her makeup course at Glauca Rossi in 2002.
She kicked off her solo career in 2005, and has worked with some of today’s most style-feted and glamorous women.
Apart from her amazing talent, to spend time with Florrie is a joy. She has an energy and joie de vivre which are both dazzling and contagious, and I am very proud to call her my friend.
So without further ado, let’s hear from the lady herself…
What do you love most about your job?
The thing I both love and hate about my job is the uncertainty. Despite still struggling from freelancer’s angst (hate), I love that every day and/or week can be different – a different team, a different country, a different model or actress. One minute I’m in a studio in London, the next I could be on a mountain top in the snow in May, wearing a turban on a beach in the Maldives in January, or in Claridges with an actress I admire.
I also love beauty products and am so lucky to get to play with them every time I go to work. My first ambition was to be a witch, now I transform people with the power of makeup and just a little magic!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a busy mum to make their skin look good – sleep often not being an option?
Spend more time on skincare and plump up your tired skin instead of smothering it in makeup which will make you look even more tired.
If you properly cleanse your skin at night and apply a rich appropriate moisturiser or mask, you will wake up with skin that is hydrated and healthy.
Cover any redness, shadows and bags with concealer, then apply a bright lip colour to distract from any tiredness in the eyes.
What’s the most amazing location you’ve been to for a shoot?
I am lucky to say that there are too many to choose from, however the week spent in Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, the cruise liner from Vancouver up to Alaska and the estancia in Argentina are all hot contenders for first place.
On a desert island, what are the three luxury items you couldn’t do without?
I can be very low maintenance and wear a lot less makeup now than I did before I was a makeup artist.
I think I could survive and still look and feel confident – just in case a very handsome and strapping Robinson Crusoe appeared – with Sisley Suncare, By Terry Baume de Rose and Troy Surratt eyebrow gel (I am assuming that a comb, nail file and eyelash curlers are given essentials?).
I would make kajal kohl from my fire embers to create a smokey eye when I seduce Robinson Crusoe over my catch of the day!
If you we’re able to do the makeup of anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Marilyn Monroe as she was my first crush and so feminine with or without makeup. My mum claims that I used to practice her signature, which I find a little odd now. I was obsessed with her in my teens.
Your favorite item of clothing with a story behind it?
I am a lazy dresser yet love fashion. I generally opt for a dress and boots and I wear them both until they fall apart. You only live once. I am not keeping the designer dress I bought for a special occasion in its dry cleaning wrapping at the back of the cupboard. I will wear it to work or out to the local pub until it literally falls apart, or I sell it on eBay and buy something else.
However, one of my favourite pieces is an embroidered Stella McCartney bomber jacket which my boyfriend at the time gave me for my 30th. I have worn it all over the world – it doubles as a pillow on a long haul flight and I lent it to one of my best friends, Shelley, when she was eight months pregnant as it fitted perfectly over her beautiful bump. Her waters broke in it and now her son Elliot is my godson.
I claim I want to be cremated in it when I die, but I think it’s too beautiful to leave this earth so I will pass it onto one of my nieces.
Describe a typical day in the life of Florrie White:
There isn’t one which is perfect for a Gemini, yet I do always start my day with a shot of raw apple cider vinegar followed by a Nutri Bullet blend of Supergreens, raw turmeric and ginger, lemon, coriander and parsley. This keeps me alkaline and has cured the most momentous hangovers which I confess I still get at my age as I love a dance floor.
I would like be disciplined enough to do a short yoga workout but I always opt for extra snooze time, and need to be in a class with a teacher instructing me otherwise I just lie on my mat dosing or fretting about the dust on my floorboards!
Trendy bar or old man’s pub?
Both. I love dressing up and heading out for a Dirty Martini in a trendy bar, and also settling in in an old man’s pub with a pint of Guinness and a packet of roasted peanuts.
Who’s your make up style icon?
Debbie Harry. I could spend hours trawling the internet and looking at pictures of her from the beginning of her career to now. She still looks great and admits to some surgery which I admire, even though I haven’t had any. I think it’s good to be honest about the way women look today, and why.
Stuck in a lift with Peter Kaye, Peter Stringfellow or Peter Gabriel?
I did a two hour shift in a tutu as a barmaid in Stringfellows when I first moved to London after university and that was enough for me.
I do like Peter Gabriel’s music, but prefer Robert Palmer, and recently I have spent time watching Peter Kaye’s Car Share, so as a romantic myself still looking for love, I would like to spend time in a lift with him. We could sing acapella to a few of our favourite tunes. I will start with Fever by Peggy Lee. He will love it!
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
“Wherever you go, you are there.”
You can’t run away from yourself so you have to learn to love and accept yourself, if not me then who? It is still a work in progress some days.
A random fact about yourself:
I am very grateful for being tall, left-handed and female.
And finally, what makes you So Happy In Town?
Being home in Brixton and grounding myself after travelling, talking to the local business owners who I regard as my friends, although we never meet up out of their shops or bars, going to yoga and the lido, eating delicious food on my doorstep and catching up with friends and family.
I love travelling and equally love coming home.
To see and hear more from Florrie, find her on Instagram: @florriewhitemakeup & Twitter: @florriewhite
Susie Weaver is a writer living in London with her husband and three children. She is the founder of So Happy In Town, a parenting and lifestyle blog which embraces the highs and lows of life with children, making you laugh at the funny stuff, and cry at the not so funny stuff. She is also a regular contributor to Huffington Post. You can read more from Susie over at So Happy In Town, or follow her on Facebook or on Instagram.