Author Sarah Griffin on her pastel hair: ‘Blue never comes out. And green definitely never comes out’
Author of two best-selling books, and currently in the process of writing another, Sarah Griffin is one of Ireland’s most talented people. She’s hilarious, as evidenced by her explanation for loving Astral cream – a classic and beauty staple for so many.
“Astral Cream is unreal because it’s hypoallergenic and really intense and heavy and my skin just drinks it – plus, Joanna Lumley allegedly uses it which is like, a solid enough endorsement for me.”
“I wear makeup every single time I leave the house. It’s an old habit that I can’t quite break, so I have a really quick sharp routine down to a tee with a few extra small things I do for special occasions. I like looking pretty much the same every day: my beauty wardrobe is an extended capsule situation. I’m done in seven minutes, easily. But if I was really stuck and only had time for the one thing, I hate going into the world without anything on my eyes – mascara makes me feel slightly more human.”
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“The only thing that changes consistently is my hair – which is long, highlighted to death, a little more damaged than I’d like, and usually contains some pastel gradient or other. Having a muted personal style and subtle makeup lets me away with having pink and silver hues in my hair. I was a little more brightly lit when I was in college and when I lived in America, but when I moved home I closed out the colour a little bit. In saying that, I’m kind of a low-key makeup head, so I always have an eye on makeup Youtube and Instagram, too, in case I see anything that might make my routine a little easier.”
“I always have some kind of matte lip in my handbag – those little Rimmel Matte ones are unreal. I keep a little brush on me because my hair is Unruly At The Best Of Times and turns into a big wild cloud if I don’t sort it out every few hours. And a Carmex. Carmex is great.
SARAH’S SKIN PICKS
Cleanser – No.7 anything is good for me. I am super sensitive and am prone to breaking out in a mad rash, so their hypoallergenic business is great. They do an eye-makeup remover that genuinely changed my life.
Toner – I’ve been using Pixi’s Retinol & Jasmine one, in order to feel like I’m not ageing rapidly. It’s been great for my winter skin, too.
Moisturiser – Astral. I know this is not a cool answer. Astral is really heavy and dense but my skin is actually made of crepe-paper so it really helps.
Serum – I have a few of The Ordinary ones that I use sometimes if I’m having a set of the ‘oh Jesus I’m 30’ horrors. I need to get better at serum.
Eye cream – I use a Clinique one which really helps – my eyes are often very sore and it’s really cooling.
Mask – I used a Glam Glow Sonic The Hedgehog one once. I only use these, again, when I’m terrified of my own age – which is around the week before my period every month, without fail.
Hand cream – The Soap & Glory Hand Food gives me life.
SARAH’S SKIN TIP
Don’t smoke. Drink a lot of water. If possible, be 22.
SARAH’S MAKEUP TIP
Foundation – I’m currently using Vichy’s Dermablend, which I got as a gift from a friend and then stuck with. It’s really high-coverage, but not as much as the Fenty foundation, which I go to sometimes too. I grew up as a Mac NC15 or Go Home girl, but I’m expanding my horizons.
Primer – I have a Nars one that’s really good but I’m still not 100% sure what it does.
Mascara – Because I have really sensitive and sore eyes, I’ve struggled to land on a mascara that doesn’t hurt me – but No.7 from Boots have some amazing mascaras that I can wear all day without any irritation, and they’re really affordable too.
Liner – My sister advised me towards the Kat Von D liner and it’s very, very good. Previously I’d been using a Clinique pen liner, again, because they’re hypoallergenic, but this one doesn’t give me any soreness and is really precise and long-lasting.
Palette/eyeshadow – I use 4 individually chosen little eye-shadows from Mac, in varying shades of faun and soft copper and one, I believe, is called Milkshake, which is quite cute. Nudes, effectively. Also, I occasionally use little eyelashes from Penneys in the corners of my eyes. My pal Juliet Morrow is a stunning makeup artist and she taught me how to apply them.
Powder – I’ve only started using powder again recently, and I use MAC’s Mineralise Foundation over my liquid foundation. I realise that’s like, foundation strength, but it is winter and I have really bad circulation and go pink a lot, so I don’t mind doubling down on the coverage. In summer I won’t wear any, so my freckles are visible, but in winter they disappear anyway so I just leave it.
Brushes – Honestly, I applied my makeup with my hands until Youtube shamed me into getting brushes and one of those little sponges that you dab on the foundation with. I have a lovely flat brush from Boots for my bronzer.
SARAH’S TOP MAKEUP TIP
Like I said above, I’m a big believer in being physically comfortable. So just do what makes you comfortable. If that’s experimenting, rad, please do it, take a selfie, you look stunning. If that’s a swipe of brown mascara and some Carmex, also rad, take a selfie, you look stunning.
SARAH’S HAIR PICKS
Shampoo – Because I have battered my hair beyond human recognition at this point, I have to be really careful about what I use for conditioner, but any shampoo is good for me. At the moment I’m using Bleach London’s Rose because I’m trying to maintain a very subtle pink buzz. When I have gone too overboard with a colour and need to dial it back, I use Head and Shoulders, which acts as a really rapid colour remover.
Conditioner – I honestly go through so much conditioner I should be ashamed of myself. Sometimes I use a John Frida violet one, other times I use a Bleach London Rose or Smoke Rose to keep my colour in check – but when I’m not practicing bad homebrewed alchemy with colours I use Tresme because it comes in massive, massive bottles.
Mask – There’s a Kerastase one I swear by because sometimes my hair just turns on me in anger after all I’ve put it through over the years and it needs to be calmed down. Also, I will fully without shame spend money on a take-home bottle of Olaplex every six months, too – I have no idea what it is made of or why it works so well, but it truly makes a big difference when my hair has just given up on me.
Olaplex – I cannot stress how I would literally have no hair left on my actual head if Olaplex didn’t exist. All those bond-building formulas are responsible for me not having a very meek pixie cut. I also love Bleach London’s pinks and roses, because they wash in and wash out and it’s possible to just kind of experiment with them, or get rid of them completely when you need to, too. I’ve gone through a lot of colours over the years and am still pretty faithful to Manic Panic, which I often mix with conditioners to get a cool tone – but the Bleach London vibes are unreal. It’s amazing to just be able to buy a bottle of pink shampoo and have it work so well.
SARAH’S TOP HAIR TIP
Just don’t bleach it. Especially don’t try and bleach it if you’ve already dyed it. Listen to your colourist when they tell you they can’t get it from dark brown to white in one session. If you absolutely must go blonde please do it slowly and don’t burn the head off yourself. I’m aware I sound like a cautious mother warning a teenage daughter but I have bleached my own hair so many times and it has been a Bad Choice each time without fail. If you want to come to pastel hell, where I’m at, make sure you don’t put anything with blue in it near yourself. Blue never comes out, or it goes green, and green definitely never comes out. Be kind to it. A bit of argan oil in the ends goes a long way. If you see someone with nice hair, tell them their hair is nice. We’re all just trying to look our best.