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Q&A with Sjaniel Turrell, Celebrity (Natural) Make-up Artist

by sarah london make up with Sjaniel Turrell

Why is choosing natural and organic skincare and makeup important?

I have been a makeup artist since 1997! That is a long time - but clean beauty was not even a word or consideration back then and it took me until I was studying to become a qualified Nutritional Therapist in 2012 to make the connection between what we put on our skin being as important as what we put into our mouths.

Our skin is our body's biggest organ and essentially it's protection from all the harmful things around us, but as we lather up and down with products daily for years and years, we are unwittingly pushing so many unnecessary harmful ingredients into our skin and eventually into our cells and bloodstream. It was an important health decision, but as time has gone on it has become an even more important ethical and sustainability decision.  How products are produced and sourced, whether they contain petrochemicals which are harmful to us, Earth and animals and how they are packaged and disposed of.  All these factors contribute to choosing clean beauty over commercial. 

What is your go-to makeup product(s) for the summer months? 

There are 5 must-have products for a complete summer make-up look:

  1. Starting with a good tinted moisturiser, my favourite right now is MADARA CITY CC SPF30
  2. Under-eye concealer like Absolution Cosmetics Le Multi Correcteur
  3. Lip and cheek tint like HIRO Multi-stick in The Afterhour or Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pot in Healthy
  4. Cream highlighter like RMS Mastermixer or Manasi-7's Strobelighter in Sunrise to sweep over the eyelids or enhance the cheek bones
  5. And I finish that off with a good whop of black mascara ala HIRO Natural Vegan Mascara which has incredible staying power

by sarah london deliciously ella make up

What are your favourite natural sunscreens and how can we help protect our skin from the sun?

I'm used to the African sun which is much harsher and hotter than the UK's even in a heatwave! That being said I protect my face with an organic sunscreen on sunny days in the summer (in winter I soak up as much Vitamin D as possible).

On holiday I like to use Biosolis for my body and for my kids. Of course I also wear a hat if I'm out in full sun, but focus on being outside in the mornings and afternoons and avoiding midday sun.

I gave up wearing sunglasses a year ago as I've learned that exposing your eyes to the sun is essential for optimal hormonal health with all the overkill of blue light and technology we're exposed to every day - my eyes have certainly become less sun sensitive. 

What's the one makeup product we should all have in our makeup bags?

A bright or happy coloured lipstick that makes you feel good! When all else fails, popping on a lipstick that lifts your skintone and face can instantly lift your mood and trick everyone else into thinking you've made an actual effort.  


by sarah london green clay cleansing balm

What's your favourite BY SARAH skincare product to enjoy at home? 

Ooh, just one is too difficult, but I would say the Green Clay Cleansing Balm is one of my must-haves for dissolving and taking off makeup and also love that it is easily done using a muslin or reusable cotton pad which also makes it a super ethical buy! My other would be the By Sarah Organic Body Oil because I have it next to the bath and use it daily for myself and my 2 yr old when I get him out of the bath - I love knowing that I can use one product for the whole family and that it is good for us all! 

What sparked your interest in wellbeing?

At 26 (in 2004) I was just married and going through a broody phase of thinking about having children - I looked for books on getting your body healthy for pregnancy and found NONE! All the pregnancy books were about health when you were already pregnant and made no sense to me at all since I thought that surely you need to be healthy BEFORE you got pregnant. This lead me to discover one amazing book called Healthy Parents, Better Babies by Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts - they delve into every single mineral and nutrient your and your partner's bodies need for being at your optimum health to conceive along with an array of very helpful lifestyle changes for all round wellbeing. My biology nerd and analytical brain loved learning about all these finer details and since then I have spent years researching and learning about the cellular effects of our environment on our bodies. 

What's your top tip for finding more ways to be mindful and empowered each day?

Being a mum to both an 11yr old and 2yr old boys means that finding quiet time each day is a really difficult thing! It's very hard to make ourselves switch off from the busy or, when we do have a few minutes to ourselves, to not reach for the escape of social media or a good TV show just to zone out. However, I do believe that being connected to a higher power greater than ourselves is essential to understand where we fit in the grand scheme of things - for me, I am always aware of God's presence in my life and that I am not able to be in control of absolutely everything.

I am in awe of nature and everything bigger than what we can understand and I believe that as humans, being empathetic to other's humanity and journeys in this world makes us more empowered because then we are not at the mercy of other's actions. Empathy for others, for animals and the realisation that we are simply passing through this Earth, means that we need to leave the best footprint possible every day - that is mindfulness.

It is a daily learning journey and finding quiet moments to journal or pray or meditate makes it easier but I've also realised that we have seasons in life and even in busy seasons with little time for ourselves, we can connect in different ways as long as we connect (and not to the internet)!

Read more on the Journal


Interview by: Sarah, Founder, BY SARAH

All content © BY SARAH LONDON. All rights reserved. You may not copy or reproduce any of the content on this website without the permission of BY SARAH LONDON. Any infringement is a breach of copyright. Images courtesy of Sjaniel Turrell.

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