Life Style

Stacey Dooley on Hair-Dye Disasters and Low-Maintenance Beauty Routines

Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh, new beauty series where you’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favourite celebrities. They’ll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practises, the five-minute-routine product lineup they can’t live without, the one good-skin tip they’ll be forever thankful for and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy. 

Up next, we’re talking to the brilliant Stacey Dooley—journalist, filmmaker and Clairol Nice’n Easy ambassador. Ahead, she’s answering all of our hair questions and sharing her best-kept beauty secrets. Enjoy!

Unfiltered: Stacey Dooley beauty interview



How would you describe your relationship with beauty?

It’s definitely an evolving relationship. The older you get, the more you realise that beauty is so much more than symmetry and perfection. That is, in fact, boring! And you begin to love what makes you different.

If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what products would you use?

[Laughing] When do I not have to leave the house in five minutes? I would reach for a dry shampoo—I love Sam McKnight’s Lazy Girl (£19)—and a good cleansing balm and muslin cloth. I really like The Cleansing Balm by Augustinus Bader (£55).

Can you talk us through your skin routine, both morning and night, and the products that you use?

You’re going to be underwhelmed [laughs]! I can’t pretend that I’m religious about routine, as there isn’t much routine to my life. Honestly, it’s not unusual for me to not wash my face in the morning, but the evening is my moment. Whether I’m in a hotel off the A1 or at home, I always light a candle to set the ambience, usually one from Diptyque. Then, I’ll double-cleanse and apply a serum. My current favourite is Murad’s vitamin c brightening serum (£72), and I also love anything from Avène.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that’s made the biggest difference to your skin?

To double-cleanse! I didn’t know it was a thing until recently, and now, it’s the key part of my night-time routine. I’ll either reach for my Augustinus Bader cleansing balm or Blue Moon by Sunday Riley (£46).

Unfiltered: Stacey Dooley beauty interview



Let’s talk about hair! First up, what’s your Clairol Nice ’n Easy colour?

My shade is Clairol Nice’n Easy in 8WR Golden Auburn (£6). It’s the perfect shade to bring life back into my hair colour, which has definitely lost its vibrancy over the years. 

As a Clairol ambassador, how good are you at doing your own hair at home?

To be totally honest, when I first dyed my hair, it was out of necessity, as it was lockdown, and I got dye everywhere—all over my bathroom and me! Now I’ve learnt to section my hair off, take my time and make sure I’ve applied it evenly from root to tip. Also, do it in your pants [laughing]! Get a good playlist on, and enjoy the process and some time to yourself.

What does your usual hairstyling routine look like?

My routine is very simple. I only wash my hair once a week or once every 10 days, and when I do wash my hair, I always finish by blasting it with freezing-cold water and then add oil to the ends for extra hydration. I don’t use heat on my hair day-to-day and tend to leave it to dry naturally. I usually plan when I’m washing my hair, as I don’t love freshly washed hair actually. I think it always looks better the next day, so I usually wash it in the evening and sleep on it to get some texture back into my hair.

Unfiltered: Stacey Dooley beauty interview



Are you a bath or shower person? If we looked in your bath or shower right now, what products would we find? 

I hate showers! I’ve never enjoyed them, so I am 100% a bath person—even if it takes longer to fill the bath than I’m actually in it [laughs]. My go-to products are Aēsop’s A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser (£33) or Le Labo’s Santal 33 (£38), a good exfoliating mitt and a Byredo candle.

Has anything about your approach to beauty changed over the last year, and are there any particular beauty looks that you’re looking forward to trying once we’re out of lockdown?

I’d love to do something really fun and try a new look. I want a mullet! A really cool ’70s-style mullet. I also think girls look wicked with bleached brows, but when is the right time to bleach your brows?! I’ve never been overly product-y and have a very low-maintenance routine, but I’ve definitely noticed over the last year how much of a difference what I eat makes to my skin. So I’m trying to eat well and take real care of my skin.

You must spend a fair amount of time on set with makeup artists and hairstylists. Are there any game-changing beauty secrets that you’ve picked up from the experts?

I suppose I’ve learnt that makeup isn’t scary, and you can have fun with it! I’ve become accepting that sometimes I need a little more coverage, but it doesn’t have to look like makeup or feel cakey. I’ve also learnt how to take care of my hair when I’m not on set and what products really work for me. My current obsession that a hairstylist introduced to me on set is the no-crease hair clips—so good and actually such a look [laughing]! 

Unfiltered: Stacey Dooley beauty interview



Do you have any “guilty pleasure” beauty practices you like to indulge in? 

When I’m hormonal, I can get spots on my chin, and I just cannot help but pick at my skin. I know I shouldn’t do it, but sometimes I just can’t stop myself!

What’s one thing about your beauty routine that would surprise people?

That I’m low-maintenance in my routine and only use a few products. I have definitely gone for weeks without washing properly when I’m on location with my job, so I’ve learnt I can’t be very religious with a beauty routine.

Is there anything that you don’t like about the beauty industry and that you’d like to see reformed?

There are obvious fundamental changes that need to happen quicker. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re heading in the right direction in terms of inclusivity and diversity, and I hope that continues to accelerate. 

Finally, what’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or fewer?

Don’t pick yourself apart.

Shop Stacey’s Unfiltered Beauty Edit

Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo
Hair by Sam McKnight
Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo
Shop Now

Augustinus Bader The Cleansing Balm
Augustinus Bader
The Cleansing Balm
Shop Now

Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
Shop Now

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm
Sunday Riley
Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm
Shop Now

Clairol Nice'n Easy Crème Oil Infused Permanent Hair Dye 8WR Golden Auburn
Nice’n Easy Crème Oil Infused Permanent Hair Dye 8WR Golden Auburn
Shop Now

Aēsop A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser
A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser
Shop Now

Le Labo Shower Gel Santal 33
Le Labo
Shower Gel Santal 33
Shop Now

HTHL No Bend Hair Clips
No Bend Hair Clips
Shop Now

Up next, hair experts predict these will be the biggest hair trends for autumn.

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