After first bursting onto our television screens in the Boddingtons beer commercial and then joining the Big Breakfast in 1997, Lancashire born Melanie Sykes quickly became a household name in British homes up and down the country.
Four years later, when she left the Big Breakfast to progress her career, she continued to feature in British broadcasting in a series of awards programmes and a host of games shows. These days she is more frequently recognised as the face, or perhaps ‘head’ of the Head and Shoulders campaign, and has used her fame to promote high street chain store Matalan.
These days, Melanie Sykes is a 41-year-old beauty that men adore and women admire, so it’s little wonder that her beauty secrets and fashion ideas are hot topics. She has frequently and publicly shunned the idea of Botox, a rare example of a celebrity who chooses the ageing process over cosmetic help. But then, despite the laughter lines and facial creases she believes she has already, most women would still love to look as fresh as her when the big Four Oh comes calling.
Makeovers for Mums
Perhaps that’s why she was asked to present The Biography Channel’s recent programme ‘School Mum Makeover with Melanie Sykes’. The programme sees glammed-up Melanie head off with her squadron of stylists and makeup artists to surprise the unglamorous mums of the early morning school run. By the end of the programme, each mother has miraculously transformed into the swan that Melanie knew they could be – and hopefully picked up some invaluable tips that will keep them looking glam for longer than the hour airing of the programme.
With two children of her own, Melanie is a clear example of how some simple make up tricks can keep a girl looking good, with little effort invested. Dermalogica products have been her choice for years, and she regularly promotes their benefits in the press. With a choice of products that are specifically designed to complement differing skins tones, their range means that women (and men) can choose moisturisers and toners that are going to be more effective than your standard over-the-counter products that are aimed at the wider market. Sykes believes that no matter what the designer label may read, there’s no point putting it on your skin if it’s not right for you.
Melanie’s Beauty Tips
That may be why her ‘all time can’t-live-without product’ is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £20. She told Now magazine: “It goes everywhere with me; you can use it for anything from soothing sunburn to boosting skin and lips.”
When it comes to her make-up, she opts for smoky dark eyes – to make the most of those incredible brown eyes –with Mac Eye Kohl in Smolder an admitted favourite, backed up with Mac Face and Body Foundation, which she has used for more than 15 years.
It’s good to know that even natural beauties like Sykes struggle with some aspects of their beauty, namely her hair. She said: “I hate my poker-straight hair; I can’t do anything with it. I used to get it permed when I was a teenager to give it some body, but when I started modelling, the agency told me to ditch the curls quick smart!” The advice has stood her in good stead. She also claims to have short and stubby eyelashes, so lashings of black mascara is a must.
It’s not just beauty and skin conditioning that Melanie has found herself in the limelight for. The Matalan fashion model has been heard to say that she prefers to dress sexily, shunning jeans on most occasions and favouring dresses and heels whenever she can. With legs like hers, who can blame her?
On the makeover programme she turns her attention to the desperate wardrobes of her victims once their makeup has started to reveal a more glamorous side to their personalities. Casting an expert eye over their current clothes, and going through racks of more fashionable offerings with her team, she clearly knows what looks good on women and what does not. But despite her obvious fashion sense, she admits to not having to shop for herself if she doesn’t want to.
Sykes enjoys the services of personal stylist Eva Collins who has been dressing her for years on screen. It’s as simple as pointing out a look that she likes in any of the glossy magazines, and Collins gets her just what she needs, but if Sykes does go shopping solo? Well, she reports a penchant for shops like Whistles, Top Shop and Questionnaire, and reckons that she already knows what she’s looking for before she even steps in.
It’s not often that Melanie will be photographed by paparazzi wearing an outfit we’ve all seen her in before, so we’d be forgiven for thinking that her wardrobe was never-ending. And we might well be right. She’s admitted to being such a victim of fashion and new trends that she’s even given her new clothes away as soon as she becomes bored with them, and that apparently happens very quickly indeed.