THE striking Funke Fowler, luxury boutique owner of the high end, Leila Fowler and Heritage Stores speaks on her glowing beauty and how she keeps it that way.
I am surprisingly low maintenance to be honest (laughs). One of the most valuable beauty items for me is Vaseline. And I use it for a multiple of things, I use it for taking off my water proof eye makeup; I use it on my lips as moisturizer. I use it on scrapped knees, dry knees…you name it, and Vaseline is good for it.
I also can’t do without sunscreen, to protect the skin from the sun. I alternate between Clarins and Aveeno which is SPF30.
Finally, I can’t do without Smashbox. It’s a foundation primer. For me I think it’s the best primer so far…I’ve used Lauren Mercier and a few others but honestly Smashbox is the best. It keeps makeup in place and it fills any visible pores so that your foundation goes on flawlessly.
What is the best single piece of beauty advice that you have ever got, and that you live by?
Any beauty and fashion advice is definitely from my mom. She is always telling me to make sure I take off my makeup at night. Always moisturize your skin and wear sunscreen. She always has the answers and solutions to any beauty problems I find I have. Recently, we were doing a shoot at my shop and the designer was getting her hair done. We decided we needed a bit of hairspray but we didn’t have any and I jokingly said let me ask my mom, she might know what to do and she actually did have some hairspray in her car (laughs).
What is your skincare regime? What do you do for your skin from the minute you wake up till you go to bed?
As I said before I am low maintenance so I really don’t do anything out of the ordinary. I wake up and get into the shower. I use Glytone Mild Gel Wash. Then I use my moisturizer which is also my sun block –Aveeno. If I don’t wear makeup which is often for day I just wear the primer and nothing else. I don’t tend to wear makeup every night. If I’m going out on evenings I do wear makeup and to be fair, I am a product junkie. I will buy anything…eye creams and all that. But seriously I do use Crème de la Mer but only at night because it is quite rich. At night I take my makeup of with Glytone and if it’s that time of the month when I have a few breakouts I use an exfoliating cleanser by Clean and Clear.
What makeup brands do you like and use –foundation, mascara, lippy etc. Why?
Foundation, I like Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. For powder I like the low coverage of MAC Loose Powder. If I’m going out at night for an evening event I’ll wear the Mac Studio Fix. For a really glamorous look I find that Iman’s Pressed Powder makes very good coverage.
As for things like mascara, I can say I’m a mascara whore (laughter). No really. I don’t have any particular brand, so I can end up using up to three different brands at once. I buy loads of brands for mascara and I actually have a professional makeup artist’s trunk to carry them around in (laughs). But I do like and use L’oreal, Lancome and Maybelline, amongst others. Lipsticks I usually go with MAC and I like nudes, though I do use reds occasionally. For eye shadow I like palettes from MAC and I go with that.
I have combination skin with a bit of a shine on my T-zone. Luckily, I only ever really breakout at that time of the month, or when I haven’t been totally careful like having back to back parties with a lot of makeup.
Do you have facials? Why? Where? How often?
I do have facials but I try not to exfoliate too much. I have a Gold Facial at Facial Bar along Musa Yar’Adua in Victoria Island. And alternate between Facial Bar and Priscilla’s Pride where I have a exfoliating facial. I think it’s important not to over exfoliate, that’s why I alternate between the two. I once saw a dermatologist and she explained that Africans actually think they can get away with scrubbing their faces so hard but she said we Africans, black skinned people, actually have sensitive skins…we scar more easily than Caucasian skins, so we shouldn’t exfoliate too aggressively. But I do find when I have it done my skin does glow more.
What’s the weirdest thing you ever did for fashion beauty?
Not too long ago I bought these pants. They are like harem pants that are trendy now. They’ve got sequins and beads and I was getting dressed into them and my mom was in the bedroom with me. And the minute I put them on she started laughing. She said please don’t put on those pants, they look like Aladdin pants! Really, I thought I was going to look really cool and stylish in them, like the hottest thing since sliced bread, with sequins and beads and all…but when she said it, I totally lost the confidence to wear them. I just kept imagining myself in the magazines for all the wrong reasons. The funny thing is I love them…I’m sure I will wear them still some day.
Weirdest thing you’ve done for fashion?
Ha! Every time I go for a wax I ask myself, what am I doing here? I remember the very first time I had a wax I said, “My gosh!” Never again. And yet I go back every two weeks (laughter). But really I remember I dyed my hair when I was in school doing A levels. My friend took me to this place, I thought I was being smart because dyeing and highlighting usually cost one hundred and twenty pounds and here was this place in Leicester was charging twenty five pounds. When I did the hair I was so happy, it was really beautiful. And then it started to break really badly. My hair was past my shoulders then and I had to cut it in the end. I kept saying to myself at the time, ‘What were you thinking?’
Like I said, I am very low maintenance. I honestly don’t diet or exercise. In fact, the only time I go to the gym is when I go with my mom occasionally. She works out a lot. I do enjoy going to the Nail Studio every two weeks. I get a pedicure, manicure. I love getting my hair done as well…at Diva’s Divine, off Ribadu in Ikoyi.
I don’t diet at all. Sometimes I go through periods I don’t eat or forget to eat. But at the same time, I don’t restrict myself. I sometimes eat chicken and rice at two in the morning, so really there is nothing I consciously do to look good, or stay thin. I am always nibbling something and I do eat small potions. I am also trying to stop eating too much food like pizza and junk food.
What’s your dress size?
I am between a 2 and 4 American size.
How do you relax?
I love getting my nails done. A facial for me is another way of relaxing. I like going to the beach and chilling out. Funnily, even driving for me is relaxing. On Sundays I don’t see anything wrong in getting into the car and just going for a drive, listening to my CDs. Incidentally, I don’t know how to use iPods, I prefer the good old CDs (laughter). I also relax by just getting some DVDs and watching at home.
What do you do to pamper yourself? Spas, Massages, etc.
I don’t really but as I’m getting older I am trying to take better care of myself.
I like classic things. I will splurge on a new trendy fashion item; I do that but not often. I prefer classic things. I wore a dress recently that’s two years old but no one would know. I like investing in things that don’t date.
Again, here I am a perfume whore…(laughs). I mix a lot of things together. One I really do like is Narsico Rodriguez for Her. Other than that, I have loads of perfumes that I use, sometime spraying on more than one. I like Flower by Kenzo, that’s like an old time favourite for me. Flower Bomb by Viktor and Rolf, Lola by Marc Jacobs, Allure-Chanel, Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, Rock and Roll by Valentino.
I can’t say I have a favourite colour, but there are some colours I’m not really a big fan of like blue and green. I appreciate why people like them. I do like emerald green though.
Are you a lipstick or lip gloss girl?
I actually wear both. I wear lipstick, blot and then coat in gloss for shine. The only time I don’t use lipstick and I want shine I use Vaseline or Chapstick.
What things do you like doing to your hair? Why?
My hair I’m very boring with. I wash it every week at Diva’s Divine…Remi does it for me. All I usually do is wear it straight down or in a pony tail. When I do want curls in it I do add a few lines to bulk it up as my hair doesn’t have a lot of body. Nothing exciting.
No braids, Ghana weaving?
Ha…the last time I braided my hair was probably when I was about 8 or 9 years old.
Really? Why so long ago?
Nothing in particular. I just am used to my hair like this, when I think of the time it would take…three, four, five hours…in that time I could almost have reached London (laughs). But I am considering doing it.
What’s the favourite article in your wardrobe?
I can’t say I have anyone thing that I like more than anything else. But I do love accessories, especially bold costume jewellery and I have a lot of those.
What’s the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
Probably jewellery from my parents.
What’s your fashion fetish? Shoes, bags, perfumes, jeans, what? Why?
I love shoes. There is just something about shoes…and you can never have too many shoes (laughs). I like to invest in really nice and good quality shoes. I’m not one to go to a shop and buy ten pairs because they are on sale. I would rather spend all that money on one pair of shoes if it were one I really liked. I have a lot of shoes but I’m not a hoarder so I do give some away. I love Christian Louboutin and Rene Caovilla. The higher, the better. But then I always say that these kinds of shoes are not meant for walking. I get into my car, drive with my slippers, get to my destination, go round briefly to greet people then go and sit down and cross my legs (laughing). You are not meant to be walking all over the place with these shoes.
What will you NOT be caught dead wearing? Why?
Spandex. Unless you are Beyonce or Marilyn Monroe, you shouldn’t be wearing spandex outside of a gym.
My grandmother definitely, Leila Fowler. My mother. I also like Audrey Hepburn’s sense of style. Very old school. I like Victoria Beckham’s sense of style. There is something of old school glamour about her, like proper celebrity, something unattainable.
Who is your favourite designer and why?
I like Jewel by Lisa. I love Tiffany Amber and her flowy, Grecian chiffon dresses. I gravitate towards her clothes. I don’t really like clothes because of brand names, if I like the outfit then I like the outfit.
Would plastic surgery ever be an option for you? Why or why not?
For now it would definitely be no, but I don’t know maybe when I’m 60 and my boobs are hanging over my shoulders, who knows. But I’m not a fan of plastic surgery. But then I think maybe that’s because I don’t need it now.
– DESOLA BAKARE