Hilary Holmes has a lot on her plate. Read the answer to the first question of our interview with her and you'll understand why. She is the proud founder of two brands, Hilary Holmes Makeup and Holme Beauty, a mother of two, and a proud advocate for changing the standard of beauty. Through her practice as a makeup artist and leading masterclasses for people to learn makeup basics, Holmes is of the belief that everyone deserves to feel good in the bodies that they inhabit. Here, she tells us how she gets it all done, her beauty non-negotiables, and the importance of putting mental health first.
What is your morning routine?
It normally will depend on the day ahead! If I’m at the salon it’s a quick 15-minute makeup look, if I’m mumming then it might not be anything but a scrunchy in the hair, if I’m filming then it’ll be a full 30-45 minute look shown in my tutorials and then if I have an event then watch out, I’m all in! 2 hours head to toe and I’ll be feeling fine.
In terms of skin care, I normally just use a toner then into my serums. I love hyaluronic acid and because I stock The Ordinary I have all their serums, so have five or so of those and I normally use a Niacinamide and the Buffet serum, which has all the good things in it. And then straight into Embryolisse Creme Lait moisturiser and sunscreen.
What is your night routine?
My night routine, unlike my morning is always the same. Squalane cleanser by the Ordinary is a great cleanser for removing makeup and the day, then I use a Gentle cleanser the Medik8 Hydrating foam. After hopping out of the shower I get hyaluronic on pretty quick and then retinol before I pop on a super hydrating moisturiser like the Habitual Beauty Face Oil or the Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense and an eye cream. Currently I like the Alpha H Gold firming Eye Cream and the Tatcha Peony. Lip balm if I’m dehydrated, so most nights...lip balm.
Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?
I am a makeup artist and founder of Hilary Holmes Makeup and Holme Beauty. HHM is my service part of the business where myself and my team of artists create wonderful connections with our clients and beautiful makeups for them! And for the past 6 years of running HHM I have also run a very successful Back to Basics Makeup masterclass program, where we educate the everyday kind human how to do a makeup for their face. Last year in 2021 I launched Holme Beauty, the product line I have wanted to do for the past decade. Performance product speaking to the woman who feels overwhelmed and intimidated in owning their own beauty routines. And with Holme Beauty, I feel like my true calling has been found!
A typical day for me is getting to work super early, knocking out some laptop time and checking in with the team, working on product development and getting all the production of the upcoming launches ready. I'll then create some content for our educational platforms on socials, all whilst trialling products on clients. I would hope to catch up with a fellow female business owner buddy of mine either over a chai or lunch to bounce ideas, areas of concerns and life stuff with them. And then I drop everything to go grab the kids from day-care and turn into mum again! And I don't really stop til they go to bed and then I might cuddle the hubby, do some more laptop work or head out for a dinner/event.
What is the supermarket/chemist beauty product that you use and love?
Going to French or Asian pharmacies is one of my favourite places to discover brands and skin beauty trends that the English speaking countries haven’t caught onto yet! That’s where I discovered Embryolisse moisturiser which I have used on every client for 15 years and now stock at HHM. I highly recommend getting lost in pharmacies overseas and trying to figure out what things are!
What is your main form of body maintenance? What products do you use on your body?
For a long time I was severely obese and that’s part of the reason I became a makeup artist, because if I couldn’t quickly lose 50kg, maybe I can do something lovely on my face. And because of that I have never really invested a lot of time into my body but I’m learning to change that! I really get others to help so love regular body massage and physical treatments and enjoy dry brushing to help detoxify the body.
How do you keep fit/healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
6 years ago, I got gastric sleeve surgery and whilst I lost 50 kg, I was really sick and had horrible complications from it. So, for the past 6 years I have been really passionate about finding health in my body. I’ve had two babies, where my pregnancies really knocked me around and have had a few health problems but as I dive deeper into my mental health work I recognise how aligned it is to my physical. So, my work is in not pushing so hard, not running myself to the ground and not being so extreme i.e. all in or all out with diet, exercise etc. Since having my son 18 months ago I haven’t regularly exercised as it has been so hard to prioritise between babies and work. But I’m proud that my focus has been more about slowing down, working on my mental health and creating healthier decisions with my diet. The squats are calling me once more though – I’m getting too old!
What procedures or professional treatments have you had done?
Whilst I stand behind have a consistent skin care routine, nothing helps just like Botox! I have regularly gotten Botox for 10 years. I have also throughout the years kept up with my laser and IPL to keep my rosacea and capillaries under control. I recently tried PDO threads though my jawline and I am definitely going to always try treatments to help keep the youth in my skin as naturally as I can.
What do you do when your body needs to recover?
Sadly after being quite sick this year, I have now got Glandular Fever so I am literally forced to slow down these days. As I work on my mental health also and remove the trauma driver in my life, I have to ensure I protect the space it has created. I now have to work regularly with my husband and team to call it out if I’m feeling run down and creating space for me to recover, otherwise I can get quite sick. It is hard being a mum with two young kids as they don't make it easy when they’re up all night teething!
You’re tired/run down: what’s your beauty hack?
I quite literally created the product I needed when I have felt so run down these past few years- the Holme Base Primer. This gem of a product is that keeper in the makeup bag that you can throw on for any of your look needs i.e. by itself or under a foundation and it totally changes the vibrancy of your skin. Quite literally I have been up all night with the kids, and I’ll go to the shops with the primer on and I’ll get complimented on how amazing my skin is. And this is the feedback we always get from customers. Its truly a saviour! For a super quick face fix pre-event, throw on a sheet mask - it’ll save you every time.
What is my one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?
Ask any Holme Base Primer user, like me and we all say it. Once you know its impact, no look is complete without it.
Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?
If I’m being totally honest, no. It was very hard back when I was younger to look up to someone, when no-one spoke to me. Being overweight, poor and the uncool kid, I didn't feel like anyone resonated for me. Of course, I have been inspired by people along the way but to say, I mean who can’t say that Beyonce hasn’t had an impact on them! Its only in the past few years have I felt like there are people who I could have really used in the 90s when growing up! Ashley Graham, Rhianna and Adele I think are incredible for all different reasons but mainly because of how they have stayed true to their own authenticity.
Best health advice you have ever received?
In for 4, hold for 2, out for 6.
What is one product you can’t live without?
Do you want me to say it for a third time? Cos I will… we have new Holme Beauty products dropping soon!