Featured Strawberry: Eleanor Murphy

August’s Featured Strawberry is Eleanor (Elle) Murphy, a 21 year old natural redhead from Oxfordshire, England. She’s currently at University studying Diagnostic Radiography and hopes to work in the NHS when she graduates. She shares that she has 2 great loves in her life: one being her horse Athie, whom she’s had for nearly 10 years now, and the second being pizza!

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Elle’s been playing around with makeup since before she was 10 years old and would always try and take her mum’s whilst she wasn’t looking! She started her YouTube channel about 4 months ago because she thought it would be something fun and creative to do. Since she started making videos, she’s been getting more and more into it.She says, “I’m always trying to come up with ideas for videos. I love being a redhead and it’s gone from being something I hated to being my favourite feature.” Read on to learn more about her and her beauty routines!

I’m so glad to have the opportunity to feature you this month! I love all your looks on Instagram. Can you share your experience of growing up as a natural redhead?

Thank you so much for featuring me this month, I’m really honoured and flattered! Aw thanks, I just started uploading them because I thought it was fun and now I’m addicted. Growing up as a redhead wasn’t brilliant for me. Up to the age of about 15/16, I was bullied a lot at school and singled out very easily simply because my hair colour was different. At my secondary school, in a year of 180 students, there were only 2 redheaded girls – so I stuck out like a sore thumb! It used to make me feel so bad. I tried to dye it brown, and as a result I had a huge allergic reaction to normal hair dye. (It must have been a sign! :P) Then at 15 I fell in love with my hair and started dyeing it even redder with henna. And I have never looked back.

It’s so wonderful that you came not only to a place of acceptance but to a place of love! Are there other redheads in your family?

Yes, there are a lot of redheads in my family. Most of my mum’s entire side of the family are redheads, and so is my older brother. We are all slightly different shades of red – my aunt’s is dark and auburn-like, whilst my mum’s has become lighter and lighter.

IMG_4837Many struggle to accept being so different. Do you have any advice for them?

It was really hard for me to accept that I was different. When I was younger, I used to hate my hair and freckles. As I got into my mid-teens I saw more girls trying to dye their hair red (and it not looking natural at all) and it made me realise being naturally red wasn’t a bad thing. People were trying to copy it. I know it’s a corny phrase that bullying comes from jealousy and being insecure, but in my case it was so true. Because girls who used to make fun of my hair were then trying to copy its colour, and boys who used to make me feel bad for it then tried to start flirting with me (awkward as hell!).

Natural red hair is so beautiful and unique. Everyone’s hair is a different colour, and in my opinion nothing looks as good as red hair in the sun! I always think that if someone doesn’t like the colour of my hair or makes comments about it, that is their problem, not mine. You may not like it right now but one day you will come to love it, trust me.

I know that you (like myself!) have experimented with dyeing your hair and using henna. Can you share what led up to that? What henna do you use?

I can’t really put my finger on what made me change my opinion of my hair as it did take over a year for me to do. I think it was a combination of my self-confidence growing in general, and not taking the snide comments from others about my hair so seriously. What helped me was that my mum never wanted me to dye my hair brown. She wanted me to learn to love being red, so when I turned round one day and said that I wanted to henna my hair red she was on board!

The henna I use is from Lush and it’s called Caca Rouge. It gives a beautiful colour to my hair so that it still looks like it could be natural. Because it’s plant-based, it nourishes your hair amazingly, whilst normal boxed dyes (which I can’t use due to allergies) can dry it out. Also something brilliant I have found with henna is that the colour doesn’t fade, so I only do root touch-ups every 2 months.

Speaking of hair, I adore yours. It’s so thick and voluminous! What products do you use, and how do you style it?

Thank you! It can be a bit of a nightmare at times. The shampoo and conditioner I use are from the Garnier Ultimate Blends Weightless Nourisher line, with an occasional hair mask from the same line. Honestly, in terms of styling I don’t really do anything. I always wash my hair before bed and sleep with it towel-dried, then wake up and give it a gentle brush. Sometimes if I need it to be a bit tamer I use some Moroccan Argan Oil from Avon, but that’s it.

The best thing I have done for my hair is switch from a normal hair brush to a Tangle Teezer, as it doesn’t pull out as much hair during brushing, and it doesn’t get brittle at the ends as bad. The condition of my hair has improved so much since I started using it.

You always have such perfect skin. What skin care products do you use?

The biggest thing for me when it comes to skin care is moisturising. I have really dry skin and constantly have to battle it to stop it drying out. I’ve been using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years, that’s my old favourite. 2 more recent additions have also really helped and those are the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Power Serum and also the Eye Balm from the same collection. I’m 21 so don’t need anti-aging skin care but I want to always keep my skin’s hydration up.

Something else that keeps my skin looking healthy is exfoliation. I use the St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Cleanser. It really helps clean out my pores and remove dead skin. I do it 2-3 times a week. A tip I picked up and always follow is to make sure you take off all your makeup before you go to bed every night, as it gives your skin time to breathe.

Many redheads are focused on their foundation, eyebrows, and mascara. What are your favorites?

For foundation is hands down the Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten Foundation in Porcelain. It’s a powder that doesn’t dry my skin out, it lasts all day, and can go from light to heavy coverage whilst still looking like skin. It doesn’t look like you are wearing makeup, I love it. It can also be applied more heavily under the eyes and red spots as a concealer!

For mascara, if I want a more natural look I use the Max Factor Masterpiece MAX Mascara in Black/Brown. I find it softer on redheads because of our super fair complexion. And for a more dramatic look I love the Laura Geller Stylelash Mascara in Black. It makes my lashes look super long and curled but you can build up volume with it really easily.

For brows, there are 3 I use. One is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel because it’s so fine you can outline brows really well with it (but it’s a bit too cool-toned for me), 2nd is the MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Redhead, as it is so warm-toned and pigmented that it actually gives you eyebrows that look red, not brown. And a cheaper alternative to those 2 is the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in 01 Light Brown (it’s not brown, it’s red).

And just for fun: what are your 5 favorite things right now?

  1. Smoked salmon and avocado on toast
  2. Whittard’s Loose Leaf English Breakfast Tea
  3. Pokémon GO
  4. Ardell Baby Wispies
  5. Once Upon A Time on Netflix

Be sure to follow Elle on Instagram and YouTube, and check out her blog!

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