We all know Leona Lewis as the winner of the third series of The X Factor, while her hit single Bleeding Love peaked at number one in over 30 countries. But she's also a songwriter, animal welfare campaigner and now the new KISS brand ambassador. I've always been a fan of her style, so I was keen to hear what her tips were for looking flawless and feeling confident. Here's what she had to say…
Who are your beauty inspirations?
My Grandma. She was always so well put together, with flawless skin, beautiful natural make-up and dressed in her Sunday best with a matching handbag.
What's the best piece of general and beauty advice you've ever heard?
Less is more.
What five products can you not live without?
Peony Blooming Lashes: These are brand new and my favourite of the KISS lash range at the moment. Because of the tapered off edges of lashes they instantly make your eyes open up, I also love that they actually look natural unlike the blunt ones you see sometimes (which are scary)!
Coconut & Marula Oil: I love natural products, my mum makes her own products which contain Coconut & Marula Oils, I can use it on my skin, hair, everything.
Caudalie: Caudalie do a really great moisturiser & cleaner – they're my go to skincare products which I will always buy. Everything else my mum makes for me from natural ingredients and oils.
KISS Gel Fantasy: because they're really sparkly and on stage they capture the light amazingly.
NEW French Acrylic Nudes: these are brand new in the UK and I absolutely love them. The fit is perfect, the oval shape is so natural and the colour is a beautiful nudie/pink, which matches all skin tones!
What's your biggest beauty faux pas?
When I was about 12, 13 maybe older, I discovered hair removal cream. I tried to shape my eyebrows and it came out as half an eyebrow and it took so long to grow back. My friends just laughed.
What are the inspirations behind the eye and nail collection?
I'm both a nail and eyelash girl, I love experimenting with different colours and shapes of nails and love a really great lash – especially for when I'm on stage and performing. That's exactly what this KISS collection offers.
Why did you decide to collaborate with KISS over a more high-end brand?
I love KISS products – I've used them in the past so I was really excited when they asked me to be involved. They have such great lashes, and the nails are super easy to use. I literally love all the designs they have so it's a really cool brand to be part of!
Has your look evolved? How would you describe it now?
I like chopping and changing. I cut my hair less than a year ago. It was straight, long and flowy and I decided to chop it off as it was time for a change and I think it's good to try different things. It's about what makes you feel confident. As a girl it can be incredibly difficult to find yourself – especially with so much information available these days.
How do you think you can form your own individual style?
I think it just takes time to see what suits you and remember that it's not all about the exterior stuff.
You've spoken about the highs and lows you've personally felt, what's your advice to help anyone overcome dark days?
Don't stress too much – just stay in the moment. I feel like I stressed out about such small, irrelevant things when I was younger and it just consumed so much of my energy, which could have been spent somewhere else.
You've also been vocal about your work with PETA and your love of animals – what do you feel about animal testing in cosmetics?
I have been a vegetarian for many years; it's an issue that I feel very strongly about. I don't eat animals, so I don't want to use things that have been tested on animals and that is something I really love about KISS as they are animal friendly. That's amazing for me as I will always support brands and causes that are against animal cruelty.
What's next? You're known for your beautiful hair too – perhaps a haircare range?
I've just finished my “I Am” tour which I loved, so am currently travelling, relaxing and spending time with family and friends before heading back into the studio!
Leona Lewis' fifth studio album, I Am is available now.