Jules Heptonstall is renowned for his beauty and fashion expertise, known to the cognoscenti as ‘a secret weapon’. As well as being a successful youtuber and blogger, tanning and grooming the world’s most polished celebs and models, he has a vital role to play whether it’s on the set of Versace or BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. We caught up with him to share with us some of his beauty and grooming secrets.
When did you first realize your ambition to work in the beauty industry?
I’ve always loved beauty – from watching my Dad shave as a boy, to experimenting with some (cringe worthy) hairstyles during university. I love everything about the beauty industry with each jar, pot, spray, and mousse – all containing the element of hope for its user and the ever growing desire to change and transform our image. I studied fashion at university and loved it, but was always having a passionate affair with beauty – I’m lucky they both work so closely together! When you start doing something that you’re meant to be doing, a fire lights inside you and passion simply fuels the drive. That’s why I beauty blog as well, I work in the industry already but I wanted to blog from an expert point of view – talking about products that I genuinely see at shows, backstage in TV, in celebrity bathrooms rather than just blogging from my bedroom.
How did your tanning expertise develop to such a high level?
I began by assisting Nicola Joss (celebrity facialist and beauty guru) working backstage at London Fashion Week, the BAFTA’s and general day-to-day VIP treatments. I became part of her tight team and started to learn the basics at a high standard – it’s lovely, we’re all so close still, it’s like a family. I landed the role of Head Tanning Expert on X-Factor when I was only 25, and had been tanning for just 5 months. I learnt a lot on that job – it’s all about being thrown in the deep end…headfirst. From there my celebrity client list just built, I was poached by Strictly Come Dancing and the snowball just started! In the beauty industry it’s obvious who blags it and who doesn’t, and with tanning there’s no room for the blag! You can either tan or you can’t. It’s funny though, new clients expect me to be this persona, over the top and slightly diva-ish because of the calibre of clients I’ve worked with, but a body is a body – as long as you make me laugh and offer me a cup of coffee you’ll be given the best tan in town.
3.What would be your chosen brand of tanning product?
I’ve worked alongside tanning brand St. Tropez for many years now and for me, they are fool proof products. No other in my eye has come close. With tan you get what you pay for. Remember the whole purpose of using a bottle of self-tan is to give the illusion of a more healthy, holiday-esque glowing skin. Not an orange fake tan that goes patchy. You’ll never spot an amazing fake tan, because it’ll look real.
Which male winter skincare products do you consider to be the best?
Winter is all about switching from cold to warm temperatures and central heating plays havoc with our skin. On top of this our stress levels raise as we try to close all our tasks before Christmas break, which can increase our likelihood of grey skin and dark circles. Essentially, winter is all about ramping up our skincare. With my grooming blog I’m constantly testing and trialling new products –some I use just once and others I can’t get enough of. Here’s my current grooming care regime.
Clarins MEN 2 in 1 Exfoliating Foaming Face Wash – It cleans, removes dead skin cells and clears my skin no end – the soap like consistency is perfect for oily-to-combination skin as it dries the skin out, whilst exfoliating beads remove dirt and debris. A product I keep going back to time and time again.
Origins Charcoal Body Wash- This is by far one of the best body washes I have ever used IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. And trust me, I’ve rinsed my way through my fair share! It’s cleansing and invigorating, and leaves skin squeaky clean.
Origins Zero Oil Toner- I suffer with oily/combination skin so I avoid using an oil-based toner. Toners are great to use in the winter as they refresh skin and clear any leftover dirt allowing our skin to absorb our moisturisers more effectively.
Elemis Time For Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel- I keep this in the fridge and sweep it over my eyes as my coffee brews. I find in winter mornings any help to wake me up is warmly received.
Murad Pore and Line Minimizing Hydrator- I switch my moisturiser all the time. I believe it keeps your skin on its toes. This one is a wonderful product and I’m actually dreading it running out! I’m obviously an avid fan of self-tan (without it I look grey-er than a Manchester sky in summer), but in between tans I like to keep my skin looking warm by using a light sweep of Caudalie Tinted Moisturiser in medium, using my fingers if I’m in a rush, or with a Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Brush. If it’s been a heavy night and I need to give my skin some TLC I use Elemis Pro Collagen Eye Masks and Refinery Face Mask to draw out impurities and reduce puffiness.
I am also a firm believer in you need to feed your skin from the inside as well as from the outside. Winter is known for parties and very rich foods – which are fine in small doses. Too much and it will cause your skin to break out –desperately trying to boot toxins from inside our body. Drink plenty of water and try to keep your body alkaline (I swear by Honestly Healthy cook books – use them on the days where you aren’t partying to help balance your skin and body).”
If you had to choose one place to live forever where will it be?
If I can move everyone I love with me, then Sydney, Australia. I love blue skies, healthy food, and the beach. Failing that, Neverland.
What has been the most bizarre beauty request you have been asked for?
“HA! How long have you got? I once had a client come in who had fallen asleep with her sunscreen on her leg, not rubbed in (we blamed the Rose wine). She wanted me to patch her up with tan to make her leg look less marble. I laughed and had to say whilst hugging her, ‘I love you, but this is a tanning gun, not a wand’. I’ve also had someone be so nervous about getting naked, that to make her more comfortable I tanned her in my pants. That way we were both there, bodies out, guts, and everything.
When working on X Factor, were you given specific instructions in regards to applying makeup, or were you given free reign?
I worked very closely with head makeup artist Natalya Nair and the production team, as tanning for television isn’t the same as tanning for day-to-day. Cameras, studio lights, personas all need to be worked with. It was my first big gig so Natalya’s guidance was so helpful and we’re still such strong friends. When I moved to Strictly Come Dancing, head makeup artist Lisa Armstrong gave me a brief and let me get on with it – I was given two trials with her and after that I think she knew my capabilities and off I went! Push the boundaries too far and wings will be clipped though I am sure.
If you had your wish, what intense fragrance would your clothes have?
“I LOVE this question! Top notes of mint, base notes of sandalwood with the key note being the smell in summer just after it rains. Ahhhhhh .” *phones Lenor
What should we be expecting from you at the Clothes Show?
Passionate advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in beauty – be it through makeup, tanning, hair or blogging – I am there to inspire and help fuel ambition! I’m also on hand for tanning tips, celebrity stories and of course – laughs.