We kinda have a thing for Fashion PR girls, why? A number of reasons. Firstly, looking amazing at all times is actually part of their job description, they have wardrobes full of covetable fashion items bought directly from the designers/ brands they represent before they’ve even gone into production and at least 6 months before us mere mortals get the chance to fight over them in stores. Secondly, they know the coolest new hang-outs, oh yes, it’s also part of their job to socialise and so having their perfectly manicured fingers firmly on the ‘what’s hot’ pulse is a required skill. Lastly and most importantly they know everything about everyone so they’re great for tapping up for a bit of industry gossip, hence our little obsession. This time we caught up with the ridiculously cool and incredibly sweet Akira Reid to get her take on beauty.
What is your heritage?
My parents are from Jamaica and my grandmother is Irish, I was born and raised in East London.
How and when did you start your career?
I studied Drama at university, when I finished I started interning a lot at modelling agencies and event companies. I wasn’t really sure which direction I wanted to take my career in, so I asked my really good friend Coral (PR Director at Lewis Leigh PR) if I could come and help out at her show room. She took me on as her assistant and I got straight into it. It was challenging as I had a lot to learn but a great experience. I’ve since left Lewis Leigh and now work freelance.
Talk us through your hair care routine?
It is really simple as I am always short on time in the mornings. I mainly use the Aussie Miracle conditioning spray when I am wearing hair extensions, the spray is great for good curl definition, I literally just spritz and go. When I don’t have extensions in I like to use Dark And Lovely Healthy Gloss Shampoo on my natural hair and Doo Gro Penetrating Conditioner which is really good for deep conditioning. I also love the Anti-Itch Growth Oil and the Mega Thick Growth Oils both are great treatments for my scalp.
Any major hair disasters?
I tried to dye my hair a light brown once but it came out a bright ginger! Shocking as it was, I actually liked it for while. After a month or so, my roots started coming through, so I decided to dye them. The result was horrendous, my whole head went a sort of blonde with green patches!! It was bad! I went to Boots with blonde and green hair and bought a black dye to go over the whole thing!
Throughout my childhood I wore my hair in braids so about 14 or 15 I decided to lose the braids and was obsessed with using GHDs. Whilst trying to straighten the front section of my hair I burnt off about 5 inches of it and had to style it out as a weird side fringe for months! That put me off straighteners and heat appliances for a long time and I made a conscious effort to work out what was best for my hair and how to look after it. When I stopped fighting my hair and forcing it into styles that were not natural I started having a better relationship with it. It took a while to find the right products for me and I got a lot of advice from friends. On the rare occasion that I do use heat on my hair I always protect it with ORS Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum one of my best finds.
At the moment I find it easier to wear my hair in a weave, it protects my natural hair from the damage of daily styling and I can literally just get up and go. I just spritz a little bit of my Aussie spray on my hands and massage the product into my hair and I’m done.Personally I can’t be bothered to style my hair everyday, I just need something quick and easy but still looks good, for me at the moment it’s a weave.
What’s the best beauty tip you have ever been given?
Take your make up off at night, I love make up but don’t want to be sleeping in it. My mum introduced me to tea tree as I used to have an oily t-zone but since using tea tree oil it’s really calmed it down.
Talk us through your beauty regime?
I tend to use baby wipes to take my make-up off, then I wash my face with The Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser and then I use The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner which takes off everything. Lastly, I’ll use the lotion from this range to moisturise. I have the same routine at night but I’ll use The Blemish Fade at night if I have a spot. I love this range, I don’t believe that a big price tag guarantees that you’ll get the results that you want. It really is about finding what works for you.
Do you have any skin issues?
I have very sensitive skin and I react badly to certain creams. For a while the only thing I could use on my skin was E45 but it’s gotten better now and my skin is more tolerant with make-up but for some reason I still react to certain creams and soaps. So I stick to what I know works, on the rest of my body I like to use The Body Shop creams like coco butter or E45.
What are your favourite make-up products and why?
I love Mac! Before I started using Mac, any foundation I tried would either make me look pink or orange. They just have a great range for all skin tones, my favourite Mac product is the Studio Fix foundation ,100%. My shade is NC44 and I literally love all their lipsticks but my all time favourite is Cyber every time and Night Moth lip pencil those are my faves.
I also like Bourjois Ultra Curl mascara, it’s a good one I have really short eyelashes and that makes them really long.
What is your quick make-up fix?
To take me from the office to an evening event, I’ll use a powder to get rid of any shine. I like obviously, Mac mineralise skin finish powder medium dark and just a bit of mascara and a bit of lipstick. I am quite experimental with my lip colours and will try anything from orange to purple, even green. I also love Lipcote which helps keep my lipstick stay on all day.
What would you never leave the house without?
My eyebrow pencil, I use Mac Stud eyebrow. I have really faint eyebrows so if I don’t draw them on then you basically can’t see them.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m very experimental with what I wear. It’s never the same trend or style and changes day to day and I like to stand out. One day I’m into colour blocking the next day tartan everything. It’s important that l look pulled together but it’s even more important to me that I put my own personal spin on whatever look I am wearing. It could be something simple like a white t-shirt and jeans but I’ll wear it with a purple lip.
Follow Akira @MISSREID_X
Photography Lindsay Watson
Make-Up Jessica Mejia at Stella Creatives
Text Abisoye Odugbesan