This Babe , 26 February 2015

Samira Ibrahim, Senior Press Officer, Browns

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Where are you from?

My dad is half Caribbean, half English and my mum is Black American, I was born in Santa Monica but grew up in Surrey. It was really nice growing up there, it’s a small town. I went to the same schools as my Dad and my Aunt, my younger brother also went to the same school, everyone knows everyone, I see the same faces when I go back at Christmas.

How and when did you start your career?

I went to Uni in Roehampton in South London to study Journalism and Criminology but hated Criminology so switched to Journalism and News Media. In my second year we had a careers talk, a few alumni came to speak about what they were doing now, and I remember, there was this guy that worked in fashion PR, his job sounded like so much fun. After the lesson I went straight to Starbucks and googled PR agencies and applied for jobs, I got an interview for an internship at Bryan Morel. I started there when I was 18 or 19 interned for 6 months and then they offered me a position, I stayed there for about 2 years and then moved onto Browns, I’ve been at Browns for a year and loving it, it’s so much fun.

Tell us about your role at Browns?

My role is effectively to manage under my director the pr, marketing and events at Browns; to make sure that the brand is always communicated in a luxury way and in line with Browns history. I love it because we spearhead so many projects, from the best London fashion week and LC:M parties, international pop-ups, working with major designers on collaborations and events, planning editorial shoots and doing bridal trunk shows! No day is ever the same!!

What is your approach to your hair care?

I am quite relaxed about it to be honest, I don’t use a lot of products but mainly because I don’t know what’s good and I don’t want to put a load of rubbish in my hair or on my face. I had a weave for a long time as I was growing out colour, I would get that re-done every 3 months but I’ve just taken it out. I’ve been wearing my hair down most days but I am trying not to straighten everyday so it goes up in a low bun or ponytail half-way through the week. I’ll have a treatment every three weeks to keep it in good condition.

My main issue is that it gets so dry, so I try not to straighten it everyday. Just before I wash it, I do a Moroccan oil mask, I put Moroccan oil in my hair and then wash it out the next day it feels much softer for much longer. When I am on holiday I’ll wear it in a weave as its just easier to deal with. I  still do my oil mask even if I have a weave in, I still treat it like it’s my hair. Well, I paid for it so..

What are your favourite hair products?

My hair can get quite dry so I try to keep on top of that with moisturising products. I use Pink Olive Oil Sheen spray to keep it soft and also the KeraCare shampoo and conditioner are really hydrating I also use a really good heat protector by John Freda and  John Freda Frizz Ease is really good for when I am on holiday but definitely the moroccan oil as it leaves my hair soft and silky.

Have you ever had any major hair disasters?

When I was younger, about 16, I tried to dye my hair blonde, yes! I know! With a £6 tin of hair dye that I bought from boots, it was a disaster, it went orange. I had ginger-goldish hair for like a year! But at least it didn’t fall out. Also, when I was 17, I tried to take a weave out myself, with a pair of scissors, whilst watching TV and cut straight through a braid! I had small tuffs of hair for ages. The blonde thing was the funniest though, I somehow managed to convince my mum to let me do hers. You know, with one of those caps you get for highlights and you can pull the strands through? I only seemed to manage to pull through the hair at the back so it was mainly blonde at the back!! That was funny.

What inspired you to go blonde though?

I don’t know, I think I was just bored, my mum didn’t let me cut my hair until I was 14.

Are there any beauty myths that have been passed down to you that do or don’t work?

I wasn’t allowed to wear make up until I was 16, because my mum really didn’t believe in it. And it’s true, when you are younger you have such perfect skin that you really don’t need to wear make-up, but you’re just convinced that you do. I wasn’t allowed face make-up but she would sometimes let me wear mascara but that would be it. My mum always used to say don’t try lots of products on your face because you don’t know how you will react and I think that is also really true. I read somewhere that coconut oil is really good for your face and when I tried it out I had an allergic reaction to it! My mum doesn’t use anything on her face except Noxema and baby oil and so does her mum, so for the most part I used baby oil on my face but I later started to find that it dried my skin out.

What is the best beauty tip you have ever been given?

I’ve got terrible hand-eye coordination so putting on lipstick is a bit of a nightmare. I read somewhere that you should draw a cross starting on your cupids bow which creates a little kiss and that is your starting point for your symmetry.  Another great tip is to use a pencil liner before applying a liquid liner, as it’s easy to correct and then when you have the right shape apply the liquid liner.

What is your beauty regime?

I always take my make-up off every night with Simple Make-Up wipes, then cleanse with a Bioderma Sensibio H20 . At night I use my Khiel’s Moisturiser which is so good, then I apply my Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil on top. In the morning I shower, and then use the Dr organic first on my face then my Garnier Skin Corrector Cream.
I got sick a while ago and got these spots, which left dark marks on my face. So I bought the Garnier Skin Corrector and it literally got rid of them in the space of weeks! And it’s only £7.50. But it doesn’t have anti-ageing in it, and I know I don’t need anti-ageing but French women start anti-ageing from when they are like 24 so I figure I need to get involved. The Dr Organic oil has anti-ageing in it and I am convinced it is turning back time.

What are your favourite make-up products?

I tend to only use my Mac Mineralize concealer   NC35 and my  Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in the day because it’s really light. I don’t like putting on foundation if I have to wear it all day. Then I’ll use my Maybelline 38 Brown Soft Khol Eye Pencil.
One Christmas my dad got me a set of Bobbi Brown Brushes and I’ve had them for two years and never had to change them. My dad is good with presents, my mum on the other hand is
terrible, for their 20th anniversary my dad got my mum a tiffany bracelet and she got him a flask!! I also can’t live without my Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream I use it once in the morning on my lips and I’m good for the rest of the day, really good in winter when you lips are chapped.

Working in fashion it is really important to look pulled together, what is your quick fix?

I always have a pair of heels at work, I never know when I might have an impromptu event to attend. I always have an eyeliner and a lip pencil with me, if nothing else.  I’ll touch up with a little bit of concealer a bit of blush and a brown eyeliner, and I’m ready to go. Simple but polished.

How would you describe your personal style?

Quite eclectic, I like prints, but I am refined at the same time. I love, love shoes, a lot! A white t-shirts and my Manolo’s, and trousers of course and I’m good to go.

Do you have a favourite fragrance?

I’ve worn Dior J’adore since I was 17 or 18, my mum buys it for me every year for Christmas. I don’t wear anything else, it lasts a whole year until she buys me another one.

What does beauty and style mean to you?

A good contour and the confidence to wear whatever your want.

Follow Samira @Samiraamalia



Photography Christopher Fenner

Hair Terri Capon using Bumble and Bumble

Make Up Jessica Mejia at Stella Creatives

Text Abisoye Odugbesan

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