Jessica Plummer on learning to love her hair – and teaching her daughter to do the same

The EastEnders and I’m A Celeb star also opens up about her ‘less is more’ approach to make-up.

You might think the life of an actor is glamorous – but Jessica Plummer found her stint on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! anything but, particularly as she wasn’t allowed to bring any beauty products to the remote Welsh castle.

“It was so funny, when we made a fire, there was coal – so we would get the coal and fill in our eyebrows and do eyeliner with it,” says Plummer, who played Chantelle on EastEnders between 2019 and 2020. The 28-year-old was the sixth celebrity to be eliminated from the 2020 series, and adds: “Vic [Victoria Derbyshire] taught us you should pinch your cheeks, so whenever Ant and Dec would come, we’d all be pinching our cheeks!”

Even if she didn’t have access to her regular skin and hair pamper sessions, Plummer wouldn’t change the experience for anything. “Now I’ve done I’m A Celebrity… I can do it all,” she says proudly. “Whatever life throws at me – I’m ready for it.”

Now, Plummer’s day-to-day life is a far cry from downing drinks of blitzed animal bits, and she spends her time at home in south London with four-year-old daughter Noa. Her regular beauty regime looks a lot different to desperately smudging a bit of coal on her face, too…

Plummer’s approach to hair…

“I haven’t always looked after my hair in the best way, to the extent that I’ve even had to shave it off. However, since then, I feel like what my hair looks like is important to me. Looking after it and making sure it’s healthy is the most important thing.

“It’s been nice, because I’ve not been out of the house much [due to the pandemic], so I’ve been able to use masks more regularly and leave it in the whole day. I’ve given my hair a bit of a break, which I think is important.

“I love to do a face and hair mask on a Sunday. I only wash my hair with shampoo once a week, which sounds gross, but because of my hair type, it’s actually the best thing for it.”

Talking to her daughter about hair…

“She’s young, but I make sure she can see herself reflected in the things she watches on TV, in the books she reads and things like that. I think it’s really important – for myself growing up, you were cute if you had blonde hair and blue eyes and white skin.

“Things are changing these days, which is amazing and incredible, so I do make sure she’s exposed to that. She knows [I hope she won’t] go through the phase I went through and want to straighten her beautiful curls – I tell her all the time how amazing they are.”

Her thoughts on make-up…

“I feel like on my face, less is more. If I’m not going to do a whole face, I will always do brows and mascara.

“Even though I get my make-up done almost every day – especially when I was on set at EastEnders – I revel in it. I just sat there and closed my eyes. I learned less really is more, to not be too heavy-handed, and to make sure you blend. If you want a full coverage look, layer up thinly rather than going on full whack.”

How she’s found the pandemic…

“Obviously it’s not an ideal situation in any way, but it’s been nice having a bit of downtime. I feel like my life is usually really hectic and crazy and busy; it’s been nice to have no choice other than to slow down a bit and just reconnect with myself and with my family. It’s been nice – but it feels really wrong saying that.

“[I can’t wait to] see family and not feel like I’m compromising everybody’s health all the time. I feel like it’s less about me and more about vulnerable people, and not wanting to affect anybody else. I just look forward to seeing family and friends, and going into a restaurant and having a meal again.”

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