She may be stern and scary on telly, but therapist, Bespoke Beauty owner and Social and Personal beauty editor Elaine Butler Doolin is a dote in real life. With an excellent beauty pedigree, Elaine’s taught legions of therapists in her time, has tried every product out there, and can currently be seen on the small screen as the mentor on TV3′s Celebrity Salon. Which I am loving, by the way.
Anyway, I wanted to know more about it all and who better to ask than the very person who’s primed to reveal all the behind-the-scenes goss on the series? So I dropped Elaine an email to pump her for some insider info. Want to find out the inside track on the show, the low-down on the contestants and the oh-God-you-can’t-miss-’em bits? Keep on reading, so!
How did you get involved with the programme in the first place? Was it daunting?
I was approached by the Straywave – producers of the show – after TV3 had commissioned them to create a TV show based around the beauty world. We put our heads together and came up with some fun ideas on doing a show like this, and, as they were looking for someone who not only had some TV experience but had a good background in beauty and teaching – they were happy to offer me the job!
You’re really sweet and lovely, so how did you find having to be stern with the contestants?
It was kind of tough at the start because I’m not normally like that but Jules – the director – was great and really wanted to have fun with me keeping them all in-line! Also, a couple of the celebs – I’m sure you can work out which ones! – were a bunch of messers so I had to be strict to keep control of them! I’m not like that in everyday life so it was a bit of fun getting to act like Gordon Ramsay or Alan Sugar for a while!
How different was mentoring celebrities compared to your usual students?
The fact that they were celebs didn’t change my approach with them – what was a lot tougher was the fact that we genuinely had to give them essentially a ‘crash-course’ in beauty and teach them to do things that would normally take years! I must say though, they took it a lot more seriously than I thought they would initially.
Tell us a couple of secrets – thrills and spills! – that didn’t make it to camera?
Oooooh … tough one! I genuinely can’t say, as I haven’t seen the final-cut and finished episodes so even I don’t know entirely what was left in or out. However! There were accusations of cheating … a very famous ‘hair-piece’ scandal … of course countless ‘Breff-isms’: “spray tan is deceitful!”… and … jacuzzigate!!
Which contestant would you trust to give you a facial? And who did you rate the most out of the lot?
Leigh did really well initially on the facial task but just got a bit panicked at the end due to time, so I would trust her to give me a facial – I think as an all-rounder I would rate Virginia most … she’s so sweet too – not what her ‘sexy-vampy’ image would have you believe.
Were the girls better than the guys or vice versa?
Depends on the challenge – the guys surprised me – when you consider that girls, in general, are more au fait with beauty treatments and the guys were kind of out of their comfort-zone, I was very impressed with the guys – but in general the girls rule!
And on the same note, who would you have come and work at Bespoke Beauty? Any of ‘em?
Truly – I could fill the salon with them all! How much fun would that be?! Brian on reception having a laugh and fun with all the clients – they’d LOVE him! Pippa for make-up (and to keep her away form her partner-in-crime: Brian), Leigh for nice relaxing treatments, Virginia on nails, and Breffny … well let’s just say he could operate the corporate side of the business! The amazing Celia as the manager whipping them all into shape – literally! And if that was the case I’d either have the most successful beauty salon in Ireland … or … be bankrupt within a week!!
So, we’ve still got a couple more weeks to go – anything particularly gob-smacking coming up we should set our Sky+ boxes for?
Let’s just say there WILL be tears (and not tears of joy!) – you have GOT to see what happens when Brian comes face-to-face with Botox! And of course you’ve got to tune in to see who will win the Best in Beauty – nobody I know has guessed correctly yet!