Hello, I'm Emmy, and I'm the digital TV and film editor at HELLO!. I have short hair, I am around a size 10, and will usually go for any foundation tone labelled 'ivory' (also known as 'vampire' or 'dear god, keep her out of the sun, lest she burst into ginger flames'). As such, I have never considered the possibility of entering the Love Island villa. Like most of the public, I have instead spent the last couple of summers watching beautiful, tanned, long-lashed stunners fall in love, all the while munching on some form of Chinese takeaway and wondering why I didn't also have thighs a Barbie doll would be proud of.
This is me, hello.
But then, I had a thought. What if I did actually try to reach those levels of standards? What if I actually went and did all of the work a Love Islander needs as a standard entry level requirement to the villa? Could it really be done? The answer was both yes, and a huge resounding no. Watch the video below and read my diary on what happened when I spent five days turning myself into a Love Island contestant...
Day one: Lashes
Since Love Islanders all look like they have lashes for days, I first booked in for an eyelash extension with Flawless Lashes by Loreta, absently thinking it would probably take about 40 minutes give or take, then I could have dinner and settle in for the first episode of this year's Love Island.
Turns out, in the beauty world, to assume is to spend two hours 20 minutes longer than originally expected with your eyes closed under a bright light threatening to blind you if you take a sneak peek at the outside world. Yep, my eyelash transformation took a full THREE hours. The amazing lash technician Minnie must have added hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny little lashes to my stubby biological ones, giving me a whole new look instantly. Her patience and attention to detail was second to none – but I couldn't help but have a giggle at the beginnings of my new look. The thing with big, bold lashes is that they tend to only work with a certain type of look. And that look isn't that of the rest of me – which can be best described as a make-up free librarian. The lashes required the rest of the Love Island makeover, and quick.
Get the lashes look!
Day two: Hair extensions
Washing my hair in the morning, I was told to only towel dry in preparation for the hair extensions. As such, I travelled into work with damp frizzy hair while rocking eyelashes that Dolly Parton would have been proud of. A bold look.
Luckily, it wasn't long until I made it to Arabella Rose, a specialist hair extension salon, and this time I was prepared for the prep time. The hair extension specialist Noush and her two helpers spent over three hours turning my blunt lob into long, luscious locks. The colour match was completely perfect, and as much as I was determined not be swayed by my extremely superficial makeover (all done in the name of science, mind), I couldn't help but be taken by my new tresses. Hair is such an important part of your identity and style, and I definitely became enamoured with the look quickly. Frankly, I still am. The hair extensions cost from £485, find out more about the prices here!
From frizz to fabulous (seriously, I loved these extensions)
Day three: Nails
I know this sounds extremely ungrateful, but on Wednesday it began to dawn on me how exhausting it was to keep up the level of maintenance required for a Love Island look. The lashes were making me feel like I was waking up from a club in 2010 with my Girls Aloud lashes still glued on rather than fluttering awake like Sleeping Beauty, and the new hair took around two hours to wash, dry and style rather than its usual half an hour. But the pampering must continue (sigh) and yes, I do expect a Pride of Britain award for my bravery and fortitude.
This time it was all about the nails, as Love Islanders always have perfectly manicured, bright summer colours that are never chipped. Luckily for me, the Superdrug just down the road had a Beauty Studio, where they do gel or polish manicures at a very reasonable price. My nail technician was friendly and we chatted away as she painted my nails my opted lilac. Overall it took around 20 minutes, and I was back home for the new episode of Love Island for the first time all week (honestly, fitting in beauty sessions after work is time consuming).
Day four: Spray tan
Five days unfortunately meant I didn't have the time to get sunkissed on the beach (I'm also a redhead, so not even sure that would have been possible), and I definitely didn't fancy a sunbed session – and so I went with the quick and easy option – a spray tan! St. Tropez stepped up to give me a bronzed glow and so with paper pants and zero dignity, I was sprayed up while chatting to the lovely tan technician Jayne about our favourite contestants. Now with a spray tan, hair extensions, eyelashes for days and a manicure brighter than the sun, I did what anyone would do. Head to my monthly book club to talk about The Lido while smelling of biscuits and wearing flip flops.
Tanned and ready for book club
Day five: Personal training, makeover and wardrobe revamp
Today was the day. The day my Love Island makeover was complete, but much more crucially; the day I was forced to do exercise against my will. Yep, if I wanted to get buns of steel there was only one thing for it, and it was not my usual spaghetti and chicken-filled burrito lunch. Adam Collard, of Love Island 2018 fame and handsomeness, came into the HELLO! offices for one purpose alone: to make my sorry state of a bod Love Island ready. We did squats. We did jumping squats. We did hover squats. Adam promised me that if I did it every day for six weeks, I'd be ready to roll. What he didn't mention was that I'd be in agony for the next three days.
Training with Adam Collard
Next up, makeup! Our intrepid makeup artist, and IT Cosmetics ambassador Rose Gallagher AKA @MixedGemsBeauty was tasked with giving me a Love Island glow with the help of the amazing range and she didn't take her task lightly. The idea was to be absolutely smothered in makeup, but look like I'd barely made any effort.
IT Cosmetics to the rescue!
As such, while I had everything from primer to the infamous CC Cream Your Skin But Better to contour to highlighter done, but she also brushed bronzer over a few freckles so they showed through and it looked like I was hardly wearing any! Very Meghan Markle-esque. I then met with hair wizard Dan from VO5, who turned my extensions into big, glossy curls. With some threads from Primark and I Saw It First finishing the look, my Love Island makeover was complete.
The final look!
As much as I loved my fluttery lashes, my makeup session, my spray tan and my extensions – I have a new found respect for the Love Island girls, because these things take WORK. How they manage to keep their looks together while sweating in a villa is frankly beyond me. The look, while glamorous, just wasn't sustainable both price and timewise. As such, with a heavy heart I'm going to have to let some other girl take the spot for the first ginger in the villa. I wish them well.