In my beauty bag: Marianne Welch

HER BEAUTY RULE: Marianne Welch is strongly against animal testing and makes sure to use only cruelty-free products.
HER BEAUTY RULE: Marianne Welch is strongly against animal testing and makes sure to use only cruelty-free products.

Marianne Welch has made a career out of curating cult products for her specialist beauty store, Apotheka. Here's a peek into her beauty cabinet...


It is a fairly involved routine - every morning and evening I cleanse and tone my face, then massage a serum or oil into still-damp skin, followed by eye cream and moisturiser.

GENTLY DOES IT: Marianne's skin is so sensitive she's had to give up perfume completely.
GENTLY DOES IT: Marianne's skin is so sensitive she's had to give up perfume completely.

I use the Pai Skin Care range, which is a certified organic range specifically created for sensitive skin. I have acne rosacea and urticaria so I have to use products for sensitive skin. In addition, I exfoliate and use Mario Badescu's Rosehip and Whitening Masks two to three times weekly. For breakouts, I swear by Mario Badescu's Buffering Lotion and Drying Cream both of which are particularly good for cystic blemishes.

I use Becca's Mineral SPF30 everyday, by itself or under makeup as required. I am vigilant about using sunscreen, so on it goes rain or shine.

I do enjoy facials but unfortunately they generally result in an allergic flare-up so I tend to go for massages instead.

The number one secret to good skin is a good regime which involves cleansing and hydrating, and of course, wearing a broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF30 everyday is imperative. Other factors include a sensible diet that incorporates lots of vegetables, drinking water and trying to limit wine and sugar intake. Smoking is terrible for skin, so ditch it along with sunbeds.

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 I was a bit of a late bloomer with makeup - it wasn't allowed at school and I didn't bother at university, so it wasn't until I got my first full time job in my 20s that I started to wear it, and it was very basic - tinted moisturier, mascara and lip gloss.

These days, I still favour a natural look so my favourite products are a tinted moisturiser (addicted to Becca's Luminous Skin Colour), concealer, cream blush, eye tint and luminiser. I use Ilia's Cream Blush and Becca's Eye Tint in Vicuna every day, as well as their Shimmering Skin Perfector.

 I always keep Ilia's Tinted Lip Conditioners in my handbag.

On weekends I wear Becca's SPF30, which is lightly tinted but otherwise no makeup, unless we're going out.


I use the Theorie Argan Shampoo and Conditioner; it's very gentle.

I like Servilles, I go to the Mission Bay salon. But I'm very low maintenance with my hair - I wash it every day and once a month or so I use a deep conditioning Argan treatment. I do use a sea salt spray to add volume.

I haven't used the straightener in years.


I love to go to Bliss in Newmarket for a pedicure, and they do great massages there too. I prefer very light neutral shades or a clear gloss.

Nail art is not my thing but I have seen some great work.


Unfortunately, due to the severity of my urticaria, I have had to give up using perfumes as I am allergic to the alcohol in them. It was a sad day giving away all my perfumes.

I had always loved Issey Miyake, and had worn it for years. My other signature scent was Annick Goutal's Gardenia Passion which I had also worn for years, and it was a wrench to say goodbye to it.

I have to use Pinetarsol as shower gel, which is not very glamorous. Fortunately, I can use Pai's Comfrey and Calendula Calming Body Cream as a body lotion. I take baths, but again it's just the Pinestarsol!


I treat myself to regular massages. My beauty philosophy is to do whatever makes you comfortable in your own skin.

My travel advice? Before flying, apply serum, moisturiser and sunscreen, and if possible, skip heavy foundation. Take a small pot of moisturiser on board so that you can re-apply throughout the flight. If possible, a small spritzer of face spray is great for hydrating (I take Mario Badescu's Rosewater and Aloe Facial Spray), and a good lip balm is important. Drink lots of water, and try to swap tea or coffee for herbal tea instead.

I enjoy discovering new beauty products - it's an obsession. I'm constantly looking online, reading magazines, visiting beauty stores when travelling overseas and always looking for great cruelty-free products - I only look for products that are not tested on animals.

Kate Bosworth is one of my beauty icons - she always looks beautiful and her makeup is flawless.

I can't live without sunscreen, as you've probably guessed. That, and Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil - it's my skin's saviour.

My best beauty tip is to always apply your eye makeup first, before applying foundation and powder. That way, if product drops down, which is often the case when doing a smoky eye, you won't have to retouch your foundation. Otherwise, it's using a good concealer - it will work wonders.

A beauty mistake from my past is chemically straightening my hair and just about destroying it in the process. I cringe thinking about this.

If I could wave a magic wand, testing beauty products on animals would be banned.

The beauty product I think needs be invented is non-irritating perfume please!

Visit Marianne's store at

- As told to Melissa Williams-King