Love Island’s Sharon Gaffka talks fame, life-changing books and the skincare heroes she stole from the villa

"I would love to replicate Love Island Alex George's career"

Sharon Gaffka Self-Care Sunday

by Aimee Jakes |

We love a bit of self-care and all this time at home has really given us an excuse to look after ourselves inside and out. Each week, we'll be asking the celeb lot to share their Sunday self-care routines, because taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

This week it's all about Sharon Gaffka, the hilarious and outspoken Love Islander who champions female ambition, charity work and educating yourself on worldly matters.

Despite being dumped from the villa on day 19 after being friendzoned by Aaron Francis and Hugo Hammond (ridiculous!), 2021 has truly been her year of growth and self-love.

"It's definitely been one of those years where I've learned to love myself a lot more and not be as harsh on myself as I had been previously."

Sharon chats exclusively to heat about self-care favourites, fame and why you should think twice before calling someone a catfish...

On self-care

Sharon Self-care

"I love doing an exercise class and before lockdown I was really into SoulCycle. I love doing it on a self-care day, because it's an hour away from your phone in a dark room, just listening to music and really enjoying yourself and pushing yourself to another limit. I think a massive part of self-care is sometimes just doing nothing and giving your body and mind a chance to relax and not think about work or everything else. In my old career, it was definitely hard for me to switch off, so that's really important."

Listen, we can fully get on board with doing nothing.

"I also love a sheet mask. I won't lie, I love going to TK Maxx and buying as many Korean sheet masks I can physically put my hands on. I also love having a bath, but I think I've had only three baths since I've moved into this house, so I'm trying to make it a weekly routine."

On skincare favourites

Sharon Gaffka

"I am massively into skincare, one of the things that people didn't see in the villa is that every night before bed I did a skincare bedtime routine with all of the boys because some of them never wash their face."

Not all heroes wear capes! So, what are Sharon's current skincare favourites?

"Skincare can be quite damaging to the environment, so I try to keep it as environmentally friendly as possible. When I remove my make-up, I use reusable cotton pads (£8) you just put them in the washing machine and I think it gets your make-up off a lot better."

"One of my skincare favourites is the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (£7). It's really cheap cheerful and I think it's really good for skin because it has no fragrance. I use it with my Foreo Facial Cleansing Brush (£57) every day and it gets everything off. I try not to wear make-up every day but I have to for work and stuff, so I feel like it helps get more out of my skin."

We bet the Love Island beauty stash was to die for...

Sharon laughs, "I won't lie, I have brought a lot back with me. When Boots sponsored Love Island, I was in my element, because there was a whole shelf of Liz Earle. I love the Cleanse & Polish (£21.60) and will use that in the morning.

"I also found a lot of new skincare loves in the villa, like the Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer (£32)."

On make-up favourites

We can all agree that Sharon looked glowy and gorgeous in the villa, so what were her hero make-up products? You know, so we can add the entirity to our payday wishlist...

"A really great primer that I wore on the show is the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base (£46.50), it's my go-to and I use it all the time. I tried to stay away from heavy foundations, so my favourite in the villa was the Fenty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint (£32). I tried not to cover my freckles too much or you know when it's hot and humid, heavy make-up can just go a bit weird."

"I also loved the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder (£24) and I love the Too Faced Born This Way Concealer (£25). In terms of lip products, I love anything glossy. The NYX Professional Makeup Milky Gloss Lip Gloss (£9) and the Fenty Gloss Bomb (£17) are my two go-to's."

On budget beauty buys

If you love Charlotte Tilbury but don't love the prices, Sharon has discovered some great dupes for a fraction of the price.

"Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk is one of my favourite lipsticks and I've recently found a cheaper version from Maybelline, it's the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in shade Velvet Beige, (£4.99)."

"Another one is the No.7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder (£12.50), it's a lot cheaper than the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush powder, but the ingredients are pretty much the same. They're definitely my go-to drugstore buys."

On life after Love Island

"You are told about how crazy and how big the show is. I remember sitting in the back of my car on the way to the airport on FaceTime to one of my closest friends and he said 'I don't know why you're not nervous, don't you realise how big this is?' and I didn't think about it until I came out and you know there are people following you around when I'm out with my mum, people follow us into Primark to get photos, things like that. You hear about it from ex islanders but you don't think about it until it's you that it's happening to you."

"For me, it's really strange because I grew up in a really small town [Didcot, Oxfordshire] and I moved back to that small town recently and you don't tend to see people with big social media followings walking around the street, so that's probably why I stick out a bit more."

So where's next for Sharon?

"If there was one Love Islander whose career I'd love replicate, obviously apart from being a doctor, is Alex George, he didn't completely abandon what he did before the show and is very much in love with his career. I was as well. I haven't gone back to my old job straight away but maybe just doing something different within the political atmosphere getting a lot more involved with the charities I used to work with before the villa and seeing what I can do for them with my new following and a new platform I've grown."

On Boux Avenue

Sharon Gaffka

Sharon has recently been announced a Boux Avenue ambassador, alongside fellow Islanders Lucinda Strafford and Lillie Haynes.

"Boux Avenue is one of those brands that I've loved forever, so it felt really natural and organic to be working with them. For me, the partnership is just a bit more about being more confident in my skin and s just being generally confident in my body."

"I think it depends on the mood, but I'm not really into the lingerie stuff at the moment. I won't lie, my washing line is filled with Boux Avenue pyjamas. My house is really cold. So all their long, cosy sets are definitely my favourite and I just really like the ones that come in the little bags. I keep all my pyjamas in the bags and it helps me keep organised. And it means like when I have to go on the run and stuff like that for work stuff and I'm not coming home I can just grab pyjama bags, rather than have no pyjamas or mismatched pyjamas."

Sharon's favourite pair are the Lilac Stripe Shortie Pyjamas in a Bag (£22). "They're so flattering and they suit every hair colour and skin tone."

On life-changing books

"During contestant holding, I think I read about seven books! I read Everyday Sexism and Girl Up by Laura Bates and they were definitely eye-opening. It made me realise how impactful and important a lot of the charity work I did before the villa actually was. I like to remain educated and read for a purpose, rather than read full fiction that's for entertainment purposes."

"At the moment I'm reading Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. With the Black Lives Matter movement and things like that it's really important to stay educated on things that are happening in the world."

On hard days

Sharon

You know those days where everything seems to go wrong? You want to hide in bed for all eternity? Yep, we've all been there. How does Sharon pick herself up when times our tough?

"It very much depends on the mood I'm feeling, if I'm feeling short-tempered, then I feel like going to the gym. If I'm kind of in a low mood, it's about learning to do nothing and switching off and switching away from it."

"There's been one time that I've experienced a really low mood since leaving the villa and it was when online publications were really coming with the whole catfish label without really realising the implications as on somebody else's emotions and mood. I think I pretty much spent that day in bed just watching Netflix and having that bit of time to myself. Also, reminding myself why people write that stuff in the first place."

"I used to do my own make-up and hair, whereas when I go to events now I don't necessarily do it all myself. If I have a different make-up artist than last time, my face will look different, because that's how they put make-up on. Lighting looks different. Different people at certain events look different. I could be on my period and my face will look different. People assume when you look different one day to another you're a catfish, when it's just human nature."

Quickfire round:

Show you’re currently binging? I love rewatching Line of Duty, I'm not gonna lie. I'm also obsessed with old school things like Botched.

Go-to cuppa? I love either an iced latte or a peppermint tea with a little bit of honey.

Go-to loungewear brand? Boux Avenue! I'm living in it at the moment.

Favourite face mask? Korean sheet masks are definitely my favourite.

Go-to takeaway order? Nandos! I can't help myself, I love the sides and Nando's carrot cake is like my secret love affair.

Favourite candle? Yankee Candles are definitely my favourite. I've currently got Vanilla Cupcake (£14.99) on my shelf.

Now! More news!

Budget beauty buys loved by celebs:

From Molly-Mae Hague to Olivia Attwood, here are the celeb-approved beauty budget buys to know about...

  1. Weleda Skin Food (£8.60) - loved by Molly-Mae Hague, Victoria Beckham, Olivia Attwood and Love Island's Mary Bedford. This lot like to use it as a glowy make-up primer (trust us, it's glorious) but it can also be used for everything, from dry knees to an intensive overnight moisturiser.
  1. Sky High Mascara (£7) - loved by Little Mix's Leigh Anne Pinnock and Amber Gill, this hard-working lash extender gives your the falsie effect for just £7. If you need any more convincing, the mascara has racked up 251.5 million views on TikTok for its insane lengthening skills.
  1. The CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser (£7.10) - loved by Amber Gill, Jamie Genevieve and Tia Lineker, CeraVe cleansers are CULT in Beauty Land and are full of good ingredients to help clean, nourish and treat the skin. Count us in.
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