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Elle McNamara from Bambi Does Beauty

You might know her as a skincare obsessive on Instagram but it turns out beauty influencer Bambi Does Beauty is just as addicted to a layer or two of great fake tan and an intensive hair routine. Read on to discover her enviable Sunday night routine…

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The Wind Down

Sundays for me aren’t what you’d call ‘typical’. I don’t work 9-5 or in an office, I work for myself so all my timings are completely skewed compared to most people’s! As a beauty blogger I produce all of my content for Instagram, and with Sunday being the day where my audience is most active, I tend to make the most of it with either a story or post. In stereotypical Bambi Does Beauty fashion, I’ll usually create a ‘no makeup-makeup’ look during the day. My ride or die product for this is the Space NK Flat Top Powder Brush (I’ve owned this for years and cannot create a makeup look without it!). I’ll use it to apply my Vita Liberta Body Blur tan on my face, neck and décolletage, followed by a little (or a lot!) of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Pearl. I love how it has zero glitter in it, it just gives a really natural dewy glow. Finally, the latest makeup product to take pride of place in my drawer is the Hourglass Illume Sheer Colour Trio which I had been eyeing up in the Space NK aisles for YEARS. Creamy, multi-purpose with the power to take me from washed-out to Aussie style beach babe in seconds. To finish the look and remove any unwanted product on the lips I love a good lip scrub. I’m using Herbivore’s Coco Rose Lip Polish at the moment and I adore how buttery it is. Once the post is up and I’ve had my fill of Instagram I’ll get into full on chill out at home mode, which usually happens around 9pm after the peak Instagram time is over. For me this means makeup off, hair in a messy bun, robe on (or onesie) and some trash TV for a little escapism. I’m a sucker for a scented candle too, I have them on rotation – my current favourite is the Dipytque Amber Scented Candle. Not only is it fantastically Instagrammable, it smells so fresh and I love having it by my bedside as I can actually smell it even when it’s not lit.

bambi does beauty sunday sessions

The Routine

I spend absolutely no time sitting with my makeup on, so once my photo for Instagram is up, my makeup is straight off! Skincare is always my main concern when it comes to beauty, and my collection is growing by the day. As a blogger I get sent an array of products from different brands and at first it’s like Christmas every day, but then it becomes so overwhelming you don’t know where to start, or when to test them. I’ve mastered the art now, gradually entering a new product into my routine one by one. To start – I’ll always double cleanse. I only use balm cleansers to take my makeup off as I feel they do the best job. My ALL-TIME favourite cleaning balm is the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. It’s pretty unbeatable, the scent is citrusy but not overpowering, the texture buttery (a little goes a very long way!) and it leaves my skin so soft and supple afterwards (oh and did I mention it removes even eye makeup effortlessly?!). For the second cleanse I’ll usually go in with the This Works Light Time Cleanse & Glow. I only discovered this product a few months ago and I use it everyday now. It’s a light textured balm, with a big dose of vitamin C – it genuinely does leave my skin brighter immediately. Then it’s onto an acid exfoliant. These are so topical at the moment with the skincare community on social media and they are honestly my favourite discovery in the skincare world. They leave my skin brighter and softer – skincare magic! At the moment I’m using the Dr Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel Pads. I actually featured them in my “Monthly Favourites” story on Instagram as I was so impressed with them. I’m a bit of an acid veteran so my skin can really handle the high strength, and an added bonus is that they come in handy little sachets so they’re ideal for travelling (carrying heavy toiletries around with me on my travels is the bane of my life). Perhaps my favourite step is applying a good serum. Hyaluronic acid is a must, and I prefer the serums that leave me dewy and glowy. If I’m feeling rather extra, I’ll use a sheet mask like Patchology’s Flashmasque Hydrate (the formula is basically a serum) but I’ll leave it on for 20mins to really leave me with baby soft skin and help me feel less guilty about the makeup application earlier. Next it’s an oil, and if I fancy a really active product I’ll use the mighty Overnight Facial by Sarah Chapman Skinesis. This stuff is gold dust, loved by Victoria Beckham and about as decadent as it gets. The biggest draw for me with this product is the radiance it gives (both instantly and by the next morning). The moisturiser I’m reaching for at the moment is La Mer’s original Creme De La Mer Moisturising Cream. I found out I’d been applying it wrong (straight onto my face) when you’re actually meant to melt the product into your fingertips first, which makes all the difference. It melts into my skin and as my skin is normal to dry I love the thick texture and the dewy finish it leaves. I always finish with a face mist. I’m a bit of a face mist fiend actually and I’m currently loving the Dr Roebuck’s Bondi Hydrating Mist. It’s so refreshing, and psychologically for me it closes my routine and makes me feel content.

bambi does beauty sunday sessions

Once the makeup is off and the skincare routine is complete – it’s onto body care. Being naturally pale (verging on translucent!) I’m big on my sunless tanning, and this goes hand in hand with body exfoliation. Before the week ahead I’ll often check my body for tan that looks patchy or uneven, for this I need to be in the bath as it takes a lot of time and I prefer to soak in all the oils that come with the scrub; there’s nothing worse that when you buy a scrub and it’s just like a lotion with a bead or two dotted around – I need that heavy duty stuff! The Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub by This Works ticks all the boxes, oh and the Himalayan salt they use is millennial pink just to add to its wonder! Once I’m out the bath I moisturise the life out of my body. The most indulgent bath cream I use is the Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath – it comes in such decadent packaging with a Winnie the Pooh style dipping wand that just makes it that extra bit special. I have quite dry skin and using fake tan can really add to that so I have to moisturise daily. I grab whatever’s on my shelf for that, a lotion, a butter, a cream, anything! I’m also fond of sealing it all in with an oil, my absolute favourite has to be the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. I find it’s the only oil that leaves my limbs with a lasting glow, whenever I wear it in a photo on Instagram I will always get people asking what I’ve used on my body. When it comes to haircare, I have to wash it in the morning. If I wash it in the evening it will start looking lacklustre by about 4pm the next day. Once all that is done I settle myself in my towelling robe and scroll endlessly through my Instagram feed – I’m no ghost follower though, I’m generous with my double taps!

bambi does beauty sunday sessions


I love my bed, and I need lots of sleep. For peace of mind and clarity I have super white sheets and everything is very minimal in my bedroom. Once I’ve made all that effort with my beauty routine I like to get into clean white sheets at the end of it. It’s possibly not the best choice for a tanning addict like me but I do wash my sheets very often. I will have already had a nap in the day so I don’t go to sleep too early; I have no set bed time, it will usually come after Love Island has finished (I’m addicted) and I’ve answered all my Instagram comments and DMs. I don’t have a TV in my room so my laptop is like my TV. I can buy as many self-help books and magazines as I like but I will always opt for my phone for entertainment. People often say looking at your phone before bed is harmful for your sleep but it genuinely lulls me to a drowsy state, so I’m lucky. I’ve also got this habit of spraying eau de toilettes onto my sheets as opposed to pillow sprays. I adore the Malin+Goetz Moroccan Fig Eau de Toilette, it’s a subtle woody scent that reminds me of my childhood trips to Centre Parcs (I’m sure Malin+Goetz had something else in mind when formulating that scent but that’s personally why I love it!). I like sleeping with a really dim night light on and then I turn it off when I wake up in the night; I wake up several times but have no problem falling back to sleep. The only time I set an alarm is for Pilates on a Tuesday morning; every other morning I just wake when my body wakes me. I really hate alarms, they’re inhumane.

bambi does beauty sunday sessions

Monday Morning

No alarm and no office to get to means a morning in bed on a Monday. Although whatever I’m doing I always feel better once I’ve washed my hair. My beauty mantra ‘less is more’ means that I’m always barefaced so I like to have clean hair everyday, it’s genuinely my version of glam. Especially now my hair has grown to a good length again, I feel it’s one of my best features and I try to look after it now. The brand that genuinely brought my hair back to life post-bleaching (to the point my hairdresser said “Whatever you’re doing to your hair at the moment, keep doing it”) is Bumble and bumble. Using their Gentle Shampoo has just done wonders for my damaged hair. It’s creamy enough not to strip my hair but I double wash and it cleans to perfection, and it makes my hair a whole lot softer. Once a week I also like to use their Bb. Scalp Detox before I wash too. It’s the coolest most innovative product, a foam formulated with salicylic acid and micellar water. I feel like it was made for me and my oily roots and my hair always feels lightweight after using it. Then as it’s so damaged I like to use a hair mask daily as opposed to conditioner, but I only leave it on for a few minutes on the ends; that tends to be whatever I’ve been sent at the time. I only apply products when my hair is damp (otherwise they feel too heavy in it) so that’s when I make the final touches to its condition before I blow dry. I swap between the Bumble and bumble Save The Day Repair Fluid or the Ouai Smooth Spray, both of which give incredible shine to blonder tones. Then it’s a rough dry followed by a little smoothing with my straighteners, nothing too elaborate. A spritz of my perfume of the moment by Acqua di Parma, Peonia Nobile Eau de Parfum, which I’ll spray on my hair too, and I’ll then leave for my local coffee shop to catch up on emails with my agent Lucy. If I stay at home I’ll usually mill around my room trying to find that best light for my next photo. Oh, the life of a millennial Instagrammer!

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