If you haven't started "The Traitors" yet, we'd advise getting on board ASAP, as the BBC's reality show about betrayal, murder, and scandal has been breaking TV records. The murder mystery game show averaged an audience of 6.4million in the first seven days of season two and at the helm of its success stands the iconic Claudia Winkleman.
While the TV presenter is famous for hosting the likes of "Strictly Come Dancing", her Saturday BBC Radio 2 show, and appearing in those Head & Shoulders TV adverts, it's her stint on "The Traitors" that has really cemented her celebrity status with a new audience. And a lot of that is thanks to her enviable wardrobe and signature look.
Winkleman's style in the show is full of British countrycore glory thanks to stylist Sinead McKeefry, made up of chunky knits, fingerless gloves, and Dr Marten boots (of course). While her style might have altered from Strictly sequins to highland tartan, her archetypal beauty look has remained constant throughout her career. Her signature "I'd-give-my-spleen-for" glossy black hair and fringe, "never neat" black eyeliner which she's stuck to since the '70s, and concealer lips straight from the early 2000s, all complete her look.
Social media has gone wild over Winkleman's statement appearance, created with the help of her makeup artist Debbie Dannell and hairdresser (and "King of Fringes"), George Northwood. Any prior trolling of her quirky style and unconventional approach has slowly turned into admiration for a woman unafraid of breaking beauty standards and sticking to what she loves. After all, in a time when social media often portrays perfection, Winkleman is the anti-hero we all need.
So what has she revealed about her signature look? Read on for her hilarious and refreshing approach to beauty.
Claudia Winkleman on Fringes
Winkleman's "unapologetic fringe" is no doubt the focus of her signature hairstyle and any snaps you find of her without it are probably from the early days of her TV career. At 21, she made the decision to cut her fringe as a way to hide her "massive forehead" (her words, not ours) and in turn, the cut skyrocketed her career.
"When I was 21 and a virgin, I got my fringe and everything started happening," she previously told the Daily Mail. "People ask what I am hiding with my fringe — and it's a massive forehead that is repellent." While we somehow doubt her self-deprecation, the fringe was a move that meant she was instantly recognisable.
Amid the success of "The Traitors" season two, Winkleman described her fringe as "armour", claiming the heavy style "has more weight than a tonne of bricks" and helps to achieve an effortless look. "You have to make much less effort when you have a really heavy fringe," she told Grazia before revealing one of her "fringe icons" is The Pretenders' Chrissy Hynde.
While the length of her fringe is often questioned by many, Winkleman confirmed the strong, visually-impairing fringe is what she fell in love with and is just how she likes it. "It started out quite wispy and floaty, but I immediately got my hairdresser to change it for a strong, Lego-like style. Once I saw that I fell in love and haven't been without it since," she recalled during a chat with Good Housekeeping. "I prefer it when I can't see out of it and have to part it like a curtain."
Claudia Winkleman on Hair
Low-maintenance Winkleman is genuinely a fan of the brand Head & Shoulders, outside of her ambassadorship. She's praised the shampoo and conditioner - specifically the £5 Head & Shoulders Anti Dandruff Shampoo - for making her locks "shiner than a unicorn" and even pulls some inspiration from the likes of Jennifer Lopez (we think) by adding oil to the ends, because she "feels very glamorous doing that. I feel like maybe J-Lo would do that."
She's quick to point out that hair is her "thing", and is usually the one element of her look that she isn't concerned about. But, during the height of the UK lockdown, she thanked her hairstylist for being on Zoom speed-dial to help her out.
Writing for Grazia in 2020, Winkleman opened up about her fondness of hairdressers, writing: "I have quite an emotional attachment to hairdressers because I know how amazing they can make me feel. For me, hairdressers just ruled."
Claudia Winkleman on Tanning
A commitment to having a bronzed glow might sound like nothing new, but Winkleman favours the orange look above all else, detailing her extreme previous attempts to achieve the dramatic look. She once told Graham Norton on his chat show that she got rid of her bed entirely while she was studying History of Art at Cambridge University, and hired a sunbed instead. "It was super cosy, and I was fluorescent! I love being orange," she joked.
But musing on her sunbed use, Winkleman acknowledged that it wasn't the safest option and avoids them now, telling Emma Barnett on Radio Four's Woman's Hour: "It was so unhealthy when I think back now, my body no longer recognises the actual sun."
Winkleman even took DIY to a new level, using kitchen products like Bisto gravy granules and old tea bags to achieve her tan when on a student budget, and while we're sure this might be an exaggeration, it's clear she's dedicated to getting her deep tan one way or another. A more conventional product she reaches for now is Dr Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Glow Pad Intense Glow, which she gushed over during an interview with SheerLuxe.
Her tan removal methods have been shunned by her husband Kris Thykier, however, admitting that her usual routine of using "table salt and a scourer" to scrub it off "isn't good for foreplay."
Claudia Winkleman on Eyeliner
Aside from the fringe and the turtlenecks, Claudia Winkleman cosplayers know that her black eyeliner is a must. Whether you're watching her chatting on Strictly, hunting for traitors, or storming the red carpet, Winkleman will undoubtedly be wearing her slightly smudged eye look, lining the entire eye with Lord & Berry's Silk Kajal Kohl eyeliner. There have been times when the smudge may have been a little OTT, but Winkleman's love of imperfection makes this all the more celebratory.
Her favourite products have been tried and tested over the span of 24 years, too, and she rarely deviates if she finds something she likes, she told the Daily Express.
"I like Lord & Berry, I like Rimmel, I love No7 black eyeliner. I will just use anything dark and I'll ram it on my face," she said. She revealed that you might find MAC's eyeshadow pot in her makeup bag in a shade that's "a bit like, has she been out for four days, is she drunk? Yeah, put it on, both sides."
Claudia Winkleman on Lipstick
Winkleman shared her go-to colour palette with SheerLuxe as "black, white, and orange," pointing to her eyes for black, her face for orange, and her lips for white, indicating that she prefers a pale lip choice to complete her deep tan and dark eyes combination. She has boasted about her favourite MAC lipstick more than a few times (Fleshpot which has since been discontinued, FYI), but she is arguably a key player in the concealer lips trend which proved popular in the early 2000s and has slowly made its way back into recent beauty trends. There is also Charlotte Tilbury's Hot Lips List Kim in her makeup bag for what she calls "the perfect blend between nude and pale pink," according to Grazia.
Lipcare is also high on Winkleman's beauty priorities and, despite being picky (and rightfully so) about which she prefers, a lip salve is always nearby. She boasted about Glossier's Coconut Balm Dotcom to Irish News, saying that it's "like being on holiday", whereas Carmex is "too much of an attack."