Zaraah Abrahams, 24, first appeared on our TV screens as Magda in the TV adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s Girls in Love and went on to star in Coronation Street as Joanne Jackson, student Michaela White in Waterloo Road and as a competitor in Dancing on Ice.
She is also a proud ambassador for charity Body Gossip, an inspirational and thought-provoking organisation dedicated to body image. The charity is supported by Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, and Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.
Flavour catches up with Zaraah to find out a little more about Body Gossip, as well discovering some of her favourite beauty products and ways to keep fit.
Tell us about Body Gossip and how you’re raising awareness?
Body Gossip is a campaign to inspire people to talk about their bodies, their body celebrations, their body hang-ups, and to accept themselves for who they are and be the best they can be. We’ve got a book coming out in February; Gok Wan did a documentary about it as well. The book features people who have written in about their bodies. We encourage people to write monologues, raps, poems, anything they want. Me and other celebrities choose a handful to perform live, as well as making them into short films for the Body Gossip website.
What part of your body did you dislike but learn embrace?
I hate my knees; I’ve always had this thing about my knees, I don’t know why, but as I’ve gotten older I disguise them with high heels. I’ve accepted them for what they are.
What advice would you give to young girls who struggle to embrace their bodies?
You are who you are; you can still reach your full potential without having the perfect legs, face or body – don’t let that hold you back. Be happy with how healthy and beautiful we are. Everything is not judged by the outside.
How do you like to stay fit?
Probably walking my dogs; it’s fun – they’re messing around and it doesn’t feel like exercise. I like dance classes like salsa; stuff that makes you feel like you’re not working out.
Tell us about your skincare regime and products you use.
I use apricot face scrub in the morning if I’m having a shower, and then I use an avocado face cream from The Body Shop as I’ve got quite sensitive skin. I’m not someone who cleanses and tones, even though I probably should. But yeah, a really good exfoliation and then a really light moisturiser that makes your face feel not so thirsty.
What are your most favourite beauty tips?
Always take your make-up off, moisturise, it’s the key to healthy skin, and also sun protection, one of the most important things to remember – be good to your skin.
How important is beauty to you?
So many more things make me feel beautiful than how I actually look; it’s not hugely important. I’ve grown up in a family of women who just love themselves no matter what. I don’t feel the need to always look ‘LA ready’.
Are you a fan of false eyelashes?
Yes, I am; I hate mascara! It’s fake lashes for me all the way: you don’t have to take off any eye make-up, you stick ’em on, you look fabulous and then you take them off when you’re ready. I always use Sarah Harding [Eylure] from Girls Aloud, I just love her eyelashes.
If you had to choose one make-up item to take on holiday with you, what would it be?
It would be Fabulush, which is cream blusher by MAC. When you’ve got a suntan it highlights your cheek bones, and you can wear it on your lips as well.
Do you wax or shave?
I shave because I do not like pain!
If you had the chance to design your own eyeshadow compact, what colours would we find?
You would find a champagne-coloured pink, a mushroom brown, and black for underneath the eyes.
What beauty product could you never ever part with?
I’d never part with my Frizz-Ease Serum; I can’t live without it.
And what hair tool can’t you do without?
Blow-dryer; with this British weather, I carry one in my bag.
What’s your favourite lip gloss or lipstick colour?
I love red lipstick, I’m into my red lipstick, and I like Diva by MAC, it’s a blackcurranty red.
Favourite body lotion?
I love The Body Shop strawberry butter creams. I like almond as well.
If you could invent an edible lip balm, what flavour would it be?
Peanut M&M’s, because they are my guilty pleasure.
If you were stranded on a desert island, but one of your mates was allowed to ship you just one parcel with five beauty, hair and style items, what items would you pick?
I’d have to take my straighteners, my tweezers; I’d definitely bring my Levi’s denim shorts for a bit of style; red lipstick and my lashes.