Yes, that's right as The X Factor returns to our screens, last year's winner Louisa Johnson is back to give us her views on everything from her newfound fame to her fashion and beauty must-haves.
At 18, most of us were still figuring out our lives – in every capacity – but X Factor winner Louisa Johnson already has things pretty sorted. It’s eight months since her big win and she’s already featured on the hit Clean Bandit single Tears, she’s ‘nearly finished’ recording her first album and she’s about to become Look’s online columnist for the next three months, revealing her fashion and beauty must-haves. After a trip to Hollywood to record her album (mega-glam, right?) she’s in a good mood…
Congrats on an amazing year, Louisa! How much has your life changed?
It’s very different to how I expected it to be. Learning to write songs and finding out how the studio works was all new to me. I was quite nervous at first.
Who have you kept in touch with since the show?
Rita [Ora, Louisa’s mentor] and I have been in touch a bit. She’s doing her own thing in NYC at the moment. I’ve stayed in touch with the other contestants too.
There’s a new judging panel this year. Who would you want to mentor you?
Nicole [Scherzinger]. She seems like a lot of fun.
Is Simon Cowell very involved in your career?
We’ve seen each other quite a bit. He’s always making sure I’m happy.
When will we hear some new music from you?
I’ve been recording a lot over the summer. Everything’s sounding really cool. We’re choosing the first single.
You’re very open about your relationship with your boyfriend Daniel Elliott on social media. How come?
I don’t think there’s any reason not to be. I know I want see what Beyoncé does in her spare time, so I understand. Daniel really understands everything I do. He’s 100 per cent behind me.
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Is he an Insta husband?
[Laughs] He won’t – he refuses!
How much has your style changed since you left the show?
My stylist is amazing and he boosts my confidence a lot. He pushes me into more daring things. I used to get really self-conscious about my small boobs and wouldn’t wear anything low-cut. Now I think it’s cool.
What did you last splurge on?
The last thing I bought was a Moschino dress. And I bought some new Converse yesterday. I have about 30 pairs of trainers. I’m really into Dsquared and I love Topshop and Urban Outfitters too.
Are there any new trends you’re desperate to try?
I want to try the jumper and knee-high boot look, but as I’m quite slim I think I’ll look like a ruler! [Laughs]
A ruler? OK then… Moving on to beauty, we think you have great skin. What do you use?
I clean my face and then I just use Nivea moisturiser [£2.05]. I used to have really bad skin and be really self-conscious about my freckles too, but now I quite like them.
Do you spend hours on your make-up?
I think I’m really quick, but no one else thinks that [laughs]. If I have a natural tan, then just highlighter, bronzer and lip balm. I love Burt’s Bees Lip Balm– that’s the one product I always have on me. I’m a fan of Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit too, but I’m more of a Kendall than a Kylie. I can’t wait to do the LOOK column and tell everyone what I think!
You recently defended Stacey Solomon against body-shaming trolls. How do you feel about it?
I grew up with really low self- esteem. You can be the prettiest person in the world and have what everyone else wants, but you still can feel bad about yourself. The added pressure from social media isn’t needed.
Is it important for you to speak out about situations like that when you see them?
It’s something I feel really strongly about. Everyone’s beautiful in their own way. People say bad things about me all the time, but it doesn’t faze me. I’ve always had a slim frame, but my weight is up and down. If I skip lunch, I’ll lose weight. It used to get me down because it got to the point where I was quite skinny. I wasn’t unhealthy, but I looked a bit unhealthy, you know? I think honestly you can do all the exercise in the world but you need to be happy with what you have. That’s a very grounded opinion… I’ve had to grow up quite a lot this year. I feel really proud I’ve got to this point because this time last year I felt very different.
Check back to read Louisa Johnson’s column, starting 1 September 2016