AJ Odudu says that diversity in the beauty industry has “come a long way” since growing up in Blackburn.

The Blackburn-born TV presenter and former Strictly contestant shared her beauty tips, eyebrow regrets, and spoke about diversity in the beauty industry in an interview with TV presenter Lauren Taylor.

AJ, who has been named brand ambassador for The Perfume Shop, spoke about the beauty advice she learned from her mum.

She said: “My mum, in terms of her beauty regime, is definitely very minimal, very natural.

"My biggest lesson from my mum was always moisturising my entire body – head to toe. She loves moisturising.”

Speaking on how she expressed her own individual style growing up with seven siblings, she added: “Being a sixth child out of eight, you become the queen of hand-me-downs.

"Your trainers aren’t new, your school bag isn’t new, all of your clothes are passed down as well – which is all great. But fragrances were really our own.

“We all had our individual fragrances. My mum wore Chanel No5, my brothers wore Hugo Boss, mine was Issey Miyake. [My first bottle] was a gift from my boyfriend, age 17, we had his and hers.

“I wear perfume every single day. I feel like I’m not ready without a fragrance on.”

AJ attended the Fashion Awards this month in a blonde peroxide wig and has recently been experimenting a lot more with her hair and says she feels “a lot more confident".

She added: “I feel a lot more confident with my hair now and definitely have been a lot more experimental.

“I wear wigs a lot, be it short bob or long straight wigs…To the GQ Awards I wore long braids. For [Channel 4’s] Big Breakfast I had a lot of braids and cornrows.

“Earlier in the year I had locs – which I loved, I’ve never had locs before. For years I had long straight hair, that’s kind of my signature look, and now I try to be really explorative and celebrate the versatility of hair, and different looks and how transformative it can be in a positive way.”

Looking back on her beauty regrets in the past, AJ remembered overdoing the blusher to give herself bright red cheeks as one of them.

She added: “Back in the day it was very trendy to shave off your eyebrows and just draw on a thin line.

"That’s what’s happened in the past, I’m not proud of it! The slicked-back hair with the two little gelled bits at the front like antlers – I did that at school. Ironing my own natural hair – bonkers, I don’t know why I did that.

“Also wearing make-up that’s too light for my skin, looking so ghost-like and ashy – never a good look. The foundation on the lips, I’ve done that – just dry, cracked foundation lips. Honestly, you name it I’ve done it!”

Discussing diversity in the beauty industry, AJ said: “It’s definitely come a long way from when I was growing up in Blackburn, I never saw any black women on the cover of the magazines.

"Unless you saw Naomi Campbell, you really didn’t see anyone at all, I didn’t think anyone was remotely even close. On TV, magazines, radio, just all forms of media, I certainly didn’t see any northern black women – or men.”

Whilst she acknowledges there are problems that arise with the internet, AJ believes it has “made the beauty world a lot more accessible”.

She added: “Little guys and girls growing up in smaller towns, for example, can at least have access to a community of people who look like them, just by the click of a button.

“That’s the exciting thing about social media, wow, like your tribe, you can literally search them and and see them, whereas definitely back in the day, I didn’t see that.

“We’d all love to see a lot more diversity, but I definitely think we’re moving in the right direction. Progress takes such a long time, but forward is forward – even if it’s the slowest thing ever.”