'I haven't watched Bake Off for years' - Nadiya Hussain on the show that made her, baking for the Queen and the fluidity of confidence

In an exclusive interview with woman&home Nadiya Hussain opens up about The Great British Bake Off, royalty and how to be confident

nadiya hussain for it cosmetics
(Image credit: IT Cosmetics)

Following her appearance on 2015's The Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain has gone on to have one of the most successful careers out of any of the show's contestants. 

As well as hosting various TV shows, she's written cookbooks and columns and even baked for Queen Elizabeth II. Now, having just been named as Brand Ambassador for beauty brand IT cosmetics, it seems Nadiya is set to take on the beauty world too...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, her busy schedule means Nadiya just hasn't had a chance to catch up with the much-loved Great British Bake Off for the last two years, but she wishes the new contestants luck and reflects on how it's such a whirlwind event, a "flash in the pan". If she was to head back to Bake Off she admits, there's not a thing she would do differently, saying, "going back and doing things differently would perhaps mean that I wouldn't be where I am now. I'm a firm believer that everything happens as it should happen."

Since leaving the show, Nadiya has had monumental with a huge milestone involving being invited to bake for Queen Elizabeth II for her 90th birthday, an experience she describes as a privilege. "It was wonderful to be asked," she reflects as she revealed that her first reaction to being asked was to believe it was a prank, "I thought it was a hoax. I didn't think it was real, so to be asked was a privilege in itself." 

Nadiya Hussain and the Queen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The cake she chose to bake was a variation on a classic lemon drizzle, "I had made a lemon drizzle for Mary Berry on the in the Bake Off tent and I thought well, I'll just kind of keep it traditional (for the Queen). After she passed, and we spoke about Paddington bear and marmalade, I thought oh, actually orange drizzle kind of works. So yeah, I just went for Orange drizzle - Paddington's favourite!"

The baker explained that she didn't have a long conversation with the Queen or Prince Philip but did reflect that Queen Elizabeth was more intimidating to bake for than Mary Berry.

Nadiya on finding inner and outer confidence

Nadiya Hussain

(Image credit: IT Cosmetics)

It's easy to assume that Nadiya has always been the person that she appears to be now, someone that exudes confidence but the baking star revealed that confidence is something that she herself works on daily and is something she believes to be fluid. The chef explained, "confidence is something that is fluid, you know, you may wake up confident today, but you may not feel the same tomorrow. And it's not something you find and keep forever."

Now, as a Brand Ambassador for IT cosmetics, she explains how tiny things like a swipe of the best red lipstick can even have a positive effect, "I've struggled with it my whole life and I probably will struggle with it forever. But you know, I could put on a different lipstick and be like today I feel really really good. And it could be simple things like that." 

In her show Nadiya's Everyday Baking, the chef would often match her headscarf to a colorful lipstick shade. "It's a makeup artist's dream, to work with somebody who wears a different kind of headscarf every single day because she gets to really have fun. That's the bit I love (choosing bold lipstick shades) and we just go wild. I love it."

nadiya hussain

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Her collaboration with IT Cosmetics also focuses on skincare with one of her favorite products being the brand's CC cream, "for a long time skincare and beauty have been very separate, and what I love about this range is it mixes the two," said Nadiya, "so while you get a beautiful makeup range, and you also get the best skincare products at the same time because you get coverage in your color, but you also get SPF".

Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50, £33 | IT Cosmetics

Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50, £33 | IT Cosmetics

Infused with hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacinamide & hyaluronic acid, this CC cream helps to improve the appearance of skin imperfections including redness, dark circles & reduces the appearance of pores.

"What's really important is working on your skin inside out. Hydration is really really important, so two liters of water for me every single day," she revealed. "And my routine is the same morning as it is at night. So I cleanse with a cream cleanser, five days a week and then I exfoliate two days a week, and then I moisturize with a layer of dry oil and then moisturizing cream on top - every single night, and the same in the morning!"

Nadiya Hussain is a brand ambassador for confidence for IT Cosmetics’ ‘Beautiful Without IT, Beautiful With IT’ campaign

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.