After winning The X-Factor in 2006, British singing sensation Leona Lewis is doing more than enjoying all the perks that success (and the sale of 8 million records) brings: The 28-year old is using her superstar status for the greater good, launching a cruelty-free collection for The Body Shop. Lewis sat down to tell us more about her love of animals, favorite beauty products, and upcoming projects.
SHAPE: What are the most rewarding experiences you have had since your career took off after The X-Factor?
Leona Lewis (LL): All of the opportunities that I've had since winning the show have been incredible, fulfilling my musical dreams. I also get to shed light on issues that are close to my heart. I am a trustee of an amazing animal sanctuary that rescues abused and abandoned animals called Hopefield in Essex, England.
SHAPE: How did your love for animals begin?
LL: I've always grown up with animals and felt a bond with them. I had my first dog for 17 years, and she was so loyal and loving. I feel like we need to give animals a voice and it's our duty to protect them from being abused and manipulated. There are so many issues and so much cruelty that it makes my heart hurt! I can’t just sit back and do nothing.
RELATED: Dogs aren't just cute. Learn 15 ways puppies improve your health.
SHAPE: Why did you team up with World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and The Body Shop?
LL: The Body Shop is one of the most inspirational and innovative companies out there, and I've always wanted to campaign with them, especially on the global ban for animal testing in cosmetics. It's been amazing getting to partner up with them and I urge everyone to sign the pledge either in store or online. I've gotten to visit some amazing sanctuaries with WSPA and campaign with them as they are bringing so much awareness to animal issues worldwide.
SHAPE: Who is your inspiration as an artist and in life?
LL: Anita Roddick is my hero. She is an amazing entrepreneur and the founder of The Body Shop. I also love Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. They really inspire me musically.
SHAPE: As busy as you are, what is your go to beauty regimen?
LL: Cleanse, moisturize, and simple makeup. I like to keep myself very hydrated, especially when I am on the road.
SHAPE: What beauty product do you have on you at all times?
LL: Lip balm.
SHAPE: What is your favorite way to unwind?
LL: I like to have nice spa days. My favorite treatment is a hot stone massage. I also like to do Bikram (or hot) yoga.
SHAPE: Where was the most memorable performance in your career so far?
LL: Performing at the Beijing Olympics was incredible. It’s the largest group of people that I have ever performed for—I think around a couple billion were watching.
SHAPE: What’s next for you?
LL: I recently just started a really fun blog called www.lee-loy.com, and I have some projects in the pipeline that I am really excited about, so stay tuned.