Tayto crisps have won a place in my heart, says Love Island’s Ekin-Su

Ekin-Su Culculoglu

Ekin-Su with Davide Sanclimenti on Love Island

Ekin-Su showing off one of the items from her range

A tale of two Taytos: Northern Irish Tayto and Republic of Ireland Tayto

thumbnail: Ekin-Su Culculoglu
thumbnail: Ekin-Su with Davide Sanclimenti on Love Island
thumbnail: Ekin-Su showing off one of the items from her range
thumbnail: A tale of two Taytos: Northern Irish Tayto and Republic of Ireland Tayto
Jessica Rice

Love Island star Ekin-Su Culculoglu told how she was particularly fond of Tatyo’s famous cheese and onion crisps as she travelled to Belfast to launch her new make-up brand.

The Love Island winner — who left fans in stitches as she butchered the pronunciation of ‘Limerick’ in a viral video, calling it “Lime-rick” — also promised to visit Northern Ireland with partner and fellow winner Davide Sanclimenti in the future.

Speaking at BPerfect Cosmetics’ headquarters in Belfast yesterday, the 28-year-old model asked if Tayto could sponsor her because of her love of the brand.

“Cheese and onion I like, and salt and vinegar. Can they sponsor me?” she joked.

“The advertisement of Tayto — I saw it when I came out of the airport — there was a massive cartoon. That should be me. Replace it with my head.”

It remains unclear, however, whether Ekin-Su was referring to Northern Irish Tayto, or Republic of Ireland Tayto, which are made by two different companies.

A tale of two Taytos: Northern Irish Tayto and Republic of Ireland Tayto

Ekin-Su with Davide Sanclimenti on Love Island

Ekin-Su is visiting Ireland as part of a three-day tour to launch her make-up line.

The Ekin-Su x BPerfect Cosmetics four-piece collection contains a Radiant Glow Luxurious Skin Enhancer, Fearless Face and Eye Palette, Luxury Half Lash Set, and a Mini Empress Base and Body Brush for a flawless, shimmering application.

She and Davide won the eighth series of ITV’s Love Island last year, walking away with the £50,000 grand prize.

They are now social media superstars, but their path to fame was not an easy one, with Ekin-Su admitting she struggled after leaving the villa.

“It was quite a dark time,” the reality star admitted. “I lost friends coming out of Love Island. I lost loads of my real friends that I’d known for 10 years because some sold stories [to the tabloids].

“Some were asking me how I was just because of the state I was in. No one genuinely asked how I was. I didn’t have that friend there any more, so it was quite a dark time.”

She is now in a much better place psychologically, and said she was lucky to have had people helping her.

“Less friends is more,” she said. “I have got a friend, I have got my family and I have got my boyfriend. That’s all I need.”

Ekin-Su said she and Davide’s relationship had only gotten stronger since leaving Love Island, and that they are “more in love now than when we were in the villa”.

Some of their co-stars ended their relationships after coupling up in the series, but she confirmed she and Davide were still together and happy.

“We are so good and so strong, and nothing can kind of bring us down,” Ekin-Su said.

“I found someone in me. He sees himself in me.”

Ekin-Su showing off one of the items from her range

Despite the struggles the reality star faced after Love Island, she does not regret appearing on the show.

“I think if you are strong and you know who you are and, basically, you don’t take crap from anyone, I think it’s good for you because Love Island made me a stronger person,” she said.

Her advice for people hoping to secure a place on the show is not to enter for fame, and only if you are genuinely interested in finding love.

“Yeah, 100% go for it, but when you go for it, don’t go for the Instagram followers and fame. Go for it because you want to find someone genuine,” she said.

Since leaving the villa, Ekin-Su has become a role model, and admitted this had made her want to portray a realistic image of herself online.

“It makes me want to strip down,” she said.

“When I was young, I used to look up to these people. They looked too good to be true.”

She also told how she decided to stop using filters on social media after appearing on Love Island, because they can portray a false image.

She explained: “As I’m a role model, I just felt it was better if I don’t use filters. I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not.”