Liz Earle MBE
Author, broadcaster and founder of the eponymous beauty brand that carries her name, Liz Earle has also launched a charity (LiveTwice) and a wellbeing website, all about how to feel good, look good – and do some good along the way.
What do you love most about your job?
I love discovering new ways to look good and feel better – often by working with some of the world’s most talented researchers and medical specialists, who generously share their work with me so I can write about it in books and online features. Having access to some of the biggest brains in the world of wellbeing is a fantastic privilege.
Which female is your greatest inspiration?
I’m especially inspired by women who work with the destitute and dying in East Africa – including the incredible Joanna Waddington, founder of ACE Africa (I am a Patron of this charity) and Mary Coulson, founder of Restart, an organization that rescues child prostitutes and gives them a future. Both women selflessly dedicate their lives to saving others – and are more inspiring than words can say. I’ve visited several of their projects in both Kenya and Tanzania and especially admire the skills set-ups that give trafficked women the opportunity to make ethical fashion.
What’s the greatest hurdle you have overcome?
Compared to any female entrepreneur working in the slums of East Africa I have not faced any significant hurdle at all, other than not having enough hours in the day to do half the things I feel driven to do…
Where did you first hear about human trafficking?
Working so much in East Africa I have been aware of child prostitutes for many years, but it was only when I went to a fashion show hosted by Beulah London in aid of Hope for Justice that I became aware of women kidnaped and held as sex-slaves in the UK. I heard first-hand from those involved in the daily challenge of rescuing women held in captivity in the UK, a situation far more widespread and shocking than I had possibly imagined.
Which beauty product can you not live without?
It has to be the bestselling, cult-classic, Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Although I created this almost twenty years ago, it has won over 100 beauty awards and continues to be sold by the million around the globe. It’s the one beauty essential I can’t do without and I always travel with at least two in case I lose one.
How do you keep a healthy balanced lifestyle?
I live on an organic farm in the West Country and this definitely helps keep my feet on the ground (usually in muddy gumboots, actually). Being aware of the changing seasons and working through the farming year, from early spring lambing through to late-summer hay-making and beyond, helps me keep a healthy perspective on life in general. That, and having a fabulously supportive husband who makes me laugh a lot.
What could you not live without?
My husband and my five children. And my iPhone.
Who are your style icons?
Grace Kelly – I’m looking forward to seeing Nicole Kidman play her in the movie. I also admire women who age so graciously, including actresses Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas and the American designer Caroline Herrera. All effortlessly elegant. I think the Duchess of Cambridge always looks very good too and it’s wonderful when she chooses Beulah London designs, which suit her so well.
If you could dress in any fashion era which would it be?
Probably the 1950s – all nipped-in waistlines, longer skirt lengths and glorious hats.
What’s the most memorable event you have worn Beulah to?
I wore the most beautiful, full-length, dove grey silk dress to the opening night of Aida at Verona in 2013. It was one of those hot, sultry Italian nights and we partied with the orchestra and cast afterwards, walking barefoot through the streets of Verona back to our hotel in the small hours as my feet hurt from so much dancing!
What do you think makes Beulah stand out?
For me, Beulah represents the very best of British grace and elegance. You feel very confident when wearing a Beulah design – not only for its classic good looks but also knowing that it is well-made, in the most honest and truest sense of the words.
Which is your favourite piece from Beulah’s Spring/Summer ‘14 Collection & why?
I love the powder pink Hana dress – beautifully structured and such a perfect shade of flattering shrimp-pink. The kind of dress that can take you pretty much anywhere and that you want to keep forever.
Can you describe your biggest fashion catastrophe?
I started working in the fashion and beauty world in the early 1980s, so have far too many hideously embarrassing memories of rara-skirts, shoulder pads and sequined headbands – never a great look.
Which is your favourite season to dress for?
I love the cusp of the seasons – such as Spring shifting into Summer, when I can wear floaty layers of lightweight silks and cottons topped with gauzy cardigans and wonderful wraps.
(Follow Liz Earle Wellbeing on Twitter @LizEarleWb)