It’s National Fragrance Day today, so make sure you spritz a good dose of your favourite fragrance to celebrate. I recently interviewed Josephine Fairley, founder of Green & Black’s, award winning beauty writer and speaker and co founder of The Perfume Society, for We Wear Perfume. While I had her attention, I asked her for a few insider tips on grown up beauty (she has amazing skin) and how she kept up her relentless, workaholic pace.
We’re slightly overwhelmed by how much you actually do Jo, how do you find the energy?
“I’ve always been like this. I make things happen. The way you do that is to put one foot in front of the other and do it, rather than talk about doing it. We all have friends who talk about doing things, but the only difference between me and them is that I roll up my sleeves and work out how to get from A to B. It’s to do with being organized, breaking the task down into bite size chunks so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
If you take on a lot, you do have to give yourself a lot of TLC, you can’t do this sort of thing if you are running on empty, it all falls apart. I couldn’t do what I do without going to yoga at least twice a week. And I eat really well, my husband was micro-biotic chef and the bases of our diet is brown rice, vegetables and wholegrains. I’m absolutely convinced that’s kept me well.
I take supplements too, Sibergin, which is rocket fuel basically, Get Well Stay Well, which is a good all round immune booster which I take in the winter, CoQ10, for energy, and something for bone support, having broken a couple of wrists and having not gone in the sun for all those years – I have the skin of a twelve year old and no vitamin D! And don’t forget to take a vitamin K with a vitamin D because it doesn’t release it otherwise. And Krill, my fish oils, I take these every day (she buys them mostly from Victoria Health) and I swear it’s the reason why I keep well.
I remember when Sarah Stacey and I launched the Anti-Ageing Bible, we did 160 back-to-back, 15-minute consultations with older women in Selfridges, to promote the launch. After a while, I could tell at 50 paces what those women’s lifestyle was like. I could tell if they smoked, if they took essential fatty acids and walked everywhere, or if they were happy. And the ones that looked good for their age were the ones that walked, did yoga, took vitamins, ate good food and got plenty of sleep.”
Has it got easier or harder to be successful now you’re a grown up?
“I don’t think age makes any difference at all. I don’t think its any different now, I’m just used to doing things. I don’t get fazed by stuff now, if shit happens, it happens, I don’t give people a hard time about it anymore.”
What’s your serial entrepreneur uniform?
“A lot of my clothes come from eBay. I lie in bed at night and tap in my size, the brands I like and ‘black jacket’ and see what comes up. It saves me having to go round the shops. I buy clothes when the last lot have worn out. I am prudent and the eco-warrior in me loves nothing more than to wear my clothes until they have holes in them and they are dropping in the bin. Last year it actually got embarrassing, partly because I’d spent three years doing The Perfume Society and I had not been shopping. It’s not a big priority in my life any more, I don’t have the time.”
We have to ask you, what beauty products do you use?
“Cleansing is my most important thing, I’m a Liz Earle cleanse and polish girl but I’ve got a new brand called Balance Me, the cream cleanser, it’s an aromatherapy brand and it’s fabulous, so I’m playing with that. I use Liz Earle Super Skin Moisturiser and I use l’Occitane Divine Cream, which they’ve just brought out with an spf 15, I used it on holiday in Dubai and it was enough to stop me burning. I never put my face in the sun, I put the rest of me in it but not my face, so IT’S big hats or face in the shade…”
And you live in Hastings…
“Hastings is the nicest place in the world. It was really run down in the 90s when we first looked at it, we felt like pioneers. In 2002 we moved there full time, we walk everywhere, I’m an urban person so I live in the town, but 200 yards from my house there are miles of cliff walks, or if I want to go for a swim, I’ve got the sea at the end of my road…what’s not to like?”
Check out The Perfume Society if you are a fragrance fan. If you take a smellfie of yourself today -basically you and your favourite perfume, selfie style- stick it up on Instagram (tag @theperfumesociety) or Twitter (tag @perfume_society) and add the hashtag #smellfie and you may win a copy of Jo and Lorna McKay’s book The Perfume Bible