I’ve always loved writing. When I won a place on a creative writing course at primary school the authors seemed otherworldly and I looked up to them. My other love is singing. I sang in choirs throughout school. My choir teacher Mrs Pearson was a huge inspiration. She introduced me to music that was considered very uncool by my peers, like Simon & Garfunkel, Ralph McTell, The Mamas & The Papas and Mary Hopkins, but I felt a connection to the wonderful stories and beautiful melodies. Singing solo terrified me, but as part of a group I came alive. I still remember the goosebumps I felt when we performed Bridge Over Troubled Water at a concert. Now every time I hear that song, it brings back those memories (and I can still remember all the harmonies).
When I went to university, I poured all my energy into my journalism course. I went on various magazine placements including Time Out, where I contributed to features and wrote film reviews. I sat in a little dark room, watching all sorts of weird and wonderful things, like a documentary about Peruvian mango farming. Journalism was too fast-paced for me, so after graduating I looked for jobs in communications. A role came up at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as an administration assistant. It was a very special place to work. About the same time I joined Battersea, I saw Gareth Malone’s first programme about forming a choir and it reminded me how much I’d enjoyed singing at school. I started looking for local choirs to join, and found Jubilate. When I heard them sing for the first time, it moved me so much I cried! Singing with this wonderful group of ladies has seen me through some tough times, introduced me to some of the best people I know, given me some truly memorable experiences, boosted my confidence and given me a new passion.
Since leaving Battersea in 2010, I’ve been working for housing associations. I get a kick out of turning people’s technical content into clear and succinct copy. Plain English is my best friend. As Communications Advisor at RHP I help make sure the right messages reach the right people at the right time and help employees connect with one another. I love what I do and it’s a very innovative, forward-thinking organisation to work for.
I’ve just started my own blog. It allows me to express my personality through my writing and indulge my passions. I love having my own corner of the internet, and blog once a week about anything that pops into my head: which is usually a combination of work-related, communications stuff, beauty reviews, places to eat and explore and a good dose of realism thrown in. If I’m not writing I can usually be found binge-watching YouTube, road testing beauty and lifestyle products for ReallyRee (which I’m super proud to be part of) or singing in Jubilate.
My relationship with exercise started badly: at school there was a big emphasis on running. I can still remember the pain from running cross country in the snow, wearing shorts and doubled over with period pains. When we got new teachers they let us do Elle McPherson’s Body Workout, which was the first time I’d enjoyed PE class. I learnt all the moves by heart. I then discovered yoga – I love Katie Appleton as she explains everything so clearly and has a really calming presence. I’ve recently changed my working hours and am hoping to rejoin a local class. I love the progression you see with yoga and the way it quietens your soul. I’ve also been learning about mindfulness and use the Headspace app, which has made me live in the moment more. It’s also taught me to remember that no matter how grey a day might seem, above the clouds there are always blue skies.
My hair is very fine but there’s a lot of it. I’m blonde, and have dabbled with colour in the past, but at the moment I’m happy with my natural colour. When I was younger it was cut very short by my grandma, and people always mistook me for a boy, so ever since I’ve wanted to keep it at a certain length. I’ve had chin-length bobs and I’ve worn it longer, but I always prefer it just above my shoulders. I’m not loyal to hair products, but I do enjoy Daddy-O from Lush as it smells like violets and keeps my blonde from being too brassy, and Lee Stafford’s styling range. Their dehumidifier has been a staple in my collection for years. It’s like an umbrella for your hair, and keeps it straight in damp or drizzly weather.
I never suffered from acne as a teenager, but in my mid-twenties, it hit me at the same time I met my husband, and it really knocked my confidence. Luckily, I was prescribed the pill which seemed to sort it out. I focused on skincare in the run up to my wedding. Ditching the face wipes and double cleansing has made such a difference to my skin. I adore the SuperFacialist Vitamin C cleansing oil and the Body Shop’s camomile sumptuous cleansing butter. If I’m feeling spendy, I’ll splurge on some Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel. It smells like Turkish Delight.
I have very short, fine eyelashes, but Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara has changed all that. It gives me the lashes I’ve always wanted and it’s really buildable without being clumpy, so takes me from day to night. I suffer with dark circles, kindly inherited from my dad, so for a long time the perfect under-eye concealer was my holy grail. I had a brief fling with Nars’ Creamy Concealer, but then I found Collection’s Lasting Perfection and found it gave me the same level of coverage and more hydration for a fraction of the price, so now it’s a keeper. Rimmel’s Scandaleyes waterproof liner is the only pencil I’ll use, as it glides on efforlessly and stays all day. And I’ve had a lot of compliments since I started wearing Written in the Stars, from Fleur de Force’s makeup range. It’s the ultimate beauty blogger cliché: my lips but better!
I wore Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede for my wedding, so that will always have a special place in my heart. Scent is so evocative: I caught a whiff of it on a waitress the other day and all the memories came flooding back. It was quite bizarre. I treasure that bottle and reserve it for date nights and special occasions. I also love Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom fragrance – it came with me on honeymoon to Mauritius as I wanted to capture that with a scent too. My everyday scent is Chanel’s Chance. I think it’s refined and beautiful.
I keep things very simple. I’m all about showering, because I get a bit hot and bothered in baths, and bored. I’ll shower every morning without fail, and if I don’t have my big shower puff to create lots of suds, I’m lost. My all-time favourite shower companion is Lush’s The Olive Branch – I’m finding that as I get older I’m reaching for muskier scents a lot more, and this one’s delicious. I don’t moisturise a whole lot, but Vaseline Spray & Go was a revelation. A few spritzes in the morning and I’m done. It sinks in beautifully. And discovering Mitchum roll-on was a total gamechanger. I’d never use anything else.
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