Sarah Vine is the beauty editor, columnist and feature writer for The Times and has recently launched her own health and beauty website, www.getthegloss.com.
What are your views on the ever-changing media landscape?
It’s about being flexible and open to new technologies and the possibilities they provide. From a professional point of view, the internet allows writers to reach a much wider and culturally broad audience; it also allows for unprecedented contact with the reader.
Some find this daunting; I find it hugely stimulating. Culturally, I think the internet gives women a greater chance of shaping the world around them, of having real influence via social networking sites. Today’s generation of mothers and daughters can finally join the national conversation, for so long dictated by the male establishment.
Your weekly beauty columns are laced with humour, what is your take on beauty?
That it’s natural to want to look your best, but that you should never become a slave to the mirror. It was Helena Rubinstein who said “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” I think she must have been a bit nuts.
Beauty editors are literally bombarded with products, so what does it take for a product to appear in your column?
It has to work. I try everything I write about, and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t get in. Or I’m rude about it.
What is your passion?
What is your life philosophy?
As long as it’s not bleeding or broken, it’s fine.
A typical day in the life of Sarah Vine?
Up at 7-ish, let the dogs out, make tea, do some emailing, wake children, make breakfast (smoothies, pancakes, croissants if I’m feeling perky, cereal or toast if I’m tired), make children’s lunch boxes, wake children up again, feed dogs, get everyone in the car, drive them to school, drop off, pick up coffee, go home, walk the dogs, go to work, do some writing/have meetings/make phone calls/general work stuff, have lunch, back to work/meetings etc, maybe some training/pilates, home, pick up children from ballet, football etc, do homework, resolve inter-sibling disputes, debrief with my au-pair, tidy up, check emails, admin, check diary, more tidying up, put the kids to bed, supper, glass of wine, tell the kids to go to bed again, then either writing, reading or tapestry, or out, or maybe cooking supper for friends, bed ideally 10.30.
More and more beauty products are scientifically based. Do you think this is important?
That depends. If you have a specific result in mind, then science is important. If you just want a nice smelling oil that will make for skin feel soft, then there’s really no need.
What are your predictions for the future of the beauty industry?
I think the consumer will be better informed and demand more focus on their own needs, rather than a generalised “one size fits all” approach.
Your top five products from VH and why?
Magnesium Oil Original Flakes: great for when you’re feeling rotten
Neom Candles: Simply heavenly.
Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength by NHS Labs: Good for joints, skin and eyes.
Lanolips 101 ointment: fantastic all-rounder: hands, nails, lips, runny noses. Brilliant mummy multitasker.
Spray di Sole Liquid Bronzer: summer in a bottle.
How would you describe your legacy?
I don’t really think about that sort of thing.