Victoria Meets Jo Fairley

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You might have read one of the many features she’s written for VH over the years, including Getting Your Yoga Mojo Back or the Apps That Make You Happier, but there is more to Jo Fairley than simply being a journalist and over the years she has added many strings to her bow…

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I left school at 16 with 6 ‘O’ Levels – and a lot to prove, having been told by my careers teacher that I would never amount to anything. I trained as a secretary and worked my way up through magazines, becoming the youngest-ever editor of a magazine – Look Now (a title for nice teenage girls) – at 23, then going on to edit the fashion title Honey, where over the three years of my editorship I worked with amazing photographers at the start of their careers, such as Mario Testino and Ellen von Unwerth, and had Mary Greenwell and Sam McKnight as my ‘resident’ hair and make-up team. Read More…

Fats Are Fabulous

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Ask any beauty editor: whether or not someone truly takes care of their wellbeing shines out via their skin. We can tell, almost at a glance, whether someone gets enough exercise. (Walking 20 minutes a day is all it takes.) Whether they drink plenty of water (eight glasses is still the thinking). But taking a two-way approach to beauty also means packing your diet with plenty of skin-friendly foods which will nourish your complexion from within.

A few years ago, Sarah (Stacey) and I spent several days giving back-to-back ‘anti-ageing’ consultations to real women, at an event to launch an edition of our book The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. One woman in particular struck us: her skin wasn’t just papery, but so deeply lined the wrinkles were crevices. I’d pegged her as being 60+ – and was astonished to discover: this woman was only in her mid-40s. Read More…

Dry Scalp Treatment

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A dry scalp is a common problem that affects men and women of all ages. It is usually itchy, sore and uncomfortable, however it is relatively easy to treat. Making a couple of tweaks to your lifestyle and choice of hair care can make a huge difference.

What causes a dry scalp?

It occurs when the hair root is not sufficiently lubricated by the oil (sebum) secreted by the sebaceous glands lining the scalp, which provide the natural oils to the base of each hair.

The sebum gives hair its characteristic shine and lustre and when there is an insufficient amount of it, both the scalp and hair begin to dry out. Most people immediately think of dry scalp as being dandruff, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dandruff may occur even in an oily scalp as it is associated with a yeast infection of the scalp that leads to excessive cell shedding. Dandruff does not itch, whereas a dry scalp is often accompanied by itching. Read More…

Italian Women

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I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Italy this year (for work, rather than play) – and I’ve decided: in my next life, I want to be Italian. Well, we probably all want to be Italian. Sensual. Sexily elegant. Effortlessly beautiful. (Or so it seems: that just-got-out-of-bed, tousled hair – which in reality requires hours in the hairdresser, at the once-a-week appointment which is an Italian woman’s almost-religious duty.) It’s a look that’s become timeless – ever since Sophia Loren wiggled her way onto a movie set, in the 50s. Today, we can see it on sultry actress Monica Bellucci – and on Catherine Zeta-Douglas. (Her dusky skin, dark hair and luscious lips are pure Latin – even if, um, she is from Wales…) Read More…

Give Yourself A Make-Up Holiday

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I have a friend – she’d better remain nameless – whose husband has never seen her without make-up. I kid you not. To preserve the ‘illusion’, she goes to bed in her make-up (heaven knows why she has such an undeservedly beautiful complexion), sneaks out of bed before him in the morning, cleanses – and judiciously reapplies her ‘face’.

To me, this is somewhat akin to lying about your age, then going to great lengths never to let your spouse see your passport. Surely the whole point of unconditional love – family, friends, life partners – is that they do just love you, warts and all. (Or in the case of my somewhat fragile English rose skin, red veins and all.)

Luckily, my friend’s husband is a late sleeper and she’s a lark, which enables her to maintain the ‘illusion’. But what happens if she’s one day taken ill, and he’s confronted with her make-up-free face staring wanly at him from a hospital bed…? He might a) be horrified at the lengths she’s gone to. Or b) not give a damn. I’m convinced my friend’s husband would be just as adoring if he saw her in the naked facial flesh, but she’s not so confident – and no amount of encouragement from me has ever persuaded her otherwise. Read More…