Beauty entrepreneur Liz Earle is her own poster girl – projecting an inner glow and revealing her secrets of living well.
Like most of us, Liz’s passion for natural beauty products began as a child. “The earliest memory I have of an interest in that world was making rose water from flowers in the garden,” the dewy-skinned 50-year-old entrepreneur reveals. “My father was an admiral and away at sea a lot, so when he was home, he would always head for the garden. That was his R&R, to reconnect with the land. He would grow a lot of fruit and vegetables; everything had to be practical for him – he would only grow what you could eat or use. On my 13th birthday, my grandmother gave me my first ever hard-back book, which was a copy of Vogue Body and Beauty by Bronwen Meredith – a real classic. It was full of pictures of incredibly glamorous women. That book had a lot of recipes for things like yoghurt and cucumber face packs, which I used to make.”
Later, as a beauty writer, she learned more about wellbeing; “I interviewed naturopaths and nutritionists and – a light-bulb moment – they began to talk about how important it was to look after what you eat, and how what goes on inside the body affects it externally. So I started to read a lot about essential fatty acids, I started taking evening primrose oil, I went dairy-free for a while… and it began to make a big difference to my skin. I was very excited about this and wanted to write more than I could in the magazine world, so I moved very quickly from writing magazine copy to writing books.”
Now as the founder of her botanicals based and responsibly sourced skincare range, the product she's most proud of is her Cleanse & Polish product. “I felt faint on seeing it ranked as a modern beauty icon – alongside Chanel No. 5 and Elnett hairspray – in Vogue’s millennium issue.
Unsurprisingly, Liz is emphatic about the need to regularly both cleanse (“the cornerstone of good skincare”) and moisturise, but is refreshingly non-dogmatic on dietary matters. “I eat chocolate,” she admits, “but I try to eat mostly dark, organic chocolate. I drink red wine… In my youth I was a teetotal, vegan macrobiotic and I think I was very antisocial. It was quite hard to go out. I felt very healthy, but I feel very healthy now and in my older years, I’ve learned that it’s about balance.
“For me,” she adds, with refreshing pragmatism, “good skincare was always about creating healthy, glowing skin – and then moving on to enjoy the rest of your life.”
www.lizearlewellbeing.com Liz's new venture is translating 25 years of knowledge and experience into good advice on eating well, looking good and feeling great.
Read the full interview in issue 17 of The Simple Things.