With a new novel out – the St Tropez Lonely Hearts Club - and currently hard at work preparing her new one-woman show, she tells Good Housekeeping how she maintains her signature style. I do my own make-up – and it never takes me more than 20 minutes. The first time I was made up professionally I was 17 and the make-up artist was an extremely old man who spat in the mascara… After that, I learned to do it myself. I always do a smoky eye, which gets smokier as the day goes on. But really it’s because I don’t like wearing much mascara. I hate jeans – I’m famous for that – but I also don’t like mascara.
For travelling I l always wear layers –a tank, a sweater and a jacket plus espadrilles with a slight heel that I buy in the South of France. On the plane I change into my M&S cashmere jumpsuit. Fashion is rather scary these days – I took a trip around Harrods and the most expensive things were the most bizarre. I think the High Street – H&M, Zara, M&S – are the ones getting it right these days. The actresses whose looks I admire are from the 40s and 50s Ava Gardner, Hedy Lamarr, Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor. I loved the 90s Supermodels too like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. Many actresses today look a bit bland. They all have stylists now and with that there’s a risk of looking like everyone else.
When I was under contract at Fox, we didn’t have stylists. We wore our own clothes and did our own hair and make-up on shoots. We had to learn how to pull ourselves together. As soon as I wake-up, even before I get my coffee I immediately put oil on my face. Then, if I’m going to stay in I will put on moisturizer three or four times during the day and I won’t wear any make-up - except lipstick. If I’m going out I wash my face with water and sometimes put ice-packs on if I had a late night. At night I take all my make-up off with Kleenex and the Scrupulous Cleanser from my Timeless Beauty range – or Nivea if I have run out - then put on a ton of my Sleep Active night cream. If I wake-up in the might I put on more.
I grew up in an era of austerity. We didn’t have junk food. We were given cod liver oil every day and had to eat our greens. It’s sad to me to see older women getting heavy and losing their joie de vivire. Joan’s Collins Timeless Beauty range is available at selected Marks & Spencer stores, nationwide