Lunch with Dame Joan Collins a couple of weeks ago was just as fabulous as I had imagined. She was open, outspoken and, yes, sometimes outrageous. Here are a few things I learned about our iconic ex-Alexis.
The best beauty advice I have ever been given? Keep your face out of the sun. I wear big hats and scarves and SPF and make-up, which is rather a good sun barrier. I love getting my body in the sun, though, so the skin there’s not as great.
I never blow dry my hair. Only if I go to the hairdresser’s. Otherwise, I just pull it back into a bun or wear a hat. It’s very fine, so sometimes I’ll have pieces put in.
Espadrilles are great for travelling as you don’t normally have to take them off at security and if you do… Clothes-wise, it’s all about layering – shirt, tank, sweater, jacket, scarf – you can remove or pile on accordingly and none are too heavy to roll up and put in your bag.
My beauty icons were Vivien Leigh and Ava Gardner. Today I really admire Carmen Dell’Orefice and Dita Von Teese, as they’re both real individualists and they both wear a lot of make-up. I think women should always wear make-up and make the best of themselves.
I love the high street. They interpret high fashion in a more accessible way and get it just right. I love M&S – I swear by their cashmere.
I hate blue and green eye shadows, over-plucked eyebrows and lip liner that’s darker than the rest of the lips. But we all make beauty mistakes. Goodness knows, I’ve made enough myself.
I love face oil. The first thing I do in the morning is work some into my skin - before I’ve even had coffee. It’s all about hydration and if I’m at home during the day, I’ll apply moisturiser four or five times. I slather on night cream at night and if I wake up during the night, I’ll top up.
Ice pads work well for puffy eyes, especially after a big night out. The last do I went to, I was out till midnight.
I love spending time with my husband. We write together, watch TV together, go to the cinema together, travel together and he cooks, while I keep him company in the kitchen!
I’m very proud of my Lipstick and Powder Compact Duo – it’s all I take on a night out.