Liz Earle is a power woman if ever there was one. She journeyed through careers in journalism and broadcasting - writing more than 30 books on health and beauty topics, focused around wellbeing and botanicals - before co-founding her eponymous beauty company. She's made a full circle back to writing with Liz Earle Wellbeing - a lifestyle magazine and website. Liz remains an advocate of simple remedies and natural ingredients, much like us, but whilst we can relate to her philosophy, we remain intrigued by her personal beauty hacks and the day-to-day rituals that keep her going and glowing as a successful entrepreneur and mother-of-five.
"I started my working life as a model for Molton Brown, before moving into beauty journalism, broadcasting and book writing. I spent a good few years presenting for both the BBC and ITV and had my own show Liz Earle’s Lifestyle back in the 90’s where I interviewed a fair few fascinating people, including Ken Hom and Gordon Ramsey - before he was big! It was only when my good friend Kim suggested we set up a company together that offered affordable, high-quality skincare that we went on to found the Liz Earle Beauty Company over 20 years ago. Having sold the company in 2010, I’ve made a full circle back to the world of writing and publishing with Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine. It’s now been just over two years since I launched the publication print and digital and it feels a real privilege to be able to dive back into my writing and research all these years later.
In terms of my daily routine, the beauty of my job is that no day is the same for me. I may need to be up at the crack of dawn for a magazine shoot or a run in the park, or I may have a slower morning on my farm spent catching up with my family. Generally, I’m awake by 7.30am wherever I am, and like to start each day with a good stretch. My favourite breakfast ingredients are organic, grass-fed milk, organic eggs, granola, Earl Grey tea and good coffee. I also love making homemade juices if I have the time and the produce. I’m a huge fan of buying organic produce, and the combination of this with the high level of protein, remarkably low levels of sugar and superb taste makes Qnola a win-win breakfast for radiant skin! It has been a much welcomed addition to my breakfast table - especially the Almond & Vanilla one.
Most mornings involve Radio 4 and either homemade granola and a really good cup of coffee, or a cup of Earl Grey tea and a perfectly soft-boiled egg from my farm. Even if I’m travelling or in London, I take a box of my own hen’s eggs with me! Nothing compares!
During the weekend, I’ll try to have a longer breakfast with my family. This could be anything from poached eggs and avocados to a full english breakfast (done properly with grass-fed beef and horseradish sausages and eggs from our farm). One of my favourite ‘special’ breakfasts is scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado on sourdough toast. I always drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and I may even crumble over a little feta or some fresh chilli! It’s one of those breakfasts I treat myself to when I need an extra boost to get out of bed, especially on these cold winter mornings. In truth, though, my ideal breakfast is really anything made by my husband or children, served on a tray. It may not be the finest culinary experience but the love that goes into it beats everything.
My ideal morning would involve a leisurely snooze with the radio on in the background. I’d then potter around my kitchen and put together a English breakfast which included sausages and eggs from my farm. I’d then enjoy it with all the family, before we headed out together on a long, brisk country walk with the dogs. On Sunday's, I also like to visit a farmers market to get some fresh produce for some of my lovely recipes – the Frome Independent Market, Somerset, is one of my favourite spots.
I wake up feeling well if I start my day with a run. I know it’s going to be a good day - or at least I will feel good whatever the day throws at me! I find an energetic run around the park is the perfect way to wake up - it clears my mind and puts a spring in my step. My best piece of morning advice would be to always try and move in the morning - whether it’s a jog, a brisk walk around the block or some morning yoga and stretches - it will give you lots of energy for the day ahead. Taking the time to eat a nutritious breakfast even on a busy work day is also a great way to set yourself up - it gives you precious quiet time to yourself before the day ahead, as well helping to keep your energy levels high until lunch.
I also start each day with a simple beauty routine, splashing my face with cold water, cleansing with my eponymous hot cloth cleanser before toning then moisturising. Aside from beauty products, a good diet is key to balance my skin and keep it radiant. Keeping hydrated is also a very important in helping keep skin plumped up and clear, so water is actually one of the best beauty ‘foods’ you can have. I always carry a reusable filtered water bottle so I can sip throughout the day. Other great foods to ‘feed your face’ are those full of natural, good fats such as full-fat milk, avocado and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. Plant oils - such as olive oil and rapeseed - are also a great source of vitamins and essential fatty acids, and are vital for a glowing complexion. And I always make sure to have some nuts on me, such as almonds or walnuts, which are an excellent skin-friendly snack on the go.
I occasionally use food ingredients as beauty products too. A face scrub or mask, made from kitchen ingredients, is a quick and easy way to brighten the complexion. My favourite scrub is a recipe from my SKIN book and simply uses oatmeal, honey and a banana. I always have my cupboards stocked with cold-pressed plant oils such as peach kernel, almond, rosehip and hazelnut. Using one of these oils for a face massage is one of the fastest ways to wipe stress from our faces and restore radiance.
If I'm travelling a lot or away from home for a while, I always make sure I take a tiny bottle of lavender essential oil in my overnight bag. I just add a few drops to a warm bath to revive my jet-lagged brain, or sprinkle some onto my pillow in order to encourage more restful sleep, especially if I’m sleeping on the plane. I find my jet-lag easier to handle if I manage to squeeze in some sleep time wherever I can. For this reason, lavender is definitely one of my travelling essentials!
When it comes to winding down in the evening, I make sure to eat at least an hour before going to bed and do something relaxing that will take my mind off my busy day – listen to music, take a bath or read a good book. I try to make sure that I sleep for at least 8 hours, which for me makes all the difference to how I feel in the morning. I will repeat my same beauty routine from the morning in the evening, except - rather than splashing my face with cold water - I’ll often massage my face with plant oils to help me wind down but also get the blood flowing and nourish the skin before bed.
One thing I need to do more of in the mornings is: I tend to get up with a head full of plans for the day ahead, so one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to spend some time every morning just breathing and relaxing into whatever is in store before I put my work head on. Often the best way to do this is by going for a run, but there’s a lot to be said for also just sitting quietly with a cup of tea first!
One thing I need to do less of in the mornings is: I often find myself rushing out of the door having not spent enough time sitting and eating a good breakfast. If I have an early morning meeting, I’ll often prepare a pot of yoghurt, muesli and fruit to eat on the way, but perhaps it would be better to get up 15 minutes earlier and be able to sit an enjoy my breakfast before I leave.
This morning I: went for a short jog in Battersea Park, followed by one of my favourite juices – my ‘battery charge’ juice with carrots, garlic, orange and maca powder.
Tomorrow morning I: have a day of meetings tomorrow, so I’ll get up in good time and make myself a hearty breakfast. I’ll probably make my porridge with spiced berry compote – just what’s needed in this cold weather."
Photo credit: Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine / Georgia Glynn Smith www.lizearlewellbeing.com