If you love cake and conversation, the musical genius of Josh Ritter, and the poetic mystery of Northern Ireland, then you’re sure to adore the company of Derry-based writer Fiona as much as I do.
What is most important to you – feeling good or looking good; or a bit of both?
I would have to say feeling good, for now at least. However they both seem unavoidably intertwined. If I’m feeling good, I’m looking better! And of course if you feel you look good, you feel a bit more confident and have a bit more bounce.
What is in your bathroom cabinet?
Well, an exfoliating face wash, my skin seems to object if I stop using one. Right now it’s Superdrug’s Deep Action Facial Scrub. A skin toner, Olay essentials refreshing toner and cotton pads. Moisturiser… sporadically makes an appearance. I’m not so good at remembering to moisturise. I like the Dove summer glow moisturiser with the ‘subtle gradual self-tanners’. Tweezers, razors, and Toni & Guy Twist-It Curl Balm, for the many days I like to encourage the waviness in my hair and not bother with drying and straightening.
What treatment/product can’t you live without?
Difficult one. There’s probably a few. I had a little think about it, possibly Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream. It’s an all-in-one cream which claims to even tone and boost glow, blur imperfections, smooth fine lines and have 24hr hydration with a SPF 15 UV Protection. I tend to use it every day, mostly I put a little concealer and foundation over it for work. But I have been known to wear it alone on quiet nights in and days off for a bit of colour and coverage. It’s nice and natural, and feels good for the skin with the moisturisers and protective qualities. The light colour is enough for me. The B.B creams enjoyed a few months of glory didn’t they? Marian Keyes was all about the BB Creams on twitter over the summer. What’s the consensus on them? *Time to Talk Beauty says –”They seemed to get a universal thumbs up, but apparently 2013 is all about the CC Cream – also known as Color Control cream, it is an improved and refined blemish balm cream, created and developed in Korea. So there you go. Top tip for you!”*
I also LOVE the Urban Decay Naked Palette, and use it almost every day, and most nights, really. I hear there’s a Naked 2 and I’m oh so interested! *Time to Talk Beauty says – “Click here to read more about the new Naked!”* I find Urban Decay lasts for ages. Also, foundation is something I struggle with in terms of finding the right colour – Double Wear by Estée Lauder is probably the best I’ve found, but I keep it for nights out and special occasions.
What is your top product for hair/face?
I don’t know if this is cheating, but at the moment I am really intrigued by the Babyliss Big Hair that I got from Santa. It’s a spinning barrel brush which is also a hair dryer. The idea is to create the effect of a salon blow dry, it’s too difficult to spin and turn a brush through your own hair while blow drying. I have yet to perfect the art, but the last time I used it my Mum thought I had been to the hairdresser so that has to be a good sign. It gives the hair much more body and shape than the usual mess that I leave behind when I impatiently blast dry my hair. The soft bristles also mean you’re left with shiny hair. Even if you do want to run the straighteners through your hair afterwards, you have very little work to do as the Big Hair has done most of the ground work.
What is your favourite scent?
A bit like my favourite book, I like so many, but I’m still searching for my signature scent. Last year I got Marc Jacobs‘ ‘Daisy’ which I loved. At the moment I’m surprising myself by loving a little bottle of ‘Libertine White Musk’ by The Body Shop that I got as a Christmas present. I’ve always liked the classic ‘White Musk’ – this one is similar but a bit lighter, fresher and fruitier.
How did you get into blogging?
I really enjoyed reading a very small handful of 3 or so blogs, I think they were all authors’ blogs. It was the mixture of writing and social media that really appeals to me. People, stories, words and interaction. What’s not to like?
Here’s a paragraph from my very first blog post in January 2011:
“I finally made a blog. I am equally hopeful and nervous about this often-wondered-about step. I want to write and I think a blog is a decent opportunity to do that. I am planning on thoughts and ideas and stuff about reading and writing. I have been inspired by writers who’s blogs (mostly blog followers) have been a great help in their writing career/getting published. I am in awe of these people.”
Heh. That perhaps sums it up? I just always have the needling urge to practice my writing, and this seems the best way to do so.
In an ideal world, what job/work would you be doing?
In a very ideal world, someone would pay me to read. I could curl up and read all day to my heart’s content and make a fortune.
Failing that, I have always had secret or not-so-secret hopes of being a full-time novelist. In an airy, bright room at an antique writing desk perhaps with a window overlooking a city bustling with life and inspiration.
I would consider working in a quirky independent bookshop like Meg Ryan did in You’ve Got Mail as my day job, and writing at night. I have a longing to work with writing and words and a craving for creativity!
What’s next for you?
A question I ask myself on a daily basis! I finished my degree in English and Philosophy in June… I’m still waiting on my big break or opportunity. I’m torn between doing another course, an MA perhaps, or trying to get experience, or just actually doing a bit of writing. Hopefully 2013 brings some possibilties my way. I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for. Something creative and wordy. My hometown Derry City is the UK City of Culture 2013 so one never knows! Keep on writing and looking on the bright side of life, and of course listening to beautiful lyrics and eating some lemon cake!