The name 'Patsy Kensit' is synonymous with ultimate Brit cool - so I was thrilled to sit down with her and discuss ageing in the public eye, and get her best beauty tips.
Image from Who Dated Whom
Hi Patsy, I'm thrilled to interview you for Ageing with Grace! You’re a successful woman and you look amazing – how do you do it?
‘Thank you, that’s so nice of you to say! It’s been a bit of a challenge and does take effort. I’ve struggled with my weight; very difficult to manage when you’re on set eating cold sausages in a field'.
'If I’m honest, it did play havoc with my self-esteem and I had to work hard to learn to control it. Having a positive mindset is a big part of it; I meditate regularly and have affirmations dotted all over the house'.
‘Now I prioritise my health and sense of well-being over a waist size. I choose nutrition over diets and I’ve found a place that is much more comfortable for me. It shows in my skin too – if I’m looking after what goes into my body, and managing my stress levels, I find the outside looks so much better'.
‘I’m also learning to prioritise myself in terms of career choices. Just a little while ago my step-daughter said to me ‘now is your time – do what you want to do for you’ and she was so right. That doesn’t mean being outrageously selfish, but it does mean asking myself what I really want and making choices based on meeting my own needs, instead of trying to be all things to everyone else'.
‘It’s interesting that it took a younger woman to point it out though – I think we could all learn a lesson from how much more confident and assertive today’s young women are!’.
Much is being made now of older women feeling ‘invisible’, especially actresses and those in the media, do you find this is the case?
‘I do understand what women mean by saying they feel invisible. You get to a certain age and suddenly, you notice that the looks stop, and no one really seems to notice you there – but often I think that’s because we let it happen'.
‘We stop trying, get stuck in a bit of a beauty rut or suddenly start wearing a lot of beige and large jewellery and we feel like no one notices us – but it’s because we’ve lost sight of our own sense of self and sexuality. It’s interesting that it often ties into the menopause, which for me has been horrendous after I had to have a hysterectomy in my mid-40s. That transition period can really leave you feeling depressed and about as unattractive as it’s possible to get'.
‘Whenever friends are going through it, I advise getting the best treatment, whatever you need and then a real shakeup of your look. Makeup, hair, clothing – the works. And absolutely don’t allow anyone to tell you that you're too old for a look you love. It’s nonsense and I refuse to buy into it'.
‘In my career, I haven’t found the ageism thing to be true at all. Just last year I did a brilliant drama and I’m regularly invited to read different scripts. Not as the ingenue anymore, but that’s ok for me. I’m much more selective now anyway – I only do what I really want to do, and a role has to be pretty special to get me excited’.
Image from The Telegraph
There’s a lot of talk about the ‘cool’ women of the 90s set now redefining what midlife looks like – is this intentional do you think?
‘Maybe not intentional, but certainly inevitable. Look at the women from that period, so many trailblazers who broke down the barriers of what being a woman meant. From the ‘girl power’ thing to Shirley Manson, who is now talking about a renaissance in her life in her late 40s and 50s (whilst still being just so achingly cool and Queen Bee)'.
‘We were the generation who were determined to be as out there, confident, and ambitious as our male counterparts and we meant it – so why would we then go quietly into the same middle age as our mothers'?
‘We look great, we feel great and we expect to be seen and heard – and no one should have been expecting any less’.
Has your interest in fashion and beauty changed as you’ve gotten older?
‘Not necessarily. I still love clothes, makeup and hair as much as I ever did – but I absolutely hate brands that talk down to me. There’s an advert for haircare going around now that makes getting older seem like a dirty secret, to be hidden and ashamed of and that’s an absolute no for me'.
‘I definitely prefer brands that treat their customers like individuals, regardless of age or demographic and currently I haven’t got a lot of time for stereotyping or old-fashioned rules about what I should or shouldn’t be wearing’.
Any fashion tips?
'Society may not always see beauty in ageing, but who said we need to fade into the background? I think it’s important to keep up with the latest fashion trends and looks, adding a few pieces to your wardrobe each season'.
'But it’s not about becoming a victim of the latest trends and you don’t need to spend a fortune either; Zara and Topshop are perfect'!
What is your beauty ‘must-have’ and best tip?
'I noticed as I got older that I always looked better with a little extra colour – I love a good blusher and anything that adds radiance and glow. I was taught by backstage artists that peach is a ‘wonder colour’ and the perfect complexion pick-me-up; its pink undertone brightens the skin, while the orange adds warmth'.
'I love Studio10’s Plumping Blush Glow-Plexion for effortless makeup days. It’s a fluid crème with light reflecting pearls that really gives you that glow'.
'It blends so easily and is almost impossible to get wrong. I’ve found that powders sit on the surface of the skin and in fine lines, so a light fluid is a great alternative and looks like skin (not makeup!)'.
'My tip is to apply to the apples of your cheeks and lightly wash across your forehead, nose and chin and even over the eyelids! It’s a great colour if you’ve got blue eyes and if not, it’ll tie the rest of your look together in such a subtle, but sophisticated way'!