Grace Meets Michelle Collins
I’m passionate about skincare and I was thrilled to be able to sit down with actress and entrepreneur Michelle Collins, to talk ageing, invisibility and what it takes to formulate a skincare line of your own!
Hi Michelle, lovely to talk to you! So, we know that you’re a busy woman, with an active lifestyle and you look great – do you find you have to work hard to maintain energy levels now, or is it still as easy as when you were in your 20s?
I think it's impossible to feel the same in your 50s as in your 20s. My energy levels were fine until my late 40s when I started to feel very tired and became quite nervous and moody.
I was working very hard indeed and wasn't sure if it was exhaustion or the Big M approach. So, I had a blood test which showed I was peri-menopausal and was given HRT patches to wear, which honestly changed my life. It totally worked for me and if I don’t keep up my HRT, my energy levels and emotional well-being can go seriously off-piste.
I also feel much better if I exercise. Mornings are best for me, giving me a great energy boost to start the day. I go to the gym for about 40 mins 3/4 times a week and I also do Hot Yoga which I absolutely love.
I walk my dog twice a day if I’m not working. I follow a vegetarian diet and of course, I overindulge every so often, but I suffer for days if I overeat or drink, so I keep it limited – life is for living after all.
Much is being made now of older women feeling ‘invisible’ past a certain age. Would you say you’ve experienced this and how do you think we should tackle it?
It’s so true about women feeling invisible – I started to feel like this over the last couple of years too!
For me, it’s because the type of work I used to do just doesn't come knocking on my door like it used to. It's much more of a struggle now I’m older and all I hear is ‘well, I think you’re a little too old for that role’! Excuses, excuses!
Older female characters are still not as visible on screen as men or women under 35! Why is this?
We know it's women, and older women in particular who watch TV so why are we not represented?
I blame commissioners and advertisers who think youth is the elixir of life and believe that all we want to see are young beautiful women with no wrinkles, great bodies etc. which really isn't the case.
We need more female directors and writers writing stories for women and about women. Recently 70 female writers wrote an open letter to the BBC complaining about the lack of female writers wring for TV.
My networking group for women in the media has shown how often women find themselves on a backburner. I feel we need to be more collaborative with other women and then we will become stronger and far more visible – in every area of life, not just the media.
What advice would you give to a woman struggling with her self-esteem?
Self-esteem is a tough one – it’s something that affects us all. There is so much pressure on us to look good, be a good person and parent, be great at your job and to constantly strive for perfection!
Social media is a curse as we constantly compare ourselves to others and believe everyone else is happier, but we need to remember it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Don’t be afraid of failure either, lots of success stories come out of failures. I got turned down by 10 different drama schools when I was 17. I had very low self-esteem and self-worth for a while and got fed up with feeling sorry for myself. I picked myself up and carried on and 35 years later I’ve had a pretty successful, happy life.
What made you decide to launch a skincare range?
Partly serendipity! I met someone who worked for a brilliant skincare company, who wanted to work with me to create and formulate my skincare range.
Right from the start, I’ve been involved from test tube to baby as it were. It's taken nearly two years to get it out there – I spent many hours in the the lab trying out different formations, some of which worked, and some didn’t. I knew what I wanted in my range and so testing was quite fun.
What's great is I know exactly what is in the products and what they do for your skin – you’d be amazed at the number of people that don't know what's in their facial creams.
Affordability was also important to me – I was determined to make high-end products at a great price. I’ve been asked to endorse beauty before, but I never really believed in them, so I couldn't sell in all honesty. That’s why I called it MC Skin truth - I am totally in control, I know exactly what’s gone in and what the range does and that's quite empowering.
Which one piece from the range you not live without?
Well, as I said its best to use it all together but if I had to choose one it would have to be the eye cream. It gives an instant lift - you can really feel it! It has a great active in it called Beautifye which has won loads of awards.
Has your interest in fashion and beauty changed as you've got older?
Yes, for sure! I spend far less on clothes than I did in the past and before I was a mum my priorities were different. I used to love designer clothes now high street shopping is fine by me, with perhaps a few designer pieces.
I still love shoes and bags, but I feel bad if I spend too much money on myself. I’m far happier getting a bargain in a charity shop or at Zara.
Tell Us About Pellum Vero
Pellum Vero is a five-step beauty routine containing very strong actives. Cleanser, serum, eye-cream, day and night cream.
They are all anti-ageing, and age-defying, with high-quality ingredients with a gentle green tea fragrance which is great for the skin inside and out, protecting skin from dehydration, loss of firmness, preventing fine lines and wrinkles yet feeling rich and luxurious at the same time. The products can be bought separately but I recommend they be used together to have maximum effect on the skin.
The products work well on most skin types but particularly women 35 and upwards who wants to look after their skin.
Visit the website, www.mcskintruth.com, to learn all about Michelle's skincare