Monday, 30 November -0001

'We all get older...but you can help getting old'

At 63, she still has the vivavious joie de vivre of a 20-something. But how? Lulu reveals her beauty secrets

Written by Richard Barber

It is not without reason that Lulu is sometimes referred to as the Pocket Rocket. She breezes into the elegant lounge of Claridge’s in Mayfair, weaving her way past the ladies who lunch, and curls up in her favourite corner with all the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a teenager being taken out on a special treat. For a woman of 63, her body language is defiantly, preposterously youthful. Before she opens her mouth, she manages to communicate a joie de vivre absent in many women half her age. But then she simply refuses to roll over and behave like a senior citizen.

To the list of singer, actress, mother and grandmother must now be added businesswoman.

‘Retire?’ she asks incredulously, at one stage. ‘It’s not in my vocabulary.’ Four years ago, she launched her Time Bomb skincare range, a development born of a mix of experience and experiment. ‘It grew out of me taking care of me. All my professional life’ – she first topped the charts at 15 with her anthem, Shout – ‘I’ve been in the hands of professional hair and makeup artists.’

But rather than just sit back and let them get on with their work, the canny Scot has habitually asked a succession of questions. ‘That way, I learned the tricks of the trade.’ And now she’s willing to share the answers. Lulu is not only applying those tricks to her own beauty regime, but passing them on to women who, as she says, ‘haven’t been 19 for some time now’.

‘You can’t help getting older,’ she announces. ‘But you can help getting old. I don’t see age as a barrier to beauty. Take Joan Collins: she’ll be 79 this month and she looks gorgeous.’

But then Joan Collins was born beautiful. ‘I was never gorgeous as a young woman,’ concedes Lulu. ‘But I’ve learned how to make the best of myself. I was a spotty teenager with patchy red skin when I first became well known.

‘It’s why I never went anywhere without foundation covering my face. I looked at a picture of myself not long ago. I was wearing no make-up whatsoever and I thought: “Not bad for an old bag!” But then my skin now is better than it’s ever been.’

Lulu-02-590Lulu in the 1960s

So how on earth does she do it?

‘All my life, I’ve been interested in potions and lotions.’ Then she hooked up with Dr Joe Cincotta, a chemist who worked with John Frieda (Lulu’s second husband) and who helped him develop his highly successful haircare range. ‘I was forever emailing him in Connecticut with my thoughts about natural ingredients for him and his team to consider.

‘The pots he made were initially for my use alone. It wasn’t until the girls in the office started asking if they could borrow this moisturiser or that cleanser, that the idea started to form in my mind to market a selection of the products – and so Time Bomb was born.’

But she is at pains to emphasise that, while she takes an interest in the business – ‘I check the sales figures every day’ – it’s the chemists who must take the credit. Brave, though, to launch a beauty range at this stage of her career. ‘Or crazy,’ she laughs. ‘But I’ll tell you something: I’d never have done this as a young girl.’

Top beauty tips

Among much else, there’s Glory Days moisturiser containing borage oil, a day cream that contains light-reflecting particles that will make your skin glow and obviate the need to wear a foundation. There’s Take Off Time cleanser with its little crystals that act as a mild exfoliating agent. Just out is Rescue Mission, a bath product to ease aches and pains via a combination of eight essential oils and five herbs.

‘My top tips?’ says Lulu. ‘Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – and always wear a large hat in the sun. And I’ve never, ever gone to bed without first taking off my make-up. And then I feed my face with Flash Back night cream.’

There is also a range of Operation Glam hair products, which concentrate on volumising hair, giving it lift and bulk. ‘My hair is quite thin,’ she says, ‘and when I’m performing on stage under strong lighting, it needs all the help it can get.’

Like the Time Bomb range, the hair products are available via her appearances on the QVC TV channel, from the Victoria Health and Lulu’s Place websites and at branches of Fenwick. And then there’s her diet. ‘Normally, I never eat any carbs after breakfast.’ She starts each day with a glass of hot water and a lemon before a cup (or two) of espresso coffee accompanied by either toast and hummus or porridge.

‘My father always used to say that porridge would stick to your ribs and keep you warm all day.’ Lunch is usually protein of some sort and vegetables. Dinner is more protein and salad.

‘And I love a glass of wine in the evening, red or white. It’s especially nice if someone else chooses it for me,’ she adds, with a twinkle.

Lulu-03-590Left: With Maurice Gibb in 1968. Right: Lulu and John Frieda on their wedding day

Apart from regular yoga sessions, she works out with a personal trainer as often as three times a week. That involves skipping on a treadmill (which sounds a bit perilous) and exercises with weights. ‘What I should do is get a bit more confident in the water and swim more often.’

Even so, she’s weighed just over eight stone ever since her son, Jordan, was born 34 years ago. ‘I couldn’t ever go over nine stone. It wouldn’t look good on someone only just over five feet one.’

She’s also an advocate of keeping her mind active. ‘I’m a great reader, mostly of social sciences and politics. I’m a huge fan of Barack Obama’s writing.’ In recent years, she has attended a university weekend course in America and an Open University course in the UK.‘What I’m trying to do is keep the cracker factory I call my brain focused and functioning.’

And the best thing about having reached her 60s?

‘Even though I feel I’m experienced, it’s the realisation that I have so much more to learn. And that’s exciting. When I was young, I worried that I didn’t know anything. Now that I understand how much more there is to learn,’ says the Pocket Rocket, ‘the more I find that really stimulating.’

For more info:

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter