VIC­TO­RIA BECK­HAM

I’M GLAD TO BE A SCHOOL RUN MUM

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - The Vic­to­ria Beck­ham x Es­tee Lauder range is avail­able now from Brown Thomas

Vic­to­ria Beck­ham jokes that she was far too young when she started wear­ing make-up. The Spice Girl turned fash­ion de­signer, turned cos­met­ics queen, re­mem­bers how, when she was on her way to school, her mother would some­times say, “You look a lit­tle peaky”, get out her lip­stick, and rub it on to Vic­to­ria’s cheeks.

When re­call­ing her very first piece of make-up, Vic­to­ria laughs and says, “Oh my good­ness, it would have been a lip­stick called Twi­light Teaser.

“It sounds as aw­ful as it was,” she adds, “but I was young, and I thought it was the best thing ever. Oh, and there was a blue mas­cara, but ev­ery­one had one of those, right?”

When I get home from in­ter­view­ing Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, dur­ing her re­cent visit to Dublin to launch the sec­ond col­lec­tion of her cos­met­ics line in Brown Thomas, I google Twi­light Teaser. It was a pinky-pur­ple shade, with a hefty dose of lilac frost­ing; the kind of colour that re­ally suits no one and has a won­der­fully yel­low­ing ef­fect on the teeth. It’s a clas­sic early Eight­ies piece of kit, from a time when our ex­pec­ta­tions were rather lower and even Vic­to­ria Beck­ham made mis­steps.

Ob­vi­ously, there’s some­thing charm­ing about imag­in­ing Vic­to­ria get­ting it wrong — even for those of us who re­mem­ber the early days of the Spice Girls and, later, her dou­ble dou­ble-leather look with David, or, worse, their dou­ble dou­ble-denim out­ing. Lat­terly, though, she’s the woman who hasn’t put a fash­ion foot wrong for at least a decade, who never looks bad, even in a post-gym pa­parazzi shot.

“Ev­ery­thing is good at the time,” Vic­to­ria says with a smile. “Do I look back and cringe? Of course I do. Most peo­ple do. But I look back, and I don’t so much cringe as it makes me smile, be­cause it’s what’s made me who I am now. I look back at the Spice Girl days and some of the make-up I used to wear, and I think, my good­ness, that was a bold choice, shall we say?

“But it was fun. It was the Nineties. I was in a pop group, and that’s what you do when you’re a pop star. And you learn along the way, and you find what works, and you ex­per­i­ment, and you shouldn’t be afraid to. Then, hope­fully, by the time you get to 43, you’ve fig­ured out what works and doesn’t. You be­come more ac­cept­ing of your­self and what looks good, and how to look af­ter your­self.”

To­day, Vic­to­ria is talk­ing about her makeup range, Vic­to­ria Beck­ham x Es­tee Lauder, with an en­thu­si­asm to match a mother with her first­born. She is in­tro­duc­ing her sec­ond launch of cos­met­ics in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Es­tee Lauder, the first hav­ing been a mas­sive best­seller.

The 18 new pieces work as stan­dalones, but are also grouped into city looks — Lon­don, Paris, Mi­ami, New York, and Vic­to­ria’s sec­ond home, LA. She adds to her lip of­fer­ing with a very wear­able Bur­nished Rose (Mi­ami), while adding, among other things, a lux­u­ri­ous High­lighter and a Smudgy Matte Eye­liner that is a half­way house be­tween liq­uid and pen­cil, with its fab­u­lous spongetip ap­pli­ca­tor.

“Any­thing I do, I give 100%; oth­er­wise, what’s the point?” she says. “And this has been a real pas­sion project for me. I mean, I went to the fac­tory, I put on the lab coat, I mixed up the lip gloss. I met with the fac­tory owner, I cre­ated the mood boards and colour pal­ettes and the range plan. I worked very closely with Sarah Creal from Es­tee Lauder, but this is a very hon­est col­lec­tion that I have been all over, ev­ery sin­gle thing.” Vic­to­ria be­lieves the suc­cess of her make-up is proof that she’s got it right, that she has hit on what women want. If ‘per­fect’ is the word she ap­plies to the prod­uct, how­ever, it’s not some­thing she thinks that women should de­mand of them­selves.

“I think there’s a lot of pres­sure on women, which is why I think women should sup­port each other and be kind to them­selves and make the most of what they have. So there’s noth­ing wrong with go­ing for a fa­cial, go­ing to the gym, hav­ing a mas­sage. Don’t feel guilty about that — which is eas­ier said than done, be­cause work­ing mums do feel guilty when they do any­thing that’s not for work or their chil­dren. Of course the chil­dren should be the pri­or­ity, but it’s a lot of pres­sure. And I think there’s a lot of im­agery these days that we all look at on so­cial me­dia,” she adds of the pres­sure on women, “that is not al­ways true im­ages, and noth­ing is ever as per­fect as it looks, should we say?”

I won­der if Vic­to­ria Beck­ham feels this pres­sure her­self ? Does she ever feel she can leave the house with­out any make-up?

“Yeah,” she says, “there are morn­ings that I do that. My pri­or­ity is my chil­dren, and ev­ery day I do the school run. Ev­ery morn­ing I work out and I’m back in the kitchen by 7.15am, ready to get the break­fast go­ing, and then we rush out the door to school.

“So there’s not much you can man­age if you’re run­ning around af­ter three chil­dren — be­cause that’s what it is now be­cause Brook­lyn’s gone to New York (to univer­sity), but we won’t talk about that, be­cause I’ll get up­set.

“Luck­ily, the LA look is very nat­u­ral. It’s bronzed, sun-kissed, glossy, and a more youth­ful, fresh, non-make-up look. And that’s re­ally all I have time for in the morn­ing.”

I ask if David Beck­ham likes her with­out make-up, with a nat­u­ral make-up look, or wear­ing the full red-car­pet make-up.

“Don’t most men pre­fer a more nat­u­ral look?” she laughs. “But do they mean it or are they just say­ing it? I think, you know, David sees me at home, no make-up, nor­mally in work­out clothes, hair up in a knot and run­ning around af­ter the kids, and that’s real life.”

When she was the mother of only boys — Brook­lyn (18), Romeo (15) and Cruz (12) — Vic­to­ria Beck­ham was strict, she says, but it’s a slightly dif­fer­ent story now Harper (six) has come along. She al­lows her to play with the make-up, but it’s not a re­peat of Vic­to­ria’s child­hood, as Harper only wears it in the house.

“Harper can be a lit­tle tom­boy,” Vic­to­ria says. “She likes to play foot­ball. She dresses com­fort­ably, and that’s what’s im­por­tant to me, that the kids are happy. And that she can run around and play, and that she’s not in fancy clothes that she can’t play in. But we play with make-up at home and she en­joys that. She’s six. But it is nice bond­ing thing to do with your daugh­ter.”

In the past, Vic­to­ria spoke about make-up as ar­mour, and, if you look way back at the Spice Girl who some­times seemed shy and a bit un­cer­tain, you can see what she might have meant. Now, older, wiser, ar­guably more beau­ti­ful, and even more suc­cess­ful, she doesn’t need a shield. She wears her cos­met­ics lightly, as she wears her fash­ion, as she wears her celebrity. “Make-up makes me feel em­pow­ered and con­fi­dent, and I don’t think there’s any­thing wrong in say­ing that,” Vic­to­ria says. “It brings out the con­fi­dence; it makes me feel like the best ver­sion of my­self. It’s how I cel­e­brate be­ing a woman.”

And that woman has come a long way from the girl in the Twi­light Teaser.

STYLE ICON: Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, in the Spice Girls (above) and (below) with hus­band David

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