Grazia (UK)

At the end of the day… El­iz­a­beth Hurley


For years I’ve lived be­tween Lon­don and Here­ford­shire, but spent the whole of lock­down in the coun­try. There were nine of us and I felt quite anx­ious about feed­ing ev­ery­one and keep­ing us all safe, but I also re­ally en­joyed the un­in­ter­rupted stretch of time at home. I hadn’t spent so much time with my fam­ily since I was a teenager, ex­cept this time round I couldn’t lurk in my bed­room and play loud music: I had to be team leader.

I’m used to host­ing Christ­mas, but a 14-week in­va­sion was some­thing else. I loathe stay­ing in­doors when it’s good weather, but I’m lucky to have some land, so I did at least 40 hours’ man­ual labour a week and bul­lied ev­ery­one else into help­ing me.

My real life is di­vided into ‘work-work’ and ‘work’: ‘work-work’ is film­ing, shoot­ing cam­paigns, char­ity work, per­sonal ap­pear­ances, busi­ness meet­ings and any­thing else where I have to be some­where at a cer­tain time. For this I’m ex­tremely dis­ci­plined: I eat and go to bed early and don’t drink al­co­hol. ‘Work’ is be­ing chained to my lap­top, running my beach­wear com­pany, writ­ing, de­vel­op­ing ideas, or­gan­is­ing my houses and do­ing end­less mounds of pa­per­work. For this I’m in sweat­pants and a pony­tail and dis­ci­pline goes out of the win­dow – I go to bed late, eat stand­ing up at the fridge and drink end­less espres­sos.

Lock­down was lib­er­at­ing be­cause I didn’t con­stantly check emails and panic about dead­lines. I only washed my hair when I needed to shoot some beach­wear or sup­port a char­ity. I shot Kurt Geiger’s S/S ’20 cam­paign just be­fore lock­down and they made a shop­ping bag to sup­port the NHS, so I shot that at home along with some masks de­signed by ar­chi­tect Ron Arad, also to raise NHS funds.

I re­cently got a Fit­bit and have be­come manic about hit­ting at least 10,000 steps a day. My work for the Estée Lauder Com­pa­nies’ Breast Can­cer Cam­paign is a huge part of my life and through this I have re­ally learned the im­por­tance of tak­ing your own health se­ri­ously. I’ve been work­ing with Estée Lauder for 25 years and I swear by Ad­vanced Night Re­pair, the best serum ever in­vented. I re­gret ever sun­bathing and now use SPF 30 and wear a big sun­hat. I’ve lost count of how many of my con­tem­po­raries have had can­cer­ous cells re­moved.

We had a no TV un­til 6pm pol­icy dur­ing lock­down and sit­ting down to­gether af­ter din­ner en famille trans­ported me straight back to my child­hood. There was plenty of squab­bling over the re­mote, but we got through six sea­sons of The Amer­i­cans, three sea­sons of Ozark, all of Break­ing Bad – wow, what a show – and lots of black and white ’50s movies.

I’m at ‘work-work’ right now, film­ing up in York­shire with John Cleese and Kelsey Gram­mer. I’m at my most re­laxed shoot­ing a movie: walk­ing on set is like step­ping into a warm bath. Lock­down is be­gin­ning to feel like a hazy, half-re­mem­bered dream. In spite of the anx­i­ety, I can hon­estly say it was the first time in my life I lit­er­ally stopped to smell the roses and ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing I have. El­iz­a­beth is one of the faces of Kurt Geiger’s S/S ’20 cam­paign

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