Interview

Poppy Delevingne: “I wish I’d been in my 20s in the 60s”

June 7th 2018 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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She’s designed Jo Malone London’s first ever bubble bath, favours a 60s print and will always choose “the laziest form of exercise possible”. Poppy Delevingne shares her loves, laughs and beauty and fitness mishaps

I meet Poppy Delevingne on a grey, humid, hayfevery Monday morning. She’s been jetting around the world with Jo Malone London to launch her new Queen of Pop collection with the brand, and by all rights should be flagging by now, but on seeing her neon pink and orange colour blocked outfit, bright lip and fuchsia pointed flats, I can tell from the off that this is going to be fun. She’s witty, has a brilliantly gritty voice and is genuinely warm and welcoming, and as her styling and pop art references belie, she’s clearly got an eye for colour and design. Her aesthetic is 60s, she rarely plays it safe (her red carpet appearances are a veritable party of bold lipstick, experimental hairstyles and whimsical fashion) and she’s clearly keen to inject cheer into even the most humdrum of daily tasks, like Monday morning interviews with journalists, or just having a bath.

Speaking of which, her new Jo Malone London Queen of Pop collection debuts the quintessentially British brand’s first ever bubble bath, and splashy family bath time this ain’t. The square pink bottle may be enormous, but the scents are as luxe as any you’d expect from the Jo Malone olfactory workshop and will stay with you all day. They may as well have “not for sharing” stamped on the lid. The stripe and polka dot splattered Queen of Pop packaging is more than a little Austin Powers, the fragrances reflect Poppy’s favourites and the range of limited edition colognes, home candles and of course bubble bath are firmly in the quirky camp. If you want transporting back to swinging 60s London, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s why Poppy would take a time machine back there if she could but loves modern day London all the same, plus her beauty favourites and why she’s Bridget Jones on a spin bike.

On London

“First and foremost, London is home. It’s been home forever so it’s always going to hold a very special place in my heart. I love the attitude of Londoners, I feel like there’s something carefree, kooky and out there about people here. Almost everyone has a good sense of humour. My perfect day in London would involve hopping in a taxi and have a chat with a good old British cabbie, followed by bangers and mash in the pub. I love summer in London too and going to the parks. You can’t beat the shopping either.”

On fragrance

“My favourite fragrance is Jo Malone London Red Roses. It’s my first love, I started wearing her when I was 18 and I always seem to go back to her whatever happens. Like an old friend. It’s feminine, floral and I always get a compliment when I wear it.”

On designing the Queen of Pop collection

“It’s a polka dot, 60s vibe. I was really inspired by Roy Lichtenstein and pop art. I’ve always been a 60s girl, I wish I’d been in my 20s in the 60s. The prints are just my kind of style.”

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On baths

“The beauty product I’ll be raving about from now onwards is the Velvet Rose & Oud Bubble Bath, £58. It’s Jo Malone London’s first standalone bubble bath and I thought it was about time. We’ve gone for indulgent, transportive, sumptuous fragrances. They’re also long lasting- when you get out of the bath you smell the fragrance all day long. It’s a bit magical actually. The bottle’s huge too and that sizing has never been done.”

On beauty maintenance

“The one treatment I couldn’t do without is a facial with Teresa Tarmey. She’s just launched some incredible new products- a cryoball and skin rollers and they’re so beautifully done. She’s just got magic in her hands. I’ve been seeing her for a while and she’s just amazing.”

On beauty essentials

“My five must-have products would be:

A silk eye mask by Olivia Von Halle with my initials on, from £70

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, £49

Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede Cologne, £47 for 30ml

Dr Barbara Sturm's Glow Drops, £105 for 30ml

Jo Malone London Walnut & Geranium hand cream, £22 for 50ml

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On lipstick

“If I need to look instantly awake, lipstick is the absolute key for me. Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford and MAC do the best colours. The right lipstick can hide a multitude of skins and make your whole face come alive. I always carry a lipstick in my handbag, especially I I want to go from day to night or know I’ll need a pick me up to make me feel a little more ‘sparkly’. I’d normally go for a bright but I’ve just started wearing a lot of Charlotte Tilbury’s nudes. Generally though I’m either very bright or dark where lipstick is concerned- I especially love Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Glastonberry, £24.

“Also, I’ve only just discovered lip liner. A few years ago I would have eye rolled at lip liner. It was so 90s All Saints in my mind (which I love obviously, but I wouldn’t go there myself. Now, I can’t put lipstick on without lip liner. They go hand in hand. It feels grown up.”

On beauty blunders

“My worst beauty mistake was wearing far too much makeup. I’m all about keeping eyes simple if I’m going for a lip and vice versa now, but I’d had a few moments when i’ve just gone all out and end up looking unrecognisable, or like a clown, neither of which is good!

“A beauty mishap I probably still make is when you’re out, you go to the bathroom to touch up your makeup but it’s really dark in there. So you’re in the club, and you load on bronzer and leave, but when you catch your reflection or get home, your entire face is orange. You see photos from the night and just have to ask yourself what happened there. Too much. I mean just don’t do your makeup in the dark is the lesson.”

On her morning routine

“I’m really good in the morning. I never leave the house without having a shower or a bath and doing my skincare. I use a lot of Skinceuticals products- the CE Ferulic serum, £135 for 30ml, and the Hydrating B5 Gel, £65 for 30ml, in particular. Dr Barbara Sturm skincare is great too. I add a Sisley eye cream and then I’m out of the door. When it comes to nighttime, it took me a long time to develop discipline when it comes to taking my makeup off before I went to bed. I’m one of those people who sees the bed, and immediately wants to flop. Now I’m growing up and getting better at that. Morning is always a better time for me to do any kind of routine though- once I’m up, I’m up.”

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On fitness

“I will always opt for the laziest form of exercise possible. Anything that involves lying down is perfect. I’m obsessed with Pilates, possibly because I’m mainly horizontal for the whole class. I go to a brilliant studio in Notting Hill- I have a great teacher who I love. I’m more energetic if I’m in LA- I do Body by Simone workouts. I do spend most of my time giggling at the back during the dance routine sections. I crack up which is probably very off putting for the rest of the class. I’m frequently told to stand in the corner when that happens. I do love it though, it really does the trick for keeping me fit. I’ll also do the odd Soul Cycle class if it’s one with really good music. If they’ve got a really cheesy Britney vs. Christina class on, I’ll be there. It’s still a bit of a Bridget Jones scene though- I can never get my feet in the stirrups properly, or I’ll fall off and end up with loads of bruises.

"I like to work out alone. I’m not a group exercise person. I don’t mind if I’m with people I don’t know but my worst nightmare is bumping into people looking like a sweaty tomato and having to make polite conversation. I’d rather be a loner worker outer.”

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On food

“The only meal I can make really well is spaghetti bolognese. I reckon if you came round though, it would be the best spaghetti bolognese you’ve ever had. I learned to make it years ago and I feel like it just gets better and better. My family and friends might be getting a little bored of it by now. They come round and they essentially know what they’re going to be eating. I need to start branching out with my repertoire. I seem to be talented where mince is concerned so maybe I’ll experiment with chilli con carne or meat loaf. I won’t be putting mushrooms in either of those though. I detest cooked mushrooms. Weirdly raw mushrooms are totally fine. Cooked though- abhorrent.”

“My cocktail order, if I had to choose just one, would be a really dirty martini. As much olive brine as possible please. It usually spells disaster. Two down and you’re cross eyed.”

On new finds

“One of my most recent new discoveries is a book I’m really into called Self Care for the Real World. It’s just brilliant. I read at least a chapter just before bed and it’s very positive without being too happy clappy. It’s a lovely thing to go to sleep on- it’s beautifully written and not trying too hard to be your guru.”

“Can I choose a person too? I’m so in awe of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She wrote and performed in Fleabag and just done the latest Star Wars film. I met her a few months ago and she’s one of the most fantastic, funny, charming and beautiful humans I’ve ever come across. She presented at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and she delivered one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard. She completely stole the show. She was the evening’s entertainment, all by herself, and to meet her in real life she’s even more brilliant and witty. Just big up to Phoebe really.”

On her career

“Work wise, I see the fun in every project. Whether it’s acting, designing or modelling, I want to do it with a smile on my face and enjoy it. I think it’s also so cool that, at the moment and for women in particular, we’re following our passions and doing more than one thing. We’re looking at what we’re into and turning that into a side hustle. For me, acting has always been my dream, since I was a teenager, but for some reason it always took a back seat. I’m 32 now and at a point in my life when my career has taken a turn and I’m so excited about it. It’s like starting whole new job again. Every day feels like the first day at school, with constant butterflies. Being able to design with Jo Malone London is so fulfilling creatively too. I’m so grateful that I get to juggle those passions, and more and more women around me are doing the same.

On work worries

“I found the transition going from modelling to acting a bit tricky. It wasn’t until I stopped modelling that the acting started happening for me. I tried for a long time to combine both and it just didn’t work. I couldn’t split myself in two and commit to either. In terms of acting, I felt that I really had to prove myself, especially in the UK. The casting directors are really excellent at what they do, but they’re tough on you, particularly if you’ve come from something else or are well known. It was a lot of really hard work, but it’s happening now so I’m really happy. I got there- it’s a new chapter.”

On words of wisdom

“My dad has always been so good at giving me sensible advice. Perseverance is his mantra. There were days when I thought that acting was just never going to happen for me. I used to be full of self-doubt, but he’d encourage me to persevere, always. It rings in my head every time I have a wobble. Just keep going and one day it will happen.”

On the rumour mill

“The weirdest thing that I’ve ever heard about myself is that I’m pregnant. I’ve been pregnant for the past two years actually, which is both boring and not possible. It could be the longest pregnancy of all time. I might get a headline for that.”

On being a giggler

“I laugh until I cry every day. I’m one of those extravagant ‘pee your pants’ laughers. I laughed until I lost my voice once. I’m a giggler. My latest thing was seeing a German banking advert with George Clooney in it. It’s so random but it really got me.”

The Limited Edition Queen of Pop collection is available exclusively at Jo Malone London Regent Street, Selfridges and Brown Thomas, Dublin from this month

Follow Poppy on Instagram @poppydelevingne and Anna @annyhunter

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