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Interview

Daisy Buchanan: "Self confidence doesn’t grow in a linear way"

April 10th 2017 / Judy Johnson Google+ Judy Johnson / 0 comment

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As her debut book, How To Be A Grown Up hits the shelves, Daisy Buchanan talks to Judy Johnson about her hour-long hair ritual, feeling overwhelmed and what's coming next in adulthood

Whether you’re in your mid-twenties or mid-forties, unless you’re 100 per cent certain you’ve got life down to fine art, you should read Daisy Buchanan’s debut book, How To Be A Grown Up. In fact, even if you do think you have it all sussed - I can guarantee you’ll learn something.

Written by the journalist just as she turned 30 after reflecting on the ups and downs, lessons and losses she experienced in the previous decade, this witty, brutally honest and altogether reassuring book is a guidebook to 'adulting' that every woman could benefit from.

From an important lesson in confidence or knowing how to love your body, to how to really, truly relax or how to navigate your complicated friendships, Daisy works through the life concerns that come with growing up; best of all, she does it with refreshing transparency, in a tone that isn’t condescending or suggesting she knows it all, but one that’s like a warm, kind friend who just wants the best for you.

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Instagram @thedaisybee

There were parts I wanted to photocopy, blow up and stick on the fridge so that I don’t forget, and others that made me look at some of the relationships in my life with fresh eyes; it’s funny yet serious, practical but lighthearted. It’s the type of book that women will give to other women when they are having a wobble, when they’re letting comparison anxiety get the best of them or when they’re not quite taking proper care of themselves. Having just entered my thirties myself, facing many of the issues Daisy addresses in the book, I can’t think of anyone among my peers who wouldn’t relate to it - I only wish it had been around back when I was in quarter-life crisis mode in my twenties.

To celebrate the launch of the book, we caught up with Daisy for a few quick-fire questions on health, beauty and her lifestyle as a fully-fledged grown up…

GTG: The book is made up of ‘How tos’ to get you through your twenties - is there anything you haven’t figured out yet that you’d love someone to give you a ‘How to’ on?

I think I would like someone to sit me down and talk me through ‘how to set up a pension without crying and hyperventilating and trying to climb out of the window in the middle’, or maybe ‘how to make a beef wellington’ - I’ve always wanted to have a go, but every recipe seems a bit daunting!

GTG: In your book you have a brilliant section on washing your hair - I have to ask, which products do you use for your hour-long ritual?

WELL, I’m glad you asked! I’m obsessed with this! My favourite shampoo and conditioner set is the Molton Brown Plum Kadu glossing one (£18, shampoo available here and conditioner here).

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My hair is really thick and can get quite tangled, but this is gentle, makes it easier to comb and it smells amazing. Maybe once a week before I wash it, I’ll use Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, £30, Olaplex or Aveda Shampure Composition Oil, £24, on my scalp (which gets dry and flaky otherwise! Sexy!).

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I use a Tangle Teezer before conditioning and then again when the conditioner is in (and I’m so excited about the Tangle Teezer x Skinny Dip collab, £13.50, I’ll DEFINITELY be treating myself to one of these) Then, for general brushing, I use a Mason Pearson. My Mum had one, and after years of using lots of cheap plastic hairbrushes I asked her to get me one for my birthday. It’s the Bentley of hairbrushes. They last forever if you look after them, they’re gentle, smoothing and BRILLIANT for back combing, as well as making a blow dry last for a bit longer.

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GTG: How do you think growing up will be different in your thirties - will there be new questions to solve or are the thirty-somethings still just as likely to be dealing with confidence and the other topics in the book?

Sometimes I still feel so wobbly and uncertain of my place in the world, but then I think about how I felt and what I was dealing with in my twenties and I realise how far I’ve come. I hope that during my thirties I’ll become more ambitious in my career and find the confidence to grow what I’ve built. I think (hope!) that life becomes more exciting and rewarding as we get to know ourselves, and that I’m about to start learning how to redirect my energy. Instead of questioning everything and panicking, I want to believe in my abilities! But then, I think self confidence doesn’t grow in a linear way. Life is unpredictable, whether we’re in our twenties or our eighties. Perhaps part of growing up is about learning to be comfortable in our vulnerability, so that we’re able to ask for help and we don’t feel obliged to pretend that we’re holding it together, just because we’re adults on paper.

And now for our quick-fire GTG quiz...

In three words, I’m…

Cheerful, generous and clumsy!

My last health check was…

It just got cancelled because the doctor was sick! (I’ve got a new contraceptive implant and my periods are getting very irregular. It’s probably fine, but I think it’s sensible to check.)

The workout that works for me is…

I try to go to the gym 3/4 times a week - I can’t run on a treadmill so I just push the incline as high as it will go and power walk for 15 minutes. I think it lifts and tones my bum, but more importantly it generates endorphins and stops me from looking at my phone! I also go for very gentle, slow runs for this reason. I find running really hard, but I love being in a park and I ADORE dog watching!

The product I tell everyone about is…

Just one?! Oh, lord! Maybe Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, £38, which smells like heaven and is an iron for the face. (Also M&S Absolute Sleep Cream, £22 is very very good!)

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I sleep…

Between the hours of 10:30pm and 4am, when my brain likes to wake me up for A Big Think. If I can wake up just after 7, I’ve beaten the system.

My secret to staying sane is…

Reading, walking, singing in the shower. If the worries get overwhelming (and they often do) I make a big list of them, in huge 72 point type, which sometimes helps me get some perspective on them! Before I got married, I had a giant list, starting with ‘I WILL BE JILTED AT THE ALTAR!’ My husband wouldn’t leave someone waiting at the pub, let alone run out on a wedding, but writing it down helped! And I reasoned that if anyone was going to jilt you, you’d have a few weeks of misery and embarrassment but you’d avoid a bad marriage.

If I could be anywhere on Earth right now it would be…

Maybe Kona, The Big Island, in Hawaii, eating eggs and looking at the ocean.

I got my big break by…

Ha! I could say ‘Working hard, showing up, being tenacious and pushing myself’ or I could say ‘By writing very tongue in cheek blogs about Made In Chelsea.’

If I were to give myself a performance review, I’d say…

“You need to trust yourself more, allow yourself to embrace your creativity and take a few more risks. However, I cannot fault your dinner parties or your commitment to remembering to pick up your dry cleaning.”

My best budget beauty buy is…

The Maybelline Brow Drama Crayon, £5.99. Easier than drawing on your face with a Sharpie, and leaves no trace of my teen tweezer enthusiasm.

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My biggest health/beauty spend is…

Probably skin and haircare. OR the Liberty Advent Calendar, the most decadent, unnecessary and FUN beauty purchase I make. It comes but once a year!

I’m surprisingly good at…

Cooking!

One thing I’d never put in my mouth is…

Dry roasted peanuts. URGHHH. SO WRONG.

Finish the sentence: Money is…

Probably my greatest source of fear and anxiety.

The best advice anyone has given me is…

Our mental health deserves just as much attention and maintenance as our physical health.

How To Be A Grown Up is published by Headline, £14.99, available on Amazon

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