Singer Lulu shot to fame at the young age of 15 with a raspy voice that sounded older than her years. Now, after 47 years in the spotlight, she has learnt to cope with her very public life and picked up a few tricks and tips along the way too.
Here the glamorous grandmother of one shares her ideas of style, staying young at heart and who inspires her.
In this day and age style has nothing to do with age, what do you think style is?
It is how you carry your clothes, how you wear them. It is about wearing your clothes with confidence, knowing what works for your shape, height and how things fit you.
At my age it’s about keeping things simple and accessorising. When you’re young you can wear all the fashions walking down the catwalk but by the time you get to your sixties it’s about simple, classic clothes. As you get older you should use accessories more to individualise your look. A pair of good fitting jeans and a soft leather jacket looks great. Also wearing all one colour or shades of the same colour elongates the body. My biggest tip for when you are older is buy tops that are long to hide your crotch and derrière!
What made you develop your skincare range?
In the music business it is all about youth so you have to give your appearance a lot of attention. By the time I got to 40 I had worked with some of the best make-up artists, designers, hairdressers and directors in the business and I learnt a lot about myself and the signs of aging had started to creep in so I basically went out and bought every type of anti-aging product I could find to find what would work for me and I also did research about what worked as well. I then started to mix oils into creams and have my own bespoke kit and people always asking what I used. My girlfriend then suggested meeting up with a chemist she knew to mix it up properly. It came around by accident really and now it is a business for me![callout title=Lulu]”I started so young in the business and I think it really emotionally stunted my growth – I don’t think I have really fully grown up emotionally.”[/callout]
What do you do to remain youthful in body and soul?
I like to try to keep my brain active. I read a lot of books of philosophy, religion and spirituality. I have also meditated since 1984 with a great master and I love to learn the online trends like twitter, facebook, youtube and googling. I try to exercise as well doing yoga, Pilates and walking on the treadmill.
How has the world of celebrity changed over your time in the spotlight?
The word celebrity is like a dirty world now. Anyone can be a ‘celebrity’ these days it is so vague as people will do anything to become famous and I find it really shallow. But doing your job plus all the publicity and stuff is exhausting and you have to be ‘on’ all the time. It is hard to relax and be myself when I have done it for so long. Because I started so young in the business and I think it really emotionally stunted my growth – I don’t think I have really fully grown up emotionally because of that and that is the price I have paid. But I love the music.
Is there anything you haven’t done in your career that you really want to achieve?
I have had a lot of dark down and rough times in my career. I never had that seminal album that one that everyone has in their collection like Michael Jackson’s Thriller of the Beatles White album so that is an unfulfilled ambition. I am still making albums and am working on one at the moment so that is great and I like collaborating with people.
Who do you think is inspirational at the moment for women?
I like architect and designer Zaha Hadid. I love her very futuristic architecture; nobody does design like her. I don’t think there has been such a successful female architect – it has been a man’s world for such a long, long time. She is extremely talented and is creating amazing building all over the world. She’s admirable because she says there are a lot of men who have supported her but to survive in a man’s world is fantastic. I also think Michelle Obama is amazing. To stand beside a man like Barak and yet be her own independent person is fantastic.
With the birth of your granddaughter Isabella, 20 months, are you and your son Jordan closer these days?
It has in a completely different way, in a new way. I am extremely lucky as my daughter-in-law Alanna is very caring and sensitive to the fact that I only have one child, and she knows I would have liked more. It was kind of a sore point. My daughter-in-law makes him call me and set up time to see my grand daughter and even when he sounds uninterested and in a hurry she’ll text after and say: ‘don’t worry we’re going to work this out!’ My son’s relationship with me is better because of my daughter-in law.[callout title=Lulu]”My daughter-in-law Alanna is very caring and sensitive to the fact that I only have one child, and she knows I would have liked more. It was kind of a sore point.”[/callout]
You are quite maternal; tell us about Gary Barlow after a party at your place…
(ha ha) He was violently sick and went into my housekeeper’s room because he got the wrong room! But I looked after him. I have a very strong maternal streak.
How would like to change the world that she is growing up in?
Oh my god where do you start. It’s too wide a statement to say war or poverty but the biggest thing is that we’re not different, we are all the same and we are all part of a world family and so it should shift the understanding that we need to fight or hate others. I’d like it to be how can we help each other. I really think that is what Barak and Michelle Obama have in them that I see, an inclusive, caring for everyone with no separatism that we can work to help each other not to hurt each other
Lulu’s Favourite Things
Favourite Accessory ‘My Tom Binns Diamante and cross necklace from his Love Of God collection. I put that with anything black and it’s a cool accessory.’
Favourite Designer ‘I love Stella McCartney.’
Favourite Cosmetic ‘My myface lip pencil in fair nude to make my lips look bigger.’
Lulu’s Time Bomb is available from QVC, selected Fenwick and www.lulusplace.co.uk. Catch Lulu on QVC on August 31 at 2pm and 10pm.