Zoë Foster Blake | Interview
AUTHOR OF AMAZING FACE, EDITOR OF FRUITYBEAUTY.COM.AU (THE HOLY GRAIL OF BEAUTY BLOGS) + ZOEFOSTER.COM.AU
Zoë Foster Blake is not only gorgeous and extremely hilarious like her famous husband Hamish Blake but she is also a successful author, her most well known book is one of my all time favourites Amazing Face.
Zoë has a long history in the beauty industry working at Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazaar, primped.com.au and mamamia.com.au. Given the long list of killer beauty gigs Zoë has held over the years it’s no wonder Amazing Face is now the beauty bible for women of all ages.
If you get a chance please read Zoë's bio on her site, it starts like this:
Zoë Foster (now Zoë Foster-Blake) was raised by three nuns and a congenial wolf in Nashville, Tennessee. On her third birthday she found her parents (they were next door all along! Imagine that!) and began what would become her life long passion – catching live rattlesnakes with her bare hands and helping her father, Jimmy ‘Mad Dog’ Foster make bespoke cowboy boots for Karl Lagerfeld.
Okay. You’ve got me. I can’t back that up. Everyone knows Karl prefers cobra boots.
> Make sure you follow @Zotheysay on Instagram for daily entertainment, including hilarious photos of her cat.
IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I INTRODUCE ZOË FOSTER BLAKE
We know you started out as a Beauty Director for Cosmo and then Harpers Bazaar, how did you get to be where you are right now, a super successful author?
I started writing books on the weekends while working full time. Blogging, too. I think by doing these two things as “side projects,” just for the love of it, with no expectation and in my spare time, probably helped a lot more than anything else I was doing in my career. Also, timing was a big factor. In 2006 bloggers were kind of viewed as cretins, which was the perfect time to become one, in a funny way.
What is a typical week like for you?
It varies enormously. When I’m in book writing mode, it’s extremely routine – I sit at my desk wearing something cool and fashion-forward like tracksuit pants and my husband’s hoody, thumping away for decades each day, propped up by caffeine and sugar and the occasional thought of going outside for some fresh air. But when I’m doing publicity for a book, or hosting events or doing campaigns, then things get exciting and dress-ed uppy and busy.
Tell us about your wedding, it looked incredibly beautiful, any advice for the lovely brides to be out there planning their wedding?
It was magic. I think of it constantly and with deep fondness. It was intimate and thoughtful and romantic, but also playful because my husband and I are five years old. It was the most fun and perfect and euphoric day we could’ve possibly conjured.
Amazing face is a beauty bible for so many women and makes for the best gift for all girls no matter what their age is! Your experience as beauty editor at Cosmo led you to share all your knowledge in this mega beauty book, has Amazing Face been your most successful project?
I am continually astonished and flattered by the feedback I get on Amazing Face, (and now the App). I think it was, like most things, down to timing – there hadn’t been a beauty compendium in this country since the ‘80s, so the good women of Australia were ready for it. It’s a privilege and a delight to considered helpful, and selfishly I love knowing it has inspired women to take better care of their skin, or try a new makeup look, or cut their hair, or just, you know, cope with cold sores a little better.
If you haven't already purchased Amazing Face then I suggest you run out the door or jump online and order it quicker than you can say what's an Omnilux? It is packed to the brim with the very best beauty products and advice. If you are more of an iPad or iPhone kinda gal then visit the app store here to have this little baby in the palm of your hand no matter where you are.
As our beauty guru what are 5 products that you could not live without? And what should the lovely Peppa Hart readers get their hands on quick smart?
Dry shampoo - For getting another day from dirty hair, but also giving volume and texture to freshly washed, ridiculous, fluffy hair.
A skin serum - The one product that will make a visible difference. Choose one that targets your most pressing skin concern (eg: pigmentation, dryness, wrinkles) and use each night before your night cream.
A bright lipstick – I sway towards orange, but any vibrant pop of colour is worth exploring for general allure, but also to wake up your face and add some polish.
A brow kit –Spending 60 seconds filling in and grooming your brows each day does more for your face (it makes it look youthful, awake and very much frames your eyes) than almost all of your other makeup combined. Do it.
A CC cream – The perfect bridge between tinted moisturiser and foundation. I love the way CCs even out my skin tone, concealing pigmentation, reducing any redness and giving me a boost of all-over radiance. God they’re good.
Oh my lord you looked incredible at the Logies this year, can you tell us what it’s like getting ready for the Logies, talk us through the few days leading into such an event?
I focus on the skin with a few light peels and Omnilux sessions in the fortnight leading up so that it godamn bounces with health. The hair and makeup I decide on once I have the dress in place, this year I kept it modern and slick to balance the old-school glamour of the dress. Red lips and vintage waves would’ve been a bit predictable, yknow?
You have been working like crazy on your new book, can you tell us about it and when will it be available for us to purchase?
It will be ready and incredibly fun to purchase come February.
You write a weekly column for Sunday Style, what do you write about?
My page is called Dear Everything, and was loosely inspired by my Tumblr where I write letters to anything/anyone. I don’t have any statistical proof, but it might be the most enjoyable writing job in the country. I still can’t believe they let me do it, it feels utterly criminal to call it a “job.”
What inspires you and your writing?
Coffee, mostly. Also, comedy. When I watch or read or hear something funny, like a super sharp episode of The Simpsons or Veep or Arrested Development, say, I’m tremendously inspired to get to work. Partly because I enjoy playing with words and writing, and partly because I am deeply envious of other writers’ brilliance and feel compelled to lift my game when I see how much they’re killing it.
What are your favourite blogs, books, magazines, websites and Instagram accounts?
I mostly follow comedians on Twitter and Tumblr; they provide endless snorts and boundless inspiration. Plus, I don’t feel quite so isolated with their tweets zinging through my feed all day. Magazine wise, I love Fantastic Man, Gentlewoman, and (US) Esquire, and online and Instagram, it’s safe (“patent”) to say I am fixated with The Design Files.
I am so intrigued by creative peoples home and work spaces, where do you do most of your writing? What is your home and office like?
It’s fairly basic, just a desk and a chair. (I know! How zany.) However, I recently invested in a sit and stand desk, which I am loving because, A) It’s better for my poor neck and back, B) I now compartmentalize my work (sit for writing tasks; stand for emails, browsing, social media, sloth videos etc) and C) It’s impressive to press the up and down buttons when friends come over.
You always look a million bucks, what are the staples in your wardrobe?
I’m a tragic J. Crew clone: I love collars and bright little knits and prints and ankle-scraping pants and jeans. I’m also a fan of a classic pointy-toe heel and a trench coat… it’s pretty hard to go wrong with those guys hanging out in your wardrobe.
Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Acne, J. Crew, Gorman, Miu Miu, Celine, Equipment, J Brand, Ksubi, Manning Cartell, Bassike, Alice McCall, Lover, and you cannot, SHALL not, keep me out of H&M/COS/Zara when I travel.
Fruitybeauty and Zotheysay keep me so amused, as well as your cat photos! Are they welcomed distractions for you while you are so focused on finishing your book?
They’re probably a little too distracting, to be honest.
The Greek islands. Always.
Coffee or tea?
Summer or winter?
Autumn. (How arrogant.)
Heels or flats?
I feel wonderful in heels but also very uncomfortable. So, flats, I suppose.
Words to live by?
What you think about, you bring about.
Any advice for the aspiring writers out there, any tips on how to land a dream career like you have?
Do good work, be a good person and say yes.