MECCA MUSE

Zoë Foster Blake’s life advice for real life

Beauty editor-author-entrepreneur. Zoë Foster Blake is the ultimate multihyphenate and not in the noncommittal millennial sense. She’s a true beauty authority, with over a decade in publishing (she held titles at Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar), over ten books to her name and her very own skin care brand, Go-To, that’s infiltrating shelfies both here and in the US like avocado toast and flat whites.

In a world of “influencers”, Zoe has the brains and wit to back up her legion of followers (900K+) and without an Insta-brow in sight. Not just a “blogger”, she’s the original blogger launching fruitybeauty in 2006, before Instagram was even a thing. Her authenticity is refreshing, relatable and contagious. She’s the girl you want to be and the girl you want advice from—beauty, relationship or otherwise. She’ll tell you where she got her naked sandals from (not ridiculously expensive) and how hair clips are the only way to grow out a fringe (one each side). We caught up with Zoë amid the launch of Go-To at MECCA to chat love, real life and Netflix.

You started your career as a beauty editor at Cosmopolitan and beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar—what was it like working for a magazine in the glory days of print publishing? Was every day like an episode of The Bold Type?
“It was as you’d imagine, just minus the savage, bitchy, hellscape part. I loved my time there. All the girls were country girls like me, we’d all come from small towns or cities to the big smoke to try and make it as journalists. (And we’re still mates 15 years later.) It was fun and ridiculous and we beauty eds were incredibly indulged. I mean, we flew to Byron Bay for lunch! Obscene.”

After your decade and a half as a beauty authority, what are the weirdest things you’ve seen or done in the name of beauty?
“It’s not so much the weirdest but the most regretful. Like hardcore Fraxel when I was in my 20s and completely didn’t need it, or microdermabrasion that left my face red and lined for a week… as a guinea pig, you got to do a lot of great stuff, but also stuff that was a bit ludicrous, and in my case, kind of ruined my skin forever. Cute!”

You just celebrated Go-To’s 5th birthday—congratulations! What would a five-year-old Go-To say to one-day-old Go-To?
“To enjoy it. Which we did and do, but it’s hard to be present when you’re in start-up mode and all treading water furiously. I already reflect back on the ‘in the garage’ days when I personally packed the press kits with misted eyes. It goes! So! Fast!”

Being constantly in the public eye must come with a certain amount of pressure? How important has social media been to your success and how do you manage the expectation?
“It still feels wild to me that I can have this direct line to people, and engage with them in real time about my products or books or experiences. It’s a huge privilege and something I don’t take lightly. I respect my followers, and the relationship we have. I like to play with them, and keep it light and fun, and I try to be useful. I probably rely on Instagram more as a professional tool than as personal outlet these days. I still jam my life, and kids, cat and breakfast into people’s feed occasionally, but there is only so much of my life I expect people to care about. IG Stories aside: I post ANYthing there. If it pops into my head, I post it.”

Let’s chat motherhood—what’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a mum and what advice would you pass on to other mum-to-bes?
“My mum taught me to accept help with grace, and while I still struggle, I’m getting better. Life can’t be give, give, up, up all the time. Down time and accepting help are important. For me, when I prioritise sleep, all the facets of my life improved. I’m a better mother and wife, and more efficient and creative professionally. Trying to do it all as a modern woman is a curse, and it’s destructive. Self-care (whatever that is: for me it’s a wine and Netflix, decent sleep, no-plan-Sundays) is one way to mitigate the damage.”

What life advice do you hope to instil in your children?
“You are enough. Also: What you think about, you bring about.”

As a relationship expert, what is the secret to a successful relationship in 2019?
“Same as it was in 1909, probably: Look after each other, respect each other, support each other, LIKE each other.”

What are you currently reading, listening to and watching?
“Reading: Normal People by Sally Rooney Listening to: Cautious Clay, Billie Eilish Watching: Veep, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Eating: M&M blocks and Hey Tiger chocs”

Words by Romy Erdos
Photographed by Daphne Nguyen
Makeup by Sally Axford
Styling by Ella Murphy
Prop Styling by Stephanie Haddon
April 2019

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