Annabel Rivkin & Emilie McMeekan of The Midult
Annabel and Emilie are journalists and great friends who joined forces to create The Midult, which is a space online celebrating Midulthood - a place where they recognise that we are all more alike than we are unalike. The Midult was founded in 2016 as a counter proposal to everything that was out there for grown up women like them: funny, digitally literate and extremely anxious… From sex (what could possibly go wrong?) to self image (does this straight jacket make me look fat?), they take a wry look at life with a heavy dose of fun. I find myself looking at The Midult on an almost daily basis, listen to their podcasts where they have interviewed some great women and I love their hilarious and completely on point new book “I’m Absolutely Fine”, which I’ve been handing out as presents to the women in my life lately.
Here’s an interview with Emilie and Annabel for DHB on all thing beauty, health and wellbeing:
What does your beauty routine look like and do you have any can’t live without products?
Emilie: I am currently experimenting with Aldi’s skincare range, which costs between £1.50-£1.65 – GASP. But before that I was using a lovely mix of Kate Somerville and Beauty Pie. For cleansing/toning it’s all about Glossier’s cleanser and Pixi Glow tonic – which Annabel forced on me and now I am obsessed. My hairdresser Guy Parsons (with whom I have an intense relationship due to my grey roots) has launched his brand, My Hair Doctor and I am addicted to the Liquid Gold Hydrating Oil to counter all the colouring. And right now I can’t live without M&S’s Pure face masks – just the act of doing a face mask makes me feel like I am looking after myself.
Annabel: Oof, it is ever-shifting because I write about beauty. That, said, there are one or two treasures that I cannot stay away from:
Diptique’s Philosykos which is a kind of delicious, green woody fig scent. I’m really not into duty free fragrances. I like fruit and flower!
Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturising balm with SPF has a slightly waxy texture that acts as a kind of subtle Polyfilla; “Don’t you look well?’ Every time. Of course they may just mean ‘fat.'
I have fine, flat, baby hair which drives me nuts because all I crave is huge hair and mine does something different everyday. Constant surprises. Not in a good way. HOWEVER, I have recently discovered that when I use Josh Wood's anti-frizz shampoo (the only anti-frizz that doesn’t coat fine har and weigh it down) followed by Aveda Thickening Tonic, I can manipulate my stupid barnet into something acceptable. Grrrr...
What’s your favourite beauty brand and why?
Emilie: Probably Sarah Chapman. Mostly because I once had a facial with her when I had two tiny children and she let me sleep in her treatment room for an hour and a half. Plus all her products are amazing – I think Overnight Facial is my all time favourite product. I also love Beauty Pie which is a subscription model and very democratizing.
Annabel: Oh God. If I lost my make-up bag and had to start from scratch in one go I guess I’d head to Charlotte Tilbury because her stuff is juts so workable as well as glamorous and good slap needs to be both. And for skincare? I’m fickle. And, anyway, I'd rather save up and get some really artful Botox from a genius like Dr. Kersh at 23 MD. When she does her righteous work, no one can tell!
What pieces are always in your make up bag? What are your top five go tos to achieve a radiant natural look?
Emilie: I don’t think I have ever achieved a radiant natural look BUT I am all about Sarah Chapman Skin Insurance, which is a tinted moisturiser. Hourglass extreme lash mascara. Bobbi Brown’s sparkle stick and a Beauty Pie highlighter. I also ALWAYS carry floss.
Annabel: At the moment Charlotte Tilbury’s Year Round Healthy glow is getting my withered corpse out of the door in the morning disguised as a fully functional human woman. I’m MAD about Eyeko’s Rock Out and Lash Out Mascara which is utterly amazing for long, naturally curly eyelashes - there are so may things wrong with me but my eyelashes aren’t one of them. Stila’s Petunis convertible colour looks bright orange in the compact but gently blooming on the cheeks.
Do you have any health and wellbeing habits you can share?
Emilie: Therapy. It has been very freeing for me. Also eating regularly. And walking my dog, Billy – it’s been a shaggy love story.
Annabel: Therapy. Only weirdos don’t need it. And exercise. As much as I have time for. I’m doing heavy weights at the moment (15 mins, four times a week at The Library in Notting Hill) and it’s making me feel much better, stronger and sleeker.
Where is your favourite spa/retreat?
Emilie: The swimming pool at The Bulgari Spa in Knightsbridge is quite something. My mother, sister and I used to go to this wonderful Austrian Spa called the Posthotel in Achenkirch. I can still smell the intense woodiness rooms.
Annabel: My best friend’s house in Oxfordshire - where it's okay to be not okay. Also Henri Chenot in Murano - for a pre-party/wedding/whatever starve’n’pummel. Lose half a stone in five days. Doesn't stay off, but hey!
Where in the world do you go to relax?
Emilie: By the sea. Mallorca, Dorset…
Annabel: Bed. Any bed.
What would be your last supper including drinks, starter, main and dessert...?
Emilie: A lot of noodles, then a lot of artisan donuts.
Annabel: Hmmmm. Roast beef maybe. And super stinky cheese.
Do you cook at home? If so, which recipe books and websites do you use?
Emilie: I am a TERRIBLE cook, so we use Hello Fresh – which is a recipe delivery box. All you have to is chop and cook. Even I can’t screw that up.
Annabel: I find cooking very soothing. Its the only time my mad brain stops storming and starts meandering. I tend to bookmarks recipes from the weekend papers but I also like Nigel Slater, Hairy Bikers and my own instinct. How bad can it be? (Narrator: quite bad)
Do you have a favourite healthy eatery?
Emilie: I love Vicki’s in Kensal Rise for their baked sweet potato falafel burritos.
Annabel: When I’m dashing between meetings in the West End I love a Vital build-your-own salad. They have jalapeños so I can put a rocket up my sorry arse.
Who inspires you from the world of health and wellbeing?
Emilie: Annabel put me on to Brene Brown – whose Ted talk "The Power of Vulnerability" is one of the top five most viewed TED talks, with 30 million views.
Annabel: Exactly. Beautiful things happen in vulnerable places but holy hell do you have to be brave to be vulnerable...
Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Emilie: Don’t be afraid of your ambition. And try and let go of the shame.
Annabel: You are only as brave as what you want.
Follow The Midult on Instagram: @themidult
And here’s a link to their wonderful book: I’m Absolutely Fine