Author, original Vogue “It” girl and mama to two, on her simple beauty routine, attending Paris Fashion Week with Puff Daddy and her latest novel
by Colleen Crivello
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When I think of the lives of some of the mamas we work with—exciting, yes, but also exhausting at times (the round-the-world travel, photoshoots, and book signings… you see where I’m going with this)—I’m regularly astonished by how they do it all and manage to look so put together.
For example Plum Sykes, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on a recent trip to LA. The British-born author originally earned her stripes in Manhattan as an “IT” Vogue editor (long before Instagram’s self-proclaimed “it” girls, I might add) before moving back to England to live between London and the countryside. This mama of two just launched her latest novel – Party Girls Die in Pearls and in the midst of her whirlwind press trip, we caught up over dinner about her self-care routine, learning a new way of eating, the inspiration for her latest book and being a working mom. @therealplumsykes
Photos by: Robert Fairer
While studying at Oxford, did you know what you wanted to do career-wise?I went through many versions of what I wanted to do. It was the 1980s and everyone else was becoming a banker or a lawyer, so for awhile that’s what I thought I should do. But that turned out not to be the case…
How did you get started as an editor – what was your first job?I started as an intern at British Vogue and soon after was hired by Isabella Blow to be her assistant on a photo shoot with Steven Meisel which ultimately led to me becoming an assistant at the magazine.
What was the most interesting interview of your career?Going to the Paris couture shows with Puff Daddy and American Vogue – that was a real highlight as it was absolutely hilarious from morning till midnight!
How did you go from being an editor to writing your first novel – what made you want to start writing a book?I had been writing a column for American Vogue for several years about Uptown girls/downtown girls and their partying exploits. This became the inspiration for my first novel, Bergdorf Blondes.
When did the idea for Party Girls Die in Pearls first come to you?A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to write about the student scene in Oxford, and I also started thinking that it was time to revisit the 1980s, the hilarious clothes and attitudes of that time.
Do you think it will be important for your children to grow-up with their mom working?Yes. It’s very important for my girls to see that their mother is a role model and has a job.
What’s key for you in maintaining your career while having children?It’s always complicated balancing children and work, but I would say that although I work part time when I am working, I’m very focused and very dedicated. With that said, I try to make sure that I’m always available to take the children to school every morning and that I’m finished with work by the time they come home for tea so that I can do their homework with them.
You mentioned having endometriosis – did that effect your working for a period of time?Yes, dramatically, I was very very ill.
You live in the English countryside with your husband and two kids – what do you love about living there and what do you miss about NYC?I live between London and the countryside. Both places are very wonderful in their ways, but the buzz of New York is something that can never be replicated anywhere else.
Do you take the time for self-care and if so what are 5 simple tips that you swear by? I try to make some time for exercise but over the last year that’s been very difficult both with the amount of work and caring for my children. Hopefully soon I’ll get back to a regime where I’m able to work and do some exercise each day.
What’s your skincare routine in the morning and night? I love Avene moisturizer, and Neals yard lavender bath salts.
A beauty product you are most excited about right now?I love Bobby Browns tinted moisturizer; it never fails me.
What are your philosophies around food and a typical day of eating?I like to eat a very big breakfast of eggs and potatoes, or avocado and goats curd. Then, I usually have a cooked lunch with either chicken, steak or fish plus potatoes and salad. Followed by tea around 5 o’clock with my children which might include a piece of toast and honey. For dinner, I’ll have soup or something light around 8 o’clock.
What’s your wellness philosophy? To live in the day.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of wellness? I have done many crazy things for American Vogue in the name of wellness, but the best was going to the Mayr Clinic in Austria which really taught me a new way of eating
Do you workout?Occasionally
What makes you feel sexy?A Manolo high heel
A life tip:As they say in England, ‘keep your pecker up.’