In this edition of Beauty Bytes, I chatted with Radio 1 presenter and one third of the My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast, Alice Levine. As she pushed her bike on her way into work, we chatted on the phone about her job, being so pale she’s basically see-through and playing Hungry Hippos with Quentin Tarantino. KT- Digital Beauty Editor
KT: FROM AN OUTSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE, YOU HAVE AN INCREDIBLY VARIED CAREER; YOU DO A LOT. CAN YOU TALK ME THROUGH EVERYTHING THAT YOU CONSIDER WORK.
AL: Oh wow, yeah I mean it is varied, I guess everything is on a bit of a scene. I tend to do stuff that is in some way tongue in cheek or humorous or has a kind of wry side to it. So things involved with my job, I do a radio show with the BBC, I do a podcast called ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ which we do independently so we produce that as well.
KT: I’M OBSESSED BY THE WAY.
AL: Are you a Berlinker?
KT: OH ABSOLUTELY.
AL: Oh my god, they hide in plain sight. I’m always so surprised when reputable journalists will put their name to it but maybe you’re off the record saying that. And then I do TV presenting, and I write things down sometimes, yeah shopping lists and things. I kind of always thought when I read those articles about people who have cool jobs, and its like every day is different and I’m like every day cant be different, there must be some days when you’re just in the office. But I think if you do have a job that has quite a few elements to it, then it does mean you get to flex different muscles and different parts of your brain, which I do like.
KT: OK AND HOW DO YOU JUGGLE IT ALL?
AL: Uhh, good question. Well I guess I always look at other people who have maybe more traditional jobs and I think gosh their weeks are so much more stressful and busy than mine. I still really like what I do so it doesn’t always really feel like I’m trying to juggle it, it feels like I want to be doing it. And I think somebody will say there’s maybe something a little bit unhealthy about too fine a line between what work and down time is. I often think that line is blurred because I end up working with friends, or end up doing something that I would’ve done for fun and then that turns into a job, and I think that’s why it doesn’t feel like I’m working all the time.
KT: WHAT’S THE WORST BEAUTY TREND YOU’VE EVER ATTEMPTED?
AL: Oh gosh, tanning. Because I’m so pale, I am basically like a new-born fish, you can see my heart through my chest, like I’m see-through, I’m so blue. And that hasn’t been the trendiest look for a while to kind look of ghostly, I sort of just look a bit anaemic I guess. Definitely in my early teens, I tried some bad tanning, now I know tanning is good now and I know you can do it well but I think I’ve been scarred by that. Also sometimes you should just embrace the English rose maybe.
KT: OK AND WHAT’S THE BEST BEAUTY PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
AL: Somebody recommended Glossier Cloud Paint and I really like their colours because I feel like they’re really subtle and they just make you look fresher and brighter. And they also do a sort of lipstick, but it’s almost like a lip balm but you can build it up so it’s not really harsh. What else?! Oh, have you tried that Dr Dennis Gross stuff?
KT: YES, HAVE YOU TRIED THE TANNING PADS? THEY’RE SO EASY TO USE AND IT MAKES YOU LOOK SUPER HEALTHY. AND YOU CAN’ GO WRONG WITH IT.
AL: Oh okay, well I’ve been using the Alpha Beta Peel pads for a month now and they’re insanely great, I just feel like they make my face look a lot brighter. Oh you know what, it’s such a treat but it’s so amazing and actually I eeked it out for about two years and I’m sure telling a beauty journalist that makes you want to jump out a window, but the Sisley Black Rose Mask.
I basically weigh it out on sort of industrially delicate scales, and it’s just so gorgeous. Oh and I always use a Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge on my lips and my cheeks. I just love anything that makes you look a bit healthier and glowier, but doesn’t look like you’re wearing tons of makeup.
KT: WHAT IS YOUR ‘THE HOUSE IS BURNING, GRAB THE MOST IMPORTANT BEAUTY PRODUCT’?
AL: Okay first of all, we need to get some perspective. If the house is burning, you can always re-buy some face wash, that would be my first thought. I’d grab the passports, the family pictures, the cash and all of the necessary paperwork, then my Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser.
KT: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE BEAUTY BRANDS THAT YOU ALWAYS RELY ON?
AL: Um, top three, I’m looking in my bag. Well I don’t really go to one brand for everything, but I have got a couple of products that I always go back to. I have this much-loved, bashed up Estée Lauder Genuine Glow Lips and Cheeks stick, the NARS Soft Matte concealer in a pot and the Rimmel London Exaggerate Eyeliner. I’ve used a lot of liquid eyeliners in my time to get the old 60s cat flick, and you’ll probably disagree with me and we can fight it out to the death, but I can’t fault it. It stays on, doesn’t smudge and has a beautifully thin nib so you can really define the flick, I mean I will hear a case for the brand but I’ve used them all.
KT: YOU’RE KNOWN FOR WEARING BRIGHT LIPSTICK, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SHADE?
AL: So my current fave is Estée Lauder Pure Envy Defiant Coral. I’m still trying to find the perfect red though, I used to wear Dragon girl by NARS.
KT: I INTERVIEWED EMILIA CLARKE AND SHE WEARS THAT TOO! AND SHE’S THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS.
AL: Oh amazing! I just think when you’re really pale, it can make you look a bit vampirey, I tend to go for things with an orangey-red.
KT: HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN?
AL: So I would love to say that I double cleanse every day and night, but I just don’t. If I’ve been on TV, I kind of have to because I have so much make-up on, but generally I would take my eye makeup off with the Bioderma Micellar Water. I do quite like sheet masks, because they feel really nice, especially at this time of year when my skin gets so dry.
KT: WHAT’S THE BEST TIP A PROFESSIONAL MAKE-UP ARTIST HAS EVER GIVEN YOU?
AL: Alison Dunwell, who does lots of lovely women’s make-up and mine sometimes, always puts a little bit of highlighter on the cupid’s bow and I always thought you’re never going to see that, but I actually think it makes a difference. I mean as somebody who only wears concealer most of the time, I’m obviously not going to that length day to day but I was yeah lovely little secret tip. Also cream-coloured liner on your water line to brighten your eyes. What else do they do, what else do these magicians do? Sometimes they ask me to do my own mascara which I find funny.
KT: AND DO YOU?
AL: God no! I want them to do everything.
KT: YOU CYCLE TO WORK, IS THAT HOW YOU KEEP FIT?
AL: Yes, but I also really like outdoor swimming. Obviously at this time of year, it’s a little more bracing, but I love a lido or I actually got into pond swimming this summer. As in you know, suitable ponds not just popping up in peoples gardens. I try to go a couple times a week, I find it clears my head and makes me feel better.
KT: WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE?
AL: I don’t have one, because perfume makes me feel nauseous. I’m a really controlling co-worker, because I ask my colleagues not to wear it to work. I had to ask my old producer jenny if she would basically not wear perfume to work and she was such a lover of perfume. So not only do I not wear it, but I force other people not to as well!
KT: WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MOST USED EMOJIS?
AL: Eye roll, the pukey one and the spaghetti one.
KT: WHAT’S YOUR PREFERRED ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE?
AL: I’m going to say a glass of pinot noir, red wine.
KT: WHICH TV SHOWS DO YOU BINGE WATCH?
AL: Broad City or Handmaidens’ Tale.
KT: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT?
AL: OK this is so boring, but I’ve just discovered Nigel Slater on Instagram. He posts pictures of his house, which makes me kind of like such a voyeur so I’ve just been basically taking a virtual tour of his house.
KT: WHO HAVE YOU BEEN STAR STRUCK MEETING?
AL: Probably my first ever interview on Radio 1, which was Quentin Tarantino. It was that week that we shouted at Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and I was so scared. We’d planned to play Hungry Hippos with him so I was a bit like I’m not sure if this is going to go down well with him, so partly star struck and partly terrified.
KT: DID HE ACTUALLY DO IT?
AL: Yeah he actually took it home! We were going to take it back to the shop, because we had no budget, but he asked to take it home and we were like yeah sure, go for it. That’s £35 down the drain.